Climate Changes

Several stories on the science and politics of global warming caught our attention this week:

The man responsible for leading worldwide global warming negotiations is leaving his post. The United Nations announced that Yvo de Boer, often called the United Nations Climate Chief, will step aside as of July 1, 2010. Recently, de Boer expressed discontent as to the outcome of the Copenhagen conference. Those who worked alongside de Boer claim they were not surprised by his decision to resign, saying he was “exhausted and frustrated.”

While you may not want it building up on your windowsill, new research claims dust could protect us from the harmful effects of global warming. That theory is being discussed at the annual scientific meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, taking place this year in San Diego, California. Scientists presenting at the conference assert that dust may limit the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) is pushing for a bill that he claims some lawmakers may accept as an alternative to renewable energy mandates. He calls it a broader clean energy standard that would require utilities to supply increasing amounts of power from specific sources, including wind, solar, biomass, clean coal and new nuclear generation. The big energy and climate bill the House approved last year includes a renewable electricity standard, and so does broad energy legislation the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved last June.

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