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Fiona Harvey of The Guardian  has a preview of today's news:

The United Nations will call on Monday for 2% of worldwide income to be invested in the green economy, a move it says would boost jobs and economic growth.

Wow, if is true, this is pretty big news. It's not just a UN task force, but The Powers That Be behind the UN who will be saying this today:

The call is expected to be matched by statements of support for low-carbon investment from heads of state including President Barack Obama of the US and Hu Jintao of China, and several chiefs of multinational companies.

This is great news. The climate change clock ticking as we are actively experiencing what climate change looks like.

And, these investments will pay for themselves:

An investment of 2% of global GDP would more than pay for itself in the form of millions of new jobs, the development of new industries, health benefits from cleaner air, energy efficiency savings and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the UN is expected to say.

There are literally billions of lives and the future of our planet is at stake. Investing in cleaning up our atmosphere is far more important than tax cuts for billionaires, millions of dollars per hour for war, or vague concerns about future inflation.

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Sun May 09, 2010 at 04:53 AM PDT

Got a Happy Story: Mother's Day

by wvablue

I woke up early this morning wondering, how can I let my mother know how much I appreciate her? Years ago, when I was feeling flush, I sent her flowers several Mother's Day in a row. Now, with the budget tight, I know she'll be happy with time on the phone. Still, I wanted to do something more.

So, in honor of my mother (and, with a hat tip to my good friend Carnacki), today I share a happy story. And, when you are done reading, please share your happy story, too!

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Yesterday, Pres. Obama announced new plans for off-shore drilling and environmental groups have weighted in with predictable opposition.

But, that wasn't all that was in his speech, as Ken Ward, Jr. points out, ‘Clean coal’ gets another mention in Obama speech, too:

But we have to do more.  We need to make continued investments in clean coal technologies and advanced biofuels.  A few weeks ago, I announced loan guarantees to break ground on America’s first new nuclear facility in three decades, a project that will create thousands of jobs.

It's further in the speech that things get really interesting:

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Thu Dec 31, 2009 at 11:37 AM PST

The 10:10 Resolution

by wvablue

Reduce 10% in 2010I'm only making one New Year's Resolution this year: I resolve to reduce my carbon emissions by 10% in 2010.

This is going to be one of the trickier resolutions to pull off--it will require a year's worth of effort, buy-in from the rest of my household, and some real changes in behavior.

Because any New Year's Resolution is easier to stick to if you have friends joining with you, I'm also going to ask each of you reading this to join with me. Will you also resolve to reduce your carbon emissions by 10% in 2010?

Here are ten ideas to help get us all started.

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Of course, I don't mean you. I don't think you're vain. But this diary isn't about you. This diary is about recognizing a year's worth of efforts in the progressive trenches.


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Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:45 AM PST

Does "Clean Coal" make economic sense?

by wvablue

If you're not really sure what "Clean Coal" is, that's easily forgiven. Clean Coal has meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Many decades ago, one enterprising company sold "clean coal" that burned with less smoke in your home heating furnace. Today, the term usually refers to carbon capture and storage (CCS) or coal-to-liquid fuel (CTL).

The Obama administration and leading figures in Congress are still pushing for tens of billions of dollars of investments in "clean coal." With a pause in consideration on the energy and climate change legislation, it's a good time to ask... just what we would we get in return for that investment?

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Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 12:01 PM PST

Feed the grassroots

by wvablue

Bob Dylan

The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.


I love hearing stories where people make positive change. It's easy to just complain and stick your head in the sand but I'm always inspired when I see how many folks are out there quietly doing the groundwork for the big changes we need.

SEED Community Building project
SEED volunteers help with construction of a community center building in Rock Creek, WV

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Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:27 AM PST

Support my f***ing cause, kossacks

by wvablue

I want out of this farce of a World. I thought this was a free World for progressives to live their vision. Instead, it is little more than the infernal wing of the materialistic propoganda machine. Now that I want out, a fair minded and liberal World would let me wash away my footprints and go. Instead, Earth will give me no such option. Like some sort of cult, I was welcomed in freely but am now being barred from leaving. I do not want to simply leave and let my stuff here at a World I am disgusted by and want no further part in. Since this World won't allow me the decent option of cleaning up behind myself (just about every other world DOES let you when you want to), then somebody here needs to do it for me. To deny me cleaning up of my behind myself is unacceptable.

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Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 02:58 PM PST

Despair not, plant a SEED today

by wvablue

I don't know about you, but I'm really frustrated by the pace of change since Democrats have taken control in Washington. I remember when Obama said of his first term: "If I haven't gotten combat troops out of Iraq, passed universal health care and created a new energy policy that speaks to our dependence on foreign oil and deals seriously with global warming, then we've missed the boat." Right now all these issues seem to be in a giant holding pattern and the rest of the progressive agenda waits in the wings (DADT, closing Gitmo, executive privilege... to name but a few).

I'm tired of banging my head against the wall (just because it feels good when you stop, that's not good reason to keep doing it...), so I've been looking hard and long for positive steps to take here and now.

I've finally found something with an immediate positive impact today.

Contribute now to Sustainable Economic and Energy Diversification in Coal River valley. When we all work together, we can change our climate for good.

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Robert C. Byrd Official PortraitWhat most casual observers of Congress know about Senator Robert C. Byrd is he's the longest-serving member in the Senate's history and he's been incredibly successful at steering federal dollars to West Virginia.

What is less obvious is his formidable political skills:

(Political Science Professor) Rupp remembers a quote from former Democratic House speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, that Byrd posted in his office near the Senate Appropriations Committee Room inside the Capitol. It said: "Bob is a living encyclopedia, and legislative graveyards are filled with the bones of those who underestimated him."

Time and time again, Sen. Byrd has delivered for West Virginia. The question of the moment is, what does Byrd think West Virginia needs in the next energy and climate bill?

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By Clem Guttata

This diary was inspired by Blog Action Day: '09 Climate Change. It is also available in Blue. I'm humbled that Ken Ward, Jr. at Charleston Gazette called it a Must-read MTR commentary from W.Va. Blue.

Our planet is faced with a grave and serious danger: global climate change. How we go about addressing this issue will say as much about humanity as what we do to address it.

Unfortunately, here in Appalachia the fear of change is stoking divisions. Instead of coming together to face a common foe, man-made climate change, strong vested issues are stoking neighbors in fever-pitched disputes with one another.

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Wed Sep 23, 2009 at 11:08 AM PDT

Lifting the Coal Resource Curse

by wvablue

Your lights are on,Flickr image credit: The Bill Hughes Gazette
but you’re not home,
your will is not your own
Might as well face it you’re addicted to coal.

Appalachia suffers from a resource curse. Coal mining wealth is illusory--the benefits have long been obvious to those dependent on Big Coal for a living even if the costs (largely hidden) were high. Yet, the costs are no longer as hidden and the benefits no longer so great.

Climate change legislation is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our political leadership to take bold action to help diversify the Appalachian economy. So far, that leadership is lacking. Join me today in calling for Appalachian state officials, Congressional representatives and senators to to chart a new course. Let’s all kick the habit of the dirty black rock.

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