Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

Becoming more energy efficient, which has long been one of the keys to a sustainable future, may have just gotten a little easier. TopTen USA, a new non-profit group, just launched a new website that ranks electronics based on energy efficiency. The website contains information on virtually every electronics product category.  It has an attractive easy-to-use interface that makes it very easy to find what you are looking for.

The World Wildlife Foundation, which is a partner in the project, wrote on its blog yesterday:

Since energy efficiency is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest routes to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, one of TopTen’s goals is to generate greater demand for efficient products, helping to catalyze a market shift toward more climate-friendly products.

One problem with TopTenUSA is that it only ranks based on energy usage. It appears that the environmental impact of the manufacturing process is not considered. Nor does the website have any information on recyclability of products. Hopefully, as it develops, TopTenUSA will add information about those factors as well.

TopTenUSA  has exciting potential and  will hopefully prove an invaluable resource to consumers.


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Today’s Flickr Photo:

Flickr photo by the brothers trust

If you read one thing today…

Like something out of Edgar Allan Poe, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is knocking, gently knocking on our nation’s schoolhouse doors.  The deep-pocketed, “what do you mean, climate change”  business association that funnels untold millions of corporate dollars into swinging the elections now wants to influence young minds – specifically middle school minds – with their corporate-driven mad science on global warming.

How could a huge lobbying organization access our children with their pollution-friendly propaganda? By partnering with the established and wholesome educational publisher, Scholastic, Inc., producer and distributor of a wide range of educational products.

From Politico’s report:

Chamber officials maintain that there is no “hidden agenda” behind the question or the educational outreach effort in general. But given the current political climate surrounding the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, the group’s direct involvement in public school education is expected to make environmentalists and like-minded progressives uncomfortable.


Once upon a time in the land of the free and the home of the brave, many families across the country struggled to keep up with their mortgage payments and defaulted. The Big Bad Banks swooped in and said they had to foreclose. “Isn’t there anybody who can help us?” the families thought. The government, some answered. But the head of the Treasury Department said no. Here is Timothy Geithner’s fairytale, as told by Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research:

[I]f the government imposes a foreclosure moratorium, it will lead to chaos in the housing market and jeopardise the health of the recovery. For the gullible, which includes most of the Washington policy elite, this assertion is probably sufficient to quash any interest in a foreclosure moratorium. But those capable of thinking for themselves may ask how Geithner could have reached this conclusion.

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Time magazine is running a good article about how the Recovery and Reinvestment Act is improving America by investing in green technology. The article provides tons of interesting facts about how much money has been invested, is being invested, or will be invested in improving energy efficiency. This bit caught my eye:

The idea [behind the stimulus investments] is as old as land-grant colleges: to use tax dollars as an engine of innovation. It rejects free-market purism but also the old industrial-policy approach of dumping cash into a few favored firms.

Notice those last few words? This money will not simply be going to GE or AT&T or the usual suspects. Instead, it will be funding small businesses and start-ups.

Instead, the Recovery Act floods the zone, targeting a variety of energy problems and providing seed money for firms with a variety of potential solutions. The winners must attract private capital to match public dollars…and after competing for grants, they still must compete in the marketplace.

So instead of blindly funding mainly the big corporations, we are actually funding the companies who are newer or smaller. These companies do not have as much of a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. On the contrary, many of them would benefit from a greener, more technologically savvy United States of America. This is a welcome change indeed.

But the powerful Washington interests remain and we cannot be sure that the money will be invested as well as Vice President Biden (who oversees stimulus spending) says. With Citizens United and an increasing wealth gap, corporate interest groups are more powerful than ever. Help us fight them: http://fightwashingtoncorruption.com/?rc=homepage

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It’s been hot on the East Coast this past week. As they tend to do, the recent heat waves have intensified the national discussion about climate change. Of course most scientists agree that there is no clear correlation between the 103-degree weather Central Park visitors experienced on Tuesday and the effects of greenhouse gases.

That is not to say they do not continue to agree on climate change. According to a recent study, over 97% of climatologists and scientists studying related fields agree that climate change, caused by human activity,  is real. Yet, just as the snowstorms East Coast citizens experienced this past winter (more…)

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Say you bought a car in 2001 – a Volkswagon, for example. Let’s also say that you thoroughly read your car’s warranty detailing what type of gasoline to use. Filling up the pump shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

Wrong – if the ethanol industry gets its way.

Growth Energy, an ethanol trade association, petitioned the E.P.A. back in March to increase the allowable amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10 percent (10E) to 15 percent (15E). The group, co-chaired by former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, claims this increase would be harmless, resulting in cleaner air and posing no risks to vehicle engines.

But, Growth Energy’s proposal is anything but harmless. (more…)

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D.C.’s metro was extremely packed during Monday’s morning commute, which could only mean one thing (aside from it being tourist season): Congress is back in session.

I blogged earlier about the major flaws in the latest climate change legislation, America’s Climate Security Act, introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) The Senate will be debating the bill all week, and although nobody expects the bill to get very far, it’s certainly creating a buzz among the media and some heated debate among lawmakers.

For those who want to get a feel for how the debate is going, Reuters has posted a sampling of some of Monday’s comments, from notaries such as President Bush, Al Gore and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Some other media highlights:

  • A post from The New York Times’ political blog, The Caucus
  • A list of five things to watch during the debate from The Politico
  • A look at both sides of the debate from Wired
  • An overview of business’ take on climate change from CQPolitics

And in case all these facts on climate change become a bit dizzying, check out the resources from Public Citizen’s energy program

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Photo from Flickr / [Framing] Insights

Industry generates pollution. A lot of pollution. In 2006, it emitted an estimated 3.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. These aren’t just fuzzy numbers we’re talking about; those 3.4 metric tons account for 57 percent of America’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

Numbers startling you a bit? They startled Congress, too, which is why Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) introduced America’s Climate Security Act (S. 2191) in October. S. 2191 outlines a plan for overhauling how industrial polluters manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Unfortunately for the environment, this bill has some major flaws.


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