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Environment

Holiday Reading

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So I've been cross-eyed with the flu this week, which is finally ebbing. Even more interesting, the whole family got equally sick at the same time. I think one of our neighbors put a skull and crossbones on our front door. I shuffled out to get the mail one day and another neighbor, caught in the stairwell, cowered into a ball until I passed by. I grunted at her and she whimpered. Or that part could have been one of my feverish dreams. Anyway, in between my periods of semi-consciousness, I've tried to stay current with various posts, comments, and stories. In case you missed them, here's a bunch that are worth taking a look at. As Charlie Petit notes:

Two long features out this week provide a serious, handy, collective guide to the yin and yang of observational climatology's primary jobs these days "“ explaining and measuring global warming.

Those would be by Justin Gillis in the NYT and Tom Yulsman in Climate Central. (Gillis follows up his terrific piece with this post, titled "Your Piece of the Keeling Curve.") The role of evangelicals in the global warming debate has gotten a lot of recent play in the climate blogosphere. Grist had some dueling perpsectives and Judith Curry stirred the pot with this Q & A. (I've occasionally covered this angle.) Urbanists got something meaty to chew on with this NYT magazine story by Jonah Lehrer (who is on quite a roll). Shaun at Ecological Sociology provides additional context. David Owen kicks up a storm with this New Yorker piece on the Jevons Paradox. Some liked it. Others not so much. To me, Michael Levi at the Council on Foreign Relations gets it about right:

energy efficiency is often oversold as a policy panacea. Many energy efficiency policies that are sold as win-wins aren't actually so once you account for all the costs. But to argue that promoting energy efficiency invariably undercuts progress toward curbing resource demand and greenhouse gas emissions is wrong.

Brad Johnson from the Center for American Progress comment-314054" target="_blank">scratches an itch:

There's also the enviro-journalist cabal that have complicated reasons for muddying the science, that reflect decades of being manipulated by propagandists.

I asked him to comment-314110" target="_blank">elaborate on these "complicated reasons." Alas, no response. (Anybody else who can't stop scratching this itch want to give it a shot?) Fred Pearce, writing in Yale Environment 360, says the real good news out of Cancun is recognition

that the UN negotiations are truly broken could be the key to unlocking a Plan B. There is growing evidence that countries are willing to do unilaterally what they refuse to commit to at the UN.

There's much more but hey, it's a holiday, so enjoy the time with your friends and loved ones. Josh insists.

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