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Carbon War Room arrives

By Juliet Eilperin

The Carbon War Room has come to Washington.

The Virgin Group's Richard Branson, who co-founded the group along with six other entrepreneurs, said in an interview that the cadre hopes to identify opportunities to cut both costs and carbon emissions. Between reliance on foreign oil and the negative impacts of global warming, he said "we need to get on top of carbon."

"We are potentially facing World War Three, and we've got to treat it that way," Branson said. "Man should be able to come up with an answer."

The effort, which formally kicked off Wednesday with its "Creating Climate Wealth Summitt 2010" at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, has launched an array of efforts. (They call it "25 battles in 7 theaters.")

One of their most interesting initiatives is getting ships to declare how fuel efficient they are, so shippers, companies and port authorities can give preferential treatment to vessels that emit fewer greenhouse gases. Jose Maria Figueres, the former Costa Rican president and a speaker at Wednesday's conference, noted that if you totaled up all the greenhouse gas emissions from shipping worldwide, "If they were a nation, they would be the sixth-largest emitting nation in the world."

Peter Boyd. the war room's director of operations, said the fact that vessels are not currently rated for fuel efficiency shows there's a problem in the market.

"How can you leave so much money and carbon on the table?" he asked. "The market isn't working as well as it should. The key market failure in shipping is information."

While the Carbon War Room may represent the most influential climate group that relies on military metaphors for punch, some academics like the term as well. That's why Lehigh University Professor Dork Sahagian, who directs the university's the Environmental Initiative and Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, is arguing the U.S. should declare a war on climate change, in the same way it announced a war on terror following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  April 22, 2010; 7:00 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Posted by: itkonlyyou25 | April 23, 2010 11:08 AM
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Dork Sahagian's web site is extremely vague on what the dreaded "Climate Change" is. The World Meteorological Organization has found in its latest report fewer and weaker storms and hurricanes in the last 4 years, when CO2 levels rose, so MORE CO2 certainly seems to help, according to empirical evidence.

Sahagian's desire to return to "to return climate and other environmental conditions to those of our forefathers" like the devastating hurricane which destroyed Galveston in 1900, a few orders of magnitude bigger than Katrina, would not be very welcome in Texas.

What is it exactly he wants?

Posted by: adrianoc | April 23, 2010 12:08 AM
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Juliet, honey, they're pulling your leg with this story.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | April 22, 2010 8:57 PM
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More rubbish by the WaPo in general and Eilperin in particular. Geeze, chick, don't you have any gray matter? Aren't you capable of independent thought? With garbage like this you look like a drone who's a lackey for Albor and Comrade "Big Brother" Obozo.

I guess you didn't get the memo that the losers were cooking the books. They cheated. What gets me is that you and all those other left wing losers still believe in it. Sad.


Posted by: A1965bigdog | April 22, 2010 6:48 PM
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Please see the above blog for comments.

Posted by: gus7 | April 22, 2010 4:57 PM
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Please see web site. They can capture 99.9% of the carbon produced in a coal fired plant while producing no NOS, SOX, Dioxins or Furins with their new coal process.

Posted by: gus7 | April 22, 2010 3:48 PM
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In my opinion, the concept is welcome. Let us now hope that discussions and future agendas will be open and as free as possible from the influences of political interference. The specific item noted by Ms. Eilperin, emissions from shipping, is a point on a chart so to speak. An emission source with an economic value. Now the chart needs to be populated with additional data. Commercial aircraft, lately in the news for volcanic issues, would be closely related to shipping as an example of another data point.
Why this 'war room' concept appeals to me is because it is information based, not command and control based from a government agency. Making information available to the public will allow the public to voice real concerns to elected officials who could then work on remedies for actual issues.

Posted by: j_donaldson1 | April 22, 2010 12:17 PM
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We want to control carbon on a carbon based planet. We think alot of ourselves don't we?

Posted by: bobbo2 | April 22, 2010 11:37 AM
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