Thursday, August 13, 2009

One-Third of World's Biggest Firms Still Not Addressing Climate Change Reuters

French Winemakers Sound Alarm Over Climate Change New York Times

Climate Progress

limate Progress

Climate Progress

NYT: An Upbeat Fed Views Recession as Near an End

Posted: 13 Aug 2009 07:10 AM PDT

Certainly if Obama's economic policies were not working, it would be all that opponents of climate and clean energy legislation would be talking about it.  But it would appear those policies — and the Feds — are, as the NYT reports in its lead story:

Almost exactly two years after it embarked on what was the biggest financial rescue in American history, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that the recession is ending and that it would take a step back toward normal policy.

Though the central bank stopped well short of declaring victory, policy makers issued their most upbeat assessment in more than a year by saying that the downturn appears to have hit bottom and that consumer spending, financial markets and inventory-building by corporations all continued to stabilize.

"Economic activity is leveling out," the Fed's policy-making committee said Wednesday after a two-day meeting, adding that inflation would remain "subdued for some time."

Again, it may not be fair, but the likelihood of climate legislation passing the Senate depends critically on such seemingly unrelated matters as whether the Senate can pass health care reform and what the state of the economy  in November or January or whenever they vote on bill (see "Unemployment rate drops for first time in 15 months").

The government's preliminary estimates show that the economy's downturn slowed markedly in recent months, shrinking only 1 percent in the second quarter compared with 6.4 percent in the first. The rate of job losses has slowed sharply as well, though the nation still lost 247,000 jobs in July.

The most recent forecasts by Fed policy makers say that the economy will begin an unusually slow recovery in the second half of this year and pick up speed only gradually in 2010. Even if all goes according to plan, the Fed envisions that unemployment will climb from its already high level of 9.4 percent and average as much as 9.8 percent through the end of 2010.

Rising productivity rates in the United States are giving the Fed more maneuvering room to keep borrowing costs low without aggravating inflation. The productivity of workers, the amount produced per hour of work, shot up at an annual rate of more than 6 percent in the second quarter and has been climbing throughout the recession.

That is unusual for an economic downturn, but it means that wages have more room to climb before employers start to raise prices for their goods and services.

I'll discuss messaging the recovery when it is further along in the fall.

Game changer 7: Tim Wirth and John Podesta on Natural Gas, A Bridge Fuel for the 21st Century

Posted: 13 Aug 2009 06:04 AM PDT

Previous posts in this series (see links below) have focused on how the unconventional natural gas opportunity changes the game for low-cost climate action.  This post, by former Senator Tim Wirth and CAP CEO John Podesta, first published here, offers a variety of proposals for tapping this new resource in an environmentally responsible manner.


Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel—it produces less than half as much carbon pollution as coal. Recent technology advancements make affordable the development of unconventional natural gas resources. This creates an unprecedented opportunity to use gas as a bridge fuel to a 21st-century energy economy that relies on efficiency, renewable sources, and low-carbon fossil fuels such as natural gas.

Despite the potential energy, economic, and security benefits of natural gas, the recently House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act, H.R. 2454, does not include enough opportunities to expand its use. The Center for American Progress and the Energy Future Coalition therefore propose a number of policies that would increase the use of natural gas and low-carbon energy sources while providing additional protection for our climate and communities.


  • Establish incentives to retire aging, inefficient, dirty coal-fired power plants, and replace them with renewable and low-carbon electricity.
  • Create a renewables integration credit to offset specific costs associated with producing high levels of renewable energy and to reward going beyond the renewable electricity standard.
  • Establish a dedicated incentive for development and deployment of "dispatchable" renewable energy to build markets for electricity storage technology.
  • Require that the carbon price and other costs are included when determining the dispatch order for moving electricity onto the grid to prioritize natural gas and other clean electricity.
  • Expand carbon capture-and-storage provisions to include other permanent storage technologies in addition to geologic sequestration. Ensure that carbon capture and storage research and deployment efforts include retrofitting existing coal- and gas-fired power plants.
  • Remove regulatory barriers to recycling waste heat and power.


  • Expand the market for natural gas as a heavy-duty transportation fuel by increasing incentives for gas-powered buses and heavy trucks.
  • Create incentives for communities to develop bus rapid transit systems that employ buses fueled by natural gas.

Clean natural gas development

  • Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the impact of natural gas production on air, water, land, and global warming. Include a compilation of best practices and recommendations for new state safeguards.
  • Support public disclosure requirements on the release of toxic chemicals used during the production of natural gas.
  • Expand the Natural Gas STAR program where natural gas producers voluntarily capture and resell methane—a potent greenhouse gas—instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. Current participants make money on these methane sales. Medium and large emitters must undertake this practice.


  • Conduct research on more efficient turbines, storage of renewable electricity, and other technologies that would generate no- or low-carbon energy.

Download the full memo (pdf)

Related Posts:

British coal industry flack pushes geo-engineering "ploy" to give politicians "viable reason to do nothing" about global warming. Is that why Lomborg supports such a smoke-and-mirrors approach?

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 07:00 PM PDT

Everybody from global warming delayer Bjorn Lomborg to the country's worst science writer seems to be embracing geo-engineering schemes these days.  Geoengineering is "the intentional large scale manipulation of the global environment" to counteract the effects of global warming — such as injecting massive amounts of soot or mirrors into the air.

But why would you choose an experimental combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy that might make you sicker if your doctors told you diet and exercise — albeit serious diet and excercise — would definitely work (see "Geo-engineering remains a bad idea" and "Geo-Engineering is NOT the Answer")?

Well, desperation drives some people to contemplate extreme things, and climate scientists are increasingly desperate to prevent the catastrophe we face on our current path of unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions (see "Desperate times, desperate scientists").

But why do people who don't believe anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is real or would be catastrophic push it?  Richard S. Courtney, British coal industry flack  (see bio here), is one such denier who spreads disinformation on various blogs (including this one today).   As BigCityLib informs us, Courtney recently made this remarkable admission:

I am firmly convinced that dangerous AGW is not a problem and cannot become one.  However, I do think the possibility of the geo-engineering should be supported.  My reason for this is a political ploy and I explain it as follows….

The politicians need a viable reason if they are to back-off from this commitment to the constraints [of GHGs] without losing face.

The geo-engineering option provides the needed viable reason to do nothing about AGW now….

