Every since my Brooklyn vacation, I’ve been behind and struggling to catch up. You know what that means … a link dump! Enjoy.
In the course of joining the wonkosphere’s call for a carbon tax, Fareed Zakaria comes very close to repeating my slogan:
Understanding the causes and cures of global warming is actually very simple. One word: coal. Coal is the cheapest and dirtiest source of energy around and is being used in the world’s fastest-growing countries. If we cannot get a handle on the coal problem, nothing else matters.
Speaking of coal, turns out making it clean is really hard.
Julia Whitty writes movingly about a peculiar fact of modern life: we are on track to wipe out almost half our fellow plant and animal species, and yet few people know and fewer care. What explains this quietism in the face of catastrophic ecocide?
Global carbon sinks are smaller than we thought, and thus — gosh, this almost seems like a theme — global warming is likely to be worse than anticipated.
Tom Whipple has a nice little primer on decentralized energy.
A bona fide economist, writing in a bona fide economic rag, questions the dogma of perpetual growth. That’s a start.
One of the great legends from the climate wars has to do with a paper allegedly co-written by notorious skeptic S. Fred Singer and Al Gore’s teacher (and climate-science luminary) Roger Revelle. It’s basic “we don’t know enough to act" stuff. Skeptics love to cite it as the "Revelle paper." But it turns out that Singer basically manipulated Revelle — who was literally on his death bed — into signing on to the paper, which Singer had written. Eli Rabett has the full story; see also J. Justin Lancaster. It’s worth reading up on the episode, as it reveals that skeptics like Lindzen and Singer are not only intellectually dishonest but very, very bad people.
NPR is doing a year-long series on climate change.
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is greening the governor’s mansion. Does that mean he’s allowed to talk about green issues now? I hope so, because he’s introduced a fantastic plan focused on energy demand reduction, energy efficiency, and renewable power.
Remember when the Iraq War was going to cost a half-trillion dollars? Turns out that was lowballing it.
Consumer Reports tallies the savings possible if NYC switch to green taxis. They are considerable.
The Christian Science Monitor asks: how much should carbon cost? Good question.
A while back, noted rich dude investor Vinod Khosla took to the pages of Huffington Post to upbraid European Association for Renewable Energy president Dr. Herman Scheer for idealistic frippery. According to Khosla, solar voltaic and wind are silly ’cause they’re intermittent, and pushing them hurts the reputation of greens. Green should get serious about ethanol, nuclear, and clean coal. If they want renewables, solar thermal is it. Scheer wrote a rebuttal which (IMHO) makes Khosla look silly. There’s a great discussion of the exchange over on CleanBreak (yet another blog you should be reading). In particular see the first comment, from Nick G., which busts the “intermittent” shibboleth.
Metropolis interviews Paul Hawken, author of the new book Blessed Unrest. Hawken also has an editorial in Orion.
Climate scientist Gavin Schmidt gets framed.
Model Christy Turlington weighs on on sustainability. Yeah, but what about her private jet!?!!1! Also, I know Turlington is a hottie, but doesn’t her bio pic on HuffPo make her look like, um … a man?
George Will continues his lifelong campaign of pompous dishonesty.
Coal is still fighting for its life.
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And finally, here’s a video where CEI’s professional climate skeptic Chris Horner debates John Passacantando. Let me say that I admire and respect Passacantando, but this video should be a guide for how not to debate a skeptic. I’m curious if y’all agree: