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News: Archive for October, 2010

Warmer Arctic probably permanent, scientists say – Science – Ecoseed Information Network

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

‘WASHINGTON, October 21 (Reuters) – The signs of climate change were all over the Arctic this year – warmer air, less sea ice, melting glaciers – which probably means this weather-making region will not return to its former, colder state, scientists reported on Thursday.’

via Warmer Arctic probably permanent, scientists say – Science – Ecoseed Information Network.

Exclusive: Carbon, forex among U.N. climate aid suggestions | Reuters

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

‘(Reuters) – Carbon markets and taxes on foreign exchange deals or plane tickets are among suggested sources for a promised $100 billion a year from 2020 to help poor nations fight climate change, a draft report by U.N. advisers said.’

via Exclusive: Carbon, forex among U.N. climate aid suggestions | Reuters.

Most Americans still do not get full climate picture – Technology – Ecoseed Information Network

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

‘While 63 percent of Americans believe that global warming exists and is currently happening, more than half still do not understand its core concepts and causes.’

via Most Americans still do not get full climate picture – Technology – Ecoseed Information Network.

Economic study funded by Prop. 23 backers questioned – Sacramento Business, Housing Market News | Sacramento Bee

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

‘Proponents of the campaign to roll back the state’s landmark greenhouse gas reduction law touted the nonprofit Pacific Research Institute’s study in an Oct. 5 news release as “good news for California’s more than 2.2 million unemployed and good news for the state’s economy.”

What they didn’t say is that the Yes on 23 campaign paid for that study.’

via Economic study funded by Prop. 23 backers questioned – Sacramento Business, Housing Market News | Sacramento Bee.

California unveils greenhouse gas trading plan | Reuters

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

‘(Reuters) – California unveiled on Friday its final blueprint of a market system to curb greenhouse gases, relaxing expected rules in the face of a weak economy in a measure that could set the tone for the nation’s climate policy.’

Perhaps pressure from Prop 23, which threatens AB32′s implementation, is driving the decision to give away the emission permits rather than auction them:

The state will give away 100 percent of permits through 2020 to oil drilling, cement and other industries that otherwise might shut down if forced to pay for permits. Sawmills, food manufacturing and others will get shorter-term aid. Within an industry, more efficient firms will get more allowances, which less efficient companies may need to buy.’

via California unveils greenhouse gas trading plan | Reuters.

U.S. wind power posts slowest quarter since 2007 | Reuters

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

‘(Reuters) – The U.S. wind power industry had its slowest quarter since 2007 in the just-ended third quarter, as investors turned away from the sector after Congress did not pass a renewable power mandate, an industry group said.’

via U.S. wind power posts slowest quarter since 2007 | Reuters.

Prop. 23 is a money saver, Valero contends –

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

‘The Texas oil company says its big Wilmington refinery would face prohibitive new costs, which it would have to pass on to consumers, if there’s no relief from California’s new emissions law.’

via Prop. 23 is a money saver, Valero contends –

Solar Knowledge: Technique Promises Indefinitely Storable Solar Energy

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

‘Discovered decades ago, but largely undeveloped, the thermo-chemical approach captures solar energy in the configuration of certain molecules which can then release it on demand to produce usable heat.’

via Solar Knowledge: Technique Promises Indefinitely Storable Solar Energy.

BBC News – Jellyfish ‘may benefit from ecosystem instability’

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

‘A team of researchers have been trying to identify how jellyfish may benefit from marine ecosystems destabilised by climate change and overfishing.’

via BBC News – Jellyfish ‘may benefit from ecosystem instability’.

Videos: Treasury Secretary Geithner on Energy, Fiscal Policy

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

October 18, 2010, Palo Alto, California

U.S. Treasury of the Secretary Timothy Geithner appeared at the Commonwealth Club in Palo Alto California. He delivering an opening statement and then took questions, speaking on a variety of topics including energy, fiscal policy, currency devaluation, and the role of government.

This video segment features interview excerpts on topics including clean and renewable energy, investment in public infrastructure, and fair currency valuation by both the United States and China.

