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Articles by Kif Scheuer

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  • Another action item for renewables

    I just got an email from the Solar Energies Industry Association (SEIA) asking for people to let their representatives know they support extending the 2005 investment tax credits for residential solar power and fuel cells. The credits are set to expire in 2007, but there's a bill being proposed to extend it another 8 years.

  • If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck …

    Andy Revkin, NYT's climate reporter, brings news of a just-released federal study on climate change which shows "clear evidence of human influences on the climate system."

    For a moment I'm shouting, "All right! We're moving past debate and into problem solving."

    But ... not to be undone by their own research conclusions, policy officials note that "while the new finding was important, the administration's policy remained focused on studying the remaining questions and using voluntary means to slow the growth in emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide."

    There's also this:

    Dr. Christy [one of the study's authors] also said that even given what the models projected, it would be impossible to slow warming noticeably in the coming decades. Countries would be wise to seek ways to adapt to warming, he added, even as they seek new sources of energy that do not emit heat-trapping gases.

    So, we simultaneously resist admitting this is a big problem and jump right past prevention to adaptation.

    I'm guessing this report will spark some change, and it does knock another leg out from the feds' already tottering chair of denial. But it still amazes me that it's so incredibly difficult for us to deal with the problem squarely.

  • Adaptation strategies: The good, the bad, and the ugly

    A while ago there was a great discussion of the pros and cons of integrating adaptation into global-warming debates (prompted by Nordhaus and Shellenberger's op-ed "preparing for nature's attack").

    I just ran across an adaptation strategy that's compelling because it positively engages global warming consequences, without softpeddling or sidestepping the issue. Alex Wilson at Environmental Building News suggests that in order to adapt to increasing environmental volatility, we need to design buildings for passive survivability.

    Ooh, I like the sound of that ...

  • Climate science, say hello to Decision Science

    Recently, the issue of how to frame the global-warming debate has come up repeatedly. David sums it up here.

    It's gotten me thinking about the confluence between climate science and decision science. Communicating about global warming can not be reduced to a simple up or down vote on the use of doom and gloom, or a tradeoff between bad science and a complete value change. In the end, how, when, and most importantly, why people start to seriously address global warming will be 1/10th about the climate science and 9/10ths about good ol' wacky human decision making.