Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate & Energy

Comments

The view from Washington

So here I am in Washington (the other one) in a homey B&B just eight blocks from the White House. I came here for a number of reasons, not the least of which is attending a conference called Climate Change and International Development (which was, by the way, recorded, and it is said that videos will be available here.) It was pretty good, and the less-public strategy meeting that followed it today (at the Friends of the Earth offices) was even better. Strategically, very little could be more important than the development folks joining the climate battle. Especially if they …

Comments

It’s time to accept dire climate realities

A review of recent climate science findings finds that Jim Hansen's bright-line standard and timeframe for global action [1.0ºC limit on further increase in global temperature / 475 ppm cap on atmospheric carbon with <10 years for global action] is, if anything, not conservative enough. A rash of recent reports identify major climate forcings wholly unaccounted for in IPCC models -- such as a five-fold increase in methane releases from Siberian peat bogs -- that support the view of rapid, discontinuous climate change predicted by Hansen. Energy market projections show that current climate policies will barely dent the ramp-up of …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Umbra on home heating

Hi Umbra, My fiancée and I bought a house in October. We plan to green the house up as best we can, and one of our first projects will be how we heat the house. Since we didn't have any money after buying, we had to limp through this winter with an oil-powered steam boiler from 1962. Obviously not efficient at all. Plus it was having "puff back" issues so part of the time our basement was filled with lovely oil smoke. What should we do to replace this boiler? I know there is natural gas in the street so …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Rebuttal ad nauseum

I'm not sure there's much value left in rebutting Dick Lindzen's schtick every time it pops up. He keeps saying the same stuff, so the rebuttals keep saying the same stuff, and at this point anyone interested in the schtick or the rebuttal has a panoply of sources close at hand. Nonetheless, Newsweek's egregious bad judgment means that millions of new people are being exposed to the schtick, so, therefore and forthwith: the rebuttal, again, from RealClimate. Spread it around. This bit, which Kit also noticed, is worth repeating: Finally, we find it curious that Lindzen chose to include this …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Disagree to Agree

U.N. Security Council hosts feisty climate debate Yesterday the U.N. Security Council held its first-ever debate on climate change, and the meat of the debate was -- well, whether the debate should be happening at all. With 55 countries speaking, Britain led the pack of those arguing that climate change threatens global security, while China led the MYOB contingent. "The developing countries believe that the Security Council has neither the professional competence in handling climate change, nor is it the right decision-making place for extensive participation leading up to widely acceptable proposals," said Liu Zhenmin, China's deputy ambassador, and countries …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Now This Is Corn-fusing

Study says ethanol fuel could cause more health problems than gasoline Time to trot out Alanis, cuz this is what the kids call "ironic": a study from Stanford University says widespread use of ethanol in vehicles could have serious health effects. Atmospheric scientist Mark Jacobson ran computer models comparing air quality in 2020 based on use of both gasoline and E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline currently seeing a big old political and industrial push. He found that the ethanol blend would produce more ground-level ozone than gasoline, estimating that it could lead to a …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

A couple

Here are two lists, for those of you into that kind of thing: First, Sustainlane -- which seems to produce a list every few weeks, no? -- has a list of the Top Ten Cities for Renewable Energy. That's the cities that provide citizens with the most green power. They are: 1. Oakland, CA 2. Sacramento/SF/San Jose, CA (tie) 3. Portland, OR 4. Boston, MA 5. San Diego, CA 6. Austin, TX 7. Los Angeles, CA 8. Minneapolis, MN 9. Seattle, WA 10. Chicago, IL Oakland, huh? Maybe Van's doing something right. Read the whole thing for details. Second, from …

Comments

Angels and Airwaves to perform on campus this Sunday

In the interest of keeping you informed, I offer the final chapter in the mtvU GE Ecomagination Challenge. As you may (or may not) recall, students were asked to propose projects that would green their respective campuses. Out of more than 100 entries, 10 finalists were chosen, and then you voted to help pick the winner (you did vote, didn't you?). Well, the results are in, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Biodiesel@MIT project has won a $25,000 grant and an Earth Day concert (this weekend) by Angels and Airwaves. Congrats, y'all! The eight-person Biodiesel@MIT team proposed the construction and management …

Comments

Just wanted to put that out there

This is rarely said openly, but needs to be. Yes, climate change is a serious problem; yes, we should address it; but beware of easy solutions and feel-good measures like carbon neutrality that are more than likely scams than serious measures, since they more often than not pay people to do things they would already have done. Also, beware of solutions that say that climate change policy is win-win-win, good for jobs, business, and the environment. This may very well be true in the long-run, but not in the short-run. There will be pain and major transitional costs, and many …

Comments

Helping homeowners monitor electricity use

One piece of the smart-grid puzzle is home electricity monitoring -- allowing homeowners (and eventually business and factory owners) to track their electricity use in real time. As the old saw goes, what gets measured gets done. Simply making people aware of energy flows is the first step to helping them modulate those flows efficiently. On that note, it's fantastic to see this: soon, every household in the U.K. will be able to request a smart meter and have it installed for free. The next step, of course, is giving homeowners more automated control. One part of that is smart, …