Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weekend Showers & T-Storms (but not a total wash-out)

73 F. high in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, 2 degrees above average.

Dry weather should linger into much of Friday, highs in the 70s today and Friday.

.43" rain predicted over the weekend (best chance of rain Friday night into Saturday morning). Much of Saturday afternoon and Sunday should be dry with intervals of sun and just a few isolated, "pop-up" showers and T-storms over the weekend.

..."And, as (the Aprill 27 tornado outbreak) reminds us, 70 % of the world’s tornadoes, and some 90% of the truly damaging tornadoes, occur on our soil." - Dr. William Hooke, Director of the AMS Policy Program, in Senate testimony May 3 in Washington D.C."

..."But before we succumb to digital idolatry, we should consider that innovation often comes at a price. And sometimes I wonder if the price is a piece of ourselves."  - Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the New York Times, in an editorial about Twitter and digital media (below).

"Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them." - John Shirley quote. This upcoming won't be a total wash-out, but a few hours of showers and T-storms are likely. At least it will be lukewarm rain, highs well up into the 70s. Column below.

Early Season Anglers Face Cold Water Dangers. I was out on Lake Minnetonka yesterday, and that water is still COLD. It felt more like late April than mid May. The Minnesota DNR has a story about the unusually chilly lake water temperatures across the state: "With the walleye and northern fishing season opening on May 14, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that even on a warm day in the boat, water temperatures can hover in the low 50s. A 2007 report by the U.S. Coast Guard stated that a boating accident is five times more likely to be fatal if the water is colder than 60 degrees. “Cold water can kill in ways that you might not expect,” said Tim Smalley, DNR boating safety specialist. “Nearly everyone knows that immersion in cold water can cause hypothermia - the abnormal lowering of the body’s core temperature. What most don’t know is that cold water immersion has several stages, any one of which can cause death.” Victims who experience an unexpected fall overboard suffer initial cold water shock in the first minute, which involuntarily causes them to take a series of big breaths, called hyperventilation. If a person’s head is underwater, they can inhale more than a quart of water and drown immediately. Those who keep their head above water will continue hyperventilating as their blood pressure jumps, Smalley explained. If they can’t control their breathing within 60 seconds, they’ll suffer numbness, muscle weakness or even fainting, which leads to drowning. A person with heart disease may experience sudden death due to cardiac arrest. A victim who survives the first minute of cold shock and hyperventilation will progress to the second stage called “cold incapacitation,” or swimming failure. Within about 10 minutes, rapid cooling of the extremities causes muscle stiffening so a person will no longer be able to perform the tasks, such as swimming, holding onto a floating object, or putting on a life jacket. Even yelling for help can be difficult."

Looks Like Rain The latest 84 hour NAM model prints out the heaviest rains over central and western Minnesota by Sunday morning, some 2-3" amounts possible from Fergus Falls and Morris southward to Fairmont. Rainfall amounts are forecast to be less over east central Minnesota and western Wisconsin, but the promixity to the heavy rain bands has me a bit concerned. The best chance of gulley-gushing showers and T-storms? Friday night into Saturday morning.

Partly-Soggy. The best chance of (heavy) showers and T-storms should come Friday night into Saturday morning, and then we slowly dry out Saturday afternoon into Sunday, a lack of significant rain through Wednesday morning of next week, before another round of showers arrive next Wednesday. In general temperatures will run a few degrees below average through next week - still don't see any 80s until (maybe) the first few days of June.

European Model. The ECMWF (European) model also suggests that Saturday will be the wetter day of the weekend, with 14 millimeters of rain predicted, about .55". The ECMWF doesn't print out any rain on Sunday, but I'm not so sure a few instabiity showers and PM T-showers won't pop. Either way, I feel fairly confident saying that Sunday should be the brighter day of the weekend (few hours of sun) allowing the mercury to reach the mid 70s to near 80.

Flooding Takes Economic Toll, And It's Hardly Done. The New York Times takes a look at the scope of the flooding disaster on the Mississippi River, a slow-motion "mini-Katrina" that is impacting states from Kentucky and Missouri to the Gulf Coast: "The swollen Mississippi River, already spilling over into wide areas of the Mississippi Delta, has dealt the South a heavy economic blow that is seeping into every possible corner of the region’s commercial and agricultural life. From Tennessee to Louisiana, the arteries and tributaries that normally supply the lifeblood of trade and business to the communities along the river’s banks are now paralyzing them. The engorged river has disrupted waterway commerce, delaying barge traffic and forcing some cargo to be trucked overland. Grain elevators, a crucial link to the nation’s grain exports, have been swamped. Early corn and soybean plantings on delta farms are submerged. Like the very nature of water, the trickle-down effects of the historic flooding are leaving no corner untouched. Retail gasoline prices, already at two-year highs, and food prices could rise in the region because of supply disruptions. Tens of thousands of people are unemployed, shut out of jobs at establishments that are literally under water. State and local government coffers, strained because of the economic downturn, may lose many millions of dollars in revenue from tourism and taxes. In about a dozen interviews, economists, farmers and industry officials said they expected hundreds of millions of dollars in damages including crop and infrastructure destruction in communities along the 740 miles of river that meanders from Memphis to New Orleans. But while the final bill has yet to be determined, the costs are already being felt."

Water In The Morganza Floodway. NASA's Earth Observatory has an update on the Great Mississippi River Flood of 2011 - you can clearly see the floodwaters rising after the floodways were opened on the Mississippi. The top (before) photo is from May 4, the bottom photo taken on May 18: "On May 18, 2011, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed water in the Morganza Floodway along the Mississippi River. As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers explains, the floodway is designed to ease water levels in downstream communities along the Mississippi by diverting some water into the Atchafalaya Basin. MODIS acquired the top image on May 18, 2011, and the bottom image on May 4, 2011. Both images use a combination of visible and infrared light to increase contrast between water and land. Water ranges in color from gray-blue to navy. (Lake Pontchartrain appears silvery blue on May 18 due largely to the angle of sunlight.) Vegetation is green. Bare ground is brown. Clouds are pale blue-green and cast shadows."

New Incentives To Storm-Proof Homes. The Wall Street Journal and Smart Money have the story: "Installing storm shutters or trading up for impact-and wind-resistant roofting isn't just a way to make a home a safer place to weather a major storm. Increasingly, such projects are aw ay to cut the insurance bill. Prompted by rising financial losses from natural disasters, insurers and state governments are pushing discounts for consumers who add safety features to their homes that could better protect them against damage from hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters. Depending on where you live and what steps you take, savings could top 35%. Of course, the insurers and governments have incentive to do so: financial losses from natural disasters have increased dramatically as building costs rise and populations become denser, especially in high-risk areas such as coastlines. In all, U.S. catastrophe losses totaled $20.6 billion for 2010, including $13.6 billion covered by insurance. That’s the highest on record for a year without a hurricane landfall, and up 30% from 2009, which previously held that title. 2011 could be a contender, too, with tornado and flooding damages already topping $9 billion and predictions for an active hurricane season."

Policy Buzz: Senate Hearing Follows Tornado Outbreak. Here's an interesting story for the American Meteorological Society's blog: "On May 3, Dr. William Hooke, Director of the AMS Policy Program, testified before Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) and other members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He was joined by Bob Ryan, Senior Meteorologist at ABC7/WJLA-TV, Dr. Anne Kiremidjian of Stanford University and Dr. Clint Dawson of the University of Texas, together they discussed “America’s Natural Disaster Preparedness: Are Federal Investments Paying Off?” As the hearing was convened in part as a response to the earthquake in Japan, Dr. Kiremidjian focused her testimony on earthquake and tsunami issues. Dr. Dawson discussed advances in storm surge modeling. This hearing (full video here) took place soon after one of the worst weather disasters in the U.S. of the last century with tornadoes killing at least 327 in the South East. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this may have been the largest tornado outbreak in U.S. history. Although this disaster was horrific in terms of the many lives lost and the huge economic toll, the hearing gave our community the needed opportunity to highlight what we do and the importance of accurate weather forecasts and earth observation systems. Dr. Hooke stated in his testimony that these systems and science play an especially important role in the United States:"
"Because of its size and location, the United States bears a unique degree of risk from natural hazards. We suffer as many winter storms as Russia or China, and as many hurricanes as China or Japan. Our coasts are exposed not just to storms but to earthquakes and tsunamis. Dust bowls and wildfire have shaped our history. And 70% of the world’s tornadoes, and some 90% of the truly damaging ones, occur on our soil."