This suggested political ploy is not fanciful and it has precedent.  Opponents of the nuclear industry have objected that there is no "safe" method to dispose of nuclear waste.  The nuclear industry has responded by asserting that the waste could be vitrified.  A practical method for the vitrification still remains to be developed, but assertion of the possibility of the vitrification has been sufficient to overcome objections to nuclear power in several countries for nearly 40 years.

Fool me once….

(See also "Geoengineering and the New Climate Denialism.")

Geo-engineering remains a dubious set of schemes — literally smoke and mirrors.  Science advisor John Holdren told me in April that he stands by his long-standing critique:

"The 'geo-engineering' approaches considered so far appear to be afflicted with some combination of high costs, low leverage, and a high likelihood of serious side effects."

Now uber-delay Bjorn Lomborg is embracing geo-engineering — and NYT's John Tierney is flacking that work (here).  What a surprise!

RealClimate just published an outstanding response, "A biased economic analysis of geoengineering" by Prof. Alan Robock.  Since Robock gave the best talk I ever heard on geo-engineering (here), and since this post is an excellent primer with numerous links, I am reprinting it below (with his permission):

Bjorn Lomborg's Climate Consensus Center just released an un-refereed report on geoengineering, An Analysis of Climate Engineering as a Response to Global Warming, by J Eric Bickel and Lee Lane. The "consensus" in the title of Lomborg's center is based on a meeting of 50 economists last year. The problem with allowing economists to decide the proper response of society to global warming is that they base their analysis only on their own quantifications of the costs and benefits of different strategies. In this report, discussed below, they simply omit the costs of many of the potential negative aspects of producing a stratospheric cloud to block out sunlight or cloud brightening, and come to the conclusion that these strategies have a 25-5000 to 1 benefit/cost ratio. That the second author works for the American Enterprise Institute, a lobbying group that has been a leading global warming denier, is not surprising, except that now they are in favor of a solution to a problem they have claimed for years does not exist.

Geoengineering has come a long way since first discussed here three years ago. [Here I use the term "geoengineering" to refer to "solar radiation management" (SRM) and not to carbon capture and sequestration (called "air capture" in the report), a related topic with quite different issues.] In a New Scientist interview, John Holdren, President Obama's science adviser, says geoengineering has to be examined as a possible response to global warming, but that we can make no such determination now. A two-day conference on geoengineering organized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences was held in June, 2009, with an opening talk by the President, Ralph Cicerone. The American Meteorological Society (AMS) has just issued a policy statement on geoengineering, which urges cautious consideration, more research, and appropriate restrictions. But all this attention comes with the message that we know little about the efficacy, costs, and problems associated with geoengineering suggestions, and that much more study is needed.

Bickel and Lane, however, do not hesitate to write a report that is rather biased in favor of geoengineering using SRM, by emphasizing the low cost and dismissing the many possible negative aspects. They use calculations with the Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy (DICE) economic model to make the paper seem scientific, but there are many inherent assumptions, and they up-front refuse to present their results in terms of ranges or error bars. Specific numbers in their conclusions make the results seem much more certain than they are. While they give lip service to possible negative consequences of geoengineering, they refuse to quantify them. Indeed, the purpose of new research is to do just that, but the tone of this report is to claim that cooling the planet will have overall benefits, which CAN be quantified. The conclusions and summary of the report imply much more certainty as to the net benefits of SRM than is really the case.

My main areas of agreement with this report are that global warming is an important, serious problem, that SRM with stratospheric aerosols or cloud brightening would not be expensive, and that we indeed need more research into geoengineering. The authors provide a balanced introduction to the issues of global warming and the possible types of geoengineering.

But Bickel and Lane ignore the effects of ocean acidification from continued CO2 emissions, dismissing this as a lost cause. Even without global warming, reducing CO2 emissions is needed to do the best we can to save the ocean. The costs of this continuing damage to the planet, which geoengineering will do nothing to address, are ignored in the analysis in this report. And without mitigation, SRM would need to be continued for hundreds of years. If it were stopped, by the loss of interest or means by society, the resulting rapid warming would be much more dangerous than the gradual warming we are now experiencing.

Bickel and Lane do not even mention several potential negative effects of SRM, including getting rid of blue skies, huge reductions in solar power from systems using direct solar radiation, or ruining terrestrial optical astronomy. They imply that SRM technologies will work perfectly, and ignore unknown unknowns. Not one cloud has ever been artificially brightened by injection of sea salt aerosols, yet this report claims to be able to quantify the benefits and the costs to society of cloud brightening.

They also imply that stratospheric geoengineering can be tested at a small scale, but this is not true. Small injections of SO2 into the stratosphere would actually produce small radiative forcing, and we would not be able to separate the effects from weather noise. The small volcanic eruptions of the past year (1.5 Tg SO2 from Kasatochi in 2008 and 1 Tg SO2 from Sarychev in 2009, as compared to 7 Tg SO2 from El Chichón in 1982 and 20 Tg SO2 from Pinatubo in 1991) have produced stratospheric clouds that can be well-observed, but we cannot detect any climate impacts. Only a large-scale stratospheric injection could produce measurable impacts. This means that the path they propose would lead directly to geoengineering, even just to test it, and then it would be much harder to stop, what with commercial interests in continuing (e.g., Star Wars, which has not even ever worked).

Bickel and Lane also ignore several seminal papers on geoengineering that present much more advanced scientific results than the older papers they cite. In particular, they ignore Tilmes et al. (2008), Robock et al. (2008), Rasch et al. (2008), and Jones et al. (2009).

With respect to ozone, they dismiss concerns about ozone depletion and enhanced UV by citing Wigley (2006) and Crutzen (2006), but ignore the results of Tilmes et al. (2008), who showed that the effects would prolong the ozone hole for decades and that deployment of stratospheric aerosols in a couple decades would not be safe as claimed here. Bickel and Lane assert, completely incorrectly, "On its face, though, it does not appear that the ozone issue would be likely to invalidate the concept of stratospheric aerosols."

With respect to an Arctic-only scheme, they suggest in several places that it would be possible to control Arctic climate based on the results of Caldeira and Wood (2008) who artificially reduce sunlight in a polar cap in their model (the "yarmulke method"), whereas Robock et al. (2008) showed with a more realistic model that explicitly treats the distribution and transport of stratospheric aerosols, that the aerosols could not be confined to just the Arctic, and such a deployment strategy would affect the summer Asian monsoon, reducing precipitation over China and India. And Robock et al. (2008) give examples from past volcanic eruptions that illustrate this effect, such as the pattern of precipitation reduction after the 1991 Pinatubo eruption (Trenberth and Dai, 2007):

With respect to cloud brightening, Bickel and Lane ignore the Jones et al. (2009) results that cloud brightening would mainly cool the oceans and not affect land temperature much, so that it is an imperfect method at best to counter global warming. Furthermore Jones et al. (2009) found that cloud brightening over the South Atlantic would produce severe drought over the Amazon, destroying the tropical forest.

