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You know you love it

This AP story is a bit old but it's incredibly significant so I'm going to go ahead and get in a tizzy about it. It's about efforts by the city of Stamford, Conn. (among other places) to establish a micro grid district. What's that, you ask? Within these special zones, sometimes referred to as "energy independence districts," businesses, government buildings and office buildings can design and create their own power source, such as a fuel cell or natural gas generator, using the electric grid only as a backup. They might also tap into underground aquifers and use that water for …

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy

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When it’s the Bush administration talking about Hanford

The following is a guest post from Natalie Troyer, publications and volunteer coordinator at Heart of America Northwest. ----- Sheryl Crow -- who was joking, people -- recently suggested that folks use "only one square [of toilet paper] per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required." A nice, but impractical, proposal -- much like the Department of Energy's imprudent pitch to "recycle" nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state. That "r" word implies that we can just stick those thousands of gallons of radioactive sludge by the side …

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It’s done

It appears that all the haggling is done and the Working Group III report from the IPCC is ready to go. It will be formally released tomorrow. Andy Revkin has a preview, and the NYT also has a Q&A with Revkin about the all-night negotiations that just ended. More to come.

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Technoscientific and … not

I've been musing a bit on two different sorts of environmentalism, and I've recently come across two good exemplars. First, in Orion, Curtis White argues that environmentalists are involved in a futile enterprise as long as they fight from within the system -- as long as they use technoscientific, rationalist, bureaucratic language to fight problems that technoscientific, rationalist bureaucracies have wrought. We shouldn't blame big bad corporations. We are the problem. Nothing will change until we change our fundamental worldview. Next, over on Old Man in a Cave (an interesting new blog you should check out), Fergus Brown makes a …

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Shot down

Alex Cockburn, who has long been a low-key denier of the human contribution to climate chaos, has decided to take his contrarianism on this issue loud and proud. Because Alex is a bit too prominent to simply ignore, George Monbiot takes a few minutes from his busy schedule to tear the piece into little tiny shreds. It takes Monbiot only a few sentences to point out that all the arguments Cockburn makes are well known and widely discredited, and that Alex uses zero references. Cockburn's sole source seems to be a guy he met on a Nation cruise. Alex is …

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Uh, literally

An Inconvenient Truth replaces the Gideon Bible in fancy new hotel. Dirt-worshiping hippies rejoice.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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A good argument

Via Brad Plumer, this might be the most honest, good-faith argument about nuclear power I've read in the last, oh, year or so. You can read Max Schulz's pro-nuclear argument here, and then read the anti-nuclear side by Bruce Smith and Arjun Makhijani. No surprise, I come down on the anti-nuclear side myself, but at least Schulz doesn't simply ignore or refuse to acknowledge the real risks of nuclear power (waste, proliferation, costs). And in his reply at the bottom of Smith and Makhijani's piece, he makes a reasonable argument that Smith and Makhijani are soft-pedaling the costs associated with …

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Biofuel bashing

Now with a German accent! (h/t: Gristmill reader CJ)

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Information technology accounts for 2 percent of world’s CO2 emmissions

Just as Steve Jobs was polishing the final draft of his defense of Apple's environmental programs, computer industry analyst firm Gartner announced to the world its findings about Global IT's carbon footprint. It's not good. As an industry, information technology accounts for 2 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, placing it in the same club as the aviation industry. The causes are numerous, including increasing power consumption, use of refrigerator-like cooling systems, even emissions from everyday computer displays. Gartner also uses this finding as a "wake up call" to geeks throughout the land. Simon Mingay, research vice president at …