Today’s Climate: November 4, 2009

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Kerry, Graham, Lieberman Writing Compromise Climate Bill (Washington Post)

Sen. John Kerry, appearing with Republican Lindsay Graham and Independent Joseph Lieberman, said today that the three would work with business groups and the White House to forge a compromise climate measure that could get 60 votes in the Senate.

Cost Analysis to Delay Senate Climate Vote (Hearst)

Senate Leader Harry Reid has committed to requesting a cost analysis of the climate bill that could take five weeks — a plan that would delay full Senate debate on the proposal until after next month’s international climate talks in Copenhagen.

WTO: Climate First, Trade Second (COP15)

Director-General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy warned against a "unilateral, go-it-alone approach to climate change". The climate crisis should be solved by an "everyone aboard" accord in Copenhagen, he says.

EU Ups Climate Pressure at Limp US Summit (EU Observer)

EU leaders upped the pressure on the US at what turned out to be a fairly colorless summit in Washington to show leadership in the battle against climate change.

Buffett Bets on Coal with BSNF (Reuters)

Warren Buffett’s acquisition of the remaining 77.4 percent off BNSF railroad looks like a strategic bet on a massive expansion in coal-fired power generation coupled with carbon capture and storage.

Economists See Threat in Climate Change (USA Today)

Economists believe the "significant benefits from curbing greenhouse-gas emissions would justify the costs of action," a new survey finds. In all, 94% of the 144 economists surveyed believe the U.S. should join climate agreements to limit global warming.

Judge: Activist’s Beliefs on Climate Change Akin to Religion (Guardian)

In a significant decision, a judge found that a fired employee’s views on environment were so deeply held that they were entitled to the same protection as religious convictions, and that a tribunal should hear his claim that he was sacked because of his beliefs.

GAO: EPA Considering Several Coal Ash Options (Facing South)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency still does not know the exact number of coal ash dumps at the nation’s power plants, a new GAO report shows, but it’s moving ahead with plans to regulate them.

UN Chief to Meet with US Senators on Climate Bill (Guardian)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he plans to meet next week with all the U.S. senators involved in deliberations over the energy and climate bill.

Coal Leaders Pitch to Chambers of Commerce (Wheeling Intelligencer)

The heads of the West Virginia and Ohio Coal Associations tell business leaders that coal production and mining jobs are being threatened by efforts to protect the environment, and they urge everyone to express those concerns to elected officials.

California Legislature Passes Water Conservation Bill (Los Angeles Times)

The legislation, part of a larger package, mandates a statewide drop in water use by targeting urban areas. The goal is a 20% drop in per capita water use by 2020.

Maldives Announces Wind Farm Plan (Guardian)

The 30-turbine wind farm would deliver enough electricity to power the capital, Male, the international airport and surrounding resorts. Excess power would be used to run desalination plants to produce bottled drinking water from the sea.

How Cleantech Fits Into Middle East Desalination Needs (Cleantech)

The Middle East and North Africa need to add about 2.7 million cubic meters per day of desalination capacity each year to meet the region’s growing demand for water. Clean technologies hold the potential to help address those requirements.

Timeline: How the World Found Out about Global Warming (Reuters)

Humans have been document their role in climate changes since at least 300 BC, when a student of Aristotle noticed that clearing of forests near Philippi warms the climate.