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State of Wonder

State of Wonder

By Ann Patchett

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Tag: Climate

Climate Benefits of Natural Gas May Be Overstated

The United States is poised to bet its energy future on natural gas as a clean, plentiful fuel that can supplant coal and oil. But new research by the Environmental Protection Agency is casting doubt on the assumption that gas offers a quick and easy solution to climate change.

Posted on Jan 25, 2011 READ MORE


A Snow-Filled Glimpse of America’s Future

“Welcome to the New Normal.” Those words should be displayed at New York’s airports as a welcome to bedraggled travelers during the Northeast’s latest “snowpocalypse.”

Posted on Dec 31, 2010 READ MORE


Award Recognizes Uncompromising Change-Makers

As the freshly shellacked president cuts deals with a triumphant Republican Party, the annual Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship was awarded to two uncompromising activists.

Posted on Dec 24, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Tim Keegan (CC-BY-SA)

Everything Is Negotiable, Except Nature

The president is fond of compromises, but the terms of the climate change conundrum aren’t set by contending ideologies. In the case of global warming, chemistry rules, which means there are lines, hard and fast.

Posted on Dec 16, 2010 READ MORE


Cancun, Climate Change and WikiLeaks

Critical negotiations are under way in Cancun, Mexico, under the auspices of the United Nations to reverse human-induced global warming, and the United States is engaged in what one journalist called “a very, very dirty business.”

Posted on Dec 7, 2010 READ MORE


Climate Skeptic

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Posted on Dec 6, 2010 READ MORE



unfairplay.info

The Rigged Game of Climate Talks

An NGO report has found that key U.N. climate negotiations are institutionally biased against poorer nations, specifically that underdeveloped countries are less able to send delegates to meetings and often cannot understand what is being discussed at the talks.

Posted on Dec 3, 2010 READ MORE



BP and Other Polluters Pay for Senate Campaigns

The Guardian is reporting that some of Europe’s biggest polluters, including everyone’s favorite oil company, have given $240,200 in campaign donations to U.S. senators who, coincidentally, helped defeat climate change legislation.

Posted on Oct 26, 2010 READ MORE



© 2010 Reese Erlich

The Carbon Racket

Proponents say cap and trade will save the world, but an innovative green project in Nepal exposes the carbon market’s flaws.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / dbking (CC-BY)

News at 11: How Climate Change Affects You

Our daily weather reports, cheerfully presented with flashy graphics and state-of-the-art animation, appear to relay more and more information.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 READ MORE


Global Warming Denial

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Posted on Aug 1, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Recession Pinches Climate Change Progress

Amid recession worries and economic hardships, much of the industrialized world has pushed international goals of curbing climate change far off into the future. Politicians are wavering over caps on carbon emissions, citing the economic costs of cutting emissions.

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 READ MORE



AP / IgorYakunin

Moscow Is Melting

The Russian capital has suffered nearly 50 fires as Muscovites cope with the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the city. The BBC reports that it got up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday. Guess they won’t be needing those funny hats.

Posted on Jul 29, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / flydime (CC-BY)

Hottest Decade Makes Global Warming ‘Undeniable’

We started calling it “climate change” because it’s not all about getting warmer, but when the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s are each, in turn, declared the hottest decade on record, it’s safe to say things are heating up. According to the annual State of the Climate report, the evidence is “undeniable.”

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Global Jet (CC-BY)

Heat Wave Silences Climate Skeptics

It’s odd how little we’ve heard lately from the skeptics who deny that climate change is real. What’s the matter, people? Heat stroke?

Posted on Jul 8, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Hamed Saber (CC-BY)

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Flower Heaven

As much as one-third of all flowering plants face extinction at the hands of humans, according to new research—and that’s not even factoring in climate change. Such a die-off would have a devastating impact on the food chain. As one of the researchers put it, “if you get rid of [plants] you get rid of a lot of the things above them.”

