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Missing the forest for the trees

Every cloud has a silver lining, right? Well, not in Copenhagen.

As COP15 talks got underway last week, many people thought that a deal on curbing deforestation in developing countries might offer one positive outcome to what looked likely to be an otherwise disappointing climate conference. Now, though, at a time when negotiations for a comprehensive climate treaty have hit a brick wall, talks concerning deforestation appear to be grinding to a halt as well. Can anything be resolved at COP15?

The Nation
Monday, December 14, 2009

Peat and Repeat: Can Major Carbon Sinks Be Restored by Rewetting the World's Drained Bogs?

The logging of palm trees grown atop the decaying peatlands of Borneo and Sumatra helps drive the economy of Indonesia, and this fact alone is starting to make the nation a top global priority for efforts to mitigate the warming climate. The problem is three-pronged: First, cheap pulp and paper produced in Indonesia winds up in the glossy coated products we know as junk mail, luxury shopping bags or children's books. Then, once the original trees are gone, palm oil plantations are often planted in their place.

Scientific American
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mountaintop removal mining protests going national

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Activists with Mountain Justice, Rainforest Action Network and other groups planned protests at Environmental Protection Agency headquarters and across the country Friday to demand the end of mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia.

An online map showed more than two dozen planned events from California to Maine, including demonstrations at a regional EPA office in Philadelphia and a New Jersey office of JPMorgan & Chase Co., a bank environmentalists say is the biggest financier of the destructive form of strip mining.

Associated Press
Friday, October 30, 2009

New Round of Climate Talks Opens With Stern Warnings

BANGKOK, Thailand, September 28, 2009 (ENS) - United Nations climate change talks resumed today in Bangkok with dire warnings that failure to agree on a post-Kyoto treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions is a matter of life and death.

In Bangkok, negotiators must advance a draft text for December's Copenhagen talks. Government delegates are wrestling with the two key issues, cutting emissions and paying the costs.

Environmental News Service
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

EPA identifies 79 coal mine permits for review

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Obama administration on Friday stepped up its efforts to curb environmental damage from surface coal mining, announcing plans to give 79 permit applications in four states additional scrutiny.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it wants to make certain the proposed mines won't cause water pollution and violate the Clean Water Act. An initial review concluded all 79 probably would affect water quality and require additional study, the EPA said.

Associated Press
Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hansen of NASA Arrested in Coal Country


by RAN Field Photography

Dot Earth Blog: New York Times
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No consensus on climate change document at indigenous summit

Indigenous delegates at a UN conference on climate change in Alaska could not agree on a final summit document due to disagreements over oil and gas drilling on native lands.

Some delegations at the UN-sponsored Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change were demanding a complete moratorium. Others disputed that language, saying that the use of fossil fuels should be phased out but indigenous people should be allowed to develop their resources.

CBC News
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Calif. considers low-carbon fuel standard for cars

SACRAMENTO—California air regulators are taking another step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, considering first-in-the nation standards to require the use of so-called low-carbon fuels.

The California Air Resources Board, which will debate the standards Thursday, considers the regulation a framework for a potential national policy advocated by President Barack Obama on the campaign trail last year. Democrats have included a goal for low-carbon fuels in the latest climate bill they have introduced in Congress.

Associated Press
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Report Takes Aim at Climate Bill's Giant Carbon Polluter Loophole

A detailed analysis released today by two environmental organizations raises a red flag on the carbon offsetting provisions of the leading climate bill now moving through Congress.

The report from International Rivers and the Rainforest Action Network calls for removing giant carbon pollution loopholes from the Waxman-Markey bill, also known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES). Otherwise, the report warns, the carbon cap will fall far short of hitting its targets.

The report says:

Solve Climate
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pro-green activists turn up the heat on Congress

Thousands of demonstrators braved a late-winter snowstorm Monday to call attention to global warming and urge Congress to impose tougher limits on greenhouse gases.

The rally, sponsored by Capitol Climate Action, combined more than 90 climate activist groups from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Canada and several other nations.

Washington Times
Tuesday, March 3, 2009