Climate & Energy

Bearly legal

Bush admin to list polar bears as threatened; advocates pledge to continue the fight

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne was flanked by two large television screens rolling video of polar bears as he discussed his department’s decision Wednesday to declare the bears “threatened.” The video bears — and the bears …

The jewel of denial

The delayers’ paradox

The primary goal of the global warming deniers and their disciples is to waste time and delay action, which is why I prefer to call them delayers. (This post is inspired by the surprising finding that only 27 percent of conservatives say the earth is warming because of human activity, such as burning fossil fuels.) The delayers' paradox The deniers and delayers are those who argue that failing to embrace strict reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions will not lead to serious or catastrophic impacts. The delayers' paradox is this: If we all actually were persuaded by the deniers and delayers, it would lead to levels of atmospheric GHG concentrations that ensure the most catastrophic impacts imaginable, proving them (fatally) wrong.

Me, on McCain, on climate, on the radio

Talking about where the candidates stand on climate and environmental policy

Shameless self-promotion alert: I was on the program “The Conversation,” which airs on the Seattle NPR affiliate KUOW, last night talking about McCain’s climate plan and where the presidential contenders stand on environmental policy. I’m …

As if!

Will McCain bring conservatives with him on climate?

A President McCain would have no magic wand to get conservatives to join a cause they simply don't believe in, much as he wasn't able to get them to join the cause for his McCain-Lieberman climate bill. As E&E News ($ub. req'd) reports today:

Polar bears threatened, but drilling in their habitat still OK, says Interior

Polar bears are a threatened species, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced Wednesday — but that doesn’t mean we can’t drill in their habitat! The “threatened” designation means the bear could become endangered if conservation steps …

How three Southeast cities are changing

For more on Southeast cities, see our full feature on sustainability initiatives underway in Atlanta. With rapid population growth and increased climate vulnerability, the Southeastern U.S. would seem a prime place for sustainability initiatives. But …

Electric shock

Big increases coming in electric costs

From the "Things Grist readers already knew" file comes this report from ClimateWire ($ub. req'd) that price shocks are looming for power plant operators, even before the costs of carbon are factored in. A few excerpts below the fold:

Loaded for bear?

Polar bear decision expected today from Bush administration

This just in from Associated Press: The Interior Department has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday to announce a decision on whether to list the polar bear as threatened and in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act.Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne proposed such protection 15 months ago because of the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, which is a primary habitat for the bear. Last September, scientists said up to two-thirds of the polar bears could disappear by mid-century because of sea ice loss due to global warming.However, it's not certain the bear will be listed as threatened. Recently the United States and Canada agreed to conduct additional research into the future survival of the bear. That memorandum did not mention global warming. You can read that memorandum of understanding signed by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne here [PDF]. It was signed back on May 8 but I haven't seen it reported anywhere. Weird. The science couldn't be more clear -- the polar bear is threatened by climate change and could be gone from U.S. soil (and ice) by mid-century. It's hard to imagine a decision not to protect the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act, even from the Bush administration. That would completely contradict evidence presented by the administration's own biologists and show that obstruction on climate action is more of a priority than protecting the polar bear.

Melting Arctic ice poses security threat, says Pentagon

Waterways made navigable by melting Arctic ice pose a security threat to the northern U.S. border, says the Pentagon. The shrinking ice cap has led to increased interest in tourism and energy development in the …

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