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Arctic Spill Response and Other Hot Reads

May 27, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Spill Response. A new report by WWF reviews the U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service’s (MMS) “Arctic Oil Spill Response Research and Development Program – A Decade of Achievement.” They find that some progress has been made in spill response, but the US is still ill-prepared for arctic offshore development.  One of the more startling findings is that most oil spilled in a hypothetical arctic disaster would not be able to be cleaned up with current technology.

Warming Ocean. A new article published in Nature explores ocean temperatures and global warming. The scientists found that the upper ocean warmed considerably over the past decade and a half. The upper 700 meters of the oceans absorbed about 0.6 watts per square meter of energy, which is roughly equivalent to the power of 2 billion copies of the atomic bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II.

Burning Coal. A new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists entitled “Burning coal, burning cash” reveals that roughly half of the electricity in the US is produced by coal power, and nearly 80% of US states send money out-of-state to fuel this addiction. The report takes a state-by-state look at those hardest hit by coal dependence, and proposes solutions for keeping funds in-state through investments in clean energy.

Climate Choices. A collection of three reports prepared by the National Academy of Science emphasizing why the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. The reports do not recommend a specific target for a domestic emissions budget, but suggests a range of emissions from 170 to 200 gigatons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent for the period 2012 through 2050 as a reasonable goal.

International Finance. A new report by USCAN,  “Investing in the Future,” discusses five innovative mechanisms to consider for raising US funds for international finance to solve climate change, and addresses the perceived challenges.

Green Economy. The new DB Climate Change Advisors report finds that, on the one hand, investors are increasingly interested in low carbon investment, and on the other how the US is falling behind its competitors in terms of both policy and investment in clean energy.  China has taken the lead in new capital investment in clean energy, spending $34.6 billion in 2009 compared to only $18.6 billion in the US.

Oil Sands. A new report by Ceres finds that Canada’s oil sands face significant financial and environmental risks as great as those in the BP Deepwater Horizon spill. The mining of the most valuable part of the tar sands, the bitumen, has led to the razing of boreal forests and fouling of water supplies in parts of the 140,000 square kilometers of Alberta.

Copenhagen Progress. The Climate Institute released a report that examines the outcomes of the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009 and more importantly explores the broader trends in climate policy globally. The report makes the case that, although the Copenhagen summit did not produce an international agreement, it was not a failure.  No fewer than 154 new global policy announcements have been made since October 2009.

Global Biodiversity. A publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity of the UN released every four years finds that many of the world’s animals and plants are at risk for extinction despite a goal set in 2002 for improvement by 2010. The abundance of vertebrate species, based on assessed populations, fell nearly a third on average between 1970 and 2006, and continues to fall globally.

Copenhagen Cop-out. A new report by the Wuppertal Institute  on the Copenhagen Accord, negotiating in a climate of fear, assessing the Copenhagen outcome, and lays a way forward for international climate policy.

Climate Poverty. A new Oxfam research report finds that climate change is fast pushing the poorest and most marginalized communities beyond their capacity to respond. Since the 1980s, the average number of people reported as affected by climate-related disasters has doubled from 121 to 243 million a year.

New Polls

Pew poll: 32% of US public views climate change as important priority for Congress
While a majority of the US public view taking action on jobs (81%) and energy policy (67%) as important priorities for Congress, only 32% say it is very important for Congress to address climate change in the coming months.

Public Policy Poll: Support for energy bill in home states of key GOP Senators
Massachusetts voters support the overall bill 65% to 31%, Maine voters favor it 57% to 39%, and Florida ones go for it by a 50% to 42% margin.

AP poll: Good marks for Obama on spill, more drilling
By 50% to 38%, more people favor increased coastal drilling for oil and gas than oppose it. The poll also found that 42% approve of Obama’s actions and 33% disapprove.

CBS poll: The oil spill in the gulf
51% of Americans view the collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig site and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an isolated incident rather than indicative of a broader problem with offshore drilling, but there has been a drop in support for offshore drilling since the 2008 presidential campaign two years ago.

NBC poll: Despite spill, support for oil drilling high
Despite the spill, 60% say they support allowing for more drilling off U.S. coasts, and 53% believe that offshore drilling’s potential economic benefits outweigh its potential harm to the environment.

NRDC poll: Voters react to explosion and oil spill in Gulf of Mexico
Poll commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council finds that 71% of voters clearly want and support Congress to fast-track climate and clean energy legislation, 68% want a moratorium on offshore drilling until an investigation can be completed, and are very concerned about the potential impacts of the oil spill in the Gulf.

Public Policy Poll: Offshore drilling
Oil drilling off the American coast is supported by 55% of American voters, with 30% against it. Democrats oppose it 34% to 48%. 43% of all voters say the oil spill off the Gulf coast makes them less likely to support further exploration.

Pew poll: Oil spill seen as ecological disaster; government, BP responses faulted
Pew poll finds that 55% of Americans consider the oil spill in the Gulf a major environmental disaster. It also finds less support for offshore drilling and that 54% of the public is critical of government efforts to resolve the crisis.

Mason Dixon poll: Florida voters change their minds about support for offshore drilling
Since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and began pouring some 3.5 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, 55% of Florida voters are now against offshore oil drilling, in stark contrast to 39% in June 2009.

Benenson Strategy Group poll: In the aftermath of the oil spill disaster, voters overwhelmingly support a comprehensive clean energy bill.
Poll commissioned by Clean Energy Works and performed by the Benenson Strategy group shows 61% of voters support a comprehensive clean energy bill, 33% blame special interests for our dependence on oil, and 59% say that action must be taken now.

Rasmussen poll: Only 48% in Florida now support offshore drilling
56% of voters in Florida think it is at least somewhat important for Congress to pass energy legislation to reduce global warming this year. 42% don’t see any urgency.

Rasmussen poll: Support for offshore drilling down, but majority still support
Found that the 58% still support offshore drilling, but that support has fallen dramatically from 72% since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Republicans, conservatives favor comprehensive approach to energy & climate, poll shows
The survey shows that 52% of Republicans, and a similar number of self-identified conservatives (48% of whom identify as GOP, 35% as independent, and 15% as Democratic), support a national energy policy boosting domestic energy production and capping carbon emissions.

Mason-Dixon poll: Majority of Arkansans believe global warming unproven
66% of Arkansans say the science of global warming is unproven and 55% oppose the clean energy bill currently before Congress.

Fox News poll: Support for offshore drilling continues to decline
Results of a poll conducted May 18-19 among a sample of 900 registered voters. Only 54% continue to support offshore drilling, a majority 44% approve of the Obama Administration’s handling of the crisis, and 50% believe that the spill will cause more damage than Hurricane Katrina.

Republicans, conservatives favor comprehensive approach to energy & climate, poll shows
The survey shows that 52% of Republicans, and a similar number of self-identified conservatives (48% of whom identify as GOP, 35% as independent, and 15% as Democratic), support a national energy policy boosting domestic energy production and capping carbon emissions.

Mason-Dixon poll: Majority of Arkansans believe global warming unproven
66% of Arkansans say the science of global warming is unproven and 55% oppose the clean energy bill currently before Congress.

Fox News poll: Support for offshore drilling continues to decline
Results of a poll conducted May 18-19 among a sample of 900 registered voters. Only 54% continue to support offshore drilling, a majority 44% approve of the Obama Administration’s handling of the crisis, and 50% believe that the spill will cause more damage than Hurricane Katrina.

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