Blog

NOTICE: MOST OF MY POSTING IS ON FACEBOOK: STARTLOVING1

My most personal Thoughts: sloving
(Start Loving, the pka for James McGinley)

The most crucial posts: *****

Photo album: here

EFLIUS (Exploring For Life In US): here

10.03.2009

I'm Learning now; Growing. That is Central why I had to leave the Matrix.

I'm Learning now; Growing.  That is Central why I had to leave the Matrix.

Early in my career in industry I BEGAN to learn the Lesson that ESSENTIAL
in life is to learn FROM WHAT YOU DO.  As I began to take charge of my
career this, in my better moments, became my #2 selection criterion
from among what ever alternatives I could generate, #1 being
ethics - would it Help others (as I badly understood it then).

Central to why I had to leave Industry, the Matrix, was because so much
of my time was diverted from what Humanity needed me to learn!

I am learning so much now, these days, weeks, years... - that is of consequence,
that is of Hope, that can matter to Humanity. 
From my interactions, from my freedom of time to devote my attention to the
central issues OF Humanity now, every waking second.

LIFE.  LOVE.  JOY.  PEACE OF HEART.

Spotlights on we sheeple. We'll NEVER have better than the Obamas. EVER. Sooooo...

Spotlights on we sheeple, EACH of us. We'll NEVER have better than the Obamas. EVER.  Sooooo...

If we can't make the US work NOW, IT IS A CERTAINTY THAT WE WILL NEVER
MAKE IT WORK.

Ending apartheid did NOT depend on "the right government," but on
the right
CITIZEN ACTION.

Civil Rights in US did NOT depend on "the right government," but on
the right
CITIZEN ACTION.

Women's Suffrage did NOT depend on "the right government," but on
the right
CITIZEN ACTION.

Ending the Vietnam War did NOT depend on "the right government," but on
the right
CITIZEN ACTION.

If Strong HC Reform fails WE THE PEOPLE FAILED.

If Strong Climate Change Legislation Fails  WE THE PEOPLE FAILED.

If the Afghanistan policy is wrong WE THE PEOPLE FAILED.

If Jobs Don't Materialize WE THE PEOPLE FAILED.

If Wall Street BLEEDING OF US CONTINUES WE THE PEOPLE FAILED.

80 yrs ago the Nazis were not stopped. We'll stop the FOXies. Right? RIGHT?



Do you always consult with Terrorists, Traitors? Your News Source Does.

EVERY "reputable" news source - NY Times, Wash Post.... - DOES
consult the Faux Republicans (hijackers of Republican party
and Conservative cause) - Boehner, McConnel and the other ReTHUGlicans
on the Hill?  Traitors.  Terrorists.  Fascists.  The Wrecking Crew.
HIJACKERS of America - IF WE LET THEM.

Yes, the FEW exceptions include DemocracyNow.org, BuzzFlash.com,
Rachel Maddow Show.

"Died" is much less useful than "Passed On."

If people really died, well, our life would be unimaginable, unlivable.

The character of each of us is in large part bits and pieces of the Spirit
of others that now reside in us; out of which we are constructed.

Our culture, technology... is entirely woven out of the immortal impact
of those that have passed on into, and now comprise these things.

Our hate groups / shock jocks / Zionists of today are repositories,
reincanations of Hitler, Nazis, McCarthy.... and our Limbaughs,
Becks, Hannitys, O'Reilly's... will pass on into us to immortality, if
we let them.

Gandhi, King, were truly in significant part reincarnations of Jesus.

It matters what we are, and what we become, and who we allow to
"Pass on" into us - comprising us, constituting us.  We do not die.  We
live on strengthening, giving life to, or weakening, killing - the body of
Humanity.

This is inescapable.

Who will we manifest?

Who will we give Life to?

Who will we pass on?

10.02.2009

From BuzzFlash -

undefined



Life's, Love's, Joy's DNA

I keep this on the lefthand side of http://www.youtube.com/StartLoving2

"Stay with God (Universal Love / Conscience) and all will be Good." SL

"Love is Universal, or it is not Love. Love is Joyful, or it is not Love. Love
is entirely about the-least-of-these, or it is not Love. Love involves Courage,
or it is not Love." SL

"I adore Jesus, and you, far too much to be "a Christian."" SL

'My problem is not the violent racists. My problem is the Good folks that say -
this is terrible, but we can't fix it yet, not in this way, not so fast, I'm not quite
ready to put MY life on the line, I can't devote myself now because....'
MLK Jr paraphrase

"The Perfect (and only) Solution for Joy and eliminating all needless suffering
both personal and interpersonal, individual and global IS UNIVERSAL LOVE
(total and complete devotion to the least-of-these our Family in the world).
To BE this Solution is why our genes have us here. Entertaining ourselves is
NOT why were created, and can never satisfy us; but it will destroy us." SL

"God (Universal Love) with certainty thrusts us INTO "life's storms," to save
the Life of the drowning, for the Joy of it." SL

"You have chosen one of two possible lives - Family with ALL or Family with
some. Family with ALL IS Joy, Life, Love, Peace-of-Heart, Heaven. Family with
some is Cancer - the Death of your Humanity and our death as Humanity." SL

"WAR IS INESCAPABLE; Hostility, Blood and Killing are NOT; only Heroic, Loving
Self Sacrifice is the alternative." SL

"Leadership is clawing yourself, and therefore maybe others, away from
cowardice, off of the sidelines and into the good fight." SL

"Good IS God. They are identical. IDENTICAL. Period." SL

"We're born to work for Humanity; NEVER for money." SL

"Live for Joy; never for pleasure." SL

"There is but one True Religion - that practiced by Jesus, Badshah Kahn,
Eleanor Roosevelt, Teresa, Rabbi Heschel, Gandhi, Romero... - Universal
Love. There are no True Organized Religions today, but there are individuals
OF the True Religion - Universal Love - including some of you!" SL

"Life is found [only] in total devotion to the-least-of-these. Run there,
and Live!" SL

"Ask not what Pres. Obama can do for you. Ask what YOU can do for your
brothers and sisters in need." SL

YouTube just DELETED my StartLoving1 Chan along with my 230 Friends and
650 Subscribers. Please RE-Subscribe, Friend, and PROMOTE.

"If you value pleasure then you believe what you Please. If you value Love,
Life, Joy, Peace-of-Heart then you value Truth of what serves the least of
these. No 3rd option is available." SL

"Live for JOY, never for pleasure." SL

"Wealth of Life, Joy, Love and Peace-of-Heart are found in the service of the
least of these. If not there, not Joy, Life, etc, but rather pleasure." SL

"Love is the greedily taking of responsibility for the-least-of-these, or it is not
Love. Love is Universal, or it is not Love. Love involves Courage, or it is not
Love." SL

"Do unto the least of these all that you would have them do unto you." JC
Repeat, Sleep, Repeat, Sleep....

"Golden Rule - if it is more or less than your share, don't take it."
Gandhi paraphrase.

"Example is not the major thing in influencing people; it is the only thing."
Albert Schweitzer

"If you see another man he is either your brother in religion, or your brother in
humanity." Muslim Cleric Imam Ali

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves."

Works of Love:
http://jesusgodgoodetcnjay....
http://prop1.org
http://HomeEarthSecurity.bl...
http://facebook.com/StartLo...
http://LovingUSActivists.bl...

"Leadership is the unleashing and focusing of energy." SL

"Leadership is going and standing where others need to arrive." SL

"It is not WHAT you do. It is THAT you do with Universal Love / Total Commitment /
Complete Devotion, Period." SL

"This is your "Freedom:" Choosing existence IN The Matrix, or Life outside The Matrix.
No 3rd choice exists." SL

"VISION is EVERYTHING. Our eyes as a 6 year old are different than those at 25,
right? We need to reclaim those of 6. Hurry." SL

Vision is EVERYTHING. Our eyes as a 6 year old are different than those at 25, right? We need to reclaim those of 10. Hurry.

VISION is EVERYTHING.  Our eyes as a 6 year old are different than those at 25, right? 
We need to reclaim those of 6.  Hurry.

Before lust.

Before hate.

Before greed.

Before fear.

Before division.

Before "foreigner."

Before "enemy."

Before "kill."

Before "bomb."

Before "other."

They are totally different eyes, aren't they?

We need the original ones.  These new ("adult") ones are wrong, distorted, blind. 
They are deeply UN-civilized, profoujdly DE-humanized.

'The Kingdom of God (Universal Love) is within you;
be like a Child and enter in.'  JC

God (Universal Love) with certainty thrusts us INTO "life's storms," to save the Life of the drowning, for the Joy of it. SL

"God (Universal Love) has not promised to keep us from life's storms but He will keep us through them."  (thanks Nancy!)

Actually, God (Universal Love) with certainty thrusts us INTO "life's storms," to save the Life of the drowning, for the Joy of it.  SL

WAR IS INEVITABLE; Hostility, Blood and Killing are NOT; only Heroic, Loving Self Sacrifice is the alternative.

WAR IS INEVITABLE; Hostility, Blood and Killing are NOT; only Heroic, Loving Self Sacrifice is the alternative.

What's your choice - war of Destruction or war of Construction?

Your life announces your choice.

Maddow: GOP TREASON. And you'll allow this?


10.01.2009

DON'T MISS THIS!!!! Proposition One In 2010 Campaign

Ellen Thomas (et@prop1.org) is wrapping up an arduous cross country campaign to spark
Nuclear Disarmament "Cells"  (my word) in the states that support the
legal process called - Citizen's Initiative.  PLEASE:

*  Enjoy her most recent post (below)
*  Explore her site (Link below)
ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT THEIR EFFORTS.

We win the war of words and legislation today,
or we die in the war of blood and murder - tomorrow.

Start

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposition One In 2010 Campaign



From Idaho to Utah to Colorado, with a side trip to Wyoming and Montana....

Posted: 01 Oct 2009 11:36 AM PDT

So, now, it's two weeks later already, and again we're going to have to encapsule the multitude of experiences.  Traveling takes so much TIME!

Idaho was beautiful, and so were the activists in Boise, where we had two great events.  Liz Woodruff of Snake River Alliance did an incredible job of planning, promoting and hosting the "Dinner For Disarmament" at the Shangri-La Tea Room (a wonderful event!).

She also kindly included us in the "Peace Corner" at Boise's annual  Hyde Park Street Fair at Camel's Back Park, combining forces of SRA, Vets for Peace, the Idaho Peace Coalition & Prop1 to hold down the peace vibe in a blue corner of red Idaho.  And Liz's family provided us elegant hospitality (Thanks, Dr. & Mrs. Briggs!).

After Boise, we went to West Yellowstone and spent the night with the Buffalo Field Campaign folks before heading through Yellowstone National Park.


The Buffalo Field Campaign was established to protect the buffalo from cattle ranchers who want them killed when they leave the Park.  People come from all over the country in the dead of winter to go into the park and not only keep watch, but respectfully (with head lowered and body in a non-threatening pose) turn buffalo around if they're headed in the wrong direction.  The young people at the lodge were incredibly healthy!  They spent the summer cutting, hauling, and splitting wood to heat the lodge all winter.


During our day-long drive through Yellowstone, we saw bubbling mud pits, spouting geysers, elk, antelope, and numerous buffalo.  We had a profound experience with one old bull who chose to walk across the road right in front of the van.  On the way out of Yellowstone on the last day of summer, it snowed!

We spent the night in Bozeman, Montana, with Jim MacDonald and Genevieve Calmes, and their boy River, hiked up to a waterfall, then took off for Pocatello, Idaho, where (former DC teacher and Statehood activist) Tom Briggs arranged a room at the university and hosted us in his home.


Early the next morning we went to the Idaho National Labs, where (thanks to Beatrice Brailsford of Snake River Alliance) we were given a VIP tour of the cleanup currently underway.  We'll post separately about that experience.

We then rejoined allies Snake River Alliance and  HEAL Utah in Salt Lake City for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission "workshop" (hearings) about re-classifying depleted uranium (DU) as a waste stream, affecting whether DU should be brought in massive quantities into Utah.  (Vanessa Pierce and Chris Carpenter of HEAL Utah, and Beatrice of the SRA, were at the table for the good guys!) Then, with the public allowed only 15 minutes of testimony at the very end of two full days of hearings, Jay managed a quote in the Salt Lake Tribune with his testimony:


"Activist Jay Marx of the Washington-based Proposition 1 Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament likewise told officials he questioned the need to increase production of the waste. Nuclear energy is history and renewables are the future, he said, so there's no reason to expect the quantities that the NRC foresees." 

Before we left, we got a glimpse of HEAL's downtown offices as they were busy preparing a follow-up press conference on the Utah state capitol steps, and caught an interview with their newest staff member, brought on specifically to focus the public (and Utah's two red senators) on ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) when it comes up in the spring.  Go, HEAL!


From Salt Lake City we drove to Colorado, by way of Canyonlands and Arches national parks, incredibly beautiful places to wake up in the morning. 

 We drove through Moab, Utah, and visited the site where uranium mine tailings are finally being cleaned up from where they've been resting beside and polluting the Colorado River for the past 50 years, 2 miles from downtown.


It was disturbing to see that the only thing keeping the dust from flying as they dig was a sprinkler.  At Idaho National Labs, the contractor has built a structure around where they're working so none of the dust escapes.  


In Colorado Jay gave a great talk at the University in Boulder (thanks to Duke Austin of Students for Peace & Justice).




Meanwhile Ellen videotaped a presentation by Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center which was happening simultaneously in another building across campus.  Leroy Moore, a co-founder of RMP&J, passed around a petition asking that Rocky Flats not be opened to the public as a nature preserve, as currently planned.

We also visited RMP&J offices and heard about their work.  They have a wonderful photograph of some of the 16,000 people who linked hands and surrounded Rocky Flats in 1983, one of the many citizen actions which ultimately led to the temporary shutdown of that plutonium pit four years later, and final shutdown in 1992.


We visited Rocky Flats, and were surprised to discover that there's virtually no security, and perhaps a dozen construction firms have offices right beside or on Rocky Flats.


So now, as the leaves are turning yellow and red and the nights are turning cold, we're on our way home, and ready to be back.

Today we leave for Oklahoma, where we'll be speaking in Oklahoma City (on the 4th) and Norman (Oct 3rd), where we came through early on our tour back in June.

Then we'll be going to Kansas City, where we have a series of events the 5th - 7th, Columbia (the 8th), and St. Louis, Missouri.  In St. Louis we'll be at St. Louis Public Library, Carpenter branch,  3309 S. Grand Ave., on October 10th at 3 pm.

From there we drive to The Farm in Tennessee on the 11th, then to Aiken, South Carolina, then back home to DC.

Ellen will be going on to North Carolina and Florida, Jay will stay in DC.

Meanwhile we're planning our next tours.  Ellen will be in Vermont for town hall meetings in February, and hopes to connect with folks who have already expressed interest in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.  Jay may go to support the Los Alamos Blockade over spring break (proposed at Think Outside the Bomb by Lisa Fithian), and will join Ellen in New York the first week in May for the NPT review at the UN.  Then we'll head north and west and try to get to all the other states we weren't able to visit on this tour.

Please let us know if you want us to visit your town & group!

Ellen, Jay, Troy and Sophia the Peace Dog





Another stunning catch by BuzzFlash.com: Robert Parry: U.S. Press Corps Fails Again on Iran 10/2

Robert Parry: U.S. Press Corps Fails Again on Iran 10/2

Bear with Buzz's habit of slamming the president and congress, and going
murderously easy on we sheeple.  They've not fully regrouped from their
heroic work to stop Bush/Cheney.  But BuzzFlash.com seems finally to be
adjusting, learning to become constructive and in the process is again becoming
indispensable (I pray) .  Pls support them, encourage them, READ THEM.
http://www.buzzflash.com

ps:  At the upper right of their page, down just a little, is a wonderful little
tool that lets you filter the articles - last 2 hours, last 6 hours.... TRY IT!

BuzzFlash Headline: Nancy Pelosi Backs Grayson

I've been very, very, very down on Pelosi - until 2009.  By God,
she has been doing fine, courageous, people centered
work this year.  A rare Shero.

WE'VE GOT TO COURAGEOUSLY STAND AGGRESSIVELY WITH OUR
HEROES - OR WE ARE THE WORST FORM OF
HYPOCRITES and
COWARDS.

WE MUST STOP WAITING FOR CERTAINTY,
OR FINALITY, OR PERFECTION
IN OUR CHAMPIONS.

WE LAMBASTE, WE REVILE TENTATIVENESS
IN THEM!  NO MORE HYPOCRISY.
NO MORE EXCUSES
FOR US!

NO MORE DOUBLE STANDARDS,
HOLDING OURSELVES, WE
GRASS-ROOTS TO SUCH A
LOWER STANDARD.

THANKS FOR
YOUR HEADLINE.

Start

ps:  Use and support BuzzFlash.com , please.
pps:  BuzzFlash.com headline - Nancy Pelosi Backs Grayson:
"Apparently Republicans hold Democrats to a higher standard than
they hold members of their own party. … There's no reason for Mr. Grayson
to apologize. If anyone should apologize, everyone should apologize."

Prospect of my death just doesn't bother me. Other's needless suffering, Other's Lovelessness? THAT bothers me.

The prospect of my death just doesn't bother me.  There is no time to be bothered.
Other's needless suffering, Other's Lovelessness?  THAT bothers me.

I've just come out the other side of what almost certainly was some sort
of cardiac event over this last week.  It may have been NO threat to me, but
certainly it had the hallmarks.

Consistent with other times these last 11 years or so that I've faced the
prospect of death - it doesn't bother me.  Oh, it isn't like I WANT death.
NO!!!!!!!!!!!!  I WANT TO BE HERE TO TRY AND HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But oh does it bother me the Death of Hearts among all but a few of my fellow humans,
and within me much of the first 50 years of my life -
THAT I would Die to bring to an end.

That, I AM dying to bring to an end.

This guy spent an hour with me this morning at the Vigil

Half of it taking pictures, half of it sharing a feast of mutual encouragement
and validation of Life.

Trust me - look at his work:  http://www.wendellphillips.com/world/03.asp

What is it worth to maybe impact, and encourage such a soul? 

:-)

Maddow: The Health Care Legisl. End Game

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT40Mk3DnCc

moveon.org  barackobama.com

Hurry.

9.30.2009

IF WE DO NOT JOIN AND WIN THIS VERBAL / LEGISLATIVE US WAR, THERE WILL BE A BLOODY US WAR.

IF WE DO NOT JOIN AND WIN THIS VERBAL / LEGISLATIVE US WAR, THERE WILL BE A BLOODY US WAR.

And the blood will be on the hands of those that do not commit their very lives, now.

Mom Goes Blind So Her Daughters Can See (VIDEO) HuffPo


"How do you get money?" "I won't work for money; I'll always work for Humanity," Start replies. "That's what we are ALL BORN to do - nothing more, nothing less, nothing else; ever."

"How do you get money?" Start is often asked by visitors.

"I won't work for money; I'll always work for Humanity,"  Start replies. 
"That's what we are ALL BORN to do -
nothing more, nothing less, nothing else; ever."

HUGE: Control of YOU starts with control of Language, TruthDig


9.29.2009

So Congress/Pres can't close HC/Climate without us. That's bad?????????????

So Congress/Pres can't close HC/Climate without us.  That's bad?????????????

As an organizational leader there was never a time that I could bring about a
miracle WITHOUT dragging many other others into the fight alongside me.
In fact, dragging those from the sidelines into the battle - IS THE BATTLE!!!!!!

Here we sit in late Sept with THE CHANCE OF STRONG HC AND CLIMATE
LEGISLATION - THIS YEAR!!!!!!

BUT ONLY IF WE THE SHEEPLE GET ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE.  NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is this circumstance here in late September by accident?  THE HELL IT IS - NOT. 

Do we really want Pres. Obama to be as blind, as stupid as we who are
sane in this society have been up until now?  Really?  Well, he is not, thank God.

He is not blind, but visionary.  And it is time for us to take the blinders off,
stop scapegoating, stop making excuses for our cowardly inaction,
get on the field of battle, and win this war,
this final chance for Humanity (ours).

Start

Walking a balance beam (Universal Love) isn't hard; Avoiding falling off is hard, 'till you are practiced.

Walking a balance beam (Universal Love) isn't hard; Avoiding falling off is hard,
'till you are practiced.  Then it is Life itself - easy, Normal, Joyful... HOME.
Heaven.

As some of you know.

Care about Humanity? MUST STUDY -

DN! Scott Ritter Warns (1\2) Against "Politically Motivated Hyp...

DN! Arundhati Roy (1\4) on the Human Costs of India's Econo...

NOW.

Frankly, you should subscribe to http://www.youtube.com/StartLoving2
and watch everything that goes up there every day.  I do, and must -

The best of Rachel Maddow, a true Prophetess, by Midnight,

The best of Amy Goodman/DN! by Noon every day.

Neither have yet found the Wisdom or Courage to point the finger at
the real culprit, we the sheeple, but their work is the best out there
by far.  I upload the best, the most constructive of each program.

M-F.

Start

ps:  EVERY day - M-S.
pps:  Try it.
ppps:  SHARE.

9.28.2009

Last week I was more ready to dismiss my chest pain...

[I've wrestled with whether to mention this to you few.  Because of the
ongoing Health Care legislative battle, oh, I mean the, one-sided Killing
by the Death-mare Industry I decided to share.]

But the pain today got my attention a bit more - several hours of tightness
over my heart and mild pain in my left arm.  As God is my witness I'm guessing
I'll be around, I hope I'm able and around to fight for humanity in person
for many more decades.  The discomfort has largely subsided now.

Now, maybe I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, probably am.  But if we were
in a country, or a world, that Loves Life as Jesus does, I'd seek help, accept help,
and receive help.  But as is clear by the current Death Care fight (I mean, slaughter) we
with-insurance-Americans don't really give a shit about those without.  Oh sure,
we have enough energy to shake our lips at the issue, but actually fight
like it was part of OUR Human family on the line; a matter of life or death for OUR
Family whether a STRONG public option passes?  Nah.  Cuz they are NOT
our Family.  OBVIOUSLY!!!

Even if the the best case legislation were approved I expect I would neither
seek nor accept care.  2 reasons:

1.  "Owe no man anything except to Love one another."  John(?).  I reject a system
and society that is so cold and cruel.  I will not participate in its Deathliness.
"It is as much a duty to not cooperate with evil as it is to not do evil."  Gandhi paraphrase.

2.  'The Golden Rule is to take neither more nor less than your share.' Gandhi paraphrase.
1-3 billion of my family exists on a dollar a day.  Just a checkup would cost
someone $50-500, 3-16 months of what we allow 20% of our brothers and sisters
to exist on in this world, happily allowed by this Godless country.  A checkup and
care is my share?  I don't think so.  Period.

Oh my, our coldness and hatefulness in this society is just too hideous.  God damn us.

