It’s a big day for climate news:
- International climate talks are now underway in Copenhagen. Expectations are mixed: in the New York Times, Paul Krugman is uncharacteristically optimistic that the talks will result in real progress, despite the widespread media narrative that it’s mostly just hot air. As for me, I’m expecting both: plenty of hot air, and a bit if progress if we’re lucky. If you’re into the funny, point your browser at Grist’s Copenhagen coverage.
- Just for the record, I’m a bit annoyed by this predictable critique of all of the fuel-guzzling limos crowding the Copenhagen streets during the talks. Sure, the optics of limos at a climate conference are bad. But focusing on appearances, and more generally on personal choices, is exactly the wrong way to think about climate change. If all the celebrities, dignitaries, and heads of state had decided to bike the streets of Copenhagen for the next two weeks, the net effect on global emission would be essentially zippo. The real measure of success is the substance of the talks, not the carbon footprint of the attendees.
- Strengthening the US position going into the talks, the EPA has just officially released its “endangerment finding” for climate-warming emissions—a determination that greenhouse gases pose a threat to human health and the environment.
- Locally, there are a few tidbits as well. The all-electric Nissan Leaf will be touring the Seattle area this week. (Also see this LA Times article on the prospects for plug-in hybrids.) And the Oregonian explores one of my own pet obsessions: the massive carbon storage potential of federal forests in the Pacific Northwest.
What’d I miss?