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Friday, November 2, 2007

The Mayors Climate Summit

posted by on November 2 at 17:49 PM

I spent most of yesterday at the Mayors Climate Protection Summit, where more than 100 mayors from around the country who have signed on to Mayor Greg Nickels’s Mayors Climate Protection Agreement met to discuss what steps cities can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels mandated by the Kyoto Protocol, which only the US and Australia, among industrialized nations, refused to sign. I’ve picked on Nickels a few times in the past for talking the climate change talk while supporting proposals (a new waterfront freeway, the roads and transit proposal on the ballot next week) that would make global warming worse.

I’m impressed by Nickels’s efforts to bring together US mayors to meet a challenge—global warming—that the federal government (specifically, Bush) declined to take on. As Climate Solutions’ KC Golden told the mayors, “You have made it clear that this is a local issue,” not only a global one. I left the climate protection summit feeling both inspired and a little depressed.

In the inspiring column:

• The fact that more than 700 mayors have signed the agreement—conservative mayors, staunchly Democratic mayors, mayors from small Southern towns and big East Coast cities. That’s an impressive number that will only get larger.

• The idea of treating climate change as an economic opportunity for working-class people without a college education. Much of the talk at the summit was about creating so-called green collar jobs—jobs retrofitting homes and businesses to be energy-efficient, constructing LEED-certified public buildings, working the production line in the United States’ growing hybrid-car industry. “We need to reach out,” Trenton, NJ mayor Doug Palmer said, “to an untapped labor source that would rather work than have guns and sell drugs.”

• Al Gore, whose typically wonked-out speech was beamed from Nashville via satellite. He told the mayors that the US “can’t wait” until 2012 to negotiate an alternative to Kyoto. “If the leading scientists like Jim Hanson are saying we may have ten years to turn things around we don’t want to waste five years” before negotiating a new treaty, Gore said. “We need to have that treaty finished by 2009 and have it in place by 2010 to replace the Kyoto treaty.” Gore has been talking about a carbon tax, a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants (“we’ve got more than enough coal to completely incinerate the planet,”) reducing emissions by 90 percent (!!) in the US, and a fully auctioned cap-and-trade system, so it’s clear the treaty he’s thinking of would be a hell of a lot tougher than outdated Kyoto. “The key choice in life is always the same choice: To pick a hard right over an easy wrong,” Gore said.

• Bill freakin’ Clinton!! Despite the presence of a glowering mayoral spokeswoman (thanks, Marianne!) who tried to exclude the Stranger from covering Clinton’s speech (something to do with how we’re a “small paper,” they “had to let the New York Times in,” and “these seats are reserved for press”) I still managed to get in. (Three of the press seats were filled by mayoral staffers; another sat empty. So much for there not being enough room for everyone.) Clinton is like Gore with charisma—he sounds genuinely excited about the wonky stuff (“Replacing a tar roof with a green roof reduces the temperature from 150 degrees to 80!”) but he’s also funny, relaxed and inspiring—and he gave me yet another reason to think a Hillary White House might not be so bad after all. His speech focused on climate change as an economic and social opportunity (“It’s a godsend. It’s not castor oil that we have to take.”) Writeups in the dailies are here and here.

• Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, who outlined a bunch of the steps Berkeley has taken to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions—quite successfully, it turns out. Back in 2006, the city asked voters if they wanted the city to take concrete steps to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050. They said yes. So far, the city has started a program requiring apartment and condo builders to provide free bus passes for all residents; required that whenever developers build new housing (or whenever a property is sold) it must undergo a “green review” determine how to make it more environmentally friendly; created a financing plan for homeowners to pay for solar panels over time; and started training students to do energy retrofits on homes and businesses… to name just a few. They’re also considering a ballot measure that would provide a free bus pass to every resident of Berkeley. Awesome!

