US ‘global warming bill’ one step closer?

A bill to create the first national limit on greenhouse-gas emissions was approved by a House committee yesterday after a week of late-night debates that cemented the shift of climate change from rhetorical jousting to a subject of serious, if messy, Washington policymaking.

The legislation would create a cap-and-trade system: Over the next decades, power plants, oil refineries and manufacturers would be required to obtain allowances for the pollution they emit. Those who need more or less could turn to a Wall-Street-like market in the allowances. The 33 to 25 vote was a major victory for House Democrats, who had softened and jury-rigged the bill to reassure manufacturers and utilities — and members of their own party from the South and Midwest — that they would not suffer greatly. Continue reading US ‘global warming bill’ one step closer?

More than 50% fossil fuel reductions needed by 2050 to meet 2°C climate target

Less than a quarter of the proven fossil fuel reserves can be burnt and emitted between now and 2050, if global warming is to be limited to two degrees Celsius (2°C), says a new study published in the journal Nature today. The study has, for the first time, calculated how much greenhouse gas emissions we … Continue reading More than 50% fossil fuel reductions needed by 2050 to meet 2°C climate target

Lomborg vs Rahmstorf – are the IPCC estimates fundementally flawed?

Bjørn Lomborg: Climate change decisions should be based on science, not political activism I pointed out that one conference participant, Stefan Rahmstorf, argues that sea level rises will be much higher than those anticipated by most researchers. Rahmstorf is a well-established, serious researcher on climate change who holds a minority view on the rise in … Continue reading Lomborg vs Rahmstorf – are the IPCC estimates fundementally flawed?

Emissions pathway to return global warming beneath 1 degree Celsius

Leading climate scientist Bill Hare has published the first emissions pathway to date that brings expected global warming beneath 1°C, albeit after peaking beneath 2°C and on the scale of centuries. This is an immensely significant research topic for coral reefs as a rise in mean global temperature of 1°C appears to be the highest … Continue reading Emissions pathway to return global warming beneath 1 degree Celsius

Nasa climate expert makes personal appeal to Obama

obama_hansen4The Guardian, 2nd January 2008
One of the world’s top climate scientists has written a personal new year appeal to Barack and Michelle Obama, warning of the “profound disconnect” between public policy on climate change and the magnitude of the problem.

With less than three weeks to go until Obama’s inauguration, Professor James Hansen, who heads Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, asked the recently appointed White House science adviser Professor John Holdren to pass the missive directly to the president-elect.

In it, he praises Obama’s campaign rhetoric about “a planet in peril”, but says that how the new president acts in office will be crucial. Hansen lambasts the current international approach of setting targets through “cap and trade” schemes as not up to the task. “This approach is ineffectual and not commensurate with the climate threat. It could waste another decade, locking in disastrous consequences for our planet and humanity,” the letter from Hansen and his wife, Anniek, reads.

The letter will make uncomfortable reading for officials in 10 US states whose cap and trade mechanism – the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – got under way yesterday. The scheme is the first mandatory, market-based greenhouse gas reduction programme in the US.

Hansen advocates a three-pronged attack on the climate problem.

Continue reading “Nasa climate expert makes personal appeal to Obama”