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Gore-backed group will spend big to convince Americans climate change is real

Al Gore wants you to understand climate change. Photo: © 2006 Paramount Classics.  Think you've been hearing a lot about global warming lately? If a new climate-focused group hatched by Al Gore has its way, you ain't seen nothin' yet. After nine months of behind-the-scenes planning and wrangling, the Alliance for Climate Protection is now nearly ready for prime time. Gore spoke about the alliance in an exclusive interview with Muckraker. He said the group aims to raise big bucks for a single goal: "To move the United States past a tipping point on climate change, beyond which the majority …

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Al Gore’s slideshow

Climate Change Action has unearthed a video of Al Gore's complete climate-change slideshow -- the one An Inconvenient Truth is based on. It's a huge file, but if you're curious, there it is. Update [2006-5-19 10:42:12 by David Roberts]: Speaking of Gore (do we speak of anything else?), Matthew Nisbet has an interesting post discussing why Gore didn't campaign more heavily on climate change in 2000. It's based on a passage from Joe Klein's new book Politics Lost. Klein's a tool, but I suspect he's more or less right on this subject.

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What’s Methane, Chopped Liver?

Conservative think tank launches climate-skeptic TV ads "Carbon dioxide: They call it pollution; we call it life." Nope, not a story in The Onion. That's the punch line of two TV ads that the industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute began airing in 14 U.S. cities yesterday, timed to correspond with the big-screen debut of Al Gore's climate-change movie An Inconvenient Truth. The ads, replete with happy, energy-guzzling families and a little girl blowing dandelion fluff, protest the maligning of poor, innocent CO2 -- which, according to one ad, "some politicians want to label ... a pollutant." (Gasp.) What will happen if …

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Who Are You, and What Have You Done With Our House?

House shows its green side with votes on Interior Department bill The House of Representatives was on an eco-roll yesterday as it fixed up an Interior Department spending bill to send to the Senate. Over the objections of top Republicans, lawmakers approved 252-165 a measure that would put oil and gas companies on the hook for billions in royalties they've dodged since the late '90s. A provision to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling was shot down 279-141, with many tourism-conscious, coastal-state Republicans voting to keep the ban; lawmakers voted 217-203 to continue a prohibition on offshore natural-gas drilling. …

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Better Late Than Clever

Democrats unveil plan to cut dependence on oil imports Yesterday, Senate Democrats presented a proposal to cut U.S. dependence on oil imports 40 percent by 2020. The Clean EDGE Act contains nary a mention of increased fuel-economy standards, gas taxes, or other such excessively bold proposals; instead, it proclaims that ethanol will save us all. Under Clean EDGE, a quarter of U.S.-sold cars would have to be flex-fuel -- able to run on an ethanol blend -- by 2010, and half by 2020; alternative fuel would have to be available at 10 percent of gas stations by 2015. The plan …

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My Name Is Prince and I Am Gunky

Exxon Valdez disaster still screwing up Prince William Sound Wildlife in Alaska's Prince William Sound is still threatened by oil spilled from the tanker Exxon Valdez in 1989. According to a new study by researchers at the National Marine Fisheries Service, some 100 tons of oil still pollute the sound shoreline and are potentially accessible to foraging sea otters and ducks. Coincidentally, sea otter and duck populations have been slow to recover in the area. Exxon-funded studies have concluded that, in the words of an Exxon spokesflack, the sound "has recovered, it's healthy and it's thriving." Exxon has paid at …

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The CEI ads

OMFG, so, I finally went and watched the TV ads to be aired by the Competitive Enterprise Institute a week before An Inconvenient Truth is released. I'm not sure what I expected, but these things are genuinely funny. They look like nothing so much as a parody produced by Saturday Night Live. The tag line -- the last line of the ad, read dramatically as a little girl blows a dandelion -- is: "Carbon dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life." It's a pro-CO2 ad. Seriously. It turns out, we breathe CO2 out. And plants absorb it. It …

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Carbon Upset

European Union's fledgling carbon-trading market hits turbulence A hullabaloo has erupted in the European Union over its one-year-old carbon-trading market, established to help the E.U. meet its targets under the Kyoto Protocol. It turns out that 21 of the 25 countries involved have come in under their greenhouse-gas emissions targets, leaving a 70.5 million ton surplus. Good news, right? Not so much. Industry types are being accused of tricking governments into high-balling the targets, leaving companies awash in credits they didn't have to work for. Worse yet, news of the surplus was leaked early, leading to a spectacular market crash …

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Why skeptics are skeptics

A few months ago, on the Scientific American blog, George Musser lamented the malcommunication between global warming skeptics and proponents. He asked readers who were skeptical about the GW consensus to tell him why in comments. They did, to the tune of 170 comments. In a follow-up post, Musser tried to summarize and taxonomize the objections (then, in response to tons of feedback, tried again). I doubt we have many skeptics here, but if you're curious about what trips laypeople up -- rather a wider array of things than I would have thought -- it's worth checking out. And now …

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Big Ethanol …

... wins again. House Majority Leader John Boehner's attempt to lower the ethanol tariff (and thus allow ethanol-hungry oil refineries to purchase ethanol from overseas) has gone down in flames: Boehner, who is from Ohio, said last week that the United States was not producing enough ethanol to meet demand and that a temporary reduction in the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff could help boost available supplies and lower gasoline prices. ... Farm state lawmakers, whose corn-grower constituents supply the feedstock for making the vast majority of U.S. ethanol, strongly oppose easing the U.S. tariffs on foreign, and therefore competing, ethanol shipments. ... …