Climate & Energy

Best foot forward

Climate bills will only get better from here

Mark Thoma, whose Economist’s View is an excellent resource for all things economic, posts a roundup of writing on cap-and-trade versus a carbon tax, including …

Elder care for the long emergency

Cool housing for oldsters

People who think about how we're going to adapt to lower-energy living arrangements often miss that the U.S. continues to gray rapidly. Given that we've had almost sixty years of radical suburbanization and cross-country relocation, sundering the extended family networks that once provided child and elder care, we're in a pickle when it comes to figuring out how to care for elders. Here's an encouraging story about a new facility that really seems to get it. My question is why we aren't thinking about these for just-getting-starteds and young adults ... we could call it co-housing ...

Global warming draws heat from Dems

Here's an article out today from Roll Call ($ub. req'd), which has been covering Congress since 1955:

Creeping toward productive conversation

Senate begins debate on Lieberman-Warner climate bill — sort of

After last night’s cloture vote, Senate Republicans asked for 30 hours before legislatively productive debate on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act could begin. That means …

Who's protecting us from the gays?

Conservative Christian group outraged that Congress is distracted by climate change

In today’s daily action alert from the Family Research Council, President Tony Perkins bemoans the fact that the Senate is wasting time talking about climate …

It actually doesn't fall on the plain ... or anywhere else

Spain experiencing severe drought due to climate change

Warming-driven desertification is spreading. Australia has gotten the most attention, but Spain is also turning into a desert. As Time reported: Spain is in the grip of its worst drought in a century as a result of climate change -- this year's total rainfall, for example, has been 40 percent lower than average for the equivalent period, and the country's reservoirs are, on average, only 30 percent full. The reservoirs serving Barcelona are only 20 percent full, and without significant rainfall, supplies of drinking water will likely run dry by October.

A taste of the fight ahead

GOP circulating at least 90 weakening amendments to Climate Security Act

Senate Republicans are already circulating at least 90 amendments that would weaken the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. Here’s a complete list of those we know …

Train of thought

Rail and the coming changes in transport

National Train Day was marked this year on May 10, so it's not too incredibly late to mention two new books of note: John Stilgoe's Train Time: Railroads and the Imminent Reshaping of the United States Landscape that came out in the fall says that rail is "an economic and cultural tsunami about to transform the United States." Maybe that's a little grand, but rail is definitely on the ascendancy, since it can move people and freight at a fraction of the energy usage vs. petroleum. Also, Radio Ecoshock's March 28 edition of its useful weekly podcast had a recording (skip to minute 11 for the presentation) by authors Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl at the launch event for their new book Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight without Oil. They are forecasting a grid-tied and electrified (increasingly from renewables) rail system among four revolutions coming in transport:

Notable quotable

Rogers: cap-and-trade without corporate giveaways like ‘mafia’

“This is just a money grab. Only the mafia could create an organization that would skim money off the top the way this legislation would …