Climate & Energy

Note to <em>Newsweek</em>

McCain is closer to Bush than to the Democrats

Originally posted at the Think Progress Wonk Room. Newsweek's cover story on the presidential candidates and global warming quotes UC Berkeley energy professor Dan Kammen, a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)'s presidential campaign: It's unusual to have a Republican candidate who openly disagrees with the Bush administration on the need for capping carbon emissions. There's more disagreement with the current administration than with each other. The idea that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is closer to the Democratic candidates running for president than he is to the president is popular with the political elite. Joe Klein similarly said "McCain's distance from George W. Bush seems greater than from the Democrats" on foreign policy issues like global warming. What McCain says he wants to do about global warming certainly sounds better than what the Bush administration has accomplished. A look at the facts paints a different picture:

Maryland keeps getting greener

State’s governor pursuing clean energy and GHG reductions

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Kari Manlove, fellows assistant at the Center for American Progress. ----- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has prioritized clean energy policy and aims to reduce the state's energy consumption 15 percent by 2015. In addition, Maryland is a part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric utilities. With those goals topping the governor's agenda, Maryland's Senate chambers have been a hot spot for progressive policy lately, juggling a handful of issues that will become magnified this summer as we launch into the national debate on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.

Kansas coal bill redux

Once again the Kansas legislature has passed a bill pushing for coal plants, and once again Kansas Gov. Sebelius has vowed to veto it. Kansans should be proud. That’s quite an ass-kicker they elected!

Paid in the shade

You’ve got to give credit to Felicity Barringer for this sentence: If he succeeds, the state that legalized medical marijuana may soon do the same for shade.

Uranium mine near Grand Canyon blocked

A judge has blocked a British mining company’s plan to build an exploratory uranium mine near the Grand Canyon. U.S. District Judge Mary Murguia agreed with litigious environmental groups that considering the location of the …

Green TNR, brought to you by BP

The New Republic has a new blog devoted to environment and energy issues. On the bright side, it includes the work of Brad Plumer, one of the most honest, thoughtful, and insightful writers in D.C. …

Manhattan congestion-pricing plan kicks the bucket

Hopes had run high that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ambitious congestion-pricing plan for the Big Apple would move forward, but the measure has died a quiet death. Democratic members of the State Assembly, determining …

Worse than coal

Industrial agrofuels: enemy of the entire planet

Apologies for the terrible photo, but it was pouring (and snowing) when I took it. That's Duff Badgley again, the dirty hippie, protesting at a Safeway store. You can see the marquee advertising the price of B-5 (5 percent) biodiesel at $4.20 a gallon. Biofuel proponents are not going to like having their fuel compared to coal, but think about it. Most of the CO2 in the United States comes from liquid fossil fuels. Replace them with today's biofuels, and you would have an unmitigated ecological disaster of planet-killing proportions. In other words, the more we use, the worse it gets. Removing mountaintops and dumping the tailings in mountain streams is beyond bad, but biofuels have already razed more ecosystems than all the coal mines in history, and coal has never contributed to food shortages. So, which sign is more appropriate? The icing on the cake, of course, is the new science pointing out that biofuels are also worse for global warming.

350 ppm or bust

Hansen paper released; WaPo fails to link to Grist

Several posts on this site have mentioned a recent paper from James Hansen et al. — Target CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim? (PDF) — which argues that the official E.U. target of 550 ppm global …

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