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Tony, We Hardly Knew Ye

British Prime Minister Tony Blair to resign, climate legacy mixed British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced his resignation today in a short speech whose message amounted to, "Sorry about blindly following Bush. Forgive me?" Blair leaves in late June after 10 years at 10 Downing Street, with Finance Minister Gordon Brown expected to replace him. While much of the insta-chatter over Blair's legacy is focused on Iraq and Ireland, climate change is in the mix. "Tony Blair has made a significant positive contribution to the global debate on climate change, but this has been undermined by his failure to tackle …

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More on climate and national security

The hits keep on comin’

Senate Foreign Relations Testimony on the grave threat to our nation's security posed by global warming: Admiral Joseph W. Prueher (PDF), USN (Ret.), Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command and Former Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China; General Charles F. Wald (PDF), USAF (Ret.), Former Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command; and Vice Admiral Richard H. Truly (PDF), USN (Ret.), Former NASA Administrator, Shuttle Astronaut and the First Commander of the Naval Space Command. Memo to conservative global warming deniers: Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) asserts in his opening statement (PDF),"To adequately prepare our security and diplomatic forces for future threats, we …

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My continuing quest for total domination of obscure niche media

I forgot to mention that I was on EarthBeat radio the other day, which according to John Passacantando "does for environmental coverage on the airwaves what Grist Magazine does for the environment in the cyber world." And I think he means that's a good thing! Anyway, you can go here to download the show. I start jibber-jabbering about global warming and risk perception around minute 38.

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Conservatives don't know Jack

They don’t get that climate is a security issue

"The Democrats' Global War on Weather" and "Jack Bauer, Climatologist???" are the headlines conservatives are using to mock efforts by progressives to finance a National Intelligence Estimate to study global warming. But climate is clearly a national security threat, as made clear in a recent CNA report from a distinguished group of former military leaders (PDF). As but one example, a "ferocious drought and famine" were the driving forces behind the crisis in Darfur, which is "likely to be seen as the first climate change war," as the Guardian put it. Contrary to the mocking press release, the "war on …

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Summary of the IPCC Summary for Policymakers, part II

Summarizin’ summaries, summarily

Here is the second half of my summary of the IPCC summary (PDF): Energy Efficiency: It is often more cost-effective to invest in end-use energy efficiency improvement than in increasing energy supply to satisfy demand for energy services. Efficiency improvement has a positive effect on energy security, local and regional air pollution abatement, and employment. (In buildings): Energy efficiency options for new and existing buildings could considerably reduce CO2 emissions with net economic benefit. Many barriers exist against tapping this potential, but there are also large co-benefits (high agreement, much evidence). By 2030, about 30 percent of the projected GHG …

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Is the science of climate change settled?

No, but we still know enough to start taking action

A few weeks ago, I was perusing Grist when I ran across an ad for A Convenient Fiction, a slideshow rebuttal of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. The author was none other than Steve Hayward, who you might remember from the AEI-$10,000-payola scandal. I had actually seen this slideshow discussed in the New York Times, and was interested to see it. In my previous communications with Hayward, he was at great pains to describe himself as someone who believed the science as described by the IPCC. I wanted to see if the slideshow bore that out. Both Hayward's slideshow and …

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Maybe you <em>can</em> go broke underestimating the taste of the American public

Denialist special tanks in the ratings

Eric Boehlert on Glenn Beck: The bad news last week was that Glenn Beck, the right-wing radio talker and self-described "rodeo clown" who broadcasts nightly on CNN Headline News, hosted a world-is-flat special about the "myths" surrounding global warming. In it, Beck rounded up the usual band of discredited, oil industry-friendly "experts" who announced that the looming atmospheric crisis is overblown, and that far from being a consensus, serious scientists still disagree on the matter. The good news was that Beck's special, "Exposed: Climate of Fear," was a commercial flop, finishing dead last in total viewers among CNN, Headline News, …

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Measure Twice, Cut One of These Days

Coalition of 31 states creates greenhouse-gas emissions registry Flipping the feds the collective bird, 31 U.S. states have created a registry to track industrial greenhouse-gas emissions. The states -- joined by British Columbia, Manitoba, and a Native American nation in California -- represent some 70 percent of the U.S. population and all (er, both?) sides of the political spectrum. Starting in January, the registry will track emissions data that's verified by a third party; the system is similar to a federal one already in place, except for that whole "verified by a third party" thing. Supporters say that difference is …

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Rupert Murdoch launches effort to green News Corp.’s operations and programming

Today, the fast-growing cadre of corporate leaders pressing for climate action welcomes a new member: Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, the media empire that encompasses Fox News, 20th Century Fox, HarperCollins, MySpace.com, and dozens of newspapers in Australia, the U.K., the U.S., and beyond. Rupert Murdoch. Photo: Kelly Kline/WireImage.com At an event held this morning in midtown Manhattan and webcast to all News Corp. employees, Murdoch launched a company-wide plan to address climate change that includes not only a pledge to reduce the company's emissions (which has come to be expected at such biz-greening events) but also a vow …

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The Overton window keeps moving

Senate’s strongest climate bill now has more co-sponsors

Two bills floating around Congress now serve as the far side of the Overton window on climate policy. Both adopt the (relatively) stringent target of reducing CO2 emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. In the House, there's Rep. Waxman's Safe Climate Act, and in the Senate, there's Sen. Sanders' (formerly Sen. Jeffords') Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act. It is a mark of how far the debate has shifted that the latter actually seems to be moving into the realm of the possible. Sen. Boxer became a co-sponsor shortly after the election, and today, the bill picked up some …