Politics

Western states and feds agree to new pact on Colorado River drought rules

The seven states served by the Colorado River agreed with federal officials last week on new rules for how to manage the river’s all-important water …

Bali conference goes into second week

The latest from Bali: On Saturday, a draft text was produced suggesting that developed nations cut emissions between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels …

Fools on the Hill

Greed versus green on the energy bill

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. ----- As the new energy bill hit the Senate with a thud last week, we had to ask: Is it really so easy to stall vital public policy with tired old scare tactics? Last Friday, the answer was "yes." One of the potholes the bill has encountered is its $13 billion take-back from Big Oil. The bill proposes to repeal tax breaks given to the industry by the Republican-controlled Congress in 2004-2005 and to close some tax loopholes that allow oil companies to game the system when they report income from foreign oil and gas extraction. Predictably, the oil industry and the White House complained about a tax increase and warned of higher prices at the pump -- two time-tested themes to trigger knee-jerk opposition from the public. Let's break it down.

Coal lover to skip climate forum

Rudy Giuliani’s ties to dirty energy and efforts to kill the Senate energy bill

You might recall that a while back there was talk of a(nother) presidential forum on climate and energy, to be convened by Al Gore and …

The real action in Bali

Grassroots mobilizes over the weekend at int’l climate conference

Post by Will Bates, Stepitup 2007 The weekend has finished, and countries are diving into their second week in Bali of chit-chatting about what to do about climate change. While we may not be seeing much bold action so far at this round of negotiations, we know that global public pressure for urgent action is beginning to mount ... Saturday was the third annual International Day of Action on Climate Change, which the Global Climate Campaign helped coordinate in more than 85 countries. Local groups and international activists have carried forth the message for urgent action in a big way here in Bali.

My country, right or ... wait, no, that's definitely wrong

US and EU demand import-tariff reductions on stuff that they export

Wow, the latest out of Bali is really, um, something to behold: The US and the European Union found a rare common cause when they …

Tampering with the science

Henry Waxman weighs in on Bush admin. efforts to suppress climate science

The House Oversight committee has released its official report (PDF) on White House efforts to interfere with climate change science, and its conclusions are ... well, totally predictable. To wit: The Committee's 16-month investigation reveals a systematic White House effort to censor climate scientists by controlling their access to the press and editing testimony to Congress. The White House was particularly active in stifling discussions of the link between increased hurricane intensity and global warming. The White House also sought to minimize the significance and certainty of climate change by extensively editing government climate change reports. Other actions taken by the White House involved editing EPA legal opinions and op-eds on climate change. The sheer volume and magnitude of chicanery, when laid out in nearly 30 pages of detail, betrays a remarkably fastidious program of misinformation. I suppose it's in the nature of things that many of the sub rosa efforts to tamper with the findings of real scientists would leak to the press and the Congress. After all, it's only Bush appointees who take an oath -- explicit or otherwise -- to uphold the president. The scientists who work in those appointees' agencies, on the other hand, were apparently pretty upset about all of this.

What are the most important elements in a climate bill?

On Lieberman-Warner, long-term emissions targets, and picking a trajectory

I’ve heard quite a bit of protest about the fact that the Lieberman-Warner climate bill’s long-term target — 70 percent emissions reductions by 2050 — …

Should economics rule?

The only way to a soft landing is down

The only way to a soft landing is down. In a brief article on DeSmog by Emily Murgatroyd, a Cato Institute type, Jerry Taylor, is quoted as saying Scientists are in no position to intelligently guide public policy on climate change. Scientists can lay out scenarios, but it is up to economists to weigh the costs and benefits and many of them say the costs of cutting emissions are higher than the benefits. Can we consider this claim, or is it somehow protected by a taboo? Is one a Marxist or even a Stalinist for pointing out that economists are not, themselves, necessarily right about everything? Economists, meanwhile, claim to have the key to rationality. Their claim is based in their own definition of their field, which is about "how people collectively make decisions", but they proceed very quickly from there to the marketplace via a number of dubious assumptions. The marketplace is real enough, and the fact that it affects the decisions we make is inescapable, but that doesn't prove a claim that economics is uniquely placed to resolve our differences. A claim in more desperate need of challenging I cannot imagine -- yet on it goes, essentially unchallenged in circles of power.

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