GENERATION GAP: Many states' power-generation portfolios don't live up to their self-imposed renewables mandates from years ago, a phenomenon that may inform how and whether the Obama administration will impose a national mandate for renewable energy. (Source: The New York Times)

SUNNY OUTLOOK: Solar power generation is getting cheaper faster, and The Christian Science Monitor reports that sunbeam-derived electricity could drop to coal price levels, thus achieving "grid parity," within four to seven years. (Source: CS Monitor)

THEREIN LIES THE RUBBISH: Energy experts recommend that the U.K. start using its trash garbage "rubbish" for energy rather than recycling it, as the country's 300 million tons of waste is overwhelming its landfills, and EU rules will in five years cut landfill usage in half, anyway. But some environmentalists aren't so keen to throw out the idea of recycling. (Source: The Guardian)

NUCLEAR POWER "SEXY": So says Lady Barbara Judge, chairwoman of Britain's Atomic Energy Authority, in arguing before an industry conference that nuclear power has shed its ugly public image. Gaining lasting popularity by calling yourself sexy always works, as was proven in 1992 by the inimitable Right Said Fred. (Source: The Guardian)

DRIVING PARENTS CRAZY: Despite the youthful enthusiasm fueling much of the environmental movement, teenagers still don't want to give up cars for alternative transportation, according to British researchers. The study cited independence and a feeling of powerlessness about climate change as possible factors, but also passed over the more likely point that bicycles and trains don't have back seats. (Source: ScienceDaily)

GAS TAX: U.S. livestock farmers are livid about a federal proposal to tax them for their cows' and pigs' burping and flatulence. The methane produced by the world's farm animals contributes 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, but farmers argue the potentially $40,000-a-year taxes would bankrupt them. (Source: AP via The Philadelphia Inquirer)

The Morning Briefing: 12/5
Balance of power; demand of the rising sun; rubbish the wrong way; nuclear power "sexy"; kids like cars; taxing cow burps