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'We got the fever, oh we got the fever ... '

Luckily

A must-read interview on global climate change with William H. Calvin.

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Climate change and conflict: a 'myth'?

Not really

I get the point Idean Salehyan is trying to make in "The New Myth About Climate Change," but -- the headline should tip you off -- the whole piece has been unnecessarily tarted up to generate controversy. It administers a stern beating to a series of strawmen. The "myth" in question is that global warming increases the probability of conflict, or as Salehyan puts it, "international and civil wars, a rise in the number of failed states, terrorism, crime, and a stampede of migration toward developed countries." What the piece demonstrates, however, is that the claim is a myth only …

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Where there's a will, there's a way; where there's a Samuelson, there's a whine

We have what we need to beat global warming

One of the consequences of lazy, defeatist mainstream discussion of climate change (see: Robert J. Samuelson) is goofballery like this piece in The New York Times. Michael Fitzgerald argues that because we don't yet have a weapon that can totally and awesomely kick global warming's ass, we should spend billions of public dollars on giganto-technologies like carbon sequestration and space-age masturbation aids like light-reflecting space particles. This is stupid. We have dozens, hundreds of ways of cutting GHG emissions available right now. We have technological tools; we have social, economic, legislative, and regulatory tools. I'd bet we could get the …

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Buoys

Wave power takes its first baby steps. Instantly, whinging descends from all sides.

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The World Bank and global warming

An attempt at censorship by Wolfowitz

Sad, but perhaps not surprising. "Wolfowitz attempted to censor World Bank report on global warming," from Greenwire ($ub req'd): Former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz attempted to shift the organization's focus away from climate change during his tenure, according to documents made public through the Government Accountability Project yesterday. Wolfowitz's behavior is indicative of a political climate at the bank that was not receptive to discussing the threat posed by global warming, the documents show. A Wolfowitz deputy attempted to tone down climate references in one of the bank's main environmental strategy papers, the bank's chief scientist, Robert Watson, said …

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What should Congress do on climate?

Go big or play it safe

I've had the Lieberman-Warner climate bill proposal (PDF) printed out for a couple weeks now, but still haven't gotten around to reading it. Bad blogger! The general assessment from other quarters seems to be: eh. Medium. The big flaw is that it gives around 25% 75% of its permits away. Bad, bad, bad, but maybe necessary to get coal-state legislators on board. On the positive side, it's got a cost-containment mechanism that, unlike Bingaman's escape hatch, would hold fast to long-term environmental targets. Bill Scher has a good rundown and comes out in about the same place. The $6 million …

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In Tents

Climate camp kicks off at London's Heathrow Airport The controversial Climate Camp at London's Heathrow Airport kicks off today, with as many as 2,000 people expected to attend at its height. The weeklong protest is aimed at airport officials' plans to build a new runway, and at the role of aviation in climate change. "Aviation emissions aren't even part of our climate budget ... and for that reason the government has just given the aviation industry a green light to expand when the rest of us are being told we have to reduce our emissions," said one Greenpeace campaigner. Organizers …

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Putting the Yeehaw in Hubris

U.S. federal agencies, World Bank help developing countries emit more President Bush has made clear his feelings on global-warming mitigation: "We all can make major strides, and yet there won't be a reduction until China and India are participants." So it seems a wee bit hypocritical that the United States is actually contributing to global-warming emissions in China, India, and other developing countries. Since 1995, two federally controlled agencies -- the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. -- have spent $21 billion in loans and loan guarantees for fossil-fuel projects in more than 40 countries. The U.S. …

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Shrinky-Dinky Do

Great Lakes, Arctic sea ice shrinking to record lows It could be a summer of record lows in two of the world's iconic places: the Great Lakes and the Arctic seas. Water levels in Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior are well below normal, and Superior could soon hit a record low set in 1926. The U.S. and Canada have undertaken a five-year study that could shed sloooow light on the situation, which has been blamed on climate change, rainfall patterns, and human activities like dredging. "I think we found that all of those contributed to some degree," said Robert Nairn, …

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Interview with Thomas Casten, part two

Why aren’t people doing this stuff already?

DR: If every industrial facility in the world has been throwing money on the ground, why has it taken so long for somebody to come along and pick it up? What's the catch? TC: EPA did a study and it appears that we can generate 20 percent of our electricity with industrial energy that's now being thrown away. So we can't do everything. There is not silver bullet. DR: That's not small potatoes. TC: No. It would require an investment of somewhere north of $100 billion, but it has been identified fairly well. To calibrate you, that is about 64,000 …

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