Category Archives: carbon

Keystone Killed

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After seven years of dithering, President Obama killed the Keystone pipeline on Friday. He said the project wouldn’t make a meaningful long term contribution to the economy.

Matt Lewis in The Week explains the real reason the president took so long. Labor unions were for the pipeline and environmentalists were against it. Labor isn’t happy:

We are dismayed and disgusted that the president has once again thrown the members of [The Laborers’ International Union of North America], and other hard-working, blue-collar workers under the bus of his vaunted ‘legacy,’ while doing little or nothing to make a real difference in global climate change. His actions are shameful. [LIUNA, via The Hill]

New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the slap in the face more gracefully.

Warren Buffett took the news gracefully too. Oil not shipped by pipeline will have to he shipped by train. He owns the trains.

Emissions from Volkswagen

150929-emissions-voldwagenReuters reports that Volkswagen will “repair” up to 11 million cars rigged to give misleading emissions info to inspectors. The “fix” will cost $6.5 billion.

Emissions

The evil geniuses at VW figured out a way for its diesel emissions systems to recognize when they were being tested. During a test the system stifles emissions according to government standards. The rest of the time the system turns itself down or off, allowing for great mileage and more power but higher emissions.

Who but the greenest among us is going to want to bring his car in for that repair?

Climate Catholic

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Mike Grunwald, in Politico, was surprised the pope didn’t directly mention the climate in his speech to Congress. Instead the Holy Father referred to his 184 page encyclical on climate and capitalism.  Gunwald went back and actually read the thing. He found it to be “super weird”:

The pope’s message in Laudato Si is surprisingly gloomy for such an inspiring figure, especially at a time when the world’s largest emitters, the U.S. and China, are cleaning up their own act and leading a push for global reductions in Paris. Pope Francis writes about the dangers of excessive growth, which “leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit,” but economic growth usually produces better environmental protection, which often seems to be a luxury poor countries can’t afford…

“There is also the fact that most people no longer seem to believe in a happy future,” the pope wrote in Laudato Si.

Aw, Your Holiness, is that really a fact? It really feels like things are starting to get a little better, and may be on path to get a lot better. Have faith.

EPA Spill

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EPA chief Gina McCarthy says the Animas River is cleaning itself. The EPA spilled 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the river when one of its contractors pulled the plug to the abandoned Gold King mine. The agency took 24 to alert officials of the spill.

Snow Jump

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If it doesn’t snow anymore that’s climate change. If it does snow that’s climate change too.

Man caused disasters aren’t what they used to be. In 2001 people jumped out of windows in New York because they made a grim choice. Now they jump out of windows in Boston into snow piles for fun – and to piss off the mayor.

Here’s an interesting Daily Beast article about a Yale study that looks at vaccines, climate, and politics.