They also ignore a huge class of ethical and world governance issues. Whose hand would be on the global thermostat? Who would trust military aircraft or a multi-national geoengineering company to have the interests of the people of the planet foremost?

They do not seem to realize that volcanic eruptions affect climate change because of sulfate aerosols produced from sulfur dioxide gas injections into the stratosphere, the same that is proposed for SRM, and not by larger ash particles that fall out quickly after and eruption and do not cause climate change.

They dismiss air capture ("air capture technologies do not appear as promising as solar radiation management from a technical or a cost perspective") but ignore the important point that it would have few of the potential side effects of SRM. Air capture would just remove the cause of global warming in the first place, and the only side effects would be in the locations where the CO2 would be sequestered.

For some reason, they insist on using the wrong units for energy flux (W) instead of the correct units of W/m^2, and then mix them in the paper. I cannot understand why they choose to make it so confusing.

The potential negative consequences of stratospheric SRM were clearly laid out by Robock (2008) and updated by Robock et al. (2009), which still lists 17 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea. One of those important possible consequences, the threat to the water supply for agriculture and other human uses, has been emphasized in a recent Science article by Gabi Hegerl and Susan Solomon.

Robock et al. (2009) also lists some benefits from SRM, including increased plant productivity and an enhanced CO2 sink from vegetation that grows more when subject to diffuse radiation, as has been observed after every recent large volcanic eruption. But the quantification of these and other geoengineering benefits, as well as the negative aspects, awaits more research.

It may be that the benefits of geoengineering will outweigh the negative aspects, and that most of the problems can be dealt with, but the paper from Lomborg's center ignores the real consensus among all responsible geoengineering researchers. The real consensus, as expressed at the National Academy conference and in the AMS statement, is that mitigation needs to be our first and overwhelming response to global warming, and that whether geoengineering can even be considered as an emergency measure in the future should climate change become too dangerous is not now known. Policymakers will only be able to make such decisions after they see results from an intensive research program. Lomborg's report should have stopped at the need for a research program, and not issued its flawed and premature conclusions.


Jones, A., J. Haywood, and O. Boucher 2009: Climate impacts of geoengineering marine stratocumulus clouds, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D10106, doi:10.1029/2008JD011450.

Rasch, Philip J., Simone Tilmes, Richard P. Turco, Alan Robock, Luke Oman, Chih-Chieh (Jack) Chen, Georgiy L. Stenchikov, and Rolando R. Garcia, 2008: An overview of geoengineering of climate using stratospheric sulphate aerosols. Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. A., 366, 4007-4037, doi:10.1098/rsta.2008.0131.

Robock, Alan, 2008: 20 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea. Bull. Atomic Scientists, 64, No. 2, 14-18, 59, doi:10.2968/064002006. PDF file Roundtable discussion of paper

Robock, Alan, Luke Oman, and Georgiy Stenchikov, 2008: Regional climate responses to geoengineering with tropical and Arctic SO2 injections. J. Geophys. Res., 113, D16101, doi:10.1029/2008JD010050. PDF file

Robock, Alan, Allison B. Marquardt, Ben Kravitz, and Georgiy Stenchikov, 2009: The benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering. Submitted to Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2009GL039209. PDF file

Tilmes, S., R. Müller, and R. Salawitch, 2008: The sensitivity of polar ozone depletion to proposed geoengineering schemes, Science, 320(5880), 1201-1204, doi:10.1126/science.1153966.

Trenberth, K. E., and A. Dai (2007), Effects of Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption on the hydrological cycle as an analog of geoengineering, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L15702, doi:10.1029/2007GL030524.

Tim Johnson (D-SD) supports climate and clean energy bill

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 05:20 PM PDT, Senator Johnson (D-SD) may have had a Probability of a Yes Vote of 87% to Nate Silver (see "Epic Battle 3: Who are the swing Senators?").   But others, like E&E News (subs. req'd), had him as a straight fence sitter with the likes of John McCain (R-AZ) and Richard Lugar (R-IN).

So it is a reasonably big deal for him to come out now and endorse a strong climate and clean energy bill.  Here is his full piece, "Climate Change Bill Could Bring Jobs, Prosperity and Clean Air":

How many times have you heard experts cite the fact that South Dakota is the fourth windiest state, but only ranks 20th in actual installed wind energy generation? Soon the Senate will consider climate change legislation that could finally help South Dakota to live up to its wind generating potential and capture the benefits of a cash crop that is just blowing across our landscape.

In fact, the wind energy potential in South Dakota can put us in a leading position to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign sources of fossil fuels and get America running on clean energy.

This is a chance to invest in American ingenuity and help our country become a global leader on clean energy that can jumpstart our economy. We can grow our economy and reduce the demand for oil, much of which is imported and drives up our trade deficit while enriching hostile foreign governments.

South Dakota's growing clean energy economy has added good-paying jobs at an annual job growth rate of 7.9 percent over the past decade. A new federal policy that drives demand for wind power will sustain these jobs and create more of them.

As a consequence of the forward-looking 2007 Energy Bill that boosted renewable fuels production and reformed fuel efficiency rules for cars and trucks, our consumption of petroleum-based gasoline is predicted to decline by over 1 million barrels per day below the country's daily total in 2007. In addition, it helps pick up the pace on ethanol and looks at next generation biofuels, such as switchgrass, wood waste and other non-grain feedstocks, which helps both East and West River, South Dakota. It also included a tax credit that, in our neck of the woods, can help build wind turbines and start harnessing that energy potential.

Simply put, that means we already have a plan in place that moves us toward consuming less oil and more homegrown biofuels while making our cars and trucks more energy efficient. But that is just one step. When it comes to energy, we should be open to new ideas that help our economy and invest in America.

Now some will throw their hands up and say we just can't do this now or they will try to cite worst case scenarios and cost projections far beyond what the non-partisan groups have told us clean energy incentives will actually cost. These scare tactics just present a status quo approach that leaves us all vulnerable to oil spikes in a global market and high gas prices that crush family budgets like we saw last summer.

