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Hurricane Katrina and the myth of global warming adaptation

When it comes to climate change, prevention is more important than adaptation

G. Gordon Liddy's daughter repeated a standard Denier line in our debate: Humans are very adaptable -- we've adapted to climate changes in the past and will do so in the future. I think Hurricane Katrina gives the lie to that myth. No, I'm not saying humans are not adaptable. Nor am I saying global warming caused Hurricane Katrina, although warming probably did make it more intense. But on the two-year anniversary of Katrina, I'm saying Katrina showed the limitations of adaptation as a response to climate change, for several reasons. First, the citizens of New Orleans "adapted" to Hurricane …

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Killing me greenly

Miltary tech goes eco

Earth2Tech brings us seven ways the military is using green technology. And don't forget how they're tackling overpopulation!

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Indulgences redux

Offset customers don’t buy offsets to justify their other behavior

So, TerraPass just got done with a customer survey, with several thousand responses. Uncovered was the shocking news that people are not, in fact, using offsets as an excuse to indulge in other bad behaviors. (Here's a one-page PDF summarizing results.) In fact, just as you'd expect, people who care enough to pay for offsets also care enough to reduce their emissions in other ways. As Adam says, this counts as pretty good evidence against the "indulgences" theory of offsets, particularly in light of the fact that there's no evidence for it. Of course, it's possible that TerraPass customers are …

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Keep your friends close ...

Some unwitting climate change advice from the National Review

Hey, did anyone here read that recent article on political strategies for action on climate change? You know, the one published in the National Review? [crickets chirping] OK, I generally don't recommend the National Review on environmental policy, but I couldn't help peeking at the recent article [PDF] by Jim Manzi. Various writers of the more thoughtful right-of-center blogs have alternatively described it as "brilliant" and "a taste of how a wised-up, heads-out-of-the-sand Right could kick [liberals'] ass on the issue" of global warming. I hadn't realized that climate change was a game of flag football, but there you go. …

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An interview with Joe Biden about energy and the environment

This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside. Update: Joe Biden was chosen as Barack Obama's running mate on Aug. 23, 2008. (He dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 3, 2008.) Joe Biden. Photo: Michael Millhollin Joe Biden says his top priority as president would be "energy security." "If I could wave a wand, and the Lord said I could solve one problem, I would solve the energy crisis," he said this spring at a political rally in South Carolina. "That's the single most consequential problem we can solve." …

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OK, I was bass-ackwards the last 12 times, but now I'm 'moderate'!

Why do documented liars and dummies get taken seriously about climate change?

Hey, Europe, about the whole climate change thing ... just calm down already: Curbs needed to fight global warming could be less drastic than a 50-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 favored by the European Union, the United States' chief climate negotiator said on Monday. This, of course, echoes the latest right-wing line on climate change, which is: it exists, but hey, it's not so bad, and we don't need to do anything drastic about it. Let's be "moderates," not "hysterics," where moderate = what corporatists are willing to concede at a given point in time. Aside from …

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NOAA: Greenhouse gases drove near-record U.S. warmth in 2006

El Niño was not the cause of 2006 warming patterns in the U.S.

A new study by NOAA's Earth System Research Lab finds: Greenhouse gases likely accounted for more than half of the widespread warmth across the continental United States last year ... [T]he probability of U.S. temperatures breaking a record in 2006 had increased 15-fold compared to pre-industrial times because of greenhouse gas increases in Earth's atmosphere. How did they come to this conclusion? [T]he NOAA team analyzed 42 simulations of Earth's climate from 18 climate models provided for the latest assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ... The results of the analysis showed that greenhouse gases produced warmth over …

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Catching up

Experts to Utah: Climate change is real

If this happened any place else but Utah, it might not be worth noting, but in that state I believe it's progress: A state blue ribbon task force on climate change stated emphatically Monday that humans are to blame for global warming and offered a slate of recommendations on ways Utah can fight the changes. Glad that's settled! This is somewhat surprising: But one much-discussed option, developing nuclear power, was only on the B list of recommendations by the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council on Climate Change. Dirty hippies! Here are some highlights from the "high-priority" options to fight climate change: …

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The Climate Got Me High

NOAA scientists say near-record U.S. temps in 2006 due to climate change Scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday that the near-record annual average temperature in the Lower 48 states in 2006 was due to greenhouse gases and not to the weather phenomenon El Nino. By perusing weather records the researchers, whose study will appear in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that El Nino actually tended to have an overall cooling effect on the U.S. To find what was causing the warming, scientists then ran over 40 computer simulations to test various atmospheric conditions' effects …

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Getting past 'hypedrogen'?

Interesting hydrogen-generating technology from Purdue

I hesitate to post this for a number of reasons, not least of which is that I think our fixation with maintaining automobility is going to be our undoing. But there's no denying that if this works out as advertised*, this is a real step toward a noncarbon future that includes more energy, rather than less. * Caveats: The presser doesn't discuss the energy balance for reformulating the catalytic materials; aluminum is sometimes known as "congealed electricity" because of the energy cost of refining the virgin bauxite. I have no idea how much gallium there is, although the presser suggests …

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