Climate & Energy

Some 150 million people will be at risk from flooding by 2070, says report

Some 150 million people in the world’s biggest cities could be at risk of flooding by 2070, and at-risk coastal property could have a value of $35 trillion, says a report from the Organization for …

The <em>NYT</em>'s Tom Friedman is wrong

We are not yet the ‘people we have been waiting for’ to solve ‘global weirding’

In general, I am a big fan of New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, one of the few national columnists who writes regularly and intelligently on energy and climate matters. But his recent column, "The People We Have Been Waiting For," goes off track -- twice. First, he writes: ... sweet-sounding "global warming" doesn't really capture what's likely to happen. I prefer the term "global weirding," coined by Hunter Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, because the rise in average global temperature is going to lead to all sorts of crazy things -- from hotter heat spells and droughts in some places, to colder cold spells and more violent storms, more intense flooding, forest fires and species loss in other places. Well, he deserves half credit. Yes, "global warming" is inadequate to describe the coming nightmare -- but "global weirding" simply isn't a serious-enough term -- it could just as easily be used to describe the world's growing fascination with reality TV (or videos of piano-playing cats and skateboarding dogs). Also, the word "weird" strongly implies something either supernatural or bizarrely unexpected. What's happening to the planet is pure science and has been predicted for decades -- nothing weird about that except maybe it's happening faster than most scientists projected. Readers know I prefer the term "Hell and High Water" -- since at least it accurately describes what is coming. [Note to self: It didn't catch on. Let it go.] My guess is we're stuck with "global warming."

Texas mayors want CFL to be state light bulb

The state bird of Texas is the mockingbird. The state song is “Texas, Our Texas.” The Texas state footwear is the cowboy boot, its tie the bolo tie, and its pepper the jalapeño. Now, five …

Maybe not such a great idea after all?

Feeding ethanol waste to cows

Perhaps the most persistent debate around corn ethanol involves its “net energy balance” — that is, whether it consumes more energy in production than it delivers as a fuel. Even the studies that credit the …

If it is to be war ...

Senate Republicans vow to filibuster energy bill

The E&E headline sums it up: "Senate GOP plots ‘war’ over House energy plan" (sub rqd). It sounds like Pelosi has done her job, restoring to the bill most of the provisions greens have been …

Solar project in African desert could supply clean energy to Europe

A string of gigantic solar generators in the northern African desert could cleanly supply one-sixth of Europe’s electricity needs, say backers of a project called Desertec. The project relies on concentrated solar power, in which …

Lieberman-Warner action already underway

Clinton and Sanders introduce amendments to strengthen the bill

The Lieberman-Warner markup in the Senate Environment Committee starts tomorrow, but already the action is hot and heavy. Word has it that Sen. James Inhofe is going to pull all manner of procedural shenanigans, which …

300 ideas in 100 days

Presidential Climate Action Project releases new plan for the next president

How ambitious should the next president be in tackling global warming? A document issued today by a team at the University of Colorado indicates that No. 44 can be, and should be, far more aggressive than any of the candidates has promised so far. The Presidential Climate Action Project -- a two-year effort headquartered at the university -- has released a presidential action agenda that contains more than 300 specific changes in federal policies, programs and statutes, and proposes that the chief executive act on all of them within the first 100 days of inauguration, under executive authority or by championing them in the administration's first legislative and budget packages to Congress. The plan is being billed as not only the most comprehensive, but in many ways the boldest, climate action agenda yet put before the American public and the presidential candidates. It calls for the U.S. to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 30 percent below 2010 levels by 2020 and 90 percent by 2050, in part through an "upstream" cap-and-auction program that regulates the approximately 1,500 "first providers" of fossil energy -- wellheads, mine mouths, etc. That regime is simpler to administer than mid-stream and downstream regulation, and would cover 100 percent of the economy. Other key proposals include:

Bold announcement by climate partnership outed as a hoax

Various news outlets breathlessly reported yesterday that the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a consortium of 33 businesses and environmental groups, was calling on the U.S. to slash emissions 90 percent by 2050 and to cease …

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