EPA posts greenhouse gas reporting requirements

June 29, 2010

What’s that racket, that squealing, that ‘stuck’ pig noise?

Orbitals model of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) - Wikimedia image

Space-filling model of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) - Wikimedia image. Sulfur hexafluoride is one of the most powerful greenhouse gases known, with "global warming potential" 22,800 times that of CO2. EPA proposes to measure SF6 emissions as a first step toward reducing emissions. Warming deniers propose to stop the regulations.

EPA published regulations for measuring greenhouse gases as part of its CO2 emission regulatory program — and the noise is the reaction of the anti-warmists.

Here’s EPA’s press release — notice the links to longer explanations, and note especially that the regulations are not final yet, but are instead open for public comment.

June 29, 2010

EPA Issues Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements for Four Emissions Sources

Agency also to consider data confidentiality

WASHINGTON The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing requirements under its national mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting program for underground coal mines, industrial wastewater treatment systems, industrial waste landfills and magnesium production facilities. The data from these sectors will provide a better understanding of GHG emissions and will help EPA and businesses develop effective policies and programs to reduce them.

Methane is the primary GHG emitted from coal mines, industrial wastewater treatment systems and industrial landfills and is more than 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere.  The main fluorinated GHG emitted from magnesium production is sulfur hexafluoride, which has an even greater warming potential than methane, and can stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

These source categories will begin collecting emissions data on January 1, 2011, with the first annual reports submitted to EPA on March 31, 2012.

In a separate proposed rule, EPA is requesting public comment on which industry related GHG information would be made publicly available and which would be considered confidential. Under the Clean Air Act, all emission data are public. Some non-emission data, however, may be considered confidential, because it relates to specific information which, if made public, could harm a business’s competitiveness. Examples of data considered confidential under this proposal include certain information reported by fossil fuel and industrial gas suppliers related to production quantities and raw materials. EPA is committed to providing the public with as much information as possible while following the law.

The GHG reporting program requires suppliers of fossil fuels or industrial GHGs and large direct emitters of greenhouse gases to report to EPA.  Collecting this data will allow businesses to track emissions and identify cost effective ways to reduce emissions.  EPA is preparing to provide data to the public after the first annual GHG reports are submitted in March 2011.

There will be a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rules that will begin upon publication in the federal register.

More information on the final rule to add reporting requirements for four source categories:


More information on the proposal on data confidentiality:



These regulations are those complained about and proposed to be stopped by critics of the campaign to stop global warming.  Alaska’s pro-warming Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced a resolution to stop these regulations, with the support of junk science lobbyists including the National Center for Policy Research.  Fortunately, on June 10 the Senate voted 47-53 to reject a motion to consider the resolution, S. J. Res. 26, “A joint resolution disapproving a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the endangerment finding and the cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.”

Both of Texas’s senators were suckered by the junk science.  Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison both co-sponsored the losing resolution.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit to stop the regulations.  Abbott’s opponent in the 2010 elections, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, probably the only one of these Texans who might understand sulfur hexafluoride’s role as a pollutant, criticized the suit and urged Abbott to spend his time protecting Texas oil fields from oil company sabotage.

Help control emissions from climate “skeptics,” and spread the good word:

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Joanne Nova can’t stand the heat

February 19, 2010

Oh, it’s a piffle in the grand scheme of things.  But it’s indicative of the inherent, apparently congenital dishonesty in warming contrarians and denialists.

At Joanne Nova’s site, I’ve dropped quite a few information bombs, in comments.  Well, they treat information as if it would kill them, and I have hopes it might at least leak through into their minds, so I continued for a couple of days.

But it’s like “teaching the old pig to sing” joke.  The punchline says that it’s a waste of time because the pig will never sing well, you can really knock yourself out trying, and it annoys the pig.

I got a ping on a follow-up message.  Some guy commented that he couldn’t figure the site out, because after I post something with solid scientific information, they dismiss it, ignore it, and generally pick themselves up after running into the facts, and run the other way as if nothing had happened.


<!––>February 18th, 2010 at 10:04 pm<!––>

I just read through a large part of this turgid “debate”.

