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Tue, 2006-02-28 09:49Ross Gelbspan
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ABC's Bill Blakemore on "Mutual Therapy" for Climate Journalists

So, how do you get your mind off the methane clathrates?

Correspondent Bill Blakemore blogs about covering global warming full-time for ABC News:

There are remarkably few of us mainstream professional journalists covering global warming, given the enormity of the story. This is, after all, a story in which the most credible scientists now say life on earth could become unbearable for most humans - widespread famine and political chaos, possibly even within the lifetime of today's toddlers - if we don't soon curb greenhouse gas emissions. 

Wed, 2006-02-22 13:32Ross Gelbspan
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Carlyle Group To Invest in Renewables

Just days after President George W. Bush announced the U.S. would invest more in R&D for renewable energy technologies, one of  the  world’s largest investment firms, the Carlyle Group, said it would substantially boost its stake in renewables. Coincidentally, former President George H. W. Bush was a special consultant to the Carlyle Group for 10 years before his retirement two years ago.

Tue, 2006-02-21 06:28Ross Gelbspan
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Bush's Schizophrenic Call for Clean Energy

Even as President Bush began to call for some movement toward a clean-energy economy, his Administration fired 32 employees from the National Renewable Energy Lab – a leading agency in research and development of renewables. (It turns out the agency hastily rehired most of them just in time for Bush's presentation!)

Bush: U.S. on Verge of Energy Breakthrough

The Associated Press, Feb 20, 2006

Saying the nation is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would “startle” most Americans, President Bush on Monday outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil.

Less than half the crude oil used by refineries is produced in the United States, while 60 percent comes from foreign nations, Bush said during the first stop on a two-day trip to talk about energy.

Some of these foreign suppliers have “unstable” governments that have fundamental differences with America, he said.

“It creates a national security issue and we're held hostage for energy by foreign nations that may not like us,” Bush said.

Bush is focusing on energy at a time when Americans are paying high power bills to heat their homes this winter and have only recently seen a decrease in gasoline prices.

One of Bush's proposals would expand research into smaller, longer-lasting batteries for electric-gas hybrid cars, including plug-ins. He highlighted that initiative with a visit Monday to the battery center at Milwaukee-based auto-parts supplier Johnson Controls Inc.

During his trip, Bush is also focusing on a proposal to increase investment in development of clean electric power sources, and proposals to speed the development of biofuels such as “cellulosic” ethanol made from wood chips or sawgrass.

Energy conservation groups and environmentalists say they're pleased that the president, a former oil man in Texas, is stressing alternative sources of energy, but they contend his proposals don't go far enough. They say the administration must consider greater fuel-efficiency standards for cars, and some economists believe it's best to increase the gas tax to force consumers to change their driving habits.
During his visit to Johnson Controls' new hybrid battery laboratory, Bush checked out two Ford Escapes — one with a nickel-metal-hybrid battery, the kind that powers most hybrid-electric vehicles, and one with a lithium-ion battery, which Johnson Controls believes are the wave of the future. The lithium-ion battery was about half the size of the older-model battery. In 2004, Johnson Controls received a government contract to develop the lithium-ion batteries.

While Bush is highlighting his budget proposals to help wean America from foreign oil, the lab he visited is meeting a $28 million shortfall by cutting its staff by 32 people, including eight researchers.
Sun, 2006-02-19 08:01Ross Gelbspan
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A Meeting of the Mindless

Bush’s Chat With Novelist Alarms Environmentalists
The New York Times, Feb. 19, 2006

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 - One of the perquisites of being president is the ability to have the author of a book you enjoyed pop into the White House for a chat.

Fri, 2006-02-17 16:27Ross Gelbspan
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Jim Hansen's call to action: One Response

 NASA scientist Jim Hansen: “We have to stabilize emissions of carbon dioxide within a decade, or temperatures will warm by more than one degree – warmer than it has been for half a million years.” (Feb. 2006)

Tue, 2006-02-14 08:22Ross Gelbspan
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Bush Administration Gives Big Oil a Free Ride on Public Lands

Who said the Bush Administration was hard-hearted? Responding to the plight of oil giants such as ExxonMobil, which netted a mere $36 billion in profits last year,  the Administration is planning to waive another $7 billion in royalties for drilling on public lands.

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