Climate & Energy

Energy woes

Roll Call on the energy bill

Roll call is still going on, and the thing has gone way over the top. For whatever reason, when Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was called, and voted no, it rang in my ear. So I went and checked, and sure enough, she's switched her vote. Not sure what animated her. The Michigan thing? Not being able to say she supported a CAFE bill because of its renewable energy requirements? Others may have switched. I'll post the full roll call when it's up.

Energy woes

Domenici supports watered down energy bill

Ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources committee Pete Domenici (R-NM) just stated strong support for the bill, after voting to kill the much better version. Domenici is as responsible as any single person for blocking the renewable energy provisions in the version of the bill sent up from the House. He deserves maximum raspberries today.

Energy woes

Boxer’s supporting the scaled-back energy bill; it will likely pass

She's the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. She carries a lot of weight and many will no doubt follow her lead. This thing is going to pass. James Inhofe just said he thinks it'll probably get about 80 votes. Perhaps the only interesting remaining question is whether anybody (Sanders?) will oppose this thing out of protest.

Energy woes

What the Republicans are saying about the energy bill

The floor debate over the (second) Senate vote on the energy bill has begun. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), the first to stand up and speak, now says she will support the bill. She voted no last time, so assuming no Republicans switch from "yeah" to "nay" (and that no Democrats switch from "yeah" to "nay"), this thing will go through.

Sights and sounds from an Arctic research vessel

In late November, I began a three-week stay on the CCGS Amundsen, a Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaker and scientific research vessel that is spending 15 months in the Arctic. This expedition will be the first …

Time to shut down the IPCC?

It is doubtful that future IPCC reports will make a difference in climate policy

I have a long column at Salon.com, "Desperate times, desperate scientists," which discusses how dire the climate situation is and how desperate climate scientists have become in the face of global inaction. In general, I am a fan of what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has done -- and they certainly deserve the Nobel Prize they shared with Al Gore. That said, at the end of the Salon piece I argue for disbanding it: In fact, I think that with the release of the recent synthesis report, the IPCC has reached the end of its usefulness. Anyone who isn't persuaded by that document and the general desperation of international climate scientists is unlikely to be moved by yet another such assessment and more begging. In particular, skeptical Americans are unlikely to be convinced by another international report that focuses on international climate impacts. We could use a new definitive analysis by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences on climate science, U.S. impacts, and solutions. That analysis should also do something the IPCC doesn't -- namely, look at plausible worst-case scenarios, given that such scenarios typically form the basis for most of our security and health policies. It would be harder for Americans to ignore an Academy study than the IPCC reports. An Academy study would also be more likely to get thorough attention from the U.S. media and possibly even from conservatives ... I just don't think that continuing the IPCC process will have any meaningful impact on American climate policy. And much of the rest of the industrialized world is ready to make the necessary commitments now.

Free campaign advice

How the Dem candidates should answer the question on energy independence

I’m not watching the Dem debate in Iowa right now, so I pass the mic to former Gristie Kate Sheppard, who reports on candidate answers to a question about energy independence, which was framed, as …

You first! No, you first!

China and the U.S. are both obliged to act on climate change, quick-like

Apparently, based on some recent threads on this site, there’s some dispute about the role China plays in the Great International Climate Change Debate. I’m absolutely snowed under right now, but I want to make …

Roadblock at Bali Climate Conference? Not U.S.!

The U.S. sits on the sidelines rather than leading the charge in a war on climate change

Americans have a history of joining together in times of crisis. But the terminology of war is the most familiar rallying cry. So it's understandable that when he's talking about global warming, John Edwards often implores Americans to be "patriotic about something other than war." And when Al Gore accepted his Nobel Prize this week, he said, "We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war." So, where is America the strong, free, brave, visionary? Where is America, defender of the world's climate? The U.S. is not leading the charge at this week's U.N. climate conference in Bali. American delegates have insisted they would not be a "roadblock" to a new international agreement aimed at reducing greenhouse gases. Not be a roadblock? Was it irony or simply poor word choice?

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