Climate & Energy

Governors will pester candidates about climate

A gaggle of governors will conclude a meeting at Yale with an agreement to pester the presidential candidates about climate change. Governors of 18 states, representing more than half of the U.S. population, pledge to …

Polar bear listing decision delayed, again

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that it needs 10 more weeks to decide whether to list polar bears as a threatened or endangered species. The agency’s self-imposed deadline is now June 30; …

350 sense

McKibben kicks off 350.org, a new international grassroots climate campaign

If only atmospheric chemistry gave you points for trying. A year ago this week, we were celebrating. I and six college-age colleagues of mine, joined by thousands of organizers across the country, had managed to …

A decarbonization story: Part 2

Does the IPCC dangerously assume ‘spontaneous’ decarbonization?

No. The central point of the recent Nature article "Dangerous Assumptions" (available here [PDF]) is that the IPCC made dangerous assumptions in their reference scenarios: ... the scenarios assume a certain amount of spontaneous technological change and related decarbonization. Thus, the IPCC implicitly assumes that the bulk of the challenge of reducing future emissions will occur in the absence of climate policies. We believe that these assumptions are optimistic at best and unachievable at worst, potentially seriously underestimating the scale of the technological challenge associated with stabilizing greenhouse-gas concentrations. That would be a powerful conclusion, if it were true. But it isn't, as this post will make very clear. In fact, I suspect most people will be quite surprised at how clear it is that this conclusion is not true, given that it appears in a major science journal. First, I think it is worth noting that the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, said late last year: If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment. Does that sound like the head of a group that has underestimated the scale of the climate challenge?

Sebelius to Kansas legislature:

No, I really meant it.

Notable quotable

"It's a crime against humanity that food should be diverted to biofuels." -- Palaniappan Chidambaram, India's finance minister (via)

Climate ‘central’ to McCain’s campaign?

In the course of an NYT story about McCain’s tax policies (short summary: he wants to punch a $200b hole in the budget via regressive tax cuts), political reporter Michael Cooper says: One of Mr. …

Sneak peek at <em>Time</em>'s cover story

Mag’s green issue exalts cap-and-trade

I now seem to be on some media distribution list to gin up early PR. Green publicists of the world, bring it on! Here are links to key stories (plus some summaries, from Time): This Week's Cover Features a Green Border -- Only the Second Issue in TIME's 85-Year History Without the Trademarked Red Border (New York, April 17, 2008) -- In this week's issue, TIME managing editor Richard Stengel writes in his Letter to Readers, "This is our latest environment special issue but also a historic first: for this one issue, we've exchanged our trademarked Red Border for a green one. By doing so, we are sending a clear -- and colorful -- message to our readers about the importance of this subject, not just to Americans but to everyone around the world as well." The cover story -- "Green Is the New Red, White and Blue" -- written by TIME's Bryan Walsh, "is our call to arms to make this issue -- perhaps the most important one facing the planet -- a true national priority." (Note: It's a pretty good story, as one expects from this magazine. That said, I take issue with one of the paragraphs in the cover story -- honorable mention to whoever figures out which paragraph it is. I'll post the answer tomorrow.)

Oil hysteria

Let’s rebuild our national rail network instead of repealing the gas tax

At the rate things are going, any money that would be available for global warming mitigation is going to go into subsidizing the oil used by airplanes, trucks, cars, and heating oil so that most Americans do not become hysterical -- or am I being hysterical? From Michael T. Klare's latest article:

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