Politics

Do we need a weatherman to know which way the climate goes?

A new report, Climate Change in the American Mind, was just released by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.  This report summarizes and synthesizes original polling research on our opinions, attitudes, and knowledge about climate change.  (Statistician Nate Silver has an interesting post at Fivethirtyeight.com about some of …

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Will the Specter Shift Affect Environmental Legislation?

The answer is probably “yes,” not because Specter will become an environmental champion but because his votes will shift at the margin.  If you look at the LCV scores (here), Specter is below 50% this year and for his lifetime average.  Part of that may be Pennsylvania — Bob Casey is only at 60%, which …

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Shocking News About the Fossil Fuel Industry

Guess what? The fossil fuel industry has been deliberately lying to the public about climate change.  According to the Washington Post: “The Global Climate Coalition, a group of representatives of the oil, auto and coal industries, spent years telling the public that the link between human activity and climate change was too uncertain to justify …

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Nanopolicy Bumps in California

California continues to lead the way nationally on nanotechnology regulation, despite some bumps along the way.  Most recently, the Department of Toxic Substances Control issued a request for information regarding analytical test methods, fate and transport in the environment, and other relevant information from manufacturers of reactive nanometal oxides.   Substances covered include aluminum oxide, silicon …

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Climate Change Legislation: Is the Train (Finally) Leaving the Station?

I posted yesterday about Rep. Boehner’s bone-headed statement about climate change.  My first thought was that this was completely idiotic, making a childish argument that even George W. Bush would have scorned.    The fact that some CO2 is normal and even necessary proves nothing about what happens when concentrations go beyond the normal level: salt …

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Oh What A Difference A President Makes

We’re not even 85 days into the Obama Administration and yet the signs of environmental change are all around us.  The EPA announced today its  formal determination under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gases are pollutants that endanger public health and welfare.  This is only the latest in a string of announcements that show just how quickly Obama is …

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Low-hanging carbon

I’m looking forward to hearing Scripps climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan speak at an event next week in Los Angeles, and I hope he’ll talk about black carbon, which many are calling the low-hanging fruit of the climate change problem.  Black carbon is the fine black soot that’s generated by carbon combustion, these days mostly from traditional cookstoves and …

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T.R.–Our First Environmental President

I confess that Theodore Roosevelt has always been my favorite President. In part, it was his joie de vivre; in part his eclectic, passionate intellectual curiosity; and, in part, his sunny optimism in the face of often-formidable challenges. I recalled these traits when I read a fascinating excerpt in this month’s Vanity Fair from a …

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Cleaning Up the Bush EPA’s Dry Cleaning Rule

The Washington Post reported that EPA “is reconsidering whether to compel dry cleaners to phase out a cancer-causing chemical used in tens of thousands of operations nationwide.”  In 2006, the Bush Administration issued an air toxics rule for professional dry cleaners using perchloroethylene in which it tightened technology requirements, but refused to phase out use …

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Free Allowances! Get Your Free Allowances!

From WashPo, The Obama administration might agree to postpone auctioning off 100 percent of emissions allowances under a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas pollution, White House science adviser John P. Holdren said today, a move that would please electricity providers and manufacturers but could anger environmentalists. Why would this “anger environmentalists’?  I certainly see …

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