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The coal truth

A tragedy in Utah and everywhere else, too

Coal is the enemy of the human race, Salon edition: This is the great paradox today: In an age of global warming and greater energy and safety awareness, we are also witnessing the great coal revival. Nearly 50 percent of our electricity still comes from coal -- the very energy that runs our computers on which we read this story, or our televisions on which we watch the latest reports of cameras snaking down into the mine in Utah in search of survivors. And as our dependency on foreign oil has spilled into the politics of global warfare, dirty coal …

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Huffington calls on press to do that thing I did

Arianna Huffington wonders why, with all the press coverage of the Utah mine collapse, so little has focused on the horrible safety record, anti-unionism, and political back-room dealings of the mine company's faux-folksy CEO, Bob Murray. What she does not do, apparently, is read her own site. Just saying.

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Galbraith says what he really thinks

Economist goes over to the dark side

Some facts to hang your hat on: Good governance might save the day. Bad governance could just make things worse. I generally agree with Galbraith's opinions. However, there is always a reasonable probability that some of his opinions are wrong (as is true of anybody's opinions, including my own). He's quoted in David's post: "Planning" is a word that too many in this debate are trying to avoid, fearful, perhaps, of its Soviet overtones. But the reality of climate change is that central planning is essential, and on a grand scale. History has a bad habit of repeating itself. In …

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Unspun climate numbers

Move over, 1998

Turns out that in the U.S., 1934 was a bit hotter than 1998. Which matters not a whit for global temperatures, but it's worth reading the story below before the spin machine gears up. Mr. Limbaugh has already started. "1934, not 1998, the hottest year on record, NASA confirms," from Greenwire ($ub req'd): The hottest year on record in the United States was 1934 -- not 1998 as had long been believed -- NASA scientists announced this week. The change to the record books came about when Canada-based blogger Steve McIntyre of the blog Climateaudit.org e-mailed NASA earlier this month …

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Geo-engineering is not the answer

To solving our global warming problem

Geo-engineering is "the intentional large scale manipulation of the global environment" (PDF) to counteract the effects of global warming, which itself was unintentional geo-engineering -- although today you'd have to say global warming is intentional, since everybody now knows what we're doing to the planet. But I digress. We're screwing up the planet with unrestricted greenhouse-gas emissions, and the question is, do we want to try to fix that problem by gambling on some other large-scale effort to manipulate the climate, or should we just try to restrict emissions? It's as if the doctor says you have a disease that …

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Rep. Hilda Solis

She’s cool

One of the most (OK, only) active members of Congress around the intersection of climate change and race is Rep. Hilda Solis (CA-32). She's the one who sponsored the Green Jobs Act that Van Jones is so excited about. Here's a short interview with her, from OpenLeft: Tomorrow, Solis is hosting a community forum of global warming. Check it out if you're in the area.

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U.S. taxpayers are paying to increase carbon emissions in the developing world

Makes total sense!

On the one hand, Bush and the Republicans say we're helpless to do anything about global warming until China and India act. On the other hand, the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. are funneling billions in taxpayer dollars to huge corporations (think Halliburton and Bechtel) to help them construct carbon-intensive hard infrastructure projects: According to their own reports, the two agencies approved projects in recent years that annually emitted more than 125 million metric tons of CO2 -- the equivalent of putting 31.3 million new cars on the road or increasing U.S. carbon emissions by 2%, …

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A carbon tax even Dingell haters can love

From Rep. John Larson

Love the carbon tax but can't stand Dingell? Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) is your man. He just introduced a kick-ass carbon tax bill (PDF) to the House. From Greenwire ($ub req'd): Larson's legislation would set a $15 tax in its first year for every ton of carbon dioxide emissions from the oil, gas and coal industries, with the tax rising 10 percent annually while also keeping pace with inflation. Larson's office also released a memo (PDF) saying the tax would be "easy to implement and administer" by covering about 2,000 oil refineries, coal processing plants and other points where fossil …

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Turning down the house

How lazy people can conserve energy

I love this idea: a single off-switch for your whole house, to power down all of those nonessential appliances that suck electricity while you're at work or out on the town. OK, so it's just a concept at this point. But it's a good one. I'm sure my family could make use of something like this. Oh sure, we try to be pretty careful about turning off lights, but every so often we leave a light burning for days in the basement. And of course, there's always a handful of appliances -- a stereo, a modem -- that suck a …

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What would convince you to give up your car?

Current TV wants to know

Current TV wants to know. Tell them here. And while you're at it, check out the :60 Seconds to Save the Earth Ecospot Contest on the Current site. The best short video message crafted to inspire action against climate change will win a Toyota hybrid, plus exposure on Current TV, MySpace's Impact Channel, and more. The contest is sponsored by Current TV and the Alliance for Climate Protection, in partnership with Grist.

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