The tastiest tidbits from the news
I hope you people are making good use of the blogroll at the lower left of this page. Therein lie more treasures than I could possibly discuss or link to. Here’s a little sampling of what I found just since Friday:
As you’ve all no doubt heard by now, a new study says that doing nothing about global warming could cost the world over $20 trillion by 2100.
On the bright side, a new report from Shell UK says this:
- A market in the UK created by the government climate change programme which could be worth over £30bn cumulatively over the next ten years. By 2010 the market will be double the current size;
- The cost of tackling climate change in the UK in 2010 will be affordable at 0.3% of the economy;
- Concerted international action to avert climate change could create a global market worth $1 trillion in the first five years alone;
- Clearly identified opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across all climate change markets, with case studies of nine SMEs in the UK with leading edge products.
Wonkette notices that Newsweek‘s U.S. editors think Americans are shallow dimwits.
Paul Rauber notices that ex-Exxon CEO Lee Raymond is now head of the National Petroleum Council, which has been tasked with advising Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman on the subject of oil and gas supplies. Dazzling.
Shorter John Tierney: Some guys in the ’70s were wrong about the effect of population on U.S. food supply, so we don’t need to do anything about global warming.
The AP finally notices that hundreds of coal plants either are being built or will be built soon, and this totally buggers any chance we have of slowing global warming. Where is the rest of the mainstream media on this story?
Engineer-Poet writes a letter to Average Voters about why they should be skeptical of the push toward ethanol. A nice primer.
Jerome a Paris draws our attention to rousing words on global warming from Philip Stephens, senior political editor of the Financial Times, Europe’s main business rag. From Jerome’s description, Stephens sounds like the consummate centrist U.K. insider, which gives these words all the more punch:
If western governments, let alone China and India, are to forestall catastrophe, global harming has to become the political issue: generating a response that embraces and infuses every area of government and politics from economics to housing, scientific research to trade, foreign policy to human development.
An interesting chart on the structure of the organic food industry.
Michael Pollan has what is, as always, the most insightful take on the recent spinach-related E. coli outbreak. Here’s the nut:
It’s easy to imagine the F.D.A. announcing a new rule banning animals from farms that produce plant crops. In light of the threat from E. coli, such a rule would make a certain kind of sense. But it is an industrial, not an ecological, sense. For the practice of keeping animals on farms used to be, as Wendell Berry pointed out, a solution; only when cows moved onto feedlots did it become a problem. Local farmers and local food economies represent much the same sort of pre-problem solution — elegant, low-tech and redundant. But the logic of industry, apparently ineluctable, has other ideas, ideas that not only leave our centralized food system undisturbed but also imperil its most promising, and safer, alternatives.
And finally, via deSmog, check out this cosmically delightful video. Minnesota Senator Michele Bachmann drags out the straight-from-Inhofe myth (debunked here) that scientists used to predict an ice age, so we can’t really know if global warming is real, and the crowd … laughs at her. There is hope: