October 30, 2009

Headlines
EU strikes climate funding deal
Will U.S. go empty-handed to world climate talks?
Climate hearings proceed in face of new attacks
Could coal lobby chief be probed for perjury?
Chamber chief battles Obama
Farmers fight climate bill, but warming spells trouble for them
Yemen’s water crisis a Mideast warning
N. America autos bottom of ‘world sustainability league’
Aerosols make methane more potent
Save us, [insert techno-fix here], you’re our only hope!
AEP tests coal’s future at its WV plant


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News summaries
EU strikes climate funding deal

EU leaders agree a conditional deal to help other nations fight global
warming, ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit. BBC News
Will U.S. go empty-handed to world climate talks?
Many nations are watching to see whether the Senate will make progress
on a climate and energy bill that would spell out the U.S. national
emissions-reduction plan. Without an offer of such cuts from the
largest source of emissions that are already in the atmosphere, there
won’t be a global deal at the talks in Copenhagen, Denmark. At the same
time, other countries have started to put forward their own plans to
cut emissions. If that momentum builds, it could put pressure on the
Senate to pass the bill, possibly early in 2010, and open the way for
another negotiating round on a global treaty next year. McClatchy
Climate hearings proceed in face of new attacks
U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara
Boxer, (D., Calif.), on Thursday, pressed ahead with a third day of
hearings on climate legislation in the face of new attacks on the
measure. Sen. Jim Inhofe, (R., Okla.), demanded a more thorough
analysis of the legislation before the committee begins the process of
modifying and approving the bill. Sen. George Voinovich, (R., Ohio),
blew up at Boxer, saying that forcing polluters to pay for
greenhouse-gas emissions would result in a massive transfer of wealth
from some parts of the country. Under the Senate bill, greenhouse-gas
emissions would decline 20% below 2005 levels by 2020 and by more than
80% by 2050. Coal-state Democrats such as Baucus, as well as many
businesses, believe the near-term goals are too ambitious and want
Boxer to pull back. The concern is that "clean coal" technologies such
as carbon capture and sequestration will not be commercially available
at a time when deep emissions reductions take hold. Dow Jones Newswires
Could coal lobby chief be probed for perjury?
Staff for the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global
Warming refused Thursday to rule out possible perjury charges against
Steve Miller, the director of the American Coalition for Clean Coal
Electricity (ACCCE), for sworn testimony he gave Thursday. Miller said
the coal lobby group had never opposed House climate legislation,
whereas evidence exists that it had. TPM Muckraker
Chamber chief battles Obama
With President Barack Obama bidding to overhaul the health-care system,
tighten bank oversight and make industries pay for their greenhouse-gas
emissions, some trade-association chiefs have decided to compromise
with the party in power. Not Thomas Donohue. On many of Mr. Obama’s
priorities, the president and chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce is working to defeat the administration—delighting some
members, causing some to quit and sparking a furious reaction from the
White House and left-wing activists. In the process, he has made the
Chamber one of Mr. Obama’s most visible opponents. On climate change,
Mr. Donohue’s group says warmer temperatures could help by reducing
deaths related to cold weather. Environmental Capital
Farmers fight climate bill, but warming spells trouble for them
Farm state senators and others soon will get a taste of what their
colleagues from Missouri already have piled high on their desks:
thousands of letters from farmers urging them to vote against the
climate and energy bill…A government report, however, warns of a dire
outlook for farms if rising emissions drive more rapid climate shifts in
the decades ahead. McClatchy
Yemen’s water crisis a Mideast warning
Sanaa may be the first capital city in the world to run out of water.
If that happens, it will be a signpost to the conflicts over shrinking
resources that scientists and sociologists see coming in the decades
ahead. The ancient city, which dates back to the Sabean dynasty of the
6th century B.C., is expected to run out of drinking water as early as
2025 at current consumption levels. UPI
N. America autos bottom of ‘world sustainability league’
The report details how Asian car manufacturers are outperforming their
North American, and many of their European competitors, in using their
environmental and social resources more efficiently. Spacemart
Aerosols make methane more potent
Aerosols’ complicated influence on our climate just got more
threatening: they could make methane a more potent greenhouse gas than
previously realized, say climate modellers. Nature
Save us, [insert techno-fix here], you’re our only hope!
Don t worry about climate change and world hunger"this lady’s got your
back!Watching SuperFreakonomics author Steve Levitt sitting next to Jon
Stewart as they shook their heads in disbelief that everyone wasn’t on
the climate change/geo-engineering bandwagon (It’s easy! it’s cheap! We
know it works!) depressed me no end. It seems like every challenge we
face now has an easy technological silver bullet that will spare us
sacrifice or even change. GMOs will end hunger. Geo-engineering will
solve climate change. A pill will cure obesity. Social Median
AEP tests coal’s future at its WV plant
An American Electric Power Co. plant in New Haven, West Virginia, may
help determine whether the nation’s 1,500 coal-burning power generators
become relics of a dirtier age or can flourish in a low-carbon world. Bloomberg