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Dust to dumb

Prius easily beats Hummer in lifecycle energy use; ‘Dust to Dust’ report has no basis in fact

A study came out recently claiming to prove a Hummer has lower lifecycle energy use than a Prius. Because the result was so obviously bogus -- and in sharp contradiction with every other major lifecycle analysis ever done -- I didn't spend time debunking it. But it made it into the comments of my blog and continues to echo around the internet, and the authors keep updating and defending it. A couple of good debunking studies -- by the Pacific Institute (PDF) and by Rocky Mountain Institute (PDF) -- haven't gotten much attention, according to Technorati, so let me throw …

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More ammo against skeptics

If our How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic series doesn't fully scratch your skepticism itch, check out Skeptical Science, a well-organized site devoted to tracking climate skeptic arguments and rebutting them.

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U.N.-initiated climate-change meeting kicks off

Some one thousand representatives of government, industry, and research institutions from more than 150 countries came together in Vienna today to kick off a United Nations-initiated week-long hobnob on WTF Should We Do About Climate Change. We're betting relatively little of substance will come out of it, but check in for updates as the week progresses.

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CTL rulez!

United Mine Workers of America provides fodder for time-capsule editorial on liquid coal

This editorial in the Niagara Gazette is from 2007, not 1977. Honest. Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, quickly cut to the chase on this matter by labeling CTL as a legitimate and real answer to resolving numerous worrisome issues on the table for our country. Energy independence, national security, the trade deficit and economy all stand to benefit greatly from the expansion of CTL technology. In West Virginia, thousands of jobs with good wages and benefits are in the balance. Should be a no-brainer for Congress, right? Wrong, at least so far. Environmental concerns, aimed …

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Sustainable math in East Asia

East Asian countries could save money shifting to renewables, but aren’t gonna

According to Greenpeace International, East Asian countries can save about $2 trillion in fuel costs over the next 23 years by shifting to renewable energy (abandoning plans for both coal and nuclear plants). Said dazzlingly monickered Greenpeace campaign coordinator Athena Ballasteros ... ... investment costs for new power plants in East Asia projected by the International Energy Agency (IEA) would total 490 billion dollars between 2004 and 2030. Under Greepeace's scenario, investment costs on renewable energy would amount to 556 billion dollars over the same time frame. However, fuel costs in the IEA projections would cost 6.3 trillion dollars over …

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Industrial agrodiesel

‘Biodiesel’ is looking worse and worse

An example of a long-lived and wildly successful marketing scheme is the station wagon with oversize tires and a four-wheel drive transmission, repackaged as the Sport Utility Vehicle. The only significant difference between these and the cars our parents drove is the mental image planted in our heads by marketing. And the real beauty is that you get to pick from two images: People envy you for having enough disposable income and leisure time to use your car for sport, skiing in the mountains or driving down the middle of your favorite trout stream to do a little fly-fishing. People …

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Silence up north

The coming nuclear expansion in Ontario is absent from election debate

There's a bit of a, whatchamacallit, an election coming down in Ontario. So far a number of issues have come up (e.g. schools), but the governing Liberals' plan to increase nuclear power construction in Toronto isn't one of them. It's a shame, because a number of recent articles in the Toronto Star show how this plan is being undermined before it's even gotten off the ground. First of all, there's the problem that the existing reactors are delivering sub-par performance this summer. The reactors at both Pickering and Bruce have been shut down unexpectedly, leading to a double-digit increase in …

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Looking over our shoulder

Thoughts on the GISS temperature adjustment

There has been a lot of blogging recently about the problem with the temperature record for the continental U.S. RealClimate described the problem thusly: Last Saturday, Steve McIntyre wrote an email to NASA GISS pointing out that for some North American stations in the GISTEMP analysis, there was an odd jump in going from 1999 to 2000. On Monday, the people who work on the temperature analysis (not me), looked into it and found that this coincided with the switch between two sources of US temperature data. There had been a faulty assumption that these two sources matched, but that …

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Mountaintop removal mining: The waiting game

MTR activists don’t expect progress until the Bush administration is gone

((mtr_include)) This week, Gabriel Pacyniak and Katherine Chandler are traveling throughout southern West Virginia to report on mountaintop removal mining (MTR). They'll be visiting coalfields with abandoned and "reclaimed" MTR mines, and talking with residents, activists, miners, mine company officials, local reporters, and politicians. We'll publish their reports throughout the week. ----- As we wind down our trip, news breaks that the federal Office of Surface Mining has issued new rules that will gut the already weak protections against burying streams during the course of mountaintop removal mining. The change would make it even more difficult, if not impossible, for …

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