Climate & Energy

Carbon trading blasted by indigenous groups

Spoilsports don’t appreciate all the World Bank has done for them

Some of the world's poorest people seem to think carbon trading will destroy their way of life without actually contributing to solving global warming. The highly respected  Institute for Policy Studies seems to think so, too [PDF]. Very odd of them to take such a position. Because, after all, there are no alternatives to carbon trading.

That nuclear renaissance: any day now

Industry bottlenecks will delay any reactors for years, maybe longer

Kind of an important point: It turns out that Osaka-based steel-making giant Japan Steel Works Ltd ... is also the world's only maker of ultra-large forgings, a crucial component in the construction of most new nuclear reactors ...Japan Steel, for example, is currently equipped to supply only five reactor forging sets each year, with each set including an ultra-large forging. So, the nuclear industry that shills sources have assured us is ready to leap in to action with ridiculous modest subsidies to avert global warming can currently build a grand total of ... five reactors a year? That's a little short of one a month.

In their humble overestimation ...

IPCC likely too optimistic about recoverable coal

Anyone interested in the climate should watch this talk by Professor David Rutledge from Caltech. He makes the argument that there are a lot less recoverable fossil fuels than assumed by just about everyone, including the IPCC emissions scenarios. His conclusion is that even if we burn all the fossil fuels on the planet, atmospheric carbon dioxide will not exceed 500 ppm. Is he right?  Perhaps, although his analysis considers only conventional fossil fuels and does not take into account unconventional oil sources like tar sands or shale. He also does not consider carbon cycle feedbacks that could also add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. If true, it's undoubtedly good news for the climate but potentially bad news for our society, since it means that we will be seeing the price of energy inexorably rising in the future as competition for remaining energy resources becomes more fierce. My sense is that, while we can quibble about the numbers, it does seem likely that the IPCC emissions scenarios have overestimated recoverable coal reserves. This suggests that, at the very least, the highest emissions scenarios may be physically impossible to realize.

More anti-intellectualism from the Clinton camp

Cringe along with Terry McAuliffe, who explains why economists don’t know nothin’:

Obama energy adviser Jason Grumet talks climate, coal, and green jobs

Jason Grumet. As executive director of the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan group of 20 energy experts created in 2002, Jason Grumet has come in for some flack from environmentalists. NCEP’s influential 2004 …

These criminals are slippery — very slippery

The Christian Science Monitor notices a rash of slippery thieves making off with the newest hot commodity: grease.

Nukes for all

McCain calls for 700+ new nuclear plants costing $4 trillion

"A nuke in every garage" is the GOP nominee's energy and climate plan. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) made a stunning statement on the radio show of climate change denier Glenn Beck this week: ... the French are able to generate 80 percent of their electricity with nuclear power. There's no reason why America shouldn't. The Wonk Room, which has the audio, writes of the interview, "McCain Seemingly Agrees With Glenn Beck That Solutions To Climate Change Can Be Delayed." That is lame all by itself. But the statement quoted above is even more radical. McCain is repeating his little-noticed uber-Francophile statement from his big April 2007 speech on energy policy, "If France can produce 80 percent of its electricity with nuclear power, why can't we?" Why can't we? Wrong question, Senator. The right question is, Why would we? Let's do the math.

Connecticut goes big with emissions-reducing goals

The Connecticut senate has unanimously passed a bill aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, becoming the fifth state to pass such legislation (after California, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Washington). The bill would require Connecticut to reduce …

<em>BusinessWeek</em> drinks the ethanol-spiked Kool-Aid

The newsweekly uncorks a whopper in defense of crop-based fuels

The massive biofuel mandate embedded in the 2007 Energy Act, signed amid much bipartisan hoopla, is coming under heavy fire. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that two dozen Republican senators have formally asked the …

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