Weekly Climate: June 15-19, 2009

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This week on SolveClimate, we covered the cautionary results of the ten-year report of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. In sum: The consequences of human-caused climate change are here and will get worse if nothing is done.

The report arrived as the ACES bill continued its journey to the floor of the U.S. House; as Al Gore’s group rolled out its national ad to rally support for renewables; and as the Senate Energy Committee approved its version of a ‘clean energy’ bill, which earned praises and appreciation from Big Oil.

We examined the East-West battle that is brewing in Congress over an enormous expansion of the electric grid, and discovered that Duke Energy is considering ordering the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. in 30 years.

In other news, TVA’s own auditors faulted the utility for misinforming the public after its monster coal ash spill. And green groups added a complaint to their lawsuit against government plans to develop dirty oil shale: They claim the feds failed to consider the climate. 

On the solutions front, the National Academy of Sciences said America can get 10 percent of its electricity by 2020 and 25 percent by 2035 from renewables – all with today’s technology. The Desertec solar plan to power all of Europe from the Saharan sun is coming into some serious cash.

We detailed the acceleration of the Greenland ice melt, and how it could lead to the biggest displacement of people the world’s ever seen. Alaska’s soon-to-be climate refugees in the Inupiat village of Kivalina are already racing against the rising seas: They’re suing energy companies right now to pay for their relocation.

The nine campuses that make up the Los Angeles Community College District will be completely energy self-sufficient by mid-2010. Florida’s Odyssey charter school is becoming a model in sustainable school design. 

In other education news, a new blog is teaching parents how to quench their children’s thirst for Earth science. And Deutsche Bank has launched the world’s first "Carbon Counter" to display the number of tons of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere.  

Finally, don’t miss one of the best climate spoofs we’ve seen: the Greenpeace edition of the International Herald Tribune, which spelled out what the world could be like on Dec. 19, 2009, after leaders sign a global warming treaty in Copenhagen.