Chuse Science

Late yesterday, reports started zinging around suggesting that the Obama transition team was ready to announce its energy and environment leaders.

By now it’s clear they are the following: former New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Lisa Jackson will head up the Environmental Protection Agency; current Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory director Steven Chu will become Secretary of Energy; and Clinton administration EPA head Carol Browner will fill a newly created post, that of White House “climate czar.” In addition, Nancy Sutley, the current City of Los Angeles “deputy mayor” for Energy and Environment (and, of these four, the person with the thinnest Wikipedia profile), will come in as chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

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.

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