Thursday, April 12, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 4-12-07

  • Ahnuld is feeling his oats in CA, now that he's figured out that environmentalism and especially global warming give him the weapons he needs to dominate US politics even if he can't run for Pres (there's always Senate, you know). Here, he tells environmentalists to stop being "tree-hungers" and "fanatics" and to get "hip and sexy" if they want to capture the public. Here, the story goes on to him taunting the deniers and obstructionists as the real "fanatics." Here, he dares the US auto makers to "get off their butts" and start making fuel efficient cars . . . while he's in MICHIGAN. Why is he so interested, beyond the politics of it? Well, maybe it's the record dry winter in the Bay Area. Or this CA poll that shows 81% of the state is worried about global warming. You know what? Yes, he's an ass, but this movement needs dynamic leadership that can capture the media on the Repub side. Al's got an Oscar, but Ahnuld has the muscle (so to speak). That one-two punch might even get through Inhofe's skul . . . nah, forget what I was about to say.
  • A UK minister is calling out the World Bank to set better targets on climate change and to help poor nations adapt and take action.
  • Coal hog China insists its moving to cleaner natural gas by 2010 . . . from 69% to 66%. Okay, better than nothing (even if the country has a horrible record of hitting targets). Sort of like that kiss on the cheek you got from the sweetie you crushed on on your only date.
  • Good overview of desalination and recycled water as the chief means to challenge water scarcity in the future. Singapore may be the model.
  • Want a quick course on what may take us to a hydrogen economy. Reasons to skeptical, of course, but this gives you the background to make you sound smart to your friends. Or maybe they'll be impressed with the landfill methane economy. Really.
  • Lots of good stuff at Grist. This shows us the leaks on the third IPCC are already starting, so we get a good view of the scientists' views before the idiot politicians get to it. Speaking of idiot politicians, this links us to a Guardian article on how they have made even more conservative the already compromised drafts of the first two reports and on how the claims that the deniers and obstructionists have been censured have it exactly the wrong way around. This will point you to a foundation putting up $100m. for global warming research over the next 5 years, and this will get you to more "Peak Coal" predictions by 2020 or so. This raises a skeptical eye toward the sudden interest of some of the rich business types in addressing global warming, thinking that their goals seem suspiciously to limit impact on . . . them. And this shows the magical workings of democracy as MD passes a major solar program, with mobilized citizens fighting off a filibuster by one of the less brain-gifted state senators there.
  • Finally, this Reuters article will give you the details of the coming problems under global warming for N. America and shows how the second IPCC report covers each global region. For details of all the regions covered, hit the posts that Joseph Romm's been putting up at Climate Progress. It ain't pretty, but it's necessary.