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Get Your Vacuum Cleaner Ready

Southern Ocean losing ability to soak up carbon dioxide, researchers say If you're counting on the seas to soak up excess emissions and get us out of this climate mess, you might need a new plan. Scientists say Antarctica's Southern Ocean, a whopper of a "carbon sink," is losing its ability to absorb more carbon dioxide. The findings, published in the journal Science, suggest that warming temperatures have intensified winds, those winds help bring carbon up from the depths of the ocean, and that stirred-up carbon keeps surface waters from absorbing more carbon. It's a climate-change catch-22 -- or, as …

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Massachusetts is going to blow

The electrical grid in Massachusetts is getting ready to blow: Documents obtained by the Herald show more than 12,000 transformers from Attleboro to Ayer are operating at above 200 percent capacity, with some as high as 900 percent over design standards. Union officials, who last night reached an agreement in contract talks with National Grid, say the overloads are pushing the state's electrical system to the brink and could lead to widespread blackouts this summer. We have to replace them anyway. Why not replace them wtih smart, networked, solid-state transformers?

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New Scientist’s troll-b-gone

If our How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide doesn't whet your appetite for debunkery, head on over to New Scientist, which has a new series taking on "the 26 most common climate myths and misconceptions." Some are familiar to devotees of our guide -- they predicted global cooling in the '70s! -- but there's plenty of new stuff with which to arm yourself should you, for reasons I fail to understand, feel the desire to continue to engage with the trolls.

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McCain flip-flops on ethanol

John McCain tries to explain his flagrant flip-flop on ethanol: (via Hugg)

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The boldest plan on the table

As of today, Bill Richardson has become the boldest, most visionary Democratic presidential candidate on climate and energy policy. (John Edwards is a close second.) No politician from either party has put forward a plan that comes closer to being a realistic response to the energy shortages and climate chaos heading our way. Here's the heart of Richardson's speech today: We need a man-on-the-moon program to end this addiction, this hemorrhage.  But we need it much faster and much more boldly than people are suggesting. When John F. Kennedy challenged this country to reach the moon, he challenged us to …

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Reviews are good

New Mexico governor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson gave a big speech today in which he introduced what sounds like an extremely ambitious climate and energy plan. The speech isn't online yet, and the plan isn't on his site yet, so all I have to go on is reactions from people who have seen it. [Update [2007-5-17 11:48:0 by David Roberts]: No sooner do I post this than I find the speech online, along with a helpful summary of the plan. More later.] Brian Buetler says: The plan was, in keeping with the pattern, slightly more extraordinarily ambitious than …

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A123 introduces new battery

From the Energy Blog: A123 Systems today introduced its 32-series NanophosphateTM Lithium Ion cells, specifically designed for Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) use. The 32-series cells are designed with abuse-tolerance in mind. A123 Systems Automotive Class cells take advantage of lessons learned from the mass-production of ANR26650M1 cells, used in DeWalt's and Black & Decker's power tool lines, in order to deliver 10+ year and 150,000 mile projected life requirements in engineered automotive battery packs. The cells have shown minimal power degradation and impedance growth after 300,000 cycles. The battery is able to operate at …

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Patrick Moore proves to be — gasp — a nuclear shill

We anti-nuclear folks are frequently accused of closed-mindedness. Like, you know, Chernobyl is so 1980s. Get with the here and now, man. So I was interested to see how nuclear shill extraordinaire Patrick Moore would react to the news that the Canadian oil industry is increasingly interested in geothermal power as an alternative to nuclear in the heat-starved tar sands developments. The heat produced by obviously-feasible technology would be a perfect fit, and if those tree-hugging hippies in the oil sector are interested, surely there's something to suggest it, right? Nope, not for Moore. It's nuclear or nothing. Talk about …

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New financial instruments may one day plug cities’ building codes into global carbon market

The William J. Clinton foundation has arranged billions in financing to help a coalition of sixteen cities cut urban emissions by applying a range of energy efficiency measures to aging buildings. Efficiency measures tends to get lumped in under the heading of conservation, but they really deserve to be their own full-fledged category of solutions to global warming. If conservation is simply doing less of a polluting activity, efficiency is doing the same activity with less energy. Turning off the lights is conservation. Screwing in a compact fluorescent light bulb is efficiency. Efficiency measures deserve their own category because they …

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Not On My Botch — Uh, Watch

Katrina refugees say FEMA trailers making them sick As states in the Southeastern U.S. brace for this year's hurricane season, new Federal Emergency Management Agency head David Paulison has a promise: "You won't see what happened with Katrina happen again in this country.'' Paulison assured a crowd of emergency responders in Florida that the "new FEMA" is on its toes. Which is good news, because the old FEMA is still housing 86,000 families in temporary trailers throughout the gulf region. And those trailers, say residents and observers, are giving off toxic fumes that are making people sick. According to the …

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