Posted on Jul 7, 2010 READ MORE



ecopolitiology.org

Wind Farmers Head Out to Sea

You’ve heard of offshore oil drilling, how about offshore wind farming? The first offshore wind project has been approved to be built five miles off the Massachusetts coast over the objections of Cape Cod residents and vacationers who worry it might disturb their view. The $1 billion project could power 400,000 houses.

Posted on Apr 28, 2010 READ MORE


Cochabamba, the Water Wars and Climate Change

Instead of taking U.S. aid money for climate change, Bolivia is taking a leadership role in helping organize civil society and governments, globally, to alter the course of the next major U.N. climate summit.

Posted on Apr 20, 2010 READ MORE


Climate Change Deniers Freeze Al Gore in Effigy

Some climate change deniers have schlepped a frozen sculpture of Al Gore to Alaska to prove that, science be damned, global warming can’t possibly be happening because “it still gets cold” in the arctic state.

Posted on Jan 11, 2010 READ MORE


Gibbs

Gibbs, Chinese Scuffle Over U.S. Press Access in Copenhagen

Relations were a bit strained between the U.S. and China during Friday’s session at the Copenhagen climate conference, and some of that tension apparently was channeled by the Chinese and American media that converged in a crowded room as President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and other world leaders huddled.

Posted on Dec 18, 2009 READ MORE


polar bears
problembear.wordpress.com

Forecast Uncertain at Copenhagen Conference’s End

The world leaders who showed up for the final stretch of the Copenhagen climate summit, perhaps assuming that their lesser representatives would have paved the way for a relatively easy finale, were in for some long hours and tough talks lasting into the night. Things didn’t go as planned, it seems, and rifts between countries weren’t being resolved in time Friday to strike the deals they sorely needed to make. Updated

Posted on Dec 18, 2009 READ MORE


Hoax

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Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / InvestigateWest

Copenhagen Protests Call for Emission Cuts

The Copenhagen climate conference brought not only heads of states to discuss the environment but tens of thousands of demonstrators demanding action by the leaders to cut emissions. Later, violence led to arrests ...  Update

Posted on Dec 12, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / The Gifted Photographer / CC-BY-SA

Fair and Balanced (and Phony) Science

Evading the challenges of climate change—and the human responsibility to save the planet—is simple enough even for the laziest citizen.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE


The ‘Human’ Factor Missing in Copenhagen

Countries are wrangling over everything about human-induced climate change except the increasing number of humans inducing it.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ianduffy

EPA Moves Toward Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

Who needs Congress? The EPA officially determined Tuesday that “greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.” Under the Clean Air Act and with the blessing of the Supreme Court, the agency might now be able to regulate emissions that contribute to the climate crisis. (continued)

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE


polar bear
Richard Ellis

Crunch Time for the Climate

President Obama has shifted travel arrangements so he can be present at the final negotiating sessions of this month’s Copenhagen climate summit. The move, a result of international pressure, will have Obama making two trips to Scandinavia, one to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday in Oslo, then again Dec. 18 for the key Copenhagen discussions.

Posted on Dec 5, 2009 READ MORE


Code Yellow

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Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / M. Janicki by way of popsci.com

Lab-Grown Pig Even Vegetarians Can Eat

Dutch scientists are doing their bit to address the food crisis, the climate crisis and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals by growing pork meat from muscle cells harvested from a live pig. Their hope is to turn the cells from one animal into the meat from a million without killing any. (continued)

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE


Purloined E-Mails Don’t Change the Facts

Stop hyperventilating, all you climate change deniers. The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week hasn’t stopped the ice caps from melting.

Posted on Nov 27, 2009 READ MORE



Statkraft

New Kind of Power Plant Gets Energy From Salt Water

A Norwegian company thinks it can squeeze enough electricity out of the natural phenomenon of osmosis to power China. Right now the company’s plant can barely heat a tea kettle, but officials hope to power a village in a few years, and a lot more after that.

Posted on Nov 25, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Oded Balilty

Refuse Allegiance to Coal

There are some 614 coal-fired power plants in the United States, and it is up to us to shut them down. No one in the White House will do it. No one in Congress will do it. And no one at the coming U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen will do it.

