Climate & Energy

Energy storage, anyone?

Some good news for wind and solar

For those who have long been frustrated with the pace of progress in energy storage for electricity, we are happy to finally report a bit of good news. Two weeks ago, Jason moderated a panel at "Investing in Energy Storage Technologies," a conference in New York City sponsored by Financial Research Associates, LLC. Unlike most industry conferences on storage (meetings where we all sit around preaching to the already converted), bona-fide, real-life energy tech investors attended this one. Plus -- and here's where it gets exciting -- there were actually two presentations that together could very well signal the increase in interest and investment needed to commercialize energy storage technologies for our electricity grid.

Pearce on Gore

Socially progressive publishing house Beacon has a new blog, Beacon Broadside, where its authors post. One of the first posts is from Fred Pearce, author of, among other books, With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change. It’s called "Al and Me,” and defends Gore against the charge that he exaggerated the dangers of climate change in his movie. Quite the contrary, says Pearce.

Armenia and global warming

Climate change signals in the Caucasus Mountains

The following is a guest essay from Eric Pallant, professor of environmental science at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., and codirector of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Integrated Water Resources Management. He is reporting from the National Disasters and Water Security conference in Yerevan, Armenia. ----- October 20, 2007 The last time there was dramatic climate change in Armenia, Noah built an ark, floated for 40 days and nights, and disembarked on Mount Ararat. Armenians insist they have a piece of his old boat in a local museum. Mount Ararat serves as a useful backdrop, snowcapped and picturesque, for the NATO meeting on Natural Disasters and Water Security. Mount Ararat makes an appearance in the morning light. (Photo: Eric Pallant)

White House accused of watering down CDC testimony on climate change

The White House is being accused anew this week of improperly interfering with the dissemination of information on climate change. Critics allege that officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget significantly edited the prepared testimony that CDC head Julie Gerberding gave to a congressional panel concerning the impacts of climate change on disease and public health. The length of Gerberding’s prepared testimony was cut in half and, post-edit, focused almost entirely on the CDC’s preparations for a warming world. Largely left out of the edited testimony, but present in the draft given to OMB, were details on …

California delays lawsuit against EPA due to wildfires

Photo: Kevin Labianco The lawsuit California threatened to file against the U.S. EPA for delaying a pending decision on the state’s 2005 vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions law was not filed today as expected. It’s been stalled due to raging wildfires.

Stossel

Does John Stossel have the brains God gave a chicken wing? Most people say no. Some say yes. One thing’s for sure: the debate isn’t over!

The latest in Congressional maneuvering

Dems try to advance climate and energy bills; Repubs work to block them

As usual, Darren Samuelsohn is the best source on the maneuvering inside Congress on climate and energy, and as usual, he’s trapped behind a pay wall, so as usual, I do my humble best to drag his reporting out into the light. Here he is on the latest with Lieberman-Warner. In short, conservative Republicans, led by Inhofe, are complaining that there hasn’t been enough time for them to lie and demagogue study the bill. They want to hear from some right-wing think tankers hard-working businessmen about the economic apocalypse that awaits us if we so much as think about reducing …

Big news

The ocean carbon sink is saturating

The long-feared saturation of one the world's primary carbon sinks has apparently started. The BBC reports, "The amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the world's oceans has reduced." After 10 years and more than 90,000 ship-based measurements of CO2 absorption, University of East Anglia researchers reached this stunning conclusion: CO2 uptake halved between the mid-90s and 2000 to 2005. The BBC writes: "Scientists believe global warming might get worse if the oceans soak up less of the greenhouse gas." Sigh. Note to the BBC, you don't need a double hedge: If you're going to just say "might get worse" you surely can drop "Scientists believe." Frankly I doubt you can find many, if any, reputable scientists -- or even the few remaining deniers -- who would say that if the ocean sink saturates, global warming won't get worse. I would probably phrase it this way: Global warming will accelerate if the oceans soak up less of the greenhouse gas. The researchers say, "it is a tremendous surprise and very worrying because there were grounds for believing that in time the ocean might become 'saturated' with our emissions -- unable to soak up any more." Why is that bad news?

I read PDFs so you don't have to, part kazillion

A new sustainable development report from an international panel — only sexy and exciting!

The InterAcademy Council, a group representing 150 scientific academies around the world, has just issued a new report: "Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future." I know what you’re thinking: hot damn, a long-ass new PDF! The report, commissioned by the governments of Brazil and China, "lays out the science, technology and policy roadmap for developing energy resources to drive economic growth in both developed and developing countries while also securing climate protection and global development goals." Andy Revkin’s got a summary in the NYT, but the main thrust is a call for doubling of public and private research …

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