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May become U.S.’s first large offshore wind project

This just in: the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs has weighed in on Cape Wind's Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), saying that it "adequately and properly complies" with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act. The project can now advance to the state permitting process. I believe it is the first U.S. offshore wind project to have a certified final environmental impact document.

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How high and how fast?

How high and fast will sea levels rise? An important piece (PDF) by Stefan Rahmstorf in Science concludes: A rise of over 1 m by 2100 for strong warming scenarios cannot be ruled out, because all that such a rise would require is that the linear relation of the rate of sea-level rise and temperature, which was found to be valid in the 20th century, remains valid in the 21st century. These scenarios, which are really nothing more than business-as-usual emissions plus amplifying carbon-cycle feedbacks, would give us sea level rising at 6 inches a decade in 2100. In such …

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Dave Morris summary on problems with carbon trading

Dave Morris: "Problems with Carbon Trading." An outline of his argument: Buying offsets encourages complacency. Carbon trading is inherently susceptible to fraud and manipulation. Carbon trading encourages cheating and rewards low-cost cosmetic changes while undermining higher cost innovation. Carbon trading separates authority and responsibility, undermining coherent, holistic, community-based efforts. We have alternatives -- carbon taxes, and caps without trading. Read the whole thing.

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A Fine Discovery

Some coral may be resistant to acidification, reefs still doomed The world's oceans are on track to be more acidic by 2100 than they've been for 20 million years, thanks to our fiendish friend carbon dioxide. But research by Israeli scientists shows that the coral polyps living in underwater reefs may be able to survive, even as the reefs themselves are destroyed. Marine zoologist Maoz Fine put two Mediterranean species to the test and found that, while the reef skeletons started to dissolve when acid levels rose, the polyps reproduced and grew to an unrecognizable size. "Our students -- everyone …

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Alternative School

U.S. college students are, like, totally into clean energy In answer to the loathed question "What are you going to do after you graduate?" gaggles of U.S. college students are looking into careers in alternative energy. (A group of college students is called a gaggle, right?) Green technology is having a heyday in schools from Illinois State to Harvard to Dartmouth; energy professor Dan Kammen says enrollment in energy classes at UC-Berkeley "is off the charts." At Stanford, which recently renamed its Petroleum Engineering Department the Energy Resources Engineering Department, attendance at a recent student-organized renewable-energy symposium was nearly triple …

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And the Miliband Played On

Despite talk of cuts, U.K. carbon emissions on the rise It's too bad surging emissions aren't cause for joy. Because then the Brits would be dancing right now instead of tearing each other new ones. But alas: data show that U.K. carbon emissions rose 1.25 percent last year, to the highest level since the Labor Party took charge in 1997. Environment Secretary David Miliband said the U.K. is still on track to meet or beat its Kyoto goals, but conceded that the figures -- fueled largely by a switch from gas to coal power -- are "worrying." Activists were less …

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Say what?

CNN: Global warming "could create opportunities for pharmaceutical, chemical, biotech and healthcare companies, but present serious challenges for paper, agriculture, furniture, energy and the overall economy." Too bad for you suckers who invested in Overall Economy Inc.!

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But does he have to use the word ‘solartopia’?

This short piece from Harvey Wasserman gets pretty much everything right -- and by "right" I mean, "in agreement with me." My only quibble is that he spends too much time bashing nukes, and bashing them for the wrong reasons (wrong effective-messaging-wise, not necessarily substance-wise). I'd prefer he bash them because they're more expensive and less flexible than R&E, not for the well-hashed-over waste issue. But that's a quibble. Here's the heart of the matter: What's not being said is that the solution to the problem---the necessary transition to Solartopia, a world based on renewable energy---is also the key to …

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The man blocks Gore’s concert on the Capitol steps

One of the many stories I missed today: Sen. James Inhofe, in a characteristically petty display of foot-stomping, is blocking Al Gore's efforts to have one of his Live Earth concerts on the Capitol steps. Inhofe says it's partisan. Guess it is now. Some good quotes: Noting that many political events -- including the 1990 Earth Day celebration -- have been held on the Capitol steps, [Republican Sen. Olympia] Snowe was, her spokesman said, "genuinely disappointed" by objections from her fellow Republicans. "She thinks it's a very unfortunate message to send that somehow this country is languishing behind in the …

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We need to rethink all food based biofuels

The lion's share of biofuel bashing on Grist deals with corn ethanol, because we Americans primarily use gasoline for our cars and ethanol runs fine in them, with few modifications. However, our pals in Europe drive a lot of diesel cars and the biofuel crisis over there revolves primarily around biodiesel. I think it is time we recognize that their problem is also our problem. A comment from Pcarbo alerted me to Monbiot's latest take on biofuels. He has now gone so far as to propose a ... ... moratorium on all targets and incentives for biofuels, until a second …

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