Politics

Rep. Hilda Solis

She’s cool

One of the most (OK, only) active members of Congress around the intersection of climate change and race is Rep. Hilda Solis (CA-32). She’s the one who sponsored the Green Jobs Act that Van Jones is so excited about. Here’s a short interview with her, from OpenLeft: Tomorrow, Solis is hosting a community forum of global warming. Check it out if you’re in the area.

U.S. taxpayers are paying to increase carbon emissions in the developing world

Makes total sense!

On the one hand, Bush and the Republicans say we’re helpless to do anything about global warming until China and India act. On the other hand, the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. are funneling billions in taxpayer dollars to huge corporations (think Halliburton and Bechtel) to help them construct carbon-intensive hard infrastructure projects: According to their own reports, the two agencies approved projects in recent years that annually emitted more than 125 million metric tons of CO2 — the equivalent of putting 31.3 million new cars on the road or increasing U.S. carbon emissions by 2%, …

A carbon tax even Dingell haters can love

From Rep. John Larson

Love the carbon tax but can’t stand Dingell? Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) is your man. He just introduced a kick-ass carbon tax bill (PDF) to the House. From Greenwire ($ub req’d): Larson’s legislation would set a $15 tax in its first year for every ton of carbon dioxide emissions from the oil, gas and coal industries, with the tax rising 10 percent annually while also keeping pace with inflation. Larson’s office also released a memo (PDF) saying the tax would be “easy to implement and administer” by covering about 2,000 oil refineries, coal processing plants and other points where fossil …

Idle oughts

We still heart Rocky Anderson

Rocky Anderson is in the news again, reminding us why we all love him. Now he’s taking on idling autos, calling for city-owned vehicles and personal vehicles on city business to limit their idling to five minutes, except in emergency situations. Fifty percent of air pollution in Utah comes from cars and trucks, and Rocky wants the city to do their part in cutting down on the smog-creating emissions. His environmental adviser, Jordan Gates, says this latest executive order is part of the mayor’s comprehensive plan to improve air quality, encourage alternative fuels, reduce driving, bolster alternative transportation, and reduce …

Farm Bill: The 'delicate balance' the House left intact

But key Senators are making noise about rocking the boat

When Mark Udall (D-Colo.) proposed shaving two-thirds of a cent from just one of the subsidies that go to cotton farmers, Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) said, "it is absolutely unfair, once we have reached this very delicate balance within the bill, to reach in and single out one commodity." That amendment -- to cut less than a penny from cotton subsidies and use the savings to protect more than 200,000 acres from sprawl and development -- failed by a vote of 175-251. So what was that very delicate balance that the House of Representatives preserved?

Feds fund Bloomberg's congestion plan

But still no actual decision on whether it will happen

The federal government has agreed to allot $354 million to New York City to help it launch its congestion pricing plan. Yeah, that one where state legislators were first like “Hmmm, I dunno,” and then they were all like “no way,” and then some enviros were like, “Eh, maybe it’s not that great anyway.” Not that federal funding guarantees that the state will approve the plan, so stay tuned.

New consensus?

At the New York Sun, Gary Shapiro notices that there’s broad bipartisan consensus on the need for "energy independence" but very little agreement about how to achieve it. Uh, hasn’t that been the prevailing situation for almost a half century now?

Climate change and conflict: a 'myth'?

Not really

I get the point Idean Salehyan is trying to make in "The New Myth About Climate Change,” but — the headline should tip you off — the whole piece has been unnecessarily tarted up to generate controversy. It administers a stern beating to a series of strawmen. The "myth" in question is that global warming increases the probability of conflict, or as Salehyan puts it, "international and civil wars, a rise in the number of failed states, terrorism, crime, and a stampede of migration toward developed countries." What the piece demonstrates, however, is that the claim is a myth only …

The World Bank and global warming

An attempt at censorship by Wolfowitz

Sad, but perhaps not surprising. "Wolfowitz attempted to censor World Bank report on global warming," from Greenwire ($ub req'd):

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