EPA to Planet: "Drop Dead! (You, too, Supreme Court!)

The Environmental Protection Agency ruled  that new power plants are not required to install technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, rejecting an argument from environmental groups. The ruling turns on a seemingly arcane regulatory question that could govern the future of new fossil fuel-burning buildings and power plants under the Clean Air Act.

During the Bush administration, the EPA has rejected the idea that greenhouse gases should be regulated like soot, smog precursors and other kinds of air pollution, despite an April 2007 Supreme Court ruling that said carbon dioxide fit the definition of a pollutant that could be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

Nightmare On Coal Street: The Video

Earlier this week, President-elect Barack Obama announced his picks for his energy team, with Dr. Steven Chu to head up the Department of Energy.

Dr. Chu is not the happy holiday gift the “clean coal” folks were hoping for.

The blogosphere has been abuzz with something Chu said about coal in an alternative energy talk he gave at UC Berkeley in April 2007. The video of the talk is nearly two hours long, but we snagged the important bit, where he talks about coal.

Weather And Climate - Refresher 101

Great brief in Time Magazine discussing the difference between ‘weather’ and ‘climate’. A common denier argument is to point outside and suggest that the cold weather obviously means that climate change isn’t happening.

But as Time points out, the unseasonably cold 2008 will still rank in the top 10 hottest years since climate record taking was started. Consider it homework for the holidays.

Where Is Barack Obama's Global Warming Adaptation Plan?

I know, I know: If you support “adaptation” in the global warming debate, you run the risk of being mistaken for someone who opposes “mitigation.” But I’m not one of those adaptation-only Bjorn Lomborg types.

I support both capping emissions, and also getting ready for climate change, because I believe the science is clear: We have to do something, fast, to prevent the worst outcomes; but we’re already so far down the global warming path that there will be many changes we can no longer stop, and must live with - and so must prepare for.

But my question is, where is Barack Obama on all of this?

Has Arctic sea ice loss become irreversible?

The party’s over, we had us a time..
We burned all the kindling…
Watched the last coals dwindling
And the ice melting down…

Eliza Gilkyson

Is the party over?

According to a new study by scientists at the NSICD (National Snow and Ice Data Centre), there’s a good chance that Arctic sea ice has melted beyond the point of no return.

Joseph Romm points us to a story in today’s edition of the UK’s Independent.  The news is not good:

Scientists have found the first unequivocal evidence that the Arctic region is warming at a faster rate than the rest of the world at least a decade before it was predicted to happen.

Climate-change researchers have found that air temperatures in the region are higher than would be normally expected during the autumn because the increased melting of the summer Arctic sea ice is accumulating heat in the ocean. The phenomenon, known as Arctic amplification, was not expected to be seen for at least another 10 or 15 years and the findings will further raise concerns that the Arctic has already passed the climatic tipping-point towards ice-free summers, beyond which it may not recover.

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