It’s astounding stuff.

Ed Darell provides case after case after case of detailed references from the scientific and legal debates and the rest of you run around squawking “show us the evidence” over and over again as if you don’t understand that what he is writing IS providing the evidence.

Do none of you actually speak english? Can’t you read? Do you not understand the concept of providing evidence, or are you not bothering to comprehend, just shouting him down? That’s about the only conclusion I can draw.

And then the person who runs this blog leaps in and bans people for refusing to agree with her… Well, I suppose it’s her blog and her ball and if you don’t play by her rules, you can just go home…
Unbelievable, really.

I should have known a kommitted kommissar like Nova couldn’t let my earlier post go without twisting it.  She responded:

Joanne Nova said:

Joanne Nova
–>February 19th, 2010 at 2:54 am<!––>

I see you’re faking it right from the start. If you’d read the whole “debate” you’d know that Ed has been pinged for many things, including relying on the PSBG, and even had to apologize for baseless insults.


““OK, I recognize that any cause of warming would melt glaciers, change weather patterns, and shift crops etc etc. None of these things is evidence that carbon is the cause of that warming. I was mixing up cause and effect. Point taken. Sorry for calling you drunk or dense or suggesting you have a mental disease.”

Time to let the pig go back to its mud, eh?  That wasn’t my intent.  I copied her words, but noted where I disagreed (you can read it here, perhaps, if she lets it stand.)

So I responded:

Ed Darrell

<!—->: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
<!––>February 19th, 2010 at 6:02 am<!––>

I clearly should have been more clear.

I didn’t mean to imply mental disease where it doesn’t exist. However, denialism may well be a symptom of disease. Warming denialism is like all tinfoil hattery, not so much a political stand as a symptom of something underlying. Mental disease? Perhaps.

Yes, any cause of global warming would melt glaciers, change weather patterns, and shift crops. None of this is, alone, evidence that carbon causes the warming. However, there is no more likely culprit than the set of greenhouse gases that cause such global warming. Cause and effect are not necessarily the same thing — the scientific evidence points to the increase in human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases as creating the mess we’re heading into.

Sorry for calling you drunk if you’re not. Sorry for implying you have disease if you don’t. That leaves only genuine skepticism, not politically motivated, or stupidity, or evil intent. Drunk or dense might be the better and more polite excuse, but Nova doesn’t believe it.

I got here on a link showing the astounding lies of Christopher Monckton about Rachel Carson, Jackie Kennedy and DDT. Since I can’t say Monckton was drunk or diseased, and since he lacks the science or history chops to be an informed skeptic, we must assume him to be evil. Why Nova promotes his statements escapes me.

I apologized for baseless insults, but cannot apologize for those with firm foundation.

As you can see from the note on moderation, they  pounced on my remarks and closed them off from view.

YODA – Moderator

<!––>February 19th, 2010 at 6:37 am<!––>

Ed Darrell,

Your latest comment has been put into moderation. Jo will review it and make a decision accordingly

YODA – Moderator

If only it were Yoda instead of someone short, with a desire to be magical, but no light sabre or serious Jedi training.

They can’t defend Monckton’s insults of America and Jackie Kennedy, nor his ignorant insults of Rachel Carson.  They know that.  Censorship is the only way out for them.

Is that also true for warming?  Nova doesn’t encourage discussion in any fashion.  (It is rather sobering to see so many willing to give up their fleeces and follow along, though, isn’t it?)

My sole defender said:

<!––>February 19th, 2010 at 9:08 am<!––>

A couple of responses – although I have no intention of engaging in this discussion on a sustained basis. Life is too short. I don’t have the patience – unlike Ed Darrell, who seems to have limitless reserves of patience and politeness in dealing with the frequently abusive and nonsensical responses to his calm, respectful, logical, and evidence-based comments.

Farmer Dave says that I “seem a little upset” – an interesting rhetorical trope – place yourself in a superior, condescending position and devalue your opponent’s words by implying that they are the result of excessive emotion rather than rationality – it’s a flavour of ad hominem technique, I suppose. That trope certainly seems to get a substantial use in this arena – maybe it’s in someone’s “Big book of hints on how to derail discussion when you have no actual arguments” – like the one that goes “ignore any evidence that anyone provides and just keep chanting ’show us the evidence’”.

