Climate & Energy

Past perceptions of climate change

A new study gathers 20 years of public opinion about global warming

Matthew Nisbet of Framing Science and his colleague, T. Myers, trawled through two decades of data on public opinion about global warming (sounds fun, huh?). The results will be published in the fall issue of the journal Public Opinion Quarterly. An abstract: Over the past 20 years, there have been dozens of news organization, academic, and nonpartisan public opinion surveys on global warming, yet there exists no authoritative summary of their collective findings. In this article, we provide a systematic review of trends in public opinion about global warming. We sifted through hundreds of polling questions culled from more than 70 surveys administered over the past 20 years. In compiling the available trends, we summarize public opinion across several key dimensions including (a) public awareness of the issue of global warming; (b) public understanding of the causes of global warming and the specifics of the policy debate; (c) public perceptions of the certainty of the science and the level of agreement among experts; (d) public concern about the impacts of global warming; (e) public support for policy action in light of potential economic costs; and (f) public support for the Kyoto climate treaty. Unfortunately, the full text isn't available online, but Nisbet says that if you drop him an email, he'll send you a PDF. I look forward to reading it myself tonight.

Positive offset reinforcement

The Wall Street Journal has a big package … of stories on energy in their Energy Report. I think you need a subscription to see them; there’s a roundup here. I haven’t looked through everything yet, but I did like this smart, if brief, video on offsets: One of the things Gelobter’s outfit is trying to do with its new shopping portal is direct substantial money to the right kind of offsets, serving to reinforce positive practices in the market. He says as much himself, right here: PS: there’s a stealth strategy too…the guidelines for every offset dollar we collect …

Shopping causes global warming

Australian newspaper identifies consumerism as warming culprit

I was just in Australia, spending some love miles (my wife is an Aussie) but also giving some talks, and while there I was interviewed by a journalist named Wendy Frew from the Sydney Morning Herald. She did a nice piece (August 9) on Greenhouse Development Rights called "Rich will have to help poor to save climate," which is perhaps notable for containing the dulcet phrase "coal is the enemy of mankind." But that's not what I'm writing about.

Coal welfare queens unite

Liquid coal coalition gears up to suck from the public teat

Mike Millikin brings word of the horrific goings-on at a recent conference on liquid coal. Witness: [Sen. Jay] Rockefeller [D-W.Va.], after saying that "coal is the single greatest chance our country has for achieving energy independence," outlined what he described as four key elements for building the coal-to-liquids industry. Build up military uses of coal-based fuels. … Work together to keep all those who support coal on the same page. … Have a substantial federal government investment in the R&D for workable carbon capture and sequestration. … Expand the pipeline infrastructure to serve the coalfields. … Rockefeller called for the …

On the Ball: Obscure football edition

Ball-kickers power stadiums with renewables

And you thought by “football” in my title I meant football? Pssh. I do love me some obscure European soccer news. So with no further ado: Scottish soccer team powers its stadium floodlights with wind power! Swiss soccer team has the world’s largest stadium-integrated photovoltaic system on the roof of the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf Bern! Heh heh. Wankdorf.


Latest round of UN climate talks focuses on energy investment

Just how excited can one get by the latest round of international talks on climate change? This one is focused on business, specifically energy investment: A new report by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change says additional investments of about $210 billion a year will be needed – mostly in the developing world – to maintain greenhouse gas emissions at their current levels until 2030. “If the funding available … remains at its current level and continues to rely mainly on voluntary contributions, it will not be sufficient,” the report warns. If you weren’t aware.

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