The California budget squeeze hits Marine Protected Area research

At least two academic projects supporting California’s marine protected areas program have been halted for now by the state’s budget crisis. From Science Insider: Researchers were ordered to stop work immediately, says Rikk Kvitek of California State University, Monterey Bay, a principal investigator on a $20 million sea-floor mapping program funded by the state. . …

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A republican moment on climate change? Maybe not yet

The environmental community has been understandably excited about the prospect of finally getting U.S. legislative action in light of the popularity of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, the development of a public consensus on the reality of global warming, the election of Barack Obama, and strong Democratic majorities in both House and Senate.  That optimism, …

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GHG Emissions and Meat Production

This article in the new issue of Scientific American has an important discussion of the ways in which animal-based food production contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. From the article: Most of us are aware that our cars, our coal-generated electric power and even our cement factories adversely affect the environment. Until recently, however, the …

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Energy and Environment Issues in the House

According to Energy and Environment Daily, House members have organized to promote energy and climate legislation “Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) are co-chairmen of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, a new caucus designed to push for policies that promote renewable energy and domestic manufacturing, create “green collar” jobs, help curb global …

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More accusations of politics trumping science and law at Interior

The Washington Post reports that officials at the Department of Interior ignored “key scientific findings” and the views of National Park Service officials “when they limited water flows in the Grand Canyon to optimize generation of electric power there, risking damage to the ecology of the spectacular national landmark.”  The Post story, written by Juliet …

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Getting U.S. Automakers Real

One footnote to yesterday’s historic announcement by President Obama on national climate change policy: in signaling that the federal government will reverse course and support California’s pioneering efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicular sources, the role of the American auto industry in this debate deserves renewed scrutiny. 

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A Wavering Federal Policy on Climate Change?

President Obama yesterday made official (sort of) his plan to fulfill a campaign pledge to grant the State of California authority to adopt pioneering greenhouse gas emission controls for vehicular sources.  That announcement, while expected, is a breath of fresh air when it comes to state-federal environmental policymaking.  It comes after eight frustrating years in …

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The perfect political storm

Co-blogger Dan Farber points to a story in Tuesday’s NY Times about a new study by NOAA’s Susan Solomon and others of the environmental effects of allowing carbon dioxide to equilibrate at levels much above its current 385 ppm.  As Dan points out, the prospects for already dry areas are frightening. There’s another important lesson …

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Dust Bowl Redux

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqiblXFlZuk]According to a story in Tuesday’s New York Times: The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, projects that if carbon dioxide concentrations peak at 600 ppm, several regions of the world — including southwestern North America, the Mediterranean and southern Africa — will face major droughts as bad or …

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Engaging India on Climate

Via the Times of India, along comes the news that the state of Himachal Pradesh, just south of Kashmir, says that it will present a plan to become a carbon-neutral state. I’ll believe it when I see it, although the state seems to have a reasonable business strategy: reforest thousands of acres and sell carbon …

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