Europe Leads - North America Dawdles

Which is more important: climate change or the global economic crisis? The answer for Europe is both.

So important is tacking global warming in Europe that leaders have pledged to stick with their carbon cutting agendas, even while dealing with the greatest economic crisis since the great depression.

European Commission president José Manuel Barroso, stated for the record that “We're not going to let up in the battle against climate change and there's no question of picking between the financial crisis and climate change. The two go together.”

Coal is not the answer

Sierra Club has launched a great new site going after the “clean coal” marketing machine.

Good to see more organizations countering the $40 million “coal is clean” campaign launched by the coal industry late last year under the guise of third-party group calling itself the “American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity” (ACCCE).

Sierra Club even came up with a great video that puts to rest the ridiculous argument that somehow the dirtiest energy in the world is somehow clean…

Round 3 of the Debates: Who Wants Energy Independence More?

In what proved to be a doozy of a debate – not so much for its substance as for its theatrics and sound bites (who will ever forget “Joe the Plumber”?) – the topic of climate change was again sadly, though not surprisingly, missing in action.

With the discussion once again focused mostly on domestic issues – the economy and healthcare looming large – the candidates spent most of the time pummeling each other on taxes, trade policies and education. Mercifully, moderator Bob Schieffer, a CBS News anchor, mostly managed to avoid inserting himself into the debate, save for occasionally pressing a candidate on a particular question (though I noticeably winced when he said the words “climate control”).

Report outlines major risks of "clean coal"

The Union of Concerned Scientists has released a report today outlining the considerable risks associated with so-called “clean coal” and carbon capture and storage technology (pdf.)

Clean coal has been a persistent theme throughout the US election, with presidential candidates on both sides of the political ledger touting the message that coal is somehow clean. As coal industry commentator and author Jeff Goodell puts it best: 

Clean coal” is not an actual invention, a physical thing – it is an advertising slogan. Like “fat-free donuts” or “interest-free loans.”

Change your leaders: Take II

Congratulations today to Stephen Harper, who has convinced a critical plurality of Canadians that he is more capable of leading the country through difficult economic times than Liberal leader Stephane Dion would have been.

Returning to belligerent reality, however, it's clear that Canadians who care about climate change have their work cut out for them. In his excellent new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says:

“It is much more important to change your leaders than your lightbulbs.”

Having passed up this opportunity to change our leaders, the only option now is for Canadians to get those leaders to change.

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