Climate-related disasters cost American taxpayers $96 billion last year

By John Upton @ Grist.org Schools and roads are nice to have. But what American taxpayers are really dropping serious money on, through no direct choice of their own, is cleaning up and helping out after all those climate-related disasters. A new analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows that the federal government dished out $96 billion last year on what the NRDC calls “federal climate disruption costs.” That works out to $1,100 per taxpayer, or one-sixth of the government’s non-defense related spending. It’s more than the feds spent last ...

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Al Gore Asks How Many Climate Disasters Will It Take For Us To Act

By Brad Johnson @ Climate Progress Jun 22, 2011 at 11:54 am Vice President Al Gore has rejoined the public fight on global warming, issuing a clarion call to take action to address the climate crisis. Twenty years ago, he participated in the international mobilization against the future threat of fossil fuel pollution heating up our atmosphere. For decades, he and other leaders have battled the fossil fuel industry and their corporate and political allies to mobilize for a sustainable civilization. Now, the crisis of dangerous climate change is upon us. ...

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GE Sees Solar Cheaper Than Fossil Power in 5 Years

By Brian Wingfield @ Bloomberg Solar power may be cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels and nuclear reactors within three to five years because of innovations, said Mark M. Little, the global research director for General Electric Co. (GE) “If we can get solar at 15 cents a kilowatt-hour or lower, which I’m hopeful that we will do, you’re going to have a lot of people that are going to want to have solar at home,” Little said yesterday in an interview in Bloomberg’s Washington office. The 2009 average U.S. retail rate ...

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How can we de-politicize climate change?

Image via Dispatch Politics Is such a thing even possible? The existence of climate change itself has clearly become a political issue, and the trend is only looking to deepen. Look, for example, at the current crop of Senate GOP candidates: Every single one of them opposes policy to address climate change, and nearly all of them question man's role in global warming. After the midterm elections, the GOP's stance on climate change will be further removed from the science than even the Bush administration's was. Meanwhile, polls show liberals growing slightly ...

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The U.S. Clean Air Act is 40! Happy Birthday!

Photo: Flickr, CC Time Flies When You're Cleaning the Air The Clean Air Act was signed by President Richard Nixon on December 31, 1970, and so it is 40 this year. To celebrate, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking back at the past few decades to see how things have changed and what kind of impact this important piece of legislation had on air quality in the U.S. (and around the world, since there's only one atmosphere, and many other countries follow U.S. regulations pretty closely). Read on for more details. Photo: Flickr, ...

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5 Ways To Reduce Your Energy Consumption

EASY ENERGY-SAVING HABITS (Free!) Don't forget the basics. This simple stuff will save energy -- and money -- right now. 1. Unplug Unplug seldom-used appliances, like an extra refrigerator in the basement or garage that contains just a few items. You may save around $10 every month on your utility bill. Unplug your chargers when you're not charging. Every house is full of little plastic power supplies to charge cell phones, PDA's, digital cameras, cordless tools and other personal gadgets. Keep them unplugged until you need them. Use power strips to switch ...

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NYC Mayor Wants Massive Bike-Sharing Program

Starting with 10,500 Bikes, Then Increasing to 49,000 Biking in New York City has been growing at a good clip in recent years (check out this graph), something that the local authorities have been encouraging with new infrastructure and policies. But something in missing from NYC's bike culture: a bike-sharing program. That might be about to change thanks to a proposal by Mayor Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Read on for more details. The New York City bike share proposal would begin with 10,500 bikes, and quickly expand to 49,000 ...

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GOP Pushes Back on EPA Emission Regulation, Dem Climate Change Policy

Source:CBS News Posted by Stephanie Condon As Democrats continue to deliberate their approach to energy and climate change policy, Republicans are pushing their own proposals for a different, more incremental course -- including a plan to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The Senate is debating today a resolution from GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska that would stop the Obama administration's EPA from regulating emissions under the Clean Air Act. The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA was obligated ...

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