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Green polls reveal lazy bastards

Joel Makower has a fascinating roundup of recent green poll results. He concludes: So, what do we know that we didn't know pre-Earth Day? Not much. It's business as usual: Americans want clean, affordable, and care-free solutions to climate change and every other environmental challenge. But don't ask most of them to change their habits, spend more, or go very far out of their way. But for companies, it's a different story. They're the ones we're looking to for solutions -- for example, to create products, processes, and policies that solve global warming. That is, if global warming turns out …

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Plans to boost energy efficiency start getting traction in Congress

What's not to love about energy efficiency? It's the paradigmatic win-win scenario -- save money, protect the climate and broader environment, and reduce reliance on unsavory sources of energy, all in one fell swoop. As efficiency guru Amory Lovins puts it [PDF], "Using energy more efficiently offers an economic bonanza -- not because of the benefits of stopping global warming, but because saving fossil fuel is a lot cheaper than buying it." But until recently, energy efficiency has had about as much sex appeal as, well, Amory Lovins. While Congress has tacked a smattering of appliance efficiency standards onto omnibus …

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A functional, global response: Strategy

Environmentalists need to fundamentally change their climate change strategy

Pro-fossil fuel forces are pursuing an effective strategy that engages the attention of climate action advocates and obscures the vigorous expansion of fossil fuel supply now underway. How is it possible for the world's best informed governmental and private sector leaders to proceed with this course of action when the consequences are known? An answer, of sorts, is visible in the business plans and statements of fossil fuel sector leaders. In their view, the effort to reduce fossil fuel use is a fool's errand. It is therefore both profitable and the best climate change strategy to ramp up oil gas …

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Barack Tease

Obama pledges to save the civilized world with baby steps "This is our generation's moment to save future generations from global catastrophe," declared Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in a speech on Friday. He heralded a "grassroots effort to make America greener and end the tyranny of oil." And just as greens were up on their collective tippie-toes, primed for a collective Obamagasm, he ... proposed a small boost in U.S. vehicle fuel-efficiency standards. Oh. Obama's "National Low Carbon Fuel Standard," which would federalize vehicle emissions standards put forward by California and since adopted by eight other states, would lower …

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Vote Surly, Vote Often

Aluminum smelting defining Iceland elections You no doubt know that Iceland's elections are coming up on May 12. But here's something you may not know: the country's aluminum-smelting boom has become a key issue in the race. With three smelters up and running and three more planned, fans and foes alike are fired up. A new party, the Iceland Movement, has a platform with exactly one issue -- a five-year moratorium on big industrial projects while the effects of the current boom are studied -- and the Left Green Party also opposes the smelters. The author of an anti-smelter book …

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CitizenRE Spam

This company a renewable energy godsend or pyramid scheme?

Even after reading about how CitizenRE is possibly a shady racket, I was still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, until I got a hilarious and random email that sounded like it came from a Nigerian scammer: Dear Sir / Madam, Joe Citizen here, life member of NAFC Now is that the North American Fishing Club or the National Association For Continence you're with? The reason I am writing is in regards to your campaign request for fund raising. As a member I believe in your cause and the cause of many other groups, and Associations that …

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Another day, another carbon trading scandal

Gee whiz

The London Times covers a carbon trading scandal in in India. Like our own New York Times, they bury the lede: BRITISH companies are handing over millions of pounds to an Indian chemical plant so that western firms can continue to pump out thousands of tons of greenhouse gases. Indian company SRF, which produces refrigeration gases in Rajasthan, stands to make a profit of more than £300m. That is how carbon trading is supposed to work, right? Even if they are making as much or more from the carbon credits as from the manufacturing process. Only: While British companies use …

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“It is green thinks nature even in the dark”

It took [artist Mary Ellen] Carroll about three months to come up with that phrase [on behalf of the Precipice Alliance] and, she said, "It should be something you should think about."

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The wrong question

Is climate change the most important global problem?

Is climate change the most important global problem we face? This seems on its face a good question. Economists like Bjorn Lomborg take this reductionist recipe, spice it with an unshakable confidence in future growth, and conclude that climate should be low on our list of priorities. Lomborg's arguments follow from his assumptions. If his conclusions are wrong as they appear, perhaps the logic is wrong, or the data, or the underlying premises. All of these are good places for skeptical inquiry, and may be fruitful, but there is yet another place to look. I suggest that Lomborg asks the …

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