Climate & Energy

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 ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

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 …

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