Last week I went on FoxNews so Neil Cavuto could diss global warming because it was cold outside. Shockingly, I failed to persuade him that no one ever said global warming would turn January into July — though at least he seems to have internalized my message as the “Duh!” part of his opening in the above compilation. Think Progress has the whole, sad story in this repost:
Polluters work with Lisa “fiddle while Nome burns” Murkowski on amendment to thwart EPA GHG regulations that might help save her state
The Washington Post has confirmed that two Washington lobbyists, Jeffrey R. Holmstead and Roger R. Martella, Jr., helped craft the original amendment Murkowski planned to offer on the floor last fall. Both Holmstead, who heads the Environmental Strategies Group and Bracewell & Guiliani, and Martella, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, held senior posts at EPA under the Bush administration and represents multiple clients with an interest in climate legislation pending before Congress.
This is the year we learn whether anti-science ideologues will be able to kill the bipartisan climate and clean energy jobs bill. And that means we’ll learn whether a few moderates who have talked a good game on climate are statesmen- and -women or hypocrites.
Last year, Sen. Murkowski could not make up her mind whether she wanted to help preserve her state or destroy it (see “Lisa Murkowski proposes to fiddle while Alaska burns“). And again today, as the WSJ reports, “Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday left open the possibility that she would seek a vote next week on stopping the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from going forward with regulations to limit greenhouse-gas emissions.”
Yet, she clearly knows that global warming is devastating Alaska, as she pointed out in a 2006 speech:
David McCandliss at Information is Beautiful has tried to create a big visual map of the arguments for and against human-caused global climate change (see below, click to enlarge).
He hasn’t quite succeeded. In part his format isn’t ideal for making the scientific case. In part “I deliberately chose not speak directly to any climate experts or leading scientists in the field. I used only publicly available web sources” — but he missed Skeptical Science, which would have perhaps led him to stronger and more cogent arguments.
Anyway, I guess I am ruled out as someone who can help him, so perhaps you all can give him some ideas:
Okay, bloggers aren’t journalists, but some headlines are just beyond the pale for insensitivity:
No, I’m not going subject you to the full schoolyard headline. The post has been up for a few hours (click here if you must), which suggests Watts is okay with it. Even more amazingly, I see that the original piece that Watts is excerpting doesn’t use the word at all, which means it was added by the WattsUpWithThat folks. Still, I suspect/hope the headline will be changed by the time you look, anyway, though the URL will probably remain….
I guess Watts didn’t take kindly to Rudd’s blistering speech last year (see Australia’s Rudd slams the “deniers” and the “gaggle” of “conspiracy theorists” opposing climate action).
U.S. solar thermal firm in deal for 2000 MW project with biomass
Here’s e-mail from Bill Gross, who runs eSolar, a promising California solar-thermal start-up: On Saturday, in Beijing, said Gross, he announced “the biggest solar-thermal deal ever. It’s a 2 gigawatt, $5 billion deal to build plants in China using our California-based technology. China is being even more aggressive than the U.S. We applied for a [U.S. Department of Energy] loan for a 92 megawatt project in New Mexico, and in less time than it took them to do stage 1 of the application review, China signs, approves, and is ready to begin construction this year on a 20 times bigger project!”
More good news, bad news from the NYT‘s Tom Friedman.
The good news is that China is finally making the great leap forward into concentrated solar thermal power (with biomass). That is “The Technology that will Save Humanity,” as I’ve argued. It’s the most scalable and affordable baseload (or, even better, load-following) low-carbon supply technology when used with low-cost, high-efficiency thermal storage or when sharing its steam turbine with biomass or even natural gas (see “Hybrid solar/gas plants provide low-cost, low-carbon power when needed“).
The bad news is, this is yet another core clean energy technology pioneered in the United States (in the 1980s) that China may eat our lunch on (see “Invented here, sold there”).
For now, though, the United States is making a serious effort (see “World’s largest solar plant with thermal storage to be built in Arizona “” total of 8500 MW of this core climate solution planned for 2014 in U.S. alone“). And, foolishly, some key Chinese don’t seem to understand what a core technology this is. In “China Tries a New Tack to Go Solar,” The NY Times has this bewildering report:
Energy and Global Warming News for January 12: Germany sticking to ambitious CO2 target — adviser; China’s High-Speed-Rail Revolution
China has begun operating what is, by several measures, the world’s fastest rail line: a dedicated 968-kilometer line linking Wuhan, in the heart of central China, to Guangzhou, on the southeastern coast. In trials, the “WuGuang” line trains (locally built variants of Japan’s Shinkansen and Germany’s InterCity Express high-speed trains) clocked peak speeds of up to 394 kilometers per hour (or 245 miles per hour). They have also recorded an average speed of 312 kph in nonstop runs four times daily since the WuGuang’s December 26 launch, slashing travel time from Wuhan to Guangzhou from 10.5 hours to less than three.
WuGuang’s speed blows away the reigning champion: France’s TGV, which runs from Lorraine to Champagne and averages 272 kph. It also bests China’s first high-speed train, the Beijing-to-Tianjin trains that average 230 kph, as well as Shanghai’s magnetically levitated airport shuttle trains that can hit 430 kph but average less than 251 kph.
It’s no surprise that Massey Energy leaves a lot to be desired as a corporate citizen (see “Byrd rips Massey Energy for refusing to fund a new school so students can move away from coal processing plant“). But WV journalist Ken Ward, Jr., has the story of just how bad an actor the company is in this piece reposted with permission from The Charleston Gazette’s Coal Tattoo blog.
Two years ago, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a record $20 million Clean Water Act settlement with Massey Energy, this was the lead of my Gazette story on the deal: