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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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Quiet riot

The green projects you don’t hear about

While the world wonders how much energy it takes Al Gore to trim his nose hairs, real progress is being made all over this gall dang country toward embracing green energy -- and not only in Moneyville. Just today, two quiet examples from on-the-rebound Massachusetts cities blipped across my radar screen. Worcester is aiming to get 20 percent of its energy from renewables by 2010, and a group called Sustainable Worcester wants to build wind turbines at the city's airport. And in the down-at-heels city of Lawrence, a condo development in an old mill building will use geothermal energy for …

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Ask a Brokeass: More hip, less hippie

On greening your roommates

I live in an apartment with roommates and will probably stay in this living situation for a few more years. How do I make the transition to a more environmentally conscious style of living without annoying them, or making them think I'm weird? For example, I really want to begin composting, but I doubt they would welcome a box full of dirt and worms indoors, no matter how hard I tried to persuade them. I'd also like us to switch over to earth-friendly cleaning supplies, dishwasher detergent, bleach-free toilet paper, etc., but these items usually cost more than the cheap …

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Who made global warming a partisan issue?

Hint: the people who deny we’re causing it

A right-wing news site called ... Right Wing News recently sent a poll to 240 "right-of center" bloggers. Sixty-three responded. There's much amusement to be had reading through the results, but let's focus on this: 4) Do you think mankind is the primary cause of global warming? Yes (0) -- 0% No (59) -- 100% Kind of reminiscent of this : Only 13 percent of congressional Republicans say they believe that human activity is causing global warming ... Which is kind of reminiscent of this: JONATHAN KARL: But what's your sense, where is the science on this? Is global warming …

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Good God, Y’all

U.N. chief says climate change poses as big a threat as war When we were in school, assemblies were a chance to see something fun, like a juggler or a movie. How times change. Two months after taking office, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave his first climate-change speech, saying all kinds of gloomy things to an audience of schoolchildren from around the world. To wit: "The majority of the United Nations' work still focuses on preventing and ending conflict, but the danger posed by war to all of humanity and to our planet is at least matched by the climate …

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Group Hug

Leading tech competitors bury the hatchet to improve energy efficiency Hold onto your geek hat: 11 leading tech companies have partnered to reduce the energy used by servers and data centers. The Green Grid -- made up of foes including Intel, IBM, Microsoft, AMD, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett-Packard -- thinks data-center efficiency "is the most significant issue facing technology providers and their customers today," and plans to whip up new energy standards and technologies. A study released this month by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab estimates that servers ate 1.2 percent of U.S. energy in 2005, and their power use …

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Yes We Ken

London mayor unveils comprehensive climate-change plan London Mayor Ken Livingstone unveiled a Climate Change Action Plan yesterday in hopes of making the English capital the greenest city in the world. Under the scheme, London will switch 25 percent of its power supply to local generation, and businesses that invest in green technology will earn merit badges, Scout-style. The U.K. plans to cut carbon emissions 60 percent by 2050, but London's leaders hope to achieve that goal within 20 years, and are setting aside $92.3 million in next year's budget to do so. "This will make London the first city in …

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