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Palestine Israel Peace Process (1) US Arab Relations
Palestine Israel Peace Process (2) US Arab Relations
Palestine Israel Peace Process (3) US Arab Relations
Palestine Israel Peace Process (4) US Arab Relations
Palestine Israel Peace Process (6) US Arab Relations

"The Core Psychology of Evil: It's FOOD is Other's Distress and Destruction." SL

"The Core Psychology of Evil: 
It's FOOD is Other's Distress and Destruction."  SL

ReScumLickin Values - WashPo - Clarence Thomas exposed by Lover

"I finally see - there are Truly Bad people; most. Killing of Life. Few if any know." SL

"I finally see - there are Truly Bad people; most.
Destroyers of Life.
Few if any know."

"40 years lost; languishing in Solitary Confinement - the Black Hole of Sensuality." SL

"40 years lost; languishing in Solitary Confinement -
the Black Hole of Sensuality."  SL

USAToday: Obama: Could Lincoln make it in today's GOP?

Obama: Could Lincoln make it in today's GOP?

USA Today - ‎14 hours ago‎
President Obama said today that the Republican Party is now so far outside the mainstream, it would no longer welcome its first president, Abraham Lincoln.

Reuters: GOP "Snake Oil" it is! - Obama accuses Republicans of peddling "snake oil"

Obama accuses Republicans of peddling "snake oil"


"The question of Life: 'What might I do for the neediest?'" SL

"The question of Life: 'What might I do for the neediest?'" SL

"The question of Death: 'What can others do for me?'" SL

"The question of Death: 'What can others do for me?'" SL

"Peace Making: Life-Risking attempt to displace UnTruth with Truth." SL

"Peace Making:  Life-Risking attempt to displace UnTruth with Truth."  SL

"Equally Certain: Saints and Soldiers get shot at. Both Live on the Battlefield for Humanity." SL

"Equally Certain: Saints and Soldiers get shot at.
Both Live on the Battlefield for Humanity."

Israel's Character-Assination of US Pr. Carter / Truth; Attempts Continue. Fox Spews Helps

"Where Humility's Absent, Evil Reigns." SL

"Where Humility's Absent,
Evil Reigns."  SL

"Peace Making in Cinema - Luke accepting Death rather than Kill." SL

"Peace Making in Cinema -
Luke accepting Death rather than Kill."  SL

"Peace Making in Cinema - Obi-Wan allowing Darth to Kill him." SL

"Peace Making in Cinema -
Obi-Wan allowing Darth to Kill him."  SL

"'Good Questions' - come from the Soul; 'Bad Questions' from everywhere else. Soul is the seat of Integrity." SL

"'Good Questions' - come from the Soul;
'Bad Questions' from everywhere else.
Soul is the seat of Integrity."

AP: Vids - While 'Professional Left' jeers, the Real Left CHEERS

VID: OBAMA STANDS WITH LGBT KIDS. "Haters most hate those who Love." SL


"Most are Dead cuz they won't see that Life is there for them." SL

"Most are Dead cuz they won't see that Life is there for them."  SL

"Forced to choose between Christ and Christianity, I CHOOSE CHRIST." SL

"Forced to choose between Christ and Christianity,

"America was founded on Christ's teachings, NOT on Christianity." SL

"America was founded on Christ's teachings,
NOT on Christianity." SL

"Life is over for those who fear death." SL

"Life is over for those who fear death."  SL


Jesus' central warning."

"Dominant Evil - Asserting that the Exception, Facade, IS the Rule." SL

"Dominant Evil -
Asserting that the Exception, Facade, IS the Rule."  SL


FP: News Brief: Settlers vandalize a Palestinian school near Nablus
The warehouse of a Palestinian school near Nablus was set on fire this morning, where vandals left behind the message: "regards from the hills" in Hebrew. This seems to be the latest in a campaign that extremist settlers have called the "price tag" campaign. These settl...ers say this is their protest ...

Nov 2 is FOREVER - BarackObamadotcom Campaign Update Call BarackObama com

"Job of the non-Red Letter Bible is to distort, dilute, destroy Jesus Teachings." SL

"Job of the non-Red Letter  Bible is to
distort, dilute, destroy Jesus Teachings."

Devistating Climate News Day. READ >>>

You let the RepubliFascists in Nov 2 and all hope to save
Life Support for your kids, ENDS.

Climate Progress

Climate Progress

Scientists: Caribbean coral die-off may be worst ever, Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean bleaching "may prove to be the worst such event known to science."

Posted: 20 Oct 2010 09:56 AM PDT

Scientists studying Caribbean reefs say that 2010 may be the worst year ever for coral death there. Abnormally warm water since June appears to have dealt a blow to shallow and deep-sea corals that is likely to top the devastation of 2005, when 80% of corals were bleached and as many as 40% died in areas on the eastern side of the Caribbean.

So Eli Kintisch reports at Science online.  He explains:

Bleaching occurs when crucial microorganisms leave coral reefs during stress. Corals, which shelter a quarter or more of all marine species, get bleached, and may die, after prolonged heating. A few weeks of water temperatures a few degrees above normal can be fatal. During the 2005 die-off, for example, water temperatures off the Virgin Islands rose just 3°C above the average in August—but stayed that way until November. "There has been little recovery in the Caribbean since," says reef specialist C. Mark Eakin of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, Maryland.

But, as this NOAA graphic shows, 2010 is worse than 2005:

Caption:  "The extent of warming in the Caribbean is more devastating in 2010 than in 2005, previously the worst year for bleaching there."

Kintisch reports:

"I've never seen bleaching like [it] in Panama," said Nancy Knowlton, a coral biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama who has been studying the local flora for 25 years. She and colleague Hector Guzman have seen massive reefs die in recent weeks in the enclosed lagoon of Bocas del Toro in Panama after becoming coated with giant sheets of slime, the remains of dead microorganisms. "This is NOT a normal condition on reefs, even bleached reefs. Where last year there were healthy corals, this year there was only gray ooze," she wrote in an e-mail….

A number of factors besides water temperature can cause coral bleaching and die-offs, including pollution and storms. But temperature is the number-one culprit in such a massive die-off, says Eakin. The warmest 12-month period in the NASA temperature record ended this summer; June through August was the fourth-warmest such period in the record. The extent of the devastation across the Caribbean will become clear in the coming months as biologists measure the deaths.

The rest of this post is from Nick Sundt's piece on the WWF blog, "Scientists Report One of the Worst Coral Bleaching Events on Record in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean."

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies said in press release yesterday (Worst coral death strikes at SE Asia, 19 October 2010) that

"[m]any reefs are dead or dying across the Indian Ocean and into the Coral Triangle following a bleaching event that extends from the Seychelles in the west to Sulawesi and the Philippines in the east and include reefs in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and many sites in western and eastern Indonesia."

"It is certainly the worst coral die-off we have seen since 1998.  It may prove to be the worst such event known to science," says Dr Andrew Baird of the ARC Centre.

The Coral Triangle – bordered by Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines — is one of WWF's priority areas.  It covers just one percent of the Earth's surface, but is home to fully 30 percent of the world's coral reefs, 76 percent of reef-building coral species and more than 35 percent of coral reef fish species. It also serves as vital spawning grounds for other economically important fish such as tuna.

Coral Bleaching HotSpots, 18 Oct 2010. Source: NOAA

Above: Coral Bleaching HotSpots, 18 October 2010.  The Coral Triangle is in the lower left hand area.  According to NOAA, the map "highlights regions where the SST is currently warmer than the highest climatological monthly mean SST for that location. The HotSpot value of 1.0 °C is a threshold for thermal stress leading to coral bleaching. To highlight this threshold, HotSpot values below 1.0 °C are shown in purple, and HotSpots of 1.0 °C or greater range from yellow to red." Source: NOAA's Coral Hotspots Web site.

"This widespread bleaching is alarming because it directly affects the health of our oceans and their ability to nurture fish stocks and other marine resources on which millions of people depend for food and income" said Richard Leck, Climate Change Strategy Leader of the WWF Coral Triangle Programme, in a press release from WWF International on 29 July (Mass coral bleaching closes dive sites, threatens future of world's most diverse marine region).

"So far around 80 percent of Acropora colonies and 50 per cent of colonies from other species have died since the outbreak began in May this year,"says ARC's Dr Baird.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), global sea surface temperatures (SSTs) from January through September were at their 2nd highest on record — behind only 2005.  An El Nino was in place in the Tropical Pacific earlier this year and contributed to the warmer global average SSTs.  However, the El Nino dissipated in May and by July a La Nina — characterized by cooler surface waters —  was developing across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.  By September the La Nina was well established, though global SSTs still were the 9th warmest on record. Of the eight warmer Septembers, all but one (in 1997) were during the last decade.

According to the ARC press release:

"[C]oral cover in the region could drop from an average of 50% to around 10%, and the spatial scale of the event could mean it will take years to recover, striking at local fishing and regional tourism industries, he says.

`Although the Coral Triangle is the richest region for corals on Earth, it relies on other regions around its fringes to supply the coral spawn and fish larvae that help keep it so rich," Dr Baird explains. "So there are both direct and indirect effects on CT reefs which will affect their ability to recover from future disturbance.'

`Also the reefs of the region support tens of millions of people who make their living from the sea and so plays a vital role in both the regional economy and political stability. For example, in Aceh, northern Sumatra, where the bleaching is most severe, a high proportion of the people rely on fishing and tourism for their livelihoods. While it may take up to two years for some fish species to be affected by the loss of coral habitat, fisheries yields will decline and this combined with a drop in the number of SCUBA divers visiting could have major long-term effects on the local economy.'

The cause of the bleaching event was a large pool of super-hot water which swept into the eastern Indian Ocean region several months ago, shocking the corals and causing them to shed the symbiotic algae that nourish them, thereby losing color and `bleaching.'  If the corals do not regain their algae they starve to death.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Hotspots website, sea surface temperatures in the region peaked in late May, 2010, and by July the accumulated heat stress was greater than in 1998. Local dive operators recorded water temperatures of 34 C, over 4 degrees higher that than long term average for the area.

The event was first detected on reefs in Aceh by marine ecologists from Wildlife Conservation Society, CoECRS and Syiah Kuala University.  They already rate it  as one of the worst coral diebacks ever recorded.

`My colleagues and I have high confidence these successive ocean warming episodes, which exceed the normal tolerance range of warm-water corals, are driven by human-induced global warming. They underline that the planet is already taking heavy hits from climate change – and will continue to do so unless we can reduce carbon emissions very quickly.

`They also show this is not just about warmer temperatures: it is also threatening the livelihoods of tens of millions of people and potentially the stability of our region.'"

WWF Report Assesses Threats and Provides Solutions

In May 2009, WWF released a report, The Coral Triangle and Climate Change: Ecosystems, People and Societies at Risk, on the threat posed by climate change to the Coral Triangle. "This area is the planet's crown jewel of coral diversity and we are watching it disappear before our eyes," said Catherine Plume, Director of the Coral Triangle Program for WWF-US, when the report was released. "But as this study shows, there are opportunities to prevent this tragedy while sustaining the livelihoods of millions who rely on its riches."

The report describes in stark terms the consequences of allowing the continued rapid increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and of not addressing other threats.

"In one scenario, we continue along our current climate trajectory and do little to protect coastal environments from the onslaught of local threats," said Queensland University Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, who led the study. "In this world, people see the biological treasures of the Coral Triangle destroyed over the course of the century by rapid increases in ocean temperature, acidity and sea level, while the resilience of coastal environments also deteriorates under faltering coastal management. Poverty increases, food security plummets, economies suffer and coastal people migrate increasingly to urban areas."

But there are alternatives to that future.  People around the planet can aggressively curb greenhouse gas emissions, and in the Coral Triangle investments can be made in strengthening the region's natural environments, solutions that would help to build a resilient and robust Coral Triangle in which economic growth, food security and natural environments are maintained.

"Climate change in the Coral Triangle is challenging but manageable, and the region would respond well to reductions in local environmental stresses from overfishing, pollution, and declining coastal water quality and health,"  Hoegh-Guldberg said.

Even under the best case scenario however, communities  in the region can expect to experience  dramatic losses of coral, rising sea levels, increased storm activity, severe droughts and reduced food availability from coastal fisheries. But effective management of coastal resources would mean the communities would be less vulnerable and better able to adapt in the face of such hardships.

Online Resources

Worst coral death strikes at SE Asia .  Press release (19 October 2010) from The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Australian Research Council).  Includes a Coral Triangle Initiative.

Reef Manager's Guide To Coral Bleaching

Climate Change and Coral Reefs: Consequences of Inaction [PDF]. By the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and International Coral Reef Initiative. November 2009

Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification. By O. Hoegh-Guldberg et al.Science 14 December 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5857, pp. 1737 – 1742

Scripps-Led Studies on Coral Bleaching Show Ocean Health Plays Vital Role in Coral Reef Recovery. Press release (20 August 2009) from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

MEMO: Health insurance, banking, oil industries met with Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck to plot 2010 election

Posted: 20 Oct 2010 08:54 AM PDT

In 2006, Koch Industries owner Charles Koch revealed to the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore that he coordinates the funding of the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks, media outlets and other anti-government efforts through a twice annual meeting of wealthy right-wing donors. He also confided to Moore, who is funded through several of Koch's ventures, that his true goal is to strengthen the "culture of prosperity" by eliminating "90%" of all laws and government regulations.

Although it is difficult to quantify the exact amount Koch alone has funneled to right-wing fronts, some studies have pointed toward $50 million he has given alone to anti-environmental groups. Recently, fronts funded by Charles and his brother David have received scrutiny because they have played a pivotal role in the organizing of the anti-Obama Tea Parties and the promotion of virulent far right lawmakers like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). (David Koch praised DeMint and gave him a "Washington Award" shortly after the senator promised to "break" Obama by making health reform his "Waterloo.")

In this must-read cross post, TP's Lee Fang details how Big Oil and the leading funders of anti-science disinformation are trying to buy a pollution-friendly government.

While the Koch brothers — each worth over $21.5 billion — have certainly underwritten much of the right, their hidden coordination with other big business money has gone largely unnoticed. ThinkProgress has obtained a memo outlining the details of the last Koch gathering held in June of this year. The memo, along with an attendee list of about 210 people, shows the titans of industry — from health insurance companies, oil executives, Wall Street investors, and real estate tycoons — working together with conservative journalists and Republican operatives to plan the 2010 election, as well as ongoing conservative efforts through 2012. According to the memo, David Chavern, the number two at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Fox News hate-talker Glenn Beck also met with these representatives of the corporate elite. In an election season with the most undisclosed secret corporate giving since the Watergate-era, the memo sheds light on the symbiotic relationship between extremely profitable, multi-billion dollar corporations and much of the conservative infrastructure. The memo describes the prospective corporate donors as "investors," and it makes clear that many of the Republican operatives managing shadowy, undisclosed fronts running attack ads against Democrats were involved in the Koch's election-planning event:

Corporate "investors" at the Koch meeting included businesses with a strong profit motive in rolling back President Obama's enacted reforms. Several companies impacted by health reform, including Allan Hubbard of A & E Industries, a manufacturer of medical devices and Judson Green, a board member of health insurance conglomerate Aon, were present at the meeting. Other businessmen at the meeting, like Omaha Burger King franchiser Mike Simmonds, are owners of fast food stores which have fought efforts to provide health insurance to their employees. Many corporate attendees of the meeting represent the financial industry impacted by Wall Street reform. For instance, attendee Bill Cooper is the CEO of TCF Financial, a corporation involved in the mortgage banking industry. Cooper recently filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Wall Street reform. Other financial industry players in the meeting hail from firms ranging from Bank of America, JLM Investment, Allied Capital Corp, AMG National Trust, the Blackstone Group and Citadel Investment. Annie Dickerson, a representative of Paul Singer, a powerful hedge fund manager who also gives tens of millions to Republican causes, was present. In addition, Koch Industries itself has a hedge fund and other financial derivative products in its portfolio of interests, which include oil pipelines, coal shipping, asphalt, refineries, consumer goods, timber, ranching, and chemicals.

Corporate "investors" at the Koch meeting included businesses with a strong profit motive in preventing progressive reforms promised by President Obama. Several executives at the meeting have an incentive to stop Democrats and President Obama from addressing climate change and enacting clean energy reform. The meeting included oil executives from Aspect Energy, Murfin Drilling, Anschutz Company, GeoPark Holdings, Smoky Oil, and several members of Koch's various subsidiaries. The meeting documents explicitly state that funding efforts to curb "climate change alarmism" were discussed.

Fred Malek, Karl Rove's top fundraiser for his $56 million attack ad campaign against Democrats, attended the meeting, along with leaders of other secret attack groups. Heather Higgins, who leads the Independent Women's Forum, a shadowy group that has spent millions of dollars in attack ads on health reform, attended the meeting. So did Gretchen Hamel, a former Bush flak who now runs an attack ad group called "Public Notice," which denounces spending programs.

Participants collaborated with infamous consultants who specialize in generating fake grassroots movements, as well as experts on how corporations should take advantage of Citizens United. One session, about how to "mobilize citizens for November," involved a discussion with Republican strategists Tim Phillips and Sean Noble, anti-union leader Mark Mix, and longtime Koch operative Karl Crow. Phillips — a veteran astroturf lobbyist who previously managed a deceptive grassroots lobbying campaign to help the Hong Kong-based Tan family maintain their forced abortion sweatshops in the Mariana Islands — now leads the day-to-day operations of Americans for Prosperity, the group ThinkProgress first reported to have helped organize many of the initial Tea Party rallies against Obama. Americans for Prosperity, founded and financed by David Koch, has a field team of over 80 campaign staffers spread out around the country, and additionally plans to spend $45 million dollars worth of attack ads against Democrats. Shortly before the planning meeting, Crow authored a campaign finance memo explaining that because of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, he advised specifically that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 501(c)(6) and Americans for Prosperity's 501(c)(4) can "now use general treasury funds to produce communications materials opposing or supporting specific candidates" and corporations can aggressively pressure their employees to vote a certain way.

The memo notes that participants in the 2010 election planning meeting "committed to an unprecedented level of support."

Interestingly, the Koch meetings are managed by Kevin Gentry, an executive who doubles as a staffer in the Koch Industries lobbying office in Washington and as the key point person who helps deliver Koch charitable foundation grants. As ThinkProgress has documented, Koch Industries has dramatically boosted its own profits by using conservative front groups to manipulate public policy. The fusion between the "intellectual" conservative movement and big businesses opposed to regulations and accountability has a history in America dating back to the New Deal. During the thirties, the Du Pont family and other wealthy interests organized an assortment of "Liberty League" front groups to try to defeat New Deal agenda items and repeal President Roosevelt's Social Security program. Now, corporations fund groups like the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute — both had representatives at the Koch meeting — to further their lobbying agenda. The American Enterprise Institute even changed its name from the New Deal-era American Enterprise Association to try to dispel the notion that they were nothing more than a glorified business trade association.

As the memo states, Beck has addressed this regular gathering of conservative corporate executives in previous years. Past Koch meetings have included various Republican lawmakers, including DeMint, and Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia as speakers.