Your entirely Joyful, Outraged and Loving brother,

Start

ps:  I've copied you on this, you few, because I know you know me,
Love me and respect me.  I DESIRE ZERO discussion or concern
for me or with me on this matter.  PLEASE DON'T.  PLEASE DON'T. 
Good's will will be done.  Whenever Good is ready for me, I'm ready
to go. Whatever best serves, whenever it best serves.

Secret Service probing Facebook poll on Obama The Associated Press - ‎1 hour ago

The Associated Press -
 ‎1 hour ago

9.27.2009

Climate Progress

Climate Progress



Energy and Global Warming News for September 25: Schwarzenegger says he's ready to work for Obama; Clean-energy jobs touch off bidding wars between states

Posted: 25 Sep 2009 10:32 AM PDT

Schwarzenegger: ready to work for Obama, go green California

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is ready to put his star power to work for President Barack Obama on the environment when his own term ends next year, the former movie actor said on Thursday.

Republican Schwarzenegger is arguably the biggest environmentalist in his party and razzed Washington, which is struggling to pass climate change legislation and prepare for international talks, for wrangling with other countries over global warming goals rather than setting an example.

"Did we say China, you go first with human rights, and we will follow you? No. We led," he said in an address at the Commonwealth Club lauding his state's climate change plan, which is the most aggressive in the nation.

Term limits will force Schwarzenegger out of office in late 2010, and his main accomplishment may be his environmental record — sweeping efforts to change the state's system of government and to permanently balance the budget have largely failed.

Asked if he would be willing to serve in the Obama administration, be a global 'green' ambassador, or even star in a TV series as governor of California after he steps down, Schwarzenegger said, "Yes to all those things."

Clean-energy jobs touch off bidding wars between states

When Arizona economic development officials look across their state, they envision the Saudi Arabia of solar. The state has sun, land, workers and proximity to California, the biggest solar market in the U.S.

Yet for years, Arizona has failed to attract the big solar manufacturers that build the mirrors, panels and other components for solar equipment. In the past three years, about 50 renewable-energy companies considered Arizona but opted to put plants — and jobs — in other states, says Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

"We've lost every one of the projects to incentives offered by other states," Broome says. Arizona hopes to improve its odds in what's become a pitched battle among states to nab renewable-energy companies, including those in the solar, wind and biomass sectors. Come January, Arizona will have $350 million in new incentives at its disposal to woo renewable-energy firms.

Renewable energy has emerged as the new frontier in economic development in the U.S. And states, such as Arizona, are rolling out tax breaks, job training and cash to try to capture a piece of the action and the job growth it promises. "This is definitely the industry of the year from an economic-development standpoint," says William Becker, CEO of Incentives Advisors, which helps firms access and manage state incentives. "I've never seen such a rapid increase in the number of state programs for one industry."

The fervor is driven by expectations of increasing demand for renewable energy. States, especially California, are extending big incentives to consumers and businesses to go green. Two dozen states require electricity providers to supply more power from renewables, and a handful of other states have set renewable goals. Meanwhile, billions of dollars in venture capital is going to so-called clean-tech start-ups in everything from alternative fuels to energy storage and generation. The federal government has also dedicated more than $100 billion to the clean-tech industry via grants, loan guarantees and other incentives, says consulting firm Ernst & Young.

Vietnam Finds Itself Vulnerable if Sea Rises

For centuries, as monsoon rains, typhoons and wars have swept over them and disappeared into the sunshine, the farmers and fishermen of the Mekong Delta have drawn life from the water and fertile fields where the great river ends its 2,700-mile journey to the sea.

The rhythms of life continue from season to season though, like much of the country, the delta is moving quickly into the future, and industry has begun to pollute the air and water.

But everything here, both the timeless and the new, is at risk now from a threat that could bring deeper and longer-lasting disruptions than the generations of warfare that ended more than 30 years ago.

In a worse-case projection, a Vietnamese government report released last month says that more than one-third of the delta, where 17 million people live and nearly half the country's rice is grown, could be submerged if sea levels rise by three feet in the decades to come.

In a more modest projection, it calculates that one-fifth of the delta would be flooded, said Tran Thuc, who leads Vietnam's National Institute for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Sciences and is the chief author of the report.

Recession slows U.S. wind power growth rate

The United States will add 6,000 megawatts in wind power this year, down nearly 30 percent from last year as the credit crisis slowed expansion of the renewable energy source, an industry group said on Thursday.

Wind power has been one of the fastest growing sources of power generation, and the 2009 additions are equivalent to about six coal-fired power plants.

"The lion's share of that was commissioned on or before the economy went south," Denise Bode, head of the American Wind Energy Association told a news conference.

Globally, the wind power industry will grow about 12 percent this year, said Steve Sawyer, secretary general at the Global Wind Energy Council.

The U.S. wind power additions in 2008 pushed the country ahead of Germany as the world's leading wind power generator. Still, at 25,000 MW, wind power is only about 1 percent of the U.S. total power supply.

China will overtake the United States as the No. 1 wind power market in 2009, said Sawyer, with an estimated 10,000 MW of turbines expected to come on line there this year.

Stimulus Is Greenest in South Korea and China

South Korea and China lead the world's 20 largest economies in the percentage of economic stimulus money they invest in environmental projects, the United Nations Environment Program reported Thursday.

Other members of the Group of 20 trail well behind in their percentages of such investment from stimulus money, the U.N. agency found.

A year after the global financial crisis began, the agency found that about 15 percent of the estimated $3.1 trillion in global stimulus funds were green in nature.

But only 3 percent of stimulus funds committed to environmental projects were actually disbursed by the middle of this year, the agency said. What's more, it said, the total in committed funds is still below 1 percent of global gross domestic product — the amount economists recommend to reduce dependence on carbon-based fuels and accelerate the transition to a greener world economy.

The level of financing for renewable energy is not enough to cut carbon emissions and limit average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the increase above which some of the most severe effects of climate change are predicted.

Droughts, melts signal climate change quickening: U.N.

Droughts from Australia to the U.S. Southwest, acidic ocean water and melting glaciers are signs that the pace of climate change is surpassing the worst-case scenarios scientists predicted in 2007, a U.N. report said on Thursday.

Mountain glaciers in Asia are melting at a rate that could eventually threaten water supplies, irrigation or hydropower for 20 percent to 25 percent of the world's population, the U.N. Environment Program report said.

"We are headed to very serious changes in our planet and we need to appreciate how serious it is in order to lend support to the transformational policy measures that need to be taken," Achim Steiner, UNEP's executive director, told reporters.

The Climate Change Science Compendium 2009 report analyzed 400 scientific reports released through peer-reviewed literature, or from research institutions, since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its last report in 2007.

Global leaders including Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S.. President Barack Obama spoke at a one-day climate change conference at the United Nations this week to try to break a global deadlock on how rich and developing countries will share the burdens of slowing global warming.

Some 190 countries will try to reach an agreement on how to slow global warming at a meeting in Copenhagen in December..

Houston a Hub for Renewable Energy?

Houston has long been the country's oil and gas capital, but some business executives say it is only a matter of time before it becomes a center for renewable energy as well. That aspiration may be about to come one step closer.

The lead story in The Houston Chronicle on Thursday reports that NRG Energy, the big wholesale power generation company, may be delivering a considerable amount of solar energy to Houston as soon as next year.

Under a proposal due to be announced in the next several hours, the city would purchase power for its buildings from a new NRG solar energy plant to be completed in July. Its 10-megawatt capacity would be the largest in Texas, and would provide as much as 1.5 percent of the city government's power needs. The plant would employ thin-film photovoltaic solar panels.

Issa Dadoush, the director of the city's General Services Department, was quoted by The Chronicle as saying, "Houston always talks about being the energy capital of the world, but we'd like to see it transformed into the energy conservation and renewable capital."

The contract still needs to be approved by the City Council. Council members will need to consider the costs of solar energy, which are normally higher than other forms of energy.

The possibility of carbon-trading fraud elbows into Senate debate

A year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers touched off a global crisis, concern that wild financial speculation and trading abuses would undermine a U.S. greenhouse gas emissions market has put the "trade" part of the proposed national cap-and-trade program on trial.

Distrust of commodity traders and suspicion about the motives behind Wall Street's brassy support for a sprawling global market are fueling skepticism on both the political left and right that trading emissions allowances can curb the economic cost of addressing climate change.

In testimony before the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sought to allay concern on Capitol Hill that policymakers have been too slow to push unregulated financial trading onto commodity exchanges and under federal oversight.

"The law must cover the entire marketplace, without exception," Gary Gensler assured lawmakers. Agriculture committees in the House and Senate are poring over the Obama administration's plan for regulating over-the-counter (OTC) derivative contracts, such as commodity "swaps" traded by financial brokers.

The freewheeling financial dealing eluded regulators and was blamed for runaway energy prices and unscrupulous trading practices in recent years. From the perspective of the Senate's toughest critics of using a cap-and-trade program to combat global warming, the size and scope of a potential carbon market look too much like those of the market that created mortgage securities and credit default swaps that collapsed the housing bubble.

"Cap and tax is going to be a recipe for green-collar crime, for greed and for abuse," declared Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) last week. "I'm very concerned that any 'cap and tax' scheme is simply going to benefit the same Wall Street elite who got us in this financial mess we're in today."

SurvivaBalls Take Manhattan — and Pittsburgh

Posted: 25 Sep 2009 05:01 AM PDT

A repost from Wonk Room.

This Tuesday, as President Barack Obama and other world leaders addressed the United Nations on the need to tackle global warming, some entrepreneurs hoped to demonstrate their own solution. Notably, this solution allows humanity — at least those who are sufficiently wealthy — to completely ignore climate change. The Yes Men displayed SurvivaBalls, self-contained survival suits impervious to the ravages of global warming, on the banks of the East River:

When the planet heats up, it will be time to slip into something more comfortable – like the SurvivaBall. A self-heating, self-cooling and self-powered pod, the SurvivaBall is designed by top scientists to weather all of the effects of climate change to keep its user alive through catastrophe. Even though it makes its occupant resemble a giant tick, it's also luxurious – "Like a gated community for one," claims the SurvivaBall's site. And only for the low price of $100 million!

Although the demonstrators of "Halliburton's solution to global warming" hoped to reach the United Nations headquarters, they were detained by New York City police. However, CNN's Jeannie Moos was able to file a report on the pranksters' novel approach to a planet under siege [Video above].

Just as Yes Men activists were detained on Monday "when they handed their own version of the New York Post (headline: 'We're screwed!') to the paper's conservative owner, Rupert Murdoch, the group's founder was arrested during the roll-out of the SurvivaBall." After all charges were dropped, Yes Men founder Andy Bichlbaum has been released.

Update: Huffington Post's Jason Linkins interviews Andy Bichlbaum about the New York Post action, the new Yes Men Fix the World movie, and how his group is beating the media at their own game.
Update2:  I also saw photos of SurvivaBalls at the big G20 party last night, here in Pittsburgh.  No partying for me, yet!

Melting ice caps expose over 100 secret Arctic lairs

Posted: 25 Sep 2009 05:00 AM PDT

ZACKENBERG RESEARCH STATION, GREENLAND—Claiming it to be one of the most dramatic and visible signs of climate change to date, researchers said Monday that receding polar ice caps have revealed nearly 200 clandestine lairs once buried deep beneath hundreds of feet of Arctic ice.

Melting Ice Cap

An ice shelf off the coast of Greenland in 2006 (above) and last week (below)

"We always assumed there would be some secret lairs here and there, but the sheer number now being exposed is indeed troubling," said noted climatologist Anders Lorenzen, who claimed that the Arctic ice caps have shrunk at the alarming rate of 41,000 square miles per year. "In August alone we discovered 44 mad scientist laboratories, three highly classified military compounds, and seven reanimated and very confused cavemen.. That's more than twice the number we had found in the previous three decades combined."

"This is no longer conjecture," Lorenzen added. "This is a full-blown crisis."

According to oceanographers, the Arctic Circle has been devastated by the effects of global warming in recent years, threatening hundreds of men and women who use the frozen tundra as a place to conduct bizarre experiments in human-animal grafting, carry out massive government cover-ups, or simply as a hidden headquarters from which to battle the forces of evil and fight crime.

"Last week a giant ice sheet broke off and split my prized underground complex nearly in half," said Dr. Raygun, a self-described psychotic mastermind best known for his diabolical thought-control experiments. "Now millions of dollars in state-of-the-art doomsday devices are gone—all because of the environmental carnage wrought by the human race."

"You spend your whole career concocting a brilliant scheme to wipe out all of mankind, and what happens?" Dr. Raygun continued. "They bring about a major global catastrophe completely on their own, those fools!"

Scientist

Evil Scientist Dr. Raygun has begun the expensive task of moving his entire mutant staff to their Titan moon base.

Scientists predict the problem will only get worse as rising temperatures release methane trapped in Arctic permafrost, perpetuating the warming cycle and threatening the habitats of those who depend on the ice caps for safety from the prying, meddling public.

Earlier this week a flying saucer surfaced and is reportedly still pulsating with increasingly intense, unearthly colors.. And late last month, a mystical order of Nazi occultists emerged from an underground bunker where they had spent decades communing with the Hyperborean gods and attempting to breed a new Aryan super-species destined to destroy Homo sapiens and rule the earth for untold millennia.

The 12 elderly Germans were detained by local law enforcement in Wainwright, AK.

According to a Natural Resources Defense Council survey, 78 percent of sinister one-eyed industrialists based in the Arctic have been forced to relocate their powerful underworld shadow governments, with many now secretly orchestrating world affairs from dormant volcanoes on remote islands.

Many villains have also been forced to change their entire way of life.

Zawallah, the super-intelligent ape whose gold-teleporter crippled the global economy during the 1980s, recently ceased operation of his orbital heat cannon. Others, meanwhile, are genuinely concerned about the effect that increased temperatures may have on the future of humanity.

"Gwaahhhhrrr-huaawwwrr-gwaahhhrrrr," cried test subject PR-433809-21, the ghastly result of a human cloning experiment gone horribly awry. "Pwwwuuuagharrgh!"

But not all inhabitants of the polar ice caps are upset by global warming. Last month saw the thawing out of a team of British explorers frozen in 1848. Expedition members told reporters they were confident that, if more ice melts, they can finally complete their original mission of discovering a Northwest Passage.

For the time being, most researchers have shifted their attention away from the ice caps and toward finding a way to contain the giant reptile monster Bizarricus, who was trapped in an ice floe by Japanese scientists in the 1950s and has now returned to teach the world a lesson about the folly of man.

From the geniuses at The Onion.

GE CEO Immelt: Government has to play a 'key role' in clean energy investments

Posted: 25 Sep 2009 04:58 AM PDT

This is a Wonk Room repost.  WR has been reporting from the Clinton Global Initiative conference this week.

immeltEarlier this year, the American Society for Civil Engineers roundly panned America's disintegrating infrastructure, giving it an overall D grade and estimating that "it would take a $2.2 trillion investment … over the next five years to bring it into a state of good repair." One of today's discussions at the Clinton Global Initiative focused on how to develop infrastructure in both the U.S. and the rest of the world, and the role that government plays in such development.

General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt — who has been critical of the business community for investing too much money in preserving America's status quo — noted that successful infrastructure improvements, particularly in creating the capacity for clean energy, means coordinating government standards with private investment:

The thing about infrastructure is that it's a systems problem, and by a systems problem I mean you have to align technology, government policy, capital markets, execution skills — all have to be aligned to make it happen. And the government is a central part in how that goes, both in terms of the U.S., but also in terms of any country in the world.