You (jonova)say that

Ed has been pinged for many things, including relying on the PSBG, and even had to apologize for baseless insults.

(I presume you mean the PBSG) – I guess if relying on the statements of actual scientific bodies is a justification for blocking someone, i shouldn’t be expecting rationality… I haven’t read all of the discussion – but I see no evidence of you blocking anyone other than people who disagree with you, no matter how abusive and irrelevant your supporters get. When discussion gets mildly robust, it always leaves scope to fabricate those sort of charges against those who disagree with you, while ignoring the sins of your own supporters. I guess it’s easy to get away with that kind of patent intellectual dishonesty when you’re only singing to the choir.

Roy Hogue, one of the main sty denizens there, claimed that nameless and faceless European bureaucrats were threatening his freedom.  I asked him how, and here’s his latest tally of his loss of freedom, showing up just after my latest banning:

It’s now quite illegal to sell or install CFCs in the United States. It’s a federal crime with penalties attached.

So there you have it, folks.  If you allow the warming warnings to take effect and let us try to make cleaner air to save our planet, you’ll have to pay the incredibly stiff penalty of . . . changing your refrigerant.

That’s a penalty any of us should be happy to pay.  That these guys see that as a serious infringement of their freedom only demonstrates how blinded they are, perhaps by the slipping tinfoil hats.

Are we burning that bridge?  With a bit of sadness, perhaps.  They may need that bridge to save their tails someday.

It’s unlikely they’d know it, though.

My comment is still in “moderation.”  When telling the truth needs to be “moderated,” the problem isn’t with the facts of the matter.

If they can’t stand the heat, maybe they should let the policy makers do something about the warming, eh?

Update: I’m up early, gotta do some hard thinking about Woodrow Wilson for a seminar today, and I find this posted over at Nova’s site:

Joanne Nova

<!––>February 20th, 2010 at 3:57 pm<!––>

Ed Darrell, I’m getting help to manage the hundreds of comments coming in. We’re still working out a system, so your comment has been released from moderation.

You however still appear irrational.

I think I have to agree with Alexander Pope on that issue:

All seems infected that the infected spy, As all looks yellow to the jaundiced eye.

Nova again:

You make assumptions we have asked you back up:
“the scientific evidence points to the increase in human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases as creating the mess we’re heading into.

You cannot provide any other evidence other than climate simulations, and I have already explained why these are inadequate. We need empirical evidence.

I make assumptions?  I make assumptions?

I don’t assume, as your prophet Monckton claims, that Jack Kennedy came back from the dead to appoint his “good friend,” William Ruckelshaus, to head the EPA, an agency created seven years after Kennedy’s death, as Nova apparently does (Nova hasn’t defended any of the DDT insanity from Monckton — she can’t, of course, so she’s trying to deflect).  I don’t assume anything, except some degree of intelligence and civility in most people — an assumption Nova is doing her best to batter.

Nova dismisses out of hand the papers by Australian scientists showing how and why Australia’s wildfires are results of greenhouse-gas-caused climate change.  If all the evidence is ruled out of bounds, then she’s right.

Try to post a serious argument there.

Remember, my sole point was that Monckton can’t be trusted, a claim I make based on his astounding and continuing falsehoods about DDT, malaria and the environmental movement.  Nova contests none of that, but accuses me of not providing evidence to other points.

Were I to be so cruel as Monckton, I’d ask whether she had to chew through the leather restraints to post that.  But I won’t.

Before you can post again, please explain:
1. Are you still calling us “deniers”

She’s defending a guy who regularly calls scientists, Nobel winners, and anyone who questions anything he does “bed wetters” and is proud of it.

Am I pointing out you deny the evidence, Nova?  Damn straight.

Does that make you a “denier?”  I think it’s indicative of a syndrome.  Over here in the U.S., when public figures get caught like that, they often head off to an alcohol abuse treatment program.  Among the first steps of abuse correction is confession.

