Climate & Energy

New York’s new governor supports congestion pricing

Brand-spankin’-new New York Gov. David Paterson has announced his support for a controversial congestion pricing plan. The proposal, put forward by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and supported by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, would charge $8 to drivers entering Manhattan during peak hours. Said Paterson in a written statement, “Congestion pricing addresses two urgent concerns of the residents of New York City and its suburbs: the need to reduce congestion on our streets and roads, and thereby reduce pollution and global warming; and the need to raise significant revenue for mass transit improvements.” Hear, hear.

Brown Dogs

Dirty energy industry preemptively padding the pockets of key Democrats

The dirty energy industry sees big, important debates heading to a Democratic Congress, and it’s preparing by buying up "moderate" House Democrats ($ub. req’d): Moderate House Democrats — even freshmen with little obvious influence — have seen a surge of campaign contributions from the energy industry, whose giving patterns have long favored Republicans. Data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics show the overall industry and individual energy companies giving a larger percentage to Democrats than they have in a decade. Though powerful committee chairman are seeing a major share of those new industry dollars, a large portion is …

‘Ahead of the Curve: Business Responds to Climate Change’

Here is an absolutely stellar video from Sea Studios productions called "Ahead of the Curve: Business Responds to Climate Change": (via Steve Clemons)

No (Dutch) nukes

The Netherlands is opting for carbon sequestration and renewables over nuclear power. What does this mean? Why, clearly it reinforces what you have always said!

Gore group will launch climate marketing campaign

Photo: World Resources Institute Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection plans to spend more than $300 million over the next three years on a marketing campaign aimed at getting Americans to address climate change. With ads developed by the Martin Agency (the folks behind the Geico cavemen and chatty gecko) and partnerships with grassroots groups, the campaign focus will be on the how-to aspect of cutting greenhouse gases. “Right now, we have incredible numbers of people in the U.S. who say global warming is an important problem that needs to be fixed,” says the Martin Agency’s Mike Hughes. “But most …

Campaign stunner

McCain ‘might take [new CAFE standards] off the books’

We've heard climate double talk from McCain on "mandates" and "dependence on foreign energy sources." Now, in a stunning interview with E&E News ($ub. req'd), the McCain campaign seriously undermines its claim that the Arizona senator could successfully take on the global warming threat. As the reporter put it, "the Arizona senator's presidential campaign is trying to differentiate itself from its Democratic rivals by rejecting calls for additional climate-themed restrictions." This, however, is a potentially fatal difference. I don't know which of three statements by "Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a McCain campaign policy adviser" is more wrong-headed. "The basic idea is if you go with a cap and trade and do it right with appropriate implementation, you don't need technology-specific and sectoral policies that are on the books and that others are proposing simultaneously." This statement could not be more inaccurate and naïve. A cap-and-trade system without on aggressive technology development/deployment effort, especially in the transportation sector, will inevitably fail because it causes too much economic pain, as I explained at length in "No climate for old men." And now we get the explicit statement that McCain opposes "technology-specific and sectoral policies that are on the books" if we have a cap-and-trade.

Soot pollution a big contributor to climate change, study finds

Soot pollution contributes significantly to climate change and is second only to carbon dioxide as a climate-warming factor, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The study estimates that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have underestimated soot’s role as a climate-warming factor by about three or four times. If the new research is correct, significantly reducing soot pollution with currently available technology could have a dramatic almost-immediate effect on reducing climate change in the short term since soot only lingers in the atmosphere for about a week; carbon dioxide lingers for up to a …

McCain talks climate change with European leaders

Republican presidential candidate John McCain traveled to Europe and the Middle East last week, meeting with various European leaders to discuss climate change and U.S. foreign policy. McCain broached climate change in separate meetings with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, current U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who recently announced his quest to secure a meaningful worldwide climate change agreement in the next two years. McCain also penned an editorial for the Financial Times about international cooperation. “We need a successor to Kyoto, a cap-and-trade system that delivers the necessary environmental impact in an economically …

Or you could just wear smaller shoes ...

Reducing your carbon footprint from travel

If want to reduce your carbon footprint, what should you do about your air travel until we have carbon-free jet fuel? The Stockholm Environment Institute and the Tufts Climate Initiative have a good handout on the subject, titled "Flying Green." They note: ... the average American is responsible for the emissions of about 20 tons of CO2 annually ... If you fly to Europe and back from the U.S., you'll add about 3-4 tons to your (already large) carbon footprint. With one flight you will have caused more emissions than 20 Bangladeshi will cause in a whole year. Unfortunately they are the ones who will lose their homes and livelihood once sea level rise inundates their low lying country.

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