Climate

Senate blocks debate of clean energy tax credits
June 17, 2008 05:14 PM - Reuters

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday blocked debate of a bill to offer about $17.7 billion in tax incentives for consumers to build renewable energy sources like windmills and solar arrays, and buy plug-in cars that run on electricity rather than gasoline. The Energy Independence and Tax Relief Act of 2008 would have extended a tax credit to build windmills by one year through December 31, 2009, and extend for three years similar credits for renewable energy sources like biomass, geothermal, landfill gas and trash combustion.

The Regulatory Arena for Voluntary Offsets
June 17, 2008 10:01 AM - , Triple Pundit

In the wild west of offset sales, regulators are the saloon owners who kept their guns locked and loaded under the counter. Regulation schemes are filling in to provide some consistency in a wildly unreliable marketplace. As you know, carbon offsets are extremely abstract. A buyer can't kick the tires, check the teeth, or do any sort of personal examination of the product before buying it. That's why regulation is so important.

Major economies must take lead in climate battle: U.S.
June 17, 2008 09:44 AM - Reuters

The world's major economies emit most of the world's climate-warming greenhouse gases and must take the lead in reducing them, a senior American climate negotiator said on Tuesday. Paula Dobriansky, U.S. under secretary of state for global affairs, said the 16 countries and the European Union in the Major Economies Meeting (MEM) forum were responsible for 80 percent of the world's greenhouse gases and consumed 80 percent of the world's energy.

Southern collaboration 'key to adaptation', says climate scientist
June 16, 2008 09:31 AM - , SciDevNet

Adapting to climate change — unlike mitigating it — will succeed in developing countries only by sharing local understanding and knowledge with other low-income nations. These were the words of a leading climate scientist speaking at a Commonwealth Foundation briefing on climate change and health in London, United Kingdom, this week (11 June).

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does climate change?
June 13, 2008 10:32 AM - National Science Foundation

There are roughly 42 million square kilometers of forest on Earth, a swath that covers almost a third of the land surface, and those wooded environments play a key role in both mitigating and enhancing global warming. In a review paper appearing in this week's Forest Ecology special issue of Science, atmospheric scientist Gordon Bonan of the Natinoal Science Foundation's National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., presents the current state of understanding for how forests impact global climate.

WWF Statement on Senate Climate Bill
June 13, 2008 10:20 AM - WWF

The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (S. 3036) today failed to garner a 60 vote supermajority necessary to advance the legislation in the U.S. Senate. However, the 48-36 vote in favor of proceeding marked a significant shift in political support for addressing climate change, said Dr. Richard Moss, vice president of climate change at World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Calif. gov declares water emergency in farm area
June 13, 2008 08:50 AM - Reuters

Following his declaration last week of a drought in California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed on Thursday a state of emergency in nine counties in the state's farm-rich Central Valley. "Just last week, I said we would announce regional emergencies wherever the state's drought situation warrants them, and in the Central Valley an emergency proclamation is necessary to protect our economy and way of life," the Republican governor said in a statement.

Environmental Skeptics Are Overwhelmingly Politicized, Study Says
June 12, 2008 09:15 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

A review of environmental skepticism literature from the past 30 years has found that the vast majority of skeptics, often identified as independent, are directly linked to politically oriented, conservative think tanks. The study, published in this month's issue of Environmental Politics, analyzed books written between 1972 and 2005 that deny the urgency of environmental protection. The researchers found that more than 92 percent of the skeptical authors were in some way affiliated to conservative think tanks - non-profit research and advocacy organizations that promote core conservative ideals.

MIT: European system for cutting CO2 emissions is working well
June 11, 2008 09:34 AM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In a bid to control greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, the European Union has been operating the world's first system to limit and to trade carbon dioxide. Despite its hasty adoption and somewhat rocky beginning three years ago, the EU "cap-and-trade" system has operated well and has had little or no negative impact on the overall EU economy, according to an MIT analysis.

Sea Ice Melt Could Thaw Permafrost, Too
June 11, 2008 09:02 AM - Science Now

Scientists tracking a dramatic shrinkage in Arctic sea ice over the past few years have come to a worrisome conclusion: If the trend continues, it could speed up the melting of Arctic permafrost as well. The environmental consequences of such a development are uncertain, but they could spell trouble for plants, animals, and humans in those regions that depend on solid ground underfoot.

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