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The former: Not good for the latter

How climate change will disproportionately affect the world's poor is a message making the rounds of late, after the publication of the second IPCC report earlier this year. How climate change policies, such as carbon taxes, will either help or hurt the poor is also a topic we've been discussing of late. Now researchers at the University of Minnesota have assessed the impact of an increased dependence on biofuels on the developing world ... and the outlook isn't good. In short, conflating food and energy lands us in a quagmire in which corn (and ethanol) prices are still tethered to …

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Solar is making boats go now — take that, wind!

Wind, you think you are so badass. I tell you, solar is creeping up on you where you least expect it:

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A Nation columnist goes contrarian; GM goes the other way

Did lefty pundit Alexander Cockburn and corporate behemoth General Motors secretly agree to swap climate positions? It looks that way. GM, swallowing hard, recently joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, the elite enviro-business coalition pushing cap-and-trade -- a so-called "market-based system" for controlling carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile, the famously acidic Cockburn lacerated global warming orthodoxy in his column in the Nation magazine, deriding it as a "fearmongers' catechism [of] crackpot theories" ginned up by "grant-guzzling climate careerists" and opportunistic politicians looking to ride the greenhouse "threatosphere" all the way to the White House. (Whew!) But there's less here than meets …

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The federal gov’t is blocking state efforts to fight climate change

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell (R) take to the pages of the Washington Post to send President Bush a simple message: "It's high time the federal government becomes our partner or gets out of the way." At issue is the waiver Calif. and 11 other states need from the EPA to implement their new tailpipe-emissions standards. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court made it clear that California is perfectly within its rights to implement tougher-than-federal standards. All it needs is the waiver -- just like the dozens of waivers it's gotten from EPA in the …

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This Sounds Like a Job For … Nobody

Workaholics, especially American ones, are ruining the planet Now here's a theory we can get behind: workaholism is ruining the earth. "We are proudly breaking our backs to decrease the carrying capacity of the planet," says Conrad Schmidt, proponent of the 32-hour work week, who declares that overwork leads to overconsumption, pollution, and less fulfilling life experience. If there's anyone who needs to take the message to heart, it's Americans, who work more hours than anyone else in the industrialized world -- a full 500 hours more per year than Germans. Not coincidentally, the U.S. is also the world's largest …

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The Tête Offensive

French eco-groups get face time with new president Nicolas Sarkozy is better known as a friend to big business than as a friend to the environment, but the newly elected French president is reaching out nonetheless. Yesterday, three days after taking office, he gathered representatives from nine green groups -- along with the head of the newly created ministry of sustainable development, Alain Juppe -- for a gab session on climate change, nuclear power, genetically modified crops, renewable energy, and biodiversity. Pledging to pull together a conference involving business, labor, and greens in September or October, Sarkozy said ... well, …

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Conservative blog doesn’t read studies it writes about

As discussed last week, Planet Gore's Sterling Burnett was upset with the media for supposedly ignoring "the recent reports by MIT and the CBO [PDFs] detailing the substantial costs and regressive nature of the costs that are estimated to arise if any of the current domestic proposals restricting carbon emissions to combat global warming are enacted." Given that the MIT report in fact concluded the exact opposite of what Sterling claimed -- and given the fact that the National Review typically doesn't complain about the regressive nature of, say, tax cuts for the wealthy -- I'm guessing you won't be …

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Drilling for oil is good for climate change — see how!

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) explains why drilling in the Arctic Refuge will help us fight climate change: Won't drilling for more oil make global warming worse? What some might perceive as the contradiction in further drilling, when we take into account the mean estimate of what we take from ANWR, it will be the equivalent of what we have seen from Prudhoe Bay, which has produced 20 percent of this country's oil [production]. If we could tap into a source that could contribute that much to our economy and do it in an environmentally sound way, this allows us …

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Interesting tales in a recent profile

The profile of Al Gore in NYT Magazine contains, amidst other good stuff, some interesting backstory about Gore's experiences with the Alliance for Climate Protection, as well as his experiences in the Clinton administration. Forthwith, a couple of longish excerpts. First, on the Alliance: In mid-2005, he began talking to members of "the green group," as the environmental lobby is collectively known, about marshaling a popularizing effort. ... Gore was the obvious candidate to lead the crusade. But the Al Gore of September 2005 was not the Saint Albert of today. That Al Gore was a harsh partisan, and all …

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All about hydrogen

Probably half the media queries I get concern hydrogen -- thanks to my last book, The Hype about Hydrogen. Yesterday's New York Times Magazine had an exceedingly long article, "The Zero-Energy Solution," on a solar-hydrogen home. The author refers to me as "an environmental pragmatist," no doubt because I don't automatically embrace every environmental solution that comes along, but judge each on its technical and practical merit. I have written a number of articles arguing that hydrogen has been wildly overhyped as an energy and climate solution, when in fact it holds little promise of being a cost-effective greenhouse gas …

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