Climate & Energy

Out of the frying pan ...

Dynegy targeted by Sierra Club in new anti-coal campaign

Check out Clean Up Dynegy, the brand new website for the Sierra Club's campaign against the company Sierra calls "America's Coal-Fired Polluter Number 1." The campaign is significant in that it represents the first attempt by anti-coal forces to single out a single company on a nationwide basis. It kicked off in late February with mass call-ins to Dynegy headquarters originating from twenty states -- "thousands of calls," according to the Sierra Club. Already, the campaign seems to have hit a nerve, with Dynegy's CEO, Bruce Williamson, lashing out that his company is being unfairly picked on. It probably didn't help Williamson's morale that he was also just picked as one of five executives to receive 2008 "Fossil Fool of the Year" awards.

Is the World Bank coal-fused?

Coal still has no place in clean development

You knew it had to happen: the World Bank now has the same climate sensibility as ... the Kansas House. Scientist Jim Hansen, on the other hand, has requested a meeting with Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, arguing for a moratorium on coal plants until carbon capture and storage technology is available. Even Wall Street looks on coal skeptically. Last Friday, the Kansas House failed to override Sebelius' veto of two new plants by only one vote. And the World Bank is considering funding a massive coal plant in India in compliance with the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. Yes, you read that correctly: a larger-than-ever coal plant in a developing giant is considered a mechanism for clean development. Why? Because it will burn more efficiently than other coal plants in India. In fact, it boasts 'supercritical' technology.


What does it say about humanity if, knowing what we know, we stand by and allow a 4,000 MW dirty coal plant get built?

George W. Bush: the President of Mars

Take care of Earth before ruining other planets

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. ----- One of the great ironies of our time is this: We have learned to walk on the Moon, but we haven't yet learned to walk on the earth. It is an irony that is fast devolving into a tragedy. Since the first man landed on the Moon in 1969, we have continued dumping greenhouse gases into the earth's atmosphere and making our planet less habitable. Meantime, under the direction of the Bush administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is working toward the goal of settling the moon and Mars. If we could do both -- put human beings on other planets while practicing good stewardship of Earth -- all would be well. But the next missions to the moon and Mars are being prepared at the expense of life at home.

DiCaprio's new digs

Leo’s new condo full of green amenities, paparazzi

Attention, paparazzi: It’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11th Hour in his current New York abode. He’s Departed (or will soon) for a new LEED-certified condo in Manhattan’s Battery Park City neighborhood. DiCaprio’s new digs are quite the …

Lieberman-Warner: bad idea

Greenpeace and FOE call Climate Security Act too limited; too slow

It's time to call the Lieberman-Warner love train back to the station. This is not to say that we don't urgently need to immediately start reducing atmospheric GHG concentrations and get policies in place that price carbon. It is instead simply the observation that as L-W morphs into ever greater complexity, it becomes an ever-worse way to meet that goal. Like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, I rather doubt that L-W will go anywhere close to far enough to cure AGW. But I am quite certain that the side effects of this purported cure are worse than the disease. Herewith, a few rather simple distinctions to prove the point. Consider each of the following either/or propositions, and ask yourself which would be a hallmark of good GHG policy. (Hint 1: the right answer is always A. Hint 2: the Lieberman-Warner answer is always B.)

Labor and enviros join up for green-jobs campaign

A new green-jobs campaign has been launched by the Sierra Club, NRDC, the United Steelworkers, and the Blue Green Alliance (itself a project of the Sierra Club and the steelworkers union). The Green Jobs for …

Welcome <em>NYT</em> readers to the debate of the decade: Technology development vs. deployment

We’ve run out of time to wait for an unknown techno-fix to save us

Andy Revkin wrote in The New York Times last weekend about what I believe is the climate debate of the decade. This post will serve as an introduction to this crucial topic for readers new and old. I will devote many posts this week to laying out the "solution" to global warming, and a few to debunking the "technology breakthrough" crowd.

Can technology alone stop global warming?

Three non-tech essentials for combating climate change

Of course not. We need at least three other things: Major political change, to deploy the technologies fast enough. My first take on this is here ("Is 450 ppm [or less] politically possible? Part 1"). Major price change, to add a cost to emitting greenhouse gases that approximates the terrible damage done by them. All of the technology advances in renewables (or nuclear, or coal with carbon capture) that you can plausibly imagine in the next decade won't make coal cost-uneffective -- this is a critical point to understand. Major behavior change; most people need to understand at a visceral level that unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions are the gravest threat to the health and well-being of future generations that we face, by far. If we get the needed political and price change, much of the behavior change will follow. But not all. Climate change is probably going to have to get much more visibly worse before we see widespread and significant behavior change -- much as few people make a dramatic change in their diet and exercise before the heart trouble occurs. I'll be blogging more on these three points in the coming week(s). This post was created for, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

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