Another Week of Climate Disruption News
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 28, 2008
- Top Stories:Methane, GCP CO2 Report, WCI, RGGI, Carbon Trust Report, CGI
- Melting Arctic, Geopolitics, Finance & Climate, Amphibian Extinction, Abrupt Climate Change, Tutorials, Solar Cycle
- Food Crisis, Food Production
- Hurricanes, GHGs, Temperatures, Paleoclimate, Sea Levels
- Impacts, Forests, Corals, Wacky Weather, Wildfires, Floods & Droughts
- Mitigation, Buildings, Sequestration, Geoengineering, Adaptation
- Journals, Misc. Science
- Kyoto-2, Carbon Trade, Optimal Carbon Reduction Strategy
- Politics:International, Security, America, Britain, Europe, Australia, Canada
- Ecological Economics, Apocalypso, Media, Betting
- Energy, Hurricane & Cost Impacts, Solar, Coal, Biofuel, Nukes, Peak Oil, Efficiency, Cars, Business, Greenwashing
- Carbon Lobby, The Usual, Useful Links
- Shameless Self Promotion, .sig
- 2008/09/23: WorldChanging: An Arctic Sea “Foaming” with Methane: What Now?
- 2008/09/26: NatureN: Fears surface over methane leaks — Experts work to confirm source of gas bubbling from Arctic seabed.
- 2008/09/26: Telegraph(UK): More methane plumes found in Arctic
- 2008/09/24: Stoat: Mr Methane
- 2008/09/25: OTF: Methane: It’s Not Just From Your Cheeseburger
- 2008/09/25: Independent(UK): Hundreds of methane ‘plumes’ discovered — British scientists find more evidence of climate threat
British scientists have discovered hundreds more methane “plumes” bubbling up from the Arctic seabed, in an area to the west of the Norwegian island of Svalbard. It is the second time in a week that scientists have reported methane emissions from the Arctic.
- 2008/09/25: Stoat: Methane Data
- 2008/09/24: AFTIC: Good news, bad news
- 2008/09/24: CCurrents: The Methane Time Bomb
- 2008/09/23: Guardian(UK): Arctic ‘methane chimneys’ raise fears of runaway climate change
Researchers say evidence suggests that the frozen seabed is perforated and is starting to leak methane, but other scientists urge caution
- 2008/09/24: NZHerald: Timebomb ticking away under Arctic
- 2008/09/16: YukonCollege: International Siberian Shelf Study 2008 (ISSS-08)
- 2008/09/23: ClimateP: Has runaway climate change begun?
- 2008/09/23: inel: A methane scoping question
- 2008/09/23: DeSmogBlog: As Humans Squabble, Nature Starts to Vent!
- 2008/09/23: DailyMail: New global warming threat as scientists discover massive methane ‘time bomb’ under the Arctic seabed
- 2008/09/23: OilChange: The Methane Time Bomb Explodes
- 2008/09/23: Independent(UK): The methane time bomb
Arctic scientists discover new global warming threat as melting permafrost releases millions of tons of a gas 20 times more damaging than carbon dioxide Preliminary findings suggest that massive deposits of subsea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists. The Independent has been passed details of preliminary findings suggesting that massive deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats.
- 2008/09/28: SciDaily: Global Carbon Emissions Speed Up, Beyond IPCC Projections
- 2008/09/25: Reuters: Global carbon emissions rising rapidly-study
- 2008/09/26: KSJT: AP, Telegraph, etc: CO2 isn’t leveling off. It’s accelerating up.
- 2008/09/26: MongaBay: CO2 emissions accelerate 400% as world turns to dirtier fuels
- 2008/09/26: ABC(Au): China tops world’s biggest carbon polluter list
- 2008/09/26: DotEarth: CO2 Flow Speeds Up; Poor Countries Now Lead
- 2008/09/26: PhysOrg: Emissions rising faster this decade than last
- 2008/09/26: TerraDaily: China biggest carbon polluter, world levels at record: scientists
- 2008/09/26: G&M: Scientists say carbon dioxide emissions up 3%
- 2008/09/25: NatureCF: Annual carbon budget: We’re all doomed
- 2008/09/25: ABC(Au): Carbon emissions jump since 2000: report
- 2008/09/25: PhysOrg: International scientists say worldwide man-made emissions of carbon dioxide – the main gas that causes global warming – jumped 3 percent from 2006 to 2007
- 2008/09/25: Reuters: Global carbon emissions rising rapidly – study
- 2008/09/25: Eureka: Growth in the global carbon budget — Updated global carbon budget released
- 2008/09/25: WSJ:EnvCap: Big Gas: Emissions Growing Four Times Faster Than A Decade Ago
- 2008/09/24: PhysOrg: CO2 emissions booming, shifting east, researchers report
Despite widespread concern about climate change, annual carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and manufacturing cement have grown 38 percent since 1992, from 6.1 billion tons of carbon to 8.5 billion tons in 2007. At the same time, the source of emissions has shifted dramatically as energy use has been growing slowly in many developed countries but more quickly in some developing countries, most notably in rapidly developing Asian countries such as China and India. These are the findings of an analysis completed by the Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
- 2008/09/24: ORNL: CO2 emissions booming, shifting east, researchers report
The WCI released their cap & trade plan, although they punted on auctions:
- 2008/09/25: WarmingLaw: California Auto Standards Are Going Global (With or Without the EPA) [WCI]
- 2008/09/24: SF Gate: States, provinces have plan to cut emissions
- 2008/09/24: SeattlePI: Climate Change: States right [WCI]
Washington and other Western states have shaken off Bush administration-induced climate paralysis to summon themselves to responsible action. The states’ design of a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions should help inspire an overdue national effort.
- 2008/09/24: PhysOrg: Western initiative proposes emissions-trading plan
- 2008/09/24: Yahoo: Western cap and trade initiative faces obstacles
- 2008/09/24: RPE: Western initiative sets up emissions-trading plan
- 2008/09/24: CanWest: B.C.’s emissions-fight allies [WCI] opt for phase-in
British Columbia’s partners in a cross-border effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have adopted a less ambitious approach than the one preferred by the B.C. Liberals. The Western Climate Initiative — seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces including B.C. — on Tuesday released the latest version of its proposal to cap and then reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The release shows the WCI moving by consensus to regulate emissions from heavy industry and electrical generation starting in 2012. The so-called “cap-and-trade plan” won’t begin to cover emissions from transportation, residential, commercial and smaller industrial sources until 2015. By that time, British Columbians will have been paying the carbon tax on fossil fuels consumed for transportation, heating and other purposes, for seven years.
- 2008/09/23: Sightline: Sightline’s Line On WCI
- 2008/09/24: SeattlePI: Western states’ plan aims to cut greenhouse gas — Proposal would be most far-reaching to date
[...] key details still need to be worked out, including how the emission permits will be handed out to polluters and how much pollution each state and province will be allowed.
- 2008/09/23: RegisterGuard: Don’t weaken cap-trade The regional initiative mustn’t give away permits
As the nation waits to see if the next president and Congress are willing to finally confront global warming, Oregon and six other Western states will join four Canadian provinces Tuesday in announcing the framework for a regional cap-and-trade program intended to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. The governors of Oregon, California, Washington, New Mexico and Arizona formed the Western Climate Initiative in 2007, agreeing on a goal of reducing carbon emissions regionally by a minimum of 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. Since then the initiative has expanded to include Montana and Utah, as well as the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. [...] One of the most pivotal decisions facing WCI participants concerns the regional system for allocating carbon credits. On Tuesday, the states and provinces will announce the minimum percentage of allowances that must be auctioned to polluters. The European Union’s experience makes it clear the initiative must set a high minimum and resist lobbying from industries to give away most or all of the allowances. Auctioning all or most allowances is the only fair method of distribution. An auction would prevent polluters from grabbing free carbon allowances that should be regarded as public assets worth billions of dollars.
- 2008/09/26: GristMill: RGGI: Not dead yet
- 2008/09/26: STimes: Carbon goes on the auction block in Northeast [RGGI]
Greenhouse gases went on sale Thursday as 10 Northeastern states held the nation’s first auction of pollution credits aimed at curbing global warming.
- 2008/09/25: C411: First Auction Today for RGGI Cap-and-Trade
- 2008/09/25: WSJ:EnvCap: RGGI’s Rules: Northeast Launches First U.S. Carbon Cap, But Will It Work?
- 2008/09/24: KSJT: Lots of Ink: Cap and trade on carbon getting its first serious test in US
- 2008/09/23: CSM: Precedent-setting carbon auction Thursday — East Coast power plants will bid on CO2 permits Sept. 25.
