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Not On My Botch — Uh, Watch

Katrina refugees say FEMA trailers making them sick As states in the Southeastern U.S. brace for this year's hurricane season, new Federal Emergency Management Agency head David Paulison has a promise: "You won't see what happened with Katrina happen again in this country.'' Paulison assured a crowd of emergency responders in Florida that the "new FEMA" is on its toes. Which is good news, because the old FEMA is still housing 86,000 families in temporary trailers throughout the gulf region. And those trailers, say residents and observers, are giving off toxic fumes that are making people sick. According to the …

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Now There’s Room for a Live Earth Concert

Scientists find snowmelt, new species in Antarctica It's been a bad news-good news kind of week for Antarctica. Scientists from NASA and the University of Colorado revealed that a California-sized expanse of snow melted there during a warm spell in 2005, farther inland and at higher elevations than expected. The team was cautious about drawing climate-y conclusions, but said the find was a big deal because melted snow can act as a lubricant, helping nearby ice slide into the sea. "Increases in snowmelt, such as this ... definitely could have an impact on larger scale melting of Antarctica's ice sheets …

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In Eighteen Hundred Seventy-Two, Ulysses Made the Greenies Blue

Legislation introduced to overhaul ancient mining law In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a mining-regulation law -- and while resource extraction has changed significantly since then, the rules haven't. Now Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) is seeking to revamp what he calls "the Jurassic Park of all federal laws," introducing a proposal that would require land-reclamation plans, make some public lands off-limits to mining, and impose an 8 percent royalty on minerals. The revenue from the tax -- similar to what oil, natural gas, and coal companies already pay -- would go to clean up highly toxic abandoned mines in …

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Live Earth: 7+ concerts on 7ish continents on 7/7/07

And if I could work another 7 in there, I would

The Live Earth website has been updated with a fancy (and much improved) new design that features a different "Climate Crisis Solution" every time you refresh the page (not that I've refreshed it multiple times in an effort to see every single tip ...). And lately, news tidbits about the concerts are popping up fast and furious as well. On the furiouser side, Live Aid and Live 8 organizer Bob Geldof has said Live Earth is a waste of time. Meanwhile, another group with a very familiar-looking web design is arguing the concerts are a waste of energy and suggesting …

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Flying wind generators: maybe more than just another techno toy

Neat

World wide wind potential (using only conventional wind technology) exceeds our current energy needs by many times. However, that is merely the potential of wind near the ground, at 80 to 100 meters. Most wind energy is in the jet stream, miles over our heads. No one is going to build a tower that high to support a wind turbine; cost alone would prohibit that. But we can use flying energy generators -- turbines supported by kites or balloons or what amounts to stationary helicopters. The latter technology (stationary helicopters supporting wind turbines) has actually been demonstrated briefly, and has …

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An interview with Rupert Murdoch about News Corp.’s new climate strategy

Rupert Murdoch. When Rupert Murdoch, the cantankerous and conservative owner of Fox News, enthusiastically joins the fight against climate change, you know we're past the tipping point on the issue. Think landslide. Last week, the media mogul pledged not only to make his News Corp. empire carbon neutral, but to persuade the hundreds of millions of people who watch his TV channels and read his newspapers to join the cause. Messages about climate change will be woven throughout News Corp.'s entertainment content, he said, from movies to books to TV sitcoms, and the issue will have an increasing presence in …

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How to profit from the end of the world

MarketWatch is running a ginormous series of articles under the rubric, "an investor guide to global warming." It's about the market opportunities opened up by climate change and the companies that are moving in to take advantage. Lots of good stuff to peruse.

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Solar's inevitable dominance

Don’t fight it

Energy wonk Robert McLeod has long post filled with statistics and graphs, arguing a simple point: if historical trends continue, solar power is going to dominate. Soon. (You'll recognize this as substantially similar to the argument made by solar booster Travis Bradford.) If you're into statistics and graphs, read the whole thing. If not, here are some good excerpts: Photovoltaic cells are not like any other method humanity uses to collect and use energy. Existing techniques extract energy either from mechanical motion (wind, hydroelectric, tidal) or heat differentials (fossil fuels, nuclear, solar-thermal). Whereas all these systems produce useful work by …

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Dig deeper

CNBC dreams of abiotic oil: (via Hugg)

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A drumbeat worth paying attention to

Eyes wide shut toward global collapse?

Ecological Footprint, Energy Consumption, and the Looming Collapse: This article explores dynamic relations governing population growth, resource depletion, and world economics by means of a few simple modeling and simulation exercises. To this end, we start out by exploring the concept of an ecological footprint, representing the amount of land that a person needs to produce everything that he or she consumes: food, clothing, energy, shelter, the tools that are needed to make the clothing, etc. and place it in relation with the human development index, a measure of the quality of life of an individual. We then relate the …

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