Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate & Energy

Comments

CFLs and marital bliss ... not

Not tonight … your CFLs give me a headache

I have to say, this story has sure played out at my house, where my bride lovingly (I hope) refers to me, in moments of teasing (I hope), as "Mr. Conserver Man" for what she considers to be an excessive devotion to making the electric meter spin more slowly and for my habit of figuring out ways to avoid using the car. But the 100w incandescent in her bedside lamp says that I'm at least smart enough to know when to quit: Fluorescent Bulbs Are Known to Zap Domestic Tranquillity Energy-Savers a Turnoff for Wives NESKOWIN, Ore. -- Alex and …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

Ann Bancroft, pioneering polar explorer, answers questions

Ann Bancroft. What work do you do? I typically call myself an educator, explorer, and lecturer. I have been lucky in life to blend my passions for teaching and the outdoor world together. In 1986, I joined the Steger International Polar Expedition, a team of seven men and 49 male dogs. After reaching the North Pole as the first known woman to cross the ice, I was thrust into a new role and a new understanding of what I could do merging education and expeditions. In 1992 and 1993, I mounted an all-female expedition across Greenland from east to west, …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Leakage, spatial and temporal

Biofuel rating system may be premature

I received an email yesterday from Richard Plevin over at Berkeley: I can only conclude from your post on Grist that you didn't actually read our report. The implications that we are either unaware of the environmental issues surrounding biofuels, or that we dismiss them, are incorrect. Your post does a disservice to those reading it by suggesting this. I encourage you to read our report. Likewise, I could conclude that he didn't read my post since he missed the gist, which was that all biofuels agrofuels being produced today may be as bad or worse than fossil fuels overall, …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

One Fight In Bangkok

Scientists, others gather in Thailand to finalize third IPCC report In its third report of the year, due out Friday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will recommend climate solutions. (The first report confirmed the existence and science of our collective mess, and the second outlined its likely effects.) So what will save us? A draft released this weekend suggests nuclear power, genetically modified crops, and carbon burial as leading options. Uh, awesome? We feel so much better? "Simply replacing one set of technologies with another set of technologies won't work, especially when there are such big downsides with some …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

A refreshing change of pace: sensible policy

Imagine: charging polluters to encourage the others!

Sam Smith, publisher of the estimable e-letter The Progressive Review, is perhaps the ultimate pragmatic environmentalist, with a sharp eye for what works and a sharper ability to deflate the pompous and overly-self-loving. He is often the sole commenter picking up on policy proposals and practices that a less parochial media less obsessed with infotainment would be interested in -- such as the success of congestion charges in London's central district, implemented by Mayor "Red Ken" Livingstone (elected by IRV): The facts about London's congestion charging scheme are clear. It cut the amount of traffic entering central London by 20%. …

Comments

Do carbon offsets provide a false sense of security?

Dueling assumptions

Kudos to Andy Revkin for giving some exposure to (occasional contributor) Charles Komanoff of Carbon Tax Center fame. Komanoff articulates a common fear about carbon offsets: Charles Komanoff, an energy economist in New York, said the commercial market in climate neutrality could have even more harmful effects. It could, by suggesting there's an easy way out, blunt public support for what will really be needed in the long run, he said: a binding limit on emissions or a tax on the fuels that generate greenhouse gases. "There isn't a single American household above the poverty line that couldn't cut their …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Climate change in the Dem debate, video

A video compilation

The South Carolina debate among Democratic presidential candidates on Thursday didn't exactly light my fire, but there were some decent bits. LCV's Heat Is On program is rounding up all sorts of good YouTube clips relating to global warming, and they've got a cut together video of every mention of climate change in the debate:

Comments

Australia’s great drought

The Economist has a great article on Australia's crippling drought. If this is what global warming is likely to bring Australia, we should pay attention and hopefully learn something about how best to cope.

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Grid porn

The latest on smart grids, microgrids, and nerd grids

Three good bits from the smart grid front. First up, there's a new report out from the California Energy Commission called Distributed Generation and Cogeneration Policy Roadmap for California (PDF). Hot reading! The New Rules Project has a nice write-up on it. See also the NRP's section on barriers to distributed generation. Next up, five big companies have teamed up to create GridNet NOW, an alliance that "offers a comprehensive, cost effective suite of services helping utilities plan, develop, implement and manage a successful path to electric transmission and distribution grid modernization." The announcement was made at the hippest, happeningest …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

CO2 rise lags temperature rise, redux

One of the most persistent climate skeptic talking points has to do with how temperature rise seems to lag behind CO2 rise in the historical record, raising questions about the direction of causality. Maybe temperature rise causes CO2 rise rather than the other way around! Our own Mr. Beck addressed the point here, but today RealClimate takes yet another go at it. Of course, skeptic talking points are like zombies -- they never stay dead -- so I'm sure we'll revisit this again in a few months.

Read more: Climate & Energy