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Climate & Energy


YearlyKos: Energize America

The Energize America 2020 project that emerged from a collaborative effort in the Daily Kos community is remarkable. It's easily the most impressive thing I've seen presented at YearlyKos -- and I don't just say that because it's my issue. In terms of substance, process, and practical results, it's an inspiring example of what the grassroots can do. More on this later too.

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Bush pushes climate meeting, shuns solution


Kind of a good news, bad news story: President George W. Bush has invited the European Union, the United Nations and 11 other countries to the September 27-28 meeting in Washington to work toward setting a long-term goal by 2008 to cut emissions. Yet it turns out just to be a meeting full of sound and fury, signifying nothing: "But a senior U.S. official said the administration stood by its opposition to mandatory economy-wide caps." A meeting aimed at (1) developing voluntary or aspirational targets, (2) for the long-term, (3) by 2008 [i.e. Bush's last year in office]. Three strikes …


Lieberman, Warner seek 70 percent emissions cut by 2050

Climate plan is unveiled

Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) -- does this make him an icon? -- and John Warner (R-Va.) unveiled their long-awaited climate plan. It looks pretty good to me because: It is bipartisan -- indeed, it follows the strategy recommended by moderate senators, such as Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) It starts quickly -- by 2012 we must return to 2005 levels. It has a credible 2050 target -- and requires regular reports from the National Academy of Sciences on the "extent to which the emissions reductions achieved under the Act no, together with actual steps taken by …


Hit 'em where it hurts!

Climate change impacts on wineries: Could this be the last straw for some?

Many of those opposed to action on global warming might change their tune if they knew that it would actually affect their beverage of choice. That's right, global warming might change wine. For more info on this, check out this story from KQED Public Broadcasting in San Francisco.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Food


Legendary Burning Man festival gets an eco-conscience

Armen Zeitounian leads the way up the staircase of the house he's living in, a two-story colonial nestled in the smoggy hills north of Los Angeles, complete with a view and a pool and a black Ford Explorer in the driveway. In a room on the top floor, a two-by-six-inch plank, painted white, protrudes about five feet through a hole halfway up the wall; in the next room, the other half of the plank emerges, painted black. "It's called the No-See-Saw," Zeitounian says. "It's a play on perception and psychological issues. Who are you trusting when you sit down? You …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living


Engines could easily gulp less gas

MIT lab rats cook up a less wasteful gasoline engine

Don't hum the requiem for the gasoline engine just yet. MIT brainiacs say it's easier than imagined to flip a car between the usual gas-guzzling state to a low-pollution, ultra-efficient mode. The researchers have tested a system that can run on a quarter less than the usual amount of gas without needing any fancy fuel. With the flick of a switch, the setup alternates between regular, spark-triggered combustion and experimental homogeneous charge compression ignition. In the latter system, premixed fuel and air combust when compressed, spewing less soot and NOx from the engine. Volvo has explored the hybrid technology, but …


Another '101 things ... ' list

Anybody listing the lists?

Some people really like lists of things that you can (or maybe should) do for the environment. Some don't. Those who do can go here. For those who don't: move along, nothing to see here.

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Federal renewable portfolio standard update

What’s happening with the House energy bill?

Word from the front: fierce resistance from the usual suspects has resulted in compromise amendments hacking the 20 percent standard to 15 percent, while allowing states the option of meeting up to 4 percent through energy efficiency. This is a strategic retreat that has supporters optimistic, though by no means certain of eventual victory. House is in recess right now over an Ag bill kerfluffle. No word yet on the critical solar investment tax credit. Update [2007-8-3 17:40:22 by Adam Browning]: The extension of the federal solar tax credit should be heard on the House Floor Saturday, and Big Oil …


Pricing carbon

Give away rights or sell them?

Joseph Romm in his post on Dingell's carbon tax proposal says: Politically, you can't raise carbon prices high enough to raise gasoline prices since even $1 a gallon -- probably the minimum to significantly change fuel economy if Europe is any evidence -- would require a carbon charge of $400 per tonne of carbon -- which would be very harsh to coal, adding more than 10 cents per kilowatt-hour to coal electricity, and politically impossible (I'll post more on this later). Also, the reason cap-and-trade has not worked well in Europe is that the Europeans didn't have a lot of …


More from YearlyKos foreign policy panel

Hey, look, somebody asked a question about energy in the foreign policy panel! Beinart says this issue has undergone a sea change -- everyone's talking about it. Clemons says the global oil situation is heading in a grim direction. On domestic renewables: "There's a corrupt game going on between those like James Woolsey who just want energy independence and will fund any scam (i.e. corn ethanol) that claims to address it, and those who also want to solve global warming. This is the next big bubble. There's a gross and corrupt game going on." Word to that. Wish he had …

Read more: Climate & Energy