After ThinkProgess published its exclusive investigation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealing that the Chamber has been actively fundraising from foreign corporations for its 501(c)(6) account used to run a $75 million attack ad campaign, Chamber lobbyists found common cause with Beck and many of the conservative talking heads. Shortly after our investigation, Beck hosted an on-air fundraiser, asking his audience to give to the Chamber. Casual observers might have been surprised by the Chamber's swift alliance with Beck (Chamber executives appeared on the Beck radio program and sung Beck's praises on the Chamber blog), who has compared Obama to Adolf Hitler and called the President a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." By telling his listeners to give money to the Chamber, Beck, who owns a media company worth more than $32 million dollars and an experimental Mercedes Benz, essentially told his working class viewers to give their wages back to their employers. However, Beck never disclosed his long working history of discussing political strategy with America's largest corporations. The Koch memo clearly shows that Beck has been collaborating with the Chamber, as well as other titans of industry, for years. In his latest appeal for support to the Chamber's foreign-funded trade association, which already counts JP Morgan and ExxonMobil as dues-paying members, Beck yesterday told his audience that the Chamber simply "defends the little guy."

Click below to view a letter inviting corporate executives to attend the next Koch meeting in January, along with a list of the sessions held by Koch for the last meeting in June of 2010. An attendee list of the June, 2010 meeting is attached at the bottom of the document:

CAPAF interns Salvatore Colleluori, Riley Waggaman, and Ben Kaldunski contributed to this post.

Some of the donors at the Koch meeting were longtime Bush fundraisers, like Cintas Corporation CEO Dick Farmer and wholesale executive Art Pope. However, many names appear to be relatively new to conservative movement "investment." Click below for a listing of the attendees

Name(s) Industry Notes
Jack and Rose Marie Anderson Finance Culver Corp, Rose Marie and Jack R. Anderson Foundation- Financial Advisor
Neil Anderson and Amy Fisher-Smith
Runs Rose Marie and Jack R. Anderson Foundation
Phil and Nancy Anschutz Investment Industrialist, Owner, Weekly Standard, Examiner newspapers
Cliff Asness Investment AQR Capital Management
Nate and Lynda Bachman Finance The Bachman Group-Financial Advisor
Whitney Ball Think Tank Owner of a firm that helps corporations give anonymous gifts to front groups
Michael Barone Media Fox News
Frank and Kathy Baxter Banking Ambassador Frank E. Baxter is Chairman Emeritus of Jefferies and Company, Inc., a global investment bank focusing on mid-cap companies.
Steve and Betty Bechtel Engineering Owns the Bechtel Group (Corporation), Largest engineering company in United States
Glenn Beck Media Fox News
Bernard and Margaret Blasingame Manufacturing President and owner of Aqua Dynamics Systems, Inc
Alan and Lisa Boeckmann Oil CEO Fluor Corporation
Boysie Bollinger Shipping/Commerce Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Bollinger Shipyards
Patrick and Paula Broe Real Estate Founder and CEO of Denver-based real estate asset management firm, The Broe Group
Arthur Brooks Think Tank President, American Enterprise Institute
David and Ann Brown Think Tank Heritage Foundation
John Bryan

Bob and Martha Buford Oil C. Robert Buford has been President and owner of Zenith Drilling Corporation
Tim Busch

Shelby and Nell Bush Energy Vice President, Legal and Administration – Hillwood Energy
Tim Carney Media Political Columnist, Washington Examiner
Charlies and Marla Chandler

David Chavern Lobbyist Executive Vice President and COO at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
John Childs Insurance Chairman and CEO of J.W. Childs and Associates
Paul and Lea Clifton
Runs Robert and Marie Hansen Family Foundation
Susie Coelhoe Media founder and CEO of Susie Coelho Enterprises Inc.
Bill Cooper and Kristin Tollefson Finance/Banking CEO of TCF Financial
Dino and Joan Cortopassi

Joe Craft Coal Joseph W. Craft III is president, chief executive officer and director of Alliance Resource Partners LP
Alex Cranberg Energy Aspect Holdings, LLC – Chairman
Jeff Crank Americans For Prosperity / Radio Pundit AFP State Director
Karl Crow Policy Analyst Capital Research Center
Eric Crown and Isabella King Technology Sales Sell Technology Equipment
Kevin Crutchfield Coal Kevin S. Crutchfield serves as Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Coal Sales Co., LLC.
Ravenell and Beth Curry

Jim and Shirley Dannenbaum Engineering Mr. Dannenbaum, Chairman of Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation
Veronique de Rugy Think Tank Senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center
Rich and Helen DeVos Business Founder and CEO of Amway
Annie Dickerson Business CBRE analyst
Ned and Nancy Diefenthal

Jim and Dorothy Patterson Oil Gulf Stream Petroleum
Dan and Kellie Peters Non-for Profit Daniel S. Peters is president of the Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio
Tom Petrie Banking Co-founder of BofA Merrill Lynch Petrie Divestiture Advisors
Dixon and Carol Doll Technology Co-Founder and General Partner of DCM
Karl and Stevie Eller Advertising
Ron and Kris Erickson Retail Ronald A. Erickson is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Holiday Companies
Melvyn and Suellen Estrin Natural Gas Director of WGL Holdings INC
Dick Farmer

Peter Farrell Biomed Founder of Resmed
Jim and Zibbie Ferrell Fuel Oil Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. engages in the distribution and sale of propane and related equipment primarily in the United States.
Dave Fettig Natural Gas Tank Craft, Duracraft Fuel energy
Bob Fettig Natural Gas Tank Craft, Duracraft Fuel energy
Steve Fettig Natural Gas Tank Craft, Duracraft Fuel energy
Jerry and Nanette Finger Banking Managing Partner, Finger Interests LTD
Richard Fink Koch Industries Director of Georgia-Pacific, EVP of Koch Industries
Budd and Lauri Florkiewicz Manufacturing Foam Fabricators
Charlie and Kaye Lynn Fote Finance Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Fotec Group LLC
Randy and Jean Foutch Oil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Laredo Petroleum, Inc.
Foster Friess Investment Mr. Foster Stephen Friess is the Founder and Chairman of Friess Associates, LLC
Steve and Polly Friess

Jerry and Leah Fullinwider Energy/Petroleum Vice Chairman, Hillwood International Energy, L.P.
Richard and Leslie Gilliam Coal Richard Gilliam has been President of Cumberland Resources Corporation since 1993.
Susan Gore Think Tank Founder, Wyoming Liberty Group
Oliver and Carolyn Grace Jr. Med and Telecom President and chief executive officer of Anderson Group, Inc.,
Judson and Joyce Green Energy and Med Mr. Judson C. Green is the President and Chief Executive Officer of NAVTEQ Corp.
Ken and Anne Griffin Investment Banking Founder and CEO of Citadel Investment Group
Gretchen Hamel

Fred and Jane Hamilton Oil Mr. Frederic C. Hamilton served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of BHP Petroleum, Hamilton Oil Company and various Hamilton Oil Corporation subsidiaries and affiliates
Bob and Mary Sue Hawk Communications President of Hawk Communications
Dick and Ethie Haworth Retail Head of Haworth Furniture, Multi-national corporation, 3rd largest corporate furniture company in US
Robin and Barbara Hayes Government Former NC Congressman
Dan and Carolyn Heard Manufacturing Executive Officer of John H. Carter Co.,
Diane Hendricks Manufacturing Husband of Ken Hendricks
Steve and Regina Hennessy Auto Sales Auto Sales
James and Heather Higgins Think Tank Independent Women's Forum
Paul Hill Oil Paul J. Hill serves as the Chief Executive Officer and has been President of Harvard Developments Inc. since 1978. Mr. Hill serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of The Hill Companies.
John and Joan Hotchkis Education Board of Directors for Teach for America UC Berkley
Allan and Kathy Hubbard Chemicals and Manufacturing Founder and Chief Executive Officer, E & A Industries, Inc.
Stan and Karen Hubbard Communications Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc.
Ethelmae Humphreys Think Tank Cato Institute
Manley and Mary Johnson Political Consultant
Merritt Johnson

Gerry and Priscilla O'Shaughnessy Oil Gerald Eugene O'Shaughnessy Co-founded Geopark Holding Limited in 2002.
Michael O'Shaunessy Technology Petters Consumer Brands, LLC develops consumer electronics and appliances.
Tim O'Shaughnessy Media Hungry Machine, Inc., doing business as, is a social discovery and cataloging network.
Marshall Johnson

Kyle and Kirsten Johnstone

Mike and Beth Kasser Real Estate President, Holualoa Inc
Ken and Randy Kendrick Education/Technology Chairman, Datatel
Phil and Joanna Kerpen Advocacy Group/Think Tank VP of Policy, Americans for Prosperity
Gerry and Kathryn Kingen Restauranteur Red Robin, Happy Guests Int'll
Scott Kirkpatrick Investor Teton Capital
Charles and Liz Koch Koch Industries
Chase and Annie Koch Koch Industries
David and Julia Koch Koch Industries
Elizabeth Koch Koch Industries
Bob and Cindy Koch Koch Industries
Bob Kohlhepp Manufacturing/Services Vice Chairman, Cintas Corp.
Dennis Kuester Banking Retired CEO of M&I Bank
Andrew Kupersmith Consultant MD, Cardiology Consultants
Andre Lacy Investment Chairman, Lacy Diversified Industries
Ken and Elaine Langone Retail Invemed, Home Depot
Jay and Sally Lapeyre Services Laitram Corp
Ken and Frayda Levy Investment JLM Investment Mgmt
Tom Love Retail CEO, President, Love's Country Stores
Bob Luddy Manufacturing President, Captive Aire Systems
Fred and Marlene Malek Investment Management Thayer Capital Partners
Elaine Marshall
Pierce Marshall Administrative Management MAROPCO
Preston Marshall

