Sipping from the internet firehose…
This weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H.E.Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week’s Global Warming news roundup
September 21, 2008
- Melting Arctic, Arctic Geopolitics, Permafrost, CO2 Uptake, Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis, Abrupt Climate Change, Tutorials
- Food Crisis, Food vs. Biofuel, Food Production
- Hurricanes, Temperatures, Ozone, Paleoclimate, ENSO, Glaciers, Sea Levels, Satellites
- Impacts, Forests, Wildfires, Floods & Droughts
- Transportation, Sequestration, Geoengineering
- Journals, Misc. Science
- Kyoto-2, Carbon Trade, Offsets
- Politics: America, Britain, Europe, Australia, Canada
- Ecological Economics, Apocalypso, Media, Books, Video
- Energy, Ike Impact, Solar, Coal, Biofuel, Nukes, Peak Oil, Efficiency, Cars, Greenwashing
- Carbon Lobby, H2T2aCS, The Usual, Useful Links
- Shameless Self Promotion, .sig
- 2008/09/19: Maribo: Watching the cryosphere
- 2008/09/20: SMH: Scientists see weather clues in ice’s age
The melting of Arctic sea ice has reached disturbing levels, with satellite images showing the disappearance of the ice this year has peaked at a level close to last year’s record melt, making it the second-worst since satellite records began.
- 2008/09/18: RealClimate: On straw men and Greenland: Tad Pfeffer Responds
- 2008/09/19: Wunderground: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at second lowest on record; tropical update
- 2008/09/17: KSJT: Summer’s Arctic sea ice coverage was alarmingly low but not a record
- 2008/09/17: ClimateP: Despite cooler weather, Arctic ice retreat just misses last year’s mark
- 2008/09/17: ABC(Au): Scientist warns of ice-free Arctic this generation
- 2008/09/17: DotEarth: Arctic Ice Retreat Misses Last Year’s Mark
- 2008/09/17: DeSmogBlog: Arctic Ice Growing: Record NOT Set!
- 2008/09/18: ENN: Arctic sea ice at second lowest extent ever recorded
- 2008/09/16: AFTIC: Sea Ice reaches second lowest minimum extent in 2008
- 2008/09/16: MGS: Sea Ice Packs
- 2008/09/17: TerraDaily: Arctic Sea Ice Reaches Lowest Coverage For 2008
- 2008/09/16: BBerg: Arctic Ice Retreat May Be Harbinger of Climate Change
- 2008/09/17: SeattlePI: North Pole ever closer to having no ice — Scientists seek causes for decline
- 2008/09/17: ChronicleHerald: Arctic sea ice nearly at all-time low
- 2008/09/17: ArcticEcon: How likely is it that polar bears will become extinct?
- 2008/09/16: BBC: No 2008 record for Arctic sea ice
Sea ice in the Arctic appears to have passed its minimum extent for 2008 without breaking last year’s record. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) says the ice covered 4.5 million sq km (1.7 million sq miles) at its lowest point on 12 September. Last year’s minimum was 4.1 million sq km (1.6 million sq miles)
- 2008/09/16: NewScientist: Are humans to blame for Arctic meltdown?
- 2008/09/16: PhysOrg: Arctic sea ice settles at second-lowest, underscores accelerating decline
- 2008/09/16: NatureN: The last days of Disko Bay — The latest Cape Farewell expedition heads off to Greenland
- 2008/09/16: SciDaily: Arctic Sea Ice At Lowest Recorded Level Ever
- 2008/09/16: Eureka: Arctic sea ice reaches lowest extent in 2008, second lowest ever recorded
- 2008/09/15: PhysOrg: Small glaciers — not large — account for most of Greenland’s recent loss of ice, study shows
- 2008/09/14: Stoat: Seaice: looking good
As for the geopolitics of the Arctic resources:
- 2008/09/19: EurActiv: EU warned of Russia’s Arctic appetite [French MEP Bernard Poignant interview]
- 2008/09/19: DerSpiegel: The battle for the north pole – Melting Ice Brings Competition for Resources
Climate change is freeing the Arctic of ice — and spurring a global competition for the natural resources stored beneath. Countries that border the sea are staking new territorial claims and oil giants are dispatching geologists. But what will the tug-of-war mean for the indigenous people and wildlife? [...] How does one measure the recession of an ice cap? A lone mountain peak protrudes from the glacier ice. This is where the Danish and American geophysicists plan to set up their measuring equipment. Their project, called GNET, will be part of a formidable scientific observation network, an early warning system of measuring stations and satellites designed to monitor the Greenland ice cap.
- 2008/09/19: Novosti: Russia’s Fesco bids for Exxon’s $300mln icebreaker project
- 2008/09/19: Novosti: U.S. plays down Russia’s planned Arctic marking
- 2008/09/17: EnergyDaily: Russia must set borders in oil-rich Arctic: Medvedev
- 2008/09/18: RigZone: Norway Urges Russia to Stick to International Law in Arctic
- 2008/09/17: Kommersant: Russia Eyes 18 Percent of Arctic Shelf
Russia will stand for its interests in Arctic, Interfax reported with reference to the RF Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev. According to Patrushev, Russia is to determine northern borders, where Arctic is. The figure is 18 percent of the RF territory, i.e. that region will account for 20,000 kilometers of the state border. Patrushev said Russia should stand for its interests in Arctic. At the same time, it realizes that other Arctic states, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the United States, they will stand for their interests as well.
- 2008/09/17: Novosti: Arctic resources central to Russia’s energy security – Medvedev
The Russian president said Wednesday that the use of Arctic resources was central to the country’s energy security. “According to estimates by experts, the Arctic shelf may have about one-fourth of the world’s shelf hydrocarbon reserves, and the use of these reserves is a guarantee of Russia’s overall energy security,” Dmitry Medvedev said at a Russian Security Council session. He also said Russia’s competitiveness on global markets depended on Arctic resources, stressing the need to adopt a law establishing the frontiers of Russia’s Arctic zone. “We need a firm normative-legal base regulating Russia’s activity in the Arctic. First of all the federal law on the southern border of Russia’s arctic zone should be completed and adopted,” he said. Medvedev also said that Russia would next look to establish “the external frontier of the continental shelf.” “This is a very important task,” he said.
- 2008/09/17: Forbes:TFN: Medvedev wants Russia to set Arctic seabed borders
- 2008/09/17: Telegraph(UK): Russia threatens to seize swathe of Arctic
A paper on permafrost longevity:
- 2008/09/20: TreeHugger: An Icy Reprieve for Our Climate Woes? Not Quite [700 ky permafrost]
- 2008/09/18: NatureN: Permafrost that lives up to its name — Ancient Canadian ice survived previous warm periods.
- 2008/09/18: NewScientist: America’s oldest ice discovered… then it melts
A paper on CO2 uptake reduction in abnormally warm years:
- 2008/09/21: SciDaily: Global Warming’s Ecosystem Double Whammy
Plants and soils act like sponges for atmospheric carbon dioxide, but new research finds that one abnormally warm year can suppress the amount of carbon dioxide taken up by some grassland ecosystems for up to two years
- 2008/09/17: TerraDaily: Sinking feeling: Hot year damages carbon uptake by plants
- 2008/09/18: Yahoo: Sinking feeling: Hot year damages carbon uptake by plants
- 2008/09/18: BBC: No plant CO2 relief in warm world
Plants are unlikely to soak up more carbon dioxide from the air as the planet warms, research suggests. US scientists found that grassland took up less CO2 than usual for two years following temperatures that are now unusually hot, but may become common. The conclusion parallels a real-world finding from Europe’s 2003 heatwave, when the continent’s plant life became a net producer, not absorber, of CO2.
- 2008/09/17: Eureka: Global warming’s ecosystem double whammy — DRI study shows 1 abnormally warm year suppresses carbon dioxide uptake for 2 years
A couple of (older) articles on the Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis:
- 2003//: Stanford: (pdf) The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era Began Thousands Of Years Ago by William F. Ruddiman
- Wiki: Plows, Plagues and Petroleum
- 2005/02/: SciAm: ($$$) How Did Humans First Alter Global Climate?
- 2005/12/05: RealClimate: Debate over the Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis
- 2006/03/03: SciDirect: The agricultural revolution as environmental catastrophe: Implications for health and lifestyle in the Holocene by Clark Spencer Larsen
As for abrupt climate change:
- 2008/09/17: LBL: On the Threshold of Abrupt Climate Changes
Abrupt climate change is a potential menace that hasn’t received much attention. That’s about to change. Through its Climate Change Prediction Program, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) recently launched IMPACTS — Investigation of the Magnitudes and Probabilities of Abrupt Climate Transitions — a program led by William Collins of Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division (ESD) that brings together six national laboratories to attack the problem of abrupt climate change, or ACC.
