Climate in Cambridge

EBC_Pumori_050112_previewWe’ve been up visiting in Cambridge Mass. and have had the opportunity to see a couple of exhibits about climate change in our peregrinations.  The photo here is from GlacierWorks, an organization founded by David Breashears, a documentary filmmaker who is on a mission to highlight the stunning loss of glacial mass in the Himalayas over the past hundred years.  There is an exhibit now at the MIT MuseumRivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya, that illustrates what’s happening there.  It’s all pretty arresting. Continue reading

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John Kerry at State

Foto: Getty ImagesJohn Kerry is on track, with no significant US Senate opposition on the horizon, to become the next US Secretary of State.  President Obama formally announced his nomination yesterday at the White House.  In his remarks, Obama said:  “…we’ve got to harness all elements of American power and ensure that they’re working together — diplomatic and development, economic and political, military and intelligence…”  Of course, those tools need to be brought to bear on the pressing issues of climate change and sustainability.  The Department of State has an awful lot in its portfolio and increasingly that has included taking these matters of the health of the planet and its people much more seriously than ever before. Continue reading

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In Scientific American

logo_new.jpg.pagespeed.ce.FG2gVNVQseFollowing on the book excerpt the other day in Salon, I’m pretty tickled to have one today in the venerable Scientific American.  Do You Accept the Science of Climate Change? is how they’ve titled my excerpt on the disinformation campaign fueled, as it were, by certain special interests, how the media has played it, and how the scientific community has fought back.  By the way, if for some reason you haven’t sampled the excellent coverage on Energy and Sustainability that Scientific American has on offer, please do yourself a favor and subscribe to their feed.  Better yet, subscribe to the magazine itself.  A good bit of the reason for SciAm’s superb coverage is attributable to their world-class writer and editor David Biello.

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Doha Climate Gateway

cop18cmp8_533What is being called the “Doha Climate Gateway,” more formerly the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), wrapped up this past weekend in Doha.  It was the first conference of the parties to take place in the Middle East and, according to the Earth Negotiations Bulletin of the venerable IISD, the conference drew around nine thousand folks, including 4,356 government officials, 3,956 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations and civil society organizations, and 683 members of the media. Continue reading

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On Salon

Here’s a nice bit of buzz for the book:  There’s a long excerpt today in Salon.  I’m truly delighted to have my book excerpted in Salon.  (Update:  This thing has gotten a lot of play with nearly 700 Facebook “likes” and over 200 tweets.  I’m not really sure what that all means  – sorry, I’m a bit of a social media illiterate – but I think it spells the fact that people are enthusiastic.)

 

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Carpe Diem

Carpe diem.  Seize the day.  That’s what some American university students are realizing needs to be done.  I was in the streets in the early ‘70s protesting the war.  I even wound up in jail a couple of times.  One of the proudest things I can say about that time is that I was in jail with the legendary peace activist Dave Dellinger for three days.  It’s good to be young and to know what’s at stake. Continue reading

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Carbon Emissions Going Up

As reported yesterday by the Global Carbon Project in its Carbon Budget 2012 report, the top four emitters of carbon from fossil fuel combustion and cement production in 2011 covered 62% of global emissions:  China (28%), United States (16%), EU27 (11%), and India (7%).  These four entities emitted about 5.62 billion tons of carbon.  (Multiply by 3.67 to get the carbon dioxide output which then equals about 20.6 billion tons.)  You can see that the US and the EU have stabilized and even lowered their emissions in recent years. Continue reading

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Doha – The Climate Talks

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was established 20 years ago at the Earth Summit in Rio.  The Earth Summit was an extraordinary and genuinely groundbreaking event.  It, arguably, ushered in the present age of international initiatives on sustainability.  Philip Shabecoff, in his excellent history of the environmental movement, A Fierce Green Fire, wrote “….the human community was ready to alter the collision course it was on with the physical world that sustains it and might at last meet the challenge of creating an ecologically rational, prosperous, and just global economy…” Continue reading

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Wind Power – Action This Day!

During World War II, Winston Churchill would stamp vital messages “Action this day.”  That is the level of concern that we need to bring to bear on the distinct possibility of the cutoff of the federal Production Tax Credit for wind. The American Wind Energy Association, and hundreds of others, want Congress to extend this vital support for wind power. Continue reading

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BP’s “Day of Reckoning”

The US Department of Justice leveled a $4 billion judgement against BP for its criminal behavior in the explosion at its Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April of 2010.  The Guardian characterized the judgement this way:  “BP met its day of reckoning in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster on Thursday when the company admitted guilt on 14 criminal charges…”

DOJ’s press release quoted Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer:  “The explosion of the rig was a disaster that resulted from BP’s culture of privileging profit over prudence.”  That’s certainly nothing new for the oil industry. Continue reading

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