Climate is very hot in the press these days (yes little joke there), so I'll do an occasional roundup when I see interesting stories.
The big news right now is the US Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency can and should regulate carbon dioxide pollution (or at least come up with a defensible reason not to). Mike is blogging about that so I won't cover it except for this excerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle about how the ruling helps the California government's own efforts to cut down on car pollution:
State Attorney General Jerry Brown said that the court, by ruling that the Clean Air Act applies to emissions that cause climate change, strengthened California's defense of its groundbreaking law requiring new vehicles sold in the state to meet gradually tighter standards for greenhouse gases, starting with the 2009 models.
The ruling "makes it very clear that California has a right to regulate greenhouse gases,'' since the federal government has historically allowed the state to exceed federal standards in regulating air pollutants, Brown said at a news conference. But his interpretation was quickly disputed by an auto industry lawyer.
Heh. I bet it was.
The other big news today was the IPCC meeting in Brussels which I blogged about here. Different papers ran with different angles on this one.
USA Today ran with the headline, "Science panel: 'Species are going to be lost'", saying:
From the micro to the macro, from plankton in the oceans to polar bears in the far north and seals in the far south, global warming has begun changing life on Earth, international scientists will report next Friday.
While China Central Television ran a story titled, "IPCC report warns global warming to increase hunger":
Global warming could increase hunger in Africa and melt most Himalayan glaciers in 30 years. This comes from a draft UN report presented at the IPCC meeting in Brussels on Monday. The report also warns the poorest nations are likely to suffer most.
Many papers covered with the political angle as the US and Australia came under fire on the first day of the conference for failing to support legally binding international measures:
At the start of a five-day U.N. climate change conference, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas criticized the two major holdouts to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol for their reluctance to join the 27-nation EU and other rich countries in fighting climate change.
Dimas said the U.S. should end its "negative attitude" toward international negotiations on a new climate change pact to reduce emissions, which could start in December.
The UK Telegraph ran commentary wondering if we have finally reached a tipping point where public pressure will demand real action on climate change, and looking back at how we managed to get a past crisis under control:
This Friday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will produce the second of three major reports. Hundreds of experts have contributed to it, and while the results are a closely guarded secret, you can bet that the picture is not going to be pretty.
Indeed, the most important tipping point of all might be when the world decides that climate change is a real and present danger and decides to do something. We can learn a lot from that other great bugbear of modern environmentalism: ozone.
Ahh, the ozone hole. Now there's a blast from the past.