If I call you a “denier,” where does that description go awry, Ms. Nova?  You won’t accept the science I post, and now you won’t let me post unless I swear fealty to your odd brand of nonsensescience.

Why should anyone regard you as a major denier, lost in depths of denialism?   Where is there any indication that you accept any part of science?

If “yes” then you may not post again since this is delusional as you cannot provide any evidence we deny and have not acknowledged that your past effort to provide evidence was woefully inadequate.

I was unaware pigs wanted to sing.  I still see no evidence of it.  It’s that denialism thing, I think.  A pig denying it is Sus domesticus might be deluded into thinking it should be able to sing.

Nova’s explanation for why the Australian scientists were wrong about wildfires in Australia was an answer along the lines of “everyone knows” Australian fires are caused by Smokey the Bear’s overmanagement of wildlands.  No citation to anything at all, not even a newspaper article.

And she accuses me of providing no evidence.

Jack Rhodes explained the difficulties of coaching champion debate teams.  First a team has to learn to beat the average teams.  Then they must learn to beat the really good teams.  Finally, and most difficult, they must learn to defeat the really bad teams.  In the logical and evidence-laden world of intercollegiate debate at the time, a really bad team’s disorganized thoughts and fumbling arguments could draw good debaters off the track.

Nova’s tried to draw me off the track there.  She’s demonstrating a moral failure in her support of the serial and continuing falsehoods of Christopher Monckton.  Wholly apart from whether I could offer evidence of global warming to pass Nova’s jaundiced eye, it is a moral failure of Nova to support the falsehoods of the man, promote them as truths, and then engage in attacks on those who point out the errors.

It’s not an evidence failure we see at Nova’s blog so much as a failure of backbone, a moral failure to distinguish the dross that can mislead the masses from the gold that we need for policy.

I’m assuming Nova’s bright enough to make that distinction, of course.  She could shuffle off to an evidence abuse program and claim bright light addiction or somesuch.  But if we assume she’s not crazy or stupid, then her failing here is purely moral.  She refuses to entertain the idea that she might be wrong in any sense, crazy, stupid, or just not yet sufficiently evidenced.  If we believe her that far, moral failing is the only alternative.

If Nova wants to be seen as a serious non-denialist, she ought to act that way.

If “not” then talk of deniers applies to some other group, it’s not appropriate here. Go talk there.
2. You may apologise for wasting my time, and posting comments of sub-par logic along with baseless insults.

I regret your moderation is unfair, your characterizations of me inaccurate, and your science so poor as to be practically non-existent.  Should I be sorry for that?  Okay, I’m sorry your moderation is unfair, your characterizations wrong, and your beliefs unfounded.

I don’t think I should be apologizing for you, Joanne.  You have to do that yourself.

You may not post again until we resolve this. Unfortunately I have to discriminate against the mentally deficient who throw insults. There is only one of me, I’m trying to lift standards on logic and reason and cannot offer free therapy for those who are simply, possibly due to no fault of their own, unable to reason.

I can and will post freely wherever reasonable discussion is obtainable, Joanne.  I regret that is not your site.  Alas, again, I cannot do your apologies for you.

Dear Readers, you may head over to Nova’s site and try to educate the hard-headed Aussies and others there.  Don’t set your sites on long life on those boards.  I gather most of the rational Aussies avoid the place.  I wonder where sensible Aussies hang out?  [Roy Hogue?  Are you a troll or do you have serious questions?  If the latter, post the questions here.  I’ll work to answer them.]

Joanne Nova may wish to decorate Millard Fillmore for his contributions to sanitary science in the White House, especially his personal plumbing of the first bathtub there.  It’s her right.  It’s not history, it’s not science, it’s not accurate, it’s not appropriate.  But it’s her right.

MSM understand dangers of warming

February 1, 2010

Editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, another of America’s great legacy of great newspapers:

The decade that ended in 2009 was the warmest on record, NASA reported earlier this month. It displaced the decade of the 1990s as the warmest ever. The 1990s displaced the 1980s.

