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Ante up

Colin Challen, a member of Parliament and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group, has a good editorial in the latest issue of Science (sub. rqd). He makes a key point that is often missed in the debate: Not only must we reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, we need a timetable that reduces the risk of positive feedbacks and sink failures that could lead to runaway catastrophic climate change. We are "playing climate change poker," as Challen says, fighting not just to avoid the consensus prediction for climate change, but the plausible worst-case scenario, which is far worse. …

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Watch six episodes of ‘Project Phin’

Would seeing Ben Affleck dressed as an ear of corn make you more or less interested in learning about ethanol and supporting legislation requiring service stations to sell it? It's an interesting question -- especially without context -- but one the Center for American Progress is eager to investigate. This week, they launched an online video series, "Project Phin," to address energy issues -- specifically flex fuels. The six-episode series is being released one YouTube video at a time, and will include cameos from green-leaning celebs like Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner, Sarah Silverman, and the corn-husk-clad Affleck. Check out the …

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And he argues that cow farts produce more greenhouse gases than cars

Check out this clip (via RAN) of the insufferable Glenn Beck running through asinine talking points while disparaging Live Earth: I'm not the first to note this, but it is really remarkable that CNN, a formerly respected former news network, stoops to this egregious low. Mike Brune of the Rainforest Action Network does an admirable job of keeping his dignity, not committing any felonies no matter how justified, and calling him on his bull. If, in the unlikely event that I am ever asked to do a similar interview, my only request will be that I be within smirk-smacking distance.

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Renewable energy is good for them

Renewable energy is good for rural communities -- at least in the UK: A study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, of community renewable energy projects in Britain has found that so far, projects are largely based in the countryside, some quite remote. From wind turbines to shared heating systems, small-scale renewable energy doesn't just help in the fight against climate change. It can also bring people together, revitalise local economies and help alleviate poverty. Community energy projects generate energy renewably, at a local level. They involve anything from a community-owned wind turbine to a solar panel on …

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We want some

Hmmm. This is interesting. Seems that American Express is running a contest, and the winning project gets $5 million. I mention this for two reasons: out of civic duty, and because our project is in the running for five million freakin' dollars. We are currently about 1,200 measly votes from making it to the next round. The project, "Harvest the Sun," is a collaboration of Vote Solar and the Center for Resource Solutions, and would go toward our work bringing solar into the mainstream. For the love of God -- I currently expend a ridiculous amount of time, energy, and …

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Really

If you haven't already heard, yesterday saw the release of an important new report: In the most comprehensive environmental assessment of electric transportation to date, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are examining the greenhouse gas emissions and air quality impacts of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The purpose of the program is to evaluate the nationwide environmental impacts of potentially large numbers of PHEVs over a time period of 2000 to 2050. The year 2000 is assumed to be the first year PHEVs would become available in the U.S. market, while 2050 …

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Shocking

I am shocked, shocked at the N.Y. Times report: The Japanese operator of a nuclear power plant stricken by an earthquake earlier this week said Wednesday that damage was worse than previously reported and that a leak of water was 50 percent more radioactive than initially announced. For the third time in three days, Tokyo Electric Power apologized for delays and errors in announcing the extent of damage at the plant in this northwestern coastal city, which was struck Monday by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake. The company also said that tremors had tipped over "several hundred" barrels of radioactive waste, …

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The new alchemy: Turning iron particles into gelt

Turns out we here at Grist got a preview of his "fringe environmentalist" testimony to Congress. Too bad the Post didn't mention his cold fusion background; that really puts this scheme into perspective. It's just the eco-version of the same old same old. (There's one born every minute, and two to take his money ... )

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Making energy efficiency possible for cheapskate homeowners

Apropos of my recent realization that if I had bought a new furnace on credit rather than waiting to save up the cash I'd have saved a bundle of money over the last 5 years, here's something I've been meaning to write about for months: a Vancouver developer that came up with a smart -- I mean, diabolically smart -- financing scheme to build a super-efficient condo complex. (Proving, I suppose, biodiversivist's point that spreadsheets are, in fact, wonderful things.) All things being equal, I imagine that most real estate developers don't care one way or the other if their …

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It’s not optimal, but he says he’s serious about it at least

As you'll recall, a few weeks ago Rep. John Dingell said in an interview that he plans to introduce a carbon tax bill, "to see how people really feel about this." He expressed doubt that the American people are willing to pay what it will cost. Reaction from progressives was swift and vicious. Everyone assumed Dingell would deliberately design a horrible bill, fail to support it, watch it go down in flames, and thereby poison the debate. See, e.g., this unsigned L.A. Times editorial. Now there's a little bit of information about the bill emerging. Seems the Detroit Free Press …