This week, the COP 17 talks on the Kyoto Protocol are opening in Durban, South Africa, and as a result there is much more ado about climate change in the media. Sierra Club's Polling and Research Strategist summarizes some of the most important developments in her newsletter.
Earlier this month, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report examining the link between extreme weather events and global climate change. The IPPC says it is "likely" (a 66 - 100% probability) that the increased frequency of extreme weather events is a result of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity – including coal-fired power plants, fuels burned for transportation, and deforestation.
Polling data by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University indicate that 70% of Americans say that "global warming" should be a very high, high, or medium priority for the President and Congress - including 44% of Republicans, 72% of Independents, and 85% of Democrats.
So why are the deniers getting so much traction? And why haven't progressives been able to harness the overwhelming consensus into a new paradigm? Naomi Klein explores this in her must-read article in The Nation this week.
In other carbon news, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Electric Membership Coop's brand new coal-fired power plant is shutting down before it put its first kilowatt hour on the grid. Coal is simply too expensive.
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