Climate & Energy

A new plan to fight the fight against fighting global warming

Right-wingers will do whatever Gore says not to

I bet it would work: Better yet, maybe Gore will make a major speech telling people to not stick their tongues in wall sockets in an effort to save electricity. Afterward, expect lots of flickering lights in your neighborhood and fewer right-wing bloggers on the internets.

Erring on the side of tabloidism

The horrid misreporting on the case of the British judge and An Inconvenient Truth

There are three things you’re unlikely to learn from the mainstream media about the Case of the Nine Errors, wherein a British judge is said to have taken issue with the accuracy of An Inconvenient Truth. The parent who filed the suit, Stewart Dimmock, is a member of a far-right political group with ties to a leading U.K. skeptic group, the one behind The Great Global Warming Swindle. The judge rejected the lawsuit and called the movie "broadly accurate." The "errors" weren’t errors. Tim Lambert has the definitive take on this: Let’s look at what [High Court Judge Michael] Burton …

Gore wins his second favorite award

Nobel Prize is a nice follow up to Oceana Award

We are thrilled to learn that Al Gore just won the Nobel Prize. As David Roberts points out, he certainly deserved it and this is good news for all of us in the environmental community and in the world. Gore was also presented with Oceana's 2007 Partners Award this past Friday. The former vice president's work on highlighting the challenges climate change presents to our oceans is incredibly important. Gore was joined by Dr. Daniel Pauly, winner of the 2007 Ted Danson Ocean Hero award. Pauly is one of the world's preeminent fisheries scientists.

Bjørn again

Top climate scientist debunks Lomborg in the Washington Post

The Washington Post has at least had the decency to run a rebuttal to the absurd Bjørn Lomborg piece they ran on Sunday (also debunked here and here). They chose one of the top climate scientists in the country -- Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I count her a friend, having interviewed her for my book and having spent a couple of days in Florida with her giving joint talks -- she on hurricanes and climate (with her colleague Peter Webster), and me on climate solutions. I recommend anything she writes (here is a great piece on the science and politics of the hurricanes and global warming debate [PDF]). You can read the whole piece debunking Lomborg, "Cooler Heads and Climate Change," here. One point in particular bears repeating:

EPA will develop industry regulations for carbon sequestration

Setting aside questions of technical challenges and commercial viability, the U.S. EPA has announced that it will develop industry regulations for carbon sequestration by power plants. By next summer, expect exciting new regulations to “ensure there is a consistent and effective permit system under the Safe Drinking Water Act” for injecting captured carbon dioxide deep underground.

The state of play of the Energy Bill

Can the House and the Senate agree on energy legislation?

The prospects for a successful reconciling of the House and Senate energy bills remain as iffy today as they were last month. How sad such failure would be at a time of record oil prices and a growing consensus of the need for urgent action on climate change. The big obstacle right now is that Senate Republicans oppose a House-Senate conference. E&E News (subs. reqd.) reports: "It looks like Senate Republicans are not going to agree to a conference, so we will probably see the same process on this bill that we saw with several other pieces of legislation this year," [Henry] Waxman [D-Calif.] told reporters after the meeting. What is this alternative process? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) intends to reconcile the House and Senate energy bills without convening a formal conference committee. Even this approach is no guarantee of success, as many roadblocks remain in Congress and the White House:

For whom the Nobel tolls

Al Gore and the IPCC jointly win peace prize

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/WireImage Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” Here’s the press release. Here is his statement: I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the world’s pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of …

Nuke it out

Musicians put together anti-nuke video, petition

In an effort to excise a nuclear-power provision from the Senate’s energy bill, a group of musicians including Bonnie Raitt and Ben Harper has put together a short video and petition. Check it out: Also, it looks like Raitt and some of the other anti-nuke campaigners will be attending the Boxer event tonight. I wonder if they’ll be talking nukes.

Why Al Gore deserves the Nobel Peace Prize

Gore’s effort to focus attention on climate change supports the goal of preventing wars

This is a guest essay by Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. It was originally published on Salon.com. What's world peace got to do with global warming? Perhaps everything. Or it will if things don't change fast -- if, in 10 or 20 or 40 years devastating floods and droughts displace millions of refugees and spur nations and tribes to desperate bloodletting. At which point, no one will have the slightest doubt why members of the renowned Scandinavian foundation thought former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was an obvious choice for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Speculation has been growing that Gore will be chosen for the prize on Friday. Regardless of the outcome, Gore is, quite simply, the indispensable player in the drama of mankind's encounter with the possibility of destroying the climatic balance within which our civilization emerged and developed. As anyone who read the book or watched the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" knows, Gore has been troubled by and fascinated with the science of climate change since his undergraduate days at Harvard, where he first encountered the theory that carbon emissions are slowly causing the planet to overheat. He began holding congressional hearings on the subject the moment he hit Washington in the early '70s and has not let up since -- perhaps because he understood instinctively that it was not a question of whether changing the atmosphere's chemical balance would disrupt climate, but when, and how fast. He recognized, too, that the incredibly hard task of turning around the world's energy economy would become impossible if we waited for global warming to announce its presence, stage left, with alarum and hautboys as Shakespeare might have scripted. So for years he accepted the thankless role of Cassandra, the Greek prophet no one would heed. But unlike Cassandra he did not sit by to watch fateful tragedy unfold. Once, when I was particularly frustrated by challenges I faced in my job at the Sierra Club, Gore heard me out and replied: "Never, ever give up." That would seem to be his motto, as reflected in the thousands of speeches he has delivered, the Live Earth concert he built from scratch, the naysaying he has endured, the movement he inspired. What's all that have to do with peace? Look at Iraq, Darfur or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- bloody sites that have engendered three Nobel Peace prizes. Twenty-first century conflicts seldom feature stable governments colliding, but rather collapsing societies attacking themselves. These are much harder to solve with diplomacy or peacekeeping troops. Prevention is the key. The Nobel Committee has recognized this in recent years, awarding its prize to such previously unlikely winners as Iranian feminist Shirin Abadi, and Muhammad Yunus, a pioneer of microfinance for the poor. A quick list of trouble spots that climate chaos could ignite would include: