U.S. mayors hit Seattle to plot climate strategy and get a dose of hope

More than 100 mayors from across the U.S. gathered in Seattle late last week to share lessons from their efforts to address climate change, producing the world’s first climate conference that didn’t lead to a …

Videos from PowerShift

The PowerShift youth climate conference, which has been going on in D.C. all weekend, is, from all reports, kicking ass. Our own Brian Beutler is there and will be writing a report shortly. For now, …

Hillary’s energy plan expected today

Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, Hillary Clinton is going to introduce her new energy plan — "Powering America’s Future: New Energy, New Jobs” — with a few speeches and briefings. I will, naturally, …

'Mideast Oil Forever?': Part V

Pollution prevention and preparing for the future

The final part of "MidEast Oil Forever?" (subs. req'd) discusses pollution prevention. I think the discussion still holds up, and as you can see, I am no Johnny-come-lately to the global warming issue. What is particularly sad about the Bush administration, is that while they eschew the anti-clean-technology rhetoric of Reagan and Gingrich -- indeed claim to be pro-clean-technology, they have gutted some of the best clean tech and energy efficiency programs. In particular, they have slashed the budget for the Energy Department's major pollution prevention effort, the Industries of the Future program (described briefly in the article), and the president has proposed zeroing it out entirely. This administration's energy and climate policy make the final sentence of this article, sadly, as true as ever: "Only a misbegotten ideology could conceive a blunder of such potentially historic proportions." Here is what we wrote:

Sanders alone

Why isn’t Joe Lieberman scared of Bernie Sanders?

Readers following Brian’s excellent coverage will have noted that Joe Lieberman rejected most of the amendments offered by Bernie Sanders to the Lieberman-Warner climate bill. And if you watched the hearing, you’ll have seen that …

Grist: not yet universally beloved

So, the field hearing of the House global warming committee is just getting underway. I was chatting with Rep. Jay Inslee a few minutes ago, when a burly, ruddy-faced man tried to get past us. …

Energy bill for dummies

What’s going on with the energy bill in Congress

The following is a guest essay from Julia Bovey, federal communications director for the Natural Resources Defense Council and blogger at NRDC’s Switchboard. —– When I left my native Boston for Washington, D.C., I bought …

U.S. Mayors Climate Conference: Gore III

Gore: It’s not Kyoto but its successor that needs political support

Tallahassee Mayor John Marks stood to introduce himself and Gore said dryly, "I spent a lot of time there." Marks: "I wasn’t mayor then!" He asked Gore how to influence Congress to adopt Kyoto. Gore’s …

China's immoral energy policy: Part II

The efficient alternative to coal power in China

China's rapacious coal plant building is neither moral nor sustainable, as discussed in Part I. Yet many supply-side alternatives, like nuclear and hydro, are problematic for the country. What should China do to satisfy its insatiable thirst for energy? Go back to their amazing energy efficiency policies of the 1980s and early 1990s. China's energy history can be divided into several phases, as we learn from Dr. Mark Levine, cofounder of the Beijing Energy Efficiency Center (see terrific video here). The first phase (1949-1980) was a "Soviet Style" energy policy during which there were subsidized energy prices, no concern for the environment, and energy usage that rose faster than economic growth (GDP). The second phase (1981-1999) was "California on steroids," when the country embraced an aggressive push on energy management and energy efficiency, surpassing the efficiency efforts California achieved since the mid-1970s. This came about as a result of Deng Xiaoping heeding the advice of a group of leading academic experts who suggested a new approach to energy. Chinese strategies included: