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Al Gore to testify to both houses of Congress tomorrow

Political wonks everywhere feel the electricity!

In what may be the blockbuster hit of the political season, Al Gore is testifying to Congress tomorrow -- twice. Not only is his testimony expected to influence the direction of coming legislation, but it may also reveal something of his intentions on the presidential race. One way or another, there's sure to be drama. First, at 9:30am, he'll testify to [deep breath] a joint hearing of the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science and Technology. (A live webcast here.) Also testifying …

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House Republicans stack climate change committee with skeptics

Not that they’re trying to obstruct progress or anything

Here's a glimpse behind the scenes at how Republicans were chosen to serve on the new House global warming committee: House Republican Leader John Boehner would have appointed Rep. Wayne Gilchrest to the bipartisan Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming -- but only if the Maryland Republican would say humans are not causing climate change, Gilchrest said. "I said, 'John, I can't do that,'" Gilchrest, R-1st-Md., said in an interview. "He said, 'Come on. Do me a favor. I want to help you here.'" Gilchrest didn't make the committee. Neither did other Republican moderates or science-minded members, whose …

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Feedback frenzy

2006, the year global warming came into focus

Steve Connor from the U.K.'s The Independent summarized what we learned in 2006 with the article "Review of the year: Global warming," subheaded with, "Our worst fears are exceeded by reality." According to Connor, "2006 will be remembered by climatologists as the year in which the potential scale of global warming came into focus. And the problem can be summarised in one word: feedback." Connor has collected and examined research from the last year on positive and negative feedback cycles, and he lays some out in layman's language. Yet his reporting is not diluted at all. To the contrary, it's …

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An interview with Van Jones, advocate for social justice and shared green prosperity

Big business has finally realized that there's lots of money to be made in the transition to a clean-energy economy. Van Jones wants to make sure working-class and minority Americans realize it too. Van Jones. Jones, a civil-rights lawyer, is founder and executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an innovative nonprofit that made its name working to prevent youth violence and incarceration. In 2005, the center unveiled an initiative that would put it at the cutting edge of progressive activism: Reclaim the Future, a program aimed at ensuring that low-income and minority youth have access to …

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Paying It Forward

U.S. investors worth $4 trillion beg feds for climate action For a long time now, the Bush administration has said it can't possibly take action on climate change because it will harm the economy. Now the economy is all like, "Hurt me, baby, please." Yet another business-oriented coalition -- this one including investors who manage a combined $4 trillion -- is begging the U.S. to curb greenhouse-gas emissions and create a market-based emissions trading system. A letter aimed at Bush and signed by 65 parties -- including companies like Alcoa, BP America, and Sun Microsystems, as well as big-league money …

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Gag, You’re It

Congress revisits issue of feds messing with climate science You've seen this show before, but now it's bigger, longer, and uncut: a heated hearing in Congress has exposed dark truths about federal interference with climate science. Brandishing more than 180 examples of doubt-injecting edits made to three climate reports, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform grilled some of the key keep-it-quiet players. Grillees included oil-shill-turned-White-House-official-turned-oil-shill Philip Cooney and former Bush campaigner and NASA press officer George Deutsch, who resigned when his resume proved fake. Can you feel the trust and goodwill welling up? Top NASA scientist James Hansen …

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Somewhere, Stalin Is Chuckling

Siberian mine disaster kills more than 100, rescuers search for survivors The world may be addicted to oil, but it's coal that's doing us in. An explosion at a Siberian coal mine on Monday killed 106 workers, and rescuers were still searching for a handful of missing people today. While 93 lucky bastards escaped with their lives, the accident -- caused by a build-up of methane at a depth of nearly 890 feet -- is said to be Russia's worst mining disaster in a decade. So, must have been a creaky, outdated, unsafe facility, right? Nyet. The mine, about 2,000 …

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The IPCC: conservative?

A case can be made

Is the fourth assessment report from the IPCC a conservative document? David Biello makes the case.

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NYT on Waxman hearing

Here's an account of Waxman's hearing from NYT's Revkin (who got this whole story going last year) and Wald. I think it supports my basic contention that nothing big happened, just a lot of quibbling over whether or not Cooney should have been editing. (An updated version.)

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The latest debate on 'overselling' climate science

Tedious

Two meteorologists say that climate scientists are "overplaying" the climate threat (which they concede is real and urgent). Another scientist responds that, yeah, we shouldn't overplay the threat, but the threat is real and urgent. As so often with this immeasurably vapid debate, the slightest bit of scrutiny reveals that there is very little substantive difference in what the scientists in question believe. Two larger points: The disagreement is almost entirely over tone -- whether the appropriate number of caveats and hedges are attached, whether the adjectives are overly emotive, whether the precise degree of probability is made clear. But …

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