Climate & Energy

Why Vinod Khosla is very wrong

A pragmatic view of cellulosic biofuels

So Vinod Khosla is not happy with with my recent attack on his (willful) ignorance, "Khosla blows his credibility dissing plug-ins." Gristmill has given the billionaire a platform to defend himself, but he just spouts even more nonsense in the bizarrely titled post, "Pragmatists v. environmentalists, part I": I have been accused of dissing hybrids. I was mostly discussing Prius-type parallel hybrids and all the support they get, when one can get the same carbon reduction by buying a cheaper, similar-sized and -featured car and buying $10 worth of carbon credits. I was objecting to greenwashing (powered by a large marketing machine) that suggests hybrids can solve our problems ... Corn ethanol, which has been heavily maligned in the mainstream media, reduces carbon emissions (on a per-mile-driven basis) by almost the same amount as today's typical hybrid ... The Prius is the corn ethanol of hybrid cars ... Seriously! This is like one of those newspaper puzzles: Can you spot all the errors?

NASA declares 2007 second-warmest year on record, NOAA says it’s fifth-warmest

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has declared 2007 the second-warmest year on record, tying with 1998 for the title. 2005 remains the hottest, according to the agency. Researchers said, to no one’s surprise, that …

Cellulosic ethanol: It might be a bust

Thus spake Chairman Peterson of the House Ag Committee

David already pointed to it, but it bears repeating: House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson, a tireless champion of ethanol and any other big-ag project he can get his mits on, has declared that cellulosic …

Myth me?

Alberta premier heads to D.C. to preach the virtues of tar sands

Kevin Grandia has the skinny on Alberta (it’s in Canada) Premier Ed Stelmach’s visit to D.C. to shill for tar sands and to fight "the myth that the environmental cost of the oilsands is too …

Another desperate addict

Bush asks Saudi king to open oil spigots

The president who said "America is addicted to oil" now begs the Saudis for another fix. Like some binge-drinking, pill-popping starlet -- is there any other kind? -- the president is prostrate before his top foreign "dealer," begging for more, even at the risk of public humiliation: The Saudi oil minister, however, waited only a short time before announcing that oil prices would remain tied to market forces -- a direct slap at Bush. Wow! When even your dealer won't sell you more, you have got a real problem. Just one hour later, though, "President Bush made a private visit to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to again ask him to open the spigots."

Norway aims to be carbon neutral by 2030

Norway has announced it aims to be carbon neutral by 2030, 20 years earlier than its previous goal set last spring. Up to two-thirds of the emissions cuts will be made in Norway itself (though …

Notable quotable

“Conservation is great, but conservation does not equal growth. To sit out there and say people need to buy less and less heating oil, okay. Buy natural gas furnace, or any number of things, but …

Can we tax for transit?

New transportation proposals to ease energy dependence

This is one of those weeks when it feels like things are changing fast. Here are two stories that caught my attention: A panel organized by Congress -- the melodically-named National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission -- just called for higher federal gas taxes. In fact, they recommend a 40-cent-per-gallon hike. It sounds like the tax would go mainly to repair and maintain current road infrastructure rather than road expansion. The panel also recommended a bevy of other fees, including tolling, congestion pricing, weight fees, and so on. And they recommended big investments in transit and other alternatives too. (Via Erica at Slog.) Meanwhile, British Columbia continues to lead. Not only is the province considering a carbon tax, but the provincial government just released a $14 billion transit plan. That's $14 billion just for transit. In fairness, however, not everyone in B.C. is thrilled by the proposal. As Andrew points out on the Livable Region blog, the transit projects may be delayed until after some major road-building work is completed.

Coal is the enemy of the human race: Edwards in the debate edition

Edwards puts the coal issue into the Dem debate

Below the fold, I’ve put the entire portion of the transcript from last night’s Dem debate that deals with climate and energy. It is to the candidates’ credit that they took a narrow, stupid question …

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