- 2008/09/17: PhysOrg: ‘Calm before storm’ may foreshadow climatic tipping point
On the tutorial front:
- 2008/09/19: ERabett: A light dawns
- 2008/09/17: Tamino: Alphabet Soup, part 3b: Parameters for ARMA(1,1) (continued)
- 2008/09/16: Tamino: Alphabet Soup, part 3a: Parameters for ARMA(1,1)
- 2008/09/15: MGS: The 16 Climate Models
The food crisis remains a top story:
- 2008/09/20: CBC: Haiti’s food crisis deepens after floods
- 2008/09/20: BBC: East African countries need some $700m (£382m) in emergency aid to stave off the risk of descending into full-scale famine, the United Nations has warned
- 2008/09/18: UN: High food prices plunge another 75 million people into hunger, says [FAO] UN agency
- 2008/09/19: Eureka: Global food situation at a crossroads — World can avert major problems but must act now
- 2008/09/19: DailyIndia: Food shortage to affect nine million Afghans this winter: NYT
- 2008/09/18: CBC: High food prices blamed for rise in world hunger
- 2008/09/17: Google:AFP: Rising prices tip another 75 million towards starvation: FAO
- 2008/09/17: BBC: ‘Emergency’ fear for 220m people
The number of people living “on the edge of emergency” has nearly doubled to 220m in just two years, one of the world’s biggest aid agencies has said. Care International says billions of dollars in aid will be wasted if it continues to be spent in the wrong way. Failure to resolve underlying issues trapping people in extreme poverty has left millions unable to cope with surging food prices, the agency warns. Halving poverty and hunger around the world by 2015 are key UN goals.
- 2008/09/17: AFP: Rising prices tip another 75 million towards starvation: FAO
- 2008/09/16: Xinhuanet: ADB warns against another food shortage in Asia
The conflict between biofuel and food persists:
- 2008/09/19: GristMill: Wheat and ethanol: They just don’t mix — New research shows that ethanol will continue to increase the cost of wheat
- 2008/09/15: TreeHugger: Ethanol Mandates: The Single Most Misguided Agricultural Program in Modern American History
- 2008/09/15: UIUC: New study says high grain prices are likely here to stay
An ethanol-fueled spike in grain prices will likely hold, yielding the first sustained increase for corn, wheat and soybean prices in more than three decades, according to new research by two University of Illinois farm economists.
- 2008/09/18: SciDaily: Blanket Ban On Bushmeat Could Be Disastrous For Forest Dwellers In Central Africa, Says New Report
- 2008/09/15: UPI: Scientist says ag costs continuing to rise
- 2008/09/15: NewKerala: Don’t put all your eggs in one food basket: experts
In an era of climate change leading to more unpredictable rainfall, the way to food security is to diversify what one grows on the field, say international experts.
- 2008/09/17: Eureka: Scientists behind ‘doomsday seed vault’ ready the world’s crops for climate change — Global Crop Diversity Trust grants will safeguard critical crop diversity
- 2008/09/17: NRN: Climate change already altering farm practices
- 2008/09/17: DailyIndia: Diverting scarce fertile farmland to industry not a new phenomenon in India: NYT
- 2008/09/17: CBC: Wet harvest adds to cattle farmers’ woes [in Maritimes]
- 2008/09/16: ProMedMail: Stripe rust, wheat – Australia (02): (VIC)
- 2008/09/15: GristMill: Slow Food Nation interview: Anna Lappé — Why climate change may have more to do with your shopping cart than your car
- 2008/09/15: GristMill: Slow Food Nation interview: Andrew Kimbrell — The GMO industry has been scraping by on bad science
- 2008/09/15: Eureka: Giant grass offers clues to growing corn in cooler climes, researchers report
It has been relatively quiet in the Atlantic this week, but in the West Pacific Hagupit & Sinlaku blew around:
- 2008/09/17: TerraDaily: Taiwan typhoon [Sinlaku] death toll rises to 11
- 2008/09/16: TerraDaily: At least four dead after Typhoon Sinlaku pounds Taiwan
- 2008/09/15: TerraDaily: China evacuates a half million for tropical storm [Sinlaku]: report
- 2008/09/14: TerraDaily: Typhoon [Sinlaku] slams into Taiwan, at least two missing
- 2008/09/15: CBC: Typhoon slams Taiwan, heads for Japan — At least 12 feared dead in floods, landslides and washouts
Some post-hurricane (mostly Ike) stories:
- 2008/09/21: ClimateP: Striking photos of Hurricane Ike — or what Hell and High Water will be like
- 2008/09/20: Yahoo: Ike evacuees jump gun, sneak back onto island
- 2008/09/21: SMH: Millions of Haitians face starvation after hurricanes
- 2008/09/20: Guardian(UK): Life and death after Ike
The mixed political response to Hurricane Ike has reinforced the idea that Texans can’t rely on the government for help
- 2008/09/19: IRIN: Myanmar: Poor roads hamper cyclone recovery
- 2008/09/19: CNN: Mystery ship washes ashore in Alabama after Hurricane Ike
- 2008/09/19: BBC: Haiti ‘overwhelmed’ after storms
The UN special envoy to Haiti says the country has been overwhelmed by the effects of recent storms. Hedi Annabi said the scale of the disaster was beyond what the UN and Haitian authorities could deal with and more international help was needed. He said the western city of Gonaives was all but destroyed and every house had been damaged or swamped by mud. He suggested Haiti’s gross domestic product had fallen by between 3-4% because of the storms. Haiti was hit in the space of a month by tropical storms Fay and Hanna and hurricanes Gustav and Ike, leaving about 550 people dead. Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis has said that up to one million Haitians may be homeless.
- 2008/09/19: CBC: Haiti faces long recovery from Ike, says singer Wyclef Jean
- 2008/09/18: CNN: Hurricane Ike’s victims rebuild lives from Texas to Ohio
The effects of Hurricane Ike are still being felt across the United States – CNN affiliates report on how communities are struggling to recover – From Texas to Ohio, people are still battling homelessness and power outages
- 2008/09/18: EnvFin: Insurers may face $18 billion bill for Hurricane Ike
- 2008/09/17: NOAANews: NOAA Aids with Hurricane Ike Recovery
- 2008/09/18: Wunderground: Why did Hurricane Ike get so large?
- 2008/09/17: Eureka: Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis
- 2008/09/18: NSF: Doppler on Wheels Deployed at Hurricane Ike — Instrument collected high-wind data from inside hurricane eye
- 2008/09/16: TerraDaily: Myanmar seeks seeds, fertiliser after Cyclone Nargis: IRRI [Int. Rice Research Inst.]
- 2008/09/17: Wunderground: The destruction of Gilchrist, Texas
- 2008/09/17: WSJ:EnvCap: Ike Update: Refiners Out Longer Than Expected
- 2008/09/17: CSM: After Ike, to rebuild or not? Coastal Texas now faces the classic question asked in the wake of other natural disasters
- 2008/09/15: WSWS: Texas hit hard by Hurricane Ike
- 2008/09/17: BBC: Hurricanes Gustav and Ike have between them inflicted the worst storm damage in Cuba’s history, the government says
- 2008/09/16: CNN: Texas struggles to recover from Ike as Bush tours
Thousands still in shelters, 1.5 million without power in Texas – President inspects hurricane damage in Galveston, promises help – Aftermath of Hurricane Ike “worse than storm itself,” Galveston mayor says – Floodwaters rising on Missouri, Mississippi rivers from Ike’s weekend deluge
- 2008/09/15: TerraDaily: Millions without power as Ike death toll climbs in US
- 2008/09/16: AP: Grim scenes greet rescuers in hardest-hit areas
- 2008/09/15: PhysOrg: At 15 feet, Ike’s storm surge less than predicted
- 2008/09/14: TerraDaily: In Galveston, Ike leaves trail of devastation
- 2008/09/14: Wunderground: Ike finally dies
- 2008/09/15: Wunderground: Ike hammers the Midwest; fate of those on Bolivar Peninsula still unknown
- 2008/09/15: CSM: In Ike’s wake, holdouts complicate rescues — More than 100,000 in Texas and Louisiana are estimated to have refused hurricane evacuation orders
- 2008/09/15: CSM: After hurricane Ike, Haiti copes with aid delays
- 2008/09/15: ThinkP: Media restricted from covering Hurricane Ike’s devastation
- 2008/09/15: TP:WonkRoom: Global Boiling: Hurricane Ike Part Of New Era Of More Destructive Storms
- 2008/09/15: CBC: U.S. death toll from Hurricane Ike rises to 30
- 2008/09/15: CBC: Ike’s windy tail leaves Quebecers in the dark — More than 100,000 homes without power
- 2008/09/15: AFP: US rush to aid millions hit by Hurricane Ike
- 2008/09/15: Guardian(UK): US starts to count cost in billions as storm lashes Gulf coast
- 2008/09/15: BBC: Texas begins mass post-Ike rescue
While elsewhere in the hurricane wars:
- 2008/09/20: Wunderground: Caribbean disturbance 93L slowly organizing
- 2008/09/19: Wunderground: Caribbean disturbance 93L a threat to Puerto Rico and Hispaniola
- 2008/09/17: CSM: As Ike made clear, better storm-surge forecasting can’t come soon enough — Since 2005, scientists have redoubled research to improve understanding of the surge hazard
- 2008/09/16: Wunderground: Long range hurricane season outlook
As for the temperature record:
- 2008/09/16: NOAANews: Global Summer Temperature Was Ninth Warmest — Tenth Warmest August Since Records Began
- 2008/09/15: MongaBay: Earth already committed to 2.4-dgree C rise from climate change
The ozone layer is still under threat:
- 2008/09/17: CBC: South Pole ozone hole could be largest ever
- 2008/09/16: AFP: Ozone hole ‘larger in 2008 than previous year’
While in the paleoclimate:
- 2008/09/19: SciDaily: Emergence Of Agriculture In Prehistory Took Much Longer, Genetic Evidence Suggests
- 2008/09/19: Warwick: Research pushes back crop development 10,000 years
[...] Up till now researchers believed in a rapid establishment of efficient agriculture which came about as artificial selection was easily able to dominate natural plant selection, and, crucially, as a consequence they thought most crops came from a single location and single domestication event.