On the depressing side:

• Um… the mayor of Berkeley, whose speech with all its cool ideas drew chuckles from the mayors of smaller, more conservative cities (particularly hilarious to the mayor of South Forks : The idea of “licensing hitchhikers”)—demonstrating just how far many cities that have signed the agreement in principle are from implementing it in practice. Many cities, in fact, are not on track to meet the Kyoto reductions (seven percent under 1990 levels) by 2012… and everyone, including Nickels, agrees that Kyoto is no longer close to enough. When I asked Nickels if he was discouraged by this, he said no. “It has hit different parts of the country at different paces. It’s easier in Seattle than it would be in Milwaukee. The trick is for us to bring a really diverse group of communities together.” I’m not quite so optimistic.

• Climate change is a huge problem. Like, really huge. Global huge. And because its causes vary so much from community to community (here in Seattle it’s mostly transportation; in Miami, it’s mostly water supply) there isn’t a single solution that works everywhere. That can make it seem too vast and daunting to contemplate.

Thinking of climate change as a local issue is one way to get past this problem, of course, which is one of the lessons the mayors’ conference tried to hammer home. So is realizing that any solution will have to be at every level—individual, local, federal, and international. People (and, more importantly, governments) are beginning to realize this and claim responsibility for their part. Maybe it’s not so hopeless.

RSS icon Comments


I like Mayor Bloomberg’s pollution tax idea. Instead of sales taxes, the trains, bridges and roads should be paid for by those whose lifestyle decisions pollute all over the rest of us.

Individual vehicle owners could pay based on how high their readings are at emissions checks, and how many miles the vehicle was used.

Industrial polluters could pay at some rate too.

Those are much better revenue raisers than the RTID/ST2 sales tax. Write your legislators. Demand pollution taxes.

Posted by omfug | November 2, 2007 6:03 PM

owners and builders should be allowed to give transit passes in lieu of parking spaces that only subsidize cars, congestion and CO2.

Lots cheaper, too.

Posted by unPC | November 2, 2007 6:11 PM

"And because its causes vary so much from community to community (here in Seattle it’s mostly transportation; in Miami, it’s mostly water supply) there isn’t a single solution that works everywhere."

How does water supply cause CC?

Posted by whatever | November 2, 2007 6:13 PM

Sorry Erica: tl;dr.

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | November 2, 2007 6:21 PM

Thank you Erica! This is a great write up. I am so glad you fought your way past those mayoral staffers to bring this report to those of us who want this news now, not tomorrow's print edition.

I'm one of those folks who salivate over Gore, but having Bubba make it real for the folks is just fine. Go Bubba! It takes someone like Bill to take the massive message and simplify it into something everyone can not only understand, but care about.

Now, let's all get to work making those Green Collar Jobs happen locally.

Posted by CLAWS | November 2, 2007 6:31 PM

NO 'Consensus' on "Man-Made" Global Warming

Skeptical Scientists:

