Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate & Energy

Comments

Comics are funny, and right

Tom Toles nails the biofuels dilemma.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

An interview with Rep. Jay Inslee, clean-energy champion from Washington state

Rep. Jay Inslee's two central passions, clean energy and global warming, received scant attention during his last eight years in Congress. Now, after a power shift on Capitol Hill, he's at the center of high-profile efforts to attack climate change and promote a new energy economy -- not to mention get his colleagues up to speed on the issues. The Democrat from Washington state's first district, which encompasses suburbs north and west of Seattle, holds spots on two House committees that will play key roles in debates over how to tackle the climate crisis: the Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Foundation throws down big bucks for climate change mitigation policy and technology

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced earlier this week that they would be doling out $100 million for global warming research over the next five years. The money will go to nonprofit groups, research institutions, and universities to support developing policies and technologies that will reduce emissions and help build a "clean energy economy." "The foundation's goal is to keep us from losing the game in the first quarter so that we will still be in a position to win in the fourth quarter," Andrew Bowman, the guy in charge of handing out the big bucks for the foundation, told …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Scary reading

Last week I wrote about a coming report on world coal reserves from the Energy Group in Germany, based on the IEA World Energy Outlook 2006. Here's the report. The nut: This analysis reveals that global coal production may still increase over the next 10 to 15 years by about 30 percent, mainly driven by Australia, China, the Former Soviet Union countries (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan) and South Africa. Production will then reach a plateau and will eventually decline thereafter. (my emphasis) Note that the projections take into account climate policy: The possible production growth until about 2020 according to this …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

The time to focus on policy is now

With the policy summary of the IPCC WGII report out, this is a good time to concentrate on policy. Any effort to lower emissions has to put a price on carbon and other greenhouse sources. As I think extensive discussion has shown, a carbon tax is the best way to price emissions, and to price the destruction of carbon sinks. One advantage of carbon taxes (and auctioned permits as well -- close enough to a carbon tax for practical purposes) not often noted is that it they produce revenue that can be directed back to consumers. This is an important …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

The biggest factor is still the bottom line

An influential group of CEOs, senior officers and trustees of institutional investors, asset managers, and corporations called for action (PDF) on climate change back on March 19. It's a good thing the rich and powerful in the U.S. are starting to recognize that action must be taken. But as should be expected, what they call for is the minimum they think they can get away with rather than what is needed. 1. The government must establish a mandatory national policy that will stabilize and then reduce national greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide. The policy should include a target for sizeable, sensible, …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

Monbiot says what needs saying

The estimable Bart A.'s Energy Bulletin unearths yet another gem amidst the rising tide of dreck pouring out of the Series of Tubes: A must read interview with George Monbiot.

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Ahh, democracy

Last night the Maryland legislature passed a world-class solar program -- 1,400 MW of solar on rooftops over the next 15 years, putting Maryland in the upper echelon of solar-supporting states. Kudos, congrats, and thanks to the Maryland advocates that made this happen. That this passed is a good thing. But how it passed is a lesson that bears wider dissemination. After the bill passed out of both the House and Senate by commanding majorities (Senate 30-17, and House 128-7) a small cabal of Senators took it upon themselves to do whatever it took to kill it -- including parliamentary …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

An interesting approach to bird safe wind power

Ottawa, Canada-based company Magenn has developed a "floating wind turbine" for personal and infrastructure power generation. The helium-filled device floats up to 1,000 feet into the air, using high altitude wind gusts to generate power up to a kilowatt. The power is transfered down via two "tethers" attached to the turbine. Magenn states that its compact design and flexibility eliminates the risk of birds getting chopped up near it, a problem associated with standard fan-based turbines. It looks a bit weird, but most out-the-box ideas usually do.

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

I prefer to fly

I changed my mind. I no longer want a plug-in hybrid car. Them's for punks. Now I want a solar/plug-in airplane. Video below the fold. Takeaway message: battery technology is the roadblock. That and rain.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living