Good News Friday: Coal Plants Cancelled Nationwide

According to the Wall Street Journal, the coal industry is struggling to build new plants, because of fear of climate change. It’s a long story, so I’ll put a couple of other excerpts (one relating to Florida) below the fold, but here’s the lede:

From coast to coast, plans for a new generation of
coal-fired power plants are falling by the wayside as states conclude
that conventional coal plants are too dirty to build and the cost of
cleaner plants is too high.
[cut]
As recently as May, U.S. power companies had announced
intentions to build as many as 150 new generating plants fueled by
coal, which currently supplies about half the nation’s electricity. One
reason for the surge of interest in coal was concern over the higher
price of natural gas, which has driven up electricity prices in many
places. Coal appeared capable of softening the impact since the U.S.
has deep coal reserves and prices are low.

But as plans for this fleet of new coal-powered plants
move forward, an increasing number are being canceled or development
slowed. Coal plants have come under fire because coal is a big source
of carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for global warming, in a time
when climate change has become a hot-button political issue.

Leader of UK Sees Climate Change in England Floods

According to a story in the BBC, Gordon Brown, the newly-appointed Prime Minister, has with other officials in his government attributed the "extraordinary" flooding in England this year to climate change. Mr Brown, in his No 10 press briefing, said climate change meant planning had to presume more extreme weather events. That included boosting urbanContinue reading “Leader of UK Sees Climate Change in England Floods”

As Teddy Roosevelt Said (Regarding Climate Change and other Difficult Matters)

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing." As quoted by his great-grandson Theodore Roosevelt IV, a Republican environmental activist, who was on the scene in Florida this week as Arnold Schwarzenneger joined with Charlie Crist to celebrate the passingContinue reading “As Teddy Roosevelt Said (Regarding Climate Change and other Difficult Matters)”

Bush on Climate Change — Translated

A little late, but via Dan Froomkin’s hard-hitting column from the Washington Post, here’s Andrew Gumbel of The Independent translating the Prez’s speech last week on global warming: "’In recent years, science has deepened our understanding of climate change and opened new possibilities for confronting it." Translation: In recent years, my refusal to acknowledge theContinue reading “Bush on Climate Change — Translated”

I Am Sorry, Earth. As I Scar You, I Scar Myself: A Q & A with Dancer Monica Favand Campagna

This spring a small-but-innovative dance company in Southern California called TRIP Dance Theatre premiered a production in a Hollywood theater about what poet Gary Snyder calls "the war against nature." The dance was called "Poisoning the Well." Using delicate Asian-flavored music, played live, the dancers first appeared carrying water and gathering around a well. SlowlyContinue reading “I Am Sorry, Earth. As I Scar You, I Scar Myself: A Q & A with Dancer Monica Favand Campagna”

NPR Answers Questions on Climate Change

NPR science correspondents take questions from listeners on climate change — an excellent idea. One question they answer I heard asked to Bill McKibben just two weeks ago, about the effect of population on global carbon emissions. McKibben made a strong point that NPR glosses over in their answer. Most of the population growth inContinue reading “NPR Answers Questions on Climate Change”

Global Warming: NYTimes Editorial and LATimes News Disagree

The New York Times editorial board: the world’s most authoritative voice on climate change asserts that significant progress toward stabilizing and reducing global warming emissions can be achieved at a relatively low cost using known technologies. The Los Angeles Times front-page story: A United Nations panel on Friday released its most comprehensive strategy to avoidContinue reading “Global Warming: NYTimes Editorial and LATimes News Disagree”