Climate & Energy

Energy efficiency a tough sell to small businesses in India

India’s 4.5 million small or medium businesses produce 70 percent of the country’s industrial pollution, according to a World Bank study. But most of those …

Vinod Khosla blows his credibility dissing plug-ins

Venture-capital star ain’t no clean-tech expert

Vinod Khosla may be a "venture-capital star" who is now putting a lot of money into biofuels -- but he is no clean-tech expert, as he proved during a keynote address at ThinkEquity Partners' ThinkGreen conference in San Francisco. In remarks that should worry anybody relying on his judgment, Khosla said: Forget plug-ins. They are nice toys. But they will not be material to climate change.

On the Ball: Ready for the Olympics?

It’s almost 2008, and Beijing’s air is still polluted

The city of Beijing has been striving to clear its air for the sake of the Olympic athletes who will descend upon the city this …

The 'Inhofe 400': Busting the 'consensus busters'

Today: Thomas Ring

Recently, Senator James Inhofe published a list of 400 "prominent scientists" who have recently voiced significant objections mainstream climate science. In response to this list, I recently blogged that many of those listed lacked qualifications (see also here). I'm betting that Sen. Inhofe doesn't want you to actually read the list of skeptics, but just read the headline and accept their conclusion. Here at Grist, however, we don't do what the good senator wants us to do very often. So in the spirit of non-compliance, I'm going to institute a semi-regular series where I examine the qualifications of some of the "experts" on the Inhofe 400 list.

Italian village first host to outbreak of spreading tropical disease

Congratulations to Castiglione di Cervia, Italy, the first place in modern Europe to feel one dismal effect of a warming world: a tropical disease out …

European biodiesel: riding on empty?

Unlike the U.S., European governments are cutting back on agrofuel goodies

European biodiesel makers have entered a rough patch. The price for their main feedstock, rapeseed, has risen more than 50 percent since the beginning of …

Green energy is the bottomless well

The poverty of fossil fuels becomes apparent

Martin Wolf makes what I think is a really bad argument in the Financial Times: We live in a positive-sum world economy and have done so for about two centuries. This, I believe, is why democracy has become a political norm, empires have largely vanished, legal slavery and serfdom have disappeared and measures of well-being have risen almost everywhere. What then do I mean by a positive-sum economy? It is one in which everybody can become better off. It is one in which real incomes per head are able to rise indefinitely ... This is why climate change and energy security are such geopolitically significant issues. For if there are limits to emissions, there may also be limits to growth. But if there are indeed limits to growth, the political underpinnings of our world fall apart. Intense distributional conflicts must then re-emerge -- indeed, they are already emerging -- within and among countries.

China releases energy white paper, plans to boost renewables R&D

China has released its first-ever white paper on energy policy, stating that the country “attaches great importance to environmental protections and prevention of global climate …

What I want for 2008

A plead for utility leadership on climate change

What I want most for 2008 is serious action on climate change -- not just in terms of policy, but in terms of action. Mathematically, this mandates serious and constructive engagement from the electric sector, which has thus far been not only absent, but hostile to any serious discussion of GHG reduction. Given their relevance (42% of US GHG emissions) and tremendous inefficiency, they are a source of much of my personal quixotic quest. But ultimately, they must engage -- and so far, they have not even come close. So in case we have any utility executives in the Gristiverse, here is the speech I'd like to hear from one of you in 2008: