Poznan Spin: Don't Say We're Waiting for Obama

It would be easy to argue that the most important participant at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change occurring this week in Poznan, Poland is not even in the building.

The coming of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is “the one big positive factor that everyone is hanging onto,” says Fred Heutte of the U.S. Sierra Club, a point confirmed in slightly different language by Greenpeace, Kert Davies, “Everyone is happy that we can flush the toilet on the Bush decade.”

But if the coming of Obama is being celebrated, his absence is one of the factors that has thrown these talks off kilter.

Poznan: (Insincere) Praise for Marc Morano

Climate change denier extraordinaire Marc Morano dropped a news release on my desk this morning and smiled broadly when I said, “Hey, are you Morano?” - a smile that turned more sardonic when I told him who was asking.

Morano, whose political bona fides include inventing the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth when he was working the hill for Rush Limbaugh, has been reduced to tagging along with the staff of Barbara Boxer, the popular Democratic Senator from California who pushed Morano’s boss, James Inhofe, out of his old sinecure as chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Now, Morano gets to produce the “minority report,” a document of increasing irrelevance as the incoming administration firms up its climate change policy.

The reality of the US coal power industry

Did you know that a typical coal power plant in the United States will emit 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide, 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide this year?

I came across a great “top ten” list assembled by the Union of Concerned Scientists that paints a very clear picture of the major pollutants still being emitted by the US coal power generation industry.

I’ve made it into a static reference page on DeSmogBlog, you can click here to go the page: Facts on the Pollution caused by the US Coal Industry.

You can also download a PDF version of the fact sheet here: Facts on the Pollution caused by the US Coal Industry (PDF Version)

Damning the Danes: Canada Not the Only Backslider in Poznan

Canada climate-change record is so frequently criticized at the UN climate conference in Poznan, Poland, that its tempting to think everyone else is doing the right thing in enacting good climate policy. But one “good example” frequently cited - Denmark - has, since 2001, taken a villainous turn on the climate file.

Denmark is famous for its windmills, and especially for its mid-80s policy promoting the use of alternative energy sources for the generation of electricity. Thanks to that policy, Denmark now generates nearly 20 per cent of its electricity from wind and the Danish wind industry, which employs 20,000 people, dominates the international market.

Poznan: Canada's GHG Performance Nearing Bottom

The following was released today in Poznan, Poland:

A new international assessment of countries’ performance in fighting climate change has placed Canada second last (56th of 57) among the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. In the 2007 edition, Canada placed 53rd of the 56 countries assessed.
 
“Canada’s climate performance could hardly be worse, and we’re still moving in the wrong direction,” said Matthew Bramley, Director of the Pembina Institute’s climate change program, who contributed a Canadian policy assessment to the study. “The federal government needs to dramatically and urgently strengthen its policies to fight global warming.”

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