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On Copenhagen: Obama Announces Climate Deal, UNFCCC Crumbles?

We'll see Roger.  If you're afraid a prediction might be wrong, you'll never wind up making any!  The way I read the tea leaves, the action is most likely to shift to the Major Economies Forum, WTO, G8/G20, APEC or other similar forums.  That said, the UNFCCC may stumble on, seeking a "binding treaty" in Bonn and Mexico City in 2010.  Good luck to that.  

Here's a wonderfully succinct summary of what's wrong with the UNFCCC (and why it unfortunately can't simply evolve, making death and renewal the only option for progress...):
"Here’s what you need to know about the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: it’s based on a framework that can’t solve the problem, but changing the framework requires unanimity among 192 wildly diverse nations, so it’s stuck."
December 21, 2009    View Comment    

On An Energy Collective Discussion: Overcoming Hurdles to Nuclear Power in the United States

Thanks for the additional comments and resources.  BTW, a recent piece on Japan's technology leadership in the Economist touches on nuclear heavy forging capacity issues as well.
December 16, 2009    View Comment    

On Why the Road to Clean Energy Goes through Little Rock

Glad to see you posting at theEnergyCollective.com Josh.  Welcome!
December 16, 2009    View Comment    

On

Yet US voters won't countenance providing that dollar out of guilt, nor will they acquiesce to a scheme that makes China and other developing countries more competitive at their expense. ...

Instead of the technology transfer we've been talking about for more than a decade, what may be needed is a new mechanism that actually creates markets in the developing world for clean energy hardware and know-how produced in the developed world, so that these projects create jobs and wealth in the US and EU, rather than threatening them.

Well said. We need to find win-win, no-regrets options and build from there.  Copenhagen paints a clear picture of a climate strategy run its course. Will the world note that, regroup and rethink?  Or will the "agreement" be patched together and the Rio/Kyoto/Copenhagen strategy continue to shamble on like the walking dead?
December 14, 2009    View Comment    

On

???!
December 11, 2009    View Comment    

On

Richard is indeed working with TckTckTck.org and is well worth connecting with.  Good luck in Copenhagen.
December 10, 2009    View Comment    

On

BTW, representatives of the Cascade Climate Network are now in Copenhagen, and the CCN's Moey Newbold had the opportunity to address the full plenary session yesterday.  You can watch her address and see updates from the CCN at COP15 here:

http://cascadeclimate.org/cop15/

(Another clear example of the tools at our disposal today) 
December 10, 2009    View Comment    

On

Great post Marc.  I too have been struck by the incredible person-to-person connectivity enabled by the web and the variety of new tools at our disposal.  

I co-founded the Cascade Climate Network in 2007, the Northwest's largest network of youth activists working to build a clean, just and prosperous future (www.CascadeClimate.org).  But building that real-life, regional network would have been impossible without the online tools we now have at our fingertips.  Not only would a regional network across to large western states been next to impossible without the online and communication tools we used to keep in touch on a day to day basis, but I never would have connected with the other amazing leaders that came together to form the CCN in the first place, had I not made several connections via ItsGettingHotInHere.org that would have been impossible otherwise.  Here's the story:

I'd been organizing locally from Portland, OR and writing and editing for the youth climate movement's online soap box, ItsGettingHotInHere.org.  Via IGHIH, I had come to know Richard Graves, one of IGHIH founders, who was based in Washington DC.  Richard and I had met just once in person, but he knew that I was looking to connect Northwest organizers to build a more powerful network capable of tackling statewide and regional issues and able to have an impact on our federal elected officials.  Richard was a graduate of Macalaster College in the Twin Cities, and knew Timothy Den-Herder Thomas, a star organizer at Macalaster, Sierra Student Coalition leader, and organizer of a new statewide network of youth climate activists in MN.  Richard connected Timothy and I to brainstorm ideas and offer advice on how to start up a network in Oregon.  

Timothy knew that several SSC-affiliated organizers in Oregon were up to similar ends, and introduced me to Nathan Jones, who at the time was at Portland Community College, and Juliana Williams, at that time at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA.  The two were already planning an in-person summit on Mt. Hood to connect Northwest youth organizers interested in banding together to form a regional network.  Just days after Richard connected me with Timothy, I was on conference calls with Nathan, Juliana and several others across Oregon and Washington working to organize the summit, which led to the creation of the Cascade Climate Network in October 2007.

