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Spin Control

Posts tagged: global warming

Today’s fun video: Does cold snap negate global warming?

 

Jon Stewart takes on the people who take on global warming because of this weekend's cold snap in the Midwest and East.

Not to say “told ya so,” but check out Prediction 1 in Sunday's column

Unprecedented coal port study praised and criticized

The effects of more coal trains coming through Spokane and the rest of Washington, as well as possible increases to global warming of that coal being burned in Asia, must be studied before a new terminal can be built near Bellingham, a state agency said Wednesday.

In a move hailed by environmentalists and condemned by business and labor organizations, the state Department of Ecology said the environmental impact statement for the proposed Cherry Point coal terminal on the north Puget Sound coast will look far beyond the immediate area when considering the effects of a new port.

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Greenhouse gas task force gets OK

OLYMPIA — A special task force to figure out how well the state is doing at reducing greenhouse gas emissions got strong support from the Senate today after it was changed to get to work faster.

A critic, however, said the Legislature was paying attention to “pseudo science.”

Senate Bill 5802 would set up a task force with a representative from each of the Legislature's four caucuses and the governor, hire a consultant and determine the best ways to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions and other gases thought to contribute to global climate change.

The Legislature passed a law in 2008 to reduce such emissions, and this bill would basically answer the question: “How's that working for us?”

The task force would also look at different options for cutting down the emissions, what they would cost and suggest priorities designed to give the state the best bang for the buck.

“I want to take the religion out of carbon,” said Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, who added he didn't vote for the original law in 2008, but it's in place now.

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, said the state is particularly vulnerable on climate issues because it can be easily affected by declining snow packs and rising sea levels. The task force won't be answering the question “is it happening?” as “what are we going to do about it?”

But Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, said supporters were producing “a long of pseudo science” on possible problems with global temperatures.

“I have no problem with the earth warming,” he said, because carbon dioxide encourages plant growth. “You're making an assumption that it is carbon dioxide that's causing the earth to warm, it could be the other way around.”

The increase in temperatures could be part of natural patterns, and causing more of the gas to be released from the oceans, he said.

The task force would be set up in mid May, rather than mid July, making it more likely a report would be available for next year's legislative session. The bill passed on a 37-12 vote.

Council calls for coal study

About 40 people on Monday urged local leaders to find out how vastly increased train traffic could cause health problems in Spokane.

After hearing from them, the Spokane City Council unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution asking state and federal officials to study the environmental effects of significantly increasing the amount of coal traveling by train through Spokane. They also requested that a hearing on the matter be held locally.

“As these trains come through, there’s going to be an impact,” Councilman Mike Allen said. “We just need to know the entire ramification.”

Spokane City Council candidates debate global warming

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

Do you support the sustainability plan promoted by Mayor Mary Verner, which was adopted by the Spokane City Council in 2010? Do you support the decision of former Mayor Dennis Hession to sign the U.S.Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

NOAA: That’s one hot decade

As you head for the air conditioning or reach for the ice tea today, consider this: Today may be hot, but the last decade was the hottest one on record.

Or at least that’s what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says in a report released today.

The federal agency that monitors the weather has a new report that quotes scientists from 48 countries saying that 10 key indicators show that the ‘00s were hotter than the ‘90s, which were hotter than the ‘80s, which were hotter than the ‘70s.

“Based on comprehensive data from multiple sources, the report defines 10 measurable planet-wide features used to gauge global temperature changes. The relative movement of each of these indicators proves consistent with a warming world. Seven indicators are rising: air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, air temperature over oceans, sea level, ocean heat, humidity and tropospheric temperature in the “active-weather” layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface. Three indicators are declining: Arctic sea ice, glaciers and spring snow cover in the Northern hemisphere.”

Of course, these are just 300 scientists from 48 countries saying that global warming is real. Who you gonna believe? Them, or some members of the Spokane City Council and a handful of folks who protest things like turning off the lights for “Earth Hour”?

Verner’s sustainability plan ‘adopted’ and ‘accepted’

The Spokane City Council just after midnight adopted a plan aimed at cutting carbon emissions and reducing the city’s dependence on oil.

The 5-2 decision was the second time the council voted on a report finished last year by Mayor Mary Verner’s 13-member Sustainability Task Force. Council members Nancy McLaughlin and Bob Apple voted against the plan.

When the council took its first action on the plan, in May 2009, there were only enough votes on the council to “accept” the report. Since then, two City Council members have been replaced.

“I’m honored to have another opportunity to adopt” the report,” City Councilman Steve Corker late Monday night.

City officials say that new state rules require that the city have an “adopted” plan to reduce emissions to qualify for some state grants.

The report recommends several steps the city should take to cut its dependence on oil and reduce the city’s negative effect on climate change. Ideas include promoting energy-efficient construction and transportation. It also sets a goal for the city to acquire 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

Gregoire: Protests, what protests?

Gov. Chris Gregoire said today she’s checked out some energy-efficient cars while at the climate sumitt in Denmark, talked up Washington state with “green” manufacurers, had meetings with other governors and provincial premiers and spent time assuring delegates from around the world that things are happening in the United States to address climate change.

She got a chance to watch reports of the maiden flight of the Boeing 787 on Danish television, and  while she didn’t understand what the newscaster was saying, the video looked good. 

But she hasn’t seen any of the protests, which is part of the coverage  many Americans are getting seeing from the UN Climate Summit in Copenagen.

“It’s sad that’s the representations we’re left with. I have not seen any of the disruptions,” Gregoire said in a telephone press conference.

Although she’s been told Danish security is respectful of free speech rights, she described their reaction to protests as anything but: They’ll round up 700 protesters, let 699 go the next day and just cite one.

“Nothing gets started. They take immediate action,” she said.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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