Round 3 of the Debates: Who Wants Energy Independence More?

In what proved to be a doozy of a debate – not so much for its substance as for its theatrics and sound bites (who will ever forget “Joe the Plumber”?) – the topic of climate change was again sadly, though not surprisingly, missing in action.

With the discussion once again focused mostly on domestic issues – the economy and healthcare looming large – the candidates spent most of the time pummeling each other on taxes, trade policies and education. Mercifully, moderator Bob Schieffer, a CBS News anchor, mostly managed to avoid inserting himself into the debate, save for occasionally pressing a candidate on a particular question (though I noticeably winced when he said the words “climate control”).

Report outlines major risks of "clean coal"

The Union of Concerned Scientists has released a report today outlining the considerable risks associated with so-called “clean coal” and carbon capture and storage technology (pdf.)

Clean coal has been a persistent theme throughout the US election, with presidential candidates on both sides of the political ledger touting the message that coal is somehow clean. As coal industry commentator and author Jeff Goodell puts it best: 

Clean coal” is not an actual invention, a physical thing – it is an advertising slogan. Like “fat-free donuts” or “interest-free loans.”

Change your leaders: Take II

Congratulations today to Stephen Harper, who has convinced a critical plurality of Canadians that he is more capable of leading the country through difficult economic times than Liberal leader Stephane Dion would have been.

Returning to belligerent reality, however, it's clear that Canadians who care about climate change have their work cut out for them. In his excellent new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says:

“It is much more important to change your leaders than your lightbulbs.”

Having passed up this opportunity to change our leaders, the only option now is for Canadians to get those leaders to change.

And we thought the foreclosure crisis was bad!

Environmental damage such as desertification or flooding caused by climate change could force millions of peoples from their homes in the next few decades, experts said.

Jack Layton: Captain of the team to re-elect Stephen Harper

If Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper is re-elected next week as Canadian prime minister, he will owe the biggest vote of gratitude to the New Democratic Party and its leader Jack Layton.

There has been comment enough about the lack-luster performance of Harper's most dangerous opponent, Liberal leader Stephane Dion, but the Liberals aren't losing this election because Dion lacks charisma. The Liberals are losing because the NDP has pushed tax-averse voters into Stephen Harper's lap.

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