A. Alan Moghissi, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Technical University of Karlsruhe, Germany
Alfred H. Pekarek, Ph.D. Geology, Associate Professor of Geology, St. Cloud State University, USA
Allan M.R. MacRae, B.Sc., M.Eng., P.Eng, Canada
Andreas Prokoph, B.Sc. Geology, Ph.D. Earth Sciences, University Tubingen, Germany
Anthony R. Lupo, Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Purdue University, USA
Antonino Zichichi, Professor Emeritus of Advanced Physics, University of Bologna, Italy
Arthur B. Robinson, Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, USA
Arthur Rorsch, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Molecular Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Ben Herman, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, USA
Bob Durrenberger, Retired Climatologist, Former President of the American Association of State Climatologists, USA
Boris Winterhalter, Ph.D. Geology, Helsinki University, Finland
Bruce N. Ames, Ph.D. BioChemistry, California Institute of Technology, USA
Bruno Wiskel, B.Sc. Honours Geology, University of Albert, Canada
Carl Johan Friedrich (Frits) Böttcher, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physical
Charles Gelman, B.S. Chemistry, M.S. Public Health, University of Michigan, USA
Chauncey Starr, Ph.D. Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
Chemistry, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
Chris de Freitas, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Auckland, Australia
Christopher Essex, Ph.D. Applied Mathematics Professor, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Christopher Landsea, Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, USA
Claude Allegre, Ph.D. Physics, University of Paris, France
Clinton H. Sheehan, Ph.D. Physics, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Craig D. Idso, M.S. Agronomy, Ph.D. Geography, Arizona State University, USA
Daniel B. Botkin, Ph.D. Biology, Rutgers University, USA
David Deming, B.S. Geology, Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Utah, USA
David E. Wojick, B.S. Civil Engineering, Ph.D. Mathematical Logic, University of Pittsburgh, USA
David Evans, B.Sc. Applied Mathematics and Physics, M.S. Statistics, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Stanford, USA
David J. Bellamy, B.Sc. Botany, Ph.D. Ecology, Durham University, UK
David L. Hill, Ph.D. Physics, Princeton, USA
David Nowell, M.Sc. Meteorology, Royal Meteorological Society, Canada
David R. Legates, Ph.D. Climatology, University of Delaware, USA
Dennis P. Lettenmaier, Ph.D. Professor of Hydrology, University of Washington, USA
Don J. Easterbrook, Ph.D. Geology, University of Washington, USA
Donald G. Baker, Ph.D. Soils, Geology, University of Minnesota, USA
Douglas V. Hoyt, Solar Physicist and Climatologist, Retired, Raytheon, USA
Duncan Wingham, Ph.D. Physics, University of Bath, UK
Edward Wegman, Ph.D. Mathematical Statistics, University of Iowa, USA
Eigil Friis-Christensen, Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Elliot Abrams, M.S. Meteorology, Penn State, USA
Eric S. Posmentier, Adjunct Professor of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth, USA
Fred Michel, B.Sc. Geological Sciences, M.Sc. Earth Sciences, Ph.D. Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo, Canada
Frederick Seitz, Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University, USA
Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus, Physics, Princeton, USA
G. Cornelis van Kooten, B.Sc. Geophysics, Ph.D. Agricultural & Resource Economics, Oregon State University, USA
Garth Paltridge, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia
Gary D. Sharp, Ph.D. Marine Biology, University of California, USA
Gary Novak, M.S. Microbiology, USA
George H. Taylor, M.S. Meteorology, University of Utah, USA
George Kukla, Micropalentologist, Special Research Scientist of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA
George V. Chilingarian, Ph.D. Geology, University of Southern California, USA
Gerrit J. van der Lingen, PhD Geology, New Zealand
Gordon E. Swaters, Ph.D. Applied Mathematics and Physical Oceanography, University of British Columbia, Canada
Graham Smith, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Harry N.A. Priem, Professor Emeritus of Isotope and Planetary Geology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Hendrik Tennekes, Former Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Netherlands
Henrik Svensmark, Solar System Physics, Danish National Space Center, Denmark
Henry R. Linden, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
Howard Hayden, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Connecticut, USA
Hugh W. Ellsaesser, Ph.D. Meteorology, Formerly with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA
Ian D. Clark, Professor Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
Ian Plimer, Professor of Mining Geology, University of Adelaide, Australia
Indur M. Goklany, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, India
Jack Barrett, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Manchester, UK
James O’Brien, Ph.D. Meteorology, Texas A&M University, USA
Ján Veizer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
Jay H. Lehr, Ph.D. Groundwater Hydrology, University of Arizona, USA
Jennifer Marohasy, Ph.D. Biology, University of Queensland, Australia
Joe Sobel, Ph.D. Meteorology, Penn State, USA
Joel Schwartz, B.S. Chemistry, M.S. Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, USA
John R. Christy, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, USA
Joseph Conklin, M.S. Meteorology, Rutgers University, USA
Joseph D’Aleo, M.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, USA
Keith D. Hage, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Meteorology, University of Alberta, Canada
Keith E. Idso, Ph.D. Botany, Arizona State University, USA
Kenneth E.F. Watt, Ph.D. Zoology, University of Chicago, USA
Khabibullo Abdussamatov, Ph.D. Astrophysicist, The University of Leningrad, Russia
Lee C. Gerhard, Ph.D. Geology, University of Kansas, USA
Luboš Motl, Ph.D. Theoretical Physicist, Harvard, USA
Madhav Khandekar, Ph.D. Meteorology, Florida State University, USA
Marcel Leroux, Professor Emeritus of Climatology, University of Lyon, France
Mel Goldstein, Ph.D. Meteorology, NYU, USA
Michael Crichton, A.B. Anthropology, M.D. Harvard, USA
Michael D. Griffin, B.S. Physics, M.S. Applied Physics, Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, USA
Michael Savage, B.S. Biology, M.S. Anthropology, M.S. Ethnobotany, Ph.D. Nutritional Ethnomedicine, USA
Michael R. Fox, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of Washington, USA
Michel Salomon, M.D. University of Paris, Director, International Centre for Scientific Ecology, France
Neil Frank, Ph.D. Meteorology, Florida State University, USA
Nils-Axel Mörner, Professor Emeritus of Palegeophysics and Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden
Nir J. Shaviv, Ph.D. Astrophysicist, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Ola M. Johannessen, Professor, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Norway
Olavi Kärner, Ph.D. Senior Research Associate, Atmospheric Sensing Group, Tartu Astrophysical Observatory, Estonia
Oliver W. Frauenfeld, Ph.D. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, USA
Paavo Siitam, M.Sc. Agronomist, Canada
Paul Copper, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Canada
Paul Driessen, B.A. Geology and Field Ecology, Lawrence University, USA
Paul Reiter, Professor of Medical Entomology, Pasteur Institute, France
Patrick J. Michaels, Ph.D. Ecological Climatology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Patrick Moore, B.Sc. Forest Biology, Ph.D. Ecology, University of British Columbia, Canada
Petr Chylek, Ph.D. Physics, University of California, USA
Philip Stott, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biogeography, University of London, UK
Piers Corbyn, B.Sc Physics, M.Sc Astrophysics, Queen Mary College, UK
R. Timothy (Tim) Patterson, Ph.D. Professor of Geology, Carleton University, Canada
Randall Cerveny, Ph.D. Geography, University of Nebraska, USA
Reid A. Bryson, B.A. Geology, Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Chicago, USA
Richard C. Willson, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, USA
Richard S. Courtney, Ph.D. Geography, The Ohio State University, USA
Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Meteorology, MIT, USA
Roger A. Pielke (Sr.), Ph.D. Meteorology, Penn State, USA
Rob Scagel, M.Sc., Forest Microclimate Specialist, Canada
Robert C. Balling Jr., Ph.D. Professor of Climatology, Arizona State University, USA
Robert Giegengack, Ph.D. Geology, Yale, USA
Robert H. Essenhigh, M.S. Natural Sciences, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK
Robert Johnston, M.S. Physics, B.A. Astronomy, USA
Robert (Bob) M. Carter, B.Sc. Geology, Ph.D. Paleontology, University of Cambridge, Australia
Roy Spencer, Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, USA
S. Fred Singer, Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University, USA
Sallie Baliunas, Ph.D. Astrophysics, Harvard, USA
Sherwood B. Idso, Ph.D. Soil Science, University of Minnesota, USA
Simon C. Brassell, B.Sc. Chemistry & Geology, Ph.D. Organic Geochemistry, University of Bristol, UK
Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Ph.D. Department of Geography, University of Hull, UK
Steve Milloy, B.A. Natural Sciences, M.S. Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Stephen McIntyre, B.Sc. Mathematics, University of Toronto, Canada
Sylvan H. Wittwer, Ph.D. Horticulture, University of Missouri, USA
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Alaska, USA
Tad S. Murty, Ph.D. Oceanography and Meteorology, University of Chicago, USA
Timothy (Tim) F. Ball, Ph.D. Geography, Historical Climatology, University of London, UK
Tom Harris, B. Eng. M. Eng. Mechanical Engineering (thermo-fluids), Canada
Tom V. Segalstad, B.S. Geology, University of Oslo, Norway
Vincent Gray, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Cambridge University, UK
W. Dennis Clark, Ph.D. Botany, Sacramento State College, USA
Wibjorn Karlen, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden
William Cotton, M.S. Atmospheric Science, Ph.D. Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University, USA
William E. Reifsnyder, B.S. Meteorology, M.S. Ph.D. Forestry, Yale, USA
William J.R. Alexander, Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa
William (Bill) M. Gray, M.S. Meteorology, Ph.D. Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, USA
Willie Soon, Ph.D. Astrophysics, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Wolfgang Thüne, Ph.D. Geography, University of Wuerzburg, Germany
Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D. Ph.D. D.Sc., Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Poland

