Environment

CarsWhere California leads, some say, the rest of the country follows. Whether that is good news remains to be seen. Hailed by environmental groups as a breakthrough reversal of several years of Bush administration policy, on Tuesday a federal Environmental Protection Agency official approved a set of tough new standards for so-called greenhouse-gas emissions on new motor vehicles in California.

Ban Ki-moonThe ubiquitous “hope and change” theme Americans know, oh, so well — one that has become totally meaningless, a result of its overuse and disregard of economic, scientific, and social realities — is going international. The United Nations will be using it to launch a massive campaign to persuade the public to influence world leaders to ratify the UN’s new global climate treaty.

Global WarmingIn what might be the most anticlimactic study in history, the New York Times reports that the U.S. Global Change Research Program predicts hotter temperatures, an increase in heavy downpours, and rising sea level.

oil refinerSteve Cousins, vice president of refining for Lion Oil Company, an 80-year-old Arkansas-based refiner, testified that the company would have to “shutter operations” within a year and lay off 1,200 workers if climate-change legislation now before Congress is passed into law. Carbon-emission allowances under the law “will make our survival impossible” he told members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. 

One of the signature issues of the Obama administration will be the hammering out of a replacement for the failed Kyoto accord on global warming. Talks brokered by the United Nations aimed at replacing Kyoto are scheduled to begin in Copenhagen in just 6 months, but, according to the New York Times, there is one major sticking point: China.

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