image credit: Hughhunt (Wikimedia Commons)

Here are a few climate change stories making headlines of late.

Thee great State of California has instituted a policy designed to limit its carbon emissions, otherwise known as a cap and trade bill.

Cap and trade treats carbon emissions – or rather, lack thereof – as a sort of commodity to be traded and even profited on. There are plenty of criticisms of cap and trade or carbon trading systems, including among environmentalists. I’m not such a big fan myself, but I guess it’s better than nothing.

From the New York Times:

In a cap-and-trade system, the government sets a cap on the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that refineries, chemical companies, cement plants and other businesses are allowed to release. It then issues permits to those companies allowing them to emit a certain amount.

For more explanation on California’s cap and trade initiative, see this article from Southern California Public Radio.

Other groups would like the nascent science of geoengineering to tackle the problems of climate change. A recent survey of residents of the UK, US and Canada shows the public in those countries supports this.

One of the authors of the survey, Professor David Keith of Harvard University, quoted in the Guardian:

Some reports have suggested that opposition to geoengineering is associated with environmentalists, but our results do not support this view. We found that geoengineering divides people along unusual lines. Support for geoengineering is spread across the political spectrum and is linked to support for science concern about climate change. The strongest opposition comes from people who self-identify as politically conservative, who are distrustful of government and other elite institutions, and who doubt the very idea that there is a climate problem.

I’d also like for there to be a magic pill to fix all the damage humanity has done to the planet, but I’m also a bit fearful that such experimental technologies might do more or at least different damage in the process. I guess I’m a geoengineering skeptic.

Finally a so-called ‘climate skeptic’ scientist has changed his mind. Physicist Richard Muller of the University of California Berkeley has reconsidered his criticisms of climate change data.

Read about it in the Los Angeles Times.