Bill Mayer Health Care MD, Mayer & Cope Family Practice
Glen and Diane Meakem Business Solutions CEO, Freemarkets Inc.
Ed Meese Think Tank Heritage Foundation
Lew and Suzy Meibergen Goods/Services President, Johnston Enterprises/WG Johnston Grain Co
Don and Deede Meyers Attorney Self Employed
Jerry and Caroline Milbank Investment Management CEO/Principal, Milbank Winthrop & Co.
Jack and Goldie Miller Retail CEO/President, Quill Corp.
Mark Mix Advocacy Group President, National Right to Work Committee
Joe and Mary Moeller Koch Industries Vice Chairman
Steve Moore Media member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board
David Murfin Energy President, Murfin Drilling Co.
Walter and Suzette Negley

Mina Nguyen

Larry and Polly Nichols Energy Executive Chairman, Devon Energy Corp
Sean Noble Front Group Americans for Prosperity
Tim and Teresa Oelke Advocacy Group/Construction Teresa – State Director of Americans for Prosperity, Tim – Crossland Construction Corp
Eric O'Keefe Front Group Sam Adams Alliance
Kurt and Nancy Pfotenhauer Media President of MediaSpeak Strategies/former political commentator on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC and former Senior Policy Advisor and National Spokesperson with the 2008 John McCain presidential campaign
Tim Phillips Advocacy Group president, Americans for Prosperity
Ramesh Ponnuru Media National Review magazine
Art and Kathy Pope Goods/Services Senior Exec, Variety Wholesaler
Russ Roberts Attorney Roberts, Ashby & Parrish
Corbin and Barbara Robertson Energy President, Quintana Minerals Corp
Richard Roder and Karin Hsu Construction Management CEO, Cmt-Construction Management
Gary and Kathleen Rogers Goods Former CEO, Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream
Durk Rorie Manufacturing United Air Specialists
Chris Rufer Goods/Manufacturing Morningstar Company
Peter Schiff and Martha O'Brien Investor Schiff: Euro Pacific Capital Inc.,
Steve and Christine Schwarzman Financial Services CEO/founder, Blackstone Group
Rick and Sherry Sharp Retail Former CEO, Circuit City
Mike and Lin Simmonds Services CEO, Simmonds Restaurant Mgmt
Peter Smith Services CEO, Service Group of America
Dick Strong Investment Services Strong/Corneliuson Capital Mgmt
Michael Sullivan Investment Services CR Intrinsic Investors
Ray and Ladeline Thompson Manufacturing President/CEO, Semitool
Lynn Tilton Investment Management CEO, Patriarch Partners LLC
Dave and Melanie True Oil Partner
Steve Twist Consultant Rose & Allyn PR Consultants
Jim and Gayla Von Ehr Research/Development CEO, Zyvex Corp
Rick and Debra Waller Manufacturing Owner, Rollmeister Inc
Peter Wallison Think Tank Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Bill and Sarah Walton Real Estate Allied Capital Corp
Lew and Myra Ward Oil Ward Petroleum Corporation owns and operates wells. It engages in oil and gas exploration and production. The company was founded in 1963 and is based in Enid, Oklahoma.
Dick Weekley Real Estate Weekley Properties
Fred and Susie Wehba Real Estate Bentley Forbes Real Estate
Nestor Weigand and Darcy Buehler Real Estate JP Weigand & Sons Real Estate
Dick and Mary Beth Weiss Life Insurance Wells Fargo, Hawthorne Rances
Howard and Rhonda Wilkins Insurance Diversified Insurance
Don and Sue Wills Oil
Larry and Lorraine Winnerman Real Estate Win Win Enterprises
Joe Woodford

Earl Wright Finance AMG Natinal Trust
Karen Wright and Tom Rastin Energy/Manufacturing Tom Rastin, vice president of marketing and engineering, Ariel Corp – Karen Wright, Ariel CEO
Cliff and Susan Yonce Investment Banking Goldman Sachs
Fred and Sandra Young Services Diversified Search, LLC provides senior-level executive and corporate board search services in the United States and internationally. It provides recruitment services for various organizations in consumer and industrial, education, not-for-profit, arts and culture, financial and professional services, business, healthcare and human services, life sciences, media and entertainment, sports and leisure, energy and utilities, private equity, retail, and technology and communications industries.

Energy and Global Warming News for October 20th: Varian looks to enforce Moore's Law in solar; Bangladesh, India most at risk from climate change; Floating wind turbines?

Posted: 20 Oct 2010 08:47 AM PDT

New Floating Wind Turbines to Make Wind Energy Cheaper More Reliable?

Floating wind turbines are a little more complicated and require higher initial costs. But a new study, Project Deepwater, by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) in the UK has found that due to their greater ability to access stronger and more consistent winds deeper out at sea, they are more economically efficient in the long term.

"The traditional view is that the cost of offshore wind becomes increasingly expensive as turbines are located in deeper water, due to the additional costs of supporting traditional turbine structures," said ETI chief executive Dr David Clarke.

"The cost of foundations does get more expensive as you go into deeper water, but the wind speeds in much of the UK's deep water are significantly stronger and more consistent, which results in a more reliable and higher energy output. Over time, this more than outweighs the additional foundation costs and gives an overall lower cost of energy."

Bangladesh, India most at risk from climate change

Bangladesh and India are the countries most vulnerable to climate change, according to an index on Wednesday that rates the Nordic region least at risk.

British consultancy Maplecroft said its rankings showed that several "big economies of the future" in Asia were among those facing the biggest risks from global warming in the next 30 years as were large parts of Africa.

It said poverty and large low-lying coastal regions prone to floods and cyclones were among factors making Bangladesh the most exposed country. India, in second place, was vulnerable because of pressures from a rising population of 1.1 billion.

Madagascar was in third place, followed by Nepal, Mozambique, the Philippines, Haiti, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Myanmar. Vietnam, in 13th place and flood-hit Pakistan in 16th were also in the most exposed group.

Varian Looks to Enforce Moore's Law in Solar

Ion implantation revolutionized semiconductor manufacturing and could do the same for solar. Varian Semiconductor, headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts, believes it can bring a Moore's Law momentum to solar.

Moore's Law is the observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1966 that the number of transistors that can be placed on a chip can be doubled every 24 months But Moore's Law doesn't really map to solar.  Moore's law is about getting small.  With solar, shrinkage doesn't work. Shrinking a solar cell reduces the surface area exposed to the sun, which reduces the amount of power it can generate.  In the solar space, at least, smaller is the enemy of better.

"This is not the chip industry. The rate of change is completely different," said Joseph Laia, CEO of MiaSolĂ©.  "I don't have Moore's Law…I don't have shrink."   Photovoltaics do seem to have a relation between volume production and cost.  It's said that for every doubling in solar volume — there is a twenty percent reduction in cost.  But Rubin's Conundrum posits that the relationship is observed but not causal.  The cost reduction is not due to volume but other factors — usually technology advancements required to become or stay competitive.  It is those "other factors" that Varian hopes to address, by giving solar cell engineers new options for cell development and production.

Ion Implantation to the Rescue

Varian supplies ion implantation equipment to most of the major semiconductor manufacturers in the United States, Europe and Asia.  Revenue in the firm's most recent quarter was 227.7 million.

According to Jim Mullin, the Vice President and General Manager of Varian's solar group, 90 percent of crystalline silicon cells are the same product made on the same equipment.  Varian is looking at a way to fundamentally change the c-Si cell itself.

Opportunities Abundant as Ontario Moves Closer to a Green Economy

Ontario's manufacturing sector recently received a boost when Italian solar photovoltaic manufacturer, Silfab SpA, announced that it is creating an incorporated Silfab Canada in Mississauga, Ontario.  The $15 million, 100,000 square foot solar module plant will commence production in early 2011, generating up to 60 MW of clean energy.  By 2012 it will expand to 180 MW.  The facility will be split in two distinct areas – one for SilFab's own solar PV modules and the other for Ontario-based solar PV module manufacturers.

This project joins a litany of other green investments in the province, demonstrating Ontario's growing commitment to erecting a clean and sustainable economy powered by renewable forms of energy.

Ontario as the Dominant Solar Market in 2011

Ontario Solar PV Fields Inc. which is a joint effort between Q-Cells SE and Automation Tooling Systems is creating a 64 MW project which will represent 10% of all ground-mounted solar projects in the province.  Marc Van Gerven, CEO of Q-Cells North America, says that the "Ontario market is projected to be one of the dominant solar markets in North America in 2011."  Martin Cecchetto, VP of ATS Corporate Development, believes that together his company and Q-Cells can "make widespread solar adoption in Ontario a reality and significantly expand the solar expertise and presence in the province."

Macy's Solar Installation Claims Title as Biggest Single Rooftop Solar Power System

On October 13, word leaked out that Macy's fulfillment center in Goodyear, Arizona was getting a solar power system – one that company representatives described as "the biggest single-rooftop system in the United States."

Macy's, one of the nation's largest and most well-known retailers, operates 810 stores in 45 states, including Guam and Puerto Rico, and ranks 96 on the 2009 Fortune 500 list.

At 3.5 megawatts (MW), Macy's solar array is undeniably large. Comprised of SunPower Corporation E19 solar modules mounted via the SunPower® T5 Solar Roof Tile system (which boasts doubling energy output per square meter), it's also highly efficient.

San Jose, California-based SunPower Corp.(NASDAQ: SPWRA) has been working since 1985 to spread the solar power gospel with its highly efficient solar cells, solar panels and inverters designed for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plants.

New West London studio to feature on-site wind turbine and biomass generator

Your favourite television programmes could soon be coming to you courtesy of wind power after Sky confirmed that it has received planning permission for a wind turbine at its new studios in Osterley, West London.

