Sponsorship of “Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies” is as controversial as its subject matter
Climate Progress is beginning a multipart series on what has been called the “Woodstock” of geo-engineering. This historic but controversial event will take place March 22 – 26 in Asilomar, CA. Details can be found here on the website of the conference “developer,” Dr. Margaret Leinen of the Climate Response Fund.
I have been interviewing leading experts on geo-engineering about this conference, including journalist Jeff Goodell, author of the forthcoming book, How to Cool the Planet.
This conference proclaims its lofty goal “to develop norms and guidelines for controlled experimentation on climate engineering or intervention techniques.” That’s one reason why, as Goodell put it to me, it “needs to be purer than pure.” It appears to fail that test in a number of respects, as we will see.
In pursuit of the California Republican Party nomination for the 2010 Senate, Carly Fiorina has abandoned her support for cap-and-trade legislation. The former Hewlett Packard executive hopes to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who has championed clean energy legislation as the chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee. In a new online advertisement created by Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) nephew Fred Davis, the Fiorina campaign portrays Boxer as a giant floating head ominously looming over California. A gravel-voiced narrator claims that Boxer is “indifferent” that her climate policies “would take already painful jobless numbers and make them dramatically worse”:
NARRATOR: Proclaiming a cap-and-trade bill would clean the environment, indifferent that it would take already painful jobless numbers and make them dramatically worse.
BOXER: “That’s where you’ll have a little bit of an increase in electricity prices…”
NARRATOR: Even President Obama says electricity rates will skyrocket. And the Wall Street Journal says it is likely to be the biggest tax increase in history.
However, less than two years ago, Fiorina was singing a different tune. Speaking at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, MN, she praised Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) cap-and-trade plan as something that would “both create jobs and lower the cost of energy”:
I know John McCain. And in 2013, America will be more energy-independent because of his determination that we must power our own country, and his long-standing commitment to protecting our environment. John McCain will create a cap-and-trade system that will encourage the development of alternative energy sources. He will help advance clean coal technology, and nuclear power. And all of this will both create jobs and lower the cost of energy.
Watch a montage:
Like McCain’s plan, Boxer’s climate legislation marries a market-based cap on carbon pollution with support for alternative energy sources, including nuclear power and advanced coal technology. The revenues generated from a cap on carbon pollution will protect electricity consumers from the cost of investing in new jobs and ending dependence on oil, as Boxer has explained last year:
We must get these greenhouse gas emissions out of the air because if the planet continues to warm, we’re in a whole lot of trouble. Pretty much everyone agrees on that. Now, that means we have to move to clean energy and away from imported oil and those Middle East dictators. That’s good. We’ll move to clean energy. It will be better for our health and our families. That’s good. What about this transition period, as we move away from the dirty fuels and dirty coal to clean coal, to clean fuels, to solar, wind and geothermal? That’s where you’ll have a little bit of an increase in electricity prices. However, with a cap-and-trade system, you will have an incoming stream of revenues just as you do from the acid rain program, an incoming stream of revenues. And those revenues will make consumers whole. They will never pay any more. And that’s just the facts.
Former NYT Exec Ed: “Why haven’t America’s old-school news organizations blown the whistle on Roger Ailes, chief of Fox News, for using the network to conduct a propaganda campaign against the Obama administration — a campaign without precedent in our modern political history?”
For the first time since the yellow journalism of a century ago, the United States has a major news organization devoted to the promotion of one political party…. In a bygone era of fact-based commentary typified, left to right, by my late colleagues Scotty Reston and Bill Safire, these deceptions would have been given their proper label: disinformation….
[Ailes] and his video ferrets have intimidated center-right and center-left journalists into suppressing conclusions — whether on health-care reform or other issues — they once would have stated as demonstrably proven by their reporting.
As for Fox News, lots of people who know better are keeping quiet about what to call it. Its news operation can, in fact, be called many things, but reporters of my generation, with memories and keyboards, dare not call it journalism.
Sunday, the Washington Post published a must-read piece by Howell Raines, “Why don’t honest journalists take on Roger Ailes and Fox News?“ Raines, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former NY Times executive editor, focuses on Fox’s disinformation on health care, but it is equally true of their disinformation on climate change (see here), which is why I’m writing about it.
“None of the handful of mis-statements (out of hundreds and hundreds of unchallenged statements) remotely undermines the conclusion that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”
[If you are a scientist wishing to sign the letter, please fill out the form on the this page.]
It is our intention in offering this open letter to bring the focus back to credible science, rather than invented hyperbole, so that it can bear on the policy debate in the United States and throughout the world. We first discuss some of the key messages from climate science and then elaborate on IPCC procedures, with particular attention to the quality-control mechanisms of the IPCC. Finally we offer some suggestions about what might be done next to improve IPCC practices and restore full trust in climate science.
That’s from a letter sent to federal agencies on March 13. It has been signed by over 250 scientist already (full list here), the vast majority of whom are climate change scientists working at top U.S. universities and institutions. “Additional signers include professionals from related disciplines, including physical, biological and social scientists.”
The U.K. hopes to stake its claim as a leader in the fledgling wave and tidal power sector””a key green technology””when it awards companies licenses on Tuesday to develop around 700 megawatts of marine energy around Scotland.
The tender, which was oversubscribed, has attracted interest from major European utilities and energy companies as well as marine developers–some of whom have already formed partnerships, and will be keenly watched by countries such as Spain, Portugal, France, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea that are also looking to develop such resources….
I was on a pretty thoughtful panel discussion, “The Media, the Scientists and the Planet,” broadcast on TV Ontario.
The other guests on The Agenda with Steve Paikin included Curtis Brainard, who critiques science and environment reporting for the Columbia Journalism Review, Walter Russell Mead, who is Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, and everybody’s favorite Canadian energy and technology columnist, the Toronto Star’sTyler Hamilton.
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