Climate & Energy

Blackout: Heinberg on dwindling coal reserves and the siren song of “clean coal”

Blackout: Coal, Climate and the Last Energy Crisis, Richard HeinbergThere isn’t nearly as much coal left as most people think. “Clean coal” will run down limited reserves even faster. If humanity doesn’t begin massive, sustained investment in renewable power sources …

Why some Russians look forward to global warming

Conquering its vast wilderness has long been a dream of Russia’s rulers, even the not-so-capitalist ones…Freedom Toast via FlickrOK, this is really a glorified retweet, but Brad Plumer has a fascinating post at the New Republic about Russia’s apparent enthusiasm …

Small changes at EPA could have big environmental impacts

While climate change legislation works its way toward 60 votes in the Senate, President Obama’s EPA has been quietly working on some serious revisions to the guidelines it uses to conduct cost-benefit analysis.  Tweaks they might make to the powerful …

When life makes you lemonade, Kate Galbraith and the NY Times give you lemons

  “Convoys of turbine parts for windmills slow traffic and attract attention in coastal towns like Searsport, Me., on their way to western Maine” – the caption from the absurd NYT piece, “Slow, Costly and Often Dangerous Road to Wind …

Turns out humans are not like slowly boiling frogs — we are like slowly boiling brainless frogs

I learned something new or, rather, old from reading Fallows’ blog. The famous metaphor* — “the fatally slow human response to climate change makes us like a slowly boiling frog” — is not quite right. As Wikipedia puts it, German …

The future of hockey sticks on an ice-free planet

A number of people asked me to reply to a blog post by Atlantic monthly columnist James Fallows in which he opines on a variety of climate-related subjects from Al Gore to the “Hockey Stick” graph. Since I have known …

Palin on Energy: The Bad, the Ugly, and the Response

Barbara Boxer, chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and John Kerry, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, write in “What Palin Got Wrong About Energy“: Whether it was the debate over the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water …

“Clouds Appear to Be Big, Bad Player in Global Warming” — an amplifying feedback

The best evidence is that the climate is now being driven by amplifying feedbacks (see Study: Water-vapor feedback is “strong and positive,” so we face “warming of several degrees Celsius”), most notably: The defrosting of the permafrost The drying of …

Will we see record low Arctic ice volume this year?

“Daily sea ice extent as of July 21. The solid blue line indicates 2009 … the purple line shows 2008; and the solid gray line indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000.” The blogosphere and scientific community are all abuzz …