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Proposed coal company merger will draw green opposition

This is from a press release that just crossed the transom: The expected March 29, 2007 merger of Dynegy and LS Power will create a combined company with the most pending dirty coal-fired power plants in the United States. This plan contrasts sharply with the recent TXU decision to back away from such heavily polluting plants and also heightens concerns about growing risks to shareholders, according to a major new report prepared for the National Environmental Trust (NET) by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, a leading investment research firm. If this merger goes through, it will create a company that will …

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Time to quit pretending otherwise

Late last week Chris Mooney had a long and characteristically careful post on HuffPo clarifying the hurricane/climate change connection, exactly what Gore's said about it, and exactly where Gore can and cannot be legitimately criticized for it. The crucial point in the post, though, is not about hurricanes. It's this: Nevertheless, when it comes to the science of global warming and its impacts, there's a very significant difference between Gore and his would-be detractors. Gore takes the conclusions of the mainstream scientific community on global warming seriously and for the most part describes them very accurately, albeit with perhaps a …

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Mary Anne Hitt, director of Appalachian Voices, answers questions

Mary Anne Hitt. What's your job title? I'm the executive director of Appalachian Voices. What does your organization do? We bring people together to solve the big environmental problems facing the central and southern Appalachian Mountains -- mountaintop-removal coal mining, air pollution, and the loss of our native forests. What are you working on at the moment? Photo: iLoveMountains.org We recently launched iLoveMountains.org, an online organizing campaign. Our goal is to build a national network of people who will work together to pass legislation that will end mountaintop removal, a form of coal mining that involves blowing up entire mountains …

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Still

An extensive Christian Science Monitor analysis reveals that "nations will add enough coal-fired capacity in the next five years to create an extra 1.2 billion tons of CO2 per year." In all, at least 37 nations plan to add coal-fired capacity in the next five years -- up from the 26 nations that added capacity during the past five years. With Sri Lanka, Laos, and even oil-producing nations like Iran getting set to join the coal-power pack, the world faces the prospect five years from now of having 7,474 coal-fired power plants in 79 countries pumping out 9 billion tons …

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See me in Seattle

I'm giving a presentation Wed., Mar 28 to the Green Builders Guild on Solutions to climate chaos for Green builders, homeowners, and citizens. Location below the fold. Wed. Mar 28. 7:00 P.M. Phinney Neighborhood Association 6532 Phinney Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103

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I’m Hot, Sticky Sweet

Vermont's maple-syrup industry braces for climate change Will warmer winters stop the flow of Vermont maple syrup? That's the question of the day in the Green Mountain State, where folks worry that climate change will make the $200 million industry -- which provides 32 percent of U.S. syrup output -- dry up. "I've always been, 'Oh, global warming, I don't know about that,'" said syrup-maker Doug Rose. "But now I do think we need to start thinking about it, because ... we're seeing production go down, we really are." Some tree-tappers report that the season now starts in January instead …

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Evil …

... yet mesmerizing: (ht: reader SW)

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Carbon trading vs. carbon taxes on Science Friday

The question of climate change has finally moved on from is it happening? to what should we do about it?. There has been some great discussion here at Grist on carbon trading vs. carbon taxes (e.g., here or here). For those who want more, Bill Chameides, chief scientist of Environmental Defense, was on Science Friday to talk about carbon trading. Check out the mp3 here. Bill basically reiterates the points he made here on Gristmill a while back. But it's still worth listening to.

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Why are environmental activists so clueless at marketing climate change solutions?

Virgin Blue, the Australian extension of Richard Branson's airline empire, recently launched a program to allow passengers to purchase carbon offsets when they book a flight. That's nice. But what struck me was this quote from Greenpeace's energy campaigner, Ben Pearson: Virgin should not be criticized out of hand for this scheme, but it promotes the idea that dealing with climate change is easy and cheap rather than being about the difficult task of changing consumer behavior, government policy and investment. Let's take the Pepsi Challenge. Pretend I just told you that I have a problem that I'd like your …

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