Climate & Energy

We must tax carbon

Hansen’s message to the planet

Maybe it was the thought of two decades of climate-crisis exhortation, little more heeded than words shouted at a hurricane. Photo: germuska via Flickr.Maybe it was the temporizing of the Democrats and the obstructionism of the GOP. Or it might have been the images of cities, houses and farmland of his native Iowa drowned by the latest "500-year" floods. Perhaps it was all three. Whatever the reasons, the climate crisis' Paul Revere turned it up a few more notches in a speech yesterday (PDF) at a Congressional staff briefing in Washington D.C. Yet James Hansen's headline-grabbing broadside against Big Oil and Big Coal CEOs may prove less significant than his full-throated advocacy of carbon tax-and-dividend as the highest priority for reducing carbon emissions and abating global warming: A price on emissions that cause harm is essential. Yes, a carbon tax.

'It is now'

Obama lays out an energy vision that’s economics and security first

I just read the energy speech Obama gave on Tuesday in Nevada. I’d call it a TKO if I didn’t sound so unconvincing using boxing …

Supreme Court slashes Exxon’s punitive damages for Valdez oil spill

ExxonMobil is off the hook for billions in punitive damages related to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1994, the oil giant was ordered …

Business sense

BP, Shell, Airbus, and other multinationals call for 50 percent emission cuts by 2050

The CEOs of 100 large multinational corporations -- including companies from carbon-intense industries -- have signed a World Economic Forum statement [PDF] that calls on the G8 to create a strategy to cut global greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050. The G8 will be meeting in Japan next month, and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will be pushing hard for an agreement on climate change. Notable signatories to the statement: Airbus, British Airways, BP, Duke Energy, DuPont, Electricite de France, Entergy, E.ON, Michelin, Petrobras, Renault, Rolls-Royce, and Shell. Are pigs flying? Not quite.

Umbra on short-haul flights

Dear Umbra, I work in the touring music business, based in the U.K. but touring worldwide. I have noticed recently that the record companies are …

'Bipartisan leadership for energy independence'

Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith touts work with Obama in new campaign ad

Republican Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon is touting his work with Barack Obama to improve automobile fuel efficiency and his “bipartisan leadership for energy independence” …

Climate change may force California endemic plants to migrate or die

Climate change is expected to significantly affect California’s endemic plants over the next century as temperatures rise and rainfall patterns change, according to a new …

Great minds: Saudis prove EIA's point

Offshore drilling has an ‘insignificant’ effect on oil prices

I am glad that so many in the energy debate have picked up on one of the two messages from my previous post (see "EIA to McCain: Drop offshore [drilling]"). But in listening to the radio and TV debates, I realize that some people have the impression that U.S. Energy Information Administration said offshore drilling might eventually lower oil prices. It did not. It found that allowing offshore drilling would have no significant effect on prices as far out into the future as the analysis projected.

Nevada say never again

Obama heads to Nevada, takes on McCain in energy policy address

Not to let John McCain have all the attention on energy policy this week, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama gave a speech on energy today …