Ukraine Weather Forecaster's Remarks Spark Storm. Yes, it turns out you can be fired for telling the truth, and predicting which way the political and social winds are blowing, instead of tracking highs, lows and frontal boundaries. The BBC reports: "Ukraine's national broadcaster has suspended its live weather broadcasts after a forecaster commented on the country's gloomy political climate. The National Meteorological Centre's chief meteorologist praised the beauty of spring before berating "disorder, lawlessness and injustice" in Ukraine. Lyudmila Savchenko was broadcasting live on National Radio when she made the disparaging remarks. Forecasts will be now pre-recorded and edited before being aired. "You cannot remain indifferent to the beauty, complete with the delicate scents of lilacs and lilies of the valley, the melodic trills of birds," said Ms Savchenko in last week's fatal forecast. "Sometimes it seems like the nature is compensation for the disorder, lawlessness and injustice in our country." This is not the first time Ukraine's media has been rebuked for interfering in politics. In 2004, Ukrainian National TV fired a sign-language interpreter for telling viewers that the authorities were lying. Ms Savchenko is quoted by the popular Ukrainian Pravda as saying she was well aware of the consequences of her critical statements. "I did what I had to," she said. "I said what I believed was true and I still believe it. I knew I would never go on air again."

The Twitter Trap. Are we being hypnotized by digital media? Seduced by Facebook posts, staring at way too many screens when we should be connecting (face to face), or taking in nature. You know the argument: watching vs. doing. I have mixed feelings. We've never been more empowered, with more relevant information at our fingertips to make decisions and improve our lives and businesses. I don't know - I've always thought of myself as reasonably social, but lately I send a text or e-mail instead of picking up the phone call and going to the "effort" of making a call. What are we losing by leaning more on digital communication, and less on voice and face-to-face? Not sure. But I'm pretty sure similar concerns were raised about reading and books and the telegraph and radio and TV and then cable and satellite. It's hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Bill Keller is Executive Editor at the New York Times (top guy on the editorial/content side) and he sparked something of a controversy by writing this column: "Last week my wife and I told our 13-year-old daughter she could join Facebook. Within a few hours she had accumulated 171 friends, and I felt a little as if I had passed my child a pipe of crystal meth. I don’t mean to be a spoilsport, and I don’t think I’m a Luddite. I edit a newspaper that has embraced new media with creative, prizewinning gusto. I get that the Web reaches and engages a vast, global audience, that it invites participation and facilitates — up to a point — newsgathering. But before we succumb to digital idolatry, we should consider that innovation often comes at a price. And sometimes I wonder if the price is a piece of ourselves. Joshua Foer’s engrossing best seller “Moonwalking With Einstein” recalls one colossal example of what we trade for progress. Until the 15th century, people were taught to remember vast quantities of information. Feats of memory that would today qualify you as a freak — the ability to recite entire books — were not unheard of. Then along came the Mark Zuckerberg of his day, Johannes Gutenberg. As we became accustomed to relying on the printed page, the work of remembering gradually fell into disuse. The capacity to remember prodigiously still exists (as Foer proved by training himself to become a national memory champion), but for most of us it stays parked in the garage."

"sbyke": The Scooter, BMX And Skateboard Mash-up. I expect to see a few of these in Uptown any day now. has the story: "Although a good while ago now, I still remember the bruising, the aches, and the shame of attempting (and mostly failing) all the latest tricks for skateboard or BMX. Others have faired much better, and the sports have continued to grow in popularity. Bart and Steve Wilson have now designed an interesting hybrid, which takes bits from board and bike to create a unique scooter called the sbyke (pronounced "spike"). Unlike more familiar micro-scooter designs, the sbyke has a fixed-position front wheel and is turned by shifting weight at the rear, it can stand upright on its own, and can take more weight – making it a more attractive proposition for adults as well as youngsters. Made from aircraft-grade materials to stand up to the rigors of the skate park, university campus or racetrack, the sbyke features an aluminum frame, interchangeable CroMoPro 9.25-inch and LoPro 5-inch stem lengths to accommodate different-sized riders, and handlebars which include a caliper hand brake. The lightweight 20-inch alloy front wheel rim is fitted with a high pressure racing tire and the wide 10-ply maple deck – with branding and grip on top – caters for side-by-side foot placement. The patented rear-steering system features ABEC 7 bearings, 85mm/80A Durometer truck wheels with radial tread, and adjustable spring rate for carving (a long, curving turn) or cruising."


