Climate News roundup

Wind farms could power every home in BritainThe Telegraph (UK). This is really an article about the potential for off-shore wind in the UK, which is tremendous (just as it is in this country).

Climate missing from U.S. election – Gore – Reuters. “Some of the candidates have made speeches which are quite good and proposals that are quite responsible, but overall the issue has not achieved the kind of priority that I think it should have.”

Greener Buildings Easy, But Barriers Remain – Expert – Reuters. “The entire current emission reductions commitment under the Kyoto Protocol can be achieved in the building sector alone. And the costs of achieving these reductions are low, very low. … All our studies have found it will not happen if governments are not active to help overcome the market failure that is very blatant here.” – Sylvie Lemmet, director of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics.

3 Responses to Climate News roundup

  1. Ron says:

    Want to know the main reason I think Al Gore is going to run for president?

    Because he says he isn’t.

  2. Ron says:

    This just in –

    It’s too much for the Libertarian Zealots to stomach, not nearly enough for the Environmentalists and Glowarmers. This is what the propaganda campaign has bought you so far.

    Calamitous Climate Bill Signed

    Politics as Usual

    Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) — President George W. Bush today signed legislation aimed at cutting U.S. dependence on overseas energy by setting tougher mandates for carmakers, electric- appliance manufacturers and ethanol producers.

    The law contains the first new vehicle fuel economy law in 32 years and mandates a fourfold increase in the use of biofuels. It also phases out traditional light bulbs and places the first limits on the amount of water used in new washing machines and dishwashers.

    The new law is “ a major step toward reducing our dependence on oil, confronting global climate change, expanding the production of renewable fuels and giving future generations of our country a nation that is stronger, cleaner and more secure,” Bush said before signing the legislation at the Department of Energy in Washington.

    Bush pinpointed ethanol production and new fuel economy standards in his January State of the Union address as crucial elements in meeting his goal of cutting gasoline use by 20 percent by 2017.

    The legislation was sent to the White House last night in a hybrid Toyota Prius, according to an e-mail from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Pelosi, a California Democrat, said the law would save the average driver between $700 and $1,000 per year in gasoline costs.

    Before passing the measure last week, the Senate dropped a provision that would have extended tax credits to wind, solar and biomass power producers and raised taxes on oil and gas companies by about $13 billion over 10 years to pay for that. The Senate also dropped a requirement that some utilities get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources.

    Concessions for Carmakers

    Many provisions in the measure were agreed to by the regulated industry groups. For example, Representative John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, won concessions for the U.S. auto industry, including allowing carmakers to continue making large sport utility vehicles without being at a competitive disadvantage against foreign rivals that make fewer large vehicles.

    Likewise, Amsterdam-based Royal Philips Electronic NV, the world’s largest light-bulb maker, and Fairfield, Connecticut- based General Electric Co., which are regulated by the law, successfully argued for exemptions from the mandate for certain specialty lamps.

    Perhaps the biggest winners were companies like Archer- Daniels-Midland Co. and Pacific Ethanol Inc. in the ethanol industry. The legislation requires that biofuels be blended with gasoline to reduce the amount of petroleum needed for U.S. transportation. It boosts the requirement for production of biofuels to 36 billion gallons in 2022 from 7.5 billion in 2012.

    `Favorable for Ethanol’

    “The outcome is a favorable one for the ethanol industry, for the crop sector, and for agribusiness companies leveraged to grains and oilseeds,” Mark McMinimy, a Washington-based analyst for the Stanford Group Co., wrote in a note yesterday.

    “I think it’s a turkey,” said Michael Carboy an analyst for Baltimore-based Signal Hill Capital Group, an investor in clean energy. Carboy, in an interview, said the bill is “astonishingly weak” because of its exclusion of renewable electricity incentives and its reliance on ethanol to cut oil use.

    Congress “seems to be putting a lot more care and attention in the direction of ethanol than frankly they should,” Carboy said. Lawmakers went along “with the agricultural support program that this administration seems to want to pursue.”

  3. Ron says:

    I thought the New York Times lead was particularly poignant:

    “Legislation that will slowly but fundamentally change the cars Americans drive, the fuel they burn, the way they light their homes and the price they pay for food was signed by President Bush Wednesday …”

    If you remember, food prices were mentioned in the Climate Prophecies.

    And since we’ll all be shifting to the compact fluorescent bulbs, let’s remember they are a dangerous source of mercury and need to be dosposed of properly.