Climate & Energy

Sorry, delayers and enablers, part two

Climate change means worse droughts for American Southwest, Australia

Part one presented the synopsis of the remarkable new U.S. Climate Change Science Program (a.k.a. the Bush Administration) report, Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate. One central point in the synopsis is Droughts are becoming more severe in some regions, though there are no clear trends for North America as a whole ... Substantial areas of North America are likely to have more frequent droughts of greater severity. Seems pretty clear, no? Dry areas will see more evaporation, hence less soil moisture (defined as precipitation minus evaporation), hence more drought. Further, many dry areas will see less precipitation under climate change (due to the expansion of the Hadley Cell and subtropics, see "Australia faces the 'permanent dry,' as do we").

Big Coal’s new video

A shill from everyone’s favorite Big Coal front group ABEC wanders the streets of D.C. asking totally unbiased questions: Next up: Do random passers-by prefer …

Waste line

McCain on nuclear waste problem

With John McCain in Nevada today promoting, among other things, his love of nuclear power, Sierra Club is circulating this video of McCain talking about …

What the next president should say

Here is what I would like the next president to tell the American people: The era of cheap energy is over. We will never again see cheap gas, and we can expect the price of electricity to rise inexorably. In order for the United States to survive, we need to rebuild our energy infrastructure. To reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we need to implement a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system. This is a national security issue. We need a Manhattan-style government-funded project to develop new forms of renewable energy. We should be spending several tens of billions of dollars every year on this research. Increased drilling or unconventional sources of fuel, like oil shale or tar sands, will provide so little fuel that they are simply not worth doing. The truth is that there is no way to avoid the pain of high energy prices. There are no easy solutions, and no way for us to continue living as we have in the past. Changes are on the way. Deal with it. This underscores a key point that I have not seen discussed. Given that we need to rebuild our energy infrastructure anyway, it makes sense and is possible to take care of climate change at the same time we take care of energy. In this way, I don't think we have to set the problems of energy and climate in opposition to each other.

The pot-shot heard 'round the world

McCain names his energy plan and bashes Barack Obama while he’s at it

John McCain gave another energy speech today (bringing the grand total in the past week to four), this one in Las Vegas. It seems like …

Notable quotable

Why indeed

“We have been talking about energy independence since Americans were waiting in gas lines during the 1970s. We’ve heard promises about it in every State …

Hot zones

National Intelligence Assessment finds that climate change poses national security threat

A National Intelligence Assessment of the security challenges presented by climate change, which Congress requested last year, has been completed, and the intelligence community has …

Global energy demand will grow 50 percent by 2030, says EIA

The world isn’t going to kick its energy-sucking habits anytime soon, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted Wednesday. By 2030, global energy demand will grow …

Climate change ideas for On Day One

Day three of the UN Dispatch-Grist collaboration

The UN Dispatch-Grist collaboration continues today with a discussion of the top user-rated idea on On Day One: 'Eat the View,' by Roger Doiron. This idea was so popular, it even found its way into The New York Times. Here's what he suggests: Announce plans for a food garden on the White House lawn, making one of the White House's eight gardeners responsible for it, with part of produce going to the White House kitchen and the rest to a local food pantry. The White House is "America's House" and should set an example. The new President would not be breaking with tradition, but returning to it (the White House has had vegetable gardens before) and showing how we can meet global challenges such as climate change and food security. Kate Sheppard, David Roberts, and Timothy B. Hurst respond below the fold.