However recent archaeological evidence has already begun to undermine this model pushing back the date of the first appearance of plant agriculture. The best example of this being the archaeological site Ohalo II in Syria where more than 90,000 plant fragments from 23,000 years ago show that wild cereals were being gathered over 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, and before the last glacial maximum (18,000-15,000 years ago).
The field of Archaeobotany is also producing further evidence to undermine the quick development model.
- 2008/09/17: GWWatch: Summer will be an erratic El Nino and La Nina sandwich
Glaciers are melting:
- 2008/09/17: IRIN: Kyrgyzstan: Melting glaciers threaten livelihoods
The number of glaciers in Kyrgyzstan has dropped by 15 percent over the past 30 years, according to Kyrgyz environmental experts, because of climate change.
- 2008/09/15: Eureka: Small glaciers — not large — account for most of Greenland’s recent loss of ice, study shows
- 2008/09/15: WenatcheeWorld: Lyman Glacier: Frozen reservoir above Lake Chelan is dying — North Cascade’s Lyman Glacier is dying — and it’s not the only one
Sea levels are rising:
- 2008/09/19: TheAge: [Victoria] State must plan for coastal swamping
- 2008/09/18: TheAge: Coastal development all at sea over climate
Meanwhile in near earth orbit:
- 2008/09/16: PhysOrg: Kopernikus, observing our planet for a safer world
More GW impacts are being seen:
- 2008/09/19: TerraDaily: Warming World In Range Of Dangerous Consequences
- 2008/09/17: ABC(Au): Climate change may prompt need for grapes rethink
- 2008/09/17: PhysOrg: Warming world in range of dangerous consequences
- 2008/09/17: Scripps: Warming World in Range of Dangerous Consequences
Even if greenhouse gas emissions are fixed at 2005 levels, new analysis shows that irreversible warming will lead to biodiversity loss and substantial glacial melt
- 2008/09/16: CBC: Warming climate changing Iceland wildlife, land: researchers
- 2008/09/16: ClimateP: Oldest Utah newspaper: Bark-beetle driven wildfires are a vicious climate cycle
- 2008/09/16: ABC(Au): Health care providers ‘won’t cope’ with emissions trading costs
- 2008/09/15: Hindu: Global warming creating ‘environmental refugees’
And then there are the world’s forests:
- 2008/09/19: C411: Old-Growth Forests Still Taking Up Carbon
- 2008/09/19: Straight: Will saving a B.C. forest save us money?
- 2008/09/17: ABC(Au): Norway pledges $US1b to Amazon Fund
- 2008/09/17: ENN: Old-growth forests important carbon sinks, says study
- 2008/09/17: BBC: Norway joins fight to save Amazon — Norway has pledged $1bn (£500m) to a new international fund to help Brazil protect the Amazon rainforest
- 2008/09/16: TreeHugger: Exposed: Photos Show Kimberly-Clark Gets Trees From Ancient Forests [in Ontario]
- 2008/09/15: PhysOrg: Oil palm plantations are no substitute for tropical rainforests
The continued expansion of oil palm plantations will worsen the dual environmental crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, unless rainforests are better protected, warn scientists in the most comprehensive review of the subject to date.
- 2008/09/21: PhysOrg: Fires regenerate African grassland
- 2008/09/18: TerraDaily: Fires ravage world’s largest wildlife reserve in Botswana
- 2008/09/19: Eureka: Fires regenerate African grassland — Are fires more important than rain for the savannah ecosystem?
As for hydrological cycle disruption [floods & droughts]:
- 2008/09/18: CCurrents: One Month After Kosi Deluge
- 2008/09/20: ABC(Au): New figures reveal NSW drought worsening
The latest drought figures for New South Wales have revealed an increase in the area of the state considered to be in drought
- 2008/09/18: NOAANews: U.S. Drought Shows Signs of Improvement
Consider transportation & GHG production:
- 2008/09/16: GristMill: Sick transit — Public transit and oil dependence
- 2008/09/15: TStar: Fuel crisis forces wake-up call on airlines
As for carbon sequestration:
- 2008/09/21: SMH: Coal trial submerged in debate
Untapped coal reserves under the Pacific Ocean could provide enough energy to power every house in NSW for about 13,000 years, a company that wants to explore a massive area under the seabed says. Energie Future is seeking leave to conduct tests under 5940 quare kilometres of the ocean floor between Newcastle and Wollongong. If successful, the company would be the first in the world to use coal gasification – extreme heat to turn underground coal into gas – under the ocean floor.
- 2008/09/19: TechRev: Clean-Coal Debut in Germany — A new coal plant is the first to capture and store carbon dioxide
- 2008/09/19: ABC(Au): Santos abandons clean coal development
Energy company Santos has scrapped a $445 million development planned for southern Queensland. Santos has confirmed it will not proceed with the Fairview project, which would have used coal seam methane gas to run a power station at Injune. A company spokesman says it was not possible to get the right funding balance between government and commercial sources.
- 2008/09/19: ABC(Au): Rudd unveils $100m clean coal plan
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced a new body which will act as a global centre to drive clean coal technologies in Australia and worldwide. The Government will spend $100 million on establishing the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, which Mr Rudd says will coordinate funding and research for new projects. Mr Rudd will take the proposal to the UN General Assembly next week, where he hopes to get more governments and industry on board as investors.
- 2008/09/19: Yahoo: Australia to launch ambitious global carbon capture scheme
- 2008/09/17: BBC: Emissions may be stored under sea — Parts of the sea-bed between Northern Ireland and Scotland could become a storage facility for carbon dioxide, according to a new study
- 2008/09/15: EnergyDaily: Australian Carbon Capture Project To Help Tackle Climate Change
Large scale geo-engineering keeps popping up:
- 2008/09/20: NYT: Blocking the Sky to Save the Earth
Meanwhile in the journals:
- 2008/09/19: ACP: A method for evaluating spatially-resolved NOx emissions using Kalman filter inversion, direct sensitivities, and space-based NO2 observations by S. L. Napelenok et al.
- 2008/09/19: ACPD: On the validity of representing hurricanes as Carnot heat engine by A. M. Makarieva et al.
- 2008/09/18: ACP: ENSO surface shortwave radiation forcing over the tropical Pacific by K. G. Pavlakis et al.
- 2008/09/17: ACP: Long-term measurements of carbonaceous aerosols in the Eastern Mediterranean: evidence of long-range transport of biomass burning by J. Sciare et al.
- 2008/09/18: ACPD: Temporal trends of anthropogenic SO2 emitted by non-ferrous metal smelters in Peru and Russia estimated from Satellite observations by M. F. Khokhar et al.
- 2003//: Stanford: (pdf) The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era Began Thousands Of Years Ago by William F. Ruddiman
- 2006/03/03: SciDirect: The agricultural revolution as environmental catastrophe: Implications for health and lifestyle in the Holocene by Clark Spencer Larsen
- 2008/09/16: PNAS: Metabolic engineering of a thermophilic bacterium to produce ethanol at high yield by A. Joe Shaw et al.
- 2008/09/16: PNAS: Middle East coastal ecosystem response to middle-to-late Holocene abrupt climate changes by D. Kaniewski et al.
- 2008/09/16: PNAS: Global synchronous changes in the carbon isotopic composition of carbonate sediments unrelated to changes in the global carbon cycle by Peter K. Swart
- 2008/09/16: PNAS: A scale of greatness and causal classification of mass extinctions: Implications for mechanisms by A. M. Celâl S,engör et al.
- 2008/09/17: VoxEU: Auction greenhouse emission rights with targeted compensation by Lans Bovenberg
The EU plans to auction permits for the next phase of emissions trading, rather than giving them away for free as in the past. This column explains why the new scheme is a significantly better policy and proposes compensation measures to redress the complaints of industries opposed to the new climate change policy. Harmonised EU action may be required.
- 2008/09/09: PNAS: [Commentary] Context and the commons by Thomas Dietz & Adam Douglas Henry
Before we get into politics, there was some science done:
- 2008/09/20: NewScientist: Clearer skies have brought more rain
- 2008/09/15: Stoat: A late Quaternary climate reconstruction based on borehole heat flux
- 2008/09/15: Nature: Pushing the modelling envelope — Could more than 60% of [distribution of wildlife] ‘climate envelope’ studies be wrong?
