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More Colbert on Griffin

You can see part one here. Here's part two:

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Coal state newspapers attack liquid-coal plans

Wisdom from the heart of coal country

It's not news when I criticize Congress's proposals to subsidize coal-to-liquids (CTL). After all, my focus is avoiding serious global warming, which CTL would only make more likely. But when two newspapers from traditional coal regions say "no" to CTL, that is a man-bites-dog story. The Kentucky Herald-Leader has a great headline: Liquid coal a new version of snake oil: Don't subsidize energy plans that would worsen global warming. The Roanoke Times of the coal-region of Southwestern Virginia has an equally strong headline: Billion-dollar boondoggle: Coal-to-liquid technology is expensive, harmful to the environment and inefficient. The federal government should take …

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Ceci n'est pas une carbon tax

Color me unimpressed

You can color me unimpressed by the big news today in the Globe and Mail: Quebec just became the first Canadian province to pass a carbon tax. For one thing, the tax is tiny, just 0.8 cents per liter of gasoline, and at comparably low levels on natural gas and diesel. (For non-metricized Americans, that's 3 cents per gallon.) So that makes Quebec's new approach not quite as aggressive as -- to pick just one example at random -- Idaho's 5 cent per gallon increase circa 1996. Now in fairness to Quebec, the new carbon tax revenue, which weighs in …

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Howard emulates his hero

Australia tries to distract from Kyoto

Looks like somebody's been taking lessons from Bush. Get this: "The Kyoto model -- top-down, prescriptive, legalistic and Euro-centric -- simply won't fly in a rising Asia-Pacific region," Howard told an Asia Society Australasia dinner. Gag.

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Economic growth and climate change

Are the two inextricably linked?

The G8 wants to "decouple economic growth from energy use." Is that possible? That's the central question of out times, I guess. Walden Belloon thinks not: The only effective response to climate change is to radically reduce economic growth rates and consumption levels, particularly in the North, and in the very near future. The climate change section of the G8 declaration is a long and all-too-transparent exercise to get around this reality.

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The latest carbon abatement policy arguments

Carbon tax v. cap and trade — the hottest arguments since McCartney v. Lennon

The argument over the best climate change mitigation policy is gathering steam. Busting out all over. Topping the charts. All the kids are dancing to it. Before getting to the latest, though, it's worth making a simple point: either cap-and-trade or a carbon tax could reduce GHG emissions if properly designed and implemented; either could be ineffectual if poorly designed and implemented. So: Either one is better than nothing. Nobody's allowed to check out once once the policy is chosen; the need for engagement will be greatest as the policy is being hashed out. That said, here's a few more …

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The presidential candidates on global warming

A guide to their positions

I keep meaning to mention this incredibly useful guide to the presidential candidates' positions on global warming, hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. Why didn't we think of that?

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More on the G8 climate statement

The U.S. outmaneuvered European leaders, yet again

All right, the more I read about this G8 climate agreement the more it becomes clear that the Bush administration completely outplayed the other developed countries on this. That, at least, they're good at. Blair, Merkel, and Sarkozy all went into the summit staking their credibility on forcing an agreement: mandatory emissions cuts based on a shared target. The U.S. said: f*ck you. They begged. They pleaded. The U.S. repeated: f*ck you. Meanwhile, the U.S. made a canny counter-proposal: a series of new talks, including China and India, to stretch out 18 months and produce "aspirational goals." Obviously it's toothless, …

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Students keep up momentum with a pre-election Climate Summer

A scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, the first book for a general audience on climate change, and, most recently, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. He serves on Grist's board of directors. Thursday, 7 Jun 2007 LEBANON, New Hampshire If you're worried -- and who isn't? -- that the pressure for action on global warming will crest and fade after the last six months of steady growth, you should have been on the town green of this small western New Hampshire burg on Wednesday night. Twenty-five college …

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