Climate & Energy

Notable quotable

“Within the last few months, most of the planned coal plants in the United States have been cancelled, denied permits, or been involved in protracted litigation. Accordingly, the company submits that IPP 3, Bridger 5, and the IGCC option at Jim Bridger, are no longer viable options for the 2012 and 2014 time frame, respectively.” – power company Pacificorp, in a Nov. 28 filing to the Utah Public Service Commission, announcing revocation of plans for two coal-fired power plants in southwest Wyoming

Pseudoscience

The sad state of Bush’s science advice

Most science advisers have taken as their job to inform the president and his administration, as well as Congress, the media, and the public, of the thinking of the scientific community on key science issues of the day. Bush's advisor, John H. Marburger III, takes the opposite view. He believes his job is to inform (misinform? disinform?) the scientific community, as well as Congress, the media, and the public, of the "thinking" of the Bush Administration on key science issues. In 2006, he summed up the "technology, technology, blah, blah" strategy of Luntz/Bush: It's important not to get distracted by chasing short-term reductions in greenhouse emissions. The real payoff is in long-term technological breakthroughs. Don't get distracted by actions to save the climate from destruction. The real payoff is in never doing anything. Realclimate has a good report on Marburger's lecture at the huge American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, titled "Reflections on the Science and Policy of Energy and Climate Change":

New Green Exchange to be launched

In a huge boost for carbon trading, Nymex Holdings Inc. and a group of Wall Street trading houses are planning to launch a Green Exchange for trading environmental products, including carbon credits. Trading is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2008.

CNBC energy bill debate with Dan Weiss

The economic benefits of going green

Earlier this week, senior fellow and director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress, Dan Weiss, went on CNBC to discuss "the economic benefits of going green" as it relates to the energy bill currently in Congress. Weiss, a strong advocate of the clean energy provisions, went head to head with Max Schultz of the Manhattan Institute, whose sole platform was costs.

Damn these women and their superpowers!

How does Jane Fonda keep defeating the U.S.?

Full disclosure: I was born in 1981, and as far as I can recall I never masturbated to a picture of Jane Fonda. Too much information, I know. But what else can I do? An eternity ago (September) the guys who brought you Freakonomics brought you this little gem, blaming Jane Fonda for America's CO2 emissions. Seriously:

Elephants in the room

Greenpeace India points out the obvious

The taxi driver that took me from the Bali airport to my hotel in Nusa Dua, the secure "green zone" where the climate negotiations are taking place, didn't speak much English. Just well enough to say, haltingly, that he was "too stupid" to have a better job, he didn't drink, and he was very depressed because he was lonely, but too poor to get married. Oh, and that the Westin, where I was not staying, was the "best" place. Very "luxury." Very "Western." Now, about a week later, I've been in lots more cabs. I can report that Third World beach resorts are very strange places. And that the negotiations are running in their usual courses: bitterness, bad faith, recriminations, pulling teeth, and rising tension. The Bush people, despite promises to play a constructive role, are making destructive interventions in a number of working groups. But the Bush people aren't what they used to be. And -- hope against hope -- the developing world is rising to the occasion.

U.S. blocking agreement on emissions goal at Bali conference

Defying all predictions, the United States delegation at the United Nations climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, appears to have successfully blocked agreement on specific emissions-reduction targets so far. Europe and many developing nations have called for cuts of 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020 to avoid the effects of catastrophic warming, but in the face of U.S. opposition to anything meaningful, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that setting specific targets now “may be too ambitious.” The lead U.S. negotiator implied that targets, if they were allowed, might lead to — gasp! — actual cuts. “The reality in this …

U.S. and allies are, as expected, stick-in-the-muds at Bali conference

Bali update: The latest draft of negotiations is said to still contain text saying that developed nations should cut emissions by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The U.S., Japan, Canada, and Australia are against said provision, non-binding as it is; it will likely be removed by the end of the week, as final guidelines must be unanimous. The European Union has been pushing a goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Fahrenheit, but is highly unlikely to get that into a final document. United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Bali to preside …

Offshore wind

This exciting story about offshore wind in Britain reminds me that I meant to link a while back to a fascinating post on offshore wind by Jerome Giullet, who works in the industry. At the bottom are links to a bunch of other posts he’s done on wind. As he says, "Wind is free, clean, indigenous, and available today." Go educate yourself.

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