Meanwhile on the Kyoto-2 front:
- 2008/09/15: ABS-CBN: Wealthy nations’ failure to mitigate climate change violates rights in developing countries
- 2008/09/15: CBC: WWF says melting Arctic adds urgency to climate deal
- 2008/09/18: CarbonFinance: Sectoral approach has ‘clear environmental benefit’ — UNFCC climate chief [Yvo de Boer]
- 2008/09/19: ChinaDaily: Proposal to cut country’s emissions
China should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions once developed countries cut their per capita level of emissions to its current levels, the country’s top expert on climate change said on Thursday
- 2008/09/19: Xinhuanet: UN chief appoints two new envoys on climate change
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday appointed the former leader of Botswana and the immediate outgoing president of the UN General Assembly to be the UN’s new special envoys on climate change. Festus Mogae, who was president of Botswana from 1998 until earlier this year, has extensive experience in economics and development planning, having also served as his country’s finance minister and in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. As president of the General Assembly’s 62nd session, which ended on Monday, Srgjan Kerim chaired three thematic debates on climate change, and also served as the foreign minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. They join two other special envoys appointed last May: Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian prime minister, and Ricardo Lagos Escobar, who used to serve as president of Chile.
- 2008/09/18: UN: Two new UN envoys chosen to spearhead progress on tackling climate change
- 2008/09/17: UN: UN signs accord to set international standards for meteorological data
- 2008/09/15: UN: Global network necessary to confront climate change crisis, says Ban
And on the carbon trading front:
- 2008/09/19: CCC: EU carbon trading: tropical forests poised to win credits — The EU looks set to bring rainforests into its emissions trading scheme
- 2008/09/19: ClimateP: Have the RGGI states repeated the mistakes of the European carbon trading system?
- 2008/09/19: Guardian(UK): Carbon trading boss rejects fears of slowdown in pollution permits business
- 2008/09/17: PhysOrg: SKorea to set up first carbon trading company
- 2008/09/16: GristMill: ‘A bit anarchic’ — Lehman quietly shuts down its carbon-trading desk
Are thoise carbon offsets a scam? Check it out:
- 2008/09/16: TEC: Carbon Offset Watch Ranks Offset Providers: helps consumers make the right choice
- 2008/09/16: ABC(Au): Consumers facing unknown in carbon offset jungle
And on the American political front:
- 2008/09/20: CSW: CREW: “Those Who Dared: 30 Officials Who Stood Up for Our Country”
- 2008/09/20: ClimateP: Coal-to-Liquids in Defense Authorization Bill
- 2008/09/19: WarmingLaw: Wyoming Environmentalists Have Georgia on Their Mind [US energy pol]
- 2008/09/19: ClimateP: Dems blow it: McCain allies kill Gang-of-20 (duh!) — the Gang-0f-20 will not introduce a bipartisan compromise energy bill before the election
- 2008/09/19: GristMill: Santa Senate — Senate settles on a grab bag of political favors in place of an energy policy
Next week, the Senate plans to consider the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, a hodgepodge of subsidies and tax credits that reflects the vacuum of long-term strategic thinking in U.S. energy policy. The bill is a classic Senate Christmas Tree, bedecked with tax breaks and loopholes for just about every energy-related industry under the sun.
- 2008/09/19: GristMill: Paying for environmental services — A little noted provision of the new Farm Bill
- 2008/09/18: HillHeat: Environmental Coalition on Baucus-Grassley: ‘Pass Clean Energy Incentives; Strip out Provisions that Support Dirty Fuels’
- 2008/09/18: SF Gate: Study says greening will raise state’s economy
- 2008/09/18: SacBee: Global warming fight will boost California economy, study says
- 2008/09/17: NatureTGB: Offshore drilling gets a little closer
- 2008/09/17: ClimateP: Q: How is the House GOP’s behavior last night different from my 19-month-old daughter’s
- 2008/09/18: PhysOrg: Environmentalists [& Governor Jon S. Corzine] balk at drilling off NJ coast
- 2008/09/18: GristMill: Lying about drilling: it works
- 2008/09/18: WarmingLaw: Turf Warriors win Skirmish in Fight for New Mexico Emission Reductions
- 2008/09/18: WSJ:EnvCap: California Green: State Says Climate Plan Equals Economic Growth
- 2008/09/17: Guardian(UK): Shane Meadows directs government anti-climate change ad
- 2008/09/17: Guardian(UK): Bush administration taps climate change believer
[...] The US environmental protection agency, the same body that was dragged into court for dragging its feet on climate policy, has named Deborah Swackhamer the new chief of its Science Advisory Board (SAB), the independent panel that gives advice on the impact of government regulations. Happily, Swackhamer is a strong proponent of sacrifice and conservation to control emissions.
- 2008/09/17: GristMill: This too shale pass — House energy bill includes oil-shale provisions that alarm conservation groups
- 2008/09/16: GristMill: Where there’s a drill, there’s a way — House passes an energy bill that combines increased drilling with expansion of renewables
- 2008/09/16: GristMill: Financial crisis, meet climate crisis — Will New York Gov. Paterson gut the regional northeastern-state carbon cap?
- 2008/09/17: HillHeat: NWF Opposes “All Of The Above” Bill; LCV Opposes Even More Industry-Friendly Motion To Recommit
- 2008/09/17: TreeHugger: Strange Bedfellows: Compromise Renewable Energy & Offshore Oil Drilling Legislation Passes in the House
- 2008/09/17: DeSmogBlog: Big Government: Darn Handy in a Crisis
- 2008/09/15: DeSmogBlog: Newt Gingrich’s “Solutions” for America’s Energy Woes: Drill, Baby, Drill!
- 2008/09/16: GristMill: Spectra — New Zealand conservative party introduces green agenda
- 2008/09/16: WSJ:EnvCap: Big Business: U.S. Chamber Wants Congress, Not EPA, To Act On Climate
- 2008/09/16: ThinkP: [House Minority Whip Roy] Blunt (R-MO) repeats false claim that Alaska supplies 20 percent of U.S. oil
- 2008/09/17: BBC: The US House of Representatives has approved legislation which would lift a 27-year-old moratorium on drilling for oil in US coastal waters
- 2008/09/17: CBC: U.S. House of Representatives approves offshore drilling
- 2008/09/16: ClimateP: Everything you wanted to know about the House Dem energy bill
- 2008/09/15: GristMill: [Senator Sheldon] Whitehouse (D-R.I.) drills drilling — Senate energy event highlights importance of efficiency; Republicans don’t absorb the lesson
- 2008/09/15: GristMill: Letter it all out — Party leaders in the House exchange heated notes about energy policy
- 2008/09/16: HillHeat: The Comprehensive American Energy and Security, Consumer Protection Act
- 2008/09/16: Reuters: CO2 regulation could hit 1 million U.S. firms
The prospect of U.S. regulation of climate-warming carbon dioxide has sparked a pre-emptive outcry from the Chamber of Commerce, which warned of bureaucratic gridlock if proposed limits are put in place. In a report to be released on Tuesday, the pro-business organization projected such regulation would affect more than 1 million U.S. businesses and create such a regulatory backlog that it could stall economic development.
- 2008/09/16: NEN: New energy tax credits will create jobs, wealth
- 2008/09/16: NEN: Feed-In Tariffs — good F-I-T for the U.S.?
- 2008/09/15: ClimateP: Gang of (now) 20 deal, Part 6: Big Oil whines it’s something for nothing
- 2008/09/15: GristMill: Bipartisan nuke subsidies — Gang of 20 energy bill contains ‘most significant taxpayer-backed boost to nuclear power ever’
Chicago has presented a surprisingly aggressive climate plan:
- 2008/09/19: DotEarth: Windy City’s Climate Plan
- 2008/09/19: TreeHugger: Chicago Unveils New Climate Change Plan [75% of 1990 CO2 levels by 2020]
- 2008/09/19: Yahoo: Chicago outlines plan to slash greenhouse gases
Mayor Richard M. Daley has announced a plan to dramatically slash emissions of heat-trapping gases, part of an effort to fight global warming and become one of the greenest cities in the nation. The plan calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to three-fourths of 1990 levels by 2020 through more energy-efficient buildings, using clean and renewable energy sources, improving transportation and reducing industrial pollution.
- 2008/09/21: Guardian(UK): McCain and Obama take science test
- 2008/09/20: ClimateP: The greenwasher from Arizona has a record as dirty as the denier from Oklahoma
- 2008/09/20: PeakEnergy: McCain’s Nuclear Energy Revival May Cost $315 Billion
- 2008/09/19: ClimateP: Polar bears against Palin
- 2008/09/19: GristMill: Must ‘science’ mean ‘corporate science’? Wired: Two top Obama science advisors are tied to Monsanto and Amgen
- 2008/09/17: DemNow: Sarah Palin and Global Warming: Alaska Prof. Says Palin Misrepresented State Findings on Endangered Polar Bears — and Tried to Cover It Up
- 2008/09/19: ThinkP: McCain repeats Palin’s lie: Alaska ‘provides 20 percent of America’s energy requirements.’
