Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate & Energy

Comments

Sheet Happens … Faster

Greenland melting faster than five years ago, study says We hate to give you bad news without some good, so here goes. The bad news from a study published this week in Science is that, by comparing satellite data from 2002-2005 to earlier data, researchers have determined that Greenland's ice sheet is melting about three times faster than it was five years ago. Put another way, about 57 cubic miles of ice melts there each year, enough to cause an annual 0.02 inch sea-level rise. The good news: in time, Greenland may be less of a misnomer. (There, don't you …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

So Much For “Beyond Petroleum”

BP pipeline fubar fallout continues Oil giant BP is weathering a ginormous poopstorm over its discovery of severe corrosion in an Alaskan oil pipeline and subsequent announcement that it would shut down its entire Prudhoe Bay oil field -- 8 percent of total U.S. production -- while it repaired the damage, which could take until January 2007. Alaska governor Frank Murkowski, whose state could lose $6.4 million a day from the shutdown and has instituted a total hiring freeze, questioned why BP needed to shut down the entire field, a move he called "precipitous," and pledged to hold BP accountable …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Sardar Superstar

India dam project still hot issue after more than 20 years For citizens of India, debate over dams is soap-operatic. Take the saga of the country's still-unfinished Sardar Sarovar dam. It has everything: protests, riots, hunger strikes, and long, protracted court battles. Proponents of the $7.7 billion dam on the Narmada River claim that, when completed, it will produce megawatts upon megawatts of much-needed hydropower, drinking water for 20 million citizens, and irrigation for nearly 4.5 million acres of farmland. Detractors say some 320,000 people -- mostly poor farmers -- will be displaced, and also that the benefit estimates are …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Nuclear power is complicated, dangerous, and definitely not the answer

If the media and the New York Times editorial page are any guide, nuclear power is the new green-energy option being embraced by environmentalists. This is not a new idea. The first mainstream statement of the "nuclear option" came from a 2003 report by MIT professors John Deutch and Ernest Moniz, "The Future of Nuclear Power." As the duo's press release put it: "The nuclear option should be retained precisely because it is an important carbon-free source of power ... Taking nuclear power off the table as a viable alternative will prevent the global community from achieving long-term gains in …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Wouldn’t Be Prudhoe

BP shuts down major Alaskan oil field; poop to hit fan Oil giant BP will temporarily shut down production at its Prudhoe Bay oil field, after "unexpectedly severe corrosion" and a small spill were discovered in an oil transit line on Sunday. That could mean trouble: the Prudhoe field represents nearly half the production from Alaska's North Slope, some 400,000 barrels a day, about 8 percent of total U.S. production. It will take a few days to shut things down, but once the oil is offline, the impact on prices could be substantial -- a bump of up to $10 …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

But 82 Percent Would Still Grab a Brewski With Him

Poll finds growing disenchantment with Bush environmental policy A new poll finds a rise in the number of people who think President Bush is not doing enough to protect the environment -- 56 percent, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg survey, up from 41 percent in 2001. Most want more action on environmental problems, and by a more than two-to-one margin, they think Democrats in Congress are more likely to give it to them. The number who think global warming is a serious problem rose to over 70 percent, and 58 percent think Bush isn't doing enough about it. Unsurprisingly, …

Comments

Will Evolution Be Next?

Heat waves linked to climate change; even Pat Robertson is convinced Experts agree: damn, it's hot! And you might as well get used to it. At the rate global temperatures are rising, blistering heat waves like the ones that have recently baked parts of the U.S. and Europe will become more frequent and severe, according to climate researchers. Of course, no individual weather event can definitively be traced to global warming; global warming simply loads the dice in favor of extremes. Nonetheless, the scorching heat has led to an unusually vigorous and open discussion of climate change. Hell, even evangelical …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

In coal country, mining is destroying cemeteries and faith

James Bowe, a lifelong resident of Whitesville, W.Va., knows the mountains around his home better than he knows himself. He's seen friends and family buried there, and has devoted countless hours to protecting his loved ones' resting places and the Indian burial grounds that stand alongside them. So when Bowe pulled up on his four-wheeler in early April and spotted a coal company drilling in the middle of what he says was a known, if unnamed, cemetery on White Oak Mountain, he was livid -- and determined to stop them. Mountaintop-removal mining marches its way across West Virginia. Photo: V. …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Bawh-Chikka-Baaawh

Report accuses U.K. media of indulging in global-warming "porn" The first comprehensive analysis of climate-change coverage in the U.K. media has deemed it "confusing, contradictory, and chaotic." Produced by the Institute for Public Policy Research, the report, "Warm Words," accuses media outlets of presenting apocalyptic pictures and portents as a kind of "climate porn" to sell copies. Trouble is, just as coverage of the problem is grandiose and scaremongering, coverage of solutions tends to be picayune and infantilizing. "The style of climate-change discourse," says communications consultant Solitaire Townsend, "is that we maximize the problem and minimize the solution." In contrast …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

Vail Hails Gales

Vail Resorts to be second-biggest corporate wind-power buyer in U.S. Colorado-based ski-resort company (and one-time eco-vandal target) Vail Resorts announced this week that it will buy enough wind power to offset all of the electricity it uses at its five ski areas, as well as in its corporate offices and stores. The company's promise to purchase about 152,000 megawatt-hours of wind-power credits a year makes it the second-largest corporate buyer of wind power in the U.S., behind 458,000-MWh-a-year natural grocer Whole Foods, which went wind-powered earlier this year, and just ahead of 150,000-MWh-a-year Starbucks, now pushed to No. 3. To …

Read more: Climate & Energy