Election 2012

Rick Perry: Just because global warming is a 'fact' doesn't mean it's real

Oh, Rick Perry. He's like a feudal lord who was just defrosted from the 13th century, only better-coiffed and less handy with a lance. He's like his own personal Renaissance Festival. Science? Forsooth, milord, what dost thou mean? In last night's debate, Perry offered the following extremely convincing (to other 13th-century refugees) argument against global warming: Not all scientists believe in it, I am pretty sure. I can't name any scientist who doesn't, but then, I can't name any scientists at all. Even if they do say it's a fact, that doesn't mean it's true. Because Galileo. Hey, Galileo! He's a scientist who probably didn't believe in global warming! QED.

Critical List: Obama admin backs more solar projects; Kiribati president wants a new island

The Obama administration provided a loan guarantee to a SolarCity project that would put solar panels on 160,000 military homes — "the larger domestic residential rooftop solar project in history," Energy Secretary Chu said. Rick Perry thinks he's a smart as Galileo. Or at least that some climate-denying scientists are. So he’d be pretty irked to see yet more evidence that global warming is real, if he actually read newspapers.

Critical List: Romney’s down with coal; Iran starts up a nuclear plant

Mitt Romney, in a desperate attempt to fit in, says he wants to burn more coal. Iran's making nuclear power. There’s no way that could go wrong! But worldwide, renewables are beating out nuclear in terms of installed capacity.

Critical List: Rick Perry loves nuclear waste; oil spills in Alabama

Rick Perry wanted to expand a nuclear waste site, owned by one of his donors, but a state commissioner objected. Guess what happened to the state commissioner. No, he wasn’t killed, Jesus! But Perry did offer him another job, in order to bribe him away from the waste commission so he could be replaced. Beijing's going to put congestion fees in place, a policy that New York City has failed to get past suburban commuters. Ah, democracy. Will you be living under high water stress? Some businesses, like the insurance industry, believe in climate change. But that doesn't mean they're prepared for it.

Why the hell does Michele Bachmann want to drill for oil in the Everglades?

Michele Bachman wants to drill for oil "whether that is in the Everglades or whether that is in the Eastern Gulf region or whether that is in North Dakota." Even Republicans think this is kind of nuts, because even Republicans are willing to agree that the Everglades has some nice stuff that it'd be darn shame to ruin forever. But for Bachmann, it's a "wonderful treasure trove of energy that God has given us in this country." If you're thinking, oil in the Gulf … ok; oil in North Dakota … sure, I read that New Yorker article; but … is there even oil the Everglades?? … well, we're with you. A federally employed geologist told a local Florida TV station that "there is no known evidence that there is a significant hydrocarbon deposit beneath the Everglades."  But the Associated Press reports that there is one tract of privately owned land where oil was found in 1943. 

Texas likely to have multi-year drought; Rick Perry likely to deny its cause

Texas' over-the-top, economically devastating, record-breaking drought is likely to turn into a grinding, multi-year drought, reports Kate Galbraith in the Texas Tribune. That could put it on track to compete with the state's worst-ever dry spell in the 1950s, which in turn can barely compete with the prehistoric mega-droughts Texas used to experience. In other words, Texas is a dry state with a delicate climate, and climate change is only going to make things worse.

Critical List: East Coast prepares for Irene; Inhofe gets on Romney’s case

With Hurricane Irene on its way, New Yorkers head to Trader Joe's and make jokes (I think they're jokes?) about the proper amount to tip delivery guys who come out during a hurricane.  Why does a super-walkable condo building in Denver include eight floors of parking spaces? (Answer: There's no good answer.) So weird: Even Sen. Jim Inhofe wants Mitt Romney to stop waffling on climate change. This may be the only issue Inhofe and environmentalists have ever agreed on.

Critical List: Conflicts connected to climate; some green collar jobs are also white collar jobs

Conflicts across the world can be connected to climate phenomena like El Niño. Mitt Romney: so wimpy on climate issues, it hurts. Some green jobs require an MBA. Drivers are still cutting down on miles, even though gas prices are creeping downward.

Election 2012

Huntsman slams Perry on climate, Bachmann on gas prices

Jon Huntsman believes in climate change and isn't afraid to say so -- or to call out his rivals on how their anti-science stance is hurting the Republican Party.