- 2008/09/22: IHT:AP: First US greenhouse gas auction set for Thursday
The Carbon Trust produced a report warning the business world to take climate change into consideration:
- 2008/09/22: OilChange: The Trillion Dollar Wake Up Call
- 2008/09/22: BBC: Firms warned about climate change
Companies that fail to tackle climate change could lower the value of their businesses, a report by the UK’s Carbon Trust suggests. The report said firms, together are worth £3.8 trillion ($7 trillion) globally, could boost market value by taking steps to tackle emissions. The research covered six sectors of the economy including car manufacturing, brewing and consumer electronics. Automotive firms stood to gain the most by adopting greener strategies. But the car sector also risked the greatest loss by failing to take onboard changes needed to meet ambitious emission targets in the coming years.
- CGI: Clinton Global Initiative
- 2008/09/27: Guardian(UK): On climate change, more is not less
New energy sources are all the rage at the Clinton Global Initiative, but where are the calls to reduce consumption?
- 2008/09/25: WSJ:EnvCap: At Clinton Powwow, McCain, Obama Echo Each Other on Energy
- 2008/09/24: GristMill: Wood you, could you, prevent climate change? Duke Energy announces investment in wood biomass on first day of the Clinton Global Initiative
The Arctic melt continues to get a lot of attention:
- 2008/09/28: PeakEnergy: Arctic Ice: Fastest August Retreat in History
- 2008/09/28: Guardian(UK): The village at the tip of the iceberg [impacts]
For more than 2,000 years the Yup’ik Eskimos have carved out a subsistence living on the frozen wastes of southwest Alaska. But now the ice is melting the village is having to move to a new site…
- 2008/09/27: TreeHugger: Arctic Just Witnessed Fastest August Ice Retreat in History
- 2008/09/26: Eureka: NASA data show Arctic saw fastest August sea ice retreat on record
- 2008/09/24: ABC(Au): Ice-free Arctic predicted
A national climate change expert predicts that in the next 20 years there will be a summer with no ice in the Arctic Circle. The former director of the SA Museum, Tim Flannery, says if current environment trends continue, there will an ice-free summer in the Arctic sometime between 2010 and 2030.
- 2008/09/22: PhysOrg: Greenland’s ice cap melting faster than expected: experts
- 2008/09/23: Yahoo: Greenland’s ice cap melting faster than expected: experts
- 2008/09/23: Yahoo: Greenland: roar of melting glacier sounds climate change alarm
- 2008/09/23: CNN: Polar bears resort to cannibalism as Arctic ice shrinks
Arctic sea ice dwindled to its second lowest level on record, scientists say – Ice cover helps regulate and temper the climate in many parts of the world – Group: Polar bears are starving, drowning, resorting to cannibalism – Scientists believe the Arctic may be ice-free in the summer in five years
- 2008/09/22: PhysOrg: Ancient Arctic ice could tell us about the future of permafrost
As for the geopolitics of the Arctic resources:
- 2008/09/24: TerraDaily: Russia To Set New Border Line In The Arctic
- 2008/09/24: MailOnSunday: Polar war could break out in 12 years over scramble for oil and gas, British think-tank [Jane's Review] warns
- 2008/09/22: EurActiv: EU energy chief backs Arctic drilling
- 2008/09/22: EUO: Arctic ‘no sanctuary’ from drilling, says EU
Lots of people are worried about the impact of the financial crisis on climate policy:
- 2008/09/23: TreeHugger: Global Economic Slowdown Won’t Be Enough to Reduce Carbon Emissions: Financial Analysts
- 2008/09/22: PlanetArk: Economic Slowdown Won’t Ease Carbon Emissions
- 2008/09/22: ClimateP: Is the financial crisis more dire than the climate crisis?
Another extinction warning:
- 2008/09/25: BBC: Bleak outlook for Europe’s toads — More than half of Europe’s amphibians could be extinct by 2050, due to climate change and disease, UK research warns
- 2008/09/25: PhysOrg: Amphibians at risk over climate change, habitat loss: Scientists
Abrupt climate change put in another appearance:
- 2008/09/26: NatureCF: Could tipping happen any time soon?
- 2008/09/23: TerraDaily: On the Threshold of Abrupt Climate Change
- 2008/09/23: DeSmogBlog: U.S. Labs Study Abrupt Climate Change — Four Horrifying Scenarios Under Consideration
On the tutorial front:
- 2008/09/24: MGS: Atmospheric Lapse Rates
- 2008/09/23: RealClimate: The mpg confusion
- 2008/09/21: MGS: Excess Precision
A timely note about ideology:
- 2008/09/24: ArsTechnica: Does ideology trump facts? Studies say it often does
I expect we will hear a lot about this from the denyosphere:
- 2008/09/24: NatureTGB: Ulysses becalmed
- 2008/09/24: KSJT: VofA, BBC, AP, etc: Solar wind reaches a 50 year low
- 2008/09/24: NewScientist: Solar wind is at a 50-year low
- 2008/09/24: BBC: The solar wind – the stream of charged particles billowing away from the Sun – is at its weakest for 50 years
- 2008/09/24: CBC: Radiation from sun at lowest point in 50 years
The food crisis remains a top story:
- 2008/09/27: CBC: 5.5 million Zimbabweans facing food crisis: Tsvangirai
- 2008/09/22: MotleyFool: Will China Starve the World?
- 2008/09/28: SMH: Famine fears for Haitian city drowning in a sea of mud
- 2008/09/26: JakartaPost: Food prices ‘to remain high in next four years’
Global food prices are to remain high until 2012 given high demand amid fast-growing population and rapid biofuel development, the Agriculture Ministry has warned. Achmad Suryana, head of the ministry’s Food Security Agency, said Wednesday evening, population growth and increasing biofuel projects would push up the global stock-to-consumption ratio for many crops.
- 2008/09/26: PeakEnergy: Food shortages creeping up on the world
- 2008/09/25: Independent: Why Climate Change Could Wither Santa Barbara Agriculture — The End of the Land of Plenty
- 2008/09/25: TheAge: Food shortage catastrophe creeping up on the world
- 2008/09/25: Xinhuanet: Food crisis continues to dominate UNGA debate
- 2008/09/24: CCurrents: Global Priorities: Feeding Markets, Starving The Hungry
- 2008/09/23: UN: Philippines calls on UN to help poorer countries fight soaring food, fuel prices
- 2008/09/23: UN: Panama urges UN to declare global state of emergency to confront food crisis
- 2008/09/23: TerraDaily: Global Food Situation At A Crossroads
- 2008/09/23: TerraDaily: On The Brink Of A New Agricultural Revolution [misleading title, we're in a food crunch, we need a revolution -het]
- 2008/09/21: Forbes:Reuters: U.S. agriculture squeezed by demand, climate
- 2008/09/22: SciDaily: Long-term Global Food Crisis Looms: Experts Urge Immediate Action
And how are we going to feed 9 billion?
- 2008/09/26: UN: World leaders endorse Ban’s call for action on climate change and food crisis
- 2008/09/26: UN: Bangladesh outlines details of global food bank proposal during UNGA debate
- 2008/09/26: PhysOrg: Field of the future — ecological experiment simulates conditions in 2100
- 2008/09/23: NovaNN: Beets could produce trifold crop of biofuel, food and cash
- 2008/09/25: Guardian(UK): UN to buy emergency food stocks from poorer farmers
- 2008/09/23: TreeHugger: Global Crop Diversity Trust: the Search for ‘Climate-Proof’ Food
- 2008/09/23: BBC: ‘Climate-proof’ crop hunt begins
A global search has begun for food crops with traits that are able to withstand changes to the climate. The project, co-ordinated by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, is searching national seed banks for “climate proof” varieties, including maize and rice. The team will screen seeds for natural resistance to extreme events, such as floods, droughts or temperature swings. They hope the strains will help protect food production from the impacts of climate change.
- 2008/09/22: UN: Investing in Africa’s farmers crucial part of global response to food crisis — Ban
Cyclones Hagupit, Sinlaku, Jangmi & Kyle were knocking about:
- 2008/09/28: CNN: Hurricane Kyle strengthens, heads toward U.S., Canada
Category 1 storm is forecast to make landfall late Sunday or early Monday – It’s expected to hit near the border between Maine and Canada – 4 inches of rain may fall in New England, with isolated amounts of up to 6 inches
- 2008/09/28: EarthTimes: Typhoon Jangmi lashes Taiwan with strong winds, heavy rains
- 2008/09/27: CBC: En route to East Coast, Kyle grows into hurricane
- 2008/09/28: BBC: US north-east on hurricane alert
A rare hurricane watch has been issued for the US state of Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Tropical Storm Kyle strengthened to hurricane force off the US east coast with winds of 75mph (120km/h), the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. It is the first hurricane watch issued for Maine in 17 years, the US National Weather Service reported.
