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The Science Is Dire on Carbon Emissions. The Politics Are Worse

Bryan Walsh, Ecocentric (blog), TIME magazine
However you slice it, the scientific news has not been good on the pace of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The weekend saw a pair of new studies that confirmed the fact that—far from curbing greenhouse gas emissions—we’re warming the atmosphere faster than ever, even as the slow-moving U.N. climate talks underway now at Durban underscores how difficult the political challenge of cutting carbon emissions is proving to be.

The first study—by scientists with the Global Carbon Project and published in the journal Nature Climate Change—tracked carbon emissions over the past few years, and found that emissions from burning fossil fuels jumped by a record 5.9% in 2010, hitting 10 billion tons last year. The second study—published in the journal Nature Geoscience—estimates that three-quarters of the warming that’s been experienced since 1950 can be traced to human activities. Just in case there was any doubt—and there should be little now—we’re warming up the planet, and we’re doing it at an accelerated rate.

A blog about all things green, from conservation to Capitol Hill
(5 December 2011)

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Break Growth Records

CBC News (Canada)
Emissions rebound fast from global financial crisis, driven by developing world

Global carbon dioxide emissions hit a record 9.1 billion tonnes in 2010, after a year of the highest growth ever, a new study has found.

“This is the highest total annual growth recorded, and the highest annual growth rate since 2003,” reported an analysis by the Global Carbon Project published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. The project is an international science research partnership founded in 2001 to develop a complete picture of the global carbon cycle.

Emissions of greenhouses gases, measured in units equivalent to tonnes of carbon dioxide, have been linked to global climate change.

The new study was released as world leaders meet in Durban, South Africa, in an effort to reach a new international agreement to reduce emissions and tackle climate change following the end of the commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, and the failure to reach a new binding agreement in Copenhagen in 2009.
(5 December 2011)

Climategate 2.0: fool me once…..

Ugo Bardi, Cassandra’s legacy

Number of searches of the term “Climategate” according to Google Trends. The second release of stolen e-mails, last month (“Climategate-2.0”) didn’t generate anything like the spike of interest of the first release (“Climategate”), in 2009.

The so-called “Climategate” case of 2009 will remain in history as an example of a highly successful “spin campaign”. It had a strong negative effect on public beliefs in global warming and trust in scientists and it played an important role in the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks. However, the public has reacted with a big yawn to the second batch of email messages released last month (“Climategate 2.0”). We can see that using “Google Trends” as shown above and also below. The modest spike that correspond to frantic attempts to ignite the interest of the public in Climategate 2.0 is nothing even remotely comparable to the giant spike of the first Climategate.

Apparently in these things there holds the old say, “fool me once….” That is, it is very difficult to fool people twice with the same trick and, indeed, “Climategate 2.0” is turning out to be a big flop.

The most recent polls indicate that concerns about global warming are climbing up again with the public and that’s more evidence that you can’t fool people forever. So, we still have a chance to win this battle. We need to keep fighting it.
(6 December 2011)