"If you are interested enough in the climate crisis to read this post, you probably know that 2 degrees Centigrade of warming (or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) is the widely acknowledged threshold for ""dangerous"" climate change."
Americans don't pay much attention to environmental issues, because they aren't sexy. I mean, cleaning up coal plants and reining in outlaw frackers is hugely important work, but it doesn't get anybody's pulse racing.
Among all the tests President Obama faced in his first term, his biggest failure was climate change.
Australia is the only island continent on the planet, which means that changes caused by planet-warming pollution - warmer seas, which can drive stronger storms, and more acidic oceans, which wreak havoc on the food chain - are even more deadly here.
Bill Gates is a relative newcomer to the fight against global warming, but he's already shifting the debate over climate change.
Bloomberg is famously impatient with beltway politics and believes that to get anything done you need to work from the ground up.
Bloomberg's $50 million is not going to revolutionize the electric power industry. But his willingness to fight is already inspiring others to see Big Coal differently.
But Big Oil and Big Coal have always been as skilled at propaganda as they are at mining and drilling. Like the tobacco industry before them, their success depends on keeping Americans stupid.
Climate change is a global issue - from the point of view of the Earth's climate, a molecule of CO2 emitted in Bejing is the same as a molecule emitted in Sydney.
Drill everything, mine everything, roll back regulations, tweak the science, expedite permits. Sound familiar? The Republicans offer up more 19th-Century solutions to our 21st-Century energy problems.
Ever since the collapse of cap and trade legislation and the realization that President Obama is unlikely to ever utter the words 'climate change' in public again, much less use the bully pulpit to prepare the nation for the catastrophic risks of inaction, the movement has been in a funk.
Extracting oil from the tar sands is a nasty, polluting, energy-intensive business.
Geoengineering - the deliberate, large-scale manipulation of the earth's climate to offset global warming - is a nightmare fix for climate change.
Have we failed to slow global warming pollution in part because climate and environmental activists have been too polite and well behaved?
In any crass political calculation, drilling for oil will always win more votes than putting a price on carbon. But if I recall what I was taught in fifth-grade American government class, we elect presidents to do more than crass political calculations.
In reality, Republicans have long been at war with clean energy. They have ridiculed investments in solar and wind power, bashed energy-efficiency standards, attacked state moves to promote renewable energy and championed laws that would enshrine taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels while stripping them from wind and solar.
In the U.S. alone, weather disasters caused $50 billion in economic damages in 2010.
In the United States, we do a pretty good job of protecting iconic landscapes and postcard views, but the ocean gets no respect.
In the world of energy politics, the sudden vanishing of the word 'coal' is a remarkable and unprecedented event.
Mark Ruffalo, aka the Incredible Hulk, is the natural gas industry's worst nightmare: a serious, committed activist who is determined to use his star power as a superhero in the hottest movie of the moment to draw attention the environmental and public health risks of fracking.
Maybe more climate activists will think about the climate change not as an international problem to be resolved in an air-conditioned meeting hall, but as a guerilla war to be fought in the streets.
Nowhere has the political power of coal been more obvious than in presidential campaigns.
Obama wants to be thought of as the president who freed us from foreign oil. But if he doesn't show some political courage, he may well be remembered as the president who cooked the planet.
One of the big questions in the climate change debate: Are humans any smarter than frogs in a pot? If you put a frog in a pot and slowly turn up the heat, it won't jump out. Instead, it will enjoy the nice warm bath until it is cooked to death. We humans seem to be doing pretty much the same thing.
One thing you can say about nuclear power: the people who believe it is the silver bullet for America's energy problems never give up.
The biggest tab the public picks up for fossil fuels has to do with what economists call 'external costs,' like the health effects of air and water pollution.
The coal industry is an even larger part of the Australian economy than it is of the American, and it has an enormous amount of political power.
When it comes to energy, cost isn't everything - but it's a lot. Everybody wants cheap power.
With nine degrees of warming, computer models project that Australia will look like a disaster movie. Habitats for most vertebrates will vanish. Water supply to the Murray-Darling Basin will fall by half, severely curtailing food production.