- 2008/09/27: CNN: Kyle grows to hurricane after passing Bermuda
Storm reaches hurricane strength as it moves north through Atlantic – Kyle could bring 6 inches of rain to some spots along East Coast – Landfall in Maine, perhaps as hurricane, is possible Sunday
- 2008/09/27: EarthTimes: Kyle becomes hurricane headed to northeast US, Canada
- 2008/09/27: Wunderground: Little change to Kyle; Western Caribbean disturbance may threaten Florida
- 2008/09/25: TerraDaily: Storms batter China, 18 killed including Briton: state media [Hagupit +]
- 2008/09/25: Wunderground: Topical Storm Kyle forms, and heads towards Nova Scotia
- 2008/09/26: Wunderground: Kyle intensifies, heads north towards the Maine/Canada border
- 2008/09/26: Wunderground: Kyle not strengthening
- 2008/09/26: CBC: Kyle tracking toward Maritimes: hurricane centre
- 2008/09/25: BBerg: Atlantic Storms Strengthen, Take Aim at East Coast [Kyle]
- 2008/09/25: EarthTimes: Death toll rises to 10 after typhoon [Hagupit] batters south China
- 2008/09/25: TerraDaily: Hope fades for trapped miners, death toll rises in Philippines typhoon [Hagupit]
- 2008/09/25: Wunderground: Two almost-tropical storms promise windy and wet weather for U.S. East Coast
- 2008/09/24: Novosti: Typhoon Hagupit kills 3 in south China
- 2008/09/24: Wunderground: North Carolina coastal storm winding up; 93L disorganized
- 2008/09/24: Wunderground: North Carolina coastal storm may become Subtropical Storm Kyle
- 2008/09/23: Wunderground: Little change to Dominican Republic disturbance 93L
- 2008/09/23: ChinaDaily: Typhoon Hagupit heads for China, killing 3 in Philippines
- 2008/09/23: CBC: Typhoon Hagupit approaches Hong Kong
- 2008/09/22: Wunderground: Serious flooding in Puerto Rico from 93L
While elsewhere in the hurricane wars:
- 2008/09/27: CBC: Haiti needs long-term help after storms, says UN official
- 2008/09/24: CBC: Galveston residents head home to pick up pieces after storm
- 2008/09/24: CBC: [PEI] Trans-Canada reopens after storm [Hanna]
- 2008/09/23: KSJT: New Orleans Times-Picayune: A deep look at the science (such as it is) of storm surge seers
- 2008/09/22: PhysOrg: Texas’ coastal ecosystem could take a generation to recover from Ike’s damage
As for GHGs:
- 2008/09/25: ClimateP: Global carbon emissions jumped 3% in 2007
- 2008/09/26: Reuters: Rich nations’ greenhouse gases fell in 2006: survey
- 2008/09/25: DeSmogBlog: It’s Not Just Wall Street that Needs a Bail-Out!
As are the temperatures:
- 2008/09/22: QuarkSoup: August Temperature Anomaly
While in the paleoclimate:
- 2008/09/26: MongaBay: Past climate change drove mass extinction in Pakistan
Sea levels are rising:
- 2008/09/24: BBC: Sea levels to rise dramatically — Sea levels in parts of Scotland will have risen by about 30cm by the 2080s, a Dundee University report suggests
More GW impacts are being seen:
- 2008/09/27: PhysOrg: [US] West Nile season appears to be mildest in 7 years
- 2008/09/27: MiamiHerald: Climate-change studies: Florida must act to avoid catastrophic damage
Two new studies suggest global warming poses expensive and daunting challenges to Florida’s economy and coastline.
- 2008/09/25: SciDaily: Severe Climate Change Costs Forecast For Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, North Dakota, And Other U.S. States
- 2008/09/24: Yahoo: WHO says climate change poses health risks
- 2008/09/24: KSJT: AP: Climate change may make more beetles. Can beetles change climate in turn?
- 2008/09/24: PhysOrg: Prolonged effects of a warming anomaly on grasslands
- 2008/09/24: PhysOrg: New studies find global warming will have significant economic impacts on Florida coasts [due to increased sea level rise]
- 2008/09/24: UMD: Severe Climate Change Costs Forecast for Pa., N.C., Tenn., N.D.
- 2008/07/23: UMD: Costs of Climate Change, State-by-State: $Billions
Climate change will carry a price tag of billions of dollars for a number of U.S. states, says a new series of reports from the University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER). The researchers conclude that the costs have already begun to accrue and are likely to endure. Combining existing data with new analysis, the eight studies project the long term economic impact of climate change on Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey and Ohio. Studies on additional states are in the works.
- 2008/09/23: NewScientist: Acidifying oceans are brewing up an underwater din
- 2008/09/23: NewScientist: Turbulent weather ahead for southern US
- 2008/09/23: CBC: Global warming could make Atlantic Canada colder: scientists
- 2008/09/22: ABC(Au): Climate change could boost grey nurse shark numbers
- 2008/09/22: Eureka: Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
And then there are the world’s forests:
- 2008/09/26: BBC: Brazil unveils deforestation plan
The Brazilian government has pledged to end net deforestation by 2015. [...] But the environmental group Greenpeace criticised it for simply highlighting existing proposals. It said the draft did not explain how they would be brought into action.
- 2008/09/24: Reuters: U.N. launches program to cut deforestation emissions
- 2008/09/24: NSF: Pine Bark Beetles Affecting More than Forests — Beetles may be altering Rocky Mountain air quality and weather
- 2008/09/22: Eureka: MIT: Preventing forest fires with tree power — Sensor system runs on electricity generated by trees
- 2008/09/22: ENN: U.S. conservation win — in Canada [Ontario boreal forest]
Corals are dying:
- 2008/09/25: TerraDaily: Modest CO2 Cutbacks May Be Too Little, Too Late For Coral Reefs
- 2008/09/22: Eureka: Modest CO2 cutbacks may be too little, too late for coral reefs
Yes we have no wacky weather, except:
- 2008/09/22: ABC(Au): Storm cuts power to thousands of homes in SE Qld
As for wild fires:
- 2008/09/27: MEO: Devastating fires — Climate change, fuel prices cutting into Lebanon forests
Urban sprawl, pollution join global hike in fuel prices to threaten forests in Lebanon. Devastating fires caused by climate change are threatening forests in Lebanon, in turn accelerating the pace of global warming, an environmental activist has warned. [...] According to AFDC [Association for Forests, Development and Conservation], forests covered 35 percent of the country in 1965 – against 13 percent in 2007.
- 2008/09/26: SciDaily: Are Fires More Important Than Rain For The Savannah Ecosystem?
- 2008/09/21: PhysOrg: Climate change, human activity and wildfires
- 2008/09/21: Eureka: Climate change, human activity and wildfires — Study of last 2,000 years of charcoal evidence suggests human impacts have curtailed fires in most areas
And hydrological cycle disruption [floods & droughts]:
- 2008/09/26: UN: Up to 170,000 flood victims in western Nepal to receive UN emergency aid
- 2008/09/27: ABC(Au): Feed help for Midlands farmers — Stock feed has been distributed to farmers in Tasmania’s drought stricken Midlands today
- 2008/09/22: TerraDaily: UN [WFP] requests 460 million dollars for drought-stricken Ethiopia
- 2008/09/23: ENN: South Asia floods kill 33, displaces thousands
- 2008/09/23: ChinaDaily: Heavy rains pound India; 163 killed over 4 days
- 2008/09/21: Hindu: Flood woes continue in Orissa
Elsewhere on the mitigation front:
- 2008/09/24: Reuters: Vegetarian shift seen helping climate, not poor
- 2008/09/23: OSU: Flooding might help lower gas emission from wetlands
While in the endless quest for sustainable building codes:
- 2008/09/22: WSJ:EnvCap: Sustainable Cities: They’re Out There, If You Can Afford Them
As for carbon sequestration:
- 2008/09/26: Eureka: Carbon sinks: Issues, markets, policy
- 2008/09/26: WSJ:EnvCap: Down Under: Australia Digs Deep to Try to Bury its Carbon Problem
- 2008/09/25: KSJT: Brit Press, and more: Carbon capture and storage all the rage — in principle
- 2008/09/25: NGE: The four flaws of coal with CCS
- 2008/09/23: NGE: Are we just burying our problems?
