Climate & Energy

Don't panic

James Lovelock’s terror masks the same old industrial-era thinking

In the new issue of Rolling Stone, Jeff Goodell has a profile of James Lovelock, father of the Gaia Hypothesis and foremost representative of the OMFG we’re all totally f*cked!!1! school of green thinking: In Lovelock’s view, the scale of the catastrophe that awaits us will soon become obvious. By 2020, droughts and other extreme weather will be commonplace. By 2040, the Sahara will be moving into Europe, and Berlin will be as hot as Baghdad. Atlanta will end up a kudzu jungle. Phoenix will become uninhabitable, as will parts of Beijing (desert), Miami (rising seas) and London (floods). Food …

Planet in Peril

A two-part CNN documentary begins tonight

(Images: CNN Worldwide — All Rights Reserved 2007 ©) Beginning tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT, CNN will air a two-part documentary that takes viewers to the front lines of environmental change. Hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (above), chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Animal Planet host/wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, Planet in Peril will focus on four main issues: climate change, deforestation, species loss, and overpopulation. The four-hour documentary was filmed across four continents and 13 countries (see Corwin with an Arctic cutie). Check out the film’s interactive website, including a trailer for the documentary that features a new …

Citizens Lead for Energy Action Now

CLEAN calls for action on energy policy

Well, they dropped a bundle to get a quarter-page "Clean Power" ad in the Washington Post (page A21 today) so the least I can do is give them a shout out here. CLEAN is a "clean power and coalfield state grassroots organization" circulating a comprehensive national "call to action" on energy policy that includes:

Fresh water in peril

Investments are needed to stave off climate-induced water crisis

To me, loss of freshwater supplies is the scariest impact of climate change. After all, I can imagine adapting relatively successfully to a warmer world. I cannot imagine adapting to a world with less freshwater. That view was reinforced by a great article on water in The New York Times Magazine. Read it and then forward it to all of your friends. Over on inkstain, John Fleck also has a bunch of terrific blog entries about the ongoing water crisis in the Southeast U.S. In his latest entry, John points out that the drought there, while bad, is not that bad from a historical perspective.

Election news

Second Repub. candidate backs cap-and-trade

Somehow last week I missed Huckabee becoming the second Republican presidential candidate to support a mandatory carbon cap-and-trade system: “It goes to the moral issue,” the former Arkansas governor said at a climate-change conference [Sat. Oct. 13] in Manchester, New Hampshire. “We have a responsibility to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, to conserve energy, to find alternative forms of energy that are renewable and sustainable and environmentally friendly.” The first, of course, was John McCain. Huckabee: interview; fact sheet McCain: interview; fact sheet. (thanks CC)

Climate equity: Wolfgang Sachs

Climate change is about equality among nations and fundamental human rights

((equity_include)) This is a guest essay by Dr. Wolfgang Sachs, author and research director at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy. Sachs (together with Timan Santarius et al) has just published a collection of essays called Fair Future: Resource Conflicts, Security, and Global Justice. This is part of a series on climate equity. —– Tulun and Takuu, two tiny islands off the coast of Papua New Guinea, are close to being swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean — victims of global climate change. The government has sent emergency food supplies to the islands, as the inhabitants have had …

Reports bring various doomy and gloomy predictions

Indeed, the depressing reports come fast and furious. German-based Energy Watch Group says the world has already reached peak oil, and predicts that production will now fall by 7 percent a year. The Worldwatch Institute suggests that 21 cities that will have populations of 8 million or more by 2015 are highly vulnerable to havoc wreaked by rising seas. The comprehensive “The U.S. Economic Impacts of Climate Change and the Costs of Inaction” suggests that the U.S. faces hundreds of billions of dollars in weather-related damages in coming years if it doesn’t get crackin’ on climate-change mitigation. And an informal …

The big bet

Your chance to get in on the hydrogen action

Treehugger reports on a public bet I have made with Greg Blencoe, CEO of Hydrogen Discoveries: Greg Blencoe wins if hydrogen fuel cell vehicles hit 1% of new sales of the typically-defined car and light truck market in the U.S. during 2015 or any year before. Joseph Romm wins if it is 2016 or any year after. At stake is $1000, plus a certain amount of pride (if I lose, I must be photographed wearing a t-shirt saying "I was wrong about hydrogen.") I am certainly prepared to make that bet with pretty much anyone -- though I might have to reconsider in the (very) unlikely event I get too many takers. Reasons why you shouldn't take the bet are below:

World’s oceans sequestering less CO2 than expected

The world’s oceans appear to be sequestering far less carbon dioxide than one would hope, says a new study. CO2 soakage by the north Atlantic Ocean has lessened dramatically in the last decade. “The speed and size of the change show that we cannot take for granted the ocean sink for the carbon dioxide,” says one researcher. What we can take for granted: a continuing slew of depressing studies.

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