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John Kerry To Be Secretary Of State, Leaked IPCC Draft Report, 2012 To Be Hottest US Year On Record… (Other Cleantech & Climate News Of The Week)

Here’s some more top news of the week (other than what we’ve published and what was included in our clean transport and solar energy news roundups).

Climate & Such

Obama To Name Climate Hawk John Kerry Secretary Of State: “In the first serious indication Obama will focus on climate change in his second term, media outlets report the President will nominate Senator John Kerry (D-MA) to be Secretary of State.

“Kerry is one of the Senate’s leading climate hawks who has said he believes that climate change is the ‘biggest long term threat‘ to national security.”

Leaked IPCC Draft Report: Recent Warming Is Manmade, Cloud Feedback Is Positive, Inaction Is Suicidal: “Ultra-conservative report still concludes sea level rise could reach 6 inches a decade by century’s end! Deniers duped by leaker’s blunder…. The draft 2013 Fifth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leaked this week makes clear inaction on climate change would be devastating to modern civilization. The report finds that the human fingerprint on climate has grown more obvious, concluding ‘it is virtually certain’ the energy imbalance that causes global warming ‘is caused by human activities, primarily by the increase in CO2 concentrations. There is very high confidence that natural forcing contributes only a small fraction to this imbalance.'”

Video: Temperature Leads CO2? The 800-Year Lag: “Potholer54 (a.k.a Peter Hadfield) tackles a common myth about climate change often called the ‘800-year lag.’  Antarctic ice core data shows CO2 lagging temperature during periods of deglaciation; this has been well understood for decades. Despite this, many climate change ‘skeptics’ ignore the full picture of numerous studies over the years and assert these data of ancient deglaciation ‘proves’ that CO2 does not cause global warming.” Here’s the video:

“Small Is Beautiful” Best Outcome For UN Climate Change Talks? “Wednesday, December 12, 2012, has come and gone, and the world survived. However, climate change has blustered this year, causing record-setting harsh weather around the globe. Flooding in Australia, China, and monsoon-prone Bangladesh, and extreme drought in Brazil and the central United States, followed in the eastern half of that country by megastorm Sandy, occurred during the first eleven months of the year. Another tsunami belted Japan’s east coast near Fukushima and killer typhoon Bopha ravaged the Philippines even as delegates met in Doha, Qatar, for the UN’s international summit on climate change.”

Mother Nature Is Just Getting Warmed Up: Record-Smashing Early December Assures 2012 Will Be Hottest In U.S. History: “We’ve had spring weather in early December — and that guarantees 2012 will be the hottest year on record for the United States.”

Climate Change: It’s Not Just An Environmental Issue; It’s A Human Rights Issue, Too: “As an international community, our collective failures on climate change are having critical consequences. Today climate change has become one of the major challenges to the basic human rights to life, food, health, water, housing and self-determination.”

Over 10,000 Americans Tell Congress To Stop Pushing Us Over The Climate Cliff: “If our country goes over the fiscal cliff, we will be able to climb back up. But if our planet goes over the climate cliff, we will plunge into an abyss of impacts that we cannot reverse.”

Extreme Weather More Persuasive On Climate Change Than Scientists: “As one of the Marx brothers famously said: who do you believe, me or your own eyes?

“Climate sceptics, it turns out, are much more likely to believe direct evidence of a changing climate in the form of extreme weather events than they do scientists, when it comes to global warming.

“A poll released on Friday by the Associated Press-GfK found rising concern about climate change among Americans in general, with 80% citing it as a serious problem for the US, up from 73% in 2009. Belief and worry about climate change were rising faster still among people who do tend not to trust scientists on the environment.”

Senator Boxer Creates First U.S. Climate Change Caucus: “Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced [last] week that she would be taking the initiative to form the first Climate Change Caucus in the U.S. Senate.  Boxer, long considered a champion of environmental causes, said that she decided to form the committee to address growing public concerns over the inaction of the federal government to address the threat of climate change.”

Area Burned By U.S. Wildfires Expected to Double by 2050: “Warmer and drier conditions in coming decades will likely cause the burned area from wildfires in the U.S. to double in size by 2050, according to new research based on satellite observations and computer modeling experiments. The research, which was first presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Dec. 4, provides insight into both recent wildfire trends and the sharp increase in dryness — and therefore wildfire susceptibility — in certain regions of the country.”

