Plenty of reading to occupy you over the holidays
It’s been a hectic few months in the climate/energy world, so I’ve got a lot of leftover bits and pieces waiting for attention. As in … about 35 open tabs in my browser. The last thing I want when I get back from the holidays is a browser full of guilt, so I’m dumping ’em. Also, I found a draft of a link post from several weeks ago that I forgot to put up. So what you get today is a Double Ultra Mega Link Dump.
Posting will be light for a while, so I hope this tides you over. Happy holidays!
I really should have said something about Google’s "renewable power cheaper than coal" initiative, which after all is practically my dream story come to life. Perhaps I will in 2008. For now, check out earth2tech’s write-up, which gives some background on the Google strategy to achieve "vertically integrated green energy."
Here’s a great story from Keith Schneider about the People’s Waterfront Coalition in Seattle, which has been battling long and smart to prevent this city from putting up an infrastructure megaproject along its waterfront, instead pushing human-scale, mixed-use neighborhood development. Not only interesting from an urban planning perspective, but from the perspective of effective grassroots organizing. All hail Cary Moon.
Is cellulosic ethanol vaporware? MIT’s Technology Review investigates.
The 10 craziest ways to hack the earth. Most of these reek of desperation to me, but #10 is funny.
Even more cancelled coal plant proposals.
Remember when those smart people on Grist told you that sustainability wasn’t going to mean making do with less? That it was going to mean being happier, more fulfilled? In a related vein, here’s a study indicating that making smart decisions about energy is empowering and self-reinforcing.
My older brother is convinced that the Kindle is finally going to lead to the long-awaited paperless society, and thus that we should cover it on this site. Sorry I couldn’t do better than this, Jeff!
It’s like they’re deliberately trying to piss me off over there a CNET. Look at this damn lead:
Coal is a major source of air pollution, mining accidents, and environmental damage. Unfortunately, we can’t live without it.
Everything you need to know about that statement can be determined by answering the question, "who is we?" Worth reading the article just to see all the wackadoo schemes that have popped up to expensively and incompletely "clean" coal.
In terms of cleaning up existing dirty coal plants without substantially decreasing their efficiency — a task I’ll be the first to admit is important — this kind of thing seems promising.
The not-at-all gay Sen. Larry Craig says the Lieberman-Warner climate bill reveals Sen. Barbara Boxer’s "intent to revert the United States to a developing country." And she thought she could get away with it!
Remember when all those scientists freaked out and practically begged the world’s governments to act to avoid catastrophe? That was unsettling.
Shallow dirty hippie becomes shallow nuke booster, having had the revelation that wind and solar can’t provide baseload power. Oh? Hey, the 1990s called, they want their energy debate back. Why is this woman news? Oh, right, because she’s a former dirty hippie who now bashes other dirty hippies, and if you’re one of those you don’t have to have anything original to say to get lots of press.
Check out Jamais Cascio’s four future green scenarios. I’m a "we green" sort, but I’m not about to use that term in public.
This was a surprisingly good USA Today editorial pushing the Republican presidential contenders on their wishy-washiness around climate.
New energy blog at U.S. News & World Report: Beyond the Barrel.
A very helpful WWF report on "The future of coal in the Asia-Pacific region."
Naomi Klein identifies what, in darker moments, I suspect is going to be the dominant story of the first half of the 21st century:
… despite all the government incentives, the really big money is turning away from clean energy technologies and banking instead on gadgets promising to seal wealthy countries and individuals into high-tech fortresses.
The U.S. military is shaping up to be a significant driver of green markets.
It’s looking like Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism is a sham.
This review of Shellenberger & Nordhaus’ book by Jonathan Adler is predictable, and demonstrates how the primary effect of the book seems to have been to politically fortify all the wrong people.
Occasionally I forget that "defense" expenditures constitute fully half our discretionary spending. Seems dumb.
Below, the other, older link post I found recently:
A few weeks ago I was on a conference call with John Kerry where he discussed the Lieberman-Warner bill, international climate negotiations, and environmental lobbying strategy. I never got the time to write it up, but you can read all about it here, here, or here.
I forgot to mention that I was on the radio a several weeks ago, just after the week of the California fires, on a call-in show on KALW out of San Francisco. It was a media roundtable, discussing coverage of the fires, global warming, and other stuff. You can hear the whole thing here.
Portland has proposed a carbon tax — residents will vote.
Good U.S. News report on the energy technologies getting love from big Silicon Valley investors. Solar thermal’s the most exciting.
The UN clamps down on a representative that dared to speak the truth about biofuels.
CNN’s EcoSolutions takes a look at waste heat and pulls out the four top points:
• Globally homes responsible for 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
• Household energy use to increase by 15 percent by 2015
• Recycling waste heat could slash fossil fuel usage by half
• CHP-generated CO2 emissions 49 percent lower than standards power stations
More like that, please.
Climate change: one of the greatest security threats the U.S. has ever faced:
At the very least, the report said, the U.S. can expect more population migrations, both internally and from across its borders; a proliferation of diseases; greater conflict in weak states, especially in Africa where climates will change most drastically; and a restructuring in global power in line with the accessibility of natural resources.
Left unchecked, "the collapse and chaos associated with extreme climate change futures would destabilize virtually every aspect of modern life," said the report, comparing the potential outcome with the Cold War doomsday scenarios of a nuclear holocaust.
Clean coal: a furphy.