Climate & Energy

Apparel companies hire climatologists to predict consumer trends

In the good old days, the only constant that the fickle fashion industry could rely on was the changing of the seasons — now, it can’t even rely on that anymore. A run of unseasonably warm winters has led some apparel companies to hire staff climatologists who help predict when consumers will be in the market for cold-weather clothes. Because, darling, buying a winter-anticipating coat in August is so five years ago.

Response to Jeremy Carl, part four

Even in the short term, R&E is a better choice than clean coal for developing nations

OK, if you’re just joining us in this apparently interminable series, here’s where we’ve been: Jeremy said the power players in China and India (C&I) "care about money, not climate." But if that’s true, they’re not going to go for clean coal either — it’s more expensive. Happily, I think it’s not going to be true for long. Developing countries are going to work to reduce their emissions; they have to. There are indeed compelling reasons to think that C&I will opt for clean coal over R&E. Immense social and economic power has gathered around coal; it would take extraordinary …

Australia ratifies Kyoto Protocol

On his very first official day in office today, new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ratified the Kyoto Protocol, committing his country to deep emissions cuts and putting ever more peer pressure on the United States — the only industrialized nation still holding out on Kyoto ratification. Full official ratification for Australia is still 90 days away since the U.N. has to do its bureaucratic waiting thing, but Australia has done its part to commit to emissions reductions under the treaty. “Australia’s official declaration today that we will become a member of the Kyoto Protocol is a significant step forward …

Celebrate good times, come on! No, seriously.

Greens need to learn how to celebrate their friends and their movement

I’ve run into a lot of sentiment along the lines of this comment thread — harumphing about how weak and insufficient the impending energy bill is — and it seems crazy and wrongheaded to me. I urge you to check out this post by Josh Dorner on the post-2000 history of energy bill negotiations. Remember what it’s been like. Since I started at Grist, I’ve been writing about a Republican president and Congress trying over and over again to pass energy legislation focused on drilling, mining, and doling out subsidies. Their greed and overreach were such that they bungled it …

Notable quotable

“We’re probably further ahead in actually doing something about greenhouse gases than most other countries.” – John Marburger III, chief science adviser to President Bush

Gristmill community chastised!

The global nature of global warming

This is my formal rebuttal to Brooke Coleman (director of the Renewable Energy Action Project), specifically to comments found in Tom Philpott's latest corn ethanol article. I'm using my access to the bully pulpit to pull it out of comments, like I did the last time a corn ethanol enthusiast joined the discussion. Welcome to the best environmental blog on the planet, Brooke. You don't seem to have a very high opinion of this community, but maybe you'll warm up to us. I don't speak for the whole community of course, I'm just one of the many who come here to learn and engage in reasoned debate. You seem to think that anything is better than oil. But believe it or not, in the real world, we sometimes have to pick between the lesser of two evils, at least until something better comes along. Plowing under the world's remaining grasslands and forests to grow industrial agrofuels dwarfs the damage done by oil spills. What happens when you take grain off the world food market and stuff it into American gas tanks? I'll tell you. Someone somewhere on this planet takes advantage of the high prices to plant more of it to fill the hole in the human food chain. Where is the arable land they need to do that? It is under an existing carbon sink or has another crop on it already. The second leading cause of global warming is deforestation. How hard is that concept to understand? Global warming is global. What we do here screws everybody.

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