Climate & Energy

We Could’ve Sworn Someone Was Already Working On That

Bush confirms plans for U.S.-hosted climate summit Late last week, President Bush solidified plans for an international climate summit in September. The meeting, to be hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will convene 12 to 15 industrial and developing countries, including India and China, to discuss long-term climate goals. But critics are jumping all over the idea, first floated in June; they say Bush’s refusal to consider mandatory emissions cuts has tanked any hope of progress. “If this is just to carry on with a voluntary approach,” said Elliot Diringer of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, “then …

Dream a Little Ream of Me

House passes ambitious energy bill, Bush threatens veto The first national renewable-energy standard. Revoked oil-industry tax breaks that will help pay for clean energy. Funding for green job creation. A carbon-neutral federal government. What’s all this, the deluded longings of some kooky environmentalist? Nope, it’s a few of the features of the massive energy bill passed by the U.S. House on Saturday. “We are turning toward the future,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “This beautiful planet is God’s gift to us. We have a moral responsibility to preserve it.” The legislation — which notably requires utilities to generate 15 …

YearlyKos: Step It Up 2

The next round of McKibben’s campaign

I forgot some of the coolest (and breaking) news! At my panel earlier today, Bill McKibben "pre-announced" something exciting: On Nov. 3, a year before the presidential election, he will be organizing Step It Up 2: Revenge of the Nerds. OK, I made up the title, but not the news. At the first Step It Up, McKibben’s Army asked that people gather in places likely to be affected by climate change. For Step It Up 2, people will be gathering in places that commemorate great moments of American leadership: think Mount Rushmore, MLK Jr. High School, Washington Monument, etc. The …

YearlyKos: My long day

This morning, I woke up early to go to the Energize America 2020 panel. There was far too much information to replicate here — you can see the details of the plan on their site — but as I said earlier, what’s remarkable is that such a collaborative project has produced such a solid, practical plan. And the openness of the process is not some add-on, it’s part of the core principles guiding the project. Read through the plan — it fills enormous gaps in the energy policy debate, around public transportation, efficiency, smart grids, and financial instruments to encourage …

YearlyKos: Obama and coal

So, lots to talk about, but for now: I’m in a candidate forum with Barack Obama and he was just asked directly about coal. He dodged and weaved, said there would have to be a "transition," and that there would need to be "investments," etc. etc. Unsatisfying. He did, however, very strongly back the 80 percent by 2050 target, and backed a 20% national RPS. So there’s that.

YearlyKos: Energize America

The Energize America 2020 project that emerged from a collaborative effort in the Daily Kos community is remarkable. It’s easily the most impressive thing I’ve seen presented at YearlyKos — and I don’t just say that because it’s my issue. In terms of substance, process, and practical results, it’s an inspiring example of what the grassroots can do. More on this later too.

Bush pushes climate meeting, shuns solution


Kind of a good news, bad news story: President George W. Bush has invited the European Union, the United Nations and 11 other countries to the September 27-28 meeting in Washington to work toward setting a long-term goal by 2008 to cut emissions. Yet it turns out just to be a meeting full of sound and fury, signifying nothing: "But a senior U.S. official said the administration stood by its opposition to mandatory economy-wide caps." A meeting aimed at (1) developing voluntary or aspirational targets, (2) for the long-term, (3) by 2008 [i.e. Bush's last year in office]. Three strikes and you are out. Bush's last chance to be a small part of the solution rather than a large part of the problem came and went at the G-8 meeting, where Bush nixed an effort to set realistic and binding long-term targets. The only interesting question that will be answered by this meeting is whether the media will be suckered into giving the President the one outcome he truly wants -- positive press coverage on climate change, an area of such catastrophic failure by this administration that it will probably ensure (even more than Iraq) that history judges Bush a failure. This post was created for, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Lieberman, Warner seek 70 percent emissions cut by 2050

Climate plan is unveiled

Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) -- does this make him an icon? -- and John Warner (R-Va.) unveiled their long-awaited climate plan. It looks pretty good to me because: It is bipartisan -- indeed, it follows the strategy recommended by moderate senators, such as Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) It starts quickly -- by 2012 we must return to 2005 levels. It has a credible 2050 target -- and requires regular reports from the National Academy of Sciences on the "extent to which the emissions reductions achieved under the Act no, together with actual steps taken by other nations, stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at a level adequate to forestall catastrophic impacts of climate change." It does not have a safety valve, but instead has banking and borrowing. This plan will be the starting point for legislation from Sen. Boxer (D-CA). Here is a detailed summary from Greenwire (subs. req'd):

Hit 'em where it hurts!

Climate change impacts on wineries: Could this be the last straw for some?

Many of those opposed to action on global warming might change their tune if they knew that it would actually affect their beverage of choice. That's right, global warming might change wine. For more info on this, check out this story from KQED Public Broadcasting in San Francisco.

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