- 2008/09/19: OLJ: The Senate’s “Drill, Drill, Drill” bill hides nuke power mega-theft
The McCain/Palin push for endless oil drilling is being used as a smokescreen to gouge a half-trillion or more taxpayer dollars in subsidies and loan guarantees to build new atomic reactors. The mega-theft could be approved by the US Senate this week. Green activists throughout the nation are calling their senators, as should you. The atomic power industry can’t get private financing to build new reactors. So while Wall Street plummets into catastrophe, it is using the “drill, drill, drill” mantra to hide this latest raid on the depleted federal treasury.
- 2008/09/18: NatureTGB: Palin’s eco award — the 2008 Rubber Dodo Award
- 2008/09/16: ClimateP: Clinton Global Initiative jumps the shark, invites McCain to keynote on Energy Solutions
- 2008/09/18: GristMill: On the prez — A roundup of environmental news from the presidential race
- 2008/09/18: GristMill: Survey says — Economists prefer Obama on energy and environment policy
- 2008/09/17: GristMill: Energy Czar Palin? GOP VP candidate says she’d be in charge of McCain’s energy policy
- 2008/09/17: TP:WonkRoom: Biden: ‘No Coal Plants Here In America’
- 2008/09/18: Guardian(UK): Rubber Dodo award for governor
Sarah Palin may have seen the light – sort of – on climate change but that did not spare her from being singled out yesterday as America’s environmental enemy of the year. The Centre for Biological Diversity awarded Palin its Rubber Dodo award for her insistence – despite evidence to the contrary – that the polar bear population was rising across the Arctic. The Arizona thinktank condemned the Alaska governor as a “global warming denier”.
- 2008/09/16: WaPo:FactChecker: Palin for Energy Czar!
- 2008/09/17: NatAcad: Report Advises Presidential Candidates on Filling Key Science and Technology Posts
- 2008/09/16: TP:WonkRoom: McCain Rep Lies: McCain’s Global Warming Targets ‘Consistent With International Scientific Consensus’
- 2008/09/17: Guardian(UK): Sarah Palin: Ice queen of the Arctic — what’s her record on environmental concerns?
- 2008/09/16: Stoat: McCain on science
- 2008/09/16: Maribo: McCain and Obama positions on climate change
- 2008/09/16: SacBee: Friedman: Why McCain is off track [on energy]
- 2008/09/16: TP:WonkRoom: McCain: ‘I Do’ Support An End To Mountain-Top Removal, But Coal Companies Also ‘Doing A Much Better Job’
- 2008/09/15: TP:WonkRoom: McCain’s Technological Divide — Senator John McCain today responded to 14 questions…
- 2008/09/15: NatureTGB: Where John McCain stands on science
- 2008/09/12: FactCheck: Energetically Wrong — Palin says Alaska supplies 20 percent of U.S. energy. Not true. Not even close.
- 2008/09/14: ClimateP: McCain’s lying ads have gone “too far” warns … Karl Rove!
- 2008/09/15: DotEarth: Obama and McCain: No Climate Doubt
- 2008/09/15: GristMill: Eh, 20 percent, 3.5 percent, who’s counting? McCain/Palin energy lie about Alaska the latest to come in for media scrutiny
- 2008/09/15: Sefora: John McCain answers fourteen questions on science and technology policy
- 2008/09/12: DeSmogBlog: Sarah Palin: From Climate Change Denier To Long-Winded Skeptic
- 2008/09/16: PeakEnergy: Do You Prefer Insulation or Radiation?
- 2008/09/15: AutoBG: Friedman: “Drill, baby, drill” makes America stupid
While in the UK:
- 2008/09/19: BBC: Bosses urge climate change action
A number of UK business leaders have called for “urgent and comprehensive” measures from the main political parties to tackle climate change. The Prince of Wales’s UK Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change said “deep and rapid” cuts were needed in CO2 to prevent severe climate change. The group includes the bosses of Tesco, BAA, Shell and energy group E.ON. Greenpeace accused some of those involved of “hypocrisy of a previously unknown magnitude”. In a letter to the three major party leaders, the business leaders said the effects of the economic downturn should not be allowed to delay action
- 2008/09/19: Guardian(UK): Business chiefs urge action on climate change
E.ON and BAA bosses sign letter to Number 10 — Environment activists say signatures ‘hypocritical’
- 2008/09/17: GristMill: Brit’s Eye View: You say you want some devolution …Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are pursuing dramatically different environmental strategies
- 2008/09/18: NEN: Wind v. Nuclear — A Real Energy Fight in UK
- 2008/09/18: BBC: UK wants right to pay to pollute
The UK government wants the right to buy its way out of half its CO2 reduction targets, according to a leaked document. It says EU nations should be allowed to trade away 50% of their emissions reductions – up from the 30% currently allowed by the European Commission. The money would go towards clean energy projects in developing countries. But because some of these schemes would have gone ahead anyway, CO2 is not always saved, warn environment groups. European nations are currently expected to make around 70% of their carbon reductions on home turf, leaving 30% available for trade. Reducing that domestic obligation to 50% could allow an extra billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, according to WWF.
- 2008/09/18: Guardian(UK): Leaked papers show Britain trying to weaken plan for EU carbon cuts — Move would reduce efforts to cut domestic pollution
- 2008/09/17: BBC: Britain ‘faces power cuts threat’
The UK will experience prolonged power cuts in about five years unless urgent action is taken now, a report warns. It said a third of generation capacity was due to be decommissioned by 2020, but was not being replaced fast enough. The report, by nuclear supporting Fells Associates, said new reactors would not be ready in time, and questioned spending on renewable energy.
- 2008/09/17: Guardian(UK): Energy security ‘more important than climate change’
Report [by nuclear supporting Fells Associates] warns that UK must extend the lifespan of coal and nuclear facilities to plug the predicted shortfall in electricity supply, but is dismissed as ‘naive’ and ‘overstated’
- 2008/09/15: Guardian(UK): Kindest cut
Let’s face it — the 60% cut in CO2 envisaged in the original climate change bill is not enough. We need 80% well before 2050
- 2008/09/19: EurActiv: EU faces pressure from overseas biofuel-makers
- 2008/09/16: Europa: Call for a more ambitious global alliance against climate change
The global alliance aimed at helping developing countries to fight climate change should receive at least 25% of the revenue of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, according to the EP Development Committee. In a report adopted on Monday, MEPs also question the sustainability criteria of biofuels.
- 2008/09/14: NEN: EU cracks down on agrofuels
- 2008/09/15: AutoBG: Europe scales back crop biofuels requirements
- 2008/09/15: AutoBG: Europe’s proposed CO2 rules might be illegal
- 2008/09/15: DerSpiegel: The search for a sustainable future — Europe’s Biofuels Conundrum
Meanwhile in Australia:
- 2008/09/20: SMH: Rudd delivers a low blow on Garnaut modelling
Kevin Rudd has told industry and environment groups it is necessary to support an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target, in an apparent reference to the more cautious approach advocated by his climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut. Mr Rudd’s statement was made after a briefing of industry and environment groups on the Federal Government’s plan for a $100 million international institute to spearhead research on capturing and burying greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Mr Rudd nominated the lowest level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere modelled by Professor Garnaut as “necessary” but did not say any more. That level was 450 parts per million, which scientists say offers a chance of avoiding dangerous levels of climate change but which Professor Garnaut said “reluctantly” this month was almost impossible to reach.
- 2008/09/19: ABC(Au): The Queensland Government says a new international clean coal research centre should be based in Queensland
- 2008/09/19: ABC(Au): Hopes PM’s green plan will overcome banks’ reluctance to invest
Australia’s energy generators say they hope new Government investment in clean coal technology will overcome the reluctance by banks to lend money for such projects
- 2008/09/19: ABC(Au): PM’s tougher targets impress Climate Institute
- 2008/09/19: ABC(Au): Rudd to announce clean coal initiative
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is expected to make an announcement today about the development of clean coal and carbon capture technology in Australia
- 2008/09/19: Google:AFP: Australia to launch ambitious global carbon capture scheme
- 2008/09/11: TheAge: Out with the coal, in with the flue
Policymakers who advocate an emissions trading scheme as the solution to global warming, but who overlook the role of Australia’s coal exports, are suffering from delusion. Practically every atom of carbon in our exports of coal will soon become a molecule of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Garnaut report provides no recognition of this. Our coal exports are the elephant in the room that we pretend does not exist.
- 2008/09/18: SMH: Rudd lashes climate change sceptics
- 2008/09/17: ABC(Au): Farmers express emissions scheme concerns
- 2008/09/17: ABC(Au): Farmers fear emissions trading scheme impact
The Federal Government’s proposed emissions trading scheme will be one of the main issues discussed at the AgForce state conference in north Queensland this morning.
