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Climate & Energy

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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 …

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Read about it and/or watch it happen

There are something like 12 bills in the Texas Legislature this session addressing climate change. Most of them are deader than a doornail, but we might see passage this session of a bill to create a Texas climate change task force. This doesn't sound like much, but for Texas it's actually quite an accomplishment. To get an idea of what testifying there is like, you can take a look at my archived testimony here (Real Audio). My testimony starts at 9:20. Particularly entertaining is the question and answer session starting at 19:20.

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New report from Apollo Alliance on good green jobs

The Apollo Alliance and Urban Habitat have a new report out today on the coming green economy and the immense job potential for traditionally excluded groups -- low-income, heavily minority urban communities. The report sets out a vision for green jobs in the U.S. and outlines the green industries that already exist in the country, offering policy guidance for creating better jobs for more people. It also details programs that are working, like apprenticeships, job training, and local hiring policies, and profiles worker and career pathways in the green job market. And it presents some strategies and policies to help …

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What was it like 430 million years ago

The earth, as a living organism, leaves behind breadcrumbs from millenia of development. And beautiful breadcrumbs they are. Check out Frans Lanting's project and fall in love all over again. From Stewart Brand's account of a presentation as a part of the Long Now series: It began on a New Jersey beach. Frans Lanting was photographing horseshoe crabs for a story about how they are being ground up for eel bait and at the same time their blood is used for drug testing -- a $100 million industry. The crabs have primordial eyesight, which they employ mainly for finding sex …

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New Monbiot piece

From "The Rich World's Policy on Greenhouse Gas Now Seems Clear: Millions Will Die," by George Monbiot: Rich nations seeking to cut climate change have this in common: they lie. You won't find this statement in the draft of the new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was leaked to the Guardian last week. But as soon as you understand the numbers, the words form before your eyes. The governments making genuine efforts to tackle global warming are using figures they know to be false. Read the rest.

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How to reduce your household energy consumption, easy-like

Last Sunday's New York Times honed in on the dubious practice of Americans buying carbon offsets to brand themselves carbon-neutral. Andy Revkin, the paper's global-warming reporter, quoted me saying, "There isn't a single American household above the poverty line that couldn't cut their CO2 at least 25 percent in six months through a straightforward series of fairly simple and terrifically cost-effective measures." My claim has hit a nerve. Despite the absence of a link, already a dozen readers have tracked me down on the web and written to ask what measures I have in mind. This article is for them …

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Motivation aside, the ad’s still true

West Virginia Dems Rep. Nick Rahall and Sen. Robert C. Byrd are fighting mad over some "despicable" anti-coal ads that have appeared in major publications recently. The ads, underwritten by a natural gas company called the Chesapeake Energy Corp, show faces smudged with make-up meant to resemble coal dust under a headline reading: "Face It, Coal is Filthy." The campaign was pulled in the wake of Rahall's and Byrd's furious objections that it was unfair and misleading. They say the people featured in the ads are models, not miners, and that the Oklahoma City-based natural gas company is parading as …

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Pep Rally

PepsiCo buys a lotta renewable-energy credits, tops EPA green power list The U.S. EPA released its quarterly list of the top 25 buyers of green power yesterday, with the No. 1 slot filled by a new kid in the renewable-energy biz. That would be PepsiCo, which vaulted to the top of the list by announcing plans to purchase 1 beeellion kilowatt-hours of renewable-energy credits. In partnership with REC provider Sterling Planet, the fizzy-drink maker (and owner of Frito-Lay) will spend $2 million funding wind, biomass, and hydroelectric power to "offset" the power used by its U.S. manufacturing facilities, headquarters, distribution …

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Or They Could Stop Waging War

Report says U.S. military needs to wean itself from oil A report commissioned by the Pentagon says the U.S. military needs to break its oil addiction. The country used an average of 16 gallons of fuel per soldier per day in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006, compared to four per soldier per day in the Persian Gulf War and one per soldier per day during World War II. The increase is attributed to cuts in troops and the use of centralized bases farther from conflicts. Also, this administration doesn't give a hoot about conservation. The study says the rising cost …

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