Climate & Energy

American filmmakers arrested in Niger Delta

Four Americans working on the documentary Sweet Crude, about the impact of the petroleum industry on the economy and environment of the Niger Delta, were …

Coal victory in West Virginia

Virginia’s State Corporation Commission today rejected American Electric Power’s request to build a massive ($2.23b) new dirty coal plant in West Virginia. Why, you ask? …

That weak-kneed presidential hopeful

McCain reveals cynicism, hypocrisy with call for summer gas-tax holiday, energy budget freeze

Any remaining glimmer of hope that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) might be the principled, non-cynical politician to transform our energy policy and avoid the dual calamities of peak oil and climate catastrophe died today. The Associated Press reported that: John McCain called Tuesday for the federal government to free people from paying gasoline taxes this summer ... aimed at stemming the public's pain now from the troubled economy. ... To help people weather the downturn immediately, McCain urged Congress to institute a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. ... Among other proposals, McCain said he would ... Suspend for one year all increases in discretionary spending for agencies other than those that cover the military and veterans ... Sad. In fact, doubly sad.

Skeptic stage dad to impressionable teen daughter: ‘MOTIVATION!’

This is the saddest, creepiest story I’ve seen in a long while.

The best technology to protect the earth

Concentrated solar thermal power: a core climate solution

Other than energy efficiency (see here), I don't believe any set of technologies will be more important to the climate fight than concentrated solar power (CSP). I have a long article on CSP in Salon: "The technology that will save humanity: The solar energy you haven't heard of is the one best suited to generate clean electricity for generations to come." OK, maybe "will" should be "may help" (I'm an optimist, sue me!) and readers have heard about CSP for a while. But I do think CSP deserves much more attention: It is the best source of clean energy to replace coal and sustain economic development. I bet that it will deliver more power every year this century than coal with carbon capture and storage -- for much less money and with far less environmental damage ... How much less? Many industry experts told me CSP will likely deliver power for well under $0.10 per kilowatt hour fully installed in the next decade. What is its market potential? I think it could be more than two wedges, which is several thouand gigawatts:

Gore’s Law

Modelled after Godwin’s Law, here is Gore’s Law: As an online climate change debate grows longer, the probability that denier arguments will descend into attacks …

An additional note on additionality

Carbon projects ‘under attack’ as U.N. clamps down

This is timely. The Wall Street Journal ran a page 1 story on Sunday on the travails of the major developers of carbon reduction projects in the developing world, as standards for additionality and carbon accounting grow more stringent. Such projects are certified under guidelines established by the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. As the U.N. has tightened its oversight with each succeeding version of the CDM, early entrants have found themselves squeezed, forced to write down large quantities of carbon credits: In mid-2006, there was an early hint that regulators were toughening their stance. The issue: manure. Decomposing manure at farms emits methane, a greenhouse gas. The projects involve placing a tarp over the manure to capture and dispose of the rising gas ... But in 2006 the U.N. tightened its rules, requiring animal farms to measure the amount of methane they were capturing rather than simply estimating the number based on a formula -- and use the lower number. That move slashed by more than one-third the number of credits a typical animal-waste project would produce for sale.

Bush to give speech on climate change strategy

Just over the wires from AP: President Bush is giving a Rose Garden speech on Wednesday on climate change to lay out the way he …

FOE to McCain: stop pushing for pork for corporate polluters

Friends of the Earth has started a new campaign against John McCain, asking him to “stop pushing pork for corporate polluters” — i.e., to stop …