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Latest News Summaries on the Climate Crisis

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Protest Decries OGlobal Warming Coverup' WorldNetDaily, May 31, 2006. "Protesters, including survivors of Hurricane Katrina, launched a 37-hour vigil outside the headquarters of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last Wednesday, calling for the agency's head to resign for Ocovering up' an alleged scientific link between severe storms and global warming. The demonstrators, noting the start of the hurricane season, also want the resignation of the National Hurricane Center's director, Max Mayfield. The protest in Silver Spring, Md., near Washington, [was] organized by a newly formed non-profit group called the U.S. Climate Emergency Council, which argues that of the six most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. in the past 150 years, three occurred within 52 days last year."  (The Climate Crisis Coalition was a cosponsor of this action.)

Two Studies Link Global Warming to Greater Power of Hurricanes
By John Schwartz, The New York Times, May 31, 2006.

"Climate researchers at Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology separately reported new evidence Tuesday supporting the idea that global warming inline=nyt-classifier  is causing stronger hurricanes. That claim is the subject of a long-running scientific dispute. And while the new research supports one side, neither the authors nor other climate experts say it is conclusive." A report on the Purdue study will appear in a coming issue of Geophysical Research Letter, and one on the MIT study in Eos, a publication of the American Geophysical Union. (With the 2006 hurricane season beginning Thursday, officials in hurricane-prone states are taking extra measures to warn residents, "preaching self-reliance and prodding the public to prepare early and well," Abby Goodnough of the Times reports here .)

Get Ready: As Hurricanes Hit, Think Global Warming  Commentary by Bracken Hendricks, Center for American Progress, June 2, 2006. "It is essential that the U.S. curb the release of harmful global warming emissions, but we have now reached another point as well. We must begin to prepare for the increasing threat of disasters driven by global warming, even as we grapple with the policy debate over how to manage carbon emissions."


Radical Turbine Aims to Take Wind Power to Towns and Cities,,1788482,00.html

By John Vidal, The Guardian (U.K.), June 2, 2006.

"Wind turbines are tall white objects with three long blades and they sit on hilltops spinning around to generate electricity, right? Wrong. In the first radical redesign of the turbine for many years, a small engineering firm has linked up with aerospace designers to devise a wind generator uniquely for urban areas. The turbines, the first of which are being installed in the next few months in Bristol, Swindon and London, promise to change the face of renewable electricity, and perhaps end the cold reception that conventional wind turbines have encountered from heritage groups, say the designers and developers, XCO2."

Massachusetts Urged to Lead Way on Wind Farms urged_to_lead_the_way_on_wind_farms/?page=full .

By Rick Klein, The Boston Globe, June 3, 2006.

Business and political leaders in Massachusetts say the state should seize the initiative and begin to exploit its offshore wind power potential -- as Texas, New Jersey and Rhode Island are doing. Some longtime wind-power supporters, however, fear this new enthusiasm masks an effort to scuttle Cape Wind Associates' five-year-old proposal for a 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound by giving increased status to local opposition.

Against Cape Wind: Tilting at Windmills Commentary by William Koch, The Cape Codder, June 2, 2006.

William Koch, co-chairman of the board of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, concludes: "When you do the math, it is clear that every other form of power generation would be cheaper to build, produce more electricity at a consistent rate and save consumers more money. When you consider the costs and risks of an offshore wind farm, and the fact that New England does not need more power, the project becomes nonsensical, a giant boondoggle for the benefit of one developer." (Column originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal.)

Sen. Chafee: Don't Single Out Cape Wind id=0414 .
By Jack Coleman, Cape Cod Today, June 1, 2006.

U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee, Republican of Rhode Island, counted himself a supporter of Cape Wind before he took a firsthand look at the site aboard a charter fishing boat last Wednesday, and he remained one afterward.

FAA Government Suspends Wind Farms Over Military Radar,1,755729 1.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true .

By Michael Hawthorne, Chicago Tribune, May 31, 2006.

