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Patrick McCully

Entries by Patrick McCully

It's the Climate, Stupid (Not the Deficit)

(7) Comments | Posted December 2, 2010 | 8:14 PM

Time columnist Joe Klein has an excellent piece in the latest issue of the magazine condemning the hypocrisy and wrongheadedness of those currently obsessed with cutting the US deficit. Klein agrees that the federal deficit is a major issue of concern, but questions the priority given to "bloviating...

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Google Earth Animation of Brazil's Disastrous Dam Accompanies "Avatar" Re-Release

(4) Comments | Posted August 30, 2010 | 4:43 PM

Deep in the Amazon rainforest, the Brazilian government wants to build a massive, nasty dam called Belo Monte. The hydropower plant has long been at the center of a lopsided battle between Brazil's powerful hydro-industrial complex -- with full backing from President Lula and his government -- and the country's...

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Kyoto's Carbon Offsetting Moves from Tragedy to Farce

(2) Comments | Posted August 25, 2010 | 3:42 PM

The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has long been known to be a honey pot of carbon credit income for cheating project developers. But a recent investigation commissioned by German NGO CDMWatch shows that the problem is even worse than many critics had...

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Global Lessons from the Pakistan Flood Catastrophe

(9) Comments | Posted August 24, 2010 | 11:28 AM

There are three vital global lessons to learn from the ongoing flood catastrophe in Pakistan. First, the rise in the planetary temperature has reached a tipping point. We are now in a scary new era of extreme weather. Extremes are the new normal. And there's no going back, at least...

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Big Hydro Falls Behind

(15) Comments | Posted June 22, 2010 | 9:05 PM

The big hydro industry always used to consider the "new renewables" as Mickey Mouse technologies that could never match the billions of kilowatt hours humming through the lines linked up to the world's megadams.

But times have changed. Big Hydro is learning that lots of small projects can add...

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A Quiet Revolution in (Non-Dam) Hydropower

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2010 | 3:16 PM

A quiet revolution is underway in the world of hydropower. A suite of emerging technologies holds the promise of a benign form of power generation that, unlike today's big-dam hydro, does not ruin rivers, wipe out wildlife and destroy communities. While the global big-dam industry is desperately trying...

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Don't Mention the Climate Debt

(5) Comments | Posted January 24, 2010 | 11:50 PM

I just attended an excellent report back from the Copenhagen climate talks fiasco. The speakers included Payal Parekh, climate director from my own organization, International Rivers, and representatives from other great Bay Area enviro organizations,, Rainforest Action Network and EcoEquity.

The packed...

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A Lot of Bogus: The Story of Offsets

(4) Comments | Posted December 9, 2009 | 9:56 AM

"The Story of Cap-and-Trade," a short animated video from the team who brought us the wildly viral "Story of Stuff," has been generating LA-scale traffic on green blogs in the last week. While some of the criticisms have merit (especially on the realpolitik of getting climate legislation...

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Finally, Good News on Climate! US Carbon Emissions Drop

(6) Comments | Posted November 11, 2009 | 10:20 AM

One rare piece of good news on climate has gone little noticed among all the alarming new science and bizarre weather: US CO2 emissions from fossil fuels have been on a steep decline. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that 2009 emissions will be almost...

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Smart Profs, Teabagger Administrators -- UC Berkeley Proposes Shutting Invaluable Water Library

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2009 | 11:42 AM

Across the road from my office, on the UC Berkeley campus, is the Water Resources Center Archives, an irreplaceable treasure for anyone interested in the history, politics and science of water, particularly in California and the US West, but also the rest of the world. The Archives’ collection...

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Yet More Flood Disasters Highlight Urgent Need for "Green Infrastructure"

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2009 | 12:36 PM

Bad news about climate disasters has been coming so depressingly thick and fast of late that major catastrophes are now going almost unnoticed by the US media. The states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in south India just suffered some of their worst flooding on record. Around 280 people were...

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