Today’s Climate: May 14, 2009

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GOP Strategy: Nitpick Climate Bill into Oblivion (Politico)

Republicans plan to make the ride for Henry Waxman’s ambitious climate change bill as bumpy as possible by introducing more than 100 amendments to try to lure Democrats worried about the impact of energy proposals on hometown industries.

Doctors Say Climate Change Is Biggest Threat to Human Health (Guardian)

A report today in the British medical journal Lancet warns that rising global temperatures would have a catastrophic effect on human health, from changing patterns of infection and disease spread to food and water shortages.

2 Republicans Propose U.S. Carbon Tax (McClatchy)

Reps. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) became the first Republicans to introduce legislation that would impose a carbon tax on producers and distributors of fossil fuels. Their bill would set a tax of $15 per ton of CO2 in its first year.

PG&E Upgrades BrightSource Deal to 1.3GW (CleanTech)

California-based PG&E says the agreement represents the largest solar deal in the world. The first of the seven projects – two new projects were announced this week, raising the total from 900MW to 1.3GW – is expected to come online in 2012.

IEA: Electronic Gadgets Void Efficiency Gains (Reuters)

Demand for energy-thirsty gadgets such as cell phones, iPods, PCs and plasma TVs is undoing efficiency gains elsewhere, the International Energy Agency says.

GOP Senators Block Interior Nominee Over Oil Leases (Washington Post)

Republicans acknowledged that the vote was not a rejection of David Hayes, but rather a tantrum about Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s cancellation leases for oil and gas drilling in Utah.

Green Stock Exchange Proposed to Protect Countryside (Guardian)

The UK’s Country Land and Business Association outlined proposals for a "green stock exchange" to ensure natural services, such as water and wildlife, are maintained.

Arroyo: Climate Change Bad for Economy (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Climate change could destroy the country’s economic gains unless the government, the private sector and non-government organizations intensify their mitigation and adaptation measures, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo warned.

Worsening Weather from Climate Change Threatens 52M People (New York Times)

Fiercer storm surges brought on by climate change will claim the most land in Latin America, uproot the most people in the Middle East and wreak the greatest economic havoc in East Asia.

Climate Bill Would Kill RGGI, Shift Money to Polluting States (Boston Globe)

Officials and environmentalists in the Northeast worry that the money they’ll lose if a national cap and trade program replaces their regional system will by siphoned off by polluting states that are demanding concessions to support the legislation.

Taxing Carbon Could Stall Oil Sands Growth (Wall Street Journal)

Oil was back at $60 a barrel (well, briefly), but don’t count on the rebound breathing life back into the Canadian oil sands.

Next Big Thing in Wind: Slow Wind, Huge Turbines (CNet)

Some wind-turbine makers are shifting to bigger turbines that can harvest lower-speed winds that are more readily available. This next generation of wind turbines is no small matter: their rotors have a diameter the size of a football field.

Safeguarding Energy Data (Earth2Tech)

To manage it, you must measure it. That’s the mantra behind both consumer and enterprise carbon accounting initiatives. But to measure their eco-footprint, individuals often must share details about their lifestyles. How will privacy be safeguarded?

Formula 1 Fails Miserably to Keep Max Mosley’s Green Promises (Guardian)

Indy racers now burn up the track with biofuels. TT motorcyclists will try out electric bikes next month. But Formula 1? Despite brash green promises, the big boys of motor racing are still carbon-guzzling petrolheads.