Energy in this country, if we want to have a clean energy future, the investments are basically 40, 30, 20 year investments…I think, one of the key roles the government has to play is what are the standards? How should the capital markets work? How do you risk-share some of the key technology evolutions? And so, if you want to have effective infrastructure, you really do have to have a good public-private partnership.

Listen here:

In Immelt's world, the government would set the standards, and then let the private sector loose to achieve them, or, as in China, lay out five-year plans for infrastructure development. This is a distinctly different take from most of the rest of the business community, which recoils from standards, aided by conservatives who claim that if we just "let the free market work," everything will take care of itself.

Of course, Immelt must see a way for GE to come out ahead under such a policy, but that doesn't mean that his viewpoint doesn't make sense. Smart standards, regulation, and a cohesive policy from the government would make energy investment — and infrastructure development as a whole — much less scattershot and much more effective.

Dust Bowl-ification hits Eastern Australia — next stop the U.S. Southwest. Anti-scientific WattsUpWithThat says it has "nothing to do with the dreaded Climate Change" and "has an unappreciated benefit"!

Posted: 24 Sep 2009 12:21 PM PDT

I'm 72 years old and I've never seen anything like it before.  It's the first time ever.

We have seen the future, and it is Australia — and it isn't pretty (see "Absolute must read: Australia today offers horrific glimpse of U.S. Southwest, much of planet, post-2040, if we don't slash emissions soon").

NASA's Earth Observatory reported yesterday:

A wall of dust stretched from northern Queensland to the southern tip of eastern Australia on the morning of September 23, 2009, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image [see amazing photo below]. The dust is thick enough that the land beneath it is not visible. The storm, the worst in 70 years, led to canceled or delayed flights, traffic problems, and health issues, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News. The concentration of particles in the air reached 15,000 micrograms per cubic meter in New South Wales during the storm, said ABC News. A normal day sees a particle concentration 10-20 micrograms per cubic meter.

Australia is the the driest inhabited continent on earth, with a fragile ecosystem, which makes it the canary in the coal mine for how global warming will create Dust Bowls in the SW and around the globe (see "Australia faces collapse as climate change kicks in": Are the Southwest and California next?).

It is, sadly, probably too late to save much of Australia.  But it is not too late to save the U.S. Southwest and other key regions in or near the subtropics.  We can still prevent the worst.

Two years ago, Science (subs. req'd) published research that "predicted a permanent drought by 2050 throughout the Southwest" on our current emissions path — levels of aridity comparable to the 1930s Dust Bowl would stretch from Kansas to California.  The Bush Administration itself reaffirmed this conclusion in December (see US Geological Survey stunner: SW faces "permanent drying" by 2050.)

And a major new study led by NOAA found that if we don't act to reverse emissions soon, these global Dust Bowls will be irreversible for a long, long time (see NOAA stunner: Climate change "largely irreversible for 1000 years," with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe).

The anti-scientific website WattsUpWithThat happily assures us that we should simply ignore all of the well-known climate science predictions that this part of Australia would become hotter and drier — even though Australia's 1000-year drought is strong evidence the predictions were right.  Watts finds a 'reader' who claims the epic Dust Storm has "nothing to do with the dreaded Climate Change."  Seriously!

Watts also points out a bright side:  "dust headed to sea has an unappreciated benefit – it will fertilize the ocean with its mineral rich dust."  Yes, the record drought wipes out land-based crops, and we're in the process of poisoning the oceans for millennia, but hey, a massive Dust Bowl may create "some interesting blooms of sea life in the weeks to come."

Ah, yes, the "unappreciated benefit" of a disastrous dust storm.  You can't make this stuff up!  But what do you expect from a guy who offered the 'inanity defense' for his effort to censor Peter Sinclair's video, saying he was "doing him a favor."

Back in the real world, the ABC story Watts cites notes:

Topsoil from the drought-ravaged west of NSW was stripped from the earth and pushed by huge wind gusts to the east….

Dr John Leys from the NSW Department of Environment's Dust Watch division says it looks like dust storms such as this will become more prevalent.

"There has been a report from CSIRO that show that this drought is the first of its type, because we've never had droughts which have been so hot," he said.

Record heat with record droughts — who ever would have predicted that (see "Must-have PPT: The 'global-change-type drought' and the future of extreme weather")?

More from NASA:

Strong winds blew the dust from the interior to more populated regions along the coast. In this image, the dust rises in plumes from point sources and concentrates in a wall along the front of the storm. The large image shows that some of the point sources are agricultural fields, recognizable by their rectangular shape. Australia has suffered from a multiple-year drought, and much of the dust is coming from fields that have not been planted because of the drought, said ABC News.

Here's the amazing satellite picture of the Wall of Dust [click to enlarge]:

Dust Bowl Australia

The rest of this post is an exclusive commentary on the great dust storm by Paul Gilding, former executive director of Greenpeace International, who blogs on The Great Disruption here.  You may remember Gilding from Tom Friedman's Ponzi scheme column (see here).

Hey America, want to see your future? Take a look at Australia.

If you thought all the climate change action was happening at the UN in New York this week then think again. The real action is happening down here in Australia and it's worth a look as it may well give Americans a glimpse into the future.

Yesterday morning Sydney awoke to an eerie red hue. Our city was coated in red dust and the air was thick with more of it blowing in. At its peak every hour saw over 100,000 tonnes of delicate topsoil blown off drought stricken farms and sent across the country. At full strength, this giant dust cloud was 1,000 miles long and 250 miles wide as it hit major cities along the east coast.

Air particle concentrations in Sydney are normally around 20 micrograms per cubic metre (mcg/m3) with health risk levels starting at 200 mcg/m3. Yesterday they reached 15,400 mcg/m3! The airports were closed, harbour ferries cancelled and people at risk were warned to stay indoors.

By day's end, the best estimates were that several million tonnes had been stripped from desert and farms across three states and sent to the city and then out to sea.

Of course as we all know, no single event is proof of climate change and while this may be the worst dust storm on record here, that by itself it doesn't prove anything. But it sure makes us wonder what the future holds.

Of course this is not the first major event that is putting Australia amongst the head of the pack in terms of climate change impacts. Earlier this year Melbourne broke it's February temperature maximum by 3 degrees centigrade to hit 46.8 C (116 degrees F). This was also the day of Australia's worst ever bushfires with 173 people killed and 2,000 homes destroyed. The fire conditions that day were unprecedented. Our Forest Fire Danger Index which combines factors such as heat, humidity, wind and drought into a single metric has a peak measure of 100, based on the conditions during the worst ever previous fires in 1939. Any score above 50 is considered extreme. On that fatal February day this year, the Index hit between 120 and 190 in many places across the country. All our warning and ratings systems are now being revised to better suit the new reality.

The impacts are consistent around the country. The Murray Darling Basin is our food bowl with nearly 40% of Australia's agricultural production based around the water of the giant Murray Darling river system. The area's been in drought since 2002. Well we hope it is drought and not as some argue "the new normal". With long-term drought and over allocation to struggling farmers, flow levels are now down to 5% of their long-term average. As a result it's now assumed that the globally significant wetlands and lake system at the river's mouth will face ecological collapse over the next few years.

On the other side of the country in Western Australia, the city of Perth has now acknowledged they are dealing not with drought but a system shift. Inflows into Perth's dams since 2001 are only 25% of what was the long-term average before a marked decline began in the 1970s. This drop is mirrored across the country with stream flows, measured as a % of the long term average, now well down in most major cities with Canberra at 43%, Melbourne 65%, Adelaide 62% Sydney 40% and Brisbane at 42%. State Governments are now urgently building energy intensive desalination plants across the country to ensure our major cities don't run out of water completely.

