Climate and energy news roundup

Here are some of the energy-related stories in the news that I’ve been following this past week:

The NY Times has a two-part series about data centers and energy.  The first part focuses on dispelling the myth that data centers are energy efficient, despite what you often hear from the companies that operate them.  The second part is a story about Microsoft building a data center in rural, central Washington.  Tech companies have been building data centers in areas where electricity and land are cheap, and localities are struggling to deal with the infrastructure challenges as well as the companies themselves.

Last week, PBS aired a segment in their Newshour that many are accusing of containing false balance. The segment in question had a lengthy interview with Anthony Watts, a well-known climate change skeptic, in which the interviewer made no attempts to press Watts on the scientific foundations of his arguments nor did he point out the scientific consensus on climate change.  PBS has since apologized for the segment.  Ironically, arctic sea ice hit a new record low just 24 hours before the PBS story aired.  While we’re talking about the arctic, it’s worth mentioning that Shell has abandoned its plans to drill up there for the year.  They’ll most likely try again next year, as they’ve already spent $4.5 billion on drilling since 2005.

Also in climate news, a court has denied the FOIA request by the American Tradition Institute seeking the release of emails from climate scientist Michael Mann.  Earlier in the year, Virginia’s attorney general tried to get access to some of Mann’s documents under the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act and was denied by the VA Supreme Court.  Although it’s likely that there will be appeals and further lawsuits, hopefully this will calm the waters for some climate scientists.


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