Climate & Energy

As a matter of fact you <em>can't</em> take your eyes off these people

Oil companies target the fragile Arctic continental shelf for oil drilling

You’re probably against drilling in the Alaskan Refuge, but what you really ought to be worried about is offshore drilling on Alaska’s continental shelf, which isn’t protected by law or by close attention from environmentalists …

Trading, taxing, and public reconstruction

Some signs of another mitigation alternative emerging

There has certainly been a great deal of discussion of carbon taxes and various cap-and-trade and cap-and-auction frameworks among environmentalists. Recently, Nordhaus and Shellenberger used the term "public investment" as another mitigation strategy, a term which seems to refer mostly to research and development. However, another alternative is direct governmental construction of the various means of transforming economies toward sustainability -- what might be called public reconstruction. I thought I'd share three quotes from well-known writers that seem to be moving in this direction.

Cool things happening at the local level

California ‘cool cities’ are taking the lead on climate change

Now in her seventh term, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice) represents California's 36th Congressional District. Jane Harman. Even sunny skies and pleasant ocean breezes over much of our state can't mask the fact that Californians breathe some of the most polluted air in the nation. California is the world's 12th largest source of carbon dioxide, the chief heat-trapping gas that causes global warming. As dirty as our air is, we are taking the lead nationally in trying to make the air cleaner and our actions greener. Last year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law ambitious legislation establishing the goal of reducing dangerous emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. And yet many in Washington, D.C., are unhappy with California's efforts and are working to undermine and override state laws and regulations designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and promote cleaner fuels. Several weeks ago, emails from the U.S. Department of Transportation suggested senior-level administrators, and possibly the secretary of transportation herself, have been lobbying on behalf of automobile interests to persuade the EPA not to issue a waiver allowing California's clean-air rules. Currently, the Bush administration and Gov. Schwarzenegger are at odds over whether California can do its part to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles. Sixteen other states have either adopted or are planning to adopt the California standard, so if the U.S. EPA grants the waiver, it would directly impact 40 percent of the U.S. auto market. In April, Schwarzenegger sent a letter to the EPA giving them six months to act on his waiver before he would be forced to file a lawsuit. Six months have now passed, and the EPA has still not made a decision. Not one to make an empty threat, Schwarzenegger's administration filed suit today demanding that the EPA make a decision on the waiver. It is unclear how this standoff will end, and whether the Bush administration will allow California the leeway to regulate its own emissions. Fortunately, the feds cannot impede a growing effort to address global warming now underway at the local level: the "Cool Cities" program.

Curses, oiled again!

High oil prices reshape the geopolitical landscape

Check out Mark Landler on how rising oil prices are changing the geopolitical landscape. Here’s the nut: The prospect of triple-digit oil prices has redrawn the economic and political map of the world, challenging some …

Poll: 107 percent of respondents willing to blow smoke up pollsters' asses

New BBC poll finds that people are excited about paying more and sacrificing

I’m the last one in the greenosphere to mention it, but check out this new poll of 22,000 people in 21 countries (full results PDF), done by the BBC and PIPA. The big takeaway is …

Murkowski condemns Rush to judgment

Alaska Senator defends young constituent against Limbaugh’s attacks

Those of you who don’t read the comments under our posts may have missed this. Two days ago Nathan Wyeth brought news that talk radio gasbag Rush Limbaugh has been mocking a young Yup’ik Eskimo …

Vote early and often

I don’t usually pay much attention to the Weblog Awards, but it has come to my attention that the odious skeptic blog Climate Audit has marshaled its flat earth fanboys to push it in the …

Food companies damaging climate through deforestation, says new report

The makers of such familiar products as Pringles, KitKat, and Philadelphia cream cheese are contributing to deforestation and climate change, says a new report from Greenpeace. Companies like Unilever, Kraft, and Nestle use palm oil …

Tracking Lieberman-Warner: First full committee hearing

America’s Climate Security Act goes before Boxer’s Environment Committee

Well, so much for enjoying Boxer's continued grilling. Early in the hearing, after one brief but blistering round of questions, she had to depart for votes on the Senate floor. She passed the gavel down to Joe Lieberman, who also had to leave, and down it went until it reached Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who closed up the hearing -- a brief one by Senate standards. Sanders remains the only member of the committee asking serious questions about renewable energy. He pokes the most significant holes in the skeptic argument that drastically decreasing our carbon consumption will also drastically decrease our standard of living. It's nice having heroes, but he needs more support. Here are links to opening statements from Chairman Boxer (D-Ca.) and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-Ok.) and testimony from the witnesses, submitted for the record:

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