Energy Efficiency

Engineers Develop New Energy-Efficient Computer Memory Using Magnetic Materials: “By using electric voltage instead of a flowing electric current, researchers from UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have made major improvements to an ultra-fast, high-capacity class of computer memory known as magnetoresistive random access memory, or MRAM.”

Targeted Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives Have History of Cost Savings Success: “Well-targeted energy efficiency tax incentives will result in significant energy savings and will get more energy-efficient products into the market faster, according to Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, who testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee [last week]. The Senate hearing focused on appropriate uses of the federal tax code for promoting investments in energy efficiency, particularly in the context of emerging discussions on tax reform.”

Launch Of Energy Efficiency Finance Company: “BluePath Finance LLC announced [last week] the launch of their platform to provide upfront funding for the installation of energy efficient technologies.”

Load Up the Laundry, Cut Down the Work with New GE High-Efficiency Topload Washer: “Consumers can now tackle more dirty laundry in fewer loads thanks to GE’s newest washer. The new, GE high-efficiency (HE) topload washer features the industry’s largest capacity (five cubic feet) for toploading models while using less energy and water than a traditional washer.”

City of Naperville and Verde Energy USA Launch Innovative Energy Storage Solutions Partnership: “Verde Energy USA, a leading retailer of electricity, and the City of Naperville, Illinois, jointly announced [last week] the launch of a clean energy efficiency demonstration project.  This project, which involves the installation of a proven, clean energy storage system at Naperville’s Water Service Center, 1200 W. Ogden Ave., will achieve energy efficiencies and reduce costs to the City of Naperville. The project will begin this month and continue throughout 2013, during which time Verde and the City of Naperville will collect data and share results.”

How Energy Gets Used – and Wasted – in Your Home [Infographic]: “Now that the cold season is here, you’re probably dreading the arrival of upcoming utility bills. Heating and cooling do represent the biggest chunk of our home energy use, but, of course, there are lots of other ways that we use energy in our homes… and not all of them are particularly efficient. Our friends at Green Home Gnome put together this fairly simple infographic that shows how we use energy at home… and helps us identify those points at which we can create some savings by using electricity and other utilities more efficiently.” Here’s the infographic (news roundup continues after it):


Cleantech Is No More Dead Than The Internet Was In 2000: “‘Clean tech is dead. The same way that the Internet was dead in 2000.’

“To me, in assessing the state of the clean-tech industry in my final Clean Edge Views column of 2012, that may well be the quote of the year. Its source was Mitch Lowe, founder and managing partner of Greenstart, an incubator for software-based clean tech startups. Lowe’s sarcastic and insightful quip deftly describes the industry’s current condition: it’s transitional, challenging – and not going away anytime soon. Or ever.”

German Economists Review Effectiveness Of RPS Policies: “In a 40-page paper released this month, a group of researchers at DIW take a look at how well Renewable Portfolio Standards have worked in the US. The authors say that previous studies have come to contradictory results.”

Next Stop for Kansas City Streetcar: Construction: “Funding for a $100 million two-mile downtown streetcar system has been approved by voters in Kansas City, according to results announced this week.”

Bright New Hope For Geothermal Drilling: “Foro Energy, Inc. is working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E and the Colorado School of Mines plus the Big Oil leader Chevron that has geothermal activities underway, and investors ConocoPhillips and General Electric to develop a unique capability and hardware system to transmit high power lasers over long distances via fiber optic cables to the bottom of well bores.”

Hepburn Wind Wins Global Industry Gong: “Australia’s first community-owned wind farm – the two-turbine, 4.1MW Hepburn Wind project at Leonards Hill, 10km south of Daylesford in Victoria – was [last week] recognised for excellence and awarded the World Wind Energy Award in Canberra.”

Spain’s Oldest Nuclear Plant Shuts Down: “Spain’s oldest nuclear plant Garona is shutting down on Sunday ahead of new taxes included in a government energy reform that would render the plant unviable.”

Another Reason To Support Cleantech: Leaking Barge Spilling Fuel Oil Into New York Waters: “A barge with a leaking cargo tank spilled fuel oil into a New York City waterway on Saturday, officials said.”

CleanWorld Opens Nation’s Largest Commercial High Solid Waste-to-Energy Digester: “CleanWorld [last week] officially opened the nation’s largest commercial-scale, high solid anaerobic digestion (AD) system at the South Area Transfer Station property in South Sacramento.”


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Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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