Both organizers were "in my neck of the woods" yet it took an internet-enabled connection to someone in Washington DC, who bounced me an organizer in Minneapolis-St Paul in order to connect back to organizers in my own state and even city!  And it all revolved around connections made at a blog that's become the online hub of a real-world global movement.

What's revealing in both Jamie's story and mine is the overlay of online and offline networks.  I think Tom Friedman once chastised young organizers to "get off of facebook and get into the streets."  That kind of sentiment evidences such a horrible lack of understanding about how this model of organizing works.  This doesn't live online.  It's not people sitting at their computers and ignoring the real world.  What the online component does is enable incredible fast connection of offline resources and connections, and enables coordination on an unprecedented scale.  What would have taken far longer to scale and connect via traditional (and generally isolated) offline networks now takes a fraction of the time, as the online networks enable people to "hop across" now connected offline social networks in a way that was not possible before.  That can have powerful implications, as this post makes clear.

Cheers,

Jesse Jenkins


December 10, 2009    View Comment    

On An Energy Collective Discussion: Overcoming Hurdles to Nuclear Power in the United States

@Justin: I was relying on the World Nuclear Association for that statement, and it's possible they are out of date.  Here's what WNA says about Babcock and Wilcox:

Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Power Generation Group (B&W NPG, formerly BWX Technologies), a subsidiary of McDermott International, specializes in the management of nuclear materials, facilities, and technologies and has been the main N-stamp accredited manufacturer of nuclear power generation components.  It is currently the only US manufacturer of nuclear reactor pressure vessels and claims domination of the North American steam generator market.  It has made most US Navy nuclear propulsion systems.  In 2006 it entered an agreement with Areva to produce EPR components for UniStar at its Mount Vernon, Indiana plant.  In 2009 it supplied to Areva the first of two replacement reactor pressure vessel heads for PG&E's 1100 MWe Diablo Canyon reactors, using forged blanks from Japan Steel Works.  Its Babcock & Wilcox Canada associate has provided nuclear services and more than 200 steam generators as well as reactor vessel closure heads to clients around the world.  B&W boilers equip more than 270,000 MW of installed capacity in over 90 countries.

They also say that the U.S. lacks the ability to handle the largest ingots necessary for gigawatt-scale reactor vessel forgings (which may be why they mention that B&W used forged blanks from Japan Steel Works; I'm not familiar with the term "forged blanks" so if someone can translate that for me, I'd appreciate it).  Lehigh Steel, for example, has a 10,000 ton press capacity, but lacks the ability to handle ingots above 270 tons (Japan Steel Works can handle 600 ton ingots for comparison) and is not N-Stamp accredited, so they cannot produce any nuclear reactor sets, according to WNA.

Sorry if I'm off-base here (if so, was lead astray by WNA).  Thanks for any clarification as to where U.S. nuclear component heavy forging capabilities now stand.

Jesse
December 7, 2009    View Comment    

On An Energy Collective Discussion: Overcoming Hurdles to Nuclear Power in the United States

"If you're looking  for a clean, abundant, and affordable source for all of humanity's energy for the next 100,000 years... So what's your energy plan?"

@Nathan Wilson: I'm looking for clean, abundant/massively scalable and affordable energy to power sustainable global development.  I'll settle for fuel to do that for the next 100+ years, but 100,000 sounds great too!  Ideas on how to make clean energy cheap and abundant here.  Working now on the role nuclear power (esp. new designs) plays in that future (hence this post).
December 7, 2009    View Comment    

On India's climate change goals and nuclear energy

Ambitious plans in India that look like good news for the climate, as the rapidly developing nation harnesses the atom instead of coal to power more and more of their economy.  Thanks for the update Dan.
December 7, 2009    View Comment    

On An Energy Collective Discussion: Overcoming Hurdles to Nuclear Power in the United States

"Observer," thanks for the comment.  This has been very educational (the intended goal).
Jesse
December 4, 2009    View Comment