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Biodiesel rage

From the Seattle PI: More than 1,300 people -- some shouting "revolution" -- took over Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center on Sunday. Look what's happening out in the streets, they said: Biodiesel is coming of age. It's all the rage. Part trade show, part strategy session, part cheerleading camp, the fifth annual NW Biodiesel Forum brought together biodiesel enthusiasts to learn about peak oil, alternative fuels, mass transit and, in a wrap-up discussion, "Biodiesel in the Northwest -- The Revolution Has Begun!" Many of these enthusiasts are people who have purchased diesel vehicles so they can burn biodiesel in …

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Current Events

Wind power is controversial but should keep on keeping on, says report U.S. wind-power capacity has quadrupled in the past six years and could eventually produce up to 7 percent of the nation's electricity. Easy-breezy? Not quite: Wind-industry growth lacks "any truly coordinated planning," says a report from the National Academy of Sciences. Developers and officials should receive more guidance, particularly around siting, NAS says; in the helpful words of contributor Paul G. Risser, "The human impacts of wind farms can be both positive and negative." Among the positives are global effects like cleaner air and less oil use, but …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Interview with Pachauri

ThinkProgress has an interview with Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC. Worth a listen.

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The Brainstorm From Hell

Delegates gather in Germany to picture a post-Kyoto future The ongoing effort to figure out what in blazes to do when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 is getting a boost this week and next, with officials from more than 160 countries gathering in Bonn, Germany, for a two-week brainstorm. The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change bonanza, attended by more than 1,000 delegates, kicked off yesterday; it's a precursor to a December summit in Bali, Indonesia, where the world will finally figure out its post-Kyoto plan. For real. We can do this, people. Of course, the usual suspects are …

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The RFFI way

The NYT has an update on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Northeast coalition of states establishing their own carbon market. It's promising that they seem to have learned the two key lessons of the European carbon market experience, which stumbled coming out of the gate. The first lesson: don't give away credits. Participants in the United States want to avoid that problem by selling some or all of the credits at auction, with the proceeds going to state energy efficiency programs. The second lesson: don't allow just any old thing to qualify as reducing emissions. To sidestep that …

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Obama speech indicates new day is here

Dave gives Obama's speech short shrift. I would argue that this speech -- taking it to the automakers on their home turf, apparently to some applause -- is a big-time deal. The same could be said of the speech what Dave wrote in starry-eyed fashion when the outlines of the TXU deal became public: "The 'tipping point' concept is cheap from overuse these days, but to me this is the clearest sign yet that we have entered a fundamentally new stage in the fight against global warming." Sure, the policy recommendations behind the speech may not be the boldest out …

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The logjam is breaking

It appears that after a long period of haggling -- involving the bizarre tableau of Republican Ted Stevens pushing for tougher regulations -- the Senate Commerce Committee is ready to cough up a bill that would raise CAFE standards to 35mpg by 2019 (35mpg across the fleet, including light trucks). The committee is expected to vote through the proposal tomorrow; that would lead to the first floor vote on CAFE since 2002, and if passed, the first fuel-economy boost in 30 years. The bill could be better -- it's got "off-ramps" in case the requisite technological improvements are just too …

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Churchill, not Chamberlain

Why are we letting pro-fossil fuel bozos hijack the only forum that environmentalists and climate-change activists have for wrestling with the daunting task of transforming America? I posted a few practical suggestions in response to David's question, "Should we be rebutting the skeptics?" I'm going to restate one proposal -- to adopt a Craigslist-type policy allowing Grist readers to flag inappropriate posts. Gristmill is a forum for conversation and debate between climate activists. Those who are skeptical of our world-saving aims are free to express their views on any of the many sites devoted to challenging climate science; this is …

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Caveat

A few posts back I big-upped Jon Tester for killing the liquid coal mandate coal-state Republicans tried to attach to the Senate EPW energy bill (which passed committee last week). I should add, lest things get too darn cheery around here, that the bill itself is largely focused on boosting ethanol. And you know how Gristmillians feel about that. So.