Climate & Energy

Florida faces unfavorable tide

New report calls for climate action, but not everyone’s listening

With more coastline than any state in the lower 48 and about a tenth of its economy ($65 billion a year) based on tourism, Florida has more to lose than any other state from the threats of global warming. Rising sea levels creep closer to coastal development. Warmer tropics fuel stronger hurricanes. And higher ocean temperatures kill coral and harm fish populations, threatening the state's $4.5 billion sportfishing industry. Plenty of reasons that a report released yesterday should serve as a call to action on preparing for inevitable changes from global warming and cutting emissions now to avoid the worst impacts. Preparing for a Sea Change in Florida was produced by a broad coalition of environmental groups. The report makes several key recommendations:

Muddy footprints

What a ranking of cities can tell us — and what it can’t

There's a big carbon footprint report out yesterday from Brookings. It ranks cities [PDF] according to their per capita carbon emissions. Sort of, anyway. Before I pick on it a little, I guess I should mention that Pacific Northwest cities do exceptionally well. Out of the 100 cities in the analysis, Portland ranks 3rd, Boise is 5th, and Seattle 6th. There's very little difference between them. That's wonderful and all, but the analysis only covers about 50 percent of emissions. It excludes, for instance, commercial and industrial energy, maritime and aviation emissions, and some other significant pieces of the pie.

Bush administration climate report ... at last

Overdue federal report acknowledges climate-change realities

Under pressure from a court order, the Bush administration put out a new report on climate change yesterday that comes to the conclusion that “most …

Checking it twice

More than 1,700 scientists and economists call for deep cuts in U.S. emissions

You know how some wackadoo rightwing group is always touting a new list of scientists who don’t believe in global warming? And it always turns …

Leaving behind coal codependence

Humanity’s fate is not tied to coal’s

The clean coal PR push is looking more and more hollow. In The NYT, Matt Wald paints a grim picture: cost overruns, technological uncertainty, waning …

Coal: looks kinda hot, but only because America is wearing beer goggles

Heinberg raises doubts about coal reserves

Energy analyst Richard Heinberg is working on a book about coal, tentatively titled Coal’s Future/Earth’s Fate, to be published by Post Carbon Press in spring …

U.S. public transit overwhelmed by increased ridership, higher fuel costs

Public transit agencies across the United States are lately encountering a curious double-bind: ridership has increased quickly and dramatically, straining current capacity, and at the …

More defense

EDF airs another ad in support of the Climate Security Act

Environmental Defense Fund is running another ad in support of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, this one in Washington, D.C., and other markets around the …

Dear Governor Greenwash

Hansen: Governors aren’t getting it

My recent experience with governors raises a question about whether this is an effective way to communicate about climate change. (Apologies for the length -- you may skip the three tales and go to the bottom line.) Dear Governor Pawlenty [PDF] Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty presides over a population that appreciates nature. Explorer Will Steger has done a marvelous job of informing the public there about climate change in the Arctic, the threat of climate change to species and indigenous people, and the relevance of climate change to Minnesota. Early actions made it appear that Minnesota would be a leader, defining energy policies and directions that would be a great example for other states. Specifically (get this!), in spring 2007 Minnesota passed and Gov. Pawlenty signed a law called the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, requiring 25 percent renewable energy by 2025 and a 1.5 percent per year improvement in energy efficiency. Some people used this to help paint Gov. Pawlenty green, second in greenness only to Arnold Schwarzenegger among Republican governors. Pawlenty, according to the Washington Post, is at the top of the list of candidates to be John McCain's running mate. Coincidentally, the Republican convention will be in Minnesota in September. But ... read on.