Climate & Energy

Darth Cheney

Cheney’s office censors CDC director’s testimony on climate-related health threats

The Center for American Progress Action Fund emails out a great daily report (sign up here). Today's subject is Dick Cheney's one Vader man war to use Jedi mind tricks censorship to keep the American public in the dark side on the dangers of climate change. In this case, he censored the testimony on the "health threat posed by global warming" by Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last October. She had planned to say the "CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern." But who really cares what the CDC has to say on the subject anyway when we have White House Press Secretary Dana Perino to assure us "There are public health benefits to climate change"? After all, Perino is an expert on the subject thanks to here bachelor's degree in mass communications and a masters in Public Affairs Reporting. Here is the Progress Report in full:

An interview with climate mockumentary filmmaker Randy Olson

Randy Olson became a filmmaker after fifteen years as a marine biologist, so the perspective he brings to the craft is rooted in science — …

A billion here, a billion there

Alberta sets aside nearly $4 billion for public transport and CCS

From Greenwire ($ub. req'd) comes this news from Alberta that sounds so promising and then gets it so very wrong. First the good news: Alberta, under continuing pressure to do something about their tar-sand driven boom in CO2 emissions, has committed to using C$4 billion worth ($3.92 billion) of their budget surplus to lowering CO2 emissions. Whatever one thinks of tar sands, that's admirable. But then, in an all-too-common case of confusing the path with the goal, they have announced that the money will be split into two $2 billion funds: One set aside to boost the use of public transport and the other set aside for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Better yet, some of the CCS will be used for enhanced oil field recovery, defeating the initial purpose. The good news is that governments are taking climate seriously. The bad news is that climate policy remains a decidedly shoddy endeavor. We can do better. Story below the fold.

Oil hysteria, part 3

Congress scrambles for short-term solutions to counter oil prices

I was afraid of this. The irrationality being exhibited about the price of gasoline is on prominent display this week in Congress. According to the New York Times article "Congress feeling pressure for action on oil prices," some of the things being considered are 1) drilling, of course, 2) anti-speculation legislation, and 3) "incentives for renewable fuels," ergo, corn ethanol.

The long journey from denier to delayer

Bush hits the climate alarm snooze button at G8

The NYT's Andy Revkin dissed the G8 climate statement with the blog headline, "Rich and Emerging Greenhouse-Gas Emitters Fail to Set Common Long-Term Goal for Cuts." The headline of the NYT's article on the subject, however, is "Richest Nations Pledge to Halve Greenhouse Gas." The Grist story begins, "world leaders reached a landmark deal: agreeing to cut emissions in half by 2050," calling it a "significant step" for the Bush Administration, whereas NRDC's international climate policy director, Jake Schmidt, blogs, "Yup, Just as I Predicted ... No G8 Leadership!" What is going on? You can read the "G8 statement on climate change and environment" and decide for yourself. I think your reaction depends on whether you are a "glass is 90 percent empty" or "glass is 10 percent full" type of person and whether you judge the president on the relative basis of his dismal, pathetic, unconscionable climate record (in which case what he agreed to at the G8 was a big deal) or on an absolute basis of what needs to be done to avoid catastrophic climate impacts for the next 10 billion people to walk the earth (in which case what the G8 did was give a placebo to a diabetic -- a sugar-coated placebo, that is). The Guardian online asked for my commentary, "Ignoring the climate change alarm." Here are some excerpts:

Forbes on utility objections to combined heat and power

Forbes has a nice story about the historic barriers that electric utilities have thrown up to block efficient power generation. This is nothing new to those of us "in the trenches," but it is nice to see this topic aired from more visible podiums. It's worth the time to read for anyone who thinks that the only barrier to low-carbon generation is technological development.

Mine’s lighter than yours

When society embraces vehicle fuel efficiency as a goal, hordes of smart people converge on it and try to outdo each other. The same thing …


Conservative blogger thinks McCain is ditching cap-and-trade

Larry Kudlow of National Review seems to think that John McCain has dropped his support for cap-and-trade, after reading the Republican candidate’s policy pamphlet [PDF] …

Coal money talks, public ignores

Poll shows 86 percent of public wants a five-year halt on new coal plants

Shortly before the July 4 holiday, Opinion Research Corporation released a poll entitled "Opinions About Gas Prices and U.S. Energy Independence" [PDF] which shows -- drum roll please -- that the public, by a three-to-one margin, is either "very angry" or "somewhat angry" about gasoline prices. While gas prices grabbed the headlines, the poll also happened to ask a number of questions about coal, and the answers were both interesting and surprising: The percentage of people who said they opposed new coal plants was actually higher than the percentage expressing outrage over gas prices. When asked whether "America should commit to a five-year moratorium on new coal-fired plants," the response was:

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