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Accuses us of ‘green imperialism’

More or less echoing what I said here, China is telling the West to shove its climate hectoring where the sun don't shine: Asian business and government leaders have accused rich countries of hypocrisy, saying they run polluting industries with cheap labour in China and then blame the country for worsening climate change. "This is green imperialism," Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Malaysia's deputy finance minister, told a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum on east Asia, a two-day conference in Singapore. A Chinese aviation tycoon told the forum that the west was the original polluter, while an American businessman noted …

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Ethanol: the drunkard’s scourge

OK, ethanol, come on! You effed up the tortillas, you effed up the beer ... now you're effing up the tequila? Is nothing sacred?

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Mixed news

Now that the energy bill has gotten through the Senate, the fight has moved to the House. Here's an update, from my rapidly dwindling free-trial-period subscription to CongressNow: An expected push by House Democratic lawmakers to raise federal fuel economy standards and create new renewable electricity mandates will likely be deferred until the full House debates comprehensive energy legislation later this year, environmentalists and industry officials said today. "I think they'll make those moves on the floor," said one industry lobbyist this morning. House Energy and Commerce Committee members Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) are reportedly considering offering …

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Hastings Makes Less Waste?

Central Nebraska town wins greenest city in America contest We say "greenest city in America," and you say -- Portland? Seattle? Savannah? Try Hastings, Nebraska. The town of 25,000 beat out some 350 other cities to win a contest sponsored by Yahoo! as part of the portal's "Be a Better Planet" initiative. Yes, we're pretty sure we just got suckered into giving Yahoo! a free plug, and we're not entirely sure that Hastings -- birthplace of Kool-Aid -- is ultra-green so much as ultra-good at organizing its residents to use Yahoo!. But we're still going to celebrate the fact that …

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Terminating His Term

With one day left in office, Blair chats climate with Schwarzenegger If you'd asked Tony Blair a decade ago which foreign official would be the last he met with while in office, chances are he wouldn't have put his pounds on Arnold Schwarzenegger. But that's exactly who filled the slot today. Blair, who steps down tomorrow, met with the Governator at 10 Downing Street to chat about -- wait for it -- global warming. The meeting followed a similar mind-meld between Schwarzenegger and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday. At a joint press conference this morning, Tony and Termy discussed …

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The latest from Kunstler

Jim Kunstler's heard the latest data on oil exports/imports, and he sees trouble a'comin': The implication in [the coming dropoff in oil imports] is that the activities that have become "normal" for us during the post World War Two era will very shortly become untenable. An economy based on suburban expansion and incessant motoring is on the top of the list of supposedly "normal" activities that will not be able to continue. ... This new information is consistent with my view that we had better prepare to make other arrangements for living in this country, by which I mean specifically …

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Reps to discuss dropping the tax break on massive SUVs

For the "wow, about time" files: the tax write-off for Hummers might be a thing of yesteryear, if one legislator gets his way. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has introduced legislation to remove the $25,000-or-so tax break that people who drive massive SUVs and Hummers have been getting for years. The break was intended to help farmers, ranchers, and other people who might actually (possibly) have a concrete need for the beasts, but instead it's been helping planet-haters conspicuous consumers average business folks who just want to drive tanks around town. See, there used to be a tax break for businesspeople …

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I’m sure whoever has the best argument will win, right?

There's an interesting piece today in CongressNow on the debate over auctioning vs. giving away credits in a cap-and-trade system. (CN requires a subscription, which you can get for the low, low price of $1500 or so. I'm on the 10-day evaluation thing, so enjoy these pieces while they come, 'cause there's no way Grist is coughing up that kind of dough.) The basic lay of the land is this: enviros, and other people concerned about making the system actually work to reduce greenhouse gases, favor auctioning the credits and using the revenue to support renewables and reduce the impact …

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It ain’t working

The Washington Post has a piece about Obama's attempts to split the difference (thread the needle? straddle the fence?) on the subject of liquid coal. Y'all are probably sick of hearing me talk about this (watch for an op-ed soon!), so I'll outsource the making of the basic point to Brian Beutler and Brad Plumer, namely: this is a difference that cannot be split / needle that cannot be threaded / fence that cannot be straddled. Time to pick a side: coal industry or planet.

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Climate change science questioned

In an op-ed in today's Washington Post, Emily Yoffe asks an interesting question: All this is not to say that it's not getting warmer and that curbing our profligate environmental ways is not a commendable and necessary goal. But perhaps this movement is sowing the seeds of its own destruction -- even as it believes the human species has sown its own. There must be a limit to how many calamitous films, books and television shows we, and our children, can absorb. It doesn't seem sustainable to expect people to remain terrified by such a disinterested, often benign -- it …

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