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Department of unresolved contradictions

I'm going to put up a longer post about this in a second, but for now, I merely note the following two statements from Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback's energy speech. One: ... we need to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. This is possible using our ingenuity, resources and determination. Two: Coal needs to be at the center of our energy policy for the foreseeable future.

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Another attempt to push nukes

Using high gas prices to push for a rebirth

In today's New York Times, President Gerald Ford's energy adviser, in an article entitled "How to Win the Energy War," tries to use higher gas prices and oil dependence as an excuse to build more nuclear reactors: The other major way to wean us from oil is to resume construction of nuclear power plants. Nuclear energy is the cleanest and best option for America's electric power supply, yet it has been stalled by decades of unproductive debate. Our current commercial nuclear power plants have an outstanding record of safety and security, and new designs will only raise performance. How can …

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NYC's yellow cabs go green

Big Applers breathe easy

Starting in 2008, every new yellow taxi purchased by the city of New York will be a hybrid vehicle, according to an announcement yesterday by Mayor Bloomberg. By 2012, the entire fleet -- some 13,000 cabs -- will have been replaced with a mixture of Toyota Priuses, Highlander Hybrids, Lexus RX 400h's, and Ford Escapes. Thirteen thousand may sound like a drop in the ocean, given that 232 million cars are currently registered in the U.S. alone. Still, cabs are a great target for greening, both because of their high public profile and because of their disproportionately large carbon expenditure. …

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Industrial Revelation

Carbon emissions increasing faster than expected, says new study Remember climate change? It's still happening -- and faster than expected. From 2000 to 2004, global carbon dioxide emissions leapt from an average 1.1 percent annual growth rate to more than 3 percent annual growth, according to a new report published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That means the globe's inhabitants spewed nearly 8 billion tons of carbon in 2005, up from 6 billion tons in 1995. "We're burning more carbon per dollar of wealth created," says lead author Mike Raupach, blaming the trend on intensive industrialization in …

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Post of the day: Crichton's fictions

More debunkery of everyone’s favorite fiction writer

While Planet Gore now has the market cornered on entertaining global warming disinformation, Michael Crichton perfected it. For those last two or three people who still think the technothriller writer has his facts straight, check out reasic's terrific post on Crichton's inane 2003 talk, "Aliens Cause Global Warming." Yes, Crichton, a real medical doctor, actually said: Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we're asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds? Wow! Not knowing the difference between weather and …

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The growth rate of carbon emissions has tripled

That ain’t good

A stunning new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that the growth rate of CO2 emissions has tripled in recent years: CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel burning and industrial processes have been accelerating at a global scale, with their growth rate increasing from 1.1 percent/year for 1990-1999 to >3 percent/year for 2000-2004. The emissions growth rate since 2000 was greater than for the most fossil-fuel intensive of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emissions scenarios developed in the late 1990s. That's right. CO2 emissions are rising faster than in the most pessimistic U.N. scenario. So …

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Peak oil and climate change

New Hansen paper

Today the Oil Drum linked to a James Hansen released paper analyzing the impact of peak oil, peak gas, and peak coal on the likely emissions of carbon. Hansen notes that most of our emissions scenarios have thus far failed to account for whether the carbon will even be there to burn. Plenty of graphy goodness, but what I took away was this: There's just enough oil and gas left in the ground to take us up to, or maybe a bit over, the 450 parts per million of CO2 that climatologists worry about so much. This makes it imperative …

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Looking for a new GW metaphor: Canaries exhausted

No more canaries in coal mines, please

While on a book tour recently, Bill McKibben made an interesting point in an appearance in Santa Barbara. McKibben -- a former New Yorker writer who wrote his first book on climate change back in 1989 -- told the crowd that to expect the Sierra Club and traditional conservationists to take on global warming with "the grammar of wildness" that John Muir drew from his life in the Yosemite Valley back in the 1860s was impractical and unfair. He suggested that "we're all looking for the next metaphor" for global warming. Yesterday Southwestern reporter John Fleck posted a good example …

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Response from Environmental Defense: Top-down or bottom-up, the goal is cutting carbon

Getting something done is the priority

The following is a guest essay from Tony Kreindler of Environmental Defense, in response to Charles Komanoff's post from earlier today, "Strange bedfellows in climate politics." ----- Charles Komanoff's post is entertaining, but a lot of what he says is wrong. His main proposition is that unlike "devilishly complex" cap-and-trade, a carbon tax is straightforward approach that will resist gaming by special interests. That raises a few questions: is there anything straightforward about the U.S. tax code? Has anyone ever gamed that system? Are there "no legal and financial functionaries" swarming around taxpayers? Those questions aside, the fact is that …

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New energy rules could unleash an economic boom and help quash climate change

In 1997, as the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change was being negotiated, the U.S. Senate voted, 95-0, to reject any agreement that "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States." The senators were acting on the widespread fear that the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy would hurt American businesses and cost millions of jobs. Those were the beliefs and the politics of the times. A blueprint for the future. Photo: iStockphoto But times change. Ten years later, it's increasingly clear that it will be more costly not to act on global warming than to …

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