Last year was the second-warmest since 1880, when modern temperature measurements began. The warmest year on record was 2005. All of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998. Perhaps you’re starting to see a pattern.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Open Mind, who also notes that the last decade was the warmest ever.

Annals of Global Warming: Warming in the middle troposphere, cooling in the lower stratosphere, 1995-2007

January 2, 2010

This is a post out of history, from the good people at NASA’s Earth Observatory, on July 6, 2007.  For those of who are not climate scientists or particularly advanced in our acumen in dealing with the large datasets and complex mathematics of global warming, this Earth Observatory Image of the Day may improve understanding.

Atmospheric Temperature Trends, 1979-2005

Posted July 6, 2007

Atmospheric Temperature Trends, 1979-2005

Climate models predict that the build up of greenhouse gases should warm the lower layer of the atmosphere, called the troposphere, and cool the layer above it, the stratosphere. Greenhouse gases accumulate in the troposphere where they absorb energy radiated from the Earth and re-emit energy back to the surface. Because the gases trap heat in the lower parts of the atmosphere, the stratosphere cools down. This pattern of warming in the lower atmosphere and cooling in the stratosphere is a hallmark of greenhouse gas warming in global climate models.

These images show temperature trends in two thick layers of the atmosphere as measured by a series of satellite-based instruments between January 1979 and December 2005. The top image shows temperatures in the middle troposphere, centered around 5 kilometers above the surface. The lower image shows temperatures in the lower stratosphere, centered around 18 kilometers above the surface. Oranges and yellows dominate the troposphere image, indicating that the air nearest the Earth’s surface warmed during the period. The stratosphere image is dominated by blues and greens, indicating cooling.

Globally, the troposphere warmed, and the stratosphere cooled during this period. Local trends varied. The greatest tropospheric warming was in the Arctic, where warming is amplified as snow and ice melt. The Antarctic, on the other hand, showed cooling. Some researchers have explained the localized cooling as a side effect of the ozone hole on atmospheric circulation over Antarctica. Loss of ozone cools the stratosphere, a change which intensifies the vortex of winds that encircle the continent. The stronger vortex isolates the air over the continent, cooling the stratosphere even further. At different times of the year, the unusually cold air dips down from the stratosphere and into the troposphere.

The cooling trend in the stratosphere was probably not solely due to greenhouse gas warming at lower altitudes; loss of ozone also cools the stratosphere. In the stratosphere, two warm spots over Antarctica and the Arctic appear to defy the overall cooling trend. One explanation for these warm spots is that polar stratospheric temperatures can fluctuate widely. The poles, especially the Arctic, experience periodic events known as sudden stratospheric warmings, during which the vortex of winds that circles the poles breaks down. When this happens, the stratosphere can warm several tens of degrees Celsius in a few days. Although these events are more common in the Arctic, a significant sudden stratospheric warming also occurred in the Antarctic stratosphere in 2002 and may help explain the apparent warming trend. Whether the localized warming trend is significant is still uncertain.

The measurements were taken by Microwave Sounding Units and Advanced Microwave Sounding Units flying on a series of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather satellites. The instruments record microwave energy emitted from oxygen molecules in the atmosphere. Warmer molecules release more energy than cooler molecules, so scientists can measure the temperature of the atmosphere by recording the amount of microwave energy being emitted. Early analyses of these measurements showed little or no warming in the troposphere, where models predicted that warming should be occurring. For a time, these measurements caused some people to question the validity of global climate models and greenhouse gas warming. Scientists discovered, however, that the satellites carrying the microwave instruments had drifted in their orbits over time, so that more recent measurements were taken at a different time of day than older measurements. Once scientists accounted for this bias and other differences between the individual instruments, the measurements showed a warming trend in the troposphere, consistent with surface observations of rising global temperature.

Re-analysis of the satellite measurements answered one of the frequently asked questions about global warming: why didn’t the early satellite data show warming in the lower layer of the atmosphere? To read more on this topic, see Global Warming Questions & Answers, which addresses this and other common questions about global warming.

