The debate has been raging for years. Can biofuels, fuels derived from recently alive plant materials (or manure), serve as the fuel of choice to power our nation's huge fleet of automobiles and trucks and power plants without adding to our climate change woes?
Lo and behold, the leaders of the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases came to an agreement to address the problem of climate change. Was it a visionary and bold plan to address emissions from the energy sector? No.
Sure, disaster porn is always good for ratings, but though a Superstorm Sandy may momentarily raise the specter of climate change, daily bulletins on the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere apparently aren't Nielsen enough.
Two news items surrounding greenhouse gas emissions moved over the past week. One on the trajectory of said emissions from government number-crunching. The other on what the proposed Keystone pipeline might mean for emissions.
In the United States climate change has brutalized plants and honeybees. In fact, since 2008 the price of honey in America has risen by 50 percent. Pundits expect it to reach its highest price ever in 2013.
As China's economy has grown, so has its consumption of coal, which has increased by an average of nine percent per year. By comparison, average coal demand growth for the rest of the world has been about one percent per year.
We live in the natural world and in some respects are at the mercy of the weather and therefore the climate. And so the climate-human system can have some pretty serious "self-corrections" built into it.