Another Picture Postcard Perfect Day. 4 dry, sunny, spectacular days in a row? I didn't think that was possible, but the weather since Sunday has been nothing less than extraordinary. Some patchy clouds drifted into Minnesota (from the east, from Wisconsin) by evening, but it didn't matter. The mercury rose to 66 at Duluth, 73 in the Twin Cities and 74 at St. Cloud.

Paul's SC Times Outlook for St. Cloud and all of central Minnesota:

TODAY: Fading sun, still very nice. Winds: E 8-13. High: near 72

THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly to mostly cloudy, probably dry. Low: 57

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy and mild, a shower or T-storm possible by evening. High: 74

FRIDAY NIGHTShowers and a few T-storms likely. Low: 58

SATURDAY: Stormier day of the weekend. Showers and T-storms likely, especially AM hours. Winds: SE 15-20. High: 75

SATURDAY NIGHT: Showers and T-storms linger, locally heavy rain possible. Low: 61

SUNDAY: Better day of the weekend? Peeks of sun, passing PM shower or storm. Winds: SW 10-15. High: 78

MONDAY: Damp, leftover shower or two. Low: 60. High: 69

TUESDAY: Clouds increase, rain arrives late in the day and at night? Low: 53. High: 67

WEDNESDAY: More showery rains. Soggy pattern. Low: 55. High: 68

Weekend Weather Angst

"Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them" wrote John Shirley. How true. Philosopher/poet Arnot Sheppard summed up my theory about weekend weather complications. "There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries of weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction of rain and weekends." If we could just move weekends to Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

An atmospheric squeeze-play is unfolding. Last Saturday's (miserable) storm is pin-wheeling westward (!) while a sloppy Pacific storm moves in from the west. Translation: heavy showers and T-storms Friday into Saturday, maybe an inch or more of liquid gold for lawns & fields. Dynamics aloft are marginal, but there's a slight risk of a few (isolated) severe storms by Saturday afternoon, especially over far southern Minnesota. I suspect Sunday will be slightly better: intervals of sun, highs well up into the 70s to near 80. Not a total wash-out.

Temperatures trend slightly cooler than average into next week; still no 80s in sight. The odds of summer drought are slim to nil; odds favor a slightly cooler, wetter summer. We'll see.

Climate Change: Neck Deep In The Big Muddy. Here's a story at that struck a nerve: "Canandaigua, N.Y.  The Mississippi River has risen to levels never seen in U.S. history — lapping levee tops and threatening cities and hamlets from Memphis to the Gulf. Floodwaters cover an area the size of Connecticut, the result of a record 90 inches of precipitation in the Midwest. Some would point an accusatory finger at human-caused global warming. But as any climatologist will tell you, no single weather event is attributable to global warming. Meanwhile, Texas is in flames. The Lone Star State has endured the seven driest months on record, with drought parching 98 percent of its land. No one has ever seen the like of it, with 2.2 million acres already scorched black by wildfires. Still, as many scientists will emphatically state, no one weather event can be identified as being caused by climate change. Out West, record snowpack, a staggering 200 percent above normal, has brought severe flood risks to Utah, Wyoming and Montana. While eastern Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona are enduring terrible drought and gearing up for an equally severe fire season. Of course, as any Obama administration official will gladly testify, no one weather event can be traced back to climate change. In Vermont, my home state, Gov. Peter Shumlin has declared a state of emergency along Lake Champlain, which has reached record flood levels. Nearly 600 homes have been impacted so far, and it’s still raining — relentlessly. Of course, as any freshman Tea Party Congressman will insist, no one weather event can ever be said to be created by human-caused climate change."

You've Got To Start Somewhere: A Climate Prescription. The New York Times Green Blog has a few suggestions for getting the ball rolling: "Hoping to find a way around the current political impasse on climate change and energy policy, a former top adviser to President Obama has devised a policy proposal to drive down greenhouse gas emissions from the utility industry over the next 20 years. The plan, “Promoting Clean Energy in the American Power Sector,” borrows from a range of policy proposals, including President Obama’s latest clean energy policy, the cap and trade plan that foundered in Congress last year, and state-level clean electricity mandates. The proposal sets goals based on emissions intensity — the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of electricity generated — an idea pursued both by the Chinese government and by former President George W. Bush. The plan’s author, Joseph Aldy, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former White House staff member on energy and economic issues, said that his proposal could help untie the political knot that has doomed all previous attempts at a comprehensive energy and climate policy. It would give utilities incentives for converting to cleaner forms of electricity without top-down mandates from the federal government or penalties for failure to comply."