A.J. Colby, B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Meteorologist WKYC-TV, USA
Andre Bernier, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist WJW-TV, USA
Anthony Watts, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Chief Meteorologist KPAY-AM, USA
Arlo Gambell, AMS Certified Meteorologist, USA
Art Horn, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist WVIT-TV, USA
Asmunn Moene, former Chief Meteorologist, Oslo, Norway
Bill Meck, Chief Meteorologist WLEX-TV, USA
Bill Steffen, Meteorologist WOOD-TV, USA
Bob Breck, B.S. Meteorology & Oceanography, University of Michigan, Chief Meteorologist WVUE-TV, USA
Brad Sussman, Meteorologist, USA
Brian Sussman, Meteorologist, USA
Bruce Schwoegler, B.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Christopher Plonka, Meteorologist USAF, USA
Craig James, B.S. Meteorology, Penn State University, Chief Meteorologist WOOD-TV, USA
Dan Maly, Retired Meteorologist WOIO-TV, USA
David Aldrich, B.S. Meteorology, North Carolina State University, Meteorologist WTXF-TV, USA
Dick Goddard, Chief Meteorologist WJW-TV, USA
Don Webster, Retired Meteorologist WEWS-TV, USA
Douglas Leahey, Meteorologist, Canada
Eugenio Hackbart, Chief Meteorologist MetSul Meteorologia Weather Center, Brazil
Herb Stevens, Meteorologist WNYT-TV, USA
James Spann, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Chief Meteorologist WCFT-TV, WJSU-TV, USA
Jason Russell, Meteorologist, WTEN-TV, USA
Joe Bastardi, B.S. Meteorology, Penn State, Expert Senior Forecaster AccuWeather, USA
John Coleman, Meteorologist, Founder of 'The Weather Channel', Chief Meteorologist KUSI-TV, USA
Jon Loufman, Meteorologist WOIO-TV, USA
Justin Berk, B.S. Meteorology, Cornell University, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Meteorologist WMAR-TV, USA
Karl Bohnak, B.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Meteorologist WLUC-TV, USA
Kevin Lemanowicz, B.S. Meteorology, Cornell University, Chief Meteorologist WFXT-TV, USA
Kevin Williams, B.S. Meteorology, Cornell University, Chief Meteorologist WHEC-TV, USA
Mark Koontz, Meteorologist WFMJ-TV, USA
Mark Breen, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Senior Meteorologist Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, USA
Mark Johnson, AMS Certified Meteorologist, Chief Meteorologist, WEWS-TV, USA
Nick Morganelli, Free-Lance Meteorologist, USA
Rich Apuzzo, Chief Meteorologist Skyeye Weather, USA
Roy Leep, B.S. Meteorology, Florida State University, Meteorologist WTVT-TV, USA
Sally Bernier, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist WJW-TV, USA
Shane Hollett, Meteorologist WMJI-FM, USA
Steven Nogueira, NWS Senior Meteorologist, USA
Terry Eliasen, B.S. Meteorology, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Meteorologist WBZ-TV, USA
Thomas B. Gray, M.S. Meteorology, USA
Tim Kelley, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist NECN, USA
Tom Chisholm, B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, Lyndon State College, Chief Meteorologist WMTW-TV, USA
William Kininmonth, M.Sc, Colorado State University, Retired Head of Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Australia

