Just as Steve Jobs was polishing the final draft of his defense of Apple's environmental programs, computer industry analyst firm Gartner announced to the world its findings about Global IT's carbon footprint. It's not good.
((brightlines_include)) How climate change is handled in few key areas within the year -- particularly congressional action in 2008 and 2009 and the 2008 presidential election -- will likely set the terms of the U.S. political debate, which for all practical purposes, within the constraints of Hansen's standard and timeframe for action, will determine the outcome. Therefore, a Bright Lines plan of action must accomplish three things: polarize debate in Congress and the presidential election; strengthen the narrative now being advanced by climate scientists; and, build a climate action core and financial base. Six campaigns and programs are outlined for the critical 14 month period from April 2007- May 2008. 1. Climate Civil Defense Preparedness. The story told by congressional action in 2007-2009 will be that climate change must and can be addressed by vigorous action to cap carbon emissions and win U.S. energy independence, tempered by the necessity of not over-burdening the U.S. auto (Rep. Dingell), oil (Sen. Bingaman), and coal (Sen. Byrd) industries. There is little room to challenge this narrative, but it may be possible to add to it.
From the article "Holiday at the End of the Earth: Tourists Paying to See Global Warming in Action," posted on Common Dreams: "The idea of global-warming tourism is full of ironies," he said. "If enough people expend enough fossil fuels to visit one Warming Island, they will ensure that there will be many more."
Carbon offsets, which let you pay some money to help fund climate-friendly projects, got the love-hate treatment in Monday's New York Times. At issue: are they for real, or just some sort of gimmick? By contributing money to an offset program, are you really expiating your climate sins, or are you just buying meaningless indulgences? The article finds lots of quotes from people who are skeptical about offsets. But to me, this is mostly a manufactured controversy -- an attempt to find a green schism where none really exists. As far as I can tell, there's a middle ground on the issue that most people already agree on: namely, that carbon offsets are simultaneously worthwhile and a gimmick. A worthwhile gimmick, if you will.
The Office of Fossil Energy (no, not Dick Cheney's office -- apparently there is another one) released a new report this week: "Tracking New Coal Fired Power Plants." An excerpt from the press release: If built, the plants will be critical in helping to meet future electricity demand in the United States. The new and proposed plants would theoretically produce enough electricity to power 90 million homes. Coal is vital to the nation's energy security. Providing more than 50 percent of U.S. electricity, coal is an abundant, domestic energy source with more than a 250-year supply at current use rates. America's coal reserves, estimated at 272 billion tons, contain more energy potential than all of the oil in the Middle East. Your tax dollars at work.
Via Renewable Energy Journal.
Wow. The Nation has elected to print some flat-footed, idiotic global warming skepticism from Alexander Cockburn, who has made a media career out of insulting people and generally being a dick. I don’t have time to get into it — see previous post — but you can check with Sir Oolius for some initial debunkery. The one thing a reasonable person might conclude from Cockburn’s steaming pile of column is that it’s very important for greens to detach global warming activism from the whole “sin” frame, because that pisses everybody off, even notional allies. Of course, dragging his dyspeptic ass …
Rep. Jay Inslee, Democrat from Washington’s 1st congressional district and a clean-energy champion, will be discussing climate change with other local eco-experts (and with the audience) at Seattle’s Town Hall on May 9. Additional smart folks at the Symposium on Climate Policy, presented by the Thomas C. Wales Foundation, will include Denis Hayes, national coordinator of the first Earth Day and president of the Bullitt Foundation; K.C. Golden of Climate Solutions; Ben Packard of Starbucks; Eric Markell of Puget Sound Energy; and Steve Nicholas of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment. Ross Reynolds of KUOW will moderate. Tickets are $15 …
Good story in the Christian Science Monitor about places that are taking steps (albeit tiny, tiny baby steps) to take back some of the public space given over to cars and letting people use it:
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