- Climate Progress is Technorati's top-ranked "Green" website, but …
- Senate GOP embrace Inhofe's boycott of Clean Energy Jobs Act in effort to thwart Copenhagen deal; Boxer responds "We're going to be very patient. We're going to wait for them to come. We're going to sit there every day and ask them to please come back to the table."
- Road to Copenhagen, Part 1: Doing the Climate Shuffle
- If you have nothing better to do, here's Examiner.com's First Annual Push Poll on Global Warming.
- Nearly 200 organizations and companies urge Senate to adopt key energy-efficiency provision in climate bill
Posted: 03 Nov 2009 08:16 AM PST
… anti-green WattsUpWithThat.com is #2! By this categorization, why isn't the Drudge Report the #1 Green website?
I regularly use Technorati to check who is linking to CP, and stumbled across the fact that last month they totally redesigned their "Technorati Authority" and added a topical ranking by category.
As you can see here, I am (for now) the top-ranked website among Green blogs and news sites. Of course, people who follow this space closely will wonder why they omitted TreeHugger, which would beat everybody (although my rank is currently 994 out of a possible 1000, so they couldn't beat me by that much, I suppose).
Technorati has been known for a fairly objective and slow-changing measure of influence — links from other sites over the past 6 months. But I suppose in a desire to be more timely (and, no doubt purely incidentally, boost their own traffic), they have jazzed up this ranking system, and then added a breakdown by category:
Hmm. Looks like they've given up a little bit of their own "authority" in a transparent ranking system to adopt this faster-changing one. And I'd love to know what that "other associated data" is.
I actually liked the old more static Authority, exactly because it gave you a more slow-changing measure of what should in fact be slow changing — the "Authority" and influence of a blog or website.
No doubt my exceedingly high Authority right now is partly due to the phenomenal amount of traffic and linking I've gotten from breaking the story on the Error-riddled book Superfreakonomics — a post that has been read by more than 50,000 people and, whose analysis, I'm happy to say, has been vindicated by major journalists and leading climate scientists.
That said, Technorati is hurting its own credibility by not being more explicit on how it does its Authority calculation and, even more by it's arbitrary category placement.
It's silly to put Watts in the Green category. Equally silly is that Watts is in the the Science category, but Climate Progress isn't. Watts is an anti-scientific site that has actually called climate science "the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind," which is is anti-scientific and anti-science in the most extreme sense. It accuses the entire scientific community broadly defined of deliberate fraud. More recently, Watts published a piece by the widely-discredited Roy Spencer asserting, "I contend that the belief in human-caused global warming as a dangerous event, either now or in the future, has most of the characteristics of an urban legend." Again, that is anti-science.
Now you might think Technorati didn't put Climate Progress in the Science category because, since the emergence of the climate bills, most of my posts are not purely about the science (although I would argue that most of my posts are driven by the science). Great argument, except, Wonk Room, for instance, is (deservedly) in the Green Blog category, and CP has a considerably higher fraction of posts that are about science than WR has that are Green (or that WR has that are "Business," another Category WR is in).
If any readers know someone at Technorati, I'd be interested in hearing their thoughts on this issue. They are no doubt just working the kinks out of this new system, and you can share any thoughts you want with them by clicking here.
Final note to Technorati: If you really want to be seen as fast-paced, you'll probably want to take "Yankees Snag 3-1 Series lead" off your front page!
Senate GOP embrace Inhofe's boycott of Clean Energy Jobs Act in effort to thwart Copenhagen deal; Boxer responds "We're going to be very patient. We're going to wait for them to come. We're going to sit there every day and ask them to please come back to the table."
Posted: 03 Nov 2009 06:11 AM PST
The GOP's approach to climate and clean energy policy has remained the same for decades — obstruction and obfuscation (see "Senate GOP propose 25% 'Do-Nothing' energy tax on Americans"). Now, led by James "the last flat-earther" Inhofe, they are trying to stall climate legislation as long as possible, on the flimsiest of excuses, presumably because they want to make sure that there is no Senate vote on the bill before Copenhagen.
The excuse this time is that EPA supposedly hasn't issued a full analysis of the bill — even though EPA has issued an analysis of the bill (see "EPA releases economic analysis finding cost to U.S. households of under $10 a month, bill consistent with global effort to stabilize at 2°C warming") pointing out that it has only moderate differences from the heavily-analyzed House bill (Waxman-Markey), none of which would significantly affect the economic conclusions.
The best evidence this excuse is just a pretense is that the GOP never accepted the conclusions of the EPA's detailed analysis of the House bill (see "New EPA analysis of Waxman-Markey: Consumer electric bills 7% lower in 2020 thanks to efficiency").
TP reports on the GOP delaying tactics:
Download the letter here.
The Sierra Club has posted the "Top Ten Excuses for not showing up for work on the Clean Energy Jobs bill."
