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Climate grab bag: a few steps forward, one step back

  • A federal judge has dismissed the California suit against automakers for the role of vehicle emissions in global warming. Just last week, automakers lost a similar suit in Vermont.
  • Harvard is building a new science center, and the university has agreed to keep emissions from energy use in the new buildings at 50% below national standards. By itself this isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but it alerted me to some of the aggressive state-level efforts to curb emissions from buildings, which make up almost a third of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
  • Bicycling is now sexy, says this wonderfully absurd New York Observer article from the about sexy, sexy cyclists. I can’t help wondering if this “trend” is at least in part a mainstream outgrowth of the fixie subculture, as hipsters look for their own two-wheeled accoutrements. But, hey, any publicity for cycling is a good thing, even if celebrities tend not to wear helmets.
  • Nissan is putting fuel mileage gauges in all cars. These are the little readouts that show you what mpg you’re getting at any given second. Anybody who’s experienced one of these knows what a salutary effect it has on fuel efficiency. As soon as you can see how much gas you’re using, you take steps to do better.
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