Energy prices are going up with or without any comprehensive policy changes from Congress. The question is: are we sending more of our hard earned money to Big Oil and oil rich countries or are we investing in our own backyards?

Technology and alternative ways to produce energy need long-term planning. For South Dakota in particular, with so much untapped potential for wind energy generation and renewable fuels production, a more progressive national energy policy could be just the step that will finally transform that economic potential into actual jobs, economic development, and opportunity for people and communities across our state.

This fall, the Senate is likely going to take a fresh look at a comprehensive energy bill focused on clean energy incentives. I am optimistic we can turn energy potential into reality and help create new job opportunities at home by producing more clean energy in the United States.

Hear!  Hear!

NAM makes case for stronger climate bill, forecasts 20 million new jobs, $9 trillion GDP growth by 2030 under American Clean Energy And Security Act

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 03:15 PM PDT

gigo.gifA "new" study by the National Asssociation of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Formation rehashes their analysis of the Lieberman-Warner Climate bill (see "Wrong Again 2: Delayers cry wolf with same old Garbage In, Garbage Out economic model").  And both are just a rehashing of the analyses of the Clean Air Act sulfur trading program that were proven wrong by reality, which is to say by the ingenuity and technology of entrepreneurs.

But what is fascinating about the GIGO analysis by NAM/ACCCF is that even though they ignored the key cost-containment provisions in the climate bill — including virtually all of the international offsets and the strategic reserve — they still found that 20 million new jobs will be created in the United States by 2030 and GDP will be some $9 trillion higher, as Brad Johnson shows in the post below first published by Wonk Room.

So NAM has ironically made a solid case for strengthening the bill, for limiting the international offsets and setting a high ceiling price — since the climate bill manages to achieve these outcomes even with NAM's absurdly high price estimate for  carbon allowances in 2020 of up to $60.  Even EIA, which uses a similar economic model as NAM/ACCF (but less biased assumptions, although EIA also ignored the strategic reserve), found a permit price in 2020 of $32 (see here), which was about double what EPA and I project and 50% higher than CBO's projection.

A new analysis of the economic impact of clean energy legislation forecasts powerful job and economic growth through 2030. The analysis of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), commissioned by the right-wing National Association of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), finds that 20 million new jobs will be created in the United States by 2030, even under high-cost assumptions:

NAM ACES Job Chart

Similarly, NAM found the gross domestic product of the United States would increase by $9 trillion by 2030 from current levels. To be more precise, the analysis estimates $9.1 trillion in growth under its low-cost scenario, and $8.9 trillion under its high-cost scenario, versus $9.5 trillion in growth under its baseline scenario.

This analysis, conducted by the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), uses the same economic model as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), but with "input assumptions provided by ACCF/NAM":

SAIC is a policy-neutral organization. SAIC executed the NEMS/ACCF-NAM 2 model in this project using SAIC's and ACCF/NAM's interpretation of the bill, and input assumptions provided by ACCF/NAM. The modeling was performed independent of EIA. Analysis provided in this report is based on the output from the NEMS/ACCF-NAM 2 model as a result of the ACCF/NAM input assumptions. The input assumptions, opinions and recommendations in this report are those of ACCF and NAM, and do not necessarily represent the views of SAIC.

These "input assumptions" for the deployment of the ACES carbon cap-and-trade market include:

– International offsets are limited to 5%. ACES allows 50% of offset use to come from international offsets.

– Wind energy deployment limited to 5 to 10 GW per year for the next twenty years. In reality, 8.5 GW in new American wind power was deployed in 2008, even without the incentive of a carbon market.

NAM also made unusually pessimistic assumptions for the deployment of biomass electricity generation and the use of banking provisions by polluting corporations. These assumptions lead to a carbon allowance price of $123 to $159 per ton of carbon dioxide in 2030. This price is more than twice as expensive as the estimates of the EIA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Congressional Budget Office.

Essentially, NAM is assuming that American companies will be unable to deploy clean energy and energy efficiency technologies in a timely fashion. It's odd that the National Association of Manufacturers is so gloomy about its members' ability to build the clean energy economy. Even so, its analysis finds vibrant economic growth while global warming pollution is kept under control.

Update At Get Energy Smart Now, A. Siegel notes:

Yet again, the SAIC team has stepped away from taking responsibility from this work: "Don't blame us, we just ran the model, we take no responsibility for what went in and what comes out." In modeling, one of the standard abbreviations: GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out. . . . For example, there is no valuing of improved health due to reduced fossil fuel pollution. There is zero valuing of how improved health of workers means lower absenteeism and therefore higher productivity. There is zero valuing of reducing the risks and impacts of catastrophic climate change.

Update The Media Matters Action Network asks about SAIC: "Would A 'Policy-Neutral' Organization Spend $20 Million On Lobbyists?"

Portland Maine talk, August 18th

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 12:35 PM PDT

I will be speaking Tuesday, August 18 at the The Gulf of Maine Research Institute, 350 Commercial Street, Portland.  Reception starts at 6 pm, talk at 7 pm.

Here is the full event release from the sponsor organization, the The Natural Resources Council of Maine (with RSVP info):

Climate Action and Clean Energy Now Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Climate Action and Clean Energy Now — A View from the Center of the National Debate

Climate expert Dr. Joseph Romm, author of Hell and High Water and the editor of the most widely read climate blog in the country ( will speak on the movement toward a clean energy future on Tuesday, August 18, at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland.   Please join us for a reception from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., with the presentation to follow at 7:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.  We encourage you to register online to help us with planning.

This event is one of 50 events to celebrate NRCM's 50 years protecting the nature of Maine.

The tragic hubris of the climate action delayers Grist Magazine

Australian Parliament Rejects Carbon Trade Plan New York Times

Sacramento's Feed-in Tariff a Work in Progress Reuters

Germany's first offshore wind farm starts working Reuters

Lobbyists elbow for influence on US climate bill Washington Post

Bottled Water Boom Appears Tapped Out Washington Post

Start's just barely keeping his head above water. Not complaining, but rather aching that he can't do more to help.

I'm not as "nice" as I used to be. 