The company said the planning approval, which also covers a proposed combined heat and power (CHP) biomass generator, represents the final piece in the studio's jigsaw for a studio complex that the company is already positioning as the "world's greenest broadcasting centre".

A spokeswoman for Sky said the new £233m facility, dubbed Harlequin 1, will cover an area equivalent to two New York City blocks and feature eight state-of-the-art studios, as well as offices and broadcasting infrastructure.

However, it will also boast a range of green and energy-efficient innovations, including rainwater harvesting systems, energy-efficient lighting and green datacentre systems.

Crucially, the centre will include a natural air ventilation system, designed to reduce reliance on air conditioning in the studios.

Interactive: Big polluters' big ad spending

Posted: 20 Oct 2010 08:22 AM PDT

CAP's Rebecca Lefton and Noreen Nielsen wrote this cross-post.

Big Oil and its special interest allies have spent more than $68.5 million combined since the beginning of 2010 on misleading and fictitious televisions ads designed to shape midterm elections and advance their anti-clean energy reform agenda. The stakes for our clean energy future are high as pro-oil and coal groups spend more and more and climate-denying candidates run against climate champions in tight races.

Click on the arrows to scroll through the different groups and find out more about where they are spending on television ads to prevent progress on clean energy and climate legislation.

Energy Advertising Spending:

Interest group spending surged and grew more secret this year following the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling in January that allowed these groups and corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections. Conservative groups make up the bulk of a fivefold increase in spending since the elections in 2006 that seeks to influence the upcoming midterm elections. Many of the groups doling out this cash are set up like nonprofits—such as Americans for Job Security—and do not have to disclose their financial donors.

The graphic above illustrates nearly $17.3 million in spending on television ads by special interest groups around the country starting in August and October 2010.

The graphic is only a glimpse, however, of Big Oil and Big Coal's political capital. The Center for American Progress Action Fund documents in our "Dirty Money" report that the 20 biggest-spending oil, mining, and electric utility companies spent $242 million on lobbying from January 2009 to June 2010. Trade associations generally opposed to clean energy policies spent another $290 million. Lobbying and advertising are just two tools in Big Oil and Big Coal's arsenal to defeat clean energy and oil-reform legislation they believe will compromise their profits.

Rebecca Lefton is a Researcher and Noreen Nielsen is the Energy Communications Director for Progressive Media at American Progress.

See also:

  • Dirty Money by Daniel J. Weiss, Rebecca Lefton, and Susan Lyon

Western Climate Initiative at risk in governors' races

Posted: 20 Oct 2010 07:34 AM PDT

Brad Johnson wrote this Wonk Room cross post. Here is his full governor-race compilation.

The Western Climate Initiative — a regional cap-and-trade compact between California, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Montana and four Canadian provinces — was established in 2007 and scheduled to go into effect in 2012. There are governors' races in all the states except Montana and Washington. Republican governors in Arizona and Utah — who are cruising to re-election this fall — have already worked to scuttle their involvement. California's contribution, the legislation known as AB 32, is under threat both from the Proposition 23 ballot initiative and from Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. The future of the compact rides on the governors' races this November in California, New Mexico, and Oregon:

ARIZONA: Terry Goddard v. Jan Brewer
CALIFORNIA: Jerry Brown v. Meg Whitman
NEW MEXICO: Diane Denish v. Susana Martinez
OREGON: John Kitzhaber v. Chris Dudley
UTAH: Peter Corroon v. Gary Herbert

ARIZONA: Terry Goddard v. Jan Brewer

538 forecast: 4 percent Democratic pickup

Jan Brewer, who assumed the governorship when Democrat Janet Napolitano was chosen as Secreatary of Health and Human Services, officially recognizes the threat of global warming pollution but has pulled Arizona out of any effort to cap its pollution. In her executive order in February 2010 that announced Arizona would not participate in the Western Climate Initiative's regional cap-and-trade program, Brewer admitted:

Arizona is a growing state whose greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been projected to rise, based on historical trends, as Arizona will experience population and economic growth in the future. [Executive Order 2010-06, 2/2/10]

The executive order also ordered the state to "review its adoption of the California Clean Cars Program, in light of national vehicle standards coming into place." However, Brewer still wants the state to participate in the regional compact to "have a seat at the table" on climate issues.

Brewer promotes the state's 15 percent-by-2025 renewable standard, and supports "adding more nuclear power to Arizona's energy supply."

Brewer's opponent, Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard, is much more concerned about the threat global warming poses to Arizona. Responding to the Supreme Court's decision compelling the EPA to act on global warming pollution and the 2007 IPPC climate report, Goddard wrote that "it is abundantly clear that if more steps are not taken soon to respond to global climate change, Arizona will be among the places paying the biggest price." In 2009, Goddard defended "the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to grant states the right to regulate global warming pollution from automobiles."

CALIFORNIA: Jerry Brown v. Meg Whitman

77 percent Democratic pickup

The Calfornia governor's races is pivotal for America's clean energy future. California is already the national leader in greenhouse pollution standards for cars and trucks — its fuel economy standards have been adopted by states across the nation and were the basis of the Supreme Court decision that the EPA must regulate greenhouse gases as a pollutant. Billionaire Republican candidate Meg Whitman has vowed to stop the implementation of California's landmark green economy legislation, AB 32:

"Right now, the clock is ticking as new job-killing regulations will go into effect in 2010."

In contrast, Whitman's opponent, Attorney General Jerry Brown, has long been a champion of AB 32. In 2007, he called the legislation a "no-brainer":

You've got your road map, you have your threat, and you have the carrot of all the good things that you will achieve and all the bad things you will avoid. So, to summarize, this is a no-brainer. Let's get working, and let's reduce oil dependency and fight global climate change.

Out-of-state oil companies — Valero, Tesoro, and Koch Industries — are pouring millions into the Proposition 23 campaign to indefinitely suspend AB 32, supported by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity tea party network. Their efforts seems to be backfiring, as California's clean-energy businesses and investors have combined forces with environmentalists and progressives to fight back.

NEW MEXICO: Diane Denish (D) v. Susana Martinez (R)

88 percent Republican pickup

In 2007, Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) strengthened the state renewable energy standard and signed an agreement with six other states — California, Utah, Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Montana — and four Canadian provinces — to form the Western Climate Initiative, a regional cap-and-trade system to go into effect by 2012. However, the future of the initiative is in peril, no matter which candidate wins.

Susana Martinez, the Sarah Palin-endorsed nominee for New Mexico governor, questions the overwhelming scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels is warming the planet. "I'm not sure the science completely supports that," she recently told Politico. Responding to the New Mexico Independent, she revealed that she thinks the science of climate change is an "ideological debate":

While there is disagreement in the science community concerning the causes of global warming, there is little disagreement concerning our responsibility to take care of the environment while creating jobs in New Mexico. Politicians engaging in an ideological debate over the causes of global warming does nothing to protect the environment, or create jobs. As governor, I will support balanced and evidenced-based environmental protections.

Martinez also strongly opposes the Western Climate Initiative, saying it "would impose a new energy tax on businesses and families in New Mexico," making the state "anti-business."

Although Lt. Gov Diane Denish is "proud that New Mexico is a national leader in the battle against climate change," she also strongly opposes a "New Mexico-specific cap-and-trade plan," saying "new regulation would put New Mexico at an economic disadvantage and put countless jobs in our state at risk." Unlike Martinez, however, Denish has a comprehensive economic plan for promoting clean energy investment.

OREGON: John Kitzhaber v. Chris Dudley

44 percent Republican pickup

Oregon has a strong 25-by-25 renewable energy standard, signed in 2007 by Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D-OR). In 2009, Kulongoski "signed several climate change, renewable energy, and energy efficiency bills that expand emission performance standards and greenhouse gas reporting requirements, promote renewable energy, and mandate greater energy efficiency."

Republican candidate Chris Dudley just wants to ignore global warming pollution. "Climate change is probably caused by a variety of factors," Dudley said in a September interview with the Oregonian, "but that debate is beside the point." In a gubernatorial debate on September 30, Dudley finally came out as a cautious global warming denier:

My thought on global warming is this: that global warming exists, man contributes to it, how much, I don't know. I don't know how much is man made and how much is natural. [Oregonian, 9/30/10]

Watch it:

Toeing the party line, Dudley opposes the Western Climate Initiative, attacking "state or regional 'cap-tax-trade' systems which would increase the cost of energy for consumers, make Oregon less economically competitive and do damage to the economy and job creation." He even bashed a weatherization initiative as a boondoggle.

In contrast, former Democratic governor John Kitzhaber is clear: "I do believe climate change is human-caused, and it poses an enormous threat to our country and to our nation." While Dudley has been silent, Kitzhaber has issued a strategic roadmap for green economic empowerment in Oregon.

UTAH: Peter Corroon v. Gary Herbert

Zero percent Democratic pickup

Republican Gary Herbert is a global warming denier:

I've heard people argue on both sides of the issue, people I have a high regard for. People say man's impact is minimal, if at all, so it appears to me the science is not necessarily conclusive. [Deseret News, 6/16/09]

Herbert became governor when Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., was named ambassador to China in 2009. A 10-year state energy plan laid out by Herbert in June "opens the door to nuclear power but does not set mandates or specific targets regarding clean energy."

The Utah state House of Representatives has passed resolutions calling climate science a "conspiracy" and demanding that Herbert pull out of the Western Climate Initiative.

Salt Lake City mayor Peter Corroon's plans for "more solar, wind and geothermal jobs" include "rewarding Utah companies for using renewable energy resources, possibly through a tax credit, and returning to Huntsman's goal of requiring 25 percent of electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2025."

