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May 10 News: Hurricane Irene Was Costliest Category One Storm In History

A round-up of the top climate and energy stories. Please post other links below.

Hurricane Irene, which first made landfall in North Carolina on August 27, and went on to cause devastating flooding in several Northeastern states, is now ranked as the costliest Category One storm to strike the U.S. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Irene caused $15.8 billion in damage, much of it due to inland flooding. [Climate Central]

With a simple statement on Tuesday, State Farm Insurance became the latest company to withdraw its support from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think-tank which claims a “realist” position questioning that humans are responsible for climate change. [LA Times]

Alec Loorz turns 18 at the end of this month. While finishing high school and playing Ultimate Frisbee on weekends, he’s also suing the federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. over climate change. [Atlantic]

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The optimism that fuelled hopes of CCS driving deep carbon cuts has stalled. The infant industry was knocked off course by the world economic crisis that dragged urgency about global warming down with it, and made money hard to come by. [Guardian]

A coalition of upstate New York landowners seeking to lease land for natural gas drilling pressed state officials Wednesday to consider the rights of property owners as they make decisions on shale gas development. [Associated Press]

Former General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz thinks pushing back against right-wing criticism of the Chevrolet Volt had an effect. Conservatives are starting to see the benefits of electric cars, he says. And he notes that he, too, is a conservative. [USA Today]

A one degree celsius rise in temperature associated with increase in carbon dioxide in atmosphere could hit wheat production in India unless “adaptation” strategies are adopted, according to a government report on climate change. [The Economic Times]

Old divisions between developed and developing countries in who should lead the fight against climate change should be laid aside, according to ministers from some of the world’s poorest countries and European representatives meeting on Tuesday. [Guardian]