"The federal government has stopped work on more than a dozen wind farms planned across the Midwest, saying research is needed on whether the giant turbines could interfere with military radar. But backers of wind power say the action has little to do with national security. The real issue, they say, is a group of wealthy vacationers who think a proposed wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts would spoil the view at their summer homes. Opponents of the Cape Wind project include several influential members of Congress. Critics say their latest attempt to thwart the planting of 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound has led to a moratorium on new wind farms hundreds of miles away in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Federal officials declined to reveal how many stop-work orders have been sent out. But developers said that at least 15 wind farm proposals in the Midwest have been shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration since the start of the year." (AP reports _bay_wind_farm_application_filed/ that an application for state approval was filed Tuesday for Massachusetts state approval of a wind farm announced earlier this month in Cape Cod's Buzzards Bay. A  Reuters report 06-05-30T202440Z_01_N30304716_RTRUKOC_0_US-ENERGY-WIND-CAPECOD.xml&archived= False reviews that proposed wind-energy project, another in nearby Nantucket Sound, and differing political contexts of both.)

Oil and Cars

Oil Sands' Natural Gas Demand Expected to Triple by 2015 . Reuters, June 2, 2006.

"A massive rise in crude production from Canada's oil sands region over the next decade will nearly triple the area's call on strained natural gas supplies, Canada's national energy regulator said Thursday. Production from the oil sands of northern Alberta is expected to rise to more than 3 million barrels a day by 2015, according to a study by the National Energy Board, triple last year's output. However that increase will demand massive amounts of new natural gas for the oil sands projects that are increasingly prevalent around Fort McMurray, Alberta, even as Canadian supplies wane. Natural gas is a key power source for oil sands projects. It is used as fuel to heat the steam used to liquefy the tar-like bitumen for thermal, well-based projects. It's also a source of heat and hydrogen in mining and upgrading projects, which turn bitumen into synthetic crude."

Canada Pays Environmentally for U.S. Oil Thirst 1429.html 
By Doug Struck, The Washington Post, May 31, 2006.

"Huge mines in Fort McMurray, Alberta, turning tarry sand into cash for Canada and oil for the United States are taking an unexpectedly high environmental toll, sucking water from rivers and natural gas from wells and producing large amounts of gases linked to global warming. The digging -- into an area the size of Maryland and Virginia combined -- has proliferated at gold-rush speed, spurred by high oil prices, new technology and an unquenched U.S. thirst for the fuel. The expansion has presented ecological problems that experts thought they would have decades to resolve."

Anger at Oil Chief's $400m Retirement Package and Legacy 

By Stephan Foley, The Independent (UK), June 1, 2006. "Lee Raymond, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, has bowed out from the oil giant with a $400m pay and retirement deal that has caused outrage among environmentalists. In his 12 years at the top of the company, Exxon has pumped an estimated six billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere and has led the opposition to action on climate change." (The Independent's Andrew Gumbel details ExxonMobile's strategy to stymie action against climate change, here .)

Fuel Prices Pump Up Imports,1,4880855,full.story?coll =la-headlines-business

By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2006. (Free subscription required)

Asian carmakers clean up in May as high prices curb interest in SUVs and pickups. The U.S. auto market continued to be driven by prices at the pump, not just on dealer lots, as Detroit's Big Three and their big trucks ceded more ground in May to Asian rivals and generally more fuel-efficient models. Overall sales for the month fell to 1.49 million cars and trucks, a decline of 0.7% from a year earlier, Autodata Corp. reported Thursday. Persistent high fuel prices have scared off many customers, said David Healy, a Burnham Securities analyst based in Sierra Vista, Ariz. (Sholnn Freeman of The Washington Post reports that surges in May by Toyota and Honda are "putting executives in Detroit on the defensive," here 2083.html . And Thomas Friedman opines in a New York Times (TimesSelect) column that the sooner Toyota takes over General Motors, the better for the United States, here n%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists%2fThomas%20L%20Friedma n .)

The Plot to Kill the Green Machine .
By Andrew Gumbel, The Independent (U.K.), June 1, 2006.

The documentary film "Who Killed the Electric Car?," to be released this summer, "manages to turn received wisdom about the EV [electric vehicle] almost entirely on its head. S In a series of interviews with key players -- designers, engineers, marketing specialists, politicians, industry regulators and consumer advocates -- [California internet entrepreneur Chris Paine] makes a powerful case that California's experiment with EVs was deliberately sabotaged, and ultimately strangled, by a coalition of oil companies and car companies, along with their political allies, for base motives of short-term profit."

