Politics

Sure to Hit Fox News Soon

Mainstream media explores Bush administration eco-disregard Searing indictment of the Bush administration’s environmental policies — it’s not just for bloggers anymore! Last week, Rolling Stone published “The Secret Campaign of President Bush’s Administration to Deny Global Warming,” about — well, you know. Not to be outdone, The Washington Post focused an installment of a series on Vice President Dick Cheney on the veep’s involvement in various incidents of eco-dicking. Cheney’s influence was indisputable in the relaxation of air-pollution regulations in 2003, says the Post, and in the 2001 deaths of tens of thousands of Oregon salmon when Klamath River water …

More significant energy developments in D.C. today

Lots of stuff going on in D.C.

Lordy, the developments are happening so fast I can barely keep up with them. Here are a few more of note. Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va) are teaming up to put together comprehensive climate legislation. You can bet that whatever they come up with is going to be way over on the business-friendly side of things, but nonetheless this is a big development. Lieberman and Warner are both key members of the Senate EPW committee, where chair Barbara Boxer has come under fire lately for losing control of the climate change issue and letting it slide. Warner …

More Dingell

The House’s most indecipherable, um, cipher

I’ve been getting some interesting — and widely varied — reactions to this post on Dingell. So here’s a follow-up. First, MoveOn’s political action campaign director, Ilyse Hogue, sends me this: Rep. Dingell has been late to the game and is well behind other Democratic leaders whose vision can make our country competitive in the 21st century. His calls in the last couple days for greenhouse gas reductions and (maybe) a carbon tax are good steps. But this is not about horse trading; it’s about listening to the American people and a climate bill that takes stand against industry and …

RPS, as viewed from the states of the Old Confederacy

Their reasons aren’t all that unreasonable

Yesterday, I spoke to a group of manufacturers in Arkansas. Throughout the conference there was a fair amount of pride in the successful squashing of Bingaman's RPS bill -- and for reasons that are not entirely unreasonable. Among the speakers was the chair of the Arkansas Energy Commission, who said that he personally objected to the bill because it was unfair. Specifically, it would not allow Arkansas to count their existing hydro-electric capacity in the RPS targets, but would allow existing wind to count. From his perspective, this looked like a sop to Bingaman's wind-rich home district, and while we might personally dispute this interpretation, it is easy to see how it could happen. It is further proof for my earlier point that a path-based RPS is bound to fail, for the simple reason that you will never get a majority of states to agree that a wind/solar dominated RPS is in their interests. Change the structure so that it provides incentives for the goal rather than the path and you could break the southern opposition. There are more low-zero carbon fuels out there than are dreamt of in current RPS philosophies. If your state is long on biomass, bagasse, waste heat or wind, those should all be eligible -- not because we redefine our eligibility targets, but because we define the goal in terms of carbon reduction and then open up the door to any path that can get there. Until then, we're not going to get an RPS.  Note that the southern utilities are boasting about their success in killing this last one -- let's not give them more to crow about. From Greenwire (sub. rqd.): Southern utilities led effort to squash Senate RPS proposal ATLANTA -- Southern utilities played key roles in the effort to undermine plans in the Senate last week to require power companies to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy. The fingerprints of the Tennessee Valley Authority and those of the Tennessee Valley Power Providers Association, whose members distribute TVA power to nearly 9 million customers in the South, were all over the successful effort to keep the so-called renewable portfolio standard (RPS) out of the sweeping Senate energy bill.

Is this the right time to attack Dingell?

He’s pro-carbon tax, anti-CAFE — which matters more?

Last week, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chair of the Energy & Commerce Committee, dropped this bomb (sub. rqd.): My own judgment is that we are going to have to adopt a cap-and-trade system and some form of carbon emission fee to achieve the reductions we need. Lest you missed it, “carbon emission fee” is clever poli-speak for carbon tax. Meanwhile, the liberal grassroots group MoveOn has launched a full frontal assault on Dingell, with radio ads calling him a "Dingellsaurus." They’re joined by several other groups, including Greenpeace, which has called for Dingell’s ouster as chair of the E&C Committee. …

Soil: The secret solution to global warming

A nifty video

Quantum Shift TV has made a video about the coming farm bill called "Soil: The Secret Solution to Global Warming.” It opens with Canadian superstar farmer Percy Schmeiser, and segues into a smart discussion of farm bill politics. It’s about 9 min. long. Check it out:

Science: Eh, who cares?

Hansen says scientists need lovin’, too

NASA climate scientist James Hansen has a new paper out, titled “How Can We Avert Dangerous Climate Change,” which is actually a slightly-edited version of his testimony before Congress in April. The paper is available online here (PDF), and it’s worth checking out, of course. But also interesting is the preamble Hansen included in his email announcing the new paper: President Eisenhower was arguably the last United States President to seek and value advice of scientists. As discussed by John Rigdon in June 2007 Physics Today, scientists played important roles in the World Wars, but they did not have substantial …

15 Green Politicians

From mayors to heads of state, politicians the world over are going green. Check out our list of top achievers, then tell us which political leaders you’d nominate in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Photo: Thomas Hawk via Flickr Arnold Schwarzenegger The Governator has truly pumped up environmental action in California. He made the state a global leader on climate change by signing into law the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which commits the state to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. He’s also done some heavy lifting to …

Global warming and direct action

To act not to act

I regularly receive a letter from Ted Glick, the coordinator of the U.S. Climate Emergency Council, who recently was arrested for hanging a banner on the NOAA building to protest their mishandling of climate information. He has joined with others in calling for a fast on September 4th: We are calling on thousands of Americans to voluntarily give up food for one day on September 4th, 2007. Other participants will fast even longer beginning on that date, some for weeks. Our appeal to you is to consider joining us in this climate initiative called, "So Others Might Eat: The Climate Emergency Fast." ... What will we be calling for? Three things: no new coal or coal-to-liquid plants; freeze greenhouse gas emissions and move quickly to reduce them; and a down payment of $25 billion for energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy. Ken Ward has recently posted here about the efficacy of protest. The problem as I see it is that in the past, direct action and protest have had very clear achievable goals, whereas in the case of global warming, we know we want drastically reduced carbon emission, but the devil is in the details.

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

×