Tag archives for global warming

Can good economic times roll while carbon emissions decline? Maybe so. Last week the Obama administration proposed new rules to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants under the auspices of the Clean Air Act. Once EPA officially publishes the rule in the Federal Register (most likely in a week or two), a…

New study concludes that biofuels can be part of climate-energy solution.

Which is more important: Meeting energy demand, lowering carbon emissions, or conserving water? How about all three? The Three Big Challenges Facing the Electric Power Industry The U.S. electric power industry has huge challenges to meet in the coming decades. First and foremost it has to meet growing demand for electricity. By 2050 it is…

The British government’s long-awaited “policy framework” on the Arctic is not likely to please environmentalists who would like to see an outright moratorium on oil and natural gas drilling. But Clive Archer, emeritus professor and former head of the Manchester Metropolitan University’s European Institute, who has studied Arctic issues extensively, believes it is an important…

This week, the United States faces down the looming deadline for extending its debt ceiling, a line in the sand that economists say could have dire consequences for our nation’s and the world’s economy if the U.S. defaults on its credit obligations. With the federal government shut down for nearly two weeks on top of…

The Obama administration on Friday unveiled the first-ever national limits for carbon emissions from new power plants in the United States–a step that seeks to reshape the debate on climate change in the inevitable political and legal battles that lie ahead. (See related, “Four Ways to Look at Global Carbon Footprints.”) “We must meet our…

The United States and China are talking different languages when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.

  Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s now famous comment, “Never let a serious crisis to go to waste,” could not have been more true of Hurricane Sandy, which was a harbinger of the costly destructive power of climate change.  Sandy made clear that willful ignorance of climate science and inaction is simply…

Global greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever. What’s to be done? “Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map,” a special report [pdf] by the International Energy Agency (IEA), was released on Monday, and the findings are sobering. (See related story: “What’s Behind the New Warning on Global Carbon Emissions?“) In 2012 energy-related, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions…

Two news items surrounding greenhouse gas emissions moved over the past week. One on the trajectory of said emissions from government number-crunching. The other on what the proposed Keystone pipeline might mean for emissions.

Peak Oil Flip-Flop

There’s a new twist in the “peak oil” debate. Is it good news for the climate? Peak Oil Question Remains, Debate Continues Ever since M. King Hubbert advanced the theory of peak oil in 1956, experts and non-experts alike have been debating about timing and relevance. (See here, here, here and here.) Hubbert’s argument seems like a…

President Obama will soon have to decide whether he will be the “all of the above” president or the “respond to climate change” president.

Surveys show the American public is more convinced of the reality of global warming – but how much will that really shift policy? Two surveys released this month, from the Pew Research Center and the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, both find solid majorities of Americans who say global warming is real and growing…

I’ve just arrived in Moscow for a meeting — the subject will be soot. You may hear it called black carbon or even elemental carbon. Scientists getting technical will call it the “light-absorbing part of particles suspended in the atmosphere.” Let’s just keep it simple and call it soot.* (More on black carbon.) Soot: pollution…

It’s a sad fact of modern politics that what politicians don’t say is as significant as what they do. That certainly seems to be true on energy and climate change in the 2012  campaign, where both sides seem to be ducking the issues as best they can. Unfortunately, that’s not much help to the voters.…

Our neighbor to the south plans to swim against the tide. The tide in question is the world’s rising emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), and with the March 2012 data from the Mauna Loa Observatory now in, that tide has risen to new heights. At 394.45 parts per million, it is the highest monthly average…

A study released yesterday by researchers finds that large wind farms may affect local temperatures, noting a night warming effect in certain areas in Texas caused by “the turbulence in turbine wakes acting like fans to pull down warmer near surface air from higher altitudes at night.” As Natural Resources Defense Council already pointed out, select media…

Natural Gas for Cars

Does it make climate sense to drive cars with natural gas? Our nation appears to be rapidly moving to a natural gas-powered economy. Advances in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling have made huge deposits of natural gas in shale and tight sands commercially viable. (See “Hydrofracturing: An Energy Revolution.”) Suddenly the United States is…

Before Congress headed home for spring recess, the Senate, with a rate vote of 100, approved President Obama’s new round of sanctions designed to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The president’s decision was based on an analysis of current oil supply and the likely effect of further sanctions on prices. The Senate also shot down the president’s bid to reduce subsidies to oil producers. Oil…

“Humans are absolutely terrible at making decisions,” Steven Levitt told the crowd of participants today at the Shell-sponsored Energy Summit 2012 in Houston, Texas. For two days, the Summit brought together leading business and academic thinkers from the fields of renewable and traditional energy, plus food and water policy. Proceedings were held in the farm-to-table…

Earlier this week, top scientists released a paper urging governments to take restorative steps for the planet’s ecosystem. Faced with today’s challenges, “Society has no choice but to take dramatic action,” the authors write. They note the important role that energy –- and particularly reliance on fossil fuel — plays in climate change, biodiversity loss…

Congressional deadlock and new scientific insights force new direction. The news on the avoid-dangerous-climate-change front seems to get ever bleaker. On the Policy Side, Little to No Progress The probability of a U.S. policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions any time soon is as close to zero as you can get — President Obama said…

Maldives leader Mohamed Nasheed, called the “world’s most environmentally outspoken president” because of his calls for drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions, was forced to resign—at gunpoint, he claimed. He had used stunts such as an underwater cabinet meeting to highlight his island nation’s vulnerability to sea-level rise. His resignation followed weeks of protests and was apparently motivated by internal politics unrelated to…

Steady as we go with energy but definitely not on our climate target. Presidential Disconnect? A little more than two years ago in Copenhagen President Obama committed the United States (in a non-binding pledge) to work with the international community to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.5 degrees Fahrenheit) above…

Highlights from a workshop on the environmental and social implications of fracking. A group of the nation’s leading experts on energy and the environment are at Duke this week attending a workshop to try to ferret out the facts (and tamp down the hype) around shale gas and fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural…