Last year the Energy Independence and Security Act put into place mandates that will in all likelihood increase GHG emissions. The Lieberman-Warner act (critiqued by Sean here) could turn out to be just as ineffective. From an analysis [PDF] of the Energy Independence and Security Act by the NRDC: ... the requirement for renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biogasoline, will grow from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons in 2022. So far, so good, but keep in mind that biogasoline, green diesel, algae derived biodiesel, and cellulosic ethanol have yet to be proven commercially or environmentally viable. Less than a month ago, the NRDC and our government were under the mistaken impression that our conventional biofuels produced fewer greenhouse gases than fossil fuels. And it gets worse:
Check out Clean Up Dynegy, the brand new website for the Sierra Club's campaign against the company Sierra calls "America's Coal-Fired Polluter Number 1." The campaign is significant in that it represents the first attempt by anti-coal forces to single out a single company on a nationwide basis. It kicked off in late February with mass call-ins to Dynegy headquarters originating from twenty states -- "thousands of calls," according to the Sierra Club. Already, the campaign seems to have hit a nerve, with Dynegy's CEO, Bruce Williamson, lashing out that his company is being unfairly picked on. It probably didn't help Williamson's morale that he was also just picked as one of five executives to receive 2008 "Fossil Fool of the Year" awards.
You knew it had to happen: the World Bank now has the same climate sensibility as ... the Kansas House. Scientist Jim Hansen, on the other hand, has requested a meeting with Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, arguing for a moratorium on coal plants until carbon capture and storage technology is available. Even Wall Street looks on coal skeptically. Last Friday, the Kansas House failed to override Sebelius' veto of two new plants by only one vote. And the World Bank is considering funding a massive coal plant in India in compliance with the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. Yes, you read that correctly: a larger-than-ever coal plant in a developing giant is considered a mechanism for clean development. Why? Because it will burn more efficiently than other coal plants in India. In fact, it boasts 'supercritical' technology.
What does it say about humanity if, knowing what we know, we stand by and allow a 4,000 MW dirty coal plant get built?
This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. ----- One of the great ironies of our time is this: We have learned to walk on the Moon, but we haven't yet learned to walk on the earth. It is an irony that is fast devolving into a tragedy. Since the first man landed on the Moon in 1969, we have continued dumping greenhouse gases into the earth's atmosphere and making our planet less habitable. Meantime, under the direction of the Bush administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is working toward the goal of settling the moon and Mars. If we could do both -- put human beings on other planets while practicing good stewardship of Earth -- all would be well. But the next missions to the moon and Mars are being prepared at the expense of life at home.
Attention, paparazzi: It’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11th Hour in his current New York abode. He’s Departed (or will soon) for a new LEED-certified condo in Manhattan’s Battery Park City neighborhood. DiCaprio’s new digs are quite the eco-residence, featuring solar panels, a green roof, and units "decked out with locally obtained renewable materials and low- or nonpollutant paints, sealants, and adhesives." Of course, the place also features a 50-foot lap pool, dog spa, and in-house branch of the New York Public Library. But who’s counting? Hey, Leo, invite me up? Update: Curious about the price of green living? Well, at 1 River …
It's time to call the Lieberman-Warner love train back to the station. This is not to say that we don't urgently need to immediately start reducing atmospheric GHG concentrations and get policies in place that price carbon. It is instead simply the observation that as L-W morphs into ever greater complexity, it becomes an ever-worse way to meet that goal. Like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, I rather doubt that L-W will go anywhere close to far enough to cure AGW. But I am quite certain that the side effects of this purported cure are worse than the disease. Herewith, a few rather simple distinctions to prove the point. Consider each of the following either/or propositions, and ask yourself which would be a hallmark of good GHG policy. (Hint 1: the right answer is always A. Hint 2: the Lieberman-Warner answer is always B.)
A new green-jobs campaign has been launched by the Sierra Club, NRDC, the United Steelworkers, and the Blue Green Alliance (itself a project of the Sierra Club and the steelworkers union). The Green Jobs for America campaign, moving forward on the momentum of last month’s Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference, will be focused in 12 states and will aim to raise public awareness, encourage private investment in renewable energy, and push for green-minded policy.
Andy Revkin wrote in The New York Times last weekend about what I believe is the climate debate of the decade. This post will serve as an introduction to this crucial topic for readers new and old. I will devote many posts this week to laying out the "solution" to global warming, and a few to debunking the "technology breakthrough" crowd.
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