Climate & Energy

A picture worth many thousands of words

This ranks up there (and could have been included) with Bill Maher's terrific book, When you ride alone, you ride with Bin Laden.

Floatovoltaics

Land is -- and will always be -- expensive. Which is why someone should take this, and combine it with this. They could even sell the electricity back to DWR, whic uses an incredible amount of it to pump LA's drinking water up and over the Tehachapis. And if DWR would allow project developers to monetize the water savings from avoided evaporative loss, project economics would be even better.

No, there need <em>not</em> be a way

The privileged attitude of the motorhead

A Washington Post columnist:

Coal agit-prop heats up

Coal front group pouring millions into targeted disinformation campaign

Speaking of reasons climate legislation is going to be impossible this year: It’s good to see the Washington Post pick up on the coal industry’s massive lobbying effort. The focus is Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), which we’ve discussed before. WaPo’s Steven Mufson uncovered a few details. Right now, ABEC is spending $1.3 million for ads in Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina (not coincidentally, early primary states). It’s also deploying street teams on the campaign trail, with human billboards handing out propaganda outside events. And this tidbit is particularly (darkly) amusing: "An ad targeting that [Lieberman-Warner climate] bill is …

Clean-tech and wind power both soaring

Investment in clean-tech companies rose 44 percent from 2005 to 2006, and jumped an additional 44 percent from 2006 to 2007, soaring to $5.18 billion, according to the Cleantech Group LLC. Last year in clean-tech, energy generation received $2.75 billion in investment, followed by energy storage ($471 million) and transportation ($445 million). And you know what that means: “More new car companies were financed in the last 12 months than probably in the last 50 or 60 years,” says the Cleantech Group’s John Balbach. Um … great? In related news, U.S. wind power grew by 45 percent last year, boosted …

Absolut greenwashing?

Vodka maker launches global cooling campaign

In a partnership with Live Earth (yes, they’re still doing stuff), Absolut Vodka has launched a Global Cooling campaign that "encourages consumers to reduce the effects of global warming by offering simple steps they can implement in their daily lives." As part of the campaign, Absolut is sponsoring the Live Earth Film Series, a collection of short films that will make the rounds at various film festivals this year — starting with Sundance this weekend. Absolut will also be donating up to $500,000 to three charities — the Environmental Media Association, The Ocean Foundation, and The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation …

Dingell: Climate legislation 'impossible' this year

House energy committee not primed to rush through climate bill

John Dingell says getting climate legislation done this year will "verge on impossible" (sub rqd), what with the compressed schedule and the presidential and Congressional elections. Oh, and also because Republicans are gearing up to block progress yet again. A while back, Denny Hastert left Dingell’s committee and there was some inside baseball speculation about who would take his place. The answer turned out to be Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and he wasted no time making his feelings clear (sub rqd), unleashing this torrent of talking points: "While I feel strongly that addressing climate change is certainly important, I believe …

Coal lobbyists step up their game

A group called Americans for Balanced Energy Choices is waging a $35 million campaign urging Americans to make one choice in particular: coal. As U.S. activists step up their protests against coal plants — and find increasing success — the industry-backed ABEC is running ads chirping that the black rock “powers our way of life” and “will help us with vital energy security.” Radio, print, and TV ads are targeting primary voters and caucusers in Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada; an ad that targets the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill can be watched at baggage carousels at Washington, D.C.’s Dulles airport. …

Act two

Second ‘major economies meeting’ this month in Hawaii

You know, there’s something I don’t get about these kabuki “major economies meetings” Bush is holding. Obviously, in reality it’s about creating the illusion that Bush is doing something on climate. But usually when something is done purely for looks, there’s some sort of plausible cover story, a purported rationale that can be put out to the media. But the Bush administration has always said that all countries should determine their own strategies for addressing climate change, and that carbon targets should be aspirational, not mandatory. In fact, that’s exactly what the “major economies” concluded after their first meeting. So …

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