Climate & Energy

Drying up

A global trend toward drought

A few months ago, I reported on the decade-long drought that's bedeviling Australia. In it I predicted -- with the help of experts such as Tim Flannery -- that climate skeptic John Howard would lose his seat to the Labor Party leader, Kevin Rudd, in this October's national elections. Rudd is running on a platform that includes $50 million for geothermal energy, $50 million for an Australian Solar Institute, and a 60 percent cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. And according to Flannery, the election will in large part be a referendum on climate change.

Colbert: Will this eventually affect Planet America?

On climate, Hu's leading whom?

Snappy comebacks for the climate do-nothing set who’s using China as an excuse

On a hot day this summer, Chinese President Hu Jintao and a group of state leaders appeared at a public function wearing short-sleeved shirts, rather than their normal business suits. According to the state press, the casual attire wasn't just a new fashion statement: China's top brass were leading by example, encouraging Chinese workers to dress in light clothing in order to reduce the use of air conditioners in office buildings. Fashions do change. Outright denial of global warming is out of vogue. Instead, the climate change do-nothing set is sporting this season's new line: "Why should we bother trying to fight climate change when China won't do anything to reduce its emissions?" (Conservative communications consultant Frank Luntz even insists that the "'international fairness' issue is an emotional home run." Emotional home run? One might ask what a win looks like in his game?) How to counter this flawed logic? Hu Jintao's climate-fighting wardrobe choices aside, here are three ways:

The twilight of Inhofe

One last rant from the Senate’s loopy streetcorner anti-prophet

Sen. James Inhofe has become something of an epic figure, worthy of contemplation by historians, playwrights, or perhaps psychoanalysts. The zeitgeist, which once seemed to rise up around him like a thundercloud, has now moved …

Cities and counties take note

Berkeley shows the way to climate change mitigation at a local level

The city of Berkeley, Calif., shows how to take serious action on climate disruption by paying up-front costs to help residents switch to solar power. This could be done at any scale, from village to nation. All that is needed is wisdom and an understanding that any "ROI" (return on investment) calculation that doesn't include the risk that failure to respond to climate disruption will bankrupt us (in addition to its moral bankruptcy) isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

Berkeley, Calif., suggests innovative solar scheme

The Berkeley, Calif., city council will soon vote on an innovative scheme to front the cost of solar panels to homeowners, who would pay the city back over 20 years as a property tax add-on. …

BP settles three federal investigations

Oil giant BP settled three federal investigations yesterday. Drumroll please … In regards to the 2005 Texas refinery explosion that killed 15 workers, BP will admit it is Beyond Guilty to felony charges of violating …

Can't we all just get along?

Gore, partisanship, and climate change

A Gore conservatives could love? Photo: Eric Neitzel/WireImage. One of the stranger things I sometimes read about Al Gore is that because he is so partisan, because he turns off a certain bloc of the …

Gore's flaw: He doesn't sound enough like an uptight libertarian wonk

Says uptight libertarian wonk

I don’t understand what Steven Landsburg is supposed to be saying here. By his own admission, the position Gore advances is in line with the Stern Review. But Stern showed his work, with a few …

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