Climate & Energy

Swedish company will vend verified sustainable ethanol

Swedish biofuel company SEKAB says it will become the first company to vend ethanol verified to be environmentally and socially sustainable. The company is partnering with Brazilian producers to develop criteria for the full lifecycle …

Lobbying for the enemy of the human race

Million here, million there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money: Peabody Investments Corp., a subsidiary of coal producer Peabody Energy Corp., spent nearly $1.3 million in the first quarter to lobby on issues related …

Feeding the food-for-fuel debate

USDA defends America’s fuel supply

Vinod Khosla. Photo: brettwayn via Flickr. Much of what Vinod Khosla had to say in his latest post, and my responses to that post here, have been covered in previous posts. So, if some of this sounds eerily familiar, now you know why. Admittedly, I have an advantage in this debate because he can't respond directly to my arguments. Remember the West Wing episode where the Josh Lyman character makes the mistake of responding to a blogger? On the other hand, I'm not an independent blogger with my own website. Thus, the fine line between courage and stupidity. May I offer an apology to Grist for my stupidity and my thanks for allowing me to express it. Khosla begins his defense reiterating the following belief: In fact, I strongly believe any nascent technology that cannot exist without subsidies beyond an introductory period will not gain market penetration and is not worth supporting ...

Nuclear options

John McCain talks nuclear security, promises to promote ‘civilian’ nukes

John McCain gave a speech on nuclear security this morning at the University of Denver, and given his abiding love of nuclear power as the solution to climate change, that came up too. Where there’s …

Climate change doing a number on U.S. West, says USDA report

Climate change is having “profound impacts” on the U.S. West and will continue to do so in coming decades, says a new report spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Titled “The Effects of Climate …

Would Boxer's bill cut CO2 emissions by 2020?

If cost-containment mechanisms in new climate bill are exploited, emissions could remain unchanged

The short, snarky answer is "No; Boxer-Lieberman-Warner is never going to become law." The longer, analytical answer, which is the primary subject of this post, is "probably not, thanks to the bill's many cost containment measures, but it would take us off the business-as-usual emissions path." Before explaining why, let me make clear that the vote on B-L-W is purely symbolic, since it is DOA as a bill can be. Most of the media, most of the public, and most of the world are unlikely to get much detail on the bill. They will just see whether a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade bill can get a majority, if not 60 votes, in the U.S. Senate. So I would recommend any senator vote for it -- after giving a floor statement explaining that it was in fact too weak. I can't see casting a protest vote against a symbolic bill while asserting it is too weak. The protest would get lost in the noise. Finally, it would be the height of hypocrisy for a conservative senator to cite progressive critiques of the bill, including mine, as a reasons to vote against it. Anyone who votes against this bill should at least have the guts to say whether they themselves think the bill is too weak or too strong. Why the Boxer bill wouldn't cut U.S. CO2 emissions by 2020 This story begins late Friday night, when Deep 'emissions cut' Throat sends me the World Resources Institute's 14-page summary of the Boxer substitute to the Lieberman-Warner bill [PDF], with a note, "Does this mean no emission reductions until 2028? See bottom of page 6." Intrigued, I turned to the bottom of page 6 and read this bullet:

GOP vs. John McCain?

Climate bill fight likely to divide Republicans

Politico reports on the divide between John McCain and other Republicans on climate change: By contrast, the debate on a bipartisan climate change bill sponsored by Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) …

Melting Antarctic glaciers may be releasing DDT, says study

Adélie penguins in the Antarctic are as chock-full of pesticide DDT as they were in the 1970s, even though global DDT use has dropped 80 percent in the past three decades, says new research published …

Different worlds

Well-informed Republicans are not concerned about climate change

A new analysis of survey data finds: The more Democrats think they know about global warming, the more concerned they are. But Republicans who consider themselves well informed on the topic seem no more worried …

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.