Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate & Energy

Comments

U.S. again blocking international climate accord

Sun rises in east

I suppose everyone's heard by now that the U.S. plans to stiff Germany and the UK on climate change at the upcoming G8 summit. German and British leaders will no doubt express grave concern to the media, and then when it becomes obvious the U.S. won't budge, try to recast their utter ineffectuality as some sort of progress. One hardly knows what to say about this stuff any more. Jerome a Paris has a go at it, but doesn't offer any real proposal for how the U.S. can be dislodged from its intransigence while dead-eyed sociopaths are in charge.

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Summer reading list

Pick-me-up books needed

I was at a wedding last week, on the beach. Waves! Friends! Tecates! I was finally starting to unwind. And then I did something very bad. I picked up Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Holy moly. Ever wonder what the world would look like should we reach the global warming tipping point? Or what peak oil in full effect might mean for you and yours? Wonder no longer. A grimmer, more terrifying dystopian tale I have never read. Read it and weep. And weep some more. Because in the end, nothing is more sad than love, and this is a love …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Bad news re: good news about bad news

The press ignores science

The bad news is that we are in quite a pickle. The good news about the bad news is that the national science academies of the G8 countries, along with those of Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, China, and India, have issued a unanimous and remarkably strong statement (PDF) about our global energy quandary. The bad news about the good news about the bad news is that the press is almost totally silent about it, at least in English-speaking countries. Among the crucial statements in this document (PDF): "Our present energy course is not sustainable." "Responding to this demand while minimizing …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

I’ll Be Back, Eh

Schwarzenegger visits Canada to talk tough on emissions It's hard to believe any country could be worse on climate than the U.S., but Canada seems to be making a run for it. Yesterday, Friends of the Earth Canada and Sierra Legal filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that their government is shirking its Kyoto Protocol pledge. "This government is not free to cut and run from its international obligations," says FOE spokesperson Christine Elwell. "You can't just do what you want." Conservative leaders, faced with the ugly fact that greenhouse-gas emissions in 2005 were about 33 percent above where …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Brit's Eye View: Is carbon labeling a good idea?

Can a bag of potato chips point the way to saving the planet?

Peter Madden, chief executive of Forum for the Future, writes a monthly column for Gristmill on sustainability in the U.K. and Europe. Can a bag of potato chips point the way to saving the planet? In the U.K., we have started down the path of putting "carbon labels" on products. Tesco, our biggest supermarket chain, has said they will label every product they sell. The Carbon Trust, a government agency, has already produced a prototype label and is trying it out on shampoo, a fruit juice, and a bag of potato chips. Clearly we do need to measure and manage …

Comments

One more on liquefied coal

And then I’m done

All right, one more and I'll let the liquefied coal thing go. For today at least. First, note that Brad Plumer has a great piece on CTL at The New Republic. Second, I once again want to draw attention to two bits from the much-commented NYT piece this morning. First, this bit: Coal executives say that they need government help primarily because oil prices are so volatile and the upfront construction costs are so high. "We're not asking for everything. All we're asking for is something," said Hunt Ramsbottom, chief executive of Rentech Inc., which is trying to build two …

Comments

Global warming, peak oil, and coal-to-liquids

Coal companies try a fast one

There is no better reminder of the perils of the end of the cheap gasoline era than the article in today's New York Times, ""Lawmakers Push for Big Subsidies for Coal Process," i.e., coal-to-liquids. This is the process that converts coal to diesel fuel, and while doing so, according to the NYT, emits 119 percent more greenhouse gases than conventional diesel. (David discussed the article this morning.) Of course, the coal companies will allegedly "try" to sequester the carbon, a position which will inevitably move to "just too expensive" and "technical difficulties." Dick Gephardt, of Democratic congressional fame, has even …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Kudos to California ...

Yet another pioneering green move from the state

... for recognizing that coal is the enemy of the human race. This means all those proposed new Western coal-fired power plants will have to reduce their emissions via carbon sequestration if they want to sell to Cali, one of their biggest prospective clients. And if you ask me, the likelihood of sequestration on that scale working out economically any time soon is essentially nil, so this puts a serious damper on the financial case for building those plants at all.

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Bunk from Beck

Real Climate tears apart another fraudulent presentation from E. G. Beck

Over at RealClimate today, they present and debunk another fraudulent reconstruction from German school-teacher-plays-skeptic-scientist E. G. Beck. First it was his groundbreaking (as in stick your head in the sand) work on CO2; now he turns his attention to temperature reconstructions for the past millennium. When bad science still doesn't get the result you want, why not spice it up with a bit of plain and simple fraud?

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Big Business, cap-and-trade, and carbon taxes

Business is splitting from Republicans; the time is right for a tax

In Washington Monthly, Chris Hayes draws attention to the "revolt of the CEOs." Big Business is parting ways with the Republican Party, actively seeking greater government involvement in the realms of health care and climate change. Why? Two reasons. One, CEOs recognize that rising health care costs and global warming are real problems that will affect their bottom lines. Two, they see the way the wind is blowing. They realize that public pressure is building for gov't action, Democrats are likely to win the White House in 2008, and, well: The Chamber of Commerce's [Bruce] Josten summed up his members' …