- 2008/09/18: ABC(Au): Australia must do better than Garnaut’s vision
- 2008/09/18: SMH: Emissions trading handouts cost earth
Industry handouts to help cope with the introduction of an emissions trading scheme would cost half the Federal Government budget for infrastructure and transport, modelling submitted to Canberra shows. In a submission to be published today the Climate Institute criticises work done by the Business Council of Australia warning that companies would move overseas because of a trading system. “We need a laser-like focus on driving clean investment and opportunities in the low-carbon economy, not ‘loser-lite’ strategies that shield polluters with unjustified claims and inaction,” the chief executive of the Climate Institute, John Connor, said.
- 2008/09/18: SMH: Natives will survive climate change, study finds
As the world warms, Australian trees will grow faster and larger and become more water-efficient, research suggests. Giant, climate-controlled tents that simulate the carbon dioxide-heavy conditions expected in the second half of the 21st century have been erected over gum trees by University of Western Sydney researchers. Air inside the tents is carefully regulated to raise the carbon dioxide content to over 600 parts per million – above the predicted “tipping point” for highly damaging climate change. The results suggest the hardy eucalypts will survive and maybe even prosper, even as surrounding ecosystems collapse.
- 2008/09/17: WSWS: Australia: Climate change, the Garnaut report, and the profit system
- 2008/09/17: SMH: Clean-energy threat: Voelte
The head of Woodside Petroleum has accused the Federal Government of failing to understand the complexity of its emissions trading system and backtracking on an election commitment to make Australia a regional hub for clean energy. Woodside’s chief executive, Don Voelte, has been on the offensive over the proposed emissions trading scheme ever since the Government released its green paper in July. The company believes the scheme would jeopardise billions of dollars in liquefied natural gas investment projects.
- 2008/09/16: ABC(Au): Regions urged to plan for emissions trading
The head of the Regional Communities Consultative Council (RCCC), Peter Blacker, says regional communities are not taking climate change and emissions trading seriously enough. He says communities need to be prepared for when, not if, primary industry and farming practices are included in the Federal Government’s proposed carbon trading scheme.
- 2008/09/16: ABC(Au): Regulation needed for carbon offset cowboys: Choice
The Federal Government is being urged to speed up the introduction of a national standard for carbon offsets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental and consumer groups are revealing inconsistencies in the carbon offset industry, with a new ranking system for carbon offset providers finding big differences between the offsets that companies sell. Environmental groups and the consumer association Choice have ranked 20 companies on a new carbon offset watch website. Jane Castle from the Total Environment Centre says some companies sell offsets but do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- 2008/09/15: ABC(Au): Grocers say emissions scheme will cost job
In the Canadian election, the repeated attacks on the Liberal Green Shift policy leads one to think the tories’ corporate masters are worried:
- 2008/09/20: CanWest: ‘Simple as that’ — except it’s not
A green tax-shift has its appeals — but, as David Reevely writes, this complex plan is hard to understand and, unfortunately for the Liberals, hard to explain to voters
- 2008/09/20: CanWest: We just don’t get it
Analysts agree Canada needs to put a price on carbon emissions. Our political parties all have policies of one sort or another. The problem is that voters remain deeply suspicious of plans they don’t understand
- 2008/09/21: BCLSB: Battling Green Plans
- 2008/09/21: RCC: Dueling Experts — are the Liberals are doing enough to inform people?
- 2008/09/21: TStar: Professor Dion hasn’t mastered his lessons
- 2008/09/19: CTV: Liberals deny ‘shifting’ gears on the ‘Green Shift’
- 2008/09/21: CanWest: Tories should present alternative to Green Shift Carbon tax. Tories won’t release details of their plan
- 2008/09/21: CanWest: Green Shift would bleed Alberta, experts say
- 2008/09/21: TStar: Dion defends Green Shift plan — ‘It will be good for your wallet and good for the planet,’ he says, rejecting criticism it’s a tax hike
- 2008/09/20: TStar: Green Shift: Are Liberals downplaying eco plan?
- 2008/09/20: G&M: Great on climate change, but not much else [Greens]
- 2008/09/20: CanWest: Why Green Shift just won’t work
- 2008/09/19: BCLSB: Not Helpful [Dion, Green Shift]
- 2008/09/19: BCLSB: And Here’s The Context [Dion, Green Shift]
- 2008/09/17: DeSmogBlog: Harper’s Climate Carbon Tax Snowjob
- 2008/09/19: G&M: Liberal green plan gets caught in gusting Prairie wind
The heat wave that moved into Saskatchewan this week has brought a simmering political debate to a full boil. Premier Brad Wall says the Liberal Party’s Green Shift plan would “kneecap” his province if it ever went ahead. The top – and only – Liberal MP from Saskatchewan, Ralph Goodale, says the Premier is “factually wrong” in his slamming of the troubled environmental platform. The Premier even goes so far as to suggest that Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion’s plan to tax carbon is the equal of the despised national energy program of a generation ago – a federal initiative that continues to this day to hurt federal Liberal ambitions in the West. Mr. Goodale says there is no such comparison – the NEP was a tax at the wellhead, the Green Shift is a consumption tax that would, for individuals, be offset by cuts in other taxes. He accuses the leader of the Saskatchewan Party – essentially the old Saskatchewan Conservative Party reconfigured and renamed – of “carrying water for Stephen Harper – and in a very steeply partisan way.”
- 2008/09/19: TStar: Green Shift not major platform plank, Dion says — Liberal leader plays down Green Shift policy after pledges $1.2B in green funding to farmers
- 2008/09/18: CanWest: Green Shift a throwback to NEP: [Saskatchewan Premier Brad] Wall
- 2008/09/17: CanWest: If warming threat is real, why are leaders so timid?
Though I’m impressed with neither of them, I tend to believe that Stéphane Dion’s Green Shift has greater promise of making a difference to climate change than Stephen Harper’s Turning the Corner Action Plan. For something that was once, so to speak, the burning issue of the day, global warming has been turned into just one of many election issues facing the voters today.
- 2008/09/17: CanWest: Strange bedfellows attack carbon taxes
The federal Conservatives are doing well in B.C., according to a poll released yesterday that must be ringing alarm bells at B.C. Liberal party headquarters. Because the main thrust of the Tory campaign is that the carbon tax proposed by the federal Liberals would be a disaster. Which, of course, is almost the same carbon tax that Premier Gordon Campbell’s government legislated into place this summer.
- 2008/09/16: Metro: Poll shows opposition to Green Shift in Atlantic Canada
- 2008/09/16: CanWest: Sask. Party gov’t releases Green Shift evaluation — Federal Liberal plan would be negative for province: minister
- 2008/09/16: CTV: Liberal Green Shift would benefit oilsands: Baird
- 2008/09/15: TreeHugger: Canadian Election Update: Economy Trumps Environment
- 2008/09/13: CanWest: Carbon tax makes Campbell a ‘hero’ — Dion praises B.C. premier at campaign stop in Burnaby
- 2008/09/15: CBC: Green Shift would ‘destroy’ N.B. economy, say Conservatives
- 2008/09/15: TStar: Carbon tax woes dog Dion
Neocon PM Harper continues to exercise his media control freak tendencies:
- 2008/09/15: CanWest: Biofuels news tightly controlled: report — Government communications staff have taken over media queries
The tricky & difficult question of the tar sands looms:
- 2008/09/20: CanWest: Alberta steps to the fore on global energy stage — Esteemed analyst [Yergin] expects expanded role
- 2008/09/18: G&M: Alberta’s ‘dirty’ oil a sticky problem for Charest
- 2008/09/18: TreeHugger: Tar Sand Investments Could Be Oil Industry’s Version of the Sub-Prime Meltdown
- 2008/09/18: OilChange: The Flawed Defence of “Dirty Oil” [tar sands]
- 2008/09/16: ROB: Environmentalists target tar sands investors
- 2008/09/16: OilChange: Climate Risk Set to Impact Oil Sands Development
- 2008/09/15: Guardian(UK): Investors press for disclosure of tar sands’ climate risk — Move reflects changing attitudes among mainstream investors to impact of commercial activities
As for miscellaneous Canadiana:
- 2008/09/19: CBC: New Brunswick’s lieutenant-governor [Herménégilde Chiasson] goes from a limo to a hybrid SUV
- 2008/09/19: CBC: Public transit sees surge: StatsCan
- 2008/09/18: GristMill: Could Canadian politics matter? Canada has its own elections, which may shape future of a carbon tax
- 2008/09/16: CBC: EnCana [Corp.] seeks credits for carbon piped in from the U.S.
- 2008/09/15: NatPo: Carbon tariffs pose risk of trade war, OECD told
The leading economic organization of the industrialized world is being advised to condemn attempts by countries to impose carbon tariffs on certain imported goods — an initiative that the Liberal party advocates in its key election-campaign policy, the Green Shift plan. [...] The advice [in a briefing dated Sept. 10] was from a coalition of 36 business associations that includes the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
- 2008/09/17: GristMill: A greenhouse-gas syllogism for policy-makers — Do we want an economy that’s a bit more Belgian or Belgian Congo?