But if I were, this would be an indictment of me; it would
be a clear indication I was staying on the sidelines and not pushing myself to the absolute
limits for my "family," Humanity, as is called for from all of us at such a pivotal, desperate time...
I would not be Waging Love with all of my might.  But I am making the attempt.  "Soldiers" that
dearly love their comrades, when in the midst of battle, are likely to be a bit,
unintentionally "rough;"  or they are not responding appropriately to the REAL emergency.
Sorry, in advance, or in arrears, as the case may be.  Distance yourself from me,
or drop me altogether when you must.

I need 10,000 of me right now to achieve what needs to be achieved!!!!!!!!!!!  At least.  Soon, it will be too late.

This is such a crucial time for Humanity.  Such crucial, ultimate, for-all-time
decisions on the direction of America and therefore the world ARE BEING DECIDED, NOW
  • Whether we completely crucify President Obama or fight alongside him, shield him, and win; unlike
    how we failed in the opportunity presented by JFK, RFK, King, Gandhi, Romero, Jesus....
  • Whether we once and for all cede America to the Corporations forever or, using Healthcare
    as a pivot issue, rise up and take America back from their bloody grasp.
  • Whether we win Climate Change legislation  BEFORE COPENHAGEN IN DEC (7th)
    and: 1. literally begin saving Humanity from destruction; and 2. Thereby avoid
    ceding domination of the renewable energy industry to China, if it is not already
    too late for that.
  • Whether we suffer the fate of 1920's Germans and through our cowardice, timidity,
    delusion, indecision... allow the Brown Shirt Mob to take utter and final control
    of this country, dooming the world to horrors never seen before.
I spend every waking moment on these issues.  I am blessed with the opportunity to
maintain the 28 Year Peace Vigil, but of course that constrains what else I can do.  So,
thanks to the blessing of a laptop and wifi, and a place to sleep
(thanks Angel Ellen) I spend all waking hours per day, when not speaking with folks at the vigil,
combing the country's newspapers - and where I think it might help, I post comments -
these are the pseudo "town hall" meetings I can "reach," and speak up within!  And of course I research, comb hundreds
of articles on Climate Change, and post, and blog, and facebook, and youtube....  The site
is up to 545 subscribers and receives up to several thousand viewings per day, and many comments.

But, this is wwwaaayyyyy  tooooooooooooooo inadequate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I need to:
  • Be AT these town meetings on the American-Soul-determining Healthcare fight.
  • Attending, hosting, supporting, executing, funding every action I conceivably could
    at and - two EXCELLENT organizations today.
  • Be Reading and Mastering "The Family" to grasp, and formulate a reaction to the
    deeply Demonic threat these folks constitute.  [MUST SEE DN! segment yesterday]
  • Be Reading and Mastering Chip Bartlet's work about the Right Wing in America
    that is SOOOO CLOSE to re-emerging and finishing the destruction reeked on
    this land these last 40 years. [MUST SEE DN! segment today]
  • Be down in West Virginia getting arrested with the heroic activists standing against
    Mountaintop Removal.
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
  • Etc
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
  • Etc....
I'm not as "nice" as I used to be.  But if I were, this would be an indictment of me; it would
be a clear indication I was staying on the sidelines and not pushing myself to the absolute
limits for my "family," Humanity, as is called for from all of us at such a pivotal, desperate time
Waging Love with all of my might.

Your brother,


Steven Chu, A Political Scientist TIME

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

World Solar Industry Appears Headed for a Shakeout New York Times

“Acid Test” documentary on ocean acidification premieres tonight Grist Magazine

How Big Are the Environmental Benefits of High-Speed Rail? New York Times

Climate Progress

limate Progress

Climate Progress

Energy and Global Warming News for August 12th: Lobby groups fund angry protests to oppose climate bill; Coal use to drop 7.9% in 2009 — EIA

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 08:48 AM PDT

Here's a followup to "Coal lobby hires top GOP voter-fraud company to run massive 'grassroots' efforts to undermine climate and clean energy action":

Lobby Groups to Use Town Hall Tactics to Oppose Climate Bill

Taking a cue from angry protests against the Obama Administration's health care restructuring, the oil industry is helping organize anti-climate bill rallies around the nation.

The American Petroleum Institute, along with other organizations such as the National Association of Manufacturers opposed to the climate legislation Congress will consider again in the fall, is funding rallies across 20 states over the August recess.

In template fliers for rallies produced by the API-founded alliance, EnergyCitizens, the public is warned that "Climate change legislation being considered in Washington will cause huge economic pain and produce little environmental gain."

U.S. CO2 emissions from fuels seen falling 5 percent in 2009

Annual U.S. emissions of the main greenhouse gas from the burning of coal, natural gas and petroleum should fall 5 percent in 2009 as the recession crimps demand, the government's top energy forecaster said on Tuesday.

"The economic downturn, combined with natural gas displacing some coal as a source of electricity generation, is projected to lead to a 5 percent decline in fossil-fuel based (carbon dioxide) emissions in 2009," the Energy Information Administration said in its monthly forecast….

Fuel switching by electricity generators and declines in industrial use were projected to lead to a 7.9 percent decline in carbon emissions from coal in 2009, EIA said. Emissions from coal were expected to rise 1.1. percent next year….

Petroleum emissions were expected to fall 4 percent in 2009, mostly due to declines in transportation.

July sees big jump in fuel efficiency of new cars

Cars and light trucks sold in July got more miles per gallon than those sold in previous months, say researchers, who credit the Cash for Clunkers program.

The average mileage for new vehicles rose from 21.4 miles per gallon in June to 22.1 mpg in July. That may not sound like much, but it's the highest mileage researchers at the University of Michigan have seen since the Environmental Protection Agency reconfigured mileage estimates in October 2007. It's also the biggest one-month jump.

Study co-author Michael Sivak noted the improvement came even as gas prices fell and unemployment levels shrank somewhat. Normally, those factors lead to the purchase of more gas guzzlers. The higher mileage shows the effect of Cash for Clunkers, Sivak said, and he expects the jump to be even bigger when August figures come out. That's because the trade-in rebate program only got going late in July.

A Record for Wind in Ireland

Wind industry proponents have been celebrating a record set in Ireland on Friday, July 31, when output from the country's turbines peaked at 999 megawatts, which is enough to supply over 650,000 homes.

"Much attention has focused on high wind penetrations in Denmark and Spain, but Ireland is emerging as another real world example showing that very high wind penetrations are achievable," wrote Christine Real de Azua, a spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association, in an e-mail message to Green Inc.

