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What to do now

How climate change is handled in few key areas within the year -- particularly congressional action in 2008 and 2009 and the 2008 presidential election -- will likely set the terms of the U.S. political debate, which for all practical purposes, within the constraints of Hansen's standard and timeframe for action, will determine the outcome. Therefore, a Bright Lines plan of action must accomplish three things: polarize debate in Congress and the presidential election; strengthen the narrative now being advanced by climate scientists; and, build a climate action core and financial base. Six campaigns and programs are outlined for the …

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Sawing off the limbs we’ve climbed up to see

From the article "Holiday at the End of the Earth: Tourists Paying to See Global Warming in Action," posted on Common Dreams: "The idea of global-warming tourism is full of ironies," he said. "If enough people expend enough fossil fuels to visit one Warming Island, they will ensure that there will be many more."

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Manufacturing a schism

Carbon offsets, which let you pay some money to help fund climate-friendly projects, got the love-hate treatment in Monday's New York Times. At issue: are they for real, or just some sort of gimmick? By contributing money to an offset program, are you really expiating your climate sins, or are you just buying meaningless indulgences? The article finds lots of quotes from people who are skeptical about offsets. But to me, this is mostly a manufactured controversy -- an attempt to find a green schism where none really exists. As far as I can tell, there's a middle ground on …

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Coal is the enemy of the human race. Coal is the enemy of the human race

The Office of Fossil Energy (no, not Dick Cheney's office -- apparently there is another one) released a new report this week: "Tracking New Coal Fired Power Plants." An excerpt from the press release: If built, the plants will be critical in helping to meet future electricity demand in the United States. The new and proposed plants would theoretically produce enough electricity to power 90 million homes. Coal is vital to the nation's energy security. Providing more than 50 percent of U.S. electricity, coal is an abundant, domestic energy source with more than a 250-year supply at current use rates. …

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Renewable Energy Journal takes a moment

Via Renewable Energy Journal.

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Sigh

Wow. The Nation has elected to print some flat-footed, idiotic global warming skepticism from Alexander Cockburn, who has made a media career out of insulting people and generally being a dick. I don't have time to get into it -- see previous post -- but you can check with Sir Oolius for some initial debunkery. The one thing a reasonable person might conclude from Cockburn's steaming pile of column is that it's very important for greens to detach global warming activism from the whole "sin" frame, because that pisses everybody off, even notional allies. Of course, dragging his dyspeptic ass …

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Catch a climate symposium at Town Hall on May 9

Rep. Jay Inslee, Democrat from Washington's 1st congressional district and a clean-energy champion, will be discussing climate change with other local eco-experts (and with the audience) at Seattle's Town Hall on May 9. Additional smart folks at the Symposium on Climate Policy, presented by the Thomas C. Wales Foundation, will include Denis Hayes, national coordinator of the first Earth Day and president of the Bullitt Foundation; K.C. Golden of Climate Solutions; Ben Packard of Starbucks; Eric Markell of Puget Sound Energy; and Steve Nicholas of Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment. Ross Reynolds of KUOW will moderate. Tickets are $15 …

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Cities find that people like not being killed by cars!

Good story in the Christian Science Monitor about places that are taking steps (albeit tiny, tiny baby steps) to take back some of the public space given over to cars and letting people use it: The auto's demotion at Golden Gate Park follows dozens of similar moves in at least 20 American cities in the past three years. It's a trend that is gaining ground rapidly in the US, say urban planners. New York is proposing to shut down perimeter roads of Central Park and Brooklyn's Prospect Park all summer long. Atlanta plans to transform 53 acres of blighted, unused …

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Putting iron in the ocean

The risky idea of dumping iron into the ocean to promote plankton growth has been around for a long time. The reasoning: more algae blooms, more CO2 absorbed. But many scientists think that by the time the algae dies, rots, and release methane and nitrous oxide, it will worsen the greenhouse effect. Even most supporters think it should be studied before being tried. The IPCC is expected to dismiss this particular idea as speculative and probably counterproductive. But Planktos corporation, backed by Silicon Salley, has decided to go full speed ahead experimenting with it -- to hell with possible side …

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Goin’ new school

Old school Cossacks: thundered off the steppes in bloodthirsty hordes, fearsome warriors, rumored to tuck ears of enemies under saddleblankets in lieu of provisions during raids. New-school Kossacks: more tippety-tap than thundering, not so much with the ear eating, fearsome and effective in rallying support for renewable energy. HR 550 is the largest, most important piece of solar legislation ever introduced in the U.S. Here is a story about how they are making it happen: Subject: Let's Get Organized and DO Something! Hello Enviros, There are 207 of us spread nationwide.  That means we have the potential to reach 207 …