– Brad Johnson

The Christian Science Monitor jumps the shark with pre-debunked, anti-science op-ed by Anthony Watts on Harold Lewis's resignation from APS

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 04:35 PM PDT

One of the many differences between science and religion is that science is almost completely unconcerned with what any individual scientist believes, no matter how famous.  Religions, of course, are typically built around famous individuals, like, say, Mary Baker Eddy, and what they believe.  Sadly, these days, journalism — even at once-great newspapers  — also appear to care more what one individual believes than what scientific observation and analysis actually tells us.

Last week I wrote about how a physicist named Hal Lewis who doesn't know the first thing about climate science resigned from the American Physical Society because he doesn't know the first thing about climate science.  I debunked the laughable — and unintentionally ironic — post by "former television meteorologist" Anthony Watts comparing Lewis's words of resignation to "a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door."

Only anti-science disinformers believe scientific views are no different from religious ones, that a letter from a non-climate-scientist (particularly one who hasn't bothered to learn the first thing about climate science or talk to actual climate scientists) would carry any weight at all, let alone lead to a major new science religion of Lewisism (Wattsism?), since, of course, that's not how science works.

I never would have imagined in a hundred years, though, that the once respected Christian Science Monitor would publish a piece by Watts that opens with this pure anti-science headline and subhead (and picture of Martin Luther):

Climate change 'fraud' letter: a Martin Luther moment in science history

Esteemed physicist Harold Lewis is calling global warming the 'most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen.' His resignation letter could mark the unraveling of one of the great scientific mistakes in history and the beginning of a needed reformation of the scientific community.

Temp Headline Image

In this 1872 painting by Ferdinand Pauwels, Martin Luther nails his "95 Theses" to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany on Oct. 31, 1517.

Just As an aside, I spent many years in Boston, headquarters of CSM [and I particularly loved to visit the awesome Mapparium, which provides an amazing perspective on our planet].  It was a highly respected institution, and, of course, famously founded by, well, here how the CSM puts it:

The Monitor's founder, Mary Baker Eddy, explained our mission this way: "To injure no man, but to bless all mankind."

While we may not land on the doorstep or in the inbox of all mankind (though we'd like to), our aim is to embrace the human family, shedding light and understanding with the conviction that truth is the beginning of solutions. This conviction has served our readers and story subjects well over the years, winning us seven Pulitzer Prizes and more than a dozen Overseas Press Club awards.

Mrs. Eddy's statement contains another distinguishing feature. The purpose of our journalism is to "bless" not "injure." That is central to how we cover the news….

  • And we make a point of resisting the sensational in favor of the meaningful.

Not in this case.  Of course, Eddy founded Christian Science.  As Wikipedia notes, "Christian Scientists believe that sickness is the result of fear, ignorance, or sin, and that when the erroneous belief is corrected, the sickness will disappear."

What makes the publication of this op-ed so absurd is that the American Physical Society had already officially responded to and debunked Lewis:

There is no truth to Dr. Lewis' assertion that APS policy statements are driven by financial gain. To the contrary, as a membership organization of more than 48,000 physicists, APS adheres to rigorous ethical standards in developing its statements. The Society is open to review of its statements if members petition the APS Council – the Society's democratically elected governing body – to do so.

Dr. Lewis' specific charge that APS as an organization is benefitting financially from climate change funding is equally false. Neither the operating officers nor the elected leaders of the Society have a monetary stake in such funding. Moreover, relatively few APS members conduct climate change research, and therefore the vast majority of the Society's members derive no personal benefit from such research support.

On the matter of global climate change, APS notes that virtually all reputable scientists agree with the following observations:

  • Carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere due to human activity;
  • Carbon dioxide is an excellent infrared absorber, and therefore, its increasing presence in the atmosphere contributes to global warming; and
  • The dwell time of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is hundreds of years.

On these matters, APS judges the science to be quite clear. However, APS continues to recognize that climate models are far from adequate, and the extent of global warming and climatic disruptions produced by sustained increases in atmospheric carbon loading remain uncertain. In light of the significant settled aspects of the science, APS totally rejects Dr. Lewis' claim that global warming is a "scam" and a "pseudoscientific fraud."

Additionally, APS notes that it has taken extraordinary steps to solicit opinions from its membership on climate change. After receiving significant commentary from APS members, the Society's Panel on Public Affairs finalized an addendum to the APS climate change statement reaffirming the significance of the issue. The APS Council overwhelmingly endorsed the reaffirmation….

You can read the 2007 APS statement on climate change here (plus a 2010 explication of it).  It is rather mild, as such statements go:

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth's climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

I had written that Lewis's Inhofe-esque statement "this is the greatest and most successful pseudo-scientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist," accuses the scientific community broadly defined of conspiring in deliberate fraud – and not just the community of climate scientists, but the leading National Academies of Science around the world (including ours) and the American Geophysical Union, an organization of geophysicists that consists of more than 45,000 members and the American Meteorological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (see "Yet more scientists call for deep GHG cuts").  Such a statement accuses all of the member governments of the IPCC, including ours, of participating in that conspiracy, since they all sign off on the Assessment Reports word for word. And it accuses all of the leading scientific journals of being in on this fraud, since the IPCC reports are primarily a review and synthesis of the published scientific literature.

A. Siegel of GetEnergySmartNow, who has a great post on this embarrassing episode, asks:

Does the CSM editorial board really stand with those accusing so many scientists, from so many fields, from so many nations of engaging in systematic fraud?

He also quotes a commenter, Eric Grimsrud, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Montana State University, who writes:

We have here an example of a "perfect storm" of conditions on the waves of which the deniers of CO2's warming effects will ride as hard as they can. The three elements that created this storm are the "reporter" Mr. Watt, who is in the denier's camp, Dr. Lewis, who was a respected elderly physicist but not in the field of climate science and the Christian Science Monitor, whose poor judgement in running this "story" surprises me.

While I'll not waste time trying to understand the motives of the first two elements, I suspect that the CSM indulged in the time-honored newspaper inclination to give equal attention of "both sides" of all issues. Unlike politics or economics, however, in science there comes a point when there are no longer equally valid different views of a given topic. Mother Nature tends to do things either one way or the other. Just as we now know that the Earth is not flat, we also know that it is being overheated by the excess CO2 we are putting into its atmophere.

At DotEarth, blogger Andy Revkin notes that Lewis himself embraced this "pseudo-scientific fraud" two decades ago in his book, Technological Risk:

There's no law against changing one's views, of course, but it is doubly bizarre to accuse the American Physical Society — and indeed the entire scientific community — of pseudo-scientific fraud for holding a view he himself once held (on far, far weaker scientific evidence at the time, it must be added).

Lewis's letter was devoid of any actual critique of climate science, but he offers some of his amazingly uninformed statements on the subject here.  Eli Rabett debunked the whole thing here.  Lewis asserted "nobody doubts that CO2 in the atmosphere has been increasing for the better part of a century, but the disobedient temperature seems not to care very much," whereas Rabett notes among other things, "The temperatures are tracking the CO2 forcing just fine."  Lewis bizarrely asserts, "people and plants die from cold, not warmth."  Tell that to the folks in Moscow this summer — or Europe in the summer of 2003.

Lewis states:

I know of nobody who denies that the Earth has been warming for thousands of years without our help…

This line tells you the author not only doesn't follow the scientific literature, but that he doesn't actually associate with or talk to anybody who does.

As Rabett explained, "Well, actually most people who have a clue think that without our contributions the surface would be cooling a bit right now due to the Milankovitch cycles which have reached and passed the warm peak."  Indeed, he points us to the 1980 Science article, "Modeling the Climatic Response to Orbital Variations," which concludes "Ignoring anthropogenic and other possible sources of variation acting at frequencies higher than one cycle per 19,000 years, this model predicts that the long-term cooling trend which began some 6000 years ago will continue for the next 23,000 years."

More recent money-grubbing conspirators include those folks at the National Center for Atmospheric Research:

Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reached their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, new research indicates. The study, which incorporates geologic records and computer simulations, provides new evidence that the Arctic would be cooling if not for greenhouse gas emissions that are overpowering natural climate patterns.

But Lewis knows not a single person who denies the earth has been warming for thousands of years.

Let me end where I began.  Watts says of Lewis, "he's no lightweight, and he's well respected in the field of physics."  So what?  "Einstein himself is well known for rejecting some of the claims of quantum mechanics" even though Einstein actually helped establish some of the foundations of quantum mechanics.   So what?  It turned out Einstein's intuition was wrong.   That's why science isn't built around what individual scientists believe, no matter how famous.  In this case, Lewis isn't even a climate scientist.

The Christian Science Monitor should retract this op-ed, apologize for it, and publish the APS response.  Here is their contact page.

Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity pushes Koch-funded Prop 23 at official RNC rally in California

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 12:39 PM PDT

On Saturday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) held a large "Victory Rally," which ThinkProgress attended, just outside Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was the highlight of event, while RNC Chairman Michael Steele, several GOP congressmen, and right-wing media tycoon Andrew Breitbart also gave speeches to the excited, mostly-elderly crowd in a hotel ballroom. Notably absent were Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, California's GOP Senate and governor nominees.

But curiously present was the conservative "grassroots" astroturfing outfit Americans for Prosperity (AFP), which held a "No Jobs Fair" to encourage people to vote yes on Proposition 23, a referendum on the ballot this year that would essentially scrap California's landmark global warming law.  TP has the story and video in this cross-post.

Interestingly, AFP appeared the be the only group aside from the RNC and candidates' campaigns with any major presence at the event, entirely occupying a large room across the hallway from the rally in the Anaheim Marriott. The only other room being employed, aside from those for the rally itself and AFP, was a small space adjacent where attendees could register to volunteer for GOP campaigns.

