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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 …

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy

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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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Now There’s Room for a Live Earth Concert

Scientists find snowmelt, new species in Antarctica It's been a bad news-good news kind of week for Antarctica. Scientists from NASA and the University of Colorado revealed that a California-sized expanse of snow melted there during a warm spell in 2005, farther inland and at higher elevations than expected. The team was cautious about drawing climate-y conclusions, but said the find was a big deal because melted snow can act as a lubricant, helping nearby ice slide into the sea. "Increases in snowmelt, such as this ... definitely could have an impact on larger scale melting of Antarctica's ice sheets …

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In Eighteen Hundred Seventy-Two, Ulysses Made the Greenies Blue

Legislation introduced to overhaul ancient mining law In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a mining-regulation law -- and while resource extraction has changed significantly since then, the rules haven't. Now Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) is seeking to revamp what he calls "the Jurassic Park of all federal laws," introducing a proposal that would require land-reclamation plans, make some public lands off-limits to mining, and impose an 8 percent royalty on minerals. The revenue from the tax -- similar to what oil, natural gas, and coal companies already pay -- would go to clean up highly toxic abandoned mines in …

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And if I could work another 7 in there, I would

The Live Earth website has been updated with a fancy (and much improved) new design that features a different "Climate Crisis Solution" every time you refresh the page (not that I've refreshed it multiple times in an effort to see every single tip ...). And lately, news tidbits about the concerts are popping up fast and furious as well. On the furiouser side, Live Aid and Live 8 organizer Bob Geldof has said Live Earth is a waste of time. Meanwhile, another group with a very familiar-looking web design is arguing the concerts are a waste of energy and suggesting …

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Neat

World wide wind potential (using only conventional wind technology) exceeds our current energy needs by many times. However, that is merely the potential of wind near the ground, at 80 to 100 meters. Most wind energy is in the jet stream, miles over our heads. No one is going to build a tower that high to support a wind turbine; cost alone would prohibit that. But we can use flying energy generators -- turbines supported by kites or balloons or what amounts to stationary helicopters. The latter technology (stationary helicopters supporting wind turbines) has actually been demonstrated briefly, and has …

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