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Gov’t doesn’t want to pay for them

Looks like the public teat is closing up shop: The government will not subsidise new nuclear power plants, so if the private sector does not provide the huge investments needed, the country will have to do without, the minister responsible for energy said on Thursday. The Labour government sees nuclear power as one of the most effective weapons in the fight against climate change and in efforts to reduce the country's growing dependence on imported fossil fuels. But that does not mean it will pay for or build nuclear plants. "The government is not going to build a single nuclear …

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In the summer heat

Global warming is going to make things hotter. Nuclear power plants need lots of cool water to operate. When it gets hot, the cool water gets used up quickly. You do the maths.

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Articles about climate skeptics

Even while rejecting the authority of the most comprehensive and reviewed scientific document on any subject, namely the IPCC report, one of the most common climate delusionist tactics is the argument from authority. Whether it is Alexander Cockburn responding to George Monbiot or some anonymous person on some blog, everyone has some personal "scientist" friend who assures them the rest of the world has gone mad. When an argument from authority is invoked it is perfectly legitimate to then examine said authority's, um ... authority, to see if there is really a good reason we should take their word over …

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Mixing up paths and goals

RPS legislation (which seems to have recently died in the Senate, although could conceivably be reintroduced on amendment) is well-intended, but poorly constructed. Roll the clock back 100 years, and assume you're the legislator tasked with figuring out how to get the population to go West. Which do you choose: (a) the Homestead Act, giving people land as soon as they prove that they can get there and cultivate it, or (b) a tax rebate to anyone who hitches five white horses to a Conestoga wagon and takes Route 66 west? A silly question perhaps, but a good metaphor for …

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Lies, more lies, and still more lies from the head of CEQ

Tim Dickinson's Rolling Stone piece on the Bush administration's coordinated attempts to stifle action on global warming is now online, and it's worth a read. (Also worth checking out: the accompanying multimedia slideshow.) Lots of it will be familiar to long-time readers, but it's nice to see it pulled together into a single (extraordinarily damning) narrative. One guy who plays a big role in the story is James Connaughton, the ex-dirty-energy lobbyist Bush brought in to head up the Council on Environmental Quality. Side note: speaking of the CEQ, savor this: Prior to joining the Cabinet, [ex-EPA administrator Christie Todd …

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After many years of trying, we’re moving in the right direction at last

I'm a bit bleary eyed after midnight votes, and about to do an event in Boston on the energy fight, but I wanted to come back here to Gristmill to tell you how good it feels to have gotten something good done in the Senate instead of just stopping bad things from happening. A year ago I was battling to stop drilling in ANWR. Last night, finally -- after years of battling and five years after we introduced the Kerry-McCain legislation to raise fuel efficiency standards -- we actually accomplished things in the Senate that will improve the environment. This …

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Senate Dems still fighting for energy package

Disappointed about the half-victory in the Senate yesterday? Don't give up hope yet. Majority leader Harry Reid's still got some fight in him (from CongressNow, sub. rqd.): Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this afternoon said he will revive the energy tax package that was defeated amid Republican opposition this week, saying he was confident he could muster the votes necessary to pass the measure at a later date. "We're going to figure out how to bring it back," Reid said today. "There are a number of places we can look" for reviving the measure, including the upcoming farm bill …

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Picking apart an argument against carbon taxes

Yesterday's L.A. Times ran an odd op-ed calling carbon taxes an ineffectual antidote to global warming. Unlike other critiques that brand carbon taxes politically unpalatable, this one argued that they're simply not up to the job of cutting carbon emissions: Carbon taxes -- taxes on energy sources that emit carbon dioxide (CO2) -- aren't a bad idea. But they only work in some situations. Specifically, they do not work in the transportation sector, the source of a whopping 40% of California's greenhouse gas emissions (and a third of U.S. emissions). I've known Daniel Sperling, the author of the op-ed, for …

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The House of Reps leads the way to a greener capitol

The Hill's alive with the sound of greening. Or at least, it should be, as soon as our representatives start following through with their "Green the Capitol" initiative, the final report on which was released yesterday in Washington, D.C. The report is the result of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's call for an energy audit of the Capitol complex four months ago, right after she first assumed her new post. Yesterday's report presents the findings of the audit as well as a comprehensive plan to improve the green cred of the Hill. It includes directives to start purchasing electricity …

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Noah Scape

Big-budget, zero-carbon comedy Evan Almighty opens today Today marks the debut of a movie that is, depending whom you ask, either a shining star in the eco-entertainment pantheon or a crass manifestation of green gone bad. Evan Almighty, with Steve Carell as a latter-day Noah, bills itself as "the first major motion picture comedy to zero out its [carbon] footprint." Its producers have launched a $25 million green marketing campaign, with a website that encourages fans to offset their own emissions, plant trees in the "Almighty Forest" (24,000 and counting), and green their homes and offices. The campaign is sponsored …

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