- 2008/09/23: EurActiv: EU nears agreement on funding CO2 capture
- 2008/09/23: EUO: Carbon capture in Europe can begin to make money by 2030, report says
- 2008/09/23: IndiaTimes: Burying CO2 could pay for itself by 2030
- 2008/09/23: Guardian(UK): Carbon capture viable by 2030 but needs £8bn to begin now
Large scale geo-engineering keeps popping up:
- 2008/09/27: PeakEnergy: Geoengineering Approaches For Mitigating Methane Emissions
- 2008/09/25: NTN: Nanotechnology and Geoengineering
- 2008/09/25: RPTT: Should engineers fix climate change?
- 2008/09/23: BizGreen: Climos aiming for first “ocean fert” project in late 2009 — Company outlines plans for geo-engineering research project in Southern Ocean
While on the adaptation front:
- 2008/09/26: UN: UN agency urges global uptake of flood devastation prevention measures
- 2008/09/26: CSW: Center for Capacity Building is resurrected by Rockefeller Foundation to create new Consortium
- 2008/09/24: GSA: Wetlands Restoration Not a Panacea for Louisiana Coast
Meanwhile in the journals:
- 2008/09/26: ACPD: A global stratospheric bromine monoxide climatology based on the BASCOE chemical transport model by N. Theys et al.
- 2008/09/26: ACPD: Physical interpretation of the spectral radiative signature in the transition zone between cloud-free and cloudy regions by J. C. Chiu et al.
- 2007/03/27: EOS: Nearshore Arctic Subsea Permafrost in Transition by Volker Rachold et al.
- 2006/10/13: SciDirect: (ab$) Methane release and coastal environment in the East Siberian Arctic shelf by N. Shakhova & I. Semiletova
- 2003//: NASA:GISS: Atmospheric composition, radiative forcing, and climate change as a consequence of a massive methane release from gas hydrates. by G.A. Schmidt & D.T. Shindell
- 2008/09/24: TC: Estimation of the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance for the 20th and 21st centuries by X. Fettweis et al.
- 2008/09/24: ACP: The interpretation of spikes and trends in concentration of nitrate in polar ice cores, based on evidence from snow and atmospheric measurements by E. W. Wolff et al.
- 2008/09/23: ACP: Measurements of UV irradiance within the area of one satellite pixel by P. Weihs et al.
- 2008/09/23: PNAS: Slowing down as an early warning signal for abrupt climate change by Vasilis Dakos et al.
- 2008/09/23: PNAS: On avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system: Formidable challenges ahead by V. Ramanathan & Y. Feng
- 2008/09/23: PNAS: Global warming: Stop worrying, start panicking? by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
Before we get into politics, there was some science done:
- 2008/09/26: KSJT: NYTimes, Daily Camera: A little poli-sci program axed at Colorado’s NCAR gets new home
- 2008/09/24: Eureka: Cloud radar — predicting the weather more accurately
- 2008/09/24: Eureka: Researchers find animal [Calanus finmarchicus, a plankton species] with ability to survive climate change
- 2008/09/23: ABC(Au): ‘Chemical equator’ divides hemispheres: scientists
Meanwhile on the Kyoto-2 front:
- 2008/09/24: NaukawPolsce: Poland ready for December climate conference
- 2008/09/23: DotEarth: Two Nobelists Call for Forest Carbon Market
While at the UN, the General Assembly hosted world leaders:
- 2008/09/25: SwissInfo: Swiss propose climate funding scheme
Switzerland has presented a financing mechanism at the United Nations designed to cover the costs incurred by countries as they adapt to climate change.
- 2008/09/24: SOSD: Leaders wary of hurdles to climate treaty in 2009
- 2008/09/24: UN: Ukraine proposes new UN body tasked with ecological protection
- 2008/09/24: ENS: UN General Assembly Opens With Climate and Energy Concerns
- 2008/09/24: TreeHugger: UN General Assembly Speeches Highlight Energy, Climate Concerns
- 2008/09/22: UN: Global advertising leaders and Ban join forces to fight climate change
The UN released a report jobs & climate change report:
- 2008/09/25: BBC: UN forecasts boom in ‘green jobs’
The UN says millions of new jobs will be created worldwide over the next few decades by the development of alternative energy technologies
- 2008/09/25: Guardian(UK): UN: Tackling climate change will boost – not destroy – jobs
- 2008/09/24: UN: Combating climate change could create millions of jobs, says UN-backed study
And on the carbon trading front:
- 2008/09/24: EurActiv: Report: EU carbon market will not raise power prices
- 2008/09/24: PlanetArk: Japan to Buy Excess Czech Emissions Allowance
The debate over the optimal strategy [carbon trading, carbon offsets, auction vs. allocation, and/or a carbon tax] to use in dealing with GHGs continues:
- 2008/09/24: Guardian(UK): Aviation and shipping cannot trade away emissions, scientist warns
- Sightline: Cap and Trade 101 — A Climate Policy Primer
- 2008/09/21: WorldChanging: Cap and Trade 101
Meanwhile on the international political front:
- 2008/09/26: GristMill: The green evangelist — Denmark’s prime minister [Anders Fogh Rasmussen] travels to U.S. to sell climate treaty talks
- 2008/09/25: GristMill: Something’s very cool in the state of Denmark — Danish P.M. urges United States to reengage in climate talks
As for GW & security:
- 2008/09/22: CanberraTimes: Climate change linked to increased military threats
Defence Force chiefs were told last night they could be called on to defend ”Fortress Australia” from starving outsiders under the worst-case scenarios for global warming. The security implications of climate change were delivered to the military’s top brass at the Australian Defence Force Academy by former director of The Australia Institute Professor Clive Hamilton.
- 2008/09/26: GristMill: House vs. Senate — Renewable tax credits pass again in House, but changes to the plan may kill it in the Senate
- 2008/09/25: ShanghaiDaily: Anti-intellectualism and disdain for facts poisons US society
- 2008/09/26: ClimateP: Did House Dems kill renewable tax credit extension?
- 2008/09/25: GristMill: Loan ranger — House approves $25 billion in direct loans for auto industry
- 2008/09/26: HillHeat: Senate Stimulus Package Would Restore Oil Shale Moratorium
- 2008/09/26: CSW: Notes on Conrad Lautenbacher’s troubled legacy on science and politics at NOAA (Part 2)
- 2008/09/25: DeSmogBlog: “Drill Here, Drill Now” Hits the Jackpot!
- 2008/09/24: QCN: Governor Schweitzer’s energy delusions
- 2008/09/26: WSJ:EnvCap: Dept. of Futile Gestures: House Passes Energy Tax Credits, To No Avail
[...] The House passed its version of the energy and tax package, which is different from the Senate version and which isn’t to the White House’s liking. That means, for all intents and purposes, that the long-awaited renewal of tax credits for renewable energy are on hold again — unless the House and Senate can somehow reconcile their different versions over the weekend and avoid a White House veto. The other alternative is that Congress comes back for a tenth time in a lame-duck session after the election to try to tackle energy tax policy again.
- 2008/09/26: NEN: Coal country, nation agree — new wind, new sun & no new coal
- 2008/09/26: WSJ:EnvCap: Coal Country: Washington Ups Support for Coal, Clean or Not
- 2008/09/24: Google:AP: Analysis: Democrats absorb a defeat on drilling
- 2008/09/25: ThinkP: Undocumented workers ‘will be linchpin’ in Hurricane Ike cleanup efforts
- 2008/09/24: ClimateP: Will the renewable energy tax credits finally be extended?
- 2008/09/24: ClimateP: House Dems embrace “Drill, baby, drill”
- 2008/09/23: GristMill: Credits where credits are due — Senate passes renewable tax credits on the ninth attempt
- 2008/09/24: HillHeat: Continuing Resolution To Drop Drilling Moratorium; GOP Celebrates Democratic ‘Capitulation’
- 2008/09/24: HillHeat: Senate Passes Baucus-Grassley Tax Extenders Package With Clean And Dirty Fuel Incentives
- 2008/09/24: CSW: NOAA head Lautenbacher resigns, leaving troubled legacy on science and politics (Part 1)
- 2008/09/23: DeSmogBlog: White House Edits Another Memo to Minimize Global Warming
- 2008/09/23: ThinkP: [Rep. Michele] Bachmann (R-MN) and [Rep. Joe] Barton (R-TX) Exploit The Financial Crisis To Push For More Oil Drilling
- 2008/09/23: NOAANews: NOAA Administrator [Lautenbacher] Announces Resignation [effective Oct. 31]
- 2008/09/23: ClimateP: The savings from cutting California’s carbon “outweigh the costs”
- 2008/09/23: ClimateP: Pickens learns the hard truth: Drill-only GOP hates alternative energy
- 2008/09/22: GristMill: Energy bills explained — The scoop on energy bills in Congress: offshore drilling, oil shale, renewable tax credits, and more
- 2008/09/22: GristMill: Greenwashing socialism — Bad policy ideas in Michigan
- 2008/09/22: SolveClimate: Take Over ExxonMobil Instead
- 2008/09/23: NEN: New transmission — a big step toward a midwest economic boom…The Midwest Governor’s Association announced The Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative (UMTDI)
- 2008/09/23: WSJ:EnvCap: Gimme a Break: Crunch Time for Clean-Energy Tax Credits
- 2008/09/22: EnergyBulletin: America’s Achilles Heel: A Tale of Two Gulfs
- 2008/09/22: ClimateP: What would a Green Recovery do for your state?
