When Congress failed to pass national climate legislation in 2010, many said that marked the end of so-called “cap and trade” programs, —in which government sets an overall limit on pollution and issues pollution “allowances” that individual companies can use or trade with others. The naysayers couldn’t be more wrong, as demonstrated by the recent announcement that China will start a national cap and trade program in 2017 as a primary tool to lower its emissions of the heat trapping gases that cause global warming. Read More
September 23rd, 2015
UCS has received a remarkable gift from an even more remarkable scientist.
William Borucki has served as the principal investigator for NASA’s Kepler Mission, which has discovered more than 1,000 confirmed planets.
“I’ve spent a large portion of my career searching for other worlds,” Borucki told us. “What we’ve found has underscored how important it is to protect this one. While we can detect other worlds, we cannot go to them. Our future is here on Earth and we must do much more to ensure that our planet’s climate remains hospitable.”
Dr. Borucki will share a portion of the funds he is receiving from the Shaw Prize in Astronomy – often considered the “Nobel Prize of the East” – with UCS to support its work on climate change. Read More
September 16th, 2015
Last week, the United States officially approved the Iran nuclear agreement when congressional opponents failed to round up the votes needed to stop it. The debate was often bitter and polarizing, and the vote in the Senate was divided strongly along partisan lines.
But here is something everyone should be able to agree on: scientists played a highly prominent role in this agreement, befitting the complex, technical nature of the subject. Read More
August 6th, 2015
Monday was a great day for our country.
I was honored to attend, on behalf of UCS, the ceremony in the East Room of the White House where President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy unveiled the final Clean Power Plan. The plan, which cuts carbon pollution from our nation’s power plants by approximately 32 percent, is the largest carbon dioxide emission reduction measure in the history of our nation.
I was deeply moved by President Obama’s forceful speech. Read More
July 29th, 2015
“[People] make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” —Harry S. Truman
July 21st, 2015
July 8th, 2015
My parents instilled two core values in me—tell the truth and if your actions harm others, take responsibility for them. These messages were reinforced when I went to law school and practiced law for almost twenty years; honesty and responsibility are bedrock principles in the law, and significant damage awards are often imposed on those who breach them.
June 19th, 2015
Tractor trailers go about six miles on a gallon of diesel, a number that has barely budged since the 1970’s. This shocked me the first time I heard it, and I imagine that many of you have the same reaction. After all, so many other products—passenger cars, light bulbs, refrigerators—are so much more efficient now, why not trucks? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Read More
June 18th, 2015
When you work for the Union of Concerned Scientists, you learn quickly that we walk the walk when it comes to caring for the environment. Our offices are all energy efficient. We not only recycle our paper products but compost our leftovers at lunch. And every month feels like “Bike to Work Month.” Above all, we believe it’s important to follow our own advice.
So in 2013, when our Board of Directors realized that our investment portfolio included some holdings in fossil fuel companies, we knew we had to act. Read More
June 11th, 2015
In my first year at UCS, I learned that several extraordinary individuals have left unmistakable and enduring marks on this organization. James “Jay” Fay, a long-time member of the UCS Board of Directors, was one of them. He died last week at age 91. Read More