While federal election law would prohibit groups like AFP from coordinating with the RNC, AFP California Communications Director Meridith Turney told ThinkProgress that the two groups did not coordinate, but that AFP had to "ask for their permission to use the room" and paid the RNC for its use. Watch a compliation of AFP's fair, and ThinkProgress' interview with Turney and AFP California Chairman David Spady:

Turney couldn't really explain why, of all the countless ballot initiatives across the country — California alone has 10 — her group had invested so heavily in Prop. 23. But AFP and the Yes on 23 campaign are a natural fit. The campaign pushing Prop. 23 portrays itself as a broad coalition of Californians concerned about jobs, but it is in fact funded almost exclusively by a small handful of out-of-state oil companies concerned about their bottom line if the state's global warming law is allowed to be fully implemented. Texas-based Valero and Tesoro, along with Kansas-based Koch Industries alone have provided about 80 percent of the financial backing.

Koch, the country's second largest privately held company, is owned and operated by brothers Charles and David Koch. Coincidentally, David Koch is the chairman of AFP. In corporate documents, Koch Industries has explicitly stated that California's global warming law would hurt profits and "be very bad news for our industry." With the AFP fair, and countless other events, the Kochs seem to be using the astroturfing arm they founded and fund to defend the profits of the corporation they own, all the while disguising their effort as an altruistic "jobs initiative" for average Californians.

This is typical of AFP, which has played a central role in incubating the tea party movement to drum up populist support as a smokescreen to push their self-serving interests. The Koch brothers have repeatedly tried to distance themselves from the tea party movement to protect its guise of independence, but even AFP's own Meridith Turney has touted her organization's and David Koch's involvement in the movement. Last year at a national AFP meeting led by Koch, she proudly told him AFP California "helped organize huge tea parties all throughout the state," including "one of the largest tea parties in the country." Recently released video even shows David Koch touting his role in supporting AFP and the tea party movement. At the fair Saturday, AFP offered free cocktails to anyone who enlisted in the effort to push the dirty energy referendum that will preserve their profits.

What was unusual about AFP's fair Saturday was the fact that it occurred during an official RNC event, underscoring the growing nexus between the Republican establishment, the tea party movement, and the secretive corporate backers that bankroll both.

Notably, when asked by ThinkProgress whether their organization would join increasing calls for electoral transparency by disclosing its donors, both Turney and Spady dismissed the idea, even if progressive groups like were also required to disclose. In defending their secretive donors, Spady trotted out the familiar excuse employed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others that their backers would be subject to "retribution" of some kind if their contributions were made public. He also said he supports unlimited donations to individual candidates.

Alex Seitz-Wald, in a Think Progress cross-post.

Mitch Daniels, Great Right Hope, Supports Imported Oil Fee?

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 12:27 PM PDT

This cross-post is by CAP's Daniel J. Weiss.

One of Washington's favorite parlor games is identifying each political party's presidential hopefuls long before the campaign begins and handicapping their prospects. One such contender, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, is climbing up the charts as a possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate.

This week The Washington Post's David Broder, the dean of America's political pundits, penned a fawning column about Daniels. After Daniels gave a speech last week at the Hudson Institute, Broder gushed:

The luxury of having a thoughtful presidential contender was striking for everyone hearing Daniels. The onetime Reagan White House political director and Bush White House budget chief is not your run-of-the-mill intellectual. His style is to be down-home, but his record of accomplishment is dazzling.

Broder might be on to something. In Daniels's speech honoring Hudson Institute founder Herman Kahn, Daniels differentiated himself from most national Republican leaders by endorsing a tax on imported oil. This idea contradicts two major GOP orthodoxies: opposition to any tax hikes and devotion to big oil. Politico's report on the speech:

Daniels also suggested support for increasing gasoline taxes. Kahn wrote, in a passage Daniels read from Thursday, "One fully justifiable tax would be on imported oil. Any large importation of oil by the U.S. raises security problems. There are, in effect, external costs associated with importing oil that a tariff would internalize.

"Now, maybe that transgresses some philosophical viewpoint of yours," Daniels told the well-heeled crowd of 250. "But to me, that's an interesting point today, just as valid as the day he wrote it.

The need to reduce foreign oil consumption is more imperative now than when Kahn proposed the oil import fee in 1982. The United States imported less than one-third of its oil in 1982. Imports in 2009 totaled nearly two-thirds of oil consumption. And one in five barrels of oil consumed in the United States now comes from nations that the U.S. State Department classifies as "dangerous or unstable." A fee on imported oil would help internalize some of the economic costs of this dependence, as Daniels noted in citing the Kahn quote from 30 years ago.

An oil import fee could raise revenue to reduce foreign oil consumption by investing in oil demand reduction programs. Such funds could also reduce the budget deficit—a top priority of congressional Republicans. A temporary, extremely modest $5 per barrel fee could raise $22 billion annually. This small levy would raise gasoline prices by just an estimated 5 cents per gallon—less than the gasoline price increase between the week of October 4 and October 10.

This miniscule increase in gasoline prices is too small to create much of an incentive to reduce driving. It would, however, make domestic oil slightly more price competitive with foreign oil. More importantly, the revenue could fund programs to replace some oil with public transportation, natural gas and electric vehicles, and other alternative fuels. These funds could also help reduce the deficit, and/or provide rebates to middle- and low-income families.

The president has broad authority to levy a fee on imported oil under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 if the secretary of commerce and secretary of defense determine that such imports threaten to impair national security. President Gerald Ford invoked similar authority in 1975 to levy a $2 per barrel fee on imported oil (equivalent to $8.10 today).

Daniels's bold suggestion triggered a predictable and fierce reaction from the right, lest he stray from the Republican canon.

Daniels's suggestion that he could support increased gasoline taxes also raised eyebrows on the right.

Increasing oil prices would naturally upset energy company executives, who are key GOP donors.

"What you're really talking about is a massive tax increase on energy," [Grover] Norquist said.

Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform, is a leading opponent of federal efforts to raise revenue. Norquist wants to "get [government] down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

When it comes to energy policy, many Americans disagree with Norquist. The Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund just released an energy policy poll of voters in "23 close Congressional races." Voters in these Congressional Districts were asked to set energy policy priorities.

Now I'm going to read you three goals for America on energy issues. Please tell me which you think is the most important goal for U.S. government action on energy issues:

  • reducing the price of gasoline,
  • reducing our dependence on foreign oil, or
  • increasing renewable energy such as wind and solar to reduce pollution.

The poll results in every one of these swing districts were nearly the same. About half of the respondents in each district made reducing foreign oil dependence their top priority. This priority ranged from 44 percent support in Ohio's 15th district to 57 percent in Florida's 24th district. Generally, about one-third of poll respondents in the 23 districts supported increasing clean energy production from wind and solar power, and only a sixth felt reducing gasoline prices was most important, even though gasoline prices have recently risen.

Governor Mitch Daniels's offhanded proposal to levy an oil import fee better reflects the pulse of the nation than most Republican leaders' steadfast opposition to such efforts. This proposal to reduce oil imports, invest in alternatives, and cut the budget deficit could gain political traction with his active support.

Despite his recent support for an oil import fee Daniels joined Republican leaders in their fervent opponent of legislation to reduce global warming pollution. Will Daniels be willing to challenge his party's leaders' reflexive opposition to raising revenue and cutting oil use? His next steps could tell us a lot about his willingness to ignore party orthodoxy while charting a more secure, cleaner energy path for the nation. And this approach on energy could appeal to the independent voters who help elect the next president.

Daniel J. Weiss is a Senior Fellow and the Director of Climate Strategy at American Progress, where he leads the Center's clean energy and climate advocacy campaign.

Energy and Global Warming News for October 19th: Wind is the new cash crop in rural Washington town; California raises renewable electricity standard to 33%

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 08:51 AM PDT

Wind is the new cash crop in rural Wash. town

On an 80-degree day in this tiny rural town, winds gust up to 30 miles per hour, tossing tree branches and whipping hair into faces. Resident Cheryl Davenport smiles. She knows she's making money.

"It's a T & E day," said Davenport, 62, using jargon familiar to locals. "T & E," means "turn and earn," a mantra whispered to hundreds of windmills. Davenport sits on her porch on days like this, rocking in a chair and cheering spinning white blades, "Turn and earn, turn and earn."

Like many in Goldendale, Davenport and her extended family leased their expansive agricultural land to a wind developer. Turning turbines sitting on their property bring in about $200,000 annually, money divided among a clan of six. In a place where the per capita income is $32,550 a year, that supplies a healthy boost. It is small town America in the age of clean energy promotion.

Windmills cover the town and the county it sits in, Klickitat, located near Washington's southern border. More than 600 white towers shoot out of rolling hills and flat pastures, creating a giant, white picket fence marching in multiple directions. Another 300 windmills are planned, and that number is expected to grow.

The power capacity of those online in the county already exceeds the total available in Colorado. Klickitat's windmills make enough electricity to power between 300,000 and 400,000 homes.

… "It's helped us cover long-term debt, short-term debt," said Bruce Davenport, 55, who farms beef cattle and alfalfa hay and along with his family opened land to windmills. He is brother to Cheryl Davenport. "It's kind of a mortgage lifter and a nice shot in the arm with extra income."

… Before wind, Goldendale was in economic shambles. Two of the largest industries had crumbled. Forestry jobs had been in sharp decline for several years. Then the local aluminum smelter shuttered its doors in 2001, eliminating about 600 jobs. The plant at its peak had employed more than 1,000.

When the plant closed, business dropped 40 to 50 percent at hunting and fishing equipment seller McCredy Co., said owner Dan McCredy, 50. He saw nine other businesses close within a month. McCredy laid off all five of his workers, he said, and ran the shop alone for two years.

Talk turned to wind as a possible savior….

