Today’s Climate: October 5, 2009

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China, 130 Countries Say Rich Nations Trying to Sabotage Climate Treaty (Guardian)

A joint statement by China and 130 developing countries at UN climate talks in Bangkok today accuses the US and other developed countries of attempting to "fundamentally sabotage" the Kyoto protocol and the negotiations over its next phase.

Political Alliances Shift in Fight Over Climate Bill (Wall Street Journal)

The flurry of companies quitting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is highlighting how the climate-change issue is straining traditional alliances in Washington.

Australia Green Groups Issue Ultimatum on ETS (North Queensland Register)

The only environment groups offering any support for Australia’s emissions trading plan – The Climate Institute, Australian Conservation Foundation and WWF Australia – tell the government they’ll campaign against the plan if further compensation is given to polluting industries.

Tar Sands Greenhouse Gas Emissions Underestimated (Canwest)

Greenhouse gas emissions form Alberta’s tar sands operations are worse than reported because oil companies and governments do not include emissions from forests destroyed in the process of developing mines, according to a new study.

Global Warming Blamed for Dwindling Caribou Herds (AP)

Climate change is tipping natural balances and disrupting caribou feeding habits, and that is having a devastating impact on a species that has long supported human life in the most inhospitable parts of the world.

Soot Clouds Pose Threat to Himalayan Glaciers (Observer)

New research by scientists in India and China shows clouds of soot – made up of tiny particles of "black carbon" from old diesel engines and from cooking with wood or cow dung – are "unequivocally having an impact on glacial melting" in the Himalayas. 

Climate Change Threatens Many in Mekong Region (Reuters)

Changing weather patterns and rising seas are already affecting many people in Southeast Asia’s Greater Mekong Basin and climate change threatens the livelihoods of millions more, a WWF report released on today shows.

New Script for India on Climate Change (New York Times)

With its new plans to reduce its emissions, India is changing its usual script and trying to reposition itself as a “deal maker,” not a “deal breaker” on climate issues.

Pro-Coal PR Campaigns Get Aggressive (Lexington Herald-Leader)

Environmentalists’ campaigns against strip mining and coal-fired power plants have been so successful in swaying public opinion that the coal industry has started to take a more aggressive, visible approach to protect its interests, sponsoring charitable efforts, concerts and rallies, and distributing stickers, T-shirts and license plates.

Off-Shore Drilling Aims to Sidestep California Barrier (Los Angeles Times)

Supporters of a Texas oil company’s campaign to drill California’s first new off-shore wells in 40 years want to get around a state commission’s opposition with a bill that would create a governor-appointed panel that could then approve the project.

Study Probes Emissions of Enhanced Oil Recovery (Green Car Congress)

A new study from Carnegie Mellon assessing the overall life cycle emissions associated with CO2 enhanced oil recovery sequestration concludes that “without displacement of a carbon intensive energy source, CO2-EOR systems will result in net carbon emissions.”

Railroad Debuts Zero-Emissions Locomotive (Virginian-Pilot)

Norfolk Southern Corp. unveiled a prototype of a 1,500-horsepower switching locomotive that relies exclusively on batteries that recharge during braking.

The Climate Agenda: Lessons from Kyoto (Washington Post)

One indelible lesson from the experience of signing off on the Kyoto climate pact 12 years ago was this: "Only agree abroad to what you can implement at home." Also, a new interactive chart explores changes in carbon emissions for the G-20.

Teen’s DIY Energy Project Gives African Village New Hope (Wired)

What started as a teen’s homemade windmill to power one light in Malawi now powers his family’s house, neighbors’ cellphones and pump water for the village’s fields and household use, and the young creator is only just getting started.