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Aggregating Energy Since 2006

Just the Tree of Us

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Newsweek ran a cover story on the Enviro and Leadership that had some details I wanted to note. It focuses on Hillary, Obama, and McCain (or, if you have followed his blatant abandoning of energy issues by skipping every 2007 vote on energy issues, you might call him McShame).

I am not convinced McCain will be the global climate change legislation champion we would hope him to be. His recent actions have me wondering if his past work with Lieberman on climate change was merely him trying to get center-cred by championing an issue he knew would go nowhere.

I don't know - because I do not follow national politics closely enough. I know he has taken a lot of heat from the right on this and his work has helped us by showing that Republicans are divided on this (kinda) so maybe I am too harsh. The story considers this:

A plausible explanation is that McCain sought to avoid taking a position that would offend either conservative primary voters or the moderate ones he will need in November. A more relevant statistic might be his lifetime LCV rating, which is 26 percent, compared with an average of 16 percent for all Republicans. As recently as 2004, when his rating for the 108th Congress reached 56 percent, the league endorsed him for re-election to the Senate.

I do feel more comfortable criticizing the media because I pay much more attention to their coverage and listen to a number of shows that look at media coverage. Perhaps because the media regards this as being a boring issues among 3 candidates who all acknowledge the massive challenge to deal with climate change, they have refused to ask questions about climate change.

The League of Conservation Voters tracks how often candidates are asked about environmental issues in televised debates and interviews, and the current tally shows that of 3,231 questions by the leading political reporters from five networks, exactly eight concerned global warming.

Newsweek also looks at 10 fixes for global warming - all of them fairly small in the tradition of recognizing it will take a massive patchwork to change our carbon habit. One is massive kites to help pull containers ships across the ocean (so China can keep making all our consumer goods and shipping them to us).

Any idea how far the largest container ships can go on a gallon of fuel? Try 37 feet. That adds up to 2 billion barrels of petroleum a year. "If the shipping industry were a country, it would be No. 7 in carbon emissions," says Michael Hirshfield, chief scientist for Oceana.

Sure, those ships are over 300m long and carry billions of dollars worth of stuff (with the value of the dollar, probably many tens of billions at this point) but 37 feet?? I'm not sure whether to be impressed or not.

Finally, the article alerted me to ClimateCounts.org which offers a scorecard measuring big companies on global warming stuff. I see that Canon is rated highly (Nikon - my camera company of choice, is not ranked) whereas Apple is nearly at the bottom (which made me smile because I hate my MacBook and love my PCs).