Dispatch from San Francisco

I saw Barack Obama speak in San Francisco this weekend. In his standard stump speech (I assume, anyway), he spoke for 45 minutes, without notes, with passion. As he wryly noted, he's very articulate. Healthcare and education were the themes he stressed the most. He spoke starkly of the need to confront climate change, and referenced briefly the opportunities and benefits of investing in "alternative technologies." That said, I didn't get the sense that it is an animating passion of his. This election cycle, people want to fall in love. And on that front at least, he's got the goods. A personable, warm, and impressive man.

The Waxman hearing ...


… is streaming live. Drama! Update [2007-3-19 8:57:46 by David Roberts]: Wow, this is squirm-inducing. Deutsch is on the stand. He is getting drilled. One member of the committee actually offered him a chance to apologize to Hansen. Update [2007-3-19 9:1:28 by David Roberts]: Oh, man. Chris Shays talking-points-I-got-from-some-right-wing-staffer vs. James Hansen I-know-WTF-I’m-talking-about. Advantage: Hansen. Update [2007-3-19 9:21:54 by David Roberts]: Oh lordy, they’re back on Deutsch. Van Hollen is stringing him along. Deutsch said they had “media practices” that “even Mr. Hansen will admit he didn’t always follow.” Then Van Hollen reads him his own words: he was concerned …

Today's Waxman hearing: Philip Cooney speaks!

At last

Today is the occasion of "one hell of a hearing," as Rep. Henry Waxman’s Oversight Committee has another go as the subject of "Allegations of Political Interference with the Work of Government Climate Change Scientists." WaPo has the following folks testifying: Philip Cooney, former chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality; James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; George Deutsch, former public affairs officer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Roy Spencer of the …

Edwards: 80% reductions by 2050

The first pres. candidate to make the pledge

According to an account from an appearance at Howard University, John Edwards has become the first presidential candidate to publicly pledge to the target of reducing U.S. GHG emissions by 80% by 2050. That’s the baseline. Who else will step up?

I Think I Can’t, I Think I Can’t

Automakers tell Congress why fuel-economy improvements won’t work Congress hosted a few more cranky white men yesterday, as the CEOs of Chrysler, Ford, GM, and Toyota’s North American division appeared before a House subcommittee to explain why they couldn’t possibly raise fuel-economy standards. Joined by the head of the United Auto Workers, the churlish chiefs pointed to the high costs of meeting a 4 percent a year raise proposed by President Bush, saying it posed a threat to jobs and retirees’ health care. They also said using ethanol and regulating tailpipe emissions would be better ways to wean the U.S. …

Take That, Iowa

New Hampshire towns send climate-change message to feds The votes are in, and the message is clear: New Hampshire is peeved about global warming. Nearly 90 towns approved a nonbinding resolution at their annual meetings this week telling the feds to act on climate change and harrumphing that presidential candidates should make it a priority in their campaigns. About 90 more will debate the resolution — which also endorses the idea of a national sustainable-energy research initiative — at upcoming town meetings this spring. Given its traditional first-in-the-nation primary status, the tiny state’s fist-shaking is nothing to sneeze at. “There’s …

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