I wrote here recently about Tom Steyer and his mission to stop the pipeline. He, along with Bill McKibben, 350.org, the Sierra Club, and a growing universe of activists are building what we all hope is an inarguable case against the pipeline and the tar sands. We are trying to make the movement against KXL inexorable.
Don’t believe Tom Steyer? How about 21 Nobel peace and science laureates? They’re against the tar sands too and want the EU to immediately implement its Fuel Quality Directive. This would ban tar sands oil from Europe.
He had quite a bit to say about the Geopolitics of the Global Energy Revolution. Ambassador Pascual, a greatly experienced and articulate man, led us on a tour of some of the most salient issues in global energy. He highlighted what he thought were “five revolutions” that are underway in supply transformation, emerging market demand, “liquid gas,” clean power, and energy access. Continue reading →
I’ve written here a number of times about the Alberta tar sands and the Keystone XL, and going back a few years as well at my old Foreign Policy Association blog. Ryan Lizza, a great political analyst and writer, wrote a fascinating update recently at The New Yorker: The President and the Pipeline. Not only does Lizza bring us up to date on the politics of the pipeline, but he profiles one of the key players in the mix today: Tom Steyer. Steyer is an activist with a difference – he’s got financial resources and many like-minded friends with similar resources. He’s got the ear of President Obama. He’s an increasingly influential force in Democratic party politics. He also founded the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford Law School, along with his equally high-powered wife, Kat Taylor. (I interviewed the executive director there, Dan Reicher, for my book, when Dan was still at Google.) Steyer is, in short, somebody I’m glad to have in my foxhole with me. Continue reading →
There has certainly been a tremendous amount of activity surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline project – as there should be: It’s a big test for the environmental movement and, frankly, for the Obama Administration. If approved and built, the KXL will give a tremendous boost to the economic prospects for Canadian tar sands. If denied, the permit will, at the same time, be a serious body blow to the further development of the tar sands and, perhaps more importantly, provide a hugely important signal from Barack Obama that he is deadly serious about solving the climate crisis. Beating back KXL will also be a historic victory for us treehuggers. Continue reading →
I went to a great event last night: the premiere of “Do the Math.” It’s a powerful short (45-minute) documentary about what the indomitable Bill McKibben and 350.org have set in motion with their stunning and timely movement to get universities and others to divest from the fossil fuel industry. I wrote about what I called McKibben’s Manifesto, a blockbuster piece in Rolling Stone last summer and a call to arms. I subsequently wrote about the first stirrings of the divestment movement. Well, the movement has grown exponentially in only a few months: as of today, there are initiatives at 302 colleges and universities, in 74 cities and states, and beyond. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, for one, has already set the wheels in motion in his city. See what Fossil Free is doing and how you can get on board. Continue reading →
I have written a few times here and a good number of times at my old blog for the Foreign Policy Association about the many and diverse reasons why the Alberta tar sands are a pox. You may agree. If so, you should be on your horse to get your comments into the US Department of State to tell them that the Keystone XL pipeline project, which will substantially enable further development of this planetary insult, should not be approved. Please go right away to the link here from 350.org and register your comments. The comment period ends soon! Continue reading →
There was a gathering of the tribes in Washington yesterday to give support – also known as political cover – to President Obama so that he can just say “No!” to the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and, by extension, Canadian tar sands development. Why should he say no? The pipeline would enable the expansion of one of the world’s most environmentally destructive projects and that expansion makes no sense if we are to reduce our carbon footprint and, as President Obama has vowed, turn the tide on the climate crisis. The President said, in his State of the Union address last week: “…for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.” Continue reading →
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 →
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 →