Boxer has extended the amendment deadline to Tuesday night, according to a Washington Times newsletter, and will hold off on the markup of the legislation, saying:
E&E News (subs. req'd) reports this morning that Boxer is going the extra mile to accommodate the GOP obstructionist delayers:
But the GOP delayers don't want answers to questions — they want delay:
Again, from an economic perspective, the bill isn't much different from the House bill, which has been analyzed to death, not just by EPA, but CBO and EIA:
And as Boxer herself wrote yesterday:
Even so, one key swing GOP Senator is siding with this delay:
My recommendation is to give in to GOP delaying tactics, while continuing to point out how absurd they are.
I see no upside in offending Senate moderates, since this bill will have to be bipartisan to succeed, and we need time over the next couple of weeks for Graham and Kerry and the White House "to discuss a possible compromise."
Boxer should have the EPA do a "complete analysis" before the mark up — and then watch as the GOP hypocritically denounce the conclusions of it anyway.
Posted: 03 Nov 2009 05:29 AM PST
There's a familiar dance being performed on the world stage. It's called the Climate Shuffle. It has been going on for decades, but more people are watching now and every nation is practicing the steps.
The dance is not complicated. The goal is to get everybody dancing together, a kind of Clean Electric Slide. But first, insist you won't get on the dance floor until everybody does. If you get there and find that everyone is doing his own thing, try the Unilateral Slide (one step forward, two steps back, moving in circles). Most of all, be prepared to dance fast because the music is speeding up.
In this strained metaphor, the music is the increasing pace of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. As it turns out, the scientific evidence on which negotiators and policy makers have depended – particularly the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – significantly underestimated the speed at which global warming is occurring.
Poor and low-lying nations already are suffering its effects. Some of the first climate refugees are being forced from their ancestral islands in the South Pacific because of rising sea levels. Livestock is dying in parts of Africa parched by drought.
The World Health Organization estimated earlier this year that 150,000 deaths occur annually in low-income countries due to climate-related crop failure, malnutrition, diarrheal diseases, malaria and flooding. Nearly 85 percent of the dead are young children.
Rich nations are not exempt. In June, the U.S. government's Global Change Science Program reported to Congress that damaging climate impacts are here and likely to get worse:
In the September issue of the journal Nature, 28 environmental scientists reported we have reached or surpassed the upper safe limit in six of the planet's 10 critical biophysical systems.
NASA scientist Dr. Jim Hansen, whose scientific forecasting has been pretty accurate over the years, now warns that holding atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to 450 parts per million will not protect us from climate-induced disaster. He says we need to get back to 350 ppm, a threshold we've already crossed. We need to accomplish that backward step at the same time we're making billions more babies and trying to end the extreme poverty that already afflicts billions of men, women and children around the world.
Five weeks before the 15th Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen – a long-anticipated gathering in danger of being anti-climatic — one source close to the negotiations tells me three broad scenarios remain on the table.
So far down the road to Copenhagen, we would have hoped that the U.S. Congress had passed an aggressive climate bill and negotiators would have decided on the basic architecture of a global deal. The lack of progress is not for lack of effort. A lot of negotiators, subject-matter experts and key staff on the Hill are sleep-deprived these days. Because of them, hope is not lost. They deserve our thanks.
At the same time, I know they will forgive us for keeping up the pressure for deals in Congress and at Copenhagen – not just any deals, but real deals. All that's at stake is a civilization worthy of the noun. The Climate Shuffle becomes a death dance if it goes on too long.
With pressure in mind, I will post a series of pieces over the next several days. They will address how our policy-makers are underestimating the risks of climate change; how new evidence suggests we have only five years to completely retool global industry; how consumers, corporations and government might work together; how the White House can provide audacious leadership; and how morality must trump money on Capitol Hill.
– Bill Becker
Posted: 02 Nov 2009 02:44 PM PST
What has gotten Eli hopping mad? This remarkable "you-are-a-pigeon question":
I'm filing this post under humor only because I never bothered starting a category for "unintentional humor."
Eli notes "the airspace between the first and the second choice and the fine gradations between the rest," which is to say that all of the later choices are designed to 1) get lots of votes that totally outnumber the votes for the first choice and 2) make the first choice seem extreme, even though it is certainly the closest to representing the current state of our scientific understanding, albeit not with language I would use (see "Intro to global warming impacts: Hell and High Water" and UK Met Office: Catastrophic climate change, 13-18°F over most of U.S. and 27°F in the Arctic, could happen in 50 years, but "we do have time to stop it if we cut greenhouse gas emissions soon").
Examiner.com has inspired me to offer my own "First Annual Survey on the Examiner's First Annual Push Poll on Global Warming." Which, if any, of the following statements comes closest to capturing your attitudes and opinions about the Examiner's First Annual Push Poll on Global Warming?
If you would like to amplify on your opinions regarding global warming and climate change, please do so in the Comments section.
Posted: 02 Nov 2009 01:41 PM PST
A diverse coalition of nearly 200 business, labor, civil rights, and environmental groups have sent a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) urging her to support an important energy-efficiency provision that would:
What is this magical provision? As the letter explains:
Following is a joint statement from the broad-based coalition:
For more on benefits of efficiency in the climate bill, see:
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