Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate & Energy

Comments

Comments

'Breakthrough' at G8: U.S. agrees to consider a process of setting a goal to agree on a commitment t

Progress … we think

I confess I haven't had the intestinal fortitude to closely follow the negotiations at the G8, but it looks like they've come up with something being billed as a "breakthrough." This phrasing in the Washington Post story is curious: The goal is to agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, Merkel said, hailing the decision as a "huge success." "The goal is to agree"? Does that mean they've agreed to agree, or that they agreed to try to agree? Tell us more! But the declaration falls short of an ironclad commitment, saying only that the world's biggest …

Comments

Jim Connaughton, Jedi master of doubletalk

Witness the verbal mangling at today’s press conference

The White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair showed off his legendary verbal skills at a G8 press briefing yesterday (PDF). Here are the two best bits. Yoda Connaughton was enumerating the President's "domestic agenda on climate" when he said: The President has set out his support at the state level for renewable power mandates, and we now have the United States of America, 80% [sic] of our power under state renewable power requirements. Packed in a lot of doubletalk in one sentence, he has. The president opposes a federal renewable power mandate (even though he signed one into law …

Comments

Mr. Right, or Mr. Right Now?

Getting carbon cap and trade right for renewables

For the 110th Congress, this is not just a question for Saturday night. One of the reasons why federal carbon cap and trade legislation is so slow in coming -- besides coal state mendacity -- is because it is damn complicated. Of the critical design choices, there is insufficient common understanding of implications, to say nothing of agreement. We will only be successful in fighting global warming via a transition to renewable energy. Carbon capture and sequestration is not going to save us. In contrast to renewables, no one is doing it now and the technology is not game time. …

Comments

The Whine of the Motor

Big Auto pleads for smaller gains in fuel efficiency The heads of Ford, GM, and Chrysler returned to Washington, D.C., yesterday to try to convince Congress not to hike fuel economy standards. Next week, the Senate will consider a proposal to raise average fleet-wide mileage to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 from the current 25; several bills have sprung up to float more modest increases. At least two, including one cosponsored by Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), contain escape clauses for car companies if the new standards prove too difficult to achieve. While the industry acknowledges that some increase in …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

We’re Sorry, Angela

G8 participants report climate-agreement highs and lows We can't possibly do justice to the intricacies of this week's G8 summit in this space. So brace for some injustice: German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants the G8 to agree to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. U.S. President George Bush doesn't dig that plan, and wants to involve China and India in a vaguely defined "long-term solution." Bush and Merkel met yesterday, after which media around the world reported that her climate hopes were dashed. "There are a few areas here and there we will continue to work …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Splitsville

Laurie and Larry David call it quits

Is it because she gave away his hybrid? Dunno, but if you want to read a bunch of substance-free psychobabble about the possible reasons why Laurie and Larry David are divorcing, you're in luck.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

Geek bleg

Not to out myself as a total geek (or has that boat sailed?), but I'd really love to read this report: "Lights Out: The Electricity Crisis, the Global Economy, and What It Means To You." My geekdom has limits, though, and I'm not about to pay for it. Any chance a Gristmill reader has a copy and wants to pass it along to me?

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Really short book review: Monbiot's <em>Heat</em>

Skip it

You can skip George Monbiot's book Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning. Slightly longer book review: Because there are far too many climate books to read, I confess I apply a litmus test. I look up "hydrogen" in the index. If the writer thinks it's a climate solution, the book can be skipped. I thought I would like this book, since I like many of the columns by the British author, including an early excerpt on the connection of the global warming deniers to big tobacco. But on page 162, he writes, "hydrogen fuel cells are beginning to …

Comments

Where to gas up around the globe

(Or take the bus)

From Wired: How much are you paying for gas? Depends on where in the world you're parked. In oil-producing nations like Venezuela and Iran, you can fill up for as little as 17 cents a gallon. But in tax-happy Germany and South Korea, you'll pay more than six bucks. So even when prices hit near-record levels in the US, American drivers get off cheap compared with European motorists. This summer's bargain road trip: a tour of the Zagros Mountains, from Tehran to Abadan! Wow, 17 cents a gallon, huh? Of course, as some of the commenters have pointed out, this …

Read more: Climate & Energy