* The Harvard paper (which has some compelling ideas) is called the "Hamilton Project", the complete PDF is here. A summary: "Despite bipartisan interest in advancing American energy policy, comprehensive energy and climate legislation fell short in the Senate last year after passing in the House of Representatives in 2009. The difficulty of coming to broad agreement highlights the need for a more targeted and incremental approach. One promising intermediate step would be a technology-neutral national clean energy standard that applies to the U.S. power sector. This paper proposes a standard that would lower carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 60 percent relative to 2005 levels over twenty years, streamline the fragmented regulatory system that is currently in place, generate fiscal benefits, and help fund energy innovation. Through a simple design and transparent implementation, the National Clean Energy Standard would provide certainty about the economic returns to clean energy that would facilitate investment in new energy projects and lower the emission intensity of the power sector. It would also serve as an ambitious bridge to economy-wide energy and climate policy."

Huntsman's Trust In Global-Warming Science Leaves Conservatives Cold. NPR has a story about a Republican who actually defers to the climate scientists. Yes, he's my new personal hero: "A recent interview with Jon Huntsman in Time Magazine has underscored for some conservatives the concerns they have with former Utah governor, that he is, as some Republicans would say, a RINO. He already was giving them the blues because he, until recently, served in the Obama administration as U.S. ambassador to China. Huntsman told Time's Melinda Hennenberger that he accepted the science on climate change. An excerpt:"
You also believe in climate change, right?
This is an issue that ought to be answered by the scientific community; I'm not a meteorologist. All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we'd listen to them. I respect science and the professionals behind the science so I tend to think it's better left to the science community – though we can debate what that means for the energy and transportation sectors
"Judging from the comments on conservative site, it would be an understatement to say this will be unhelpful to Huntsman in the race for the Republican presidential nomination."

2012 GOP Guide To Climate Change. This article appeared in the Washington Times, a favorite source of information for the GOP: "If you’re thinking of becoming a Republican presidential candidate - and who isn’t these days - you can plan on being pressed on the climate issue. In the wake of last week’s new report from a panel of the National Research Council (NRC) reiterating its old talking points on climate, The Washington Post editorialized that all (read “Republican”) candidates for political office should be quizzed about whether they agree with the “scientific consensus of America’s premier scientific advisory group.” Although this threat is intended to intimidate Republicans who tend toward queasiness when confronted with environmental issues, the attack is easy to parry and then even to counterattack - that’s why Al Gore and his enviros duck debating so-called “climate skeptics.” First, let’s dismiss a couple of faulty premises of The Post’s editorial. While it is true that the NRC operates under the umbrella of the National Academy of Sciences, the NRC panel that authored the report has nothing to do with the prestigious individual scientists who make up the National Academy of Sciences membership. NRC panels are highly politicized and often stacked, and no climate skeptics were included in the panel that wrote last week’s report. Next, science doesn’t work on a consensus basis. We don’t accept that the Earth revolves around the Sun because most scientists or a group of scientists have agreed to say so. Science is driven by data, not groupthink. In actuality, the NRC report is more an exercise in political science than climate science."

Milloy's Latest Climate Op Ed Riddled With Errors. Brian Angliss refutes the editorial above at the Scholars and Rogues blog: "Today, the Washington Times ran an op-ed by science-denier-for-hire Steve Milloy titled “2012 GOP guide to the climate debate”. Based on the number of errors and irrelevancies masquerading as serious concerns I discovered while reading it, the Washington Times should have titled the op-ed “How to lie to voters about climate disruption.” Here’s a brief rundown of all the problems I found. I’ll be dealing with a few of the worse errors in greater depth in a follow-up post.