- 2008/09/22: C411: White House Fax Flippant on Grim Impacts of Global Warming
- 2008/09/21: TP:WonkRoom: Smokey Joe Barton Kills Air Pollution Clean-Up, Wants To Review ‘The Entire Clean Air Act’
The Governator is holding a climate conference, in November:
- 2008/09/28: SMH: Climate talks
- 2008/09/26: Google:AP: Schwarzenegger to convene global climate summit
- 2008/09/26: Yahoo: Schwarzenegger to convene global climate summit
One hears a lot about the campaigns, not much about their climate & energy policies:
- 2008/09/28: ClimateP: Debate 2: Did Obama back off the energy independence issue? In a word — no.
- 2008/09/27: ClimateP: Debate Part 1, McCain tells the truth and lies at the same time: “No one can be opposed to alternate energy.”
- 2008/09/26: DeSmogBlog: Obama vs. McCain: Where Do the Candidates Stand on Science Issues?
- 2008/09/26: GristMill: Debate: The big picture on energy — Candidates spar on who has most more comprehensive vision
- 2008/09/24: CarbonFin: India, China key to US joining new climate deal — Obama advisor
- 2008/09/26: CJR: Same Ol’ Science Platforms — Points for trying, but Nature gets nothing new from the candidates
- 2008/09/26: MongaBay: Environment at rock-bottom of concerns for American voters
- 2008/09/25: GristMill: The sound of science — Obama/Biden campaign releases science and innovation plan
- 2008/09/25: NatureN: Obama outlines science spending boost — Nobel laureates endorse Democratic candidate and his plans for science.
- 2008/09/24: NatureCF: US elections: the candidates on climate
- 2008/09/24: GristMill: ‘I love coal more!’ ‘No, I love coal more!’ — McCain and Obama campaigns trade jabs over who’s a bigger coal supporter
- 2008/09/25: NHAdvocate: The Klare Choice — Michael T. Klare argues for energy independence
- 2008/09/25: TP:WonkRoom: Full Text Of John McCain’s Address To The Clinton Global Initiative
- 2008/09/24: NatureCF: US elections: the candidates on climate
- 2008/09/24: KSJT: Nature: The US Candidates, Science, and the Future of the World
- 2008/09/24: ClimateP: Sarah Palin is the fungible candidate
- 2008/09/23: GristMill: The evolution of John McCain — Why he picked Sarah Palin, carbon queen
- 2008/09/24: NewScientist: Climate change: how Obama and McCain compare
- 2008/09/24: Guardian(UK): Obama declares support for ‘clean’ coal — Barack Obama has proclaimed his support for the US coal industry after running mate Joe Biden declared ‘no coal plants here in America’
- 2008/09/23: ThinkP: McCain: New coal plants ‘will increase greenhouse gas emissions dramatically.’
- 2008/09/24: LA Times: Palin’s Big Oil infatuation — She is as much a product of the oil industry as the current president and his vice president
- 2008/09/23: ClimateP: Matt Simmons: “John McCain is energy illiterate. He’s just witless about this stuff.”
- 2008/09/23: GristMill: That pig doesn’t believe in aeronautics, no wonder it’s not flying! Palin’s climate skepticism is irrelevant
- 2008/09/23: CSW: National Academy of Sciences issues advice to 44th President for filling key science posts
- 2008/09/23: TreeHugger: Moving Mountains For Coal: McCain & Obama Agree It’s A Bad Thing
- 2008/09/23: TreeHugger: The Nuclear Option: McCain v. Obama on Nuclear Power
- 2008/09/23: WaPo: Palin, McCain Disagree on Causes of Global Warming
- 2008/09/21: ClimateP: McCain facing tax vs. energy (non)dilemma
- 2008/09/22: WSJ:EnvCap: Candidates on Climate: Where Obama and McCain Agree and Disagree
- 2008/09/21: TP:WonkRoom: Pipeline Palin’s Crusade Against Polar Bears
The Gore-apalooza is still bopping along:
- 2008/09/26: QuarkSoup: The Coming Coal War [Gore]
- 2008/09/27: TreeHugger: Al Gore Speaks at West Coast Green 2008
- 2008/09/26: TP:WonkRoom: Gore: Lifting Oil Shale Moratorium ‘Is Utter Insanity’
- 2008/09/25: TP:WonkRoom: [Video] Al Gore’s Remarks At The Clinton Global Initiative: ‘It Is Time For Civil Disobedience’
- 2008/09/25: ClimateP: Gore calls for civil disobedience to stop coal. But will he lead like Gandhi and King?
- 2008/09/25: DeSmogBlog: Gore to Followers: “Disobey!”
- 2008/09/24: Reuters: Gore urges civil disobedience to stop coal plants
- 2008/09/25: NEN: A new world coming and it won’t burn coal
- 2008/09/25: PeakEnergy: Gore Calls For Electranet, Civil Disobedience Against Coal Fired Power Plants
- 2008/09/25: OilChange: Gore: Its Time for Direct Action
- 2008/09/24: Reuters: Gore urges civil disobedience to stop coal plants
While in the UK:
- 2008/09/24: PRWatch: British Shell Game on Carbon Emissions
- 2008/09/26: Guardian(UK): UK accused of ‘sabotaging’ Europe’s green energy plans
Leaked documents show strong pressure being exerted to ‘kill the essence’ of the EU’s renewable energy targets
- 2008/09/27: BBC: Fear of power blackouts dismissed — The National Grid says fears of winter power blackouts are unfounded, and denied that surplus capacity is low
- 2008/09/26: GristMill: A rallying cry — U.K. eco-watchdog: No more coal without CCS
- 2008/09/26: BBC: UK opposes green aviation target
The UK government is lobbying for aviation to be excluded from an EU target to increase renewable energy. Documents passed to BBC News reveal that Whitehall wants the industry exempted from a general target of 20% renewable energy by 2020. It also wants interim targets leading up to 2020, and targets on clean energy in new homes, to be optional. The government says the targets on aviation are pointless while there is uncertainty over the use of biofuels. But green groups are furious at what they believe is part of an on-going campaign to water down renewables legislation. The UK has already signed up to an EU target to have 20% of Europe’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. That target applies to fuel, as well as electricity.
- 2008/09/25: Guardian(UK): Labour’s shocking CO2 admissions – Tens of thousands of ‘green collar’ jobs will be lost because of the government’s policy of buying reductions from other countries
- 2008/09/25: BBC: Coal-fired power stations must not be built unless they can capture and store CO2, the Environment Agency has warned
- 2008/09/25: Guardian(UK): ‘Ban dirty coal’ says government environment watchdog
The Environment Agency has told the government that all new power stations must be built with the CO2-capturing technology
- 2008/09/24: NatureTGB: “Go” for a nuclear renaissance [UK EDF]
- 2008/09/23: Guardian(UK): Independence from the street up
Clean technologies can displace fossil fuels and make the UK energy independent. All we need is a bit of imagination
- 2008/09/24: Guardian(UK): British public ‘unwilling’ to pay for climate change bill
Most people in the UK want more action on the environment, but don’t want to pay more taxes to fund it, a new survey has revealed
- 2008/09/22: Guardian(UK): Green growth is the path to economic recovery
In the UK, jobs are vanishing and oil is running out. It’s a perfect opportunity to reskill thousands in green energy industries
- 2008/09/23: Guardian(UK): Crisis must be turned to green benefit, scientist says
Climate technology needs help, government told — Latest market intervention ‘shows what can be done’
- 2008/09/26: EurActiv: EU climate goals under pressure as recession looms
- 2008/09/26: EurActiv: MEPs hail ‘defeat’ of car industry lobby on CO2
- 2008/09/26: EUO: MEPs stick with strong line on CO2 emissions from cars
- 2008/09/25: BBC: MEPs stand by car emission curbs — European car makers face tough new targets for cutting carbon emissions after MEPs rejected industry pleas for more time to produce greener cars
- 2008/09/26: Guardian(UK): Car lobby loses fight to ease emission rules – Surprise as MEPs vote for tough CO2 targets – Committee spurns move by Merkel and Sarkozy
- 2008/09/25: EarthTimes: European Parliament backs car CO2 laws in dramatic U-turn
- 2008/09/24: Yahoo: EU must keep climate plans despite economic crisis: Brussels
- 2008/09/24: EurActiv: Industry groups call for binding EU energy efficiency target
- 2008/09/23: Reuters: EU panel urges more CO2 offsets, no east-west deal
European Union lawmakers rejected an attempt on Monday to overhaul emissions curbs in favor of eastern states, and they were split on whether to allow more carbon offsetting through payments to developing countries.