Social Scientists:
Andrey Illarionov, Ph.D. Economics, St. Petersburg University, Russia
Benny Peiser, Ph.D. Professor of Social Anthropology, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Bjørn Lomborg, Ph.D. Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Daniel R. Simmons, B.A. Economics, Utah State University, USA
Dennis Avery, M.S. Agricultural Economics, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
James Inhofe, B.A. Economics, University of Tulsa, USA
John J. Ray, Ph.D. Psychology, Macquarie University, Mensa, Sydney, Australia
Marlo Lewis, B.A. Political Science, Ph.D. Government, Claremont McKenna College, USA
Margo Thorning, Ph.D. Economics, University of Georgia, USA
Myron Ebell, M.Sc. Economics, London School of Economics, USA
Richard Tol, Ph.D. Economics, Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands
Richard W. Rahn, Ph.D. Business Economics, Columbia University, USA
Robert Bradley, B.A. Economics, Ph.D. Political Economy, University of Houston, USA
Robert Higgs, Ph.D. Economics, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Roger A. Pielke (Jr.), Ph.D. Political Science, University of Colorado, USA
Ross McKitrick, Ph.D. Economics, University of British Columbia, Canada
Thomas A. Birkland, Ph.D. Political Science, University of Washington, USA
Thomas Gale Moore, Ph.D. Economics, University of Chicago, USA
Vaclav Klaus, app. Ph.D. Economics, University of Economics, Prague, Czechoslovakia
William Nordhaus, Ph.D. Economics, MIT, USA