France Tests Flex-Fuel Cars in Biofuel Push 6-06-01T152806Z_01_L01454131_RTRUKOC_0_US-ENERGY-FRANCE-FLEXFUEL.xml&src=rss
By Muriel Boselli, Reuters, June 1, 2006.

"France on Thursday launched its first tests of so-called flex-fuel cars that can run on ethanol or conventional fuel in its latest push to promote wider use of renewable energy. The Marne regional government in eastern France has a special permit to test the ethanol-based E85 fuel, and use it to run a fleet of seven Ford flex-fuel cars for a year. E85 is currently not authorized in France, but government approval is expected by early next year and the fuel should be widely available by 2010."

The World

U.S. Leads Rise in 2004 Greenhouse Gas Emissions 6-06-02T182807Z_01_L02579509_RTRUKOC_0_US-ENVIRONMENT-CLIMATE.xml&src=rss

By Gerald Wynn and Alister Doyle, June 2, 2006.

"Many rich nations' emissions of greenhouse gases rose in 2004, led by a U.S. rebound to record highs after a dip since President George W. Bush took office in 2001, according to data on Friday. The figures, submitted by 33 governments to the U.N. Climate Secretariat in Bonn, showed that emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide widely blamed for global warming rose to 15.1 billion tonnes in 2004 from 14.5 billion in 1990. [Although] a full overview of industrial nations' emissions is not yet possible S the data indicate that many nations will struggle to meet goals set by the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases -- mainly from power plants, factories and cars -- by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12."

Report: China, India, Brazil Could Slash Energy Use . By Alister Doyle, Reuters, May 30, 2006. "China, India and Brazil could reduce energy use by a quarter with simple efficiency schemes but banks have been sluggish to lend to such projects, an international study said on Monday. The three-nation report, led by the World Bank and the UN Environment Programme, said many banks had overlooked chances to boost their profits by lending to help businesses cut energy waste while oil prices hover at around US$70 a barrel. OCutting energy waste is the cheapest, easiest, fastest way to solve many energy problems, improve the environment and enhance both energy security and economic development,' said Robert Taylor, a World Bank energy specialist who led the study." (A more detailed account about the report may be found here .)

Klaus Toepfer, Head of U.N. Environment Agency, on Kyoto and Climate Change . By Erik Kirschbaum, Reuters, May 29, 2006. "Global warming is hitting the poor the hardest and climate change could cause worldwide destabilization if solutions are not found, one of the world's leading environmentalists said on Friday. Klaus Toepfer, a tireless promoter of the Kyoto Protocol as head of the UN environment agency for the last eight years, said in an interview he believed its 2012 goals could still be reached even though he said it was still Onot enough.'"

Global Warming Worry Flows from Arctic Ice to Tropical Waters

By Paul Wiseman and Cesar G. Soriano, USA Today, May 30, 2006. "David King, the British government's chief scientific adviser, raised eyebrows two years ago when he warned that climate change posed a bigger global threat than terrorism. But there's no question that rising temperatures are poised to change life as we know it. In less than 100 years, the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer, which would allow ships to take the polar route from Europe to Asia, say the Canadian Ice Service and the U.S. Navy. At current rates, 75% of glaciers in the Swiss Alps and two-thirds of those in China will melt by 2050, according to separate studies by the European Environment Agency and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Hurricanes, typhoons and windstorms, which draw energy from warmer ocean waters, are likely to increase in intensity, saddling the insurance industry with $27 billion a year in annual losses by the 2080s. That's an increase of nearly 70%, the Association of British Insurers reported last year." (Climate Change is affecting the Everglades, Dan Vergano of USA Today reports here _x.htm , and it is causing the Netherlands to increase the country's already considerable flood protection, as Stephanie van den Berg of AFP reports here -forecasts.html  .)

Global Warming Threatens Baltic Sea Marine Life 6-05-31T150937Z_01_L30654543_RTRUKOC_0_US-ENVIRONMENT-BALTIC.xml&src=rss

By Alister Doyle, Reuters, May 31, 2006.

