Climate Changes

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

More than three months after stolen emails caused climate change skeptics to believe leading climate scientists staged a cover-up, a new study commissioned by the British House of Commons Science and Technology Committee finds that Professor Phil Jones was not “trying to subvert the peer review process.” The study also asserts that Jones “should not be criticized for making informal comments on academic papers.” Jones’ reputation has been hit hard since reports of an alleged cover-up surfaced in December. His scientific colleagues are calling the report a general “exoneration” of Jones.

A new survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit claims the corporate response to global warming is fractured due to the “climategate” email scandal, a disappointing end to the UN summit in Copenhagen and the global recession. The survey polled more than 540 senior executives revealed about half are committed to investing in low carbon goods and services, while the other half feel the jury is still out when it comes to the court of the scientific community. The majority of respondents claimed they wanted to see “more climate change regulation.”

The Obama administration approved new rules that ramp up fuel economy in cars and crack down on emissions standards linked to global warming. As part of the plan, the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that by 2016, cars, SUVs and minivans will be required to average more than 35 miles per gallon while cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent. If automakers are forced to comply, initial studies project the savings could amount to taking 21.4 million cars off the road.

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