The record-breaking power reached customers across Ireland, ranging from large industries to households, according to Michael Kelly, a spokesman for Eirgrid, the Irish grid operator. "No wind farm which was able to generate had its output reduced," he said in an e-mail message. (Some places with a lot of wind power, like Texas, must shut down some turbines at times of strong winds due to a lack of transmission capacity, among other problems.)

Environmental demands grow for peacekeeping troops

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's visit today to Goma, a city in the heart of the war ravaging the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is meant to draw attention to renewed U.S. support for U.N. peacekeeping and to press thinly stretched troops deployed there to do more to protect innocent civilians.

But how much more can overburdened peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere be expected to do? Increasingly — and controversially — they find themselves busy doing environmental cleanups, climate change mitigation projects and providing relief from natural disasters on top of their security duties.

For example, troops with MONUC — the French acronym assigned to the U.N. Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — have spent time planting trees in their area of operation, a scene repeated at other peacekeeping operations in Africa, East Timor, Lebanon and elsewhere.

Global 2008 CO2 emissions rose 2 percent: German institute

Global carbon dioxide emissions in 2008 rose 1.94 percent year-on-year to 31.5 billion metric tons, German renewable energy industry institute IWR said on Monday, based on official information and its own research.

The private institute, which is based in Muenster and advises German ministries, said climate-harming carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose for the tenth year in succession, running counter to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol aimed at trying to cut CO2 emissions by 5.2 percent by 2012.

DOE chief, ethanol advocate spar at Las Vegas summit

Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the co-chairman of an ethanol advocacy group sparred at an energy conference here yesterday over the roles of second- and third-generation biofuels.

Chu told the National Clean Energy Summit that such fuels should take precedence over corn ethanol. "I think that by using agricultural waste and crops grown specifically for energy, there will be no competition between food and fuel," he said.

But retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, co-chairman of Midwestern ethanol group Growth Energy, said the need to promote U.S. energy independence calls for a leading role for ethanol.

Iraqis Learn Green Techniques in Oregon

Iraq may have obligations that are more pressing than green building — but that has not stopped 19 of the country's academics from touring Oregon for two weeks of seminars on the subject.

"There is a great interest in bringing sustainable concepts into our daily lives," said Dalshad Ismael, director of engineering projects at the Kurdish Ministry of Higher Education, during a session on buildings of the future at a Portland community center this week.

"People may not understand it as such," he added, "but they know we must protect what resources we have."

China's Incinerators Loom as a Global Hazard

…After surpassing the United States as the world's largest producer of household garbage, China has embarked on a vast program to build incinerators as landfills run out of space. But these incinerators have become a growing source of toxic emissions, from dioxin to mercury, that can damage the body's nervous system.

And these pollutants, particularly long-lasting substances like dioxin and mercury, are dangerous not only in China, a growing body of atmospheric research based on satellite observations suggests. They float on air currents across the Pacific to American shores.

Rich nations offer 15-21 percent CO2 cuts by 2020: U.N.

Industrialized nations excluding the United States are planning cuts in greenhouse gas emissions of between 15 and 21 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 under a new U.N. climate pact, official data showed on Tuesday.

The numbers, issued to delegates at August 10-14 U.N. climate talks in Bonn, fall short of cuts of between 25 and 40 percent outlined by a U.N. panel of scientists to avert the worst of global warming such as heatwaves, floods and rising sea levels.

New Zealand defends climate change targets

The New Zealand government Tuesday denied it had failed to accept its country's share of the burden for tackling climate change after announcing greenhouse gas emission targets.

The government said Monday it would target greenhouse gas emission reductions from 1990 levels of between 10 and 20 percent by 2020.

New Zealand will cut its emissions by 10 percent if other developed nations sign a comprehensive treaty and by 20 percent depending on the form of the final treaty.

Climate change fight seen costing $300 billion a year

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions to slow global warming and adapting to impacts such as droughts and rising sea levels are likely to cost about $300 billion a year, the top U.N. climate change official said.

Yvo de Boer also told Reuters on Tuesday, on the sidelines of August 10-14 U.N. climate talks in Bonn, that cuts in emissions by 2020 so far promised by rich nations were "miles away" from long-term goals set by a Group of Eight summit last month.

"Over time, according to my own analysis, we are going to need $200 billion a year for mitigation and probably in the order of $100 billion a year for adaptation … from 2020 onwards," he said.

India's Groundwater Disappearing at Alarming Rate

Farming is a thirsty business on the Indian subcontinent. But how thirsty, exactly? For the first time, satellite remote sensing of a 2000-kilometer swath running from eastern Pakistan across northern India and into Bangladesh has put a solid number on how quickly the region is depleting its groundwater. The number "is big," says hydrologist James Famiglietti of the University of California, Irvine–big as in 54 cubic kilometers of groundwater lost per year from the world's most intensively irrigated region hosting 600 million people. "I don't think anybody knew how quickly it was being depleted over that large an area."

Building Commissioning: The Stealth Energy Efficiency Strategy

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 06:34 AM PDT

The following post is written Evan Mills, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, whom I have known for almost two decades.  He recently authored a cost-benefit analysis of energy efficiency measures entitled Building Commissioning: A Golden Opportunity for Reducing Energy Costs and Greenhouse-Gas EmissionsIn the figure below, the overlaid orange "step" is derived from the analysis in the new LBNL report and superimposed for reference over McKinsey's 2007 green carbon "abatement curve."  The full abatement curve indicates the potential emissions savings potential for a set of measures, ranked by the annualized net cost per ton of emissions reductions (y-axis), i.e., the cost of commissioning minus the value of the resulting energy savings over the measure life. The horizontal width of each step is the potential emissions reduction attributed to each measure.

U.S. Abatement Curve - 2035

One particularly potent form of energy efficiency is an emerging practice known as building commissioning. Although commissioning has earned increased respect in recent years it remains an enigmatic practice whose visibility severely lags its potential. Fortunately, a massive database on commissioning experience in the U.S. provides a potent antidote to those who poo-poo the notion that major greenhouse-gas reductions can be had at negative cost.

The aim of commissioning new buildings is to ensure that they deliver, if not exceed, the performance and energy savings promised by their design. When applied to existing buildings, commissioning identifies the almost inevitable "drift" from where things should be and puts the building back on course, often making it perform even better than the original designers intended. (Why do we tune up our cars but not our far more complex buildings?) In both contexts, commissioning is a systematic, forensic approach to quality assurance, rather than a technology per se – CSI for efficiency, if you will. Quality assurance is an essential element of any serious technological endeavor. Energy efficiency is not alone in this regard, and commissioning offers a key solution. (Consider how even more poorly electric power plants would perform if there was no QA in their construction and operation.)

