This Week in Climate News

He’s baaack! Al Gore that is, with a brand new climate initiative that is just darn tootin’ sure to solve the climate campaign’s “communications problem” that has kept it from getting across the goal line with earth-saving legislation.  And his newest idea?  Imitate reality TV.  I’m not, as the saying goes, making this up.  His new “Climate Reality Project” will launch with a live-streamed event in September called “24 Hours of Reality.”  As the New York Times squib informs us:

The video feed will feature scientists, celebrities, executives and citizens from places like Tonga, Mexico City and Alaska, along with Mr. Gore.  [Oh, what a bonus that will be.] It will be broadcast over 24 hours in 24 time zones and in multiple languages, the group said.  [Please, please make one of those languages Esperanto.]

The idea is to educate the public about the impacts of global warming and to counter what Mr. Gore considers the well-financed disinformation and denial campaign run by the fossil fuel industries.

As Spongebob Sqaurepants’s neoconservative wingman Squidward might say, “Won’t that just be the best day ever?

The Times story goes on:

The project used to be known as the Alliance for Climate Protection but has received a new name and a somewhat new mission. It will have the same leader, Maggie L. Fox, a longtime Gore adviser and climate activist.

What’s wrong with the old name?  Do they really think changing the name will attract/fool previously indifferent people?  They must think the “climate change” brand name is as tarnished as trial lawyers.  About 15 years back the California Trial Lawyers Association changed their name to the Consumer Attorneys of California to try to shake their malodorous public image, though I wonder if the new acronym CACA really worked very well for them and wasn’t in fact a more accurate representation of their character.

Meanwhile, in the “environmentalists as cheap dates” department, I’ve been snorting for months about the environmentalist talking point that China is getting ahead of the U.S. in “clean energy,” because the Chinese are building windmills and solar panels like crazy, mostly as yet another export industry to us saps in the U.S. and Europe.  Sure, they’ll use this stuff at home, too, but their real energy is going to come from coal, and a lot more coal, as I pointed out here a couple weeks ago.

This week New York Times enviro-blogger Andrew Revkin reports the highly inconvenient truth about how Peabody Coal, the world’s biggest coal company (twirl evil black handlebar mustache here), is launching a joint venture with China to open new coal mines there that will produce 50 million tons of coal a year “over multiple decades,” for use in China.  Don’t miss the bar chart Revkin displays showing China’s coal use rising 185 percent from 2000 to 2010, while the rest of the world’s coal use rose only 17.5 percent.

(By the way, Andy, get well soon.)