Climate & Energy

More Dingell

Is he losing his influence?

Glenn Hurowitz writes that Dingell may finally be losing his influence: Part of the reason for Dingell’s decreasing power is that he’s become rather unpopular within a Democratic caucus that’s willing to tolerate internal policy differences, but increasingly unwilling to accept his barely veiled attacks on Pelosi and his open war with the environmental movement, which is providing more and more ground troops to Democratic field operations on Election Day. The guy isn’t built for parliamentary party unity, that’s for sure! Glenn makes a good case, but I continue to think that the "open war" thing is a bit reductive. …

California's attorney general cracks down on emissions, gets some enemies in the process

Will he be able to weather the storm?

Here’s another semi-old story that I’m just now getting around to (and yes, I’ve forgotten how I found it). It’s deceptively significant. Using California’s tough environmental regs, state Attorney General Jerry Brown is throwing some elbows, trying to force a range of projects from housing developments to oil refineries to show how they’ll reduce emissions. He’s trying to change extremely ingrained behavior at a fairly micro level, and he’s getting a whole mess of blowback. Brown is trying to remain flexible enough to allow for a range of solutions, but the state’s big money players are getting peeved, and Schwarzenegger’s …

The Daily Show makes a meal of Cape Wind opponents

Watch a video outlining the conflict over this wind farm

"Nantucket Sound, blessed with a vast diversity of native life ... " Update, 11 Sep 2007: The video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Viacom International Inc., unfortunately.

Newsweek takes on deniers without faux balance


Oy. Things are, as usual, happening faster than I can blog them. Before it gets too old, let me be the last person in the green blogosphere to link to this remarkable article in Newsweek. It’s about the history of the global warming denial industry. It’s not remarkable because it uncovers any new information. Those playing close attention — and reading sources like, ahem, Grist — have known about this stuff for a long time. It’s remarkable because it gathers it in one place and presents it forcefully, without the usual strained attempt to "balance" it with the same discredited …

Romm on the policy and politics of global warming

Watch him on ‘OnPoint’

Very good piece here from E&ETV ($ub req'd). Worth the time to watch. Description:

Cognitive dissonance and climate change skepticism

How the two are related

Science Friday recently had a great segment on cognitive dissonance, defined as: A psychological term which describes the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs. Because it is uncomfortable, your brain will seek out ways to resolve the contradictions. So if you think you're a good and moral person, but you fudge a little on your taxes, you might justify this with an excuse like: "I've overpaid in previous years," or "the government is using my money in an immoral way," or "everyone else is doing it." New research shows that this is not some individual character flaw, but a strong and consistent human impulse. Brain scans show that the brain floods with pleasure when conflicting ideas are resolved. I thought the segment went a long way toward explaining why skeptics on global warming still exist. When presented with conflicting views, such as "I am a good person" vs. "my lifestyle is destroying the planet," the brain comes up with a way to resolve them, such as, "global warming is a conspiracy cooked up by celebrities and scientists." This really highlights why we need to emphasize solutions. If we give people ways to address the problem, they won't need to deny it.

Well Oil Be Damned

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pursues energy treaties in South America Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is on a four-nation swing through South America this week, using his country’s oil riches to win friends and influence people. Yesterday, Chavez signed an “energy security treaty” with Nestor Kirchner, the president of Argentina; he will continue on to Uruguay, Ecuador, and Bolivia, where observers expect similar energy agreements to be cemented. The treaty with Argentina will see Venezuela buy $1 billion of that country’s bonds, provide as much as $400 million for a new natural-gas plant, and cooperate on initiatives including oil refining projects, …

Someone Alert Ben and Jerry

Indo-Pacific coral reefs disappearing twice as fast as rainforest, study says Forget the rainforest: the coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific oceans are vanishing twice as quickly, researchers say. The Indo-Pacific region, home to 75 percent of the world’s coral reefs, has lost nearly 600 square miles of reef each year since the late 1960s. In addition, coral cover — a measure of ocean-floor coverage that reflects reef health — has shrunk from a historic average of 50 percent to an average of about 20 percent in 2003. A team from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who published …

What makes a good cap-and-trade system?

A short guide

Lots of economists and analysts on both sides of the aisle prefer a carbon tax to a cap-and-trade system, but political reality is such that the former is exceedingly unlikely and the latter has become all but inevitable. So it’s time to focus on doing it well. One question that came up in the panel Q&A was this: what makes for a good cap-and-trade system? This subject is both enormously complex and enormously relevant to current politics. We need the grassroots to be engaged, pushing back against the many half-ass measures on offer, lobbying on behalf of good measures. To …

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.