Specific "deficiencies" identified and corrected through the commissioning process include problems like simultaneous heating and cooling (yes, believe it or not, this is common), mis-calibrated or otherwise malfunctioning energy management controls and sensors, defeated efficiency features (e.g., variable speed drives locked at full speed), leaky air-distribution systems, and oversized equipment. Visit our Hall of Shame for more examples. These kinds of problems collectively waste several tens of billions of dollars in energy each year, while compromising occupant comfort, health, and safety. Yes, they should be caught during the original design or corrected by routine operations and maintenance. They rarely are.

Energy-wasting deficiencies are almost always invisible to the casual observer, and unfortunately also to building designers, operators, and owners. Commissioning is not a widgit or "retrofit"; it is an integrated quality-assurance practice. It can reduce the carbon footprint of unremarkable buildings, or ensure the success of ones deliberately designed to be efficient.

Many regard uncertainties about cost and cost-effectiveness as one of the key barriers to the growth of the commissioning industry.

Back in 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy asked my team at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to build a national database of commissioning experience. Last month, we released a major update —sponsored by the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. We gathered data on 643 buildings, representing 99 million square feet of floor space across 26 states. This meta-analysis of real projects has grown to be the world's largest database of commissioning cost-benefit case studies.

The results are compelling. The median normalized cost to deliver commissioning was $0.30/ft2 for existing buildings and $1.16/ft2 for new construction (or 0.4% of the overall construction cost). Over 10,000 specific deficiencies were identified across the half of our sample for which data were available. Correcting these problems resulted in 16% median whole-building energy savings in existing buildings and 13% in new construction, with payback times of 1.1 years and 4.2 years, respectively. Median benefit-cost ratios of 4.5 and 1.1, and cash-on-cash returns (a common statistic used in the real estate industry) of 91% and 23% were attained. High-tech buildings such as laboratories were particularly cost-effective, and saved higher amounts of energy due to their energy-intensiveness. Projects with a comprehensive approach to commissioning attained nearly twice the overall median level of savings and five-times the savings of the least-thorough projects.

Thanks to energy savings that handily eclipse the cost of the commissioning process, associated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions come at decidedly "negative" cost. Yes, negative costs. In fact, the median cost of conserved carbon is negative— -$110 per tonne for existing buildings and -$25/tonne for new construction. This compares quite well with market prices for carbon trading and offsets in the +$10 to +$30/tonne range.

Further enhancing the value proposition of commissioning, its non-energy benefits surpass those of most other energy-management practices. Significant first-cost savings routinely offset at least a portion of commissioning costs—fully in some cases. When accounting for these benefits, the net median commissioning cost was reduced by 49% on average, while in many cases the non-energy benefits fully exceeded the direct value of the energy savings. An example of this, when applied to new construction, is the capital cost savings resulting from "right-sizing" heating and cooling equipment. Commissioning can also avert premature equipment failures, avoid construction-defects litigation, improve worker comfort, mitigate indoor air quality problems, and increase the competence of in-house staff, to name just some of the other non-energy benefits. Indeed, non-energy benefits are often a more important driver in end user's initial motivation to perform commissioning.

Commissioning is arguably the single-most cost-effective strategy for reducing energy, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings today. Commissioning maximizes the quality and persistence of savings achieved through other energy-saving technologies and practices. The process ensures that building owners get what they pay for when constructing or retrofitting buildings, provides risk-management and "insurance" for policymakers and program managers enabling their initiatives to actually meet targets, and detects and corrects problems that would eventually surface as far more costly maintenance or safety issues. As such, commissioning is more than "just another pretty energy-saving measure." It is a risk-management strategy that should be integral to any systematic effort to garner and maintain energy savings or emissions reductions.

Applying our median whole-building energy-savings value (certainly far short of best practices) to the U.S. non-residential building stock corresponds to an annual energy-savings potential of $30 billion by the year 2030, which in turn yields greenhouse gas emissions reductions of about 340 megatons of CO2 each year. How do we capture this potential?

The commissioning field is evolving rapidly. The delivery of services must be scaled up radically. The fledgling existing-buildings commissioning industry has reached a size of about $200 million per year in the United States. Based on a goal of treating each U.S. building every five years, the potential size is about $4 billion per year in commissioning services, or 20-times the current number. To achieve the goal of keeping the U.S. building stock commissioned would require an increase in the workforce from about 1,500 to 25,000 full-time-equivalent workers, a realistic number when viewed in the context of the existing workforce of related trades (which includes far more people).

The energy policy community, however, is behind the curve in utilizing commissioning. Few building codes or utility incentive programs include it, and it is omitted or poorly characterized as a strategy in most energy-efficiency potentials studies. There are important trail-blazers, notably the California Commissioning Collaborative, which brings together regulators, utilities, practitioners, and other stakeholders with a collective vision of defining and instituting best practices.

"Commissioning America" in a decade is an ambitious goal, but "do-able" and consistent with this country's aspirations to simultaneously address pressing energy and environmental issues while creating jobs and stimulating economic activity.

Related Post:  Energy efficiency is THE most important climate solution.

The tragic hubris of the climate action delayers

Posted: 11 Aug 2009 05:50 PM PDT

Let's assume we keep listening to the siren song of the deniers and the climate action delayers who insist human-caused global warming is not a dire problem requiring deep reductions in greenhouse gases starting as soon as possible.   So we ruin our  livable climate for our children and grandchildren and countless generations after that.

When they are done cursing our name, our descendents will try to understand how "a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself," as Elizabeth Kolbert put it.  They'll have a long time to do this since, as a major NOAA-led study concluded this year, climate change is "largely irreversible for 1000 years," with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe — irreversible, that is, if we don't stop it in the first place.

The typical reasons why people and societies have historically made such tragically catastrophic blunders don't apply to a great many opinion makers today.  Sure some are malicious or ignorant, and some, like David Broder, sultan of the status quo, are fatally uninformed about global warming.

But how you explain people who have a fair amount of familiarity with the issue and actually write regularly on the subject — but just get it so wrong again and again?  Many of these are people I've called the climate action delayers (CADs) — the folks who claim to believe in the science of global warming but obviously don't, the folks who substitute their own opinion for an understanding of the actual science.