- 2008/09/22: EurActiv: EU considers industries exposed to ‘carbon leakage’
- 2008/09/21: Yahoo: Economic crisis threatens EU measures on climate change
Meanwhile in Australia:
- 2008/09/28: ABC(Au): Govt urged to scrap wind farm
The South Australian Opposition says the Myponga Sellicks Hill wind farm south of Adelaide will be an environment disaster if it is built. [...] He says the farm will affect local bird life and will be an eyesore.
- 2008/09/27: ABC(Au): Environmental groups have criticised the ACT Government’s climate change policy, saying it does not go far enough
- 2008/09/27: ABC(Au): Include LNG benefits in emissions scheme: APPEA [Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association]
A peak petroleum body says the proposed carbon emissions trading scheme needs to change to make liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants economically viable. The Japanese company Inpex has named Darwin as the preferred location for its multi-billion-dollar LNG plant. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) says the Federal Government’s draft carbon emission scheme is offering free carbon permits to heavy emitters like coal, but not to LNG.
- 2008/09/26: EarthTimes: Expert [Dr. Michael Raupach]: Australia has tough task as emissions continue to rise
- 2008/09/26: PRWatch: [Australian] “Clean Coal” Boosters Plan to Ridicule Renewable Energy
- 2008/09/26: ABC(Au): Labor pledges energy efficiency rebates
ACT Labor says it will introduce a range of new rebates to help households reduce their carbon footprint if it is re-elected. The $22 million program includes $10.5 million for rebates for Canberrans who upgrade to energy efficient appliances and who insulate their home. Residents would receive up to $400 back if they buy a fridge or freezer with a four-star energy rating or air conditioners with five stars or more. Labor has also promised an extra $8 million to fund an annual bulky goods kerbside collection program and almost $2 million to recycle electronic waste. Other initiatives in the package include encouraging businesses to save water by auditing their usage, promoting low-salt detergents and grey water reuse and working with supermarkets to compost organic wastes.
- 2008/09/26: ABC(Au): Power bills to double under emissions scheme: consultant
An independent energy consultant is warning an emissions trading scheme could more than double household power bills. Duncan Seddon says the 40 per cent increase suggested in some reports is modest, and the increase is more likely to be as much as 150 per cent.
- 2008/09/26: SMH: Australian emissions still rising rapidly
In a serious setback to the Rudd Government’s stated ambition to become a world leader on climate change, new global figures show Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuel are continuing to rise rapidly in stark contrast to other developed countries. “Australia’s position remains unique as a developed country,” said Dr Michael Raupach, a CSIRO scientist and co-chair of the Global Carbon Project which released the figures yesterday. “Since 2000 Australian fossil-fuel emissions have grown by 2 per cent per year”. This rapid rise will make it difficult for Australia to cut its emissions by 2020, even by the modest amount of 10 per cent recommended by Professor Ross Garnaut, the Government’s climate change adviser. Scientists expressed alarm at the figures, which also show global greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels have soared since 2000, largely because of economic growth in developing countries. Emissions have grown four times faster than the previous decade, exceeding the worst-case scenarios of the UN’s peak scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. India is poised to become the third biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, taking the place of Russia. The top three emitters of carbon dioxide will soon be China, the US and India.
- 2008/09/26: SMH: Emissions cuts won’t run deep: analyst
An energy analyst has contradicted dire warnings from the sector about the ramifications of a carbon emissions trading scheme and said it will pose little threat to Woodside’s $29 billion liquefied natural gas project at Browse. Woodside, with the rest of the sector, has lobbied for Government assistance to cope with the introduction of any scheme and said earlier in the year that without compensation it would have to reduce spending on Browse. But an energy analyst for JPMorgan, Mark Greenwood, said even if LNG prices halved, the likely costs of carbon trading were not enough to stop the project.
- 2008/09/25: ABC(Au): Carbon trading scheme ‘could close mines’
The Federal Government has been warned coal mines could close unless it broadens the compensation scheme for its emissions trading scheme (ETS). In a submission on the Federal Government’s green paper, Centennial Coal says captive mines face uncertain times, as they are not entitled to direct compensation. The mines have dedicated infrastructure into power stations, with no ability to ship coal into lucrative export markets.
- 2008/09/25: ABC(Au): Charity warns of impact of emissions scheme
The Brotherhood of St Laurence has released a report warning low-income earners could be worse-off under an emissions trading scheme. The Federal Government’s proposed trading scheme will require businesses to buy permits in order to emit carbon. This will push up the cost of household bills, particularly electricity.
- 2008/09/25: ABC(Au): [Aus. Fed.] Govt to study climate change impact on NT communities
- 2008/09/24: ABC(Au): Climate change expert questions north-south pipeline
Leading climate change expert Professor Tim Flannery says there is no justification to build a $750 million pipeline to bring water to Melbourne.
- 2008/09/22: SMH: Report’s hard line on carbon
The softer start to a carbon trading scheme being considered by the Federal Government and its climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, would do little to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and cost more over the long term, new research shows. A report commissioned by the Climate Institute studied different trajectories for cutting Australia’s emissions before 2050, and concluded that a massive energy efficiency program was required to help the energy sector avoid $40 billion in extra costs over the next 40 years.
- 2008/09/28: TStar: How to fix the Green Shift
Citizens want action on climate change. Experts say the Liberal plan isn’t bad. It needs the right pitch
- 2008/09/28: TStar: Green Shift shuffle
There’s no question the Green Shift has been shuffled off the election agenda. When Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion spoke to a packed public meeting in a Calgary hotel last week, he barely mentioned it.
- 2008/09/27: BCLSB: Does Green Shift Even HAVE Any Clients?
- 2008/09/27: TStar: Real alternatives on climate issue
- 2008/09/27: NatPo: Tories to put curbs on bitumen shipments [Can pol]
- 2008/09/27: YDD: The Green Shift
- 2008/09/25: DeSmogBlog: Cynical New Democrats playing into Harper’s hands
[...] most recently decrying the British Columbia carbon tax as “unfair for ordinary working families” and tying it to Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper
- 2008/09/26: BCLocalNews: Energy security trumps climate
If there is any part of Canada that won’t forsake the environment in the face of international financial troubles, it’s B.C. Our economy remains strong, ironically thanks to boom times for coal and natural gas as well as urban prosperity. But what’s a committed environmental voter to do? Governments elected in Ottawa next month and Victoria next year will set the stage for years to come, but so far the federal election has provided little more than crude scare scenarios and half-understood plans.
- 2008/09/26: OttawaSun: [NDP Leader] Jack [Layton] hammered over [carbon] tax stance
- 2008/09/26: G&M: Distortion, incoherence in the carbon tax’s wake
- 2008/09/24: Maribo: Developing a [Canadian] national climate policy
- 2008/09/24: DeSmogBlog: Hyperbole and The Myth of the Fiscal Conservative
- 2008/09/25: CanWest: Environment a top priority for Canadian voters
- 2008/09/25: CanWest: Green Shift puts taxation in the limelight — Liberal carbon tax a ‘significant change in direction,’ professor [Jack Mintz] says
- 2008/09/25: NatPo: NDP will not back carbon tax, [leader Jack] Layton says
- 2008/09/23: G&M: Jeffrey Simpson on climate change and the campaign
- 2008/09/21: DeSmogBlog: Harper Unites French and English Canada – Against Harper
- 2008/09/23: CanEast: How do the Conservatives rate on energy policy?
- 2008/09/23: Rabble: The climate crisis: Five parties, no solutions
- 2008/09/23: G&M: Unveiling the Liberal plan: ‘funds,’ ‘studies’ and a few holes — The Green Shift centrepiece is a political loser even though it is the right policy
- 2008/09/21: Maribo: Truth and complications: The Green Shift
Read any story, online or in print, about the Liberal Party’s “Green Shift” and you will learn two things. First, that the Green Shift is a “carbon tax”. Second, that it is complicated.
The first is inaccurate. The second is just false.
