Some of the best global weirding politics stories from around, in my opinion:
Should Obama Omit Any Mention of Climate Change or Global Warming in the State of the Union Address?
“What topics should be in Obama’s State of the Union address?”
That is the question posed to well-known thought leaders by the Washington Post. Not a single one of them mention “climate change” or “global warming,” though two (Beinecke, and Townsend) do a ‘clean-energy’ pitch (in the online edition) — a strategy that is unlikely to get us much more clean energy and, as we now know, certain to fail to address the climate problem (see “Can you solve global warming without talking about global warming?“)…
[love the following part in the middle of this article.. too true!]
We all know what the policies that are needed to reduce emissions. So whenever Obama puts them on the table, the Republicans will oppose them. Remember, there really are no ‘centrist’ ideas anymore, at least not when Democrats advance them. Republicans put forward the idea of the individual mandate for health care reform. When Democrats introduced it as a centrist way to deal with healthcare reform, Republicans denounced it as a socialistic government takeover.
Republicans put forward the idea of cap-and-trade to deal with environmental problems, most notably under President Bush’s father in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and again when McCain teamed up with Lieberman to propose climate bills in the last decade (see “The GOP flip flops on cap and trade“). But when a coalition of businesses and environmental groups and progressives and Obama embraced the idea, again, it was demonized as socialistic big government “cap-and-tax.”…
[and love the last paragraph.]
Beyond whatever he says about jobs and the economy, the President should say he will veto any bill that cuts clean energy funding since it is a direct threat to our national security and as a direct threat to our ability to compete against China and the other countries of the world in what is quickly becoming the biggest job creating sector of the economy. The president should say he will veto any bill that blocks the EPA from doing its basic job, as supported by the US Supreme Court, to preserve clean air, clean water, and a livable climate for our children and generations to come. Otherwise, really, what is the point of the speech?
What shouldn’t be missed about Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States this week are the deals cut on clean energy among U.S. and Chinese companies and continuing collaboration between the two countries. Cooperation on clean energy between the world’s two largest economies represents a win-win for the two countries….
We are on the path to climate chaos, Big Oil has admitted. Both BP and Exxon have conceded that progress on climate change is totally insufficient to stabilize CO2 emissions. Both oil companies have just published their Energy Outlooks, and the outlook looks grim. In a bleak prognosis for success on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, BP admits in its new Energy Outlook 2030 report, which was published yesterday, that global CO2 emissions from energy will grow an average of 1.2 percent a year through 2030. In total, BP’s chief economist Christof Ruehl predicts “to the best of our knowledge,” CO2 emissions will rise by 27 percent over the next two decades, meaning an increase of about 33bn tons. All this does not bode well for climate change, with even Bob Dudley calling the scenarios a “wake-up call“…
European installations of offshore wind power may surge 70 percent this year, topping 2010’s record 51 percent gain, the European Wind Energy Association said….
LAST WEEK, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies announced that 2010 had registered as the hottest year on record. Nothing new here: nine of the last 10 years have been among the warmest ever.
The news highlighted one of Washington’s biggest failures over the last two years: its inability to advance climate legislation. It was also a grim reminder that things could get worse. Some crucial policy areas have always been neglected and some initiatives stalled. But rarely has a first-order concern like the nation’s climate and energy policy actually regressed — and so dramatically as we’ve seen since the last presidential election….
Foreign partnerships in China’s rapidly growing energy sector could eventually help the United States replace its own aging power infrastructure with efficient low-carbon plants, energy firms said on Wednesday….
President Barack Obama came into office determined to address America’s persistent energy problems. These challenges included protecting our health, reducing oil use, slowing global warming, and boosting our international economic competitiveness. All of these challenges remain despite the administration’s energy achievements, which is why President Obama should include a comprehensive clean energy agenda in his State of the Union on January 25 that addresses them. He should also warn Congress that he would veto congressional efforts to block or slow such progress….
In The Inquisition of Climate Science, former Reed College president and National Science Board member James Powell elucidates the landscape of climate denial; diagrams, analyzes, and debunks the most frequently used denier arguments; and advances a progressive vision for what science communication could become in the 21st century. Prepublication reviewers summed up the book: “A devastating, crushing blow against the deniers. I would not want to meet Powell in a dark alley.”…
Green jobs at clean-tech or alternative-energy companies are flourishing in California, with nearly a quarter of them based in Los Angeles, a study has found.
Employers offering jobs in fields such as solar power generation, electric vehicle development, environmental consultation and more added 5,000 jobs in 2008. About 174,000 Californians were working in eco-friendly fields by early 2009, compared with 111,000 in 1995, said nonprofit research group Next 10.