    Further reading

  • Global Warming Questions & Answers on the Earth Observatory.
  • Global Warming, a fact sheet published on the Earth Observatory.
  • Fu, Q., Johanson, C.M., Warren, S.G., Seidel, D.J. (2004, May 6). Contribution of stratospheric cooling to satellite-inferred tropospheric temperature trends. Nature, 429, 55-58.
  • Johanson, C.M., Fu, Q. (2007 June). Antarctic atmospheric temperature trend patterns from satellite observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L12703.
  • Karl, T. R., Hassol, S. J., Miller, C. D., and Murray, W. L., editors. (2006). Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences. A Report by the Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Washington, DC. Accessed June 8, 2007.
  • Ramaswamy, V., Schwarzkopf, M.D., Randel, W.J., Santer, B.D., Soden, B.J., Stenchikov, G.L. (2006, Feb 24). Anthropogenic and natural influences in the evolution of lower stratospheric cooling. Science, 311, 1138-1141.
  • Remote Sensing Systems. (2007, June 12). Description of MSU and AMSU Data Products. Accessed July 5, 2007.

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of Remote Sensing Systems. Caption information courtesy Carl Mears, Remote Sensing Systems, and Paul Newman and Joel Susskind NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Spread the historic word:

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Naomi Oreskes: The lecture Lord Monckton slept through, which he hopes you will not see

October 23, 2009

Here’s another example of where historians show their value in science debates.

Naomi Oreskes delivered this lecture a few years ago on denialism in climate science.  Among other targets of her criticism-by-history is my old friend Robert Jastrow.  I think her history is correct, and her views on the Marshall Institute and denial of climate change informative in the minimum, and correct on the judgment of the facts.

You’ll recognize some of the names:  Jastrow, Frederick Seitz, S. Fred Singer, and William Nierenberg.

Oreskes details the intentional political skewing of science by critics of the serious study of climate warming.  It’s just under an hour long, but well worth watching.  Dr. Oreskes is Professor of History in the Science Studies Program at the University of California at San Diego.  The speech is titled “The American Denial of Global Warming.”

If Oreskes is right — and I invite you to check her references thoroughly, to discover for yourself that her history and science are both solid — Lord Monckton is a hoaxster.  Notice especially the references after the 54 minute mark to the tactic of claiming that scientists are trying to get Americans to give up our sovereignty.

Nothing new under the sun.

“Global warming is here,  and there are almost no communists left,” Oreskes said.

Nudge your neighbor:

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“The GOP used to be the party of business”

September 10, 2009

Santayana’s Ghost notes there’s an 1852 Whiggy smell about the Republican Party these days.

Thomas L. Friedman writes at the New York Times:

The G.O.P. used to be the party of business. Well, to compete and win in a globalized world, no one needs the burden of health insurance shifted from business to government more than American business. No one needs immigration reform — so the world’s best brainpower can come here without restrictions — more than American business. No one needs a push for clean-tech — the world’s next great global manufacturing industry — more than American business. Yet the G.O.P. today resists national health care, immigration reform and wants to just drill, baby, drill.

“Globalization has neutered the Republican Party, leaving it to represent not the have-nots of the recession but the have-nots of globalized America, the people who have been left behind either in reality or in their fears,” said Edward Goldberg, a global trade consultant who teaches at Baruch College. “The need to compete in a globalized world has forced the meritocracy, the multinational corporate manager, the eastern financier and the technology entrepreneur to reconsider what the Republican Party has to offer. In principle, they have left the party, leaving behind not a pragmatic coalition but a group of ideological naysayers.”

Drum up some business:

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How about another cup of coffee? (Global Warming Conspiracy)

August 18, 2009

Encore post from September 17, 2007 — maybe more appropriate today than ever before.

Found this on my coffee cup today:

The Way I See It #289

So-called “global warming” is just

a secret ploy by wacko tree-

huggers to make America energy

independent, clean our air and

water, improve the fuel efficiency

of our vehicles, kick-start

21st-century industries, and make

our cities safer and more livable.

Don’t let them get away with it!

Chip Giller
Founder of Grist.org, where
environmentally-minded people
gather online.

Starbucks Coffee Cup, The Way I See It #289 (global warming)

Look! Someone found the same cup I found!

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