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Scientists weigh in

Sorry to post this on the heels of "Doom and gloom blowback," but this Daily Kos summary of a new study by Hansen et al is too well done to pass over. And do note that Hansen is trying to accentuate the positive. The original paper, by the way, is called "Dangerous human-made interference with climate: a GISS modelE study" (PDF). And it's not locked down.

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… but doesn’t let governments off the hook

So I'm a sucker. I can't walk by a newsstand where a magazine features a pair of innocent green cotyledons sprouting from a bed of industrial factories. It's this week's issue of The Economist, and what's inside the "Cleaning Up" issue is as alluring as the cover. Although I've only just skimmed, the articles look promising, and they're all freely available online. Here's the rundown: "Cleaning up: How business is starting to tackle climate change, and how governments need to help" "Everybody's green now: How America's big businesses got environmentalism" "Trading thin air: The carbon market is working, but not …

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Spotlight on Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times has been rolling in green editorials. In mid-April he wrote a major piece called "The Power of Green," in which he made the case for his generation to follow the footsteps of the Greatest Generation to become the Greenest Generation. He writes: We in America talk like we're already "the greenest generation," as the business writer Dan Pink once called it. But here's the really inconvenient truth: We have not even begun to be serious about the costs, the effort and the scale of change that will be required to shift our country, …

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Must Be All That Hot Air In Crawford

Texas tops list of greenhouse-gas emissions by U.S. states Know what would make the climate debate even contentiouser? Some sort of ranking of which U.S. states produce the most emissions. Oh look! The Associated Press has analyzed a set of U.S. Department of Energy carbon dioxide data from 2003! Let the finger-pointing begin. It seems that states with a lot of coal plants are among the worst offenders, with Texas topping the list. Coal-fired power plants in Wyoming produce more carbon dioxide in eight hours than power generators in Vermont (which has a bigger population) do in an entire year. …

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Sounds Familiar

China releases first climate plan, says economic concerns are key China has released its first-ever national climate-change plan, a 62-page document that pledges to improve energy efficiency, increase the use of renewables, develop drought-resistant crops, and expand emissions-absorbing forests. But the country's leaders emphasized that they don't want to sacrifice economic growth. "We must reconcile the need for development with the need for environmental protection," said Ma Kai, head of the National Development and Reform Commission. "In its course of modernization, China will not tread the traditional path of industrialization, featuring high consumption and high emissions. In fact, we want …

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A new idea for how to transport the stuff in cars

I have never been a fan of hydrogen technology as a solution to the climate change problem. It would be great if we could power automobiles with hydrogen (generated, of course, with renewable energy), but how do you carry the hydrogen around in your car? Do you really want to be driving around on top of a tank full of compressed hydrogen? Can you say Hindenburg? I just listened to a great segment on this week's Science Friday. The guest, Jerry Woodall, a professor at Purdue, has an interesting idea for how to carry hydrogen in a way that seems …

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A reality TV show that will knock your socks off

Crude: a great overview of how, when, where, and why oil is obtained, and a fascinating look at what happens when you burn a bunch of it real fast. Think The End of Suburbia meets An Inconvenient Truth.

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Fred Thompson delivers rational, informed, passionate speech about the need for immediate action to

Just kidding. He's an ass: Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto. NASA says the Martian South Pole's "ice cap" has been shrinking for three summers in a row. Maybe Mars got its fever from earth. If so, I guess Jupiter's caught the same cold, because it's warming up too, like Pluto. This has led some people, …

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Scary stuff

More and more experts are saying global warming is as grave a threat to our national security (PDF) as terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Some in the media are coming to the same view. The Financial Times set up their coverage with the following scenario, pulled from a Pentagon memo: Picture Japan, suffering from flooding along its coastal cities and contamination of its fresh water supply, eyeing Russia's Sakhalin Island oil and gas reserves as an energy source ... Envision Pakistan, India and China - all armed with nuclear weapons - skirmishing at their borders over refugees, access to shared river …

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Poor guy

Poor Bush, he just can't get a break. He announces a shiny new climate-change strategy, and what does he get? Nothing but grief. Nancy Pelosi called it "the same stale proposals he has repeatedly put forward to the international community." Al Gore called it "purely and simply smoke and mirrors [that] has the transparent purpose of delaying the efforts that could start now." Dan Froomkin called it an "attempt to muddy the debate about the issue and derail European and U.N. plans for strict caps on emissions." Britain and Germany are not amused: Britain and Germany yesterday joined forces to …