Climate & Energy

Climate marches kick off in New Hampshire and Iowa

A scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, the first book for a general audience on climate change, and, most recently, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. He serves on Grist’s board of directors. Thursday, 2 Aug 2007 LITCHFIELD, N.H. The climate movement is on the move again. Eleven months after a march across Vermont inaugurated a new, grassroots protest phase of the movement to slow global warming, two new parades are snaking across the nation’s most significant political battlegrounds, thanks to student leaders who have been organizing for …

Cellulosic beef

It’s a thing

Tom Konrad ponders the ethanol situation and wonders: what if, instead of feeding most of our corn to cows, and then growing a bunch of grass to make cellulosic ethanol, we use all the cow corn for ethanol and feed the grass to the cows? Gimmicky hook, but quite a fact-filled, educational article.

Dingell argues for a carbon tax

In a prominent op-ed

Today in the Washington Post, Rep. John Dingell has an op-ed arguing on behalf of a carbon tax: I apparently created a mini-storm last month when I observed publicly for at least the sixth time since February that some form of carbon emissions fee or tax (including a gasoline tax) would be the most effective way to curb carbon emissions and make alternatives economically viable. … A carbon tax or fee has been endorsed by President Bush’s former chief economic adviser, Greg Mankiw; Nobel Prize-winning conservative economist Gary Becker; the chief executive of the largest U.S. auto-dealer chain, Mike Jackson; …

More on thin-film solar

It’s coming soon

Technology Review has an article on thin-film solar, mostly focusing on First Solar. This stuff is very, very close to competitive with conventional solar panels and on a clear path to being competitive with traditional fossil-based electricity sources. It’s an exciting time. Speaking of solar excitement: A team at the Univ. of Delaware has just broken the previous world record for solar cell efficiency. The previous record was 40.7% efficiency, held by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The UD team hit 42.8%. They’re shooting for 50%. Skeptics point out that solar power has been "on the verge of …

Jeff Goodell doesn't like ethanol

His new piece says so in downright shrill terms

Jeff Goodell (see Grist interview) is apparently incapable of writing anything I don’t love. The latest is a piece in Rolling Stone called "Ethanol Scam." It’s downright shrill! Here’s what Goodell has to say about the ethanol hype: This is not just hype — it’s dangerous, delusional bullshit. Ethanol doesn’t burn cleaner than gasoline, nor is it cheaper. Our current ethanol production represents only 3.5 percent of our gasoline consumption — yet it consumes twenty percent of the entire U.S. corn crop, causing the price of corn to double in the last two years and raising the threat of hunger …

Big media misses a key climate censorship story

Should we be surprised?

This post was written by Kari, the ClimateProgress assistant. A year and a half overdue, the Bush Administration finally submitted its Climate Action Report -- 2006 (CAR) last Friday afternoon, with hardly any mention by government officials of the report or its shameful findings (like a 15.8 percent increase in U.S. emissions since 1990). While the mainstream media has been either silent or blind to the report's release, major kudos are due to the blogosphere. The few adept, new media journalists to blog on the report include Kevin Grandia from DeSmogBlog and Rick Piltz at Climate Science Watch.

Stupid on smart meters

Southern California Edison wants to distribute smart meters to its customers. That’s a great idea. Consumer group Utility Reform Network is fighting it. That is, as Kevin says, immeasurably stupid. Argh.

Carbon- and nuclear-free America possible by 2050

Now that’s a 12-step program

A hopeful press release touting an even more hopeful (wishful?) report:

Democrats poised to wimp out on CAFE for now; Dingell pursues 'poison pill' strategy on climate

The latest from Congress

The Washington Post reports today: Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) claims to have rounded up about 200 votes for an amendment raising fuel economy standards, while the Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, John D. Dingell (Mich.) and 50 other Democrats have signed on to a weaker version ... But yesterday, Pelosi said the bill was not likely to address fuel economy at all, postponing the issue until a conference committee reconciles House and Senate energy bills in September ... Pelosi is eager to avoid a breach with the powerful Dingell, who opposes the Markey amendment and whose committee will handle many important pieces of legislation, including health care. The United Auto Workers union and automakers have also lobbied against the Markey measure. Unfortunately for the nation and the planet, Dingell is working to make fuel economy standards and serious action on climate as politically unpalatable as possible with a classic poison pill strategy:

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