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New island ‘made’ by global warming

In the same week that science discovers a new, earth-like planet, we get a new island off the coast of Greenland. From The Independent: The map of Greenland will have to be redrawn. A new island has appeared off its coast, suddenly separated from the mainland by the melting of Greenland's enormous ice sheet, a development that is being seen as the most alarming sign of global warming. Yikes.

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Biofuels scam at 12 o’clock high!

Is there anything that the rich and venal won't do to stave off limits on jet flights? The new scam is a discussion of laundering the fossil fuels through "biofuels" ... Yeah, it's not enough that we're going to starve people and destroy the "last six inches of topsoil in Iowa" to propel SUVs ... now we have to add jets to the mix. With creative accounting (and ignoring that jets pump tons of water vapor into the atmosphere [_at a level_] where it has no natural presence) we can all pretend that we're "reducing" the environmental cost of flying. …

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Tom Toles, national treasure

Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Toles.

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Money Makes the World Not Drown

British retailers launch climate campaign, UBS unveils global-warming index Eight companies in Britain have launched a campaign called "We're in This Together," offering products and price cuts to help customers lessen their eco-impacts. Leading retailers Tesco and B&Q, for example, halved the costs of light bulbs and insulation, and a cell-phone company will pay a credit to customers who reduce consumption by forgoing a new phone when renewing their contract. Appearing with the company heads, Prime Minister Tony Blair offered this vague rah-rah: "For this country to make an impact on the global framework [against global warming] -- which in …

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Video … on the interwebs!

Hey kids, are you hip to the steez on carbon offsets? Well, check this shizzle out! Here, Christie Todd Whitman talks about Bush and Cheney "flipping the bird" at the rest of the world (probably the first time this blueblood has ever used that phrase): Here, Frank Luntz continues to fail to realize what a slimy f**king weasel he is: All these clips come from Hot Politics, an upcoming special from the PBS series Frontline. (h/t: TerraPass)

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Lots o’ goodies

The Nation has devoted its current issue to "surviving the climate crisis," and it's chock full o' good stuff. First up is Jim Hansen, the World's Least Censored Censored Scientist, who recommends the following five steps: "First, there should be a moratorium on building any more coal-fired power plants until we have the technology to capture and sequester the CO2." A gradually increasing price on CO2 emissions. Energy-efficiency standards. A National Academy of Sciences panel to study ice-sheet stability and nonlinear ice-sheet collapse. Reform of government communication practices. Next up is Christian Parenti, who gets a lot of things forcefully …

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Nothing sexier than debates over ethics!

I forget where I found this, but there's a good piece on Environmental Research Web about the moral aspects of geoengineering. The author, UW prof Steve Gardiner, raises several concerns, but for my money, this is the most telling: It is not silly to think that substantial investment in geoengineering will itself encourage political inertia on mitigation and adaptation, and also facilitate the actual deployment of geoengineering "solutions". In short, Crutzen treats the decision to do research and the decision to deploy as if they were causally isolated. But it is not clear what justifies this assumption -- indeed, the …

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Ts. Munkhbayar fights destructive mining in Mongolia

Ts. Munkhbayar. Photo: Goldman Environmental Prize. Born into a family of Mongolian herders, Ts. Munkhbayar remembers when the livestock was healthy, the water was clean, and kids went ice skating on the nearby river. "I had a very happy childhood," he says. In the early 1990s, a gold-mining boom overshadowed all that; because of widespread hydraulic mining, which uses high-pressure water systems, the river shrank, his family was sickened by polluted well water, and community members fled. "I just couldn't stand there and see the whole village be destroyed by the mining companies," Munkhbayar remembers. He began to organize his …

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Letter to the editor from Arkansas

This is the text of a letter to the editor printed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on April 16 of this year: You may have noticed that March of this year was particularly hot. As a matter of fact, I understand that it was the hottest March since the beginning of the last century. All of the trees were fully leafed out and legions of bugs and snakes were crawling around during a time in Arkansas when, on a normal year, we might see a snowflake or two. This should come as no surprise to any reasonable person. As you know, …

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A belated Earth Day quiz

Can you guess? 1. "In 1971, I participated in the second Earth Day and became the coordinator of an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program at West Georgia College." Find out here. 2. On the occasion of the first Earth Day: "[there is an] absolute necessity of waging all-out war against the debauching of the environment." Find out here. 3. "Our nation has both an obligation and self-interest in facing, head-on, the serious environmental, economic and national security threat posed by global warming." Find out here. 4. "We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming …