The holidays have left me way behind the news, and you know what that means: a linky post! On your mark, get set, analysis-free hand-waving:

The feds may list polar bears as endangered. That could trigger Endangered Species Act provisions that force the government to take steps to protect the remaining bears. Only way to do that? Stop global warming. This is one to keep a close eye on.

Joel Makower flags some potentially historic news: Wal-Mart has put out an RFP for solar systems to power its stores in five states. If a proposal is accepted (the store will announce on Feb. 28) and the store buys as much as it says it will, this will be by far the largest corporate procurement of solar power ever, and will transform the solar industry. And to those who will inevitably chime in with the bit about how Wal-Mart is still evil, I remind you: The choice is not between solar Wal-Mart and no Wal-Mart; the choice is between solar Wal-Mart and the status quo.

I missed this when it first went up, but over on Worldchanging there’s a fantastic, fascinating first-person account from Serge de Gheldere of traveling to Nashville to learn how to give Al Gore’s climate slide show.

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The Democratic Congress plans "modest" changes in energy policy, and here’s all you really need to know: "the biggest change in energy policy is expected to come through a farm bill Congress hopes to consider next year that would provide new incentives for the production of ethanol, a corn-derived fuel."

A schism is developing between those who realize that coal is the enemy of the human race and those who are greedy and/or ignorant.

Speaking of greed and ignorance, yesterday Bush’s Dept. of Energy announced a new round of subsidies for various projects trying to make coal clean. (This, and probably many others on this list, via Oil Drum’s handy DrumBeat posts.)

Conservation is back, hypes USA Today. But if you read the story carefully, you find that we’re spending a tiny, tiny amount of money on this stuff, even though it’s practically free savings, and even those small amounts are opposed by a range of monied interests.

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Kif already noted this, but it’s worth noting again: the billions of dollars of oil and gas subsidies shelled out by U.S. taxpayers every year buy them essentially … nothing.

Oopsie! Global warming ate an island.

An interesting piece on Transition Culture describes the 16th century Tuscan method of "soft collapse":

  1. Plant trees
  2. Disband the army
  3. Work together

The Mustache says green is "the color of the year." Joel Makower (the Other Mustache) says the color of next year is "greener." (In other Makower news, he’s starting a for-profit media venture on green business and other green subjects — good luck, Joel!)

Hal Varian has a short, clear summary of the major critiques of the Stern Report.

Here’s some light reading for those who think reason and balance are all that’s necessary to move the political process forward.

How and why was this given space in a legitimate publication?

Rocky Anderson is cool.

And finally, the indispensable Glenn Greenwald draws our attention to an article in Commentary, popular in right-wing circles these days, advocating for immediately invading Iran and seizing its oil and gas assets. Really.