Today’s Climate: November 9, 2009

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Climate Rift Grows Between US, Poor Nations (NPR)

As the world prepares for crucial climate-change talks in Copenhagen next month, there is a growing rift between the United States and some of the world’s poorest nations. The gap grew wider this past week, at the final official pre-Copenhagen talks.

UK to Fast-Track New Nuclear Power Stations (Guardian)

Ed Miliband says the UK cannot afford to "say no" to nuclear power as he prepares today to announce plans for fast-tracking a new generation of reactors.

Radioactive Waste Water Found at Marcellus Drilling Sites (ProPublica)

As New York gears up for a massive expansion of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, state officials have made a potentially troubling discovery about the wastewater created by the process: It’s radioactive. And they have yet to say how they’ll deal with it.

Ultrathin Solar Panels Threatened by EU Material Hazards Law (New York Times)

An EU directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment could make ultrathin panels made by First Solar subject to heightened scrutiny – and potentially a future ban – because they use cadmium.

Agency Chief to Recommend Carbon Allowances for UK (Telegraph)

The head of the UK’s Environment Agency is expected to recommend an individual carbon allowance program in which everyone in Britain would have an annual carbon ration and be penalized for exceeding it.

Environmentalists Criticize Eni’s African Tar Sands Project (Wall Street Journal)

Criticism is mounting against Italian energy giant Eni SpA’s plans to squeeze oil from the tar sands of the Republic of Congo, which campaigners claim could endanger one of the world’s largest tropical rain forests.

Why Should Ontario Pony Up for Alberta’s Exploits? (Toronto Star)

A group of energy and industrial companies out of Alberta wants the Canadian government to pay for 10 or more CCS projects. Funny how the tar sands is a Canadian problem when it comes to emissions, but an Albertan birthright when it comes to proceeds.

W.Va. Governor Sets Up Meeting of Coal CEOs, Congress Members (Coal Tattoo)

At the request of coal companies, West Virginia’s governor is holding a meeting between coal CEOs and the state’s Congress members “to discuss the economic impact of coal.” No environmental groups or environmental experts outside the governor’s cabinet are on the list.

Maldives Urges Small States to Go Carbon Neutral (AFP)

The Maldives, one of the nations most vulnerable to rising sea levels, asked fellow endangered states to go carbon neutral and lead a drive to reduce global warming.

Japan May Meet CO2 Goals, but Only Due to Recession (Reuters)

Japan is expected to report as early as this week that its greenhouse gas emissions sank last year, the first year of its Kyoto Protocol obligations. But the fall is not the good news it may appear to be.

Measuring CO2 Is Among Copenhagen’s Challenges (Reuters)

Measurement, reporting and auditing of nations’ greenhouse gas emissions are among the challenges of marathon U.N. climate talks. Rich nations aren’t going to hand over hundreds of billions of dollars to poorer nations to green their economies on trust.

Solar Nanowires Promise Efficient, Low-Cost Solar Power (Business Green)

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology say they have efficiently turned light into electricity using fiber-optic cables covered with nanowires that are coated with dye-sensitized solar cells.

The Nitrogen Fix:
Breaking a Costly Addiction (Yale Environment 360)

Over the last century, the intensive use of chemical fertilizers has saturated the Earth’s soils, waters, and atmosphere with nitrogen. Now scientists are warning that we must move quickly to revolutionize agricultural systems to reduce it.

Congress, Climate Cheapskate (Mother Jones)

Getting a global deal would cost less than 1 percent of what we spent on the bailout. Congress is thinking more like 0.01 percent, Bill McKibben writes.