Climate & Energy

Global warming divides the GOP presidential field

Rudy Giuliani’s stance on climate and energy

Many GOP contenders acknowledge that humans probably play some role in recent climate change -- but that's as far as the agreement goes, as the NY Times explained today: Senator John McCain of Arizona is calling for capping gas emissions linked to warming and higher fuel economy standards. Others, including Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mitt Romney, are refraining from advocating such limits and are instead emphasizing a push toward clean coal and other alternative energy sources. All agree that nuclear power should be greatly expanded. McCain recently said, "I have had enough experience and enough knowledge to believe that unless we reverse what is happening on this planet, my dear friends, we are going to hand our children a planet that is badly damaged." Mr. Romney and Mr. Giuliani say little about the potential dangers of climate change and almost nothing about curbing emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide. They talk almost exclusively about the need for independence from foreign oil as a necessity for national security. Fred D. Thompson, after mocking the threat in April, said more recently that "climate change is real" and suggested a measured approach until more was known about it. You can read about all the candidates' views (from both parties) at the NY Times election guide on climate change (or better yet, at Grist's special series on the candidates). Hillary will be announcing her energy plan next week, and we've already seen Obama's terrific plan. Since Rudy appears more and more likely to be the Republican nominee, let's look a bit more at where he stands (and at why even the NYT coverage of the subject remains as frustrating as ever):

Get your industrial agrodiesel here

Profit motive is eating the planet

The opening of the Propel Biofuels public pump was a smallish affair. The crowd of about thirty people appeared to consist mostly of investors, public relations personnel, some alternative energy enthusiasts, lots of press, and at least one lawyer. Because of the twelve-hour notice, and because it was in the middle of the week, only two protesters made it. There is going to be a bigger protest this Saturday (October 20), same place, same time (high noon, at the pump located at Bernie's Auto Repair -- see map). Keep in mind this will not be a protest against Bernie, but against industrial agrodiesel. The pump is self-serve and open to the public. Bernie's is closed on Saturdays. Consider dropping by for an hour or so to support those willing to publicly protest the for-profit takeover of the biosphere. It is remarkable how much impact protests can have. Imagine what a big one would do. Al Gore has called for civil disobedience. Some think Al Gore should be arrested. In any case, I'll be there along with my hybrid electric bike. Drop by and say hello. It seemed to me that there were two main goals at the opening:

Umbra on planes and cars

Hi Umbra, Which is less harmful to the environment when traveling long distances, flying or driving? A jet puts out a lot of exhaust, but since it carries a lot of people, maybe it’s less than having everyone drive themselves? Craig Denver, Colo. Dearest Craig, Jeepers it was fun to find out the answer to this question for you — the Math Whiz has joined me in the basement, and we are dorking out on carbon emissions on your behalf. Here’s what we think: airplanes and cars are roughly comparable on CO2 emissions, but certain particularities of airplanes, particularities that …

More on the new Lieberman-Warner bill

A detailed breakdown of the differences from earlier drafts

Here’s a document from the Senate offices of Lieberman and Warner, forwarded along by multiple folks top-secret sources. It shows the differences between the August draft version of their bill and the version that will be released tomorrow. I pass it along for your edification. (You’ll see that the improvements in allocation were somewhat more than I thought, but still woefully short of the 100% auction that’s needed.) —– Main Ways That America’s Climate Security Act (ACSA) Differs From the Draft Table of Contents That Senators Lieberman and Warner Released on August 2 Emissions Cap ACSA’s year 2020 emissions cap …

Changes in the Lieberman-Warner bill

Consensus Senate climate bill will largely retain original weaknesses

Over at E&E Darren Samuelsohn has the goods (sub. rqd.) on changes to the Lieberman-Warner bill to be introduced tomorrow: Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) have made two major changes to global warming legislation they plan to introduce tomorrow, including tighter caps on heat-trapping emissions in 2020 and fewer free credits for manufacturers, sources on and off Capitol Hill said. The new bill includes a 15 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 compared with 2005 levels. A draft circulated in August called for cuts of 10 percent in 2020. Lieberman and Warner also have agreed …

Connecting the dots: Part II

Stopping global warring and global warming

Ted Glick is on the 44th day of his fast, by my count, as part of his effort to bring awareness to and demand action concerning global warming. On Sunday through Tuesday, October 21 to 23, there will be a series of protests and actions grouped under the name "No war, no warming." It is an attempt to bridge the two issues of ending the war in Iraq and global warming by taking immediate action to: Stop the war in Iraq and future resource wars by ending our addiction to fossil fuels; Shift government funding to rebuild New Orleans and all communities suffering from racism and corporate greed; Go green and promote environmental justice with new jobs in a clean energy economy. In my last post, I argued that it is important for environmental activists to build coalitions with others that are working for progressive change, for instance among European-Americans and African-Americans. In this post, I want to discuss the meaning of peace, war, and the military, and how integrating these issues might help in the fight to save the biosphere -- and how people might understandably feel that such issues might hurt such efforts as well. In this era of an alleged "war on terror" (really more of a police investigation of terror), people are skittish about criticizing the military. Taking on the military might seem futile, might seem to alienate a large constituency of people open to action on global warming. While I don't hope to change that perspective with this post, I want to at least offer a few ideas to think about. First of all, the long-term military capability of the U.S. is dependent on our ability to produce the machinery that is used by sustainable energy, transportation, and agricultural sectors of the economy. The reason: the military depends on a healthy manufacturing sector in order to produce its tanks, jets, and ships.

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