August H. Auer Jr., Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, USA (Died: June 10, 2007)
Michael J. Higatsberger, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Experimental Physics, University of Vienna, Austria (Died: January 7, 2004)
Tor Ragnar Gerholm, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Stockholm, Sweden (Died: June 27, 2007)
William (Bill) A. Nierenberg, Ph.D. Physics, Columbia University, USA (Died: September 10, 2000)
William Mitchell, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Oxford, UK (Died: October 30, 2002)

Skeptical Organizations:

AccuWeather, USA
Air Quality Standards Coalition, USA
American Association of Petroleum Geologists, USA (31,000+ Members)
American Association of State Climatologists, USA (Noncommittal)
American Council on Science and Health, USA
American Policy Center, USA
Australian APEC Study Centre, Australia
Arizona State University Office of Cimatology, USA
Cato Institute, USA
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, USA
Center for Science and Public Policy, USA
Citizens for the Environment and CFE Action Fund, USA
Clean Water Industry Coalition, USA
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, USA
Committee for Economic Development, USA
Competitive Enterprise Institute, USA
Cooler Heads Coalition, USA
DCI Group, USA
FAEC - Argentinean Foundation for a Scientific Ecology, Argentina
Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, USA
Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, USA
Fraser Institute, Canada
Friends of Science, Canada
Frontiers of Freedom Institute, USA
George C. Marshall Institute, USA
Global Climate Coalition, USA
Greening Earth Society, USA
Heartland Institute, USA
Heritage Foundation, USA
High Park Group, Canada
Hoover Institution, USA
Hudson Institute, USA
Independent Institute, USA
Institute for Canadian Values, Canada
Institute for Energy Research, USA
Institute of Economic Affairs, UK
Institute of Public Affairs, Australia
International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, USA
International Policy Network, UK
Lavoisier Group, Australia
Maine Heritage Policy Center, USA
Media Research Center, USA
National Center for Policy Analysis, USA
Natural Resources Stewardship Project, Canada
New Hope Environmental Services, USA
New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, New Zealand
Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, USA
Pacific Research Institute, USA
Property and Environment Research Center, USA
Reason Foundation, USA
Science & Environmental Policy Project, USA
Scientific Alliance, UK
Science and Public Policy Institute, USA
Sustainable Development Network, UK
The Advancement of Sound Science Center, USA
The Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy, USA
The Association of British Drivers, UK
The Environmental Conservation Organization, USA
Tropical Meteorology Project, USA
Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, USA

Posted by Poptech | November 2, 2007 6:48 PM

If anyone seriously thinks Americans are going to stop living the way they do in order to reduce harm to the environment, they are seriously deluded. You gunna get out of your car and walk? I didn't think so. You gunna stop useing plastic, nah me neither. You gunna demand The Stranger place a "RECYCLE THIS" banner at the top of each edition of its paper, I'm not either. It's all talk and no action here in the God blessed US of A. The majors got together to net-work and talk talk talk.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | November 2, 2007 7:27 PM

Poptech @6
Got a rip in your colostomy bag?