- 2008/09/17: EnergyBulletin: America’s Self-inflicted Societal Collapse
As for how the media handles the science:
- 2008/09/16: CJR: “Clean Coal” and the Campaigns — Despite centrality to election, first CCS coal plant fails to impress the press
- 2008/09/17: KSJT: CJR’s The Observatory: Journalists missed the startup of a coal-burning power plant with integrated carbon capture and sequestration ability [in Germany]
- 2008/09/18: SMH: Steps on the green scale
Attacks on the environmental credentials of corporations may be hindering rather than fostering change, writes Paul McIntyre. The science and green lifestyle media group bankrolled by the millionaire neuroscientist and Monash University chancellor Dr Alan Finkel has weighed into the greenwashing debate with claims that corporates are becoming unnecessarily spooked about promoting their environmental credentials to consumers because they fear criticism from media and the green lobby. The claims by Luna Media, which publishes the science magazines Cosmos and G Magazine, and The Green Book, come at a critical time for the corporate sector. Australia’s peak advertiser body, the Australian Association of National Advertisers, released a discussion paper two weeks ago to determine whether it would develop a code to regulate environmental claims by industry.
- 2008/09/17: JFleck: Props to Revkin
- 2008/09/15: ClimateP: RNC Delegate Fredericks: “I am gonna go with Charles Krauthammer” on global warming
Why is the ignorance of national conservative pundits on energy and climate issues so important? Why do I spend time debunking the Krauthaumers of the world?
- 2008/09/20: Guardian(UK): Seven Years to Save the Planet [Book Review] _Seven Years to Save the Planet: The Questions … and Answers_ by Bill McGuire
And for your film & video enjoyment:
- 2008/09/17: inel: Note to Stoat on Earth: The Climate Wars P.S. 11 days left to watch online
Developing a new energy infrastructure is a fundamental challenge of the current generation:
- 2008/09/21: PeakEnergy: Made For Each Other: A National Electricity Grid And Renewable Energy
- 2008/09/21: SwissInfo: Electricity boss reveals shock price increases
The interim head of Switzerland’s electricity transmission grid operator, Swissgrid, says prices will rise by between 50 and 100 per cent during the next five years. Hans Schweickardt, who is chief executive of the EOS electricity company in western Switzerland, told the Sonntag newspaper that prices would increase again after 2014 when households were free to choose their electricity supplier. Schweickardt blamed administrative costs in a liberalised Swiss electricity market for the increases.
- 2008/09/19: Reuters: Goldman “super spike” analyst cuts oil  forecast [to $110 from $140 a barrel this week due to global economic weakness]
- 2008/09/18: EnvFin: Credit crisis will hit growth in renewable energy — financiers
- 2008/09/17: Reuters: IEA sees risk of [global] recession if oil stays high
- 2008/09/17: CSM: Controversial path to possible glut of natural gas — Water and chemicals injected at high pressure can extract more gas — and possibly pollute drinking water
- 2008/09/19: Yahoo: Oil jumps above $104 a barrel on US bailout plan
- 2008/09/19: EnergyDaily: Detailed Transmission Plan Files For Texas CREZ Wind Power Initiative
- 2008/09/19: CO: Peak Oil: America uses 21 million barrels per day
- 2008/09/19: PeakEnergy: US Gasoline Inventories At Record Lows
- 2008/09/19: WSJ:EnvCap: Mining the Meltdown: How the Crisis Could Remake the Energy Industry
- 2008/09/18: ClimateP: The one clean-tech breakthrough that could lead to a core climate solution: Thermoelectricity
- 2008/09/18: GristMill: The (renewable) electron economy, part 15 — Passing the buck or paying the piper
- 2008/09/17: GristMill: A national grid will make renewable electricity work — A purely local approach would double or triple costs
- 2008/09/17: GristMill: The (renewable) electron economy, part 14 — Renewable energy promotion policies: transparent
- 2008/09/16: Stoat: Coal-to-liquids / Oil price
- 2008/09/17: TreeHugger: Without Subsidies Coal & Oil Companies “Out of Business in a Couple Years”: Robert Kennedy Jr
- 2008/09/17: CBC: Saint John looks at geothermal energy for city buildings
- 2008/09/16: NatureN: Beaming energy from space — A small step towards a very grand vision
- 2008/09/16: GristMill: The (renewable) electron economy, part 13 — Renewable energy promotion policies: non-transparent or hidden
- 2008/09/16: TechRev: Nanoflowers Improve Ultracapacitors — A novel design could boost energy storage
- 2008/09/16: TreeHugger: Ultracapacitor Nanotech Breakthrough Could Boost Storage Capacity and Power Output
- 2008/09/16: UTexas: New Carbon Material Shows Promise of Storing Large Quantities of Renewable Electrical Energy
Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have achieved a breakthrough in the use of a one-atom thick structure called “graphene” as a new carbon-based material for storing electrical charge in ultracapacitor devices, perhaps paving the way for the massive installation of renewable energies such as wind and solar power
- 2008/09/16: CanEast: Why the U.S. wants wind power [Lester Brown]
- 2008/09/16: Yahoo: Oil prices sink briefly under $90
- 2008/09/16: CBC: Oil prices plunge after shakeup on Wall Street
- 2008/09/15: GristMill: The (renewable) electron economy, part 12 — How do we build (energy) infrastructure?
- 2008/09/16: CanWest: Harnessing power from the sky — Solar-powered community [Drake Landing in Okotoks] in Alberta makes the most out of the sun’s energy
- 2008/09/15: NGE: Bringing geothermal home
- 2008/09/14: NEN: South Korea moves big money into new energy
- 2008/09/14: EnergyBulletin: The net energy cliff
Charles Hall, the father of the energy return on investment (EROI) concept, once told me that our current society would probably not be able to function if the EROI for the entire society slipped below five.
- 2008/09/20: OilDrum: How Much Will Gustav and Ike Affect Gas Supplies? An Update.
- 2008/09/16: Reuters: BP says Mad Dog derrick toppled by Hurricane Ike
- 2008/09/16: WRTA: Sheetz Says Fuel Shortages in MD, NC Won’t Hit PA Pumps
Fuel shortages caused by Hurricane Ike are hitting Sheetz gas stations in Maryland, Virginia and parts of North Carolina. The Altoona-based company says some of its convenience stores began running out of gas over the weekend due to the shutdown Thursday of a major southeastern distribution artery run by the Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline Company.
- 2008/09/16: Reuters: Chevron says some platforms toppled by Hurricane Ike
- 2008/09/16: Reuters: Damage for drillers 10-20 pct of Katrina-Tidewater
- 2008/09/15: WSJ:EnvCap: Ike’s Fallout: Don’t Underestimate Storm’s Impact on Refiners
- 2008/09/15: RSAdvisors: Hurricane Hangover, Shortages Ahead
- 2008/09/15: OilDrum: Damage Caused by Hurricane Ike
- 2008/09/15: PeakEnergy: Gasoline Shortages Ahead In The US?
- 2008/09/15: WSJ:EnvCap: Ike Watch: Hurricane Didn’t Slam Refining, But Gas Prices Will Rise
- 2008/09/14: ThinkP: Hurricane Ike destroys oil platforms in Gulf of Mexico
Meanwhile among the solar aficionados:
- 2008/09/14: FuturePundit: Companies Sell Photovoltaic Roof Shingles
- 2008/09/15: FuturePundit: Slicing Method Cuts Cost of Germanium Solar Cells
- 2008/09/20: PeakEnergy: World’s Largest Solar Energy Project Planned for Gujarat, India
- 2008/09/18: TreeHugger: 12-Year Old Boy Will Save the World! His Solar Cell Absorbs 500 Times the Light of Existing Cells
- 2008/09/18: NEN: $140 mil to solar power plants
- 2008/09/18: Guardian(UK): Berkeley, California approves city-backed solar loans
- 2008/09/15: EBBT: Solar companies feel fallout from Lehman bankruptcy
- 2008/09/12: TechRev: Solar Roofing Materials — Integrating solar cells into building materials could make solar power more attractive to homeowners
- 2008/09/14: Eureka: Slicing solar power costs — New method cuts waste in making most efficient solar cells
The arithmetic of coal carbon is striking home:
- 2008/09/20: SMH: The coal conundrum
Tim Flannery’s acknowledgement that the world is too far down the path to dump coal as an energy source will surprise many who have followed his warnings on climate change.