The tourism industry, a major part of the Australian economy and a significant export earner, is becoming increasingly nervous about the shifting climate. In the far north at the Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage-listed system of sensitive coastal and freshwater wetlands, the change is coming thick and fast. In the past 50 years, tidal creeks have moved 4 km inland, saline mud flats have increased nine-fold, and 2/3 of Melaleuca forests have been killed by salinity.  Kakadu seems destined for much greater loss as sea levels rise further.

In the North East, the Great Barrier Reef is now at serious risk of widespread, permanent loss over the coming decades. In 1998 and again in 2002 it experienced major coral bleaching events covering 50% and 60% of the reef respectively. While it has recovered each time so far, everyone knows it won't always do so.

So it goes on. Of course like America, we have our deniers and our coal industry arguing against action. We have our lobbyists pushing for compensation and free permits. But I sense the public mood changing now, especially when climate change literally sticks in your throat like it did yesterday.

So my recommendation to my friends in America is two fold. First, if you want to see Australia's magnificent natural wonders, then hurry up. They mightn't be there much longer. Secondly, it would be really helpful if you passed your climate change bill so you can help lead the world's urgently needed clean energy revolution. Please do it soon, it's getting hot and dusty down here.

Sydney Dust Storm

More amazing photos here.

Related Posts:

PRESS ADVISORY: Energy experts in Pittsburgh to discuss U.S. climate policies, global priorities at G-20

Posted: 24 Sep 2009 10:48 AM PDT

GCN

I'm going to be on a panel at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh Friday afternoon.  Details below:

Energy experts from the Center for American Progress and the Global Climate Network will meet blocks away from this week's G-20 meetings and discuss the current energy profile of U.S. climate legislation.. They will also preview two new reports on U.S.-China cooperation on carbon capture and sequestration and talk about pathways toward an integrated clean energy economy that promotes positive trade relationships instead of using trade only as a threat to ensure emissions reductions.

Who:

Joe Romm, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and Editor, ClimateProgress..org

Andrew Light, Senior Fellow and Coordinator of International Climate Policy, Center for American Progress

Andrew Pendleton, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Public Policy Research and Secretary of the Global Climate Network

When: Friday, September 25, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Where: August Wilson Center

G20 Media Center
980 Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15222

All press arriving at the Wilson Center will be escorted to the Media Center for the press conference.

Please email Suzi Emmerling at semmerling @ americanprogress.org or call at 202-481-8224 if you plan to attend.

Energy and Global Warming News for September 24: India weighing emissions curbs; Buildings offer emission-cutting projects that pay for themselves

Posted: 24 Sep 2009 10:42 AM PDT

India Weighing Emissions Curbs

Trying to burnish its international reputation as it prepares for a major climate conference, India is considering adoption of curbs on carbon emissions that it has long resisted.

India had thus far rejected emission cuts, declaring that they would compromise the populous nation's economic growth, even as developed countries criticized its intransigence. But under a proposed national law, India may set limits on greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decade, focusing on energy efficiency, new building codes, clean energy and fuel economy standards.

India's leadership hopes that by acting on its own, rather than responding to what are likely to be tough demands from other countries during the December climate conference in Copenhagen, the measures will garner more domestic support.

"We have to take up bold new responsibilities that we have evaded so far," Jairam Ramesh, India's environment minister, said at a recent trade conference. "But if we want durable political consensus, then it has to be rooted in domestic legislation and not in an international agreement."

The cuts would be a national goal; they would be neither an internationally binding commitment nor open to international verification. Still, Ramesh said he hoped that the measures would portray India as a "positive player" in climate talks.

India's emerging economic might and global ambitions are nudging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an Oxford-educated economist, to be more mindful of the nation's image. His aides say he wants India to engage with the world in a way that befits its aspiration to be a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and have greater say in the running of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Buildings offer emission-cutting projects that pay for themselves

The world is on the verge of seeing building efficiency in the same way that it sees building safety codes — as the default choice, not a pricey burden, according to the chairman of a major energy efficiency company.

"We don't think about market solutions to building life safety. At all. We just don't. We're going to have building life safety, and the cost is modest," said George David, current chairman and former CEO of United Technologies Corp. He said building efficiency is "in the same character of life safety, which is a standard we accept in our world."

David, whose specialty includes elevators, observed that most people don't worry about safety when they get into one. That's because there are widely accepted and enforced standards for making elevators safe, he said — and no one complains about them.

But while these regulations have had a century to become standard, he said, building efficiency is just beginning to be seen as an obvious investment.

David's remarks at the Peterson Institute for International Economics came as a new economic analysis found vast energy savings in the world's building sector, with 80 percent of the cost of efficiency improvements recouped within 20 years.

The report, written by Trevor Houser of the Peterson Institute, found that the worldwide building sector is the cheapest source of emissions cuts, and that it can cut one-third of global emissions with investments that largely pay for themselves.

Houser used a model created by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a business group that has done comprehensive studies on buildings in the world's six biggest energy markets. He found that across rich and poor nations, the average cost of cutting a ton of carbon from buildings was $25.

State regulators vote for a national plan to cover natural disasters

The United States is unprepared to deal with the financial toll of increasing natural calamities and must pursue a national plan to deal with damages from looming "mega-disasters," insurance regulators asserted yesterday.

Regulators from every state but one voted to adopt a controversial white paper that warns of massive new losses, mostly from hurricanes but also from earthquakes, tornadoes and other perils. The move, nearly five years in the making, comes as regulators also consider if they should develop an expensive computer model to test insurers' assumptions about the increasingly dangerous behavior of hurricanes. The white paper was launched after Hurricane Katrina shocked the country in 2005, killing hundreds and causing $42 billion in damages. It marked the pinnacle of a decades-long rise of cataclysms that ravaged the nation's increasingly developed coastlines.

"While Hurricane Katrina was devastating, catastrophe modelers have identified a number of possible natural disasters that would dwarf the damages caused by this event," the paper warns.

Regulators agree that damage is rising, but they are deeply divided about what to do in response. The white paper underwent 15 rewrites and caused clashes between coastal states and inland states, which worry that money from safer areas of the country will be absorbed by Florida and other major hurricane targets.

Bringing Solar Power to Africa's Poor

The Solar Energy Foundation, a Swedish nonprofit, is one of several organizations endeavoring to bring solar power to poor communities in Africa.

Politicians from 11 southern African countries gathered in Maputo, Mozambique, over the weekend to examine how to address climate change issues without reducing access to energy.

Off-grid solar is seen as one of the continent's strongest options, capitalizing on Africa's abundant sunlight without the need to invest in expensive grid networks.

Lawmakers and renewable energy experts were shown practical examples of how sensitive green energy developments have the potential to satisfy both requirements.

According to the World Bank's 2010 development report, 1.6 billion people in developing countries still have no access to electricity.

"Decentralized solar systems have a huge potential," said Jasper Groening of e-Parliament, an international network linking global citizens to their legislators and one of the organizers of the event.

In Djabula – 50 miles south of Maputo – Mozambique's National Electricity Fund established a photovoltaic standalone station providing electricity for 45 residencies, a primary school and a heath outpost. Legislators and politicians visited the project to see how projects like this could provide answers to many of the energy and climate change problems facing communities across Africa.

Duke Energy signs another China cleantech deal

Duke Energy Corp (DUK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has signed a clean energy technology agreement with China's ENN Group, adding to a deal it struck last month with the country's top power provider in Duke's push to cut carbon emissions.

The deal between Duke and ENN, a private Chinese energy company, includes potential U.S. solar projects and joint technology developments in areas such as biofuels, coal-based clean energy and efficiency, the companies said on Wednesday.

Duke, the third-largest U.S. electricity company by power sales, said China led the world in clean energy investment.

"We must move at 'China speed' to combat global warming," Duke Chief Executive Jim Rogers said in a statement. Rogers had talked last week of developing more technology with Chinese companies.

