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And it ain’t pretty

Read this and weep. When we have the Governor, the Lt. Governor, the Speaker of the House, and a senior member of the Texas legislature denying the truth of global warming, we are in bad trouble. I wrote and sent in this letter in response to the article: I was greatly disturbed by your article, "Leaders not sold on global warming." There is a tendency for politicians these days to simply reject science that presents them with uncomfortable choices. Climate change is a perfect example. Policies to deal with it are political anathema to most Republicans, so they simply reject …

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Only if you ignore fossil fuel emissions

(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: The United States absorbs more CO2 into its land than it emits into the air. The world should be grateful. Answer: As often the case, at the heart of this talking point is a grain of truth. But it does not serve the purpose for which it's been enlisted. According to the U.S. Department of Energy land-use changes in the U.S. between 1952 and 1992 have resulted in a net absorption of CO2. But this is only true of natural CO2 -- the natural flux of CO2 …

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More adventures in Utah

I first heard about Sundance's renegade biofuels enthusiasts via email. The folks from Freedom Fuels, a new documentary about biofuels, were in town for Sundance -- well, roaming town that is. They weren't actually in the festival, but they were there to screen their movie regardless, traveling around town in a biodiesel-powered school bus showing it to anyone who'd climb aboard and watch. "We would love to have ya come on by and say howdy," wrote Heidi, one of the film promoters. I love saying howdy, so I was game. But I kept getting waylaid. Watching movies, chasing the Everything's …

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Osama bin Warming

Climate change could lead to terrorism, security experts warn Irony alert: as President Bush dwells on terrorism while barely acknowledging climate change, it turns out that climate change may lead to terrorism. The consequences of global warming could aggravate the already-ridiculous divide between the haves and have-nots, put 30 million people at risk of famine and disease, and create eco-refugees with a propensity for radical action, said experts attending a climate-change and security conference in London. "Those who are short of food, those who are short of water, those who can't move to countries where it looks as if everything …

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Once subsidies and tariffs are removed, watch out

So, Bush wants massive new ethanol subsidies. He wants 35 billion gallons of "renewable and alternative fuels" -- the vast bulk of which will be corn ethanol -- online by 2017. Right now, there's basically no opposition to this push. It's got support from industry (mainly Big Corn and Big Auto), legislators from both parties, farmers, environmentalists, national security types, and the public at large. That's not going to last. It's clear that there's just not enough corn, or room to grow it, to get even to Bush's relatively modest target. As corn supplies are stressed, the price of corn …

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David James Duncan rows through a wheat field to save salmon — and we’ve got pictures

Photo: Frederic Ohlinger "The miracle meal after the Sermon on the Mount was both loaves and fishes," says author and storyteller David James Duncan. "Not one or the other. Both." It's a sentiment that helps to explain why Duncan and a variety of compatriots were photographed in 13 colorful dories, rowing and casting lines -- into a golden field of wheat. The image appears on a poster distributed by Save Our Wild Salmon, a collaboration of conservationists, fisherfolk, and others interested in the removal of four dams on the Lower Snake River in Washington state. Fisherfolk: Soon to be extinct …

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Warming people believe, humans at fault, not so much

The Pew Center has released new polling data on climate change. The report shows that while 77% of people believe the earth is warming, only 47% believe there is solid evidence that humans are responsible. Political scientists tend to discount the idea of "demand-driven science" -- the idea that, if we provide the general public with more research, their views on policy will change accordingly. While demand-driven science might be wrong in general, I think climate change is a area where it's true. If more people recognized the strong evidence that humans are likely the primary contributors to today's warming, …

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‘Climate change mitigation would lead to disaster’–Not really, but this may be lesser of two evils

(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: The kind of drastic actions required to mitigate global warming risk the destruction of the global economy and the deaths of potentially billions of people. Answer: Is this supposed to mean the theory of anthropogenic global warming must be wrong? You can not come to a rational decision about the reality of a danger by considering how hard it might be to avoid. First things first: understand that the problem is real and present. Once you acknowledge the necessity of addressing the problem, taking action suddenly become …

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An interview with producer/director Daniel B. Gold

Everything's Cool is a 100-minute film resulting from four and a half years of work, thousands of miles traveled, and hours and hours spent following some of the country's most ardent climate change activists. Co-producers/directors Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand finished the final cut of the film just the night before the special pre-screening event at the Sundance Film Festival, and sat down to watch it from credit sequence to credit sequence for the first time along with the audience -- and almost all the characters in the film, who were flown in for the screening. The characters, who …

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Plus, Only Teams With Animal Names Can Play

Super Bowl gets greener, offsets emissions for first time Until this year, we loved the Super Bowl for precisely three reasons: beer, commercials, and ass-slapping. But we're adding a fourth reason this year, as the NFL will be planting native trees and buying renewable-energy certificates to offset greenhouse-gas emissions from the game. Yes -- guilt-free beer farts! "Carbon mitigation: that to me is where the excitement, the challenge, and the opportunity are," says NFL Director of Environmental Programs Jack Groh, who might need to get out more. The Super Bowl has incorporated green elements for 14 years, but the upcoming …

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