Posted on Nov 23, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Addictive Picasso

China and India Join Forces on Climate

China and India, which together represent well over a third of the world’s population, will be negotiating in concert at the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen. The two booming economies produce most of the developing world’s CO2, but they’ve also made big commitments—China especially—to ... (continued)

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ItzaFineDay

Trick or Treat for Climate Change

Climate-change activists, from pranksters to presidents, are stepping up the pressure by staging elaborate stunts.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 READ MORE



World Resources Institute / Jonathan Talbot

Carbon Market Begs to Be Robbed

The U.N. is pioneering a carbon market that would allow rich countries to pay poor countries not to cut down forests. It’s just the kind of feel-good program that could save the planet—or make loggers and organized criminals filthy rich.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Global Warming Denied, Plus Iran’s Nukes

Tony Blankley, the “Right” of “Left, Right & Center,” stuns the panel by declaring global warming a phony issue. The gang also chews over Iran’s nuclear program and debates what should be done about the banks.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


New Light on Copenhagen Climate Talks

The 2009 Copenhagen climate conference will be critical to the success or failure of establishing a practical, binding global plan of action before human-caused climate change reaches the point of no return, creating a cascade of catastrophes.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Polargeo

Say Goodbye to Florida

One of Antarctica’s largest glaciers is melting much faster than it was a few years ago, potentially adding anywhere from an inch to a foot to global sea levels. According to one of the scientists who broke the bad news: “This is unprecedented ... nothing in the natural world is lost at an accelerating exponential rate like this glacier.”

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Moon Landing [A Cartoon From United Arab Emirates]

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Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Haldini

China Is Here

The planet’s already on the brink of resource exhaustion and climate catastrophe, and China is 17 times more populous than America was during our industrial era. If we just sit back and celebrate “miracles,” then there’s not going to be much of a world left.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


3 Degrees

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Posted on Jul 12, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / otodo

G8 Leaders Agree to Limit Their Hot Air

G8 summit participants have all agreed to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent over the next four decades. Enough to keep Florida above water? The world leaders involved have to keep their promises first, as do successive governments over the next 41 years. Then there are the developing nations that could just absorb all that outsourced pollution. Nice start, though.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE


Warming Up a New Politics?

That some highly vulnerable Democrats in the House were willing to face tens of thousands of dollars worth of Republican attack ads as the price of supporting a bill to curb global warming is the untold story of what, so far, is the year’s most dramatic legislative showdown.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE


Dennis Kucinich
SEIU International

Kucinich Says Climate Bill Might Make Things Worse

Rep. Dennis Kucinich explains why he voted against the climate bill that narrowly passed the House Friday: “It sets targets that are too weak, especially in the short term, and sets about meeting those targets through Enron-style accounting methods. It gives new life to one of the primary sources of the problem that should be on its way out—coal—by giving it record subsidies.”

Posted on Jun 27, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Maher Is Hoping for a Little More Audacity

The “Real Time” host has some harsh words for the president, who, he says, is caving to insurance companies, banks and polluters: “This is not getting the job done. And this is not what I voted for.”

Posted on Jun 13, 2009 READ MORE


Clean Coal or Dry Hole?

Obama should be applauded for taking climate change seriously, but one of his administration’s centerpiece initiatives may be digging a very expensive dry hole—literally.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Al Gore
Flickr / jurvetson

Al Gore Puts On His Capitalist Cap

The former vice president has thrown plenty of his own money at the climate crisis, but now the Nobel Prize-winning environmental activist is hoping to profit from his policy ideas. “An environmental start-up backed by Al Gore’s venture capital firm aims to take advantage of coming U.S. climate change legislation by helping companies like Coca Cola and even cities cut pollution,” reports Reuters.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / just clicked

Water Is the New Oil

Turns out polar bears aren’t the only land mammals struggling with global warming. Many of the world’s most-used rivers, from the Colorado to the Ganges, have been losing water for the last 50 years. So, in addition to coping with floods, storms, deserts and mass extinction, we could all die of thirst. Happy Earth Day.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


Happy Earth Day

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Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


You Want the Good News or the Bad News?

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Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


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