The report, released late Tuesday, looks at the most recent data available, Next 10 said….
“We are more dependent on imported energy. We are no cleaner in energy substantially than we were a generation ago because clean is not a percentage, clean is an absolute term. Our geography has more coal being burned than it did a generation ago. It has more natural gas being burned than it did a generation ago. So even though we’ve increased a few renewables, the absolute consumption of carbon fuel is up not down and more of it is imported.”
That’s Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), from an E&E Daily interview (subs. req’d), in one of the most disingenuous statements ever uttered by a politician on energy. The story’s headline, “Issa calls DOE a ‘failed agency’,” utterly misses the point….
At the same time potential American ventures are stalling, China’s leaders are directing enormous political and financial support toward forging a Chinese-made clean energy future. And they are moving fast. Chinese factories churn out enormous quantities of solar cells and wind turbines. More importantly, China is investing aggressively in innovation, with spending for clean energy exceeding $51 billion last year–a 31 percent increase from 2009, and ten ten times the level of American governmental support….
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced on December 27 that it is advancing a total of $182.4 million in “new starts” funding for seven transit projects already under construction in New York, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Northern Virginia. The grants being awarded will not increase the federal government’s overall share in the projects. Rather, a portion of the federal share for each project is being paid earlier than expected because of unallocated funds in FTA’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget for new construction….
Crossposted from Bridge The Gulf.
New Orleans — In an emotional public meeting on Wednesday, January 12th, citizens from across the Gulf Coast urged the president’s oil spill commission to help solve the growing health crisis here — and got a pledge of support in return. Many citizens and non-profit groups praised and thanked the commission for its report on the BP disaster; but they also say it failed to adequately address health issues….
Monday I wrote $#*! My Texas AG Says: “It is almost the height of insanity of bureaucracy to have the EPA regulating something that is emitted by all living things.” I pointed out this view suggests doing nothing about sewage, too.
Today NYT columnist and Nobel-prize-winning economist Pual Krugman links to my piece andpoints out that in fact:
hey, there was a time when conservatives did, in fact, argue for doing nothing about effluent of any kind. In the years leading up to the Great Stink of 1858, which finally got the British to build a London sewer system, The Economist editorialized against any such foolish notion (pdf):
suffering and evil are nature’s admonitions—they cannot be got rid of.
Or, to put it (almost) in the modern vernacular, stuff happens.
And given the way we’re heading — with politicians arguing that the federal government has no right to ban child labor — don’t be surprised to see the anti-sewer movement making a comeback, and to see elected representatives, even if they know better, holding their noses and going along.
The full 1848 quote from The Economist is worth a look to see how far we haven’t come:…
What would it take to switch the country’s entire energy infrastructure to renewables like wind and solar by 2030?
According to National Geographic, about 4 million massive wind turbines, 90,000 solar plants and a four-fold increase in production of a rare earth metal that is a major component of key renewable energy technologies.
Mark Delucchi and Mark Jacobson, professors at the University of California-Davis and Stanford University, have developed a roadmap of sorts for moving away from coal and oil….
Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s chief said the implementation of climate change agreements made at Cancun last month “won’t happen overnight”, and policymakers must take action now “because the clock is ticking.”…
[Climate scientists] need to redouble their efforts to make their arguments, their doubts, and the reasons for both their confidence and their concerns intelligible to the non-specialist citizen. They need to combat, piece by piece, the misrepresentations brought in support of attacks on their scientific integrity, and to show readers why the popular accounts and even the naming of “Climategate” are so misleading. And they need to explain why the expectations of science on which these accounts are based are similarly misleading….
What I am proposing is far from a solution. But if it encourages climate scientists to take the lead in breaking the current impasse, both because they are best equipped to take on the task, and because their responsibility as scientists obliges them to do so, it is at least a start.
That’s from the conclusion of a piece in New Scientist by Dr. Evelyn Fox Keller, emeritus professor of the history and philosophy of science at M.I.T….
Obama: The benefits of health, safety and environment regulations “exceed their costs by billions of dollars.”
President Obama ‘reaches out’ to the business community with a Wall Street Journal op-ed “Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System.” He describes a new Executive Order that initiates “a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.”
Couldn’t hurt — but it’s very unlikely to find much after 8 years of the uber-antiregulation Cheney-Bush administration. And Obama’s generally strong defense of regulations — particularly the EPA — is not what the anti-science, pro-pollution readership of the WSJ opinion page wants to hear….