We could discuss how these memes have spread, who is to blame, and the general warping of reality in modern politician campaigns (say something, anything, enough times and it might become true). I’ll leave that to the political bloggers. Here, let’s cover the truth about the Green Shift.
- 2008/09/22: CanDim: Five Parties, No Solutions: Canada’s Election and the Climate Crisis
Wrangling over the BC climate plan continues:
- 2008/09/25: G&M: B.C. Premier offers cities, schools carbon-tax rebate
- 2008/09/25: CanWest: Metro Vancouver wins commercial greenhouse emissions victory
Metro Vancouver has scored an important victory in its long battle to regulate emissions from commercial greenhouse operations in the region. The B.C. Supreme Court has upheld the region’s right to demand tougher emission standards under its Air Quality Management Bylaw than the province requires under its Agricultural Waste Control Regulation.
- 2008/09/24: BCLocalNews: Communities get carbon tax break
- 2008/09/24: CBC: B.C. offers carbon tax rebate to municipalities with ‘string attached’
Municipalities hit by the B.C. government’s carbon tax will receive a rebate if they commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2012. Premier Gordon Campbell announced the plan Wednesday at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Penticton.
- 2008/09/23: CBC: B.C.’s ethanol standards for gasoline a mistake: scientists
- 2008/09/22: CBC: British Columbians doubt greenhouse gas targets achievable: poll
Most British Columbians think the province is going to have a tough time reaching the government’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by one-third by 2020, a new CBC poll shows. The poll conducted by Ipsos Reid for CBC News found two-thirds of those surveyed said they’re not confident the province can meet the target set by Premier Gordon Campbell in September 2007. The poll also showed that concerns about the environment and global warming no longer dominate the list of top provincial issues for British Columbians, as they did just a year ago.
- 2008/09/23: TreeHugger: Oil Lobby “Hopes Bad Times Chase Away Green Blues” [Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers head Dave Collier]
- 2008/09/23: FinPo: Environment will take back seat to economy, says oil patch czar [David Collyer, head of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers]
- 2008/09/23: CanWest: ‘Dirty oil’ tag confronts new energy spokesman [David Collyer, head of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers]
As for miscellaneous Canadiana:
- 2008/09/27: TStar: The wind at his back [George Smitherman, Ontario's minister of energy and infrastructure]
George Smitherman’s green-energy odyssey has minister `jazzed’ over Ontario’s potential
- 2008/09/24: CanWest: Kyoto skeptics cleared of vote violations
A group of global warming skeptics has been cleared of wrongdoing following an investigation by Elections Canada into radio ads which ran in key Ontario markets during the 2006 campaign. Two individuals filed complaints alleging the Friends of Science Society, a group of academics and geologists opposed to the international Kyoto agreement on climate change, had paid for the ads with money from a University of Calgary research account, without registering with Elections Canada as a third-party advertiser. But Elections Canada indicated in a letter to the Friends of Science lawyer, Gerald Chipeur, on Sept. 4, that it had wrapped up the investigation and would not press charges.
- 2008/09/25: GristMill: Accelerating the development of a 21st century economy — Investing in clean infrastructure
- 2008/09/23: GristMill: Dethroning finance — Production and ecosystems are more important than the financial sector
- 2008/09/22: PeakEnergy: By ignoring tomorrow, we undermine today
- 2008/09/25: Straight: Gwynne Dyer: A climate apocalypse could be approaching
- 2008/09/25: Salina: Life Changes
With higher energy costs driving up the price of everything — driving your car as well as eating — and warnings that Earth’s increasingly hostile climate is only going to reduce man’s capacity to produce food, what some yearn for is the promise that this is all just a temporary setback. That your cruise-controlled, climate-controlled, shrink-wrapped, fossil-fueled lifestyle isn’t going away. Don’t expect such reassurances from Wes Jackson, founder of The Land Institute, 2440 E. Water Well. He’s not dazzled by the miracles technology has wrought, in the field or the factory. What he sees over the past 200 years is raw, unchecked growth, fueled by coal and oil. Petri dish economics is what Jackson calls it — hypergrowth that occurs when lower life forms meet surplus energy. It’s just that Jackson expects a more considered response from humans. “I don’t call it progress to be moving toward the edge of the petri dish,” Jackson says. “This idea of growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
- 2008/09/22: PittsburghPostGazette: America, meet our ‘long emergency’
As for how the media handles the science of climatology:
- 2008/09/19: DeSmogBlog: UK Scientist Dismayed by Media Misrepresentation
- 2008/09/25: Atmoz: Sea Ice 2009
Developing a new energy infrastructure is a fundamental challenge of the current generation:
- 2008/09/27: ClimateP: U.S. geothermal is hot
- 2008/09/25: EnvFin: First wave power plant opens in Portugal
- 2008/09/22: SciAm: Why the Oil Crisis Will Persist — With global demand for cars accelerating, the best approach is to redesign cars and transport systems
- 2008/09/26: ClimateP: Iceland gives hydrogen [cars] the cold shoulder
- 2008/09/26: ClimateP: Pickens’ natural gas plan makes no sense and will never happen
- 2008/09/25: PhysOrg: Ocean offers hope for green energy
- 2008/09/24: KSJT: NYTimes: A special section, “Business of Green,” and the gorilla in the room isn’t ignored
- 2008/09/24: ABC(Au): Climate change expert calls for $600b clean energy fund
An international expert on climate change is calling for an urgent 10-fold increase in funding for clean energy. Harvard University Professor Paul Hoffman says the $60 billion the world spends needs to rise to $600 billion.
- 2008/09/24: TreeHugger: A World’s First Hydrogen Generation [via methanol] Plant In Japan
- 2008/09/24: Yahoo: 5 Myths About Wind Energy
- 2008/09/24: PeakEnergy: Pelamis Launches World’s First Commercial Wave Power Plant [2.25 MW] In Portgual
- 2008/09/23: EconBrowser: What happened to oil markets on Monday?
- 2008/09/22: UPenn: The Race for Energy: What Will It Mean for Western Firms?
- 2008/09/23: CBC: After record jump, oil price dips near $108 US a barrel
- 2008/09/23: BBC: Record one-day jump in oil price — The price of oil has jumped by more than $16 to $120.92 a barrel, the biggest one-day gain on record
- 2008/09/22: CNN: Oil posts biggest-ever 1-day gain
Futures finish up $16.37 – after being up more than $25 to $130 – on the bailout plan, the falling dollar and the expiration of the October contract.
- 2008/09/22: PhysOrg: New hope for tapping vast domestic reserves of oil shale
- 2008/09/22: SciDaily: Steam Heat: Researchers Gear Up For Full-scale Hydrogen Plant
[...] At Idaho National Laboratory, a team of engineers is working to develop a greener process, splitting steam into hydrogen and oxygen using high-temperature electrolysis. Coupled to an advanced nuclear plant, high-temperature electrolysis would use heat and a portion of the plant’s electricity to generate hydrogen.
- 2008/09/22: G&M: Oil leaps above $116
- 2008/09/22: NakedCapitalism: China’s Sinopec to Cut Oil Imports
The energy impacts of Ike & Gustav continue to be felt:
- 2008/09/26: Yahoo: Gas shortage wipes out weekend across the South
- 2008/09/26: NineMSN: Oil output losses worse than feared
The amount of oil production losses caused by hurricanes Ike and Gustav in the energy-rich US Gulf of Mexico is far greater than initially predicted…
- 2008/09/25: PeakEnergy: Gasoline shortage in US Southeast prompts panic
- 2008/09/23: MoJo: Asheville, NC is Out of Gas
- 2008/09/22: NYT: South Copes With Severe Gas Shortages
[...] Drivers throughout the South have faced gasoline shortages, closed stations, high prices and long lines at the pump for the last several days. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike slowed production at oil refineries on the Gulf Coast and knocked out power along many pipelines to the South. The shortages were widespread over the weekend, as gasoline supplies dwindled at many stations.
- 2008/09/22: AutoBG: Gas panic rumor prompts Nashville to run out of gas
As for the impacts of high energy costs:
- 2008/09/26: WhyNam: [Massachusetts] Governor [Patrick]: People Could Freeze to Death
Governor Patrick says there’s a real possibility that people in America could freeze to death this winter due to the soaring cost of home heating fuel. Patrick met with members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation on Capitol Hill and later testified before a House panel on the need for heating aid in cold-weather states.
