Climate & Energy

White paper trail

Dingell issues another glimpse at where he stands on climate legislation

The world is still waiting with bated breath for climate legislation from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where chair John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee chair Rick Boucher (D-Va.) are supposedly …


The latest sorties in the war over nuclear power

There have been several good entries in the never-ending nuclear debate lately. I’m pulling several together into one post, so all the vicious arguing can center in one comment thread. Fun! In a long, detailed, …

FOE pas

Friends of the Earth not all that jazzed about Lieberman-Warner

Friends of the Earth has been running a campaign for months to convince senators to oppose the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act if it’s not significantly improved. “The Lieberman-Warner bill comes nowhere close to doing what …

Notable quotable

Global warming is no Mickey Mouse

“Really, who cares about Mickey Mouse … But if we can’t get global warming right? An easy question as fundamental as global warming? Then we’re really fucked.” – Creative Commons founder, intellectual property rights theorist, …

News flash: Newton's laws were 'overthrown'

Bizarre talking points of WaPo columnist Krauthammer

Sir Isaac Newton is one of the towering geniuses in all human history. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer? Not so much. Krauthammer has written a classic anti-science screed, "Carbon Chastity: The First Commandment of the Church of the Environment," that recasts many favorite anti-scientific denier memes in odd terms. You still hear and see all of these today, so let me touch on a few of them. And as I will discuss in Part 2, the article is most useful because it is a very clear statement of the real reason conservatives don't believe in climate science: They hate the solution. As a physicist, my favorite denier talking point is his strange version of the old claim that "scientists are flip floppers, constantly changing their theories." He writes:

Nice way of life. Shame if something happened to it.

According to ACCCE, if we don’t use coal, we’ll have to wave goodbye to the American way of life:

Lieberman-Warner gets corporate support

Industry & green groups join up to back climate bill

A coalition of corporations, green groups, and unions issued a joint statement to senators yesterday declaring their support for the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which will hit the Senate floor on Monday. Among the endorsers …

Lethal injections

Science: Geo-engineering scheme damages the ozone layer

Science has published a major new study, "The Sensitivity of Polar Ozone Depletion to Proposed Geoengineering Schemes" ($ub. req'd). The study finds: The large burden of sulfate aerosols injected into the stratosphere by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 cooled Earth and enhanced the destruction of polar ozone in the subsequent few years. The continuous injection of sulfur into the stratosphere has been suggested as a "geoengineering" scheme to counteract global warming. We use an empirical relationship between ozone depletion and chlorine activation to estimate how this approach might influence polar ozone. An injection of sulfur large enough to compensate for surface warming caused by the doubling of atmospheric CO2 would strongly increase the extent of Arctic ozone depletion during the present century for cold winters and would cause a considerable delay, between 30 and 70 years, in the expected recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole. Of course, this geo-engineering scheme has lots of other problems. An earlier study noted:

Slave ethanol?

Amnesty International: forced labor in Brazil’s sugarcane fields

As the case for corn-based ethanol unravels, a lot of pundits and green-minded investors have settled on a new panacea: ethanol from sugar cane, which thrives in the tropics. Thomas Friedman has been blustering about …

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