Posted by ratcityreprobate | November 2, 2007 7:49 PM

If the mayor is so gung-ho about being green, why don't they convert the fleet of SDOT, City Light, SPU, etc trucks to bio-diesel?

Posted by pony boy | November 2, 2007 9:07 PM

So whenever a house is sold in Berkeley, the owner has to shell out more cash to pay for a "green review"? Oy.

People should remember that Bush did not scuttle the Kyoto Accord. The President does not ratify treaties, only the Senate does that. And there is no way in hell the US Senate is going to ratify anything like Kyoto, let alone anything more expensive.

The only way to reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere is to have a robust economy that that research our way out of it in the next 50 years.

Posted by Fritz | November 2, 2007 9:27 PM

@10 I totally agree. Which is why we're going to install a cap and trade system or carbon tax or whatever so there's an *incentive* to "research our way out it" and deploy the results of that research. Only we don't have "50 years" to do so (the risk was pretty clear 20 years ago but the War on Science has been going so well and all ....) so the first phase is going to need to use what we have in hand now.

And you thing limiting climate destabilization is expensive? (We're talking a couple of points off total *summed* world GDP over the next couple of decades. Peanuts.)

Try having the climate/environment messed up. Now *that's* expensive :-) (According to internal Chinese documents, for example, the real GDP growth of several Chinese provinces is already *negative*. That's not a couple of points off total summed GDP - that a year to year *decline*. And that's mostly just garden variety enviro damage. It'll be much more costly when climate destabilization is added in. They're gonna learn about market externalities the hard way - and us too, if we don't move now...)

Plus the countries that get the drop on this thing are gonna *own* the core industries of the next 50 years. Look at the car industry. Toyota and Honda have real deliverable efficient cars that they can ramp up if they have too. The Europeans have a host of really sweet diesels and small cars. Us? What do you think? (And don't tell me about the Volt. It's 2007, oil is $100/barrel and you're trying to sell me vaporware? Pathetic.)

@6 Only fools and last century industrial prostitutes think that the risk isn't worth dealing with at this point. TV weather guys and social scientists mixed in with the odd senile physicist? Right. My dentist has some really excellent penny stock tips he'd like to sell you, too.

Talk to some actual climate scientists. You might learn something.

Posted by bakfiets | November 3, 2007 12:20 AM

Wow. I can't imagine why these organizations would be "skeptical" about global warming:

Air Quality Standards Coalition (lobbyists)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Policy Center (right wing)
Australian APEC Study Centre (right wing)
Cato Institute (right-wing wackos)
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (libertarian)
Committee for Economic Development
Competitive Enterprise Institute
DCI Group (lobbyists)
Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies (right wing)
Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment
Fraser Institute (libertarian)
Frontiers of Freedom Institute (the name speaks for itself)
Global Climate Coalition (industry)
Greening Earth Society (industry)
Heartland Institute (right wing)
Heritage Foundation (right wing)
Hoover Institution (right wing)
Hudson Institute (right wing)
Independent Institute (right wing)
Institute for Canadian Values (right wing)
Institute for Energy Research
Institute of Economic Affairs
Institute of Public Affairs (right wing)
International Policy Network (right wing)
Lavoisier Group (right wing)
Maine Heritage Policy Center (right wing)
Media Research Center (right wing)
National Center for Policy Analysis (right wing)
Natural Resources Stewardship Project (industry)
Pacific Research Institute (right wing)
Property and Environment Research Center
Reason Foundation (libertarians)
Scientific Alliance (industry "friendly")
Science and Public Policy Institute (right wing)
The Advancement of Sound Science Center (industry)
The Association of British Drivers
The Environmental Conservation Organization (right-wing wackos)
Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy

What, no Discovery Institute? I'm disappointed.

If global warming "skeptics" were interested in being taken seriously, you'd think they'd leave out obviously right-wing and industry-funded organizations. Of course, then there would be no organizations left.

Posted by keshmeshi | November 3, 2007 12:37 AM

The heaviest pollution tax should go to meat, which causes more global warming than any other consumer activity. ECB should switch her morning news meat recipes to something more environmentally friendly, like Hummer ads. I like the vegetarian ones, though.