"Global warming is adding new threats to marine life in the almost land-locked Baltic Sea, where fish are already struggling in polluted, brackish waters, a leading expert said on Wednesday. S Higher temperatures are likely to mean more rain and snow in the Baltic region, from Copenhagen to St. Petersburg and where 85 million people live. That might make the sea ever less salty and add to a polluting runoff of fertilisers from farmland. S Many stocks of fish are already living on the edge of their ranges in the brackish Baltic Sea and lower salinity would further cut survival rates of fish larvae. Cod, sprat and herring are among Baltic Sea fish."

Climate Change: The View From the Patio ogin .

By Henry Fountain, The New York Times, June 4, 2006.

"While much of the discussion of climate change focuses on the big picture of rising sea levels and increasing global air and ocean temperatures, [a finding that increased carbon dioxide makes poison ivy go haywire] helps explain the smaller picture. Climate change may also be a real nuisance in the backyard." (Graphic here _graph.html .) Poison ivy is only the latest entry on a growing list of pests, both plant and animal, that may be nurtured. Japanese beetles, a voracious eater of turf and trees, live longer under higher levels of carbon dioxide. The ranges of other invasive insects, like fire ants, are expected to increase as the planet warms. Disease-carrying ticks have already been shown to have moved northward in Sweden. Mosquitoes could fly farther, too.

Progress and Regress

Earth's Ozone Shield Is Poised for Recovery .

By Peter N. Spotts, The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2006.

"After years of decline, global concentrations of ozone in a key region of the stratosphere have held steady for the past eight to nine years, according to two new, independent studies. Scientists noted initial signs of this trend three years ago. But these latest efforts benefit from an additional three years of measurements. And they appear to be the first to specifically attribute the changes to the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 international treaty that phased out key chemicals known to destroy ozone. Although a range of man-made gases can deplete ozone, the main targets so far have been chlorine-carrying compounds used as coolants in refrigerators and for fighting fires."

Some U.S. Businesses Take on Emissions 5b5e57d19&ex=1306641600&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

 By Jay Mouawad, The New York Times, May 30, 2006.

"Americans are increasingly recognizing that the effects of carbon emissions on global warming inline=nyt-classifier  are a serious problem, but there are no rules in the United States regulating heat-trapping gases comparable to those that most other developed countries have adopted under the Kyoto Protocol. Some United States businesses, though, are responding for a variety of reasons anyway: to satisfy customers or shareholders who worry about the environment, to improve their public image or to drive down their energy costs. In addition, some states and local authorities have stepped in to try to curb their contributions to global warming."

Bush Energy Plan Whacks Conservation .

By Mark Clayton, The Christian Science Monitor, May 31, 2006.

To fund its new Advanced Energy Initiative -- long-term research into nuclear, coal, wind, solar, and hydrogen power -- the Energy Department plans to trim or eliminate more than a dozen energy-efficiency efforts. The move will save $115 million. The Industrial Technologies Program, which in 2004 alone saved the nation 122 barrels of oil, or about $9 billion, is having its budget cut by a third.

Conservation Lagging as Emissions Climb .

By Juliana Lara Resende, Inter Press Service, June 1, 2006.

"Representatives from 165 industrialised and developing countries -- excluding the United States -- agreed late last week to extend a global plan to reduce the emissions that contribute to global warming past its expiration date of 2012. But experts say a long-term energy strategy is not just about reducing greenhouse gases. It also requires programmes to boost conservation and energy efficiency, and shift economies toward renewable resources like biogas, wind, solar and hydrogen. According to statistics from the European Commission, if current policies remain unchanged, world energy demand will soar by over 50 percent by 2030. The World Bank's recently released OLittle Green Data Book 2006' notes that the richest countries devour 51 percent of the world's energy production, and consume on average 11 times more energy per capita than low-income countries."

Henry Paulson Supports Kyoto

Bush Cabinet Will Have a Global Warming Believer .

By John Heilprin, The Associated Press, June 1, 2006.

"Henry Paulson may find the tightrope he'll be walking as President Bush's Treasury secretary will span a wider gulf than in his current twin jobs as chairman of Goldman Sachs and The Nature Conservancy. Both the Wall Street powerhouse and the world's richest environmental group look at global warming as a dire threat requiring government-mandated reductions in carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat in the atmosphere like a greenhouse. Bush doesn't."