- 2008/09/16: NEF: Energy companies risk tobacco-style stigma over coal power
Biofuel bickering abounds:
- 2008/09/15: FuturePundit: Palm Oil For Food And Energy Threatens More Rainforests
- 2008/09/15: Berkeley: What we don’t know about biofuels — EBI director Chris Somerville on the quest to ‘decarbonize’ and create next-generation fuels
- 2008/09/17: Reuters: Ethanol makers hit by cash crunch, corn prices
- 2008/09/19: WSJ:EnvCap: Brazil’s Bet: Ethanol Surpasses Gasoline in Brazil
- 2008/09/19: AutoBG: DOE offers $4.4 million for university biofuel projects
- 2008/09/18: Eureka: New process derives ‘green gasoline’ from plant sugars
- 2008/09/18: NEN: Huge news for little algae
- 2008/09/16: PhysOrg: Alternative Renewable Bio-Fuel Sources: Camelina Sativa and Switchgrass
The nuclear energy controversy continues:
- 2008/09/19: ClimateP: Satanic nukes? Finnish plant’s cost overruns to $6.66 billion
- 2008/09/15: GristMill: Bipartisan nuke subsidies — Gang of 20 energy bill contains ‘most significant taxpayer-backed boost to nuclear power ever’
Yes we have a peak oil sighting:
- 2008/09/20: PeakEnergy: Futurists And Peak Oil
- 2008/09/16: EnergyBulletin: UK government responds to oil depletion e-petition
- 2008/09/16: EnergyBulletin: Towards oil resilience by Queensland Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, Andrew McNamara
And then there is the matter of efficiency & conservation:
- 2008/09/17: Ph&Ph: Energy Future = Think Efficiency
- 2008/09/17: EnergyBulletin: Physicists: Energy efficiency crucial
- 2008/09/16: PhysOrg: Physicists urge U.S. to prioritize energy efficiency
- 2008/09/16: McClatchyDC: Physicists: U.S. could cut oil use with better houses, cars
- 2008/09/15: MWatch: Physicists to Unveil Major Energy Efficiency Plan Addressing U.S. Energy Security, Global Warming at NPC “Newsmakers”
Automakers & lawyers, engineers & activists argue over the future of the car:
- 2008/09/17: DerSpiegel: The Green Mercedes – Powering a New Class of Hybrids
Mercedes has announced plans to produce the first hybrid cars with powerful lithium-ion batteries. The cars won’t roll off the assembly lines until 2009, but the Germans are hoping to break Japanese dominance of the electric-motor market.
- 2008/09/20: TreeHugger: Green “Correction” in Auto Sector Leaves GM Clinging to Government Loans
- 2008/09/19: NYT:Wheels: Iceland’s Future [Cars] Could Be Electric
- 2008/09/19: AutoBG: Zap sells $737,000 worth of electric vehicles in August
- 2008/09/17: NewScientist: Can nanoscopic meadows drive electric cars forward?
Nanoscale meadows of grass and flowers could hold the key to increasing the amount of energy that can be stored in ultracapacitors, devices tipped to replace batteries in high-demand applications like electric cars.
- 2008/09/17: PhysOrg: Tesla to produce zero-emission sedan in Silicon Valley
- 2008/09/17: CBC: GM unveils Volt electric car [for sale in 2011]
- 2008/09/15: AutoBG: Large vehicle sales collapse extends to Europe, SUVs down 44% in 2008
- 2008/09/16: AutoBG: Officially Official: 2011 Chevrolet Volt finally revealed!
- 2008/09/14: CNN: The deepening auto recession — A variety of woes may delay any recovery until 2010 – or beyond
Meanwhile in the greenwashing chronicles:
- 2008/09/19: SMH: How green was my rally – not enough
It sounded unbelievable, and it was. The fuel-guzzling V8 Supercars racing series has been forced to withdraw claims it was holding “carbon neutral” events and must have any future green marketing checked by lawyers, after an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Race organisers acknowledge that when they said greenhouse gas emissions from hundreds of engines were neutralised by the planting of 15,000 trees last year, it may have been misleading and deceptive, and may have breached the Trade Practices Act.
- 2008/09/16: PRWatch: PR Driving ‘Carbon Neutral’ Greenwashing
- 2008/09/15: TP:WonkRoom: ‘Clean Skies’ Front Group Pushes Natural Gas Subsidies
- 2008/09/15: TreeHugger: MTV Switch Video Targets Greenwashing
The carbon lobby are up to the usual:
- 2008/09/16: CCD: Cooking the Books: How to write a contrarian polemic on climate change
- 2008/09/18: AFTIC: Watt’s so interesting about that?
- 2008/09/18: Stoat: Now out in BAMS: The myth of the 1970s global cooling scientific consensus
- 2008/09/19: MGS: 1970s Mythology [global cooling -wsc]
- 2008/09/17: DeSmogBlog: Never Mind the Science: Belief in Climate Change Still Largely Dictated by Ideology
- 2008/09/19: TP:WonkRoom: Revolting: GM Executive Bob Lutz Denies Global Warming, Trashes His Company’s Car
- 2008/09/18: ClimateP: The Deniers are winning, but only with the GOP
- 2008/09/16: ClimateP: NCDC August report: The end of global warming?
- 2008/09/18: GristMill: ‘I don’t believe in the CO2 theory’ — Touting the Volt, GM exec denies anthropogenic climate change
- 2008/09/18: BCLSB: They’ve Done It! They’ve Eliminated The Medieval Warm Period
- 2008/09/18: DeSmogBlog: GM Vice-chair [Bob Lutz] touts “Volt” but still denies climate science
- 2008/09/17: DeSmogBlog: Incoming Transmission From Planet Flat Earth!
- 2008/09/16: Ph&Ph: Global Warming Opponents Have Gone Bonkers – Even More Follow-Up
- 2008/09/15: ERabett: Arthur Smith is annoyed [Moncktons's 125 errors]
- 2008/09/16: Deltoid: Moncktons’s 125 errors
Coby is updating his How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic series:
- AFTIC: [H2T2aCS] How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic
- 2008/09/20: GristMill: [H2T2aCS] Summer ice in the Arctic has recovered
- 2008/09/19: AFTIC: [H2T2aCS] Summer ice in the arctic has recovered
- 2008/09/17: AFTIC: [H2T2aCS] The American Physical Society denies the so-called consensus
Another one of those interminable wrangles:
- 2008/09/19: ERabett: “Noisy Junk” – The Nierenberg Report
- 2008/09/19: Stoat: Nierenberg: the wiki soap
- 2008/09/18: Stoat: Book club: Nierenberg. Part I: introduction
- 2008/09/17: Atmoz: More on Oreskes and Nierenberg
- 2008/09/15: Stoat: Nierenberg, part III
Then there was the usual news and commentary:
- 2008/09/17: Nation: Progressive Fusion [Speth]
- 2008/09/21: Guardian(UK): Tackling the ‘triple crunch’ with a green new deal
The financial crisis, climate change and soaring energy prices can only be tackled by shift to policies based on green principles
- 2008/09/18: CCurrents: Civilisation And The Carbon Credit Card
- 2008/09/19: GristMill: Efficiency and trust — Two reasons climate/energy policy assessments frequently undercount benefits
- 2008/09/19: GristMill: Further implications of the financial meltdown — A weak economy brings a diminished appetite for curbs on carbon emissions
- 2008/09/19: GristMill: And by ‘permanent slowdown,’ I mean economic growth and improved public health — CARB shoots down the ‘economy vs. environment’ myth … again [ecoecon]
- 2008/09/18: Maribo: Global NIMBYism [gen]
- 2008/09/18: QuarkSoup: Introducing QuarkSoup Radio
- 2008/09/19: Oregonian: Environmentalists see flaws in [WCI] pollution credit program — Western states – Advocates say credit auctions would raise money for needed work
- 2008/09/18: NatureCF: Getting creative about climate change
- 2008/09/17: CChange: Collapse of Wall Street precedes complete disintegration of system. About those “green jobs”…
- 2008/09/17: USAT:WB: No relief in sight for summer heat trend
- 2008/09/15: Guardian(UK): Roll back time to safeguard climate, expert [Professor John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research] warns
A return to pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide urged as the only way to prevent the worst impacts of global warming
- 2008/09/15: Stoat: clearclimatecode.org
- 2008/09/14: WorldChanging: Dennis Meadows and Computer Modeling
- 2008/09/15: PeakEnergy: The Benefits Of Computer Modeling
And here are a couple of sites you may find interesting and/or useful:
- Sermitsiaq: Watch as Greenland melts — a webcam at the Ilulissat Glacier
- WMO: News
- Wikia Green
- UNL: Drought Monitor
- Arctic Economics
- Carbon Offset Watch
- TEC: Total Environment Centre
- Technology Review
- UAF: Sea Ice Extent
- CSW: Climate Science Watch
- ABC(US): GlobalWarming
- Fight Global Warming – Environmental Defense [GW ads]
- Exxpose Exxon
- Exxon Secrets
- UA:DGESL: Department of Geosciences Environmental Studies Laboratory
- NOAA:GFDL: Tom Knutson’s Home Page
- 2006/01/: NOAA:GFDL: Global Warming and Hurricanes
- California Climate Change Portal
- GPM: Global Precipitation Measurement
The Arctic melt continues to get a lot of attention:
And how are we going to feed 9 billion?
While on the ENSO front:
As for wild fires:
And at the UN:
One hears a lot about the campaigns, not much about their climate & energy policies:
And in Europe:
The movement toward a long term ecologically viable economics is glacial:
Here is something for your library:
Lots of people trying to figure out the Ike &/ Gustav impact:
Low Key Plug
My first novel Water was published in Canada May, 2007. The American release was in October. An Introductionto the novel is available, along with the Unpublished Forewordand the Launch Talk. An overview of my writing is available here.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry