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Early warning system set up to detect global warming

This sounds cool: MOUNT ALBION - University of Colorado biologists began installing an alarm system atop this craggy summit Friday, near the Continental Divide west of Boulder. Like the alarm systems in your car or home, this one is designed to detect intruders. But in this case, the invaders are tundra plants moving up from lower elevations in response to global warming. The alarm system is a cluster of mountaintop vegetation plots that will be monitored periodically for decades to come. (Via Digg)

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Funny

(from SFGate via Groovy Green)

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Cool’s Out for Summer

2006 is already setting heat records January to June 2006 was the warmest first half of the year in the continental U.S. since record-keeping began in 1895, and the sixth-warmest in the world as a whole, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Alaska, far eastern Europe, and parts of Russia posted cooler-than-average temperatures, but the rest of the Northern Hemisphere was right toasty. The U.S. average temperature in the first half of 2006 was 51.8 degrees, 3.4 degrees above the 20th-century average. And heeere's summer: Excessive heat warnings have been issued in many cities across the country as temperatures …

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Ooh, That Fiddle Sounds Pretty

G8 leaders dither on energy issues The G8 industrial nations met in St. Petersburg this weekend, focusing on energy security. They agreed to ... nothing. Said the group statement: "We recognize that G8 members pursue different ways to achieve energy security and the goals of climate protection." You could say that. The U.S. and U.K. are strongly pro-nuclear power, and Germany is strongly anti, leading to this bizarre formulation: "We are committed to further reduce the risks associated with the safe use of nuclear energy." (Can't be too safe!) On climate change, the nations will pursue "our shared ... objectives …

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An interview with Jeff Goodell, author of Big Coal

In 2001, around the time Dick Cheney's secret-recipe energy plan made its debut, Jeff Goodell went to West Virginia to report on coal's rising fortunes. He'd been sent to do a story for The New York Times Magazine, but the material spilled over into a book, Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future, published this summer. It's a journey from the mines of Wyoming, across the plains by rail car, into the belly of the turbines in the east, and all the way to China, following the tale of the black rock that still, after all these years, …

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Mr. Gore goes to Hollywood

You know global warming's time has come when Al Gore and climate change are the cover story of Entertainment Weekly.

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Breaking: There are skeptics

A fine piece of reporting from Gannett News Service, tipping off its readers to the fact that there's a small group of skeptics who don't believe global warming is a threat. In case readers missed that info in every single other piece of vapid he-said she-said transcription that passes for journalism on this subject.

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Talking Points

Climate and energy have entered mainstream dialog. They're being discussed on op-ed pages and cable news, by ordinary people around the water cooler (do they still have those?), outside of environmental and policy-wonk circles. Hell, Rory's grandparents bought her a Prius on Gilmore Girls. Or so I hear. This is all to the good: these are extraordinarily important issues, and every concerned citizen should be at least minimally educated about them. Problem is, there are lots of folks out there with a vested interest in confusing people and derailing these discussions. They are armed with misleading factoids and bogus rhetorical …

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Beleaguered of Nations

Britain pledges to involve poor countries in fighting climate change Climate change ain't gonna be pretty for any of us, but it will have an especially devastating impact on Africa: more extreme weather patterns will cause food insecurity, income loss, higher death rates, and more diseases. Calling the impacts of climate change on poor nations "a global ethical challenge," British Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn pledged today to both increase aid to African countries and involve poorer nations in discussions and policy decisions on fighting global warming, including talks about a post-Kyoto agreement. Prime Minister Tony Blair …

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Importing coal

Here's a story you don't hear about much: With nearly a quarter of the world's coal supply -- enough to last centuries -- the United States has been dubbed the "Saudi Arabia of Coal" by US officials and energy experts. But thanks to growing global coal markets and clean air regulations, the US is witnessing a latter-day equivalent of "carrying coals to Newcastle" -- a 230 percent leap in coal imports to the US since 1999. ... If present trends continue, the US will be a net importer of coal by 2013, according to the Energy Information Administration of the …

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