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Severe Whether Events

Climate action of all kinds takes Capitol Hill by storm It's only Wednesday, but it's already been a full week of rip-roarin' climate action on Capitol Hill. After a coalition of investors pleaded for emissions cuts on Monday, hundreds of activists gathered Tuesday for "Climate Crisis Action Day." The group heard from senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as well as Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who used his moment at the mic to introduce the Safe Climate Act, which calls for 80 percent cuts from 1990 emissions levels by 2050. Meanwhile, the country's top utility chiefs said at …

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Livebloggin’!

Well, here I am, against my better judgment, up at 6:30am, gulping down coffee, getting ready to watch Gore testify to the House. How did my life come to this point? Didn't I used to be cool? If you want to geek out along with me, you can follow along with the webcast here. Let the liveblogging dorkery begin! (Below the fold.) Man, Dingell is a cranky-looking dude. They're starting with Joe Barton?! And he's starting with a "parliamentary inquiry"? You will not make this boring, you bastard! Lordy, they're talking about who gets to sit where. Dingell: "Barton, STFU." …

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The inspirational story of Aimee C.

Blame It On Rio In June of 1972, some 35 years ago, a group of future-thinking leaders met in Sweden for the first United Nations Convention on the Human Environment. By the end of a whirlwind week, they had issued the Stockholm Statement, established what is now known as UNEP, and given birth to the modern field of international environmental law. Twenty years later, in June of 1992, just one month before he would be chosen as Clinton's running mate, Al Gore was scheduled to present as the head of the Congressional Delegation at the NGO "Global Forum" at the …

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You can help

If you live in Maryland and you care about solar energy, well, you are in luck. We've got an opportunity for you to make a difference. Today, a huge solar bill passed out of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Economic Committee in the Maryland legislature. It now faces a floor vote. You can help it become reality. HB 1016/SB 595 would amend the state's renewable portfolio standard to add a 1,800 MW solar program. That would put it in the top tier of solar states, and go a long way towards jumpstarting the solar industry. It's a game …

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The Gore wants half a million missives sent to Congress

Help Al Gore Send a Message to Congress tomorrow! (Not sure what this actually accomplishes, but hey, do it for Dreamy Al. He wants to reach 500,000.)

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Tough new climate targets are all the rage in the Britain and Europe

Peter Madden, chief executive of Forum for the Future, writes a monthly column for Gristmill on sustainability in the U.K. and Europe. Things are hotting-up over here on climate change. And I'm not talking about the fact that we're set to have the warmest year on record. The political temperature is rising, too. The European Union has agreed to a joint CO2 target for its 27 member countries and their 490 million citizens. The leaders committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020. But this is just a starter. The E.U. says that if other countries -- such …

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Mooney on Waxman hearing

Here's Chris Mooney's promised post on the "new revelations" from Waxman's hearing yesterday. From what I can tell, the big revelation is that NASA press hacks did, indeed, try to block Hansen from giving an interview to NPR. But we mostly knew that, right? And given how spectacularly failed the effort to silence Hansen was ... this one isn't moving my outrage meter much. There are just so many things competing for outrage these days, no?

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Report from India

Daphne Wysham, co-director of the Sustainable Energy & Economy Network sends the following from Angul, Orissa, the heart of India's Coal Belt, on March 15, 2007: The smell of burning coal in household fires hangs in the air. Bicyclists carry heavy bags of coal from the mines to sell for a few rupees. They are overtaken by huge lorries carrying more than the tonnage they are supposed to carry -- all part of the black market in coal -- down busy streets, with cattle lying nonchalantly on the road. We visited communities that were literally on the edge of the …

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New articles take a look

Interesting piece from Makower on some recent articles moving the climate conversation to more ... prosaic concerns. That is to say: who's gonna make out? The first is in the Harvard Business Review, and outlines these risks to businesses: ... regulatory risk (the impact of emissions caps or carbon taxes); supply chain risk (disruptions or price hikes in materials or energy, in many cases because of the huge distances such supplies are shipped); product and technology risk (companies' varying ability to identify ways to exploit new market opportunities for climate-friendly products and services); litigation risk (the threat of lawsuits for …

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Or a new way forward?

File this under possibly hopeful news: Researchers at Purdue are calling an approach that gasifies biomass to make liquid fuels a "hybrid hydrogen-carbon process," or H2CAR. Read the article for the straight scoop, but it's basically adding hydrogen to biomass from a "carbon-free" energy source (solar? wind? nukes?), via gasification. The process would be more efficient than current biofuel production because it'd suppress the formation of carbon dioxide and convert all of the carbon atoms to fuel. Is it just hot air? And if this process is powered by nukes, that's a whole new question.

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