Climate & Energy

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Water loss in Great Lakes reduces shipping revenue

Water loss in the Great Lakes is creating a dilemma for shipping companies. Allow Jonathan Daniels, director of a public port agency, to explain: “The more we lose water, the less cargo the ships that travel in the Great Lakes can carry, and each time that happens, shipping companies lose money. Ultimately, it’s people like you and I who are going to pay the price.” Thanks to higher-than-normal evaporation and lower-than-normal precipitation, all five Great Lakes are shrinking — Lake Ontario’s water level has dropped three inches in October alone.

Coal is the enemy of the human race: Western coalition edition

The fight against coal makes for strange bedfellows out West

The fight against coal is spilling out of the "environmental" box the coal industry wants to keep it in: An increasingly vocal, potent and widespread anti-coal movement is developing [across the West]. Environmental groups that have long opposed new power plants are being joined by ranchers, farmers, retired homeowners, ski resort operators and even religious groups. Activists say the increasing diversity of these coalitions is making them more effective. "You’re seeing a convergence of people who previously never worked together or even talked to each other," said Anne Hedges, program director of the Montana Environmental Information Center, which is spearheading …

Lol Bush

White House warns Democrats of energy bill veto

I mentioned that the Bush White House sent a letter to Congressional Democrats last week, regarding what it would find acceptable for an energy bill. I’ve gotten a copy of the letter, from a top-secret source who risked his career, his family, even his life bringing this information to light. Thanks Adam! Let me know what y’all think. I found it breathtakingly arrogant — a vow to veto a bill that deviates in any way from the monstrous, malformed porkfest that was the 2005 energy bill. A spitball at the Democratic leadership. A petulant, foot-stomping, self-negating assertion of relevance. Kind …

I am pretty sure you are not aware of this

October is Energy Awareness Month

October is Energy Awareness Month. What's more, October first got this designation from the first President Bush in 1991. Why do I know this? Because the only people I have ever met who know about Energy Awareness Month are people who have worked at the Department of Energy. I'm going to change all that with this blog post, which will probably double the number of people aware of Energy Awareness Month. Don't worry, though, the DOE has made it easy to take action: To help you customize your energy awareness program, You Have the Power campaign artwork is available for you to download from the images [on this website]. This is my favorite downloadable poster. Click on the image for animation -- I could watch it for hours. And yes, since you ask, the energy savings from walking one or two flights of stairs instead of using an elevator is humongous -- easily equal to those cancelled Kansas coal plants. Easily! (Although if there are other people waiting for the elevator, then it was going to run anyway, but don't go all techno-nerd on me -- it is the thought that counts!)

This urban life

Even the greenest suburbs can’t touch low urban emission rates

Last Sunday, the Washington Post published a piece by Joel Kotkin and Ali Modarres which sought to debunk the ideas that dense urban areas are greener than their suburban counterparts and that encouraging dense growth might play a significant role in reducing America’s carbon output. The piece was wrong or misleading on practically every point, to the extent that any complete response would take up far more time and space than I have available. Some of the authors’ most egregious errors simply must be addressed, however. Kotkin and Modarres spend the first half of their op-ed arguing that cities contribute …

Low-budget Bjornography

George Will’s latest column tests the limits of self parody

George Will pulls off a real triple axel of hackery in his latest column, taking the Stepford flimflam of Bjorn Lomborg and ladling on a glutinous serving of his own pinkie-raised pomposity. Rarely has such a poor grasp of the facts been presented with such preening self-regard … at least since the last George Will column. It even won him a MediaPutz of the Day award. I’ll skip the specific points, which are just poorly edited Bjornography, and point you to the hilarious conclusion: If nations concert to impose antiwarming measures commensurate with the hyperbole about the danger, the damage …

Over the moon for cow power

Methane from Vermont dairy farms to provide electricity for utility customers

Central Vermont Public Service is laying claim to one of the fastest-growing renewable energy programs in the country: its customers can now choose to receive all, half, or a quarter of their electrical energy through the Cow Power program, which digests cow manure at participating dairy farms, captures the methane, and uses that to power generators. CVPS customers pay a premium of 4 cents per KWh, delivering another revenue stream for farmers, who are paid 95 percent of the market price for all of the energy sold to CVPS.

The ridiculous and the sublime

From denying climate disruption to denying a coal plant permit application

Who knew Kansas and Oklahoma could be so far apart? Worlds apart. From an interview with Inhofe: [Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.)] also co-authored an article for the Energy Law Journal on "Energy and the Environment: The Future of Natural Gas in America." In the interview, this self-described "one-man Truth Squad" provides a frank and candid account of the evolution of his position on global warming, from believing that manmade gases are the cause of climate change to advocating against the reduction of man-made gases at great costs. Inhofe also provides in the interview four points in rebuttal to the global warming issue as presented in what he described as Vice President Al Gore's "science fiction movie.". Against this: Kansas denies a coal plant's permit application -- because of CO2 concerns!

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