Oil shock in reverse

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For years the issues has been out of control oil prices to the upside. Domestically that’s been a huge issue as energy independence became a rallying cry as the United States and other Western economies were at the mercy of OPEC and high oil prices.

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Paris Climate Deal Offers Hope

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In an historic development, 195 nations agreed to a framework to reduce carbon emissions and hopefully reduce the warming of the planet. It was a huge win for Barack Obama and others around the world who worked for years to bring this agreement about. Republicans are trashing the agreement, but this progress on climate change may be one of Obama’s most significant accomplishments.

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July 2015 is the warmest month on record

Every time we get a cool day or a lot of snow, it seems like some genius has to chirp about global warming.

Well, not you have an interesting, but potentially very problematic, fact to throw back at them . . .

More alarming news on rising sea levels

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When you read this study claiming that sea levels in the US Northeast rose almost 3.9 inches between 2009 and 2010, you start to wonder just how bad all of this can get. The oceans are getting warmer, the ice caps are melting, and the ocean currents are also being disrupted.

Yes, similar changes have happened in the Earth’s history, but not with millions of people living along the coastlines.

Is China finally waking up to its pollution crisis?

Expect the global warming issue to blow up again as the Obama Administration gears up to issue new EPA regulations. Conservatives have argued for years now that anything the US does is moot given China’s massive pollution problem. But as Jonathan Cohen points out, China is finally starting to move on these issues, as even hard-core dictators can be affected by choking pollution:

In recent years, the Chinese have imposed fuel mileage and appliance efficiency standards, similar in many respects to those in the U.S. Just this week, officials in Beijing announced that the government would be taking another 5 million aging cars off the nation’s road. China has also set up pilot versions of tradable pollution permits—in other words, “cap-and-trade” schemes—for various industries. Officials say they hope to make these nationwide soon. And one reason the Chinese government was so eager to sign that massive new deal with Russia, allowing the import of natural gas, was because it’s desperate to find alternatives to coal. “For a long time, opponents [of new regulations] said we’ll get hoodwinked, because China won’t do anything,” says David Doniger, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “That’s just not true.”

This is a positive development, and hopefully it continues. If China gets more serious about this, then it can give political cover to those around the world trying to put a lid on carbon emissions.

Cohen points out that any new EPA regulations can put further pressure on China to act.

Expect to hear plenty of noise about this over the coming months.

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