December 8, 2009 |
The Obama administration on Monday declared that greenhouse gases produced by vehicles, power plants and factories were a danger to public health, clearing the way for broad federal limits on climate-warming emissions. The announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency is a key step in a legal process that would allow the agency to act, without Congress, to develop tough rules to control emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that scientists blame for global warming. "The vast body of evidence not only remains unassailable, it's grown stronger, and it points to one conclusion," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in announcing the decision.
July 9, 2009 |
Developing nations led by China and India refused Wednesday to back lofty but long-term targets proposed by the Group of 8 industrial nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, balking at reluctance by leaders of the world's biggest economies to move more quickly on their own.
November 25, 2009 |
President Obama will attend the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen next month, according to a senior administration official, a sign of the president's increasing confidence that the talks will yield a meaningful agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The White House also will announce today that the United States will commit, in the talks, to reduce its emissions of the heat-trapping gases scientists blame for global warming "in the range of" 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, the official said.
July 20, 2011
Among the more speculative of the proposed solutions to global warming is the notion of capturing the carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and pumping them underground. Still, the collapse last week of one of the nation's most high-profile experiments with so-called carbon capture and sequestration technology is bad news for future generations and further evidence of the need for climate legislation. American Electric Power, one of the biggest utilities in the U.S., announced Thursday that it was tabling its plans to complete a commercial-scale carbon capture system at a coal-fueled plant in West Virginia — despite the fact that up to half of the project's $668-million cost would have been covered by the U.S. Department of Energy.
August 30, 2009 |
As the battle over healthcare unfolds, its attack ads, spin-doctoring and town hall rhetoric are being watched with special attention by the combatants in Washington's next big fight -- President Obama's energy and climate plan. Obama's proposal calls for sweeping government efforts to develop new technologies and strategies for using energy more efficiently. It would also create a complex new "cap and trade" system, which would set limits on carbon emissions through a market of tradable permits.
September 21, 2009 |
After months of almost single-minded focus on healthcare, President Obama is about to shift the White House spotlight to global warming -- first with a speech to the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, then later in the week at the G-20 economic conference in Pittsburgh. The renewed emphasis on climate change and reducing carbon dioxide emissions comes at a crucial time: Negotiators are entering the home stretch in the drive to unveil a comprehensive new international agreement to curb rising temperatures at a December conference in Copenhagen.
November 28, 2009
As the Senate debates climate legislation that could reinvent the country's energy infrastructure, it is richly ironic that lawmakers who consider themselves rock-ribbed fiscal conservatives are among the strongest backers of nuclear plants -- a vastly expensive, inefficient and dangerous source of energy that requires massive taxpayer bailouts. Senate Republicans and many moderate Democrats are seeking to lard up prospective climate and energy bills with billions of dollars in loan guarantees and other subsidies for nuclear power, even though it makes no sense as a solution to climate change and is a terrible option from an economic, environmental and national-security standpoint.
December 9, 2011
Nero probably didn't really fiddle while Rome burned; for one thing, fiddles as we know them today didn't exist yet, and for another, historians at the time dismissed the story as a rumor. Moreover, it's hard to believe that even a tyrant as petty and murderous as Nero would be foolish enough to watch the burning of his city-state and do nothing about it. But we Americans are. Climate change is no longer a theoretical concept to be debated at symposiums by science nerds.
July 15, 2009 |
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke are in Beijing this week to talk about climate change with Chinese leaders. The hope is to open the nation's market to American clean technology products while nudging China toward committing to hard targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They have their work cut out for them.
February 12, 2010 |
As record snowfall buried the nation's capital this week, the quickest joke around town was, "So much for global warming." The quip was timely, given the recent controversies over Climategate -- the release of e-mails allegedly showing some leading climate scientists trying to suppress criticism -- and new questions about the integrity of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. After 55-plus inches of snow fell in the Washington area, critics are delighting in the irony, and those who warn of climate change are taking pains to say the snow fits the pattern of a warming world.