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Is nuclear power green?

CSM investigates

Mark Clayton at the Christian Science Monitor looks into it. This describes my position quite well: But for those energy experts who have done life-cycle analysis of nuclear power, the big concern is that policymakers may be misled into believing that just because nuclear CO2 emissions are low, the cost of nuclear as an option to address climate change would be a bargain. Better, they say, to take the huge amounts of money needed for nuclear plants and use it to build lower-cost solutions that will displace more coal. "It's easy to show that building more reactors makes climate change …

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Vive la Discorde

E.U. leaders gather for summit, squabble over renewable-energy target As European Union leaders gather for a two-day summit that starts tomorrow, one question is dominating the agenda: what exactly did the Olsen twins buy on their recent Paris shopping spree? Once that's answered, the heads of state will move on to more mundane topics like emissions cuts and renewable energy. While the summit is expected to result in an agreement to cut carbon emissions 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 -- and as much as 30 percent if other nations around the world agree to cuts -- there's strife …

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The civil war among evangelicals

Over global warming, of all things

As you're probably aware, the old guard of the conservative evangelical movement has lashed out against the new guard over the subject of global warming. James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Tony Perkins -- has America ever puked up a more loathsome triumvirate? -- are trying to pressure the National Association of Evangelicals to fire its vice president for governmental affairs Rev. Richard Cizik, who's done more than anyone else to raise the profile of global warming among evangelicals. To his credit, NAE president Rev. Leith Anderson told them to bug off. One of the most prominent figures in the new …

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A chat with Inconvenient Truth co-producer and Hollywood bigwig Lawrence Bender

Meet Lawrence Bender, the Hollywood producer who lent his big-screen savoir faire to the success of the Oscar-winning sensation An Inconvenient Truth. Lawrence Bender. It's not Bender's first brush with Oscar fame. He produced Academy Award best-picture nominees Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction, as well as Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, and other Quentin Tarantino blockbusters. But this was his first Oscar win -- and it couldn't have happened to a better project, he says, calling the film "possibly the apex of my career, bringing making a difference and making movies together into one." Bender is no political newbie, either. …

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Coal-fired ethanol plants

Oh, great

Look what the Twin Cities Pioneer Press discovered: The latest trend in the green world of ethanol is a surprising one: coal. Minnesota's first coal-fired ethanol plant soon will begin operation in Heron Lake, and it won't be the last. The high price of natural gas is enticing new plant owners to embrace coal power. But while it may make economic sense, the choice of this fossil fuel to make a renewable one has some people shaking their heads. Sound familiar?

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The Hill Is Alive With the Sound of Musing

Pelosi and Boxer aim to green Capitol Hill Tired of talking the energy-efficiency talk in an eco-unfriendly setting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) are aiming to green Capitol Hill. On Friday, Pelosi wrote a letter directing the House chief administrative officer to look into implementing "the most up-to-date industry and government standards for green building and green operating procedures" in da House. Preliminary recommendations are due by the end of April, and may include thoughts on parking-lot materials, public transportation, and recycling. Boxer has set up a pilot program encouraging energy-efficient lighting in Senate offices, …

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Has the theory of peak oil peaked?

Doom and gloom gets it wrong again

Sure looks that way from the available evidence. It's comforting that, yet again, the doom and gloom crowd gets it wrong. Now, onto dealing with carbon emissions ...

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Coal-to-liquid fuels: Not 'clean coal', not economically viable, and just not cool

Coal is still the enemy of the human race

When I talked to Rep. Jay Inslee, he specifically asked me to emphasize to readers the distinction between coal gasification (that is, producing electricity in IGCC coal plants) and coal-to-liquids (that is, producing liquid diesel fuel from coal via the Fischer-Tropsch process). The former might some day be environmentally tolerable, if accompanied by carbon sequestration. The latter will never be tolerable, because even if the CO2 created in manufacturing is sequestered, the fuel itself releases twice as much CO2 as gasoline when combusted. Inslee said that CTL proponents are deliberately trying to confuse legislators and the public by wedging CTL …

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Lisa Day of socially conscious film company Participant Productions answers questions

Lisa Day. What work do you do? I am the vice president of social action and advocacy at Participant Productions. What does your company do? Participant is a film company with a twist -- we only make "issue" movies, and for each movie we create social-action campaigns. Our films have included An Inconvenient Truth and Syriana, as well as Good Night, and Good Luck, Murderball, and Fast Food Nation. I get to work on the campaigns for each of our films. What are you working on at the moment? I'm still doing a lot of work on An Inconvenient Truth, …

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What Goes Up Must Keep Going Up

Draft of U.S. government report says greenhouse-gas emissions on the rise A leaked draft of a U.S. government report shows that officials expect greenhouse-gas emissions to keep climbing under President Bush's watch. The U.S. Climate Action Report -- which was due to the U.N. over a year ago and comes with its own ironicalicious acronym -- says emissions will be 11 percent higher in 2012 than they were in 2002. By 2020, it says, they'll be 19 percent higher than 2000 levels. Not such a good prospect for a nation that spews a quarter of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions. But …

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