Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) lays out her agenda here.
The Sci Fi Channel is partnering with the Alliance to Save Energy and Edison Electric Institute on the Eureka $mart House Energy Efficiency Challenge, an energy-efficiency campaign. It even includes a $25,000 home energy-efficiency makeover.
If the Sci Fi channel can do for energy efficiency what it did for Battlestar Galactica, there is hope for all of us.
E&ENews (subs. req’d) reports the car companies are backing a wimpy 32-mpg-by-2022 plan to thwart the House from adopting the Senate’s 35-mpg-by-2020.
This story just shows the intellectual bankruptcy of the auto industry. I mean, seriously, an extra 3 mpg, 2 years earlier? Is it really worth all of the lobbying effort? And even if they got it passed, the House would no doubt split the difference with the Senate in conference, so we are only talking 1.5 mpg, 1 year earlier
Planet Earth to Detroit: Just build the damn 35-mpg cars and SUVs 13 years from now! Heck, by then gas will be $5 a gallon, the planet will be superheating, and everyone will want one of those cars anyway.
Here is the entire story:
We have previously posted on how climate change has contributed to the crisis in Darfur. Now a U.N. assessment paints a fuller picture of the roots of the crisis. The press release notes:
Sudan is unlikely to see a lasting peace unless widespread and rapidly accelerating environmental degradation is urgently addressed….
The scale of climate change as recorded in Northern Darfur is almost unprecedented, and its impacts are closely linked to conflict in the region, as desertification has added significantly to the stress on traditional agricultural and pastoral livelihoods.
The report itself, the Sudan Post-Conflict Assessment, makes clear the region faces a dire future action on our current path:
Forecast climate change is expected to further reduce food production due to declining rainfall and increased variability, particularly in the Sahel belt. A drop in crop yields of up to 70 per cent is forecast for the most vulnerable areas.
The time to act is now.
In a steam system, safety valves are useful, but in a cap & trade system, not so much.
A safety valve is “a possible addition to a cap-and-trade system of emissions regulation whereby the authority offers to sell permits in unlimited amount at a pre-set price. In this way the cost of meeting the cap can be limited.”
First, if the safety valve price is too low, we won’t get the technologies and policies needed to avoid catastrophic warming. To stabilize below 500 ppm, you need a carbon dioxide price of $40/ton, according to a recent McKinsey study. That would incentivize such key strategies as carbon capture and storage and avoided deforestation. But safety valve proponents such as the National Commission on Energy Policy and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) have proposed a starting safety valve that is only $10/ton — far too low.
Second, “it will interfere with the development of systems of international emissions trade,” making it difficult for the United States to participate in a global carbon trading regime (MIT, pp. 11-12).
Finally, “the most problematic aspect of establishing price caps is that they constrain the cost of compliance by voiding the environmental outcome desired” (WRI). They render targets meaningless.