Climate news is coming so fast these days, it is almost impossible to keep up:
Cyclone Sidr Kills 350 in Bangladesh – New York Times. Kudos to the Times for the fourth paragraph: “Long vulnerable to nature’s fury, Bangladesh stands to suffer even more from extreme weather events like this, as a result of human-induced climate change, scientists say.” The Times also adds, “The United Nations Development Program, in pressing world leaders to take immediate steps to address human-induced climate change, argues that the increased frequency of droughts, floods and storms will hit the world’s poor the hardest and exacerbate poverty in places like Bangladesh.” I would add that droughts, floods, and storms hit this country pretty darn hard, too.
Scientists Fault Climate Exhibit Changes – Washington Post. The muzzling continues: “Some government scientists have complained that officials at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History took steps to downplay global warming in a 2006 exhibit on the Arctic to avoid a political backlash, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. The museum’s director, Cristi¡n Samper, ordered last-minute changes to the exhibit’s script to add “scientific uncertainty” about climate change, according to internal documents and correspondence. Scientists at other agencies collaborating on the project expressed in e-mails their belief that Smithsonian officials acted to avoid criticism from congressional appropriators and global-warming skeptics in the Bush administration.”
Court Rejects Fuel Standards on Trucks – New York Times. A win for the enviornment: “SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15 — A federal appeals court here rejected the Bush administration’s year-old fuel-economy standards for light trucks and sport utility vehicles on Thursday, saying that they were not tough enough because regulators had failed to thoroughly assess the economic impact of tailpipe emissions that contribute to climate change.”
Clean technology investment soars – msnbc.com. Some $3.8 billion in venture capital investments were made in just the first three quarters of 2007, while $4 billion was made in all of 2006. In 2006, $74 billion was made in all clean energy technology (not just venture capital).
China set to exceed renewables target – The Independent (UK). “Headlines in China tend to focus on how the country’s roaring economy is being fuelled by a lethal cocktail of coal, oil and nuclear power…. But China also has a fast-growing renewable energy sector and the country is likely to achieve — and may even exceed — its target to obtain 15 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020, according to a report by the Worldwatch Institute” (Report can be found here, but costs $10-20.)
“China is poised to pass world solar and wind manufacturing leaders in Europe, Japan, and North America in the next three years, and it already dominates the markets for solar hot water and small hydropower. Wind power is the fastest growing power-generation technology in China. By 2007, China was home to four major domestic manufacturers of wind turbines and another six foreign subsidiary manufacturers.”
Thanks to Reagan, Gingrich, and Bush — we’ve nearly lost our chance to be the world leader in clean energy, which will probably been the major new-manufacturing-job-creating sector or the 21st century.