Treasury Secretary Nominee: the Bird-Watching Businessman,1,47465 20.story?coll=la-headlines-nation .

By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2006. (Free subscription required)

"As a three-decade Wall Street veteran and chairman of one of the nation's premiere investment banks, Henry M. Paulson Jr. makes a living watching markets. But it's his hobby of watching birds that is already causing problems for his nomination as the nation's next Treasury secretary. An ardent environmentalist, Paulson is expected to be questioned during confirmation hearings about his role as chairman of the Nature Conservancy, and whether he adequately cleaned up the organization's land sale and tax break practices. Another potential sticky issue: a decision by Goldman Sachs, the investment house Paulson heads as chairman and chief executive, to donate 680,000 acres of land in a remote section of Chile to an environmental group with ties to his sonS. Although Paulson appears largely in step with fellow Republicans, strongly advocating tax cuts and free trade, he has on occasion chartered an independent course. The Nature Conservancy, for example, supports the Kyoto ProtocolS"


Bob the Builder Called in to Fix Global Warming .

By Justin Stares, The Telegraph, June 4, 2006.

"Bob the Builder will be called on this week to Ofix' climate change, having been recruited as the latest weapon in the European Union's battle to convince children to help to save the world from global warming. The children's character will take part in a publicity stunt during an energy ministers' meeting in Luxembourg, where he will extol the virtues of home insulation to help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions."

EU Offers Tips on Curbing Greenhouse Gases . Agence France-Presse, May 29, 2006.

"The European Commission launched a campaign to raise awareness about climate change and show Europeans what they can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Households produce 16 percent of EU greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for global warming, and the campaign aims to encourage people to bring them down. S The OYou control climate change' campaign, with a budget of some 4.7 million euros ($6 million), offers citizens around 50 tips and advises them to: OTurn down. Switch off. Recycle. Walk.' The hints range from turning heating down by one degree Celsius to avoiding leaving televisions, stereos and computers on stand-by mode. The campaign, to be advertised on television and in the print media, will also see statues in EU capitals dressed in T-shirts bearing its slogan."


Big Crater Seen Beneath Ice Sheet .

BBC News, June 3, 2006. 

"What appears to be a 480km-wide crater is detected under the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, US-based scientists sayS The scientists behind the discovery say it could have been made by a massive meteorite strike 250 million years ago." The timing could coincide with the "great dying" ­ "the biggest of all the Earth's mass extinctions when 95% of all marine life and 70% of all land species disappeared."

Studies Portray Tropical Arctic in Distant Past 28000&en=456787587521b3e6&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss .

By Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times, May 31, 2006.

"The first detailed analysis of an extraordinary climatic and biological record from the seabed near the North Pole shows that 55 million years ago the Arctic Ocean was much warmer than scientists imagined . By Melanie Fitzpatrick et al, Union of Concerned Scientists, May 2006. Last year tied 1998 as the hottest on record. Every year since 1992 is in the current list of the 20 warmest years on record. Scientific observations and computer models now offer proof that human activity is to blame. In this UCS summary "patterns observed by meteorologists and oceanographers are compared with patterns developed using sophisticated models of Earth's atmosphere and ocean. By matching the observed and modeled patterns, scientists can now positively identify the Ohuman fingerprints' associated with the changes. The fingerprints that humans have left on Earth's climate are turning up in a diverse range of records and can be seen in the ocean, in the atmosphere, and at the surface."

Is Climate Change Tearing the Earth Apart? nge_rss20 

By Bill McGuire,, May 27, 2006.

"No serious scientist is suggesting that the Sumatran earthquake was triggered by global warming ... but the idea that climate change is linked to extreme geological events is not as far-fetched as it might sound. All over the world evidence is stacking up that changes in global climate can and do affect the frequencies of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and catastrophic sea-floor landslides. Not only has this happened several times throughout Earth's history, the evidence suggests that it is starting to happen again." (Subscription only.)

Al Gore

Terry Gross Interviews Al Gore . Fresh Air, National Public Radio, May 30, 2006. (Audio). Recommended.

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