Monthly Archives: April 2010

Highlights from yesterday’s top blogs

On Grist, David Roberts advocates for a “diverse climate policy portfolio”. He explains that  a “portfolio approach to climate change, which couples a carbon price with complementary policies, could yield a net benefit to the economy, and to most voters, from day one.”

Gernot Wagner, EDF economist, had this to say on David Robert’s piece:

“ Absolutely. Diversify the portfolio. Our strategy ought to be one of all-of-the-above. We need utility and grid reform, removal of subsidies, an emphasis on efficiency, etc. etc. etc.

However. We also ought to keep our eyes on the ball. The goal is not to reform utilities for the sake of reforming utilities (although there might be other benefits to that as well). The goal is to avoid sending $1 billion a day abroad for our oil. This kind of large-scale transformation depends on a comprehensive approach, and that can’t be achieved piecemeal. We ought to limit global warming pollution to right the incentives and take the market path to a healthy planet and economy.”

Green Inc. argues that the solar technology market is gaining momentum and points to the $129.4 million investment by a SiliconValley venture capital firm in solar company Amonix as proof.

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Yesterday’s blog highlights

Climate Progress reports on a new poll which shows that Latinos and African Americans support a bipartisan climate and clean energy bill.  “Overwhelming majorities of Latino voters in Florida (80%), Nevada (67%) and Colorado (58%) say they are more likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate that supports proposals for fighting global warming.”

Carol Browner, White House climate advisor, said the “administration backs protecting energy-intensive manufacturing sectors in climate legislation,” according to E2 Wire.

On Treehugger, we learned that the solar industry created 17,000 US jobs in 2009, according to a new report released by the Solar Energies Industry Association.

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Yesterday’s blog highlights

The Financial Times reports that China may be greening its economy. China’s philosophy is moving “from ‘climate change is bad, but development is our first priority’ towards ‘development is our first priority, and climate change may threaten that’.”

The New York Times reported that Obama is hoping the Senate will take on the climate bill after financial reform. “’This is one of these foundational priorities from my perspective that has to be done soon,’ Obama said of the climate bill”

Senator Kerry goes over the fine points of the climate bill in this video posted on Treehugger. Kerry explains that “the bill will put a price on carbon but not through a cap-and-trade system.”

Posted in Climate Change Legislation, News / Comments are closed

Mapping the Transit Funding Crisis

Transit cuts from coast to coast.

Today Transportation for America (T4) released an updated map of widespread transit cuts, layoffs, fare increases and service cuts across the U.S.

At Way2Go, we’ve written frequently about this transit funding crisis, as it is harming our mobility at a time when getting to work cleanly, reliably and inexpensively is very important. We’ve focused on how these cuts have affected communities throughout the country—rural, suburban, urban neighborhoods—and who it affects–students, less affluent citizens, and seniors.

And Americans do not want to see these cuts. T4’s most recent poll numbers, which we blogged about a few weeks ago, show that Americans want improved and better public transportation, and those polled would be willing to almost double current federal spending for public transportation, which is now at 18 cents to every dollar, to 37 cents to every dollar.

T4’s map is extensive, but needs your input. With public transportation ridership at record highs from coast to coast, these funding cuts are felt by many. Check out T4’s map to see if your town or city has been properly accounted for, so that T4 can articulate the true extent of this funding crisis.

Posted in Cars and Pollution / Comments are closed

A low carbon economy: the gift that keeps on giving

A Practical Guide To A Prosperous, Low Carbon Europe is the latest McKinsey study to show how it is eminently affordable to achieve the transition to a low-carbon world. The headline on a post by Financial Times climate über-scribe Fiona Harvey puts it best: “Europe’s energy in 2050: Cutting CO2 by 80% no more expensive than business as usual.”

How is that possible?

Initial capital expenditures are higher for renewable energy but operational cost savings along the way make up the difference. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

To be sure, there are some very clear obstacles. The old economists’ mantra applies here as well: if it’s so cheap, why aren’t we doing it already? Well, we ought to be. The obstacles are largely political, driven by vested interests. If you are just now building a new coal plant and haven’t put much thought into carbon capture and storage technology, you may be less inclined to cheer than your neighbor investing in wind and solar.

McKinsey isn’t saying that everyone wins in this new world. The ones who see the future and act accordingly do. Most importantly, society and the planet win as well.

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Blog Snapshot

Grist “Google climate change chief wants price on carbon” Google wants a price on carbon “for lofty reasons like combating global warming, but also because it could be good for business.”

Climate Progress Senate bipartisan climate bill to launch April 26th Senator Graham on why it is not being released on Earth Day – “We don’t want to mix messages here. I’m all for protecting the Earth but this is about energy independence.”

Washington Post “Congress worked out health care. Is climate change next?” Steven Pearlstein shares his balanced and thoughtful perspective on the state of the climate bill. He points out that “While there are still some details to be ironed about, there is a good chance that the bill will gain the support of oil giants BP, Shell and ConocoPhillips, along with major electric utilities and industrial corporations.”

Mother Jones “Another Good Reason to Cut Oil Use” US military is “concerned that there simply won’t be enough oil available in the near future, which could fuel conflict and instability around the world.”

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