Windmills have made one of the biggest differences to the property owners who lease their land to developers. For the most part they are farmers and ranchers, many of whom had struggled over the years to make enough money to keep their land, said Myers, with the Cannon Power Group and Davenport family. Farmers who could not earn enough have subdivided property and sold some of it off, anathema to many who have held homesteads for many generations.

"The ability to have backup income really gives them stability," Myers said.

Land owners get paid a percentage of profits from the windmills on their land, or in some cases per windmill. Different developers offer different contract amounts, Myers said.

"The rent is a percentage of the revenue generated by each turbine every month," said Hardke with Cannon Power Group. "So, it fluctuates from month to month based on how windy it was and how much electricity was produced during that month. But on average, it would equate to around $18,000 per year for each turbine."

California Raises Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to 33 Percent by 2020

The California Air Resources Board has unanimously decided to raise the state's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to 33 percent by 2020. "The Renewable Electricity Standard means cleaner energy for California's households and businesses," said Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols. "It will help clean our air and bring new solar and wind energy facilities to California with thousands of jobs in construction, operation and spin off industries." Using a "phased" approach, the new standard will ultimately require that one-third of the electricity sold in California be harvested from clean, renewable energy sources.

Nichols went on to say that the standard aims to "further diversify and secure our energy supply while also growing California's leading green technology market" and will "lead to cost savings for consumers." Among the many supporting the development, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said "With this long-term energy policy, California will continue to lead the transition to a clean-energy future and away from being so dependent on the volatile prices and harmful emissions of dirty oil and coal." According to the governor,

"We are already seeing increased investment in renewable energy projects in California," the governor said. "There are currently over 200 renewable energy projects looking to build and do business here." The ARB regulation mandates a phased-in approach with interim targets for renewable energy of 20 percent for 2012 – 2014; 24 percent for 2015 – 2017; 28 percent for 2018 – 2019; and 33 percent for 2020 and beyond.

Giant utilities to merge

Pressure is already mounting on Northeast Utilities and Nstar to give ratepayers a break from the savings they expect to gain from their proposed mega-merger. The two utilities yesterday announced a $4.17 billion deal to combine the two companies into the largest utility in New England, with about 3.5 million electric and gas customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Though Northeast and Nstar were calling the all-stock transaction a "merger of equals," Nstar shareholders will get 1.31 Northeast shares for each Nstar share they own. The companies said customers won't see their rates change.

"I'd like to see the (state) Department of Public Utilities conduct a thorough review and make sure the ratepayers see some material savings," said Ian Bowles, Gov. Deval Patrick's energy and environmental secretary. Bowles himself handpicked the three DPU commissioners who legally would get to review the merger.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley vowed yesterday to closely review the proposed merger. She said she will also "continue our strong opposition" to a previously proposed 7 percent rate hike by Western Massachusetts Electric, a unit of Northeast Utilities.

The utilities' two chief executives said yesterday they expect to gain "efficiencies" as a result of the deal, including via staff attrition and retirements from their combined 9,300-employee payroll. They said they don't see the need for layoffs at this point.

Conditions not met for climate deal in Cancun: Mexico

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa said Monday that "conditions have not been met" for a new climate deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a worldwide summit in Cancun in December. "For Cancun, the conditions have not been met to adopt a new protocol" to replace the Kyoto accord which expires in 2012, Espinosa said.

The Cancun meeting, from November 29 to December 10, aims to firm up "a basic agenda" for the continuation of negotiations, Espinosa said.

The United States and China clashed at climate change talks earlier this month in China, accusing each other of blocking progress ahead of the Mexico summit. Delegates from more than 200 countries will take part in the next round of UN talks in Cancun.

World leaders failed to broker a new climate treaty in Copenhagen, Denmark, last year, as developed and developing nations battled over who should carry more of the burden in curbing greenhouse gases, which are blamed for global warming.

European leaders now look set to push China, the United States and a host of emerging powers to extend the Kyoto deal at the crunch talks in Mexico. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has underlined the urgency for an agreement, saying that the poorest communities were already suffering the impact of climate change.

Diamonds Could Offer Power and Carbon Savings in Hybrid Cars

So far, diamonds had always been considered perfect for making jewelery or for cutting through the toughest materials on earth. Still, due to their perfect carbonic structure, diamonds prove themselves very good electric insulators and in some cases can act just like a semiconductor.

A team of Japanese researchers from the Diamond Research Laboratory of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan, led by Shinichi Shikata, have developed a quicker method for making artificial diamonds so that they're able to be used in electronic devices, mostly in electric and hybrid cars.

Usually, artificial diamonds are made by decomposing methane gas in a high-power microwave oven at temperatures of about 1,000 °C. The team found a way to accelerate the process and produced the one of the biggest artificial diamonds, measuring 2.3 centimeters and 0.4 millimeter thick.

Adding tiny amounts of boric acid and some other substances in the process of methane decomposition makes the resulted diamond act as a very good semiconductor with very good thermal conductivity as well. The resulted diamond also outweighs silicon by resisting at much higher voltages.

Mobile Wind Power Generator

Wind farms are extremely lucrative when strategically placed in areas with high wind, but output still depends on varying factors such as terrain, turbine size and time of day. However, if the turbine were able to track wherever the wind may blow in any particular hour of the day, it would be more cost-effective and energy efficient than the standard stationary turbine.

The Mobile Wind Turbine, created by Pope Design, offers just that. Mounted on top of a hybrid truck, the turbine can produce energy wherever the truck happens to be parked. To be fair, it would be impractical to assume that an entire wind farm could be arranged using this mobile carrier — but for concerts, military bases, businesses, schools, disaster relief efforts, and anything of the sort, this novel creation could be the ideal way to produce clean, renewable energy without the high costs and uncertainty of fixed systems.

Who Will Control Energy Consumption?

Who will control buildings and homes in the future? It's one of the biggest battles in green technology right now.

Multinational giants like Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Siemens and Echelon argue that they will because they already have installed building control systems in large numbers of office buildings and industrial plants. To that end, Siemens acquired SureGrid and SiteControls to beef up its management portfolio.

IT behemoths like Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Intel and IBM say they will, or will participate with the Johnsons of the world, because they can marry building networks to IT networks. Right now, organizations manage to parallel networks–one for data systems and one for facilities–and the dream is to marry them. Utilities and power providers might too,even though it brings up conflict of interest issues. Constellation Energy just bought CPower.

Meanwhile, start-ups like and Redwood Systems and Adura Technologies say they will play an important role because they add lights to these networks. Most traditional building systems only focus on controlling the thermostat. (Redwood further adds that it will over time add things like motion and carbon dioxide sensors to its network and swap out copper wire with Ethernet cable for further savings.)

Congress Down but Not Out on Climate Debate Next Session

Congress will not sit out the climate change debate next year — even as regulatory battles play out at federal agencies, in the courts and at the state level. With Congress almost certain not to enact climate legislation this year, environmentalists and industry have shifted their attention to the courts and U.S. EPA as it prepares to implement a rule next year to limit greenhouse gas emissions on stationary sources under the Clean Air Act.

Opponents of EPA climate regulation will look to pre-empt any action by the courts or the agency through the legislative process, especially if the Republicans take the majority in the House after the November election. Annual spending bills will be prime targets for lawmakers looking to slash at EPA's authority.

"Regardless of which party is the majority in the House or Senate, attacks on EPA authority to limit global warming will continue and intensify," said Daniel Weiss, senior fellow and the director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, said advocates of climate change policy "are going to be on the defensive and are redeploying to defend EPA authority."

The lowered expectations for a climate and energy bill next year may also provide opportunities for industry to up its ante in negotiations. A successful bill to address climate change may include a deal on limits of "conventional air pollutants," coal ash regulation and water intake rules.

Sub-Saharan Renewables Poised for 'Exponential Growth'

Off-grid solar projects are likely to accelerate renewable energy's expansion in southern Africa to compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 10% between 2009 and 2015, finds Frost & Sullivan.

Cape Town, South Africa But the research company's Annual Renewable Energy Project Tracker highlights feed-in tariffs – already announced in South Africa and Kenya – as key to this surge in renewables.

The Sub-Saharan renewable energy market is set to triple from 2010 to 2015, said the global research firm Frost and Sullivan in a new report this week. Small-scale generation is likely to take the lead, while sluggish regulatory reform and enduring state monopolies hold back larger projects.

"Many developmental agencies consider small-scale RE [renewable energy] projects as the most feasible solution for accelerated rural electrification and therefore are increasingly investing in medium-sized projects, especially wind and solar projects," said Cornelis van der Waal, Frost & Sullivan Energy and Power Systems programme manager.

But he called for a "revamp" to accelerate the search for energy diversification and security of supply, with incentives for the private sector to invest. South Africa is expected to approve a feed-in tariff for solar this year, a move also under consideration in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, he said.

Manchin: Obama is 'dead wrong' on cap and trade

President Obama may not be on the ballot in West Virginia, but he was a constant presence in the lone debate in the state's Senate race, held Monday night. Republican John Raese, debate questioners, and Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin repeatedly brought up the president, as Raese sought to tie the governor to Obama and Manchin did his best to distance himself from Obama and find middle ground.

Manchin sought the most distance from Obama on the Democratic cap and trade bill, which has stalled in Congress and is unpopular in the coal-reliant state. "I respectfully disagree with President Obama. He is dead wrong on cap and trade," Manchin said. "It would be the ruin not only of our state of West Virginia but of the entire economy of this country."

Raese came out in the debate as a conservative's conservative, calling for a repeal of the minimum wage and a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. He said the Democratic-passed healthcare bill is the worst piece of legislation "that has ever come out of the United States Senate and House," and called global warming a "myth."

"I don't believe in that myth," Raese said. "I think that what we have to do is find more coal, more accessible coal, and have the permitwork in a much easier state and fashion so we can really start growing this country with its natural resources."