Shippers back cap and trade scheme to cut CO2

A global trading scheme is the most effective means of cutting carbon emissions in the shipping sector, five shipping industry associations said in a study on Wednesday.

Shipping and aviation are the only industry sectors not regulated under the Kyoto Protocol, which sets targets for greenhouse gas emissions by rich countries from 2008-12.

The seaborne sector accounts for nearly three percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and pressure has grown for cuts ahead of December's climate change summit in Copenhagen.

The national ship industry associations of Australia, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and the UK on Wednesday jointly launched a discussion paper arguing that a cap and trade scheme was best for the whole industry.

"We firmly believe that a trading solution is the right answer," Jan Kopernicki, vice president of the UK Chamber of Shipping, told a news conference.

Spain's Answer to Unemployment: Go Greener

As world leaders converge in Pittsburgh for a major economic summit this week, one of the biggest questions they face is this: How do you begin to replace the millions of jobs destroyed by the Great Recession, now that the worst of the crisis has potentially passed?

Here on the sun-drenched and windy Iberian Peninsula, Spain thinks it has an answer: create new jobs and save the Earth at the same time.

Green jobs have become a mantra for many governments, including that of the United States. But few nations are better positioned — or motivated — to fuse the fight against recession and global warming than Spain. The country is already a leader in renewable fuels through $30 billion in public support and has been cited by the Obama administration as a model for the creation of a green economy. Spain generates about 24.5 percent of its electricity through renewable sources, compared with about 7 percent in the United States.

But with unemployment at 18.5 percent, the government here is preparing to take a dramatic next step. Through a combination of new laws and public and private investment, officials estimate that they can generate a million green jobs over the next decade. The plan would increase domestic demand for alternative energy by having the government help pay the bill — but also by compelling millions of Spaniards to go green, whether they like it or not.

SCENARIOS: Possible outcomes of Copenhagen climate talks

The most anticipated climate meeting in years will be held in the Danish capital in December. Out of those talks a broader climate pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol is expected to emerge.

But the negotiations leading up to Copenhagen are fraught with risks and pit the ambitions of rich nations against those of the developing countries, whose emissions now comprise more than half of mankind's greenhouse gas pollution.

At stake is an agreement that will mean rich nations likely spending hundreds of billions of dollars greening their economies by 2020 and helping poorer states do the same. In addition, wealthy states are expected to provide funds to allow developing nations to protect themselves against the impacts of climate change.

These core issues will be a key focus of a G20 leaders' summit in the United States on Thursday and Friday.

Following are possible outcomes for December's two-week gathering of delegates from about 190 nations.

US officials cite climate change threats in South

Top U.S. wildlife officials said Wednesday they will try to save barrier islands, fight invasive species and work with companies to restore wildlife habitat as they confront the risks posed by climate change across the South.

Sam Hamilton, new director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said the South is on the forefront of climate change threats and that coastal wildlife refuges from North Carolina to Louisiana are endangered.

"We're seeing sea level rise issues, coastal erosion issues, we're seeing a lot of the sea turtle nesting beaches are stressed and absolutely disappearing," Hamilton said during a teleconference to unveil the agency's draft strategic plan to deal with climate change.

Tom Strickland, assistant secretary of the Interior Department for parks and fish and wildlife, said President Barrack Obama's administration is playing "catch up."

"For way too long in the last eight years of the previous administration, the issue was ignored," Strickland said.

With an estimated 30 percent of habitat in coastal refuges expected to be flooded as glaciers melt and seas rise, officials said they need to look at buying land to help species shift to higher ground in North Carolina, Florida and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast.

Carper, Bingaman counter farm-state bid on ethanol emissions

Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) are trying to counter plans by ethanol industry allies to block EPA from weighing greenhouse gas emissions from land-use changes linked to biofuels production.

The fight over U.S. EPA's fiscal 2010 spending bill in the Senate is the latest front in a larger battle over "indirect international land-use change" emissions.

A 2007 law that boosted the national biofuels mandate requires these fuels to have lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum fuels, and EPA must consider indirect emissions from land-use changes linked to biofuels production.

The ethanol industry is fighting EPA proposals that weigh factors such as deforestation in other countries that is a ripple effect of increased use of U.S. crops for making fuel.

Their strategy: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) drafted an amendment that blocks EPA from using the bill's funds to consider emissions from international land-use changes when it implements the biofuels mandate (Greenwire, Sept. 22).

But Bingaman and Carper have prepared a second-degree amendment that could surface if the Harkin plan is offered. Their plan instead says EPA rules must consider the "an appropriate characterization of ranges … of the uncertainty in calculating the international indirect land use change emissions in the implementation of the renewable fuel program." EPA would consult with the departments of Energy and Agriculture.

Senate aides today said it was unlikely the amendments would come up during debate on the bill, which also funds Interior Department and U.S. Forest Service programs.

Government backs a private emissions-trading experiment

The voluntary carbon market is coming to China, at least in a very limited and tentative way.
Yesterday, at the New York Stock Exchange, officials unveiled their plans for the "Panda Standard," a voluntary offset project design and verification scheme that would generate a greenhouse gas emissions abatement credit that climate-conscious companies or consumers could use to offset their own emissions.

While it is a private initiative, it enjoys the backing of a powerful Chinese government agency that is backing the project, suggesting central authorities may be prepared to use their strong clout to ensure that the new voluntary offset standard proves a success.

The standard, which would mark China's first foray into voluntary offset credit trading, could be completed as early as December, just ahead of major international negotiations in Copenhagen. Though its proponents are touting the move as a major step forward for the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, the Chinese officials setting up the scheme are carefully emphasizing that the Panda Standard only represents an initial experiment in carbon trading.

Executives at the China Beijing Environmental Exchange (CBEEX), the organization behind the Panda Standard, are also taking pains to avoid any indication that the move marks that nation's first baby steps toward a national cap-and-trade program.

"This new standard is only a pilot stage," stressed Bi Jianzhong, assistant general manager at CBEEX.

The Panda Standard will not include carbon abatement projects in heavily polluting industries. And the system is modeled on open voluntary offset credit systems like the United States' Voluntary Carbon Standard, under which a seemingly unlimited number of offset credits could be created for companies looking to "go green," and not on the membership-based Chicago Climate Exchange, in which participants must commit to emissions cuts.

Warming climate brings new El Niño 'flavor,' study finds

Climate change may be the cause of a new "flavor" of El Niño that has emerged since the 1970s, according to a new study.

While the classic El Niño is marked by warmer surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean and changes in wind patterns that, among other things, reduce hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, the new variant is markedly different. Known by some as "Modoki," a Japanese word meaning "similar, but different," it heats up the central Pacific, leaving swaths of cooler water to the east and west.

And if climate change intensifies, the central Pacific El Niño could become a familiar sight to forecasters and scientists, concludes research published yesterday by the journal Nature.

Ben Kirtman, an author of the paper and a climate scientist at the University of Miami, said the central Pacific El Niño appears to be a natural pattern — but climate change is accelerating its evolution.

"The climate change [influence] is starting to get relatively large," he said, "and that's changing the frequency of these two different kinds of El Niño."

Kirtman said he and his co-authors started with a deceptively simple premise: "Are the underlying conditions, the 'seeds' of El Niño, changing — and so will El Niño change?"

Those "seeds" include factors like how warm ocean water is at various depths and the strength and direction of trade winds, he said.

To determine whether climate change is affecting the pattern of El Niño events, the scientists began by examining sea surface temperature data to determine how often El Niño and El Niño Modoki occurred during the last 150 years, looking to see whether the frequency of each type of event changed over time.

Then, they turned to a group of 11 climate models to get a glimpse of what the future might bring. The scientists first tested the models by seeing if, supplied with historical information about greenhouse gas emissions and other factors that affect climate, they could replicate the storm pattern observed during the 20th century.