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Arctic Tale – Solutions to Climate Change: Be a part of the conversation

Starbucks

Starbucks is hosting a discussion day on August 15 to discuss climate change.  I am a little skeptical that this may be nothing but an opportunity to push their new film but it could be interesting for some out there. I hope that it is a real conversation as opposed to a “convert” that has no depth of knowledge.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend any of these sessions.  My work schedule will have me pretty far from any of the sites that are hosting this conversation. If someone attends and can write some notes, I would be interested in linking to your thoughts or posting them here.

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Climate bill shaves $533 billion off economy

Reuters – August 6, 2007

How much does it cost to save the planet?  According to Energy Information Administration the current bill to reduce the carbon footprint of the US would cost the US economy $533B. Is that too much?

I rarely trust these numbers as they always seem to be wrong. When have you ever heard of a study like this being correct? I think the models for economic prediction are almost as bad as the models to predict the climate! 

Also, the article states that gasoline prices will only be 23 cents higher in 2020 than 2009.  That would be a bargain compared to the steep increase in gasoline in the last 3 years! Statements like this only make me question the authenticity of the study.

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Plugging In to the Future

Wall Street Journal – August 6, 2007

Great article this morning in the Wall Street Journal on a plug-in add-on for the Toyota Prius. Evidently, with this aftermarket plug-in, the Prius can be plugged into the wall and then run about 40 miles with just electric power that was pulled from the grid.

There may be some safety problems with the current design (these are the types of batteries that Dell recently had trouble with) but the progress is very heartening! Most people in the US would probably have to change their lifestyle and commute to really make a hybrid worthwhile but it is a definite start.

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Edwards, Obama, Richardson and Clinton on Energy

Alternative Energy Action Network – August 2, 2007

This is a compilation of various global warming positions and suggestions from 4 US presidential candidates on global warming. I wish that the author had done this much work on the other 14 declared candidates for either the Democratic or Republican ticket but that does not diminish the good work that he did!

Another site keeps track of positions of all 18 candidates and their position on a variety of issues, so you may want to check it out as well at Candidate Positions and its treatment of global warming.  The difference is that the Alternative Energy Action Network appears to go into much greater detail on a variety of sub-issues.

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U.N. chief’s tepid sense of urgency

San Francisco Chronicle – July 31, 2007

Interesting op-ed piece regarding the UN Secretary-General and his recent comments on global warming.  According to the piece, the UNSG blames the US for much of the world’s problems but doesn’t come up with a plan for fixing the problem in light of current pollution levels or anticipated pollution levels.

IF YOU REALLY believe that the planet is at the tipping point on global warming and the consequences will be fatal for people around the world, especially the poor, then all industrialized nations need to curb their greenhouse-gas emissions. If the United States must sacrifice, so must China, which is fast emerging as largest producer of industrial greenhouse gases on Earth

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Synchronized chaos: Mechanisms for major climate shifts

American Geophysical Union – July 12, 2007

Well I guess the discussion is not closed and the science is not all that conclusive.  Sorry Mr. Gore.

This paper has gone over the last 100 years of climate changes and was able to map the various changes to natural phenomena and not human induced carbon dioxide output.  The paper is only available for a charge so I do not feel right in reproducing the text here but rather encourage you to invest $9 in downloading the paper.  I think you will find it to be quite interesting and very compelling.

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Watch for the coming flood of global warming litigation

Examiner.com – July 31, 2007

This is terrible!

For those of you that are not from the US, you should first understand that the US is a society that loves to sue. There are all sorts of ridiculous stories on spurious litigation (hot coffee is the one that never fails to get a laugh for comedians). Much of the cost of our products (especially medicine) is blamed on companies reserving huge sums of cash to cover legal fees.

Now to think that lawyers will sue due to CO2 emissions or other global warming grievances is terrible. Companies should not be blamed for following standard industry practices unless they did so with full knowledge that the use would significantly affect the users. Or, as with asbestos, there is a clearly defined link between the actions of a company and its placement among the victims. Neither situation would be true for carbon dioxide emissions.

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