Posted by jamier | November 3, 2007 2:23 AM
If anyone seriously thinks Americans are going to stop living the way they do in order to reduce harm to the environment, they are seriously deluded. You gunna get out of your car and walk?

That's a different question. This is a question about governmental policies. Local governments can switch their policies away from subsidizing global warming (building roads, building park-and-rides, punishing dense development, encouraging sprawl) towards encouraging limited emissions (capping and taxing polluters, building urban transit, encouraging density, limiting sprawl). This will reduce emissions much more than if every SUV driver suddenly starts feeling guilty.

Posted by jamier | November 3, 2007 2:30 AM

Right wing kooks, again and again and again and again.

Sad, but to be expected.

Europe is talking and they are quite independant of American science. The glaciers are melting. The oceans are rising.

Kooks. They MUST be ignored.

Posted by Gold | November 3, 2007 7:26 AM

If you ever attend an event that Erica C. Barnett is covering, you'll have a chance to witness for yourself what a sloppy reporter she is. And yet sometimes that sloppiness can be the source of some accidential comedy. Here Erica quotes Al Gore:

“If the leading scientists like Jim Henson are saying we may have ten years to turn things around we don’t want to waste five years”

Um, I think Gore was referring to Jim Hansen. Jim Henson was the creator of the Muppets.

Now, I'm sure I'm guilty of being a petty, pathetic, insufferable know-it-all for pointing this out. But as a determined environmentalist and transit activist, I feel an obligation to point out how silly Erica Barnett is every chance I get. Hey, in the words of Kermit the Frog, "It's not easy being green."

Posted by cressona | November 3, 2007 9:51 AM

Thank you, @12 - keshmeshi - for that!! Hah awesome point

Posted by Lake | November 3, 2007 10:33 AM

Said it before, will say it again: solving transportation-related global warming in this region depends on building a clean-running transit system AND bringing affordable non-polluting vehicles to market. Populaiton growth is inevitable. Many people will still need cars, and roads to get around on. PASS Roads & Transit and start focusing on clean cars!

Posted by YES on PROP 1 | November 3, 2007 10:33 AM

Sloppy reporter or not, glad ECB called out the mayor's flacks on trying to exclude The Stranger. Many handlers on the public payroll are really slow on the uptake to realize that the "small" media are having a bigger, more immediate impact on discussion, debate, and action in this city than the old-school media, and the more they start opening the doors to every media organization big and small that cares enough to take an interest in what government is up to -- the better-informed their constituents will be. Oh whoops, maybe some gov't types might not consider that a good thing.

Posted by "small media" | November 3, 2007 10:58 AM

Hey Cressona:

Fixed it.

By the way, a typo is not the same thing as "sloppy reporting."

And I wasn't aware we go to the same events -- perhaps because you, unlike me, have the luxury of anonymity.

Posted by ECB | November 3, 2007 1:15 PM

ECB, you're right. There are much better examples of your sloppy reporting, like:

And yes, anonymity is a luxury, but it's a luxury I've chosen, just like putting your name on a byline and having your own mouthpiece is a luxury you've chosen.

Anyway, thanks for providing a good laugh.

Posted by cressona | November 3, 2007 1:31 PM

ECB seriously how does water supply cause CC in Miami?

"And because its causes vary so much from community to community (here in Seattle it’s mostly transportation; in Miami, it’s mostly water supply) there isn’t a single solution that works everywhere."

Posted by whatever | November 3, 2007 1:33 PM

I think it may be the fuel used to transport the water that creates the greenhouse gas emissions. In Seattle, we probably have to pump some of our water, but we benefit from gravity, as the Tolt Reservoir and the Cedar River reservoir are uphill from us. Maybe Miami has to pump water out of the ground, or from distant places, plus the energy needed to maintain water pressure.

There is also the cost of pumping sewage or stormwater to the water treatment plant. It is not always downhill from the source to the treatment.

Posted by johnj | November 3, 2007 5:48 PM

I'm not particularly informed but if we have to start using desalinization then water = electricity.

Posted by daniel | November 5, 2007 11:59 AM

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