- 2008/09/23: NewsObserver: Winter may worsen energy costs — The price of heat seems to be continuing an upward trend
Meanwhile among the solar aficionados:
- 2008/09/23: FuturePundit: Cheaper Method Achieves High Efficiency Solar Cells
- 2008/09/26: Guardian(UK): Solar panels are new hot property for thieves
- 2008/09/25: SciDaily: New European Record Efficiency For Solar Cells Achieved: 39.7%
- 2008/09/24: NYT: Solar Projects Draw New Opposition
- 2008/09/25: PeakEnergy: Solar Grid Parity By 2010?
- 2008/09/23: TreeHugger: GreenVolts Grabs $30 M for World’s Largest Non-Silicon Photovoltaic Project
The arithmetic of coal carbon is striking home:
- 2008/09/22: ABC(Au): Greenpeace criticises clean coal plans
Biofuel bickering abounds:
- 2008/09/23: FuturePundit: Lower Cost Catalyst Converts Cellulose To Ethylene Glycol
- 2008/09/25: PeakEnergy: Rising production costs hit biofuel industry
- 2008/09/22: ABC(Au): Grain stubble could power a greener future
The nuclear energy controversy continues:
- 2008/09/26: UN: Nuclear sources could deliver energy, mitigate climate change, India tells UNGA
- 2008/09/27: Times(UK): The green heretic persecuted for his nuclear conversion
The climate change expert Mark Lynas has been scorned by eco-colleagues for daring to speak up for atomic power
- 2008/09/26: NatureCF: The difficulties of going pro-nuclear
- 2008/09/21: Hindu: Atomic power to be part of integrated energy policy
- 2008/09/22: NBF: Uranium Mining Forecast to 2020
Yes we have a peak oil sighting:
- 2008/09/22: M-M: The Approaching World Oil Supply Crisis
And then there is the matter of efficiency & conservation:
- 2008/09/25: PhysOrg: Einstein’s [no-electricity] green refrigerator making a comeback
- 2008/09/22: TreeHugger: 5.3 Million Smart Meters to be Installed by Southern California Edison
Automakers & lawyers, engineers & activists argue over the future of the car:
- 2008/09/26: Reuters: Small is beautiful for carmakers
New car registrations [in the UK] fell by 7.3 percent in July and 15.6 percent in August compared with a year ago because of a general deterioration in consumer confidence and the effect of continuing high fuel prices. Over the first eight months of the year, new car registrations in Europe fell by 3.9 percent. In Brazil, carmakers expect sales to slow in the second half after a spike in July. In Russia, August sales of imported cars were up 23 percent but that compares with the 40 percent of July. China’s car sales fell 6.34 percent in August.
- 2008/09/26: AutoBG: Irish eyes smiling on Modec electric trucks
- 2008/09/26: AutoBG: GM reaches agreement with CARB on unique classification for Volt
- 2008/09/26: AutoBG: Hyundai to deliver first electric car in New Zealand
- 2008/09/23: CNN: Scooter sales skyrocket 66%
With pain at the pump still real, Americans are jumping on those two-wheeled get-ups that Europeans have been riding for generations.
- 2008/09/22: GristMill: Volt reality check — Chevy Volt not so revolutionary
- 2008/09/22: ClimateP: Chrysler, Mazda, Hyundai, and Nissan announce plug-ins — Honda stands alone against PHEVs
The reaction of business to climate change will be critical:
- 2008/09/25: EnvFin: Climate laggards may see business dwindle — Carbon Trust
- 2008/09/23: PlanetArk: US Companies See Climate Risk, But Lack Plan
- 2008/09/22: FTimes: Investors weigh risks of not fighting climate change
- 2008/09/21: Eureka: Carbon Disclosure Project: ‘World’s largest corporations seek clarity on climate change regulation’ — Climate change questionnaire draws largest response to date from Global 500, S&P 500
- 2008/09/21: Guardian(UK):Reuters: U.S. companies see climate risk, but lack plan
Meanwhile in the greenwashing chronicles:
- 2008/09/23: PRWatch: [British] Climate Changers Go Lobbying
- 2008/09/26: AutoBG: Lexus forced, again, to remove deceptively green ad in UK
- 2008/09/24: Guardian(UK): Lexus ad banned over climate claims
The carbon lobby are up to the usual:
- 2008/09/26: BSD: The Oreskes-Nierenberg thingy
- 2008/09/25: Stoat: Book club: Nierenberg. Part II: Future CO2
- 2008/09/26: Deltoid: Monckton and probabilistic combinatorics
- 2008/09/24: ClimateP: UK Ministry of Defence: Global warming goes on, deniers are deluded
- 2008/09/23: GristMill: Annals of innovative damage control — GM flack misuses Thomas Kuhn’s philosophy of science (!) to defend Lutz climate skepticism
- 2008/09/22: ClimateP: GM’s Lutz is nuts. His PR guy ain’t much sharper.
- 2008/09/22: GristMill: Huffing posts — GM flack jumps into Huffington Post fray to defend exec’s climate-change skepticism
- 2008/09/23: inel: If you paid WGGWCC for scam climate change conference 26-30 Sep 2008 in London . . .
- 2008/09/23: MTobis: Lindzen Diatribe
- 2008/09/23: TreeHugger: Oil Lobby “Hopes Bad Times Chase Away Green Blues” [Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers head Dave Collier]
- 2008/09/23: DeSmogBlog: Global warming deniers aim to hold New Hamsphire back
- 2008/09/23: DeSmogBlog: Climate Change Deniers Deluded: UK Met Office
- 2008/09/23: EconView: Anti-Intellectualism — Jeffrey Sachs says anti-intellectualism “could end up getting us all killed”
- 2008/09/22: Guardian(UK): Climate sceptics have their head in the sand, says the Met Office
- 2008/09/23: Guardian(UK): Met Office says climate change deniers deluded
- 2008/09/22: inel: Climate sceptics have their head in the sand, says the Met Office
- 2008/09/22: inel: Climate change – the story locked in ice? Clathrates, clathrates, clathrates!
- 2008/09/22: BCLSB: The Old Farmer’s Almanac Responds
Then there was the usual news and commentary:
- 2008/09/27: PeakEnergy: The frugal cornucopian [Amory Lovins]
- 2008/09/24: CarbonFin: Looming US climate change legislation boosts CDP [Carbon Disclosure Project]
- 2008/09/26: Eureka: Don’t blame cities for climate change, see them as solutions
- 2008/09/25: ClimateP: Accelerating Atmospheric CO2 Growth from Economic Activity, Carbon Intensity, and Efficiency of Natural Carbon Sinks [conf]
- 2008/09/24: NatureCF: Damn, a trillion dollars would have come in handy [McKinsey]
- 2008/09/23: ClimateP: The New Top 10 Climate Blogs
- 2008/09/23: IGHiH: The New Top 10 Climate Blogs
- 2008/09/22: ENN: Indigenous Groups Criticize Climate Talks
- 2008/09/22: AutoBG: Will drivers get fined for sitting in traffic jams with the engine on?
And here are a couple of sites you may find interesting and/or useful:
- Climate Indymedia
- GCP: Global Carbon Project
- CGI: Clinton Global Initiative
- WCI: Western Climate Initiative
- STWR: Climate Change & Environment
- Sightline: Cap and Trade 101 — A Climate Policy Primer
- Carbon Trust
- OCCC: Swiss Advisory Body on Climate Change
- GWTimes: Global Warming Times
- P&P: People & Planet
- Scientist On Ice
- Science at Stake
- Mark Lynas (blog)
- Stop Global Warming
- NASA: CloudSat
- CICERO: Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo
- EU Carbon Trading – Kyoto Protocol – Community Transaction Log
- Dr. James E. Hansen homepage
- LDEO: Global Standardized Precipitation Index Analyses
The mood:It’s been a hectic week, with the burnout of the American empire proceeding a la Hollywood, the election(s) in the background and geysers of methane bubbling in a melting Arctic. To top it off, the Carbon Disclosure Project tells us that CO2 levels are rising faster. A lot of people are waiting for the AGU methane paper and the next NOAA stats. One thing is certain, the next time some US government figure says they can’t afford climate responsibility, all you have to say is “$700 billion.” Oh yeah, Hagupit, Sinlaku, Jangmi & Kyle were blowing things around too.
The methane burp is back with two reports:
The Global Carbon Project says CO2 emissions are speeding up:
The RGGI held the first US carbon auction:
The Clinton Global Initiative gave rise to several stories:
And on the American political front:
And in Europe:
In Canada, most of the news focusses on the election, with prominent attacks on the Liberal Green Shift policy:
The tricky & difficult question of the tar sands looms:
The movement toward a long term ecologically viable economics is glacial:
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.
“Socialism collapsed because it did not allow prices to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow prices to tell the ecological truth.”
-Oystein Dahle, former VP of Exxon Norway, May 31, 2005