Climate & Energy

The paragraphs Tom Athanasiou left out of his last post

A brief summary of Tom & Paul’s approach to international climate justice

In Tom Athanasiou's recent post, "The greening of the global south," he describes an article in U.K. magazine The Prospect as "honest," "well-informed," and "criticizing the alternatives to trading." I actually think these objections are pretty easy to answer, but in order to do so, I have to present the objections first. The article begins by adopting some of points Tom and Paul present in their book The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World:

Australia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol comes into force

Australia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol came into force on Tuesday. While the Aussies have the second-highest greenhouse-gas emissions per capita in the developed world, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd waxed optimistic, saying the country is …

Media enable denier spin, part three

Please stop calling them ‘skeptics’

What name can we possibly use for the people who are working feverishly to convince the public to ignore the broad scientific understanding of global warming and delay taking serious action, action needed to avert a very grim fate for our children, their children, and so on? I suspect future generations will call them "climate destroyers" or worse, since if we actually (continue to) listen to them, that pretty much ensures carbon-dioxide concentrations will hit catastrophic levels -- 700 to 1000 -- this century, as explained in part two. But what should we call these people in the meantime, while we still have time to ignore them and save the climate? In this post I will explain why "skeptics" is certainly the wrong term, discuss why the current favorite among advocates (including me) -- "deniers" -- doesn't work (except maybe in headlines), and offer a new alternative. (Tomorrow I'll give you the reaction of a genuine skeptic to the new alternative.) For now let's call them "delayers," since that is their primary, unifying goal -- delaying action. As the NYT's Revkin explained about the recent skeptic denier-delayer conference in New York, "The one thing all the attendees seem to share is a deep dislike for mandatory restrictions on greenhouse gases." What unites these people is their desire to delay or stop action to cut GHGs, not any one particular view on the climate.

Coal: getting expensiver

More details on the new, really-really-expensive AEP coal plant in West Virginia. It seems like just yesterday that I wrote that the 17 percent rate increase announced by AEP would not be the last one, given the cost of this plant. Two days later, here they come. Specifically, "Customers could start paying as early as next year with rate hikes starting at $1 per month in 2009 and eventually climbing to $7.70 per month. AEP customers could pay nearly $160 million during construction and $116.23 million per year after that to fund the new plant." And why do we need those rates? Because this plant will be "the single most expensive utility project in the state's history." And why do we need the coal plant? Because ... [drum roll] ... coal is cheap! Full story from Greenwire ($ub. req'd) below the fold.

Waxman and Markey introduce bill to ban new dirty coal plants

House Representatives Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) have introduced the “Moratorium on Uncontrolled Power Plants Act of 2008,” which would do pretty much what it sounds like: prevent new coal plants in the …

What price the future?

No sensible warming response can exclude carbon pricing

Jim Manzi, with whom I have debated warming policy responses before, has a problem with The Washington Post‘s coverage of new studies on climate change. He writes: The premise of the story by Juliet Eilperin …

Bear poops in woods, some observers say

Check out the "story highlights" on top of this CNN piece: • World’s poor are disproportionately affected by climate change, analysts say • Low-income groups have comparatively little influence on public policy • Burden of …

Stickin' it to the <del>man</del> car

California vehicles to get global warming stickers

The following post is by Earl Killian, guest blogger at Climate Progress. ----- Go shopping in 2009 in California for a new car and you'll notice some new information on the smog index window sticker. Next to the smog score will be a global warming score. The California Air Resources Board is putting the finishing touches on the program. You can see some of the details in the presentation (PDF) from their last meeting. According to CARB, approximately 13 states have thus far adopted the California's Low Emission Vehicle regulations, which requires the smog labels. At least 11 of those states -- including New York, Connecticut, Oregon, and Washington -- are likely to adopt the new global warming labels. Vehicles are assigned a score of 1 to 10 based upon their emissions, with 1 for the worst and 10 for the lowest greenhouse-gas emissions. However, calling it a "Global Warming Score" and having 10 be the best is likely to cause some confusion. Perhaps "Planet-saver Score" would be better? This post was created for, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

The enemy of my enemy

Natural gas utilities are no friends of Big Coal

In the fight against coal, crucial support may come from another fossil fuel: natural gas. A price on carbon emissions, bane to the big coal utilities, will advantage gas utilities, at least in the short-term. …