Their tragic flaw is hubris, which, as Wikipedia notes is:

a term used in modern English to indicate overweening pride, superciliousness, or arrogance, often resulting in fatal retribution or Nemesis.

A perfect example of modern-day hubris can be seen in the work of one Thomas Fuller, a delayer who writes as an "environmental policy examiner" for the named.  He has his own label, as he wrote August 1:

As a global warming 'lukewarmer,' I believe that manmade CO2 will cause about 2 degrees Celsius of warming as concentrations of CO2 double during the course of this century.

That, of course, doesn't make him a lukewarmer.  It just makes him someone who doesn't understand or care about what science actually says.  On our current emissions path, we're going to double CO2 concentrations not "during the course of the century" but almost certainly halfway through it — and we're going to warm more than 4°C by century's end:

It is hubris to blithely assert that one's beliefs supersede the work of thousands of scientists, including hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers on which we base our current understanding of the danger posed by unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases.

But that isn't the most hubristic thing Fuller has written.  On August 5, he wrote a column, "The best of times for global warming skeptics":

It seems as if almost every day brings news of information and discoveries that bolster the skeptical opposition to the theory that global warming is dangerous and due to human emissions of CO2.


Now that sentence would be quite accurate if we replaced "boster" with, say, "fatally undermine," but as written it might as well be a manifesto for the deniers themselves.  Scratch climate action delayer, and you usually get a climate science denier.

Again, it is hubris, plain and simple, to utterly ignore the information and discoveries that have been occurring almost every day for several years now, which make clear global warming is far more dire than we thought just a short time ago and that human emissions of CO2 are the predominant cause of recent warming (and obviously will become the overwhelming cause of climate change as we continue to pour greenhouse gases into the atmosphere).  You can find summaries of the peer-reviewed literature and observations and discoveries in the 2007 IPCC report — which every member government of the IPCC signed off on word-for-word — and in the recent NOAA-led 13-agency report on US climate impacts (see "Our hellish future: Definitive NOAA-led report on U.S. climate impacts warns of scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 with Kansas above 90°F some 120 days a year — and that isn't the worst case, it's business as usual!").   You can also find many of the best recent studies here.

Fuller's post claims "our obsession with CO2 has caused us to overlook the other things humans do to affect climate on this planet, such as deforestation…."  Yes, to Fuller, it's those foolish, arrogant, hubristic climate scientists who are so obsessed with CO2 that they totally overlook deforestation — except of course for their urgent warnings to stop said deforestation because as they have told us repeatedly it is responsible for some 20% or more of all human emissions of CO2.  And except for the current desperate efforts by the overwhelming majority of nations in the world to develop a workable strategy to stop deforestation.

I hadn't heard about this guy at all until I got pinged by Google for his latest piece, which attacks me with this astounding statement:

Romm says he wants to spend about 30 minutes on his posts, and it shows.


How can something I say I want to do in the future [for maybe 1 or 2 of my 4 to 6 posts a day] "show" anything already — especially to a CAD like Fuller who spends at most 30 minutes on every single one of his once-every-day-or-two opinion pieces?

It just goes to show you that even the most innocuous statement I write can be misrepresented by the CADs.  In fact, as readers know, what I wrote was:

Normally, about 2/3 of my posts take me some 60 to 90 minutes to write and about 1/3 take 90 to 180 minutes.  I've been trying to do more 30-minute posts in the last few days, in case you hadn't noticed, and I expect to continue that for another month.  If it proves successful, I'll keep doing it.

Fact-free Fuller, it won't surprise you, is an acolyte of Roger Pielke, Jr. and The Breakthrough Institute, which is an an organization that is dedicating all of its resources to killing any chance of either a national or international effort to avert catastrophic global warming and to spreading disinformation about Obama, Gore, Congressional Democrats, and the environmental movement.

Then again, Fuller writes of "the alarmist website Real Climate."  I mean, if you think Real Climate is an alarmist website, then you really aren't paying any attention whatsoever to what they or anyone else is actually writing on climate science.

I think it pure hubris — and utterly immoral — to regularly write on climate science and policy without having interviewed and/or seen the talks of a few dozen of the leading climate scientists in the world and without having read at least a hundred major climate studies in the past decade.

Since global warming isn't a 3-hour Greek tragedy, this modern day hubris won't result in fatal retribution for the CADs, only for their descendants and ours.  The best we can do today is hold their hubris out for all to see.  Small comfort that will be for those living through Hell and High Water.

Zogby: 71% of likely voters support House climate bill

Posted: 11 Aug 2009 01:01 PM PDT

Zogby read 1005 voters the following statement about the American Clean Energy and Security Act:

"The House of Representatives recently passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would require electric power companies to generate 20 percent of their power from clean, renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, by the year 2020.  Also included is a global warming plan which would reduce greenhouse gases from sources like power plants and factories by 17 percent, and an energy efficiency plan which includes new appliance standards and building codes to conserve energy."

The result:

Favorable views for the bill were high among all age and income groups and even among Republicans, with 45% having a favorable view of the bill. Seventy-three percent of Independents and 89% of Democrats also took a favorable view of the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

This is similar to pretty much every recent poll on the subject:

Zogby even asked voters "Which Statement Best Reflects Your Opinion About What Action the U.S. Senate Should Take?" with one full of standard conservative disinformation:

Statement A: I think the Senate should take action because I believe we need a new energy plan right now that invests in American, renewable energy sources like wind and solar, in order to create clean energy jobs, address global warming and reduce our dependency on foreign oil.

Statement B: I think the Senate should wait on this proposal I believe the House energy bill is a hidden tax that will cost thousands of dollars every year in increased energy prices, weaken our economy further, and cause America to lose jobs to China and other countries.

The result:  "A majority (54%) believe the Senate should now take action, with two-fifths (41%) preferring that the Senate wait. "

And this is also similar to recent polling:  (see"Americans support greenhouse gas regulation even if it could 'substantially' raise energy prices").

As Zogby's website notes:

"Clearly, voters strongly favor the ideas outlined in the bill. Support for action on clean energy and energy efficiency was strong coming out of the election, and it is still strong today.  Even when presented with the concerns some have raised about the potential costs associated with this legislation, most likely voters still want the Senate to act quickly to bring about a new energy plan for America," said Zogby International Research Analyst Sam Rodgers.

Slide 9
Which Statement Best Reflects Your Opinion About What Action the U.S. Senate Should Take?