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A Jolly Good Rockefeller

Rockefeller Foundation offers climate aid to Asia, Africa Comin' on over to the dirty-hippie side, the Rockefeller Foundation has announced an investment of $70 million over the next five years to help communities in Asia and Africa withstand the effects of climate change. The foundation will focus on developing adaptation strategies for affected populations, and, admirably sidestepping the blame game, will not hinge the assistance on nations' plans (or lack thereof) for limiting greenhouse-gas emissions. "Emissions mitigation is fantastically important, but that is about changing behavior relative to future climate change," says foundation president Judith Rodin. "In the meantime, data …

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Vehicle of change

The Big Green Bus rides again

Witness the Big Green Bus. Hard to miss, even amid the glaring sun and smog at Bonnaroo. I happened upon the crew of Dartmouth students at the festival last year and got just a few minutes to chat with them. This year, I sought them out on the festival grounds and then met up with them again when they rolled into Seattle last weekend. During their 12,000-mile trek this summer, the Big Green Busriders are stopping at various events and landmarks ranging from a Doobie Brothers concert to Zion National Park to San Francisco Marathon Water Stop #3. And they're …

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Biofuels: politically effed, technologically still promising

Don’t let the one color your feelings on the other

I don't think it's politically or substantively wise to set ourselves up as dogmatically opposed to any given source of energy (except coal!) (just kidding!) (only not!). The key is to set up low-carbon standards and benchmarks and say, "if you can meet these without ginormous subsidies, have at it." This is true of biofuels as well. We all agree that politically speaking, biofuels are a freaking mess -- a big subsidy-ridden boondoggle that's doing great harm and very little good. And no, biofuel proponents can't defend the current political situation by waving their hands at cellulosic ponies. After all: …

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An interview with Hillary Clinton about her presidential platform on energy and the environment

This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside. Update: Clinton suspended her campaign for the presidency on June 7, 2008. Hillary Clinton. Photo: SEIU True to form, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has done her homework on environmental and energy issues. A member of the Environment and Public Works Committee during her six and a half years in the Senate, she has sponsored or cosponsored nearly 400 legislative proposals related to energy and the environment. They've hit on high-profile topics like energy independence as well as less-discussed green issues like toxic …

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Hansen 2: Iowa edition of Declaration of Stewardship

Hansen gives a talk in Iowa about climate change impacts

Hansen writes faster than I can blog. He has posted a "talk given at Des Moines last Sunday, with description of Declaration of Stewardship slightly edited for clarity." He talks about the "three major consequences of global warming, if we go down the business-as-usual path, with fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase": First, there is the extermination of species. We could drive half of the plant and animal species on the planet to extinction. Humans are already placing stresses on many species as we take over the land, and climate stress is being added on top …

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Dingell's dimwitted detractors

Activists pester him about the most trivial stuff

OK, I'm back to defending Dingell (sorry Brian!), mainly because the activists attacking him are acting like idiots. At a town hall in Ann Arbor, Mich., Dingell unveiled the various climate-change proposals he's going to introduce to Congress on Sep. 1. Press coverage of the event is fairly sketchy, and I can't find a transcript anywhere, so there's not a lot of detail, but the measures include: A carbon tax of up to $100 per ton. A gas tax of $0.50 a gallon. A cap-and-trade system. Ending the mortgage tax deduction for "McMansions" over 3,000 sq. feet. All with the …

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Hansen 1: Sea-level rise

More thoughts on how sea level will be influenced by global warming

Hansen has posted some important thoughts about sea level rise on his website. In particular, he has shortened his "Scientific reticence and sea level rise" paper and New Scientist has published it. The key conclusion: [I]ce sheets will respond in a non-linear fashion to global warming --- and are already beginning to do so. There is enough information now, in my opinion, to make it a near certainty that business-as-usual [emissions] scenarios will lead to disastrous multi-metre sea level rise on the century time scale. This leads directly to his emissions strategy: The global community must aim to restrict any …

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Word Gets Around

New bike, parking policies leave polluting vehicles in the dust Now for some wheely good news (sorry, it had to be done): officials around the globe are moving forward on innovative eco-transportation schemes. Last week, the city council of Reykjavik, Iceland, enacted a rule that gives free parking to those who drive fuel-efficient vehicles. In Ontario, Canada, yesterday, officials said they will develop a rating system for eco-friendly cars and trucks, with an eye toward debuting a green license plate in 2008 for low-emitters; the tag could net owners perks like free parking and access to commuter lanes. In Paris …

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More Dingell

Is he losing his influence?

Glenn Hurowitz writes that Dingell may finally be losing his influence: Part of the reason for Dingell's decreasing power is that he's become rather unpopular within a Democratic caucus that's willing to tolerate internal policy differences, but increasingly unwilling to accept his barely veiled attacks on Pelosi and his open war with the environmental movement, which is providing more and more ground troops to Democratic field operations on Election Day. The guy isn't built for parliamentary party unity, that's for sure! Glenn makes a good case, but I continue to think that the "open war" thing is a bit reductive. …

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California's attorney general cracks down on emissions, gets some enemies in the process

Will he be able to weather the storm?

Here's another semi-old story that I'm just now getting around to (and yes, I've forgotten how I found it). It's deceptively significant. Using California's tough environmental regs, state Attorney General Jerry Brown is throwing some elbows, trying to force a range of projects from housing developments to oil refineries to show how they'll reduce emissions. He's trying to change extremely ingrained behavior at a fairly micro level, and he's getting a whole mess of blowback. Brown is trying to remain flexible enough to allow for a range of solutions, but the state's big money players are getting peeved, and Schwarzenegger's …

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