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Why Broad’s NYT piece isn’t all that important

[ed. note from David Roberts: It appears everyone in the climate world was writing about this piece at once! My response is here; RealClimate's is here; Tim Lambert's is here. Now take it away, Andrew.] William J. Broad writes today on the complicated relationship between Al Gore and the scientific community in the New York Times. Here's the thesis of the article: But part of his scientific audience is uneasy. In talks, articles and blog entries that have appeared since his film and accompanying book came out last year, these scientists argue that some of Mr. Gore's central points are …

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The gray lady gets it woefully, laughably wrong

Yesterday, Drudge breathlessly reported a coming "hit on Gore" from The New York Times. Today that hit has come, in the form of a state-of-the-art piece of slime from Bill Broad. This may be the worst, sloppiest, most dishonest piece of reporting I've ever seen in the NYT. It's got all the hallmarks of a vintage Gore hit piece: half-truths, outright falsehoods, unsubstantiated quotes, and a heaping dose of innuendo. As usual with these things, unless you've been following the debate carefully, you'll be left with a false impression -- in this case, that scientists are divided over the accuracy …

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He Believes in Miracles

Former Jamaican bobsled team founder seeks energy independence as mayor It's a career crisis we've all faced at some point: what comes after you've created the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team? For George Fitch, now the mayor of Warrenton, Va., the answer stinks. Fitch wants to make the 8,000-person town energy independent by 2010 by building a $30 million biomass plant at the local dump. Are you in love like we're in love? "You don't have to be a big fan of Al Gore to realize that this is critical to our community and our national security," says the Republican mayor, …

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Get Me Rewrite!

Part two of intergovernmental climate report no sunnier than part one No Monday would be complete without a dash of grim global-warming news, so here goes. Part deux of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is due out in April, and according to a draft, things are looking quite the opposite of good. The report, the second of four scheduled to be issued by IPCC this year, focuses on the effects of climate change. Among other bleak things, it says effects are already being felt -- as opposed to the 2001 report, which said chaos was still on its …

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What’s a Couple of Coal Plants Among Friends?

TXU buyers announce plans for two coal-gasification plants The private firms that proposed a $45 billion buyout of Texas coal giant TXU continue to make some hearts go pitter-pat. After announcing that TXU would scuttle plans for all but three new coal-fired power plants, the firms added Friday that they would look into building two coal gasification plants -- facilities that use a chemical process to gasify coal and can then capture and store carbon dioxide. Ooh, "clean coal"! Progressive thinking! Right? Well, those keeping score at home might notice that the news turns three coal plants into ... five. …

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Biofuels on Science Friday

For those who don't listen to Science Friday, shame on you. It's one of the best science shows around. This week, they had an interesting segment on biofuels. Listen to it in mp3 format, Real Player, or Windows media.

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Coal-bashing is hot new trend in Congress, science circles, and business world

Is King Coal about to be deposed? Climate scientists, key members of Congress, enviros, and the progressive wing of the business world are plotting a coup d'état. Regime change isn't likely to come soon, but this resistance movement could significantly alter the way the pollution-spewing sovereign wields its power. James Hansen. Photo: Arnold Adle/NASA The ringleader of this uprising is James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world's top climate scientists. Last week he threw down the gauntlet: "There should be a moratorium on building any more coal-fired power plants," Hansen told the …

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The last to react

We all know and love the "canary in a coal mine" analogy, where the canary is a first warning sign of some potential catastrophe. The Arctic is a good example of a canary for climate change, since we expect (and indeed see) the effects of climate change there first. Then there's the anti-canary. Rather than being the first to react, the anti-canary is the last. When the anti-canary moves on an issue, you know that everyone else has already moved. In the climate change debate, Texas is the anti-canary. With the Governor, Lt. Governor, and other senior legislators arguing that …

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2020 Vision

E.U. adopts ambitious renewable-energy goal It's a banner day for the European Union: wrapping up a two-day summit, its 27 member states have agreed on an ambitious green-energy goal. The plan -- to use 20 percent renewable energy by 2020 -- will "establish us as a world pioneer," says German Chancellor and summit chair Angela Merkel, who brokered the deal. Two major concessions made cranky countries happy: the 20 percent will be an E.U. average, allowing national goals to vary (and providing poorer countries with a wee loophole); and the deal gives a nod to the potential benefits of nuclear, …

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