  1. “Al Gore and his enviros duck debating so-called ‘climate skeptics.’” – So debates like Dessler vs. Lindzen or Lambert vs. Monckton don’t count? It’s true that debates like these are rare, but that’s because debating a climate disruption denier is about as effective as debating evolution with a young-earth creationist or a proponent of “intelligent design.”
  2. “the NRC [National Research Council] panel that authored the report has nothing to do with the prestigious individual scientists….” – The vice chair of the panel is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), as were three of the panel members. The NRC is a co-equal organization to the Institute of Medicine (IoM), NAS, and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). In fact, the presidents of the NAS, NAE, and IoM are the co-chairmen of the NRC governing board.
  3. “NRC panels are highly politicized and often stacked” – This claim is most often made by those who dislike the NRC’s results on such subjects as ozone depletion, acid rain, and climate disruption – people like Milloy, Marc Morano, and S. Fred Singer. People who have made a living off of politicizing science as a means to ideological ends as extensively documented by Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway in Merchants of Doubt.
  4. “Skeptics don’t deny global warming or climate change.” – Milloy knows better than this – there’s a whole host of different types of deniers, some of whom reject that the increased CO2 in the atmosphere is from burning fossil fuels, some of whom reject that Venus’ surface is hot due to a 97% CO2 atmosphere, some of whom claim that the greenhouse effect breaks the second law of thermodynamics, and some of whom reject that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Deniers who reject that global warming and climate change in their entirety are becoming rarer, but that’s because the scientific evidence has proven the position factually untenable."

In "Earth vs. Humanity" Nobelists Issue Verdict. Andrew Revkin has a thoughtful post in his Dot Earth blog. He introduces us to something called the "Stockholm Memorandum": "This situation concerns us deeply. As members of the Symposium we call upon all leaders of the 21st century to exercise a collective responsibility of planetary stewardship. This means laying the foundation for a sustainable and equitable global civilization in which the entire Earth community is secure and prosperous. Science makes clear that we are transgressing planetary boundaries that have kept civilization safe for the past 10,000 years. Evidence is growing that human pressures are starting to overwhelm the Earth’s buffering capacity. Humans are now the most significant driver of global change, propelling the planet into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. We can no longer exclude the possibility that our collective actions will trigger tipping points, risking abrupt and irreversible consequences for human communities and ecological systems. We cannot continue on our current path. The time for procrastination is over. We cannot afford the luxury of denial. We must respond rationally, equipped with scientific evidence. Our predicament can only be redressed by reconnecting human development and global sustainability, moving away from the false dichotomy that places them in opposition."

Denial Won't Make Climate Change Go Away. An editorial from the San Francisco Chronicle: "There are truthers who think the Sept. 11 attacks were staged by the U.S. government. Then there are birthers who believe President Obama isn't native born. And then there are the deniers who refused to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. A study by an agency of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's premier scientific think tank, stated the case in plain, bumper-sticker English: "Climate change is occurring, is very likely caused primarily by human activities and poses significant risks to humans and the environment." Scientists must be tired from writing the same warnings and watching Washington crumple up the findings. In this case, though, Congress requested the study and the authors were from business and politics along with academia. The report gave an approving nod to limiting carbon dioxide emissions - the central culprit in climate change - via a federal pricing system. That sounds a lot like the cap-and-trade bill approved in the House in 2009 that died in the Senate."

A Way To Win The Climate Fight? The American Prospect reviews a couple of books with potential (economy-friendly) solutions to the climate challenge: "There's a tense scene in Eric Pooley's The Climate War when Jim Rogers, CEO of coal utility Duke Energy and leader of a shaky coalition of power companies, faces a moment of truth. Ten Fortune 500 companies and four major environmental groups are at the table. They've got a statement of legislative principles they can agree on and are ready to throw their collective weight behind a long-overdue comprehensive climate-change bill in the United States. They just need his sign-off. For Rogers, under intense pressure from his industry's biggest polluters, it amounts to a career-risking leap into the dark. "OK," he says. "If you write it right, I'm in." It's a moment of genuine drama, one of many in a book that might seem unlikely to have any dramatic tension given that its subject is a decades-long stretch of conferences, meetings, and PowerPoint presentations. From this florescent-lit raw material, Pooley weaves the kind of propulsive potboiler political junkies love to read. It does for the U.S. pursuit of a climate bill what Game Change did for the 2008 campaign: It thrusts readers behind the scenes at a crossroads in history. But Pooley's book doesn't end with an unlikely triumph. It doesn't end with a fateful failure. It doesn't really end at all, so much as ... stop. It builds to a crescendo that never arrives."

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