Today’s Climate: January 22, 2009

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Schwarzenegger Asks Obama for Tailpipe Rules (AP)

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has sent a letter to Pres. Obama, asking the new president and his EPA to reverse a Bush administration rule and give California and other states permission to implement tough tailpipe-emission standards.

Antarctic Warming Found by Scientists Dashes Argument (Bloomberg)

Temperatures on Antarctica have risen over the past half-century by an an average of 0.22 Fahrenheit per decade since 1957, scientists have said. The finding dashes a key argument by skeptics who have pointed to cooling in parts of Antarctica as an indicator that climate change is exaggerated.

Clinton Confirmed as New US Chief Diplomat (AFP)

Hillary Clinton has been confirmed as Pres. Obama’s top diplomat, after pledging to tackle climate change — which she has called a threat to national security — among other pressing issues.

Who is Steven Chu? (BusinessWeek)

Pres. Obama’s new Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, is an eminent scientist, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for breakthroughs in basic physics and is widely considered to be the smartest person ever to head up the Energy Department.

Obama Blocks Some, Not All, of Bush’s Last-Minute Environmental Decisions (Los Angeles Times)

Pres. Obama has not yet blocked a handful of Bush’s 11th hour environmental regulations. They include a first step in opening Western lands to oil shale development, leases for oil drilling near national parks and the start of a process to allow new oil rigs off US coasts.

From Suds to Sunshine in Brooklyn (Reuters)

Big Sue, a green contracting firm based in Brooklyn with 3,500 solar panels on its roof, has said it has become the first business in a major US city that can sell power back to the grid that it generates from the sun.

British Government Schemes to Undermine European Emissions Law (Guardian)

The UK government is lobbying to water down proposed EU legislation to impose tough new emission limits on power plants in order to keep electricity prices down, according to a briefing document seen by the Guardian.

Op-Ed: Time for a Green Industrial Revolution (Nicholas Stern, New Scientist)

As the world faces up to the worst global financial crisis since the 1930s, the economic case for tackling the global climate crisis is more compelling than ever.

Study: Cleaner Air Adds 5 Months to US Life Span (AP)

Cleaner air over the past two decades has added nearly five months to average life expectancy in the US, according to a first-of-its-kind, federally funded study.