Today’s Climate: May 11, 2009

Share this article

Global Ocean Talks Begin in Indonesia (AFP)

A global meeting touted as the first major talks on the threat of climate change to marine environments and the role of oceans in mitigating global warming opened in Indonesia today to prepare for December’s meeting in Copenhagen.

All British Homes to Get Smart Meters by 2020 (Business Green)

A UK proposal announced today sets a goal of ensuring every home and business has a smart meter capable of providing real time electricity and gas use data that will make it easier for people to reduce energy use.

China Building More Efficient Coal Plants (New York Times)

China has emerged as the world’s leading in builder of more efficient, less polluting coal power plants that use extremely hot steam. But by continuing to rely on coal, China ensures that it will keep emitting large amounts of CO2.

Chevron Hires Ex-Reporter to Mimic ’60 Minutes’ for Oil’s Benefit (New York Times)

In a show of just how far companies will go to counteract negative publicity, Chevron hired a former CNN correspondent to create an online version of a “60 Minutes” report that instead flatters the company.

UK’s ‘Green’ Biofuel Plants May Burn Palm Oil (Independent)

The operators of Britain’s first biofuel power plants are considering burning palm oil, blamed for much of the rainforest destruction in south-east Asia.

Climate Report Calls for Radical Overhaul of Global Institutions (Business Green)

A British government report recommends creating powerful surveillance and enforcement mechanisms similar to the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to ensure countries cut carbon emissions.

Drought, Politics Trouble California Farmers (NPR)

California is in its third year of drought, and many farmers in the state’s crop-rich Central Valley are looking at dusty fields, or worse, are cutting down their orchards before the trees die.

Electric Fence to Protect Kenyan Wildlife Parks (Guardian)

Kenya is planning to erect thousands of miles of electric fencing around its key national parks and double the number of armed guards to protect water sources and stop people felling trees, as the effects of climate change become more serious.

Carnegie Buying Wave Technology Rights (West Australian)

The CETO wave technology uses a series of submerged buoys that move in harmony with the waves, driving pumps, which in turn pressurize seawater that is delivered ashore by pipeline.

German Company Opening New US Solar Facility (Reuters)

Schott Solar, seeking to capture a big chunk of the U.S. solar market, will unveil a new U.S. facility in New Mexico today that will produce both solar thermal and photovoltaic solar components.

British Columbia Vote Puts Carbon Tax on the Line (Burnaby News Leader)

U.S. environmentalists will be closely watching British Columbia’s election results tomorrow to track the fate of the continent’s first carbon tax.

Scottish Village Buys Wind Turbine to Cut Emissions, Bills (Guardian)

When residents of the Fintry heard about plans for a wind farm in the hills above them, their reaction took the developer by surprise. They asked the company to build an extra turbine and sell it to them.

Renaming Cap-and-Trade (Los Angeles Times)

In the debate over his top environmental goals, President Obama is backing away from "cap and trade." Not the policy, the phrase. Democratic pollsters deem it confusing.

Electric Mini Lease Has EV Fans Charged Up (Los Angeles Times)

Under the new lease program, 450 people will be paying $850 a month to drive the first highway-legal electric cars that don’t cost more than $100,000. Experts say it could be a precursor to an explosion of affordable electric cars in the near future.