Climate & Energy

Meet the Blogger

Better questions for Gore

In response to my rant about Gore on Meet the Press, a certain boss of my acquaintance asked me what questions I would have asked. …

Irony-gate

Viscount Monckton, a British peer, says his paper was peer-reviewed by a scientist

"The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley" is full of crap himself. Before casting a wary eye on his new ribaldry, however, let me direct you to yet another dismantling of his "thesis" -- this one by Deltoid at ScienceBlogs: "Monckton's triple counting."(Even more debunking here.) But I digress. The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, as he prefers to call himself, or TVMOB, as I will call him because, damn, the acronym is just too sweet, has penned an epistle to the president of the American Physical Society, which you can peruse here [PDF]. (Please note that the picture on the right is not TVMOB nor do I think he would ever participate in this.) TVMOB is displeased with the new APS disclaimer on his article: "The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article's conclusions." TVMOB writes, "This seems discourteous." You see, TVMOB holds the view that peer review occurs if his article gets suggested edits by a co-editor who happens to be a scientist. Let me not make the obvious point that being edited by an editor ain't scientific peer review. You can read the editor's requested edits on page two of TVMOB's letter [PDF]. Anybody who has actually been peer-reviewed will note that the proposed edits aren't anything close to what a peer-reviewed set of comments looks like, especially for an analysis as flawed as this one. Since TVMOB's letter is straight out of Monty Python, let me rather make the point in kind that a peer is "a person who holds any of the five grades of the British nobility: duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron." By that definition, I am sure that TVMOB's paper was not given proper peer review. Indeed, I'm not certain TVMOB has a proper peer on this Earth. Perhaps Senator Inhofe or President Bush. But pity the poor modern British viscount who whines in his letter, "I had expended considerable labor, without having been offered or having requested any honorarium." Join the club, buddy. Since when do you think scientific newsletters pay you a nickel? Oh, I forgot. You aren't a scientist. I especially love the conclusion to his epistle:

Oregon trail

Grist talks to Oregon Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Merkley

Oregon Senate candidate Jeff Merkley was in Austin for Netroots Nation, where he appeared on a panel about energy issues. Merkley is attempting to unseat …

Skeptical climate-change documentary found unfair, but not misleading

A British documentary that declared climate change to be a willful and conspiratorial hoax broke impartiality rules and misrepresented the views of some participants, British …

My coal Kentucky home

Kentucky to build new coal-to-liquids plant

The following post is by Earl Killian, guest blogger at Climate Progress. Kentucky has selected a site to build a $4 billion coal-to-liquids plant in Pike County that would produce 50,000 barrels of liquid coal a day. According to Kentucky's Lexington Herald-Leader: ... The county would use federal and state grant money to put the basic infrastructure in place, including water and sewer, and the company chosen to operate the facility would pay for the rest.County officials have not yet secured funding, but Ruther­ford said he has received support from Gov. Steve Beshear, as well as several others, including state Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook. Joe has written often about the climate dangers of coal-to-liquids, and recently about the health dangers of living near coal plants. There are also other consequences. An Op-Ed in the Lexington Herald-Leader serves as a stark reminder that coal will never be clean. Robert Richardson, a former coal miner, writes passionately about the death of Kentucky's streams under the onslaught from mountain-top removal. On revisiting a favorite spot, he writes:

Bush admin proposes rules for domestic oil-shale development

The Bush administration today will propose rules for tapping the U.S.’s vast oil-shale deposits, estimated to hold up to 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil. …

What do Juneau?

Grist talks to Alaska Democratic Senate candidate Mark Begich

Anchorage’s Democratic mayor, Mark Begich, is challenging Republican incumbent Ted Stevens for his Senate seat this November. Begich, 46, is in his fifth year as …

Cape blind

A failure of leadership in the wind

This recently appeared in Wendy Williams' blog. She is coauthor of the book Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound, now out in paperback -- a fascinating and horrifying read. ----- I've been giving lots of talks about Cape Wind around the country, and I can tell you -- the American people are getting really angry. Both Democrats and Republicans are equally disgusted by what they read in our book about Cape Wind. At this point, they're angry about a lot more than Ted Kennedy and Mitt Romney getting together behind the scenes or over dinner to plot about how to kill Cape Wind.

Nagging our way to climate stability

Forget a carbon cap; try guilt instead!

This is quite possibly the most idiotic argument I've ever heard against cap-and-trade. Why is it bad? By turning carbon emissions into commodities that can be bought and sold, cap-and-trade policies could remove the stigma from producing such emissions ... the purchase of the right to emit greenhouse gases would likely reduce any stigma associated with doing so. Emission levels, consequently, could rise. Oh, lordy, that's a good one. But that's from an op-ed in yesterday's Christian Science Monitor written by Justin Danhof from The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative D.C. think-tank. Could he be right? Could it be that the only thing standing between us and a climate crisis is stigma? We need more guilt!