Partial transcription:
“I think it’s right to say that we are not smart, not wise, not responsible, not sensible, in how we use energy as a country today. We’re one of the largest consumers of the types of energy that are worst for the environment. It’s something we should not tolerate and accept, and to change that is going to require a broad based set of reforms to how we use energy, how it’s priced, how expensive it is, the standards we force companies to run with. And as you know, the President was successful in winning congressional support for very substantial increases in renewables, and some very important improvements in standards for, for example, gasoline standards, efficiency standards for cars, but he has not yet been successful in finding political support for the broader set of challenges for reforms in energy that we think are important. And he’s going to keep working at that, but again, it’s not something that he can do without a broader consensus of support from the business community. ”

Timothy Geithner

“There’s been a lot of support from the business community for very sensible reforms in this area. A lot of coalitions of some of the most energy intensive industries out there supportive of reform, recognizing I think as your questioner implied we’re not in a sustainable position, so we’ve got some ways to go in that area.”
“Investment in public infrastructure , in transportation, is a good investment. Now, our government doesn’t do it … not perfect in how they do it. A lot of inefficiencies and a lot of politics in how those dollars are allocated, which is one reason why the president has proposed that we establish an infrastructure bank that can bring a more disciplined, a much more selective approach toward deciding what we finance. But it’s a very good strategy for growth near term, it’s very good for growth, short term and long term, and it has the benefit of getting some of the people hardest hit by the recession, people in manufacturing, in autos, or in construction, back to work more quickly.”
And I should say, that you know, even though I’ve been in Government all my life, and I work for a president that didn’t come from the business community, he understands and we understand that, you know, the business of America is business, and the role of government is to help businesses, create better incentives for them to create jobs ,to innovate, to grow and expand, but as we have all learned , and you’ve seen in this crisis, that requires that the government be better at doing things only the government can do, like educating our children, like making sure our financial system does not leave us with huge risk, with huge collateral damage when you have a recession, that we’re using energy more efficiently, that we find ways to make sure a broader range of our citizens have access to affordable health care. Those are things that governments have to do for market economies, for businesses to thrive, to function, and as you’ve seen as a country we have not been good enough at doing those things, we have to get better at it, and the world is getting better at it more quickly than we are now, and that should be a huge cause for action in Washington and in state and local governments around the country.”
“It is very important for people to understand that the United States of America and no country around the world can devalue its way to prosperity, to competitiveness. It is not a viable, feasible strategy and we will not engage in it. It is very important to us that people have confidence in our capacity to meet our long term fiscal obligations, to make sure that the federal reserve does its job of keeping inflation low and stable over time, and we recognize that the U.S. plays a particularly important special role in the international financial system because the dollar serves as the principle reserve asset of the global financial system. So we’re gonna work very hard to make sure that we preserve confidence in a strong dollar and that we’re working very hard to strengthen confidence in our capacity and Washington’s capacity to, as I said, repair the damage caused by this crisis and restore, as we recover, a sense of discipline, gravity, balance to our long term fiscal position.”

In this video, Secretary Geithner responds to questions about the financial crisis and recovery:

Partial Excerpt: “The mistakes made by our people running some of our major financial institutions, by small and large banks across the country, and the mistakes made by people in government responsibility for overseeing that system were catastrophic, and it was absolutely essential that as we put out the financial fire, which we have done at much lower cost, much more quickly, much more effectively, than anyone thought was possible, that we change the basic rules of the game in which institutions operate.
And I believe, but I’m going to take the optimistic side of the debate, that the reforms Congress passed this summer are the most powerful, the most effective, I think a model for the world in how to make sure you bring a more modern structure of oversight to a market oriented financial system, and we’ve already moved very quickly to raise capital requirements on banks, to reduce leverage, to make sure they’re operating with much stronger financial cushions against whatever the uncertain source of risk we face in the future, we’re moving very quickly to make sure consumer’s have access to much better disclosure about the basic terms of a mortgage or a credit card, and we now have the tools we did not have before the crisis to make sure that we can dismember a large institution that managed itself to the edge of a cliff, to make sure we can dismember them safely at less cost to the taxpayer, less damage to the economy as a whole. So that imperative of financial reform quickly was very important, and I’m much more confident now because of those reforms that we’re gonna have a financial system that can go back to being the envy of the world and do what it exists to do, which is to take the savings of Americans and channel those to businesses that have some idea, that need to grow. We were once the envy of the world in doing that, we lost our way, and we’re going to make sure that we go back to a country with a system that serves that basic function better.”

This video features Geithner’s opening statement on the economy and priorities ahead:

Excerpt: “Investing in public infrastructure we think has one of the highest returns on the use of a dollar of taxpayer’s resources, it’s good for long term growth too, and it’s very good at helping people get back to work who have been hurt most by the crisis in construction, in manufacturing. These are relatively good jobs, they pay relatively well. And again, we’re not a country with unlimited resources, we have to make choices about how we use those resources, and we want to make sure we’re investing those resources in things that will raise our long term growth prospects.”