Five years ago next week the Supreme Court issued a decision that would soon have major impacts on our political system. In Citizens United v. FEC, the court ruled that spending limits violated free speech, opening the floodgates to vastly increased political spending by corporate interests. Read More
January 16th, 2015
January 6th, 2015
Yesterday Jerry Brown accepted the job of governor of California for a fourth term and made some exciting remarks about the state’s clean energy future. Read More
December 19th, 2014
Coming into the Lima climate negotiations on December 1st, the US-China joint climate announcement, the European Union’s political agreement on its 2030 emissions reduction target, and the successful capitalization of the Green Climate Fund had all combined to create a sense of momentum and a positive mood.
But these developments had done little to resolve the sharp disagreements about which countries are responsible for taking which kinds of action on climate change, and these different perspectives on the issue of differentiation nearly derailed the final decision in Lima. As it was, the Lima decision on the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was a disappointing, minimal outcome. If these conflicts over the issue of differentiation are not resolved, or at least significantly narrowed, they could threaten the prospects for agreement in Paris next December on a new, comprehensive post-2020 climate regime. Read More
December 18th, 2014
In late October, I wrote about the disturbing trend of politicians copping out of taking public policy positions by saying, “I am not a scientist.” Well, yesterday we heard Governor Andrew Cuomo complete the sentence in a way that I applaud. He said, “…I’m not a scientist. So let’s bring the emotion down, and let’s ask the qualified experts what their opinion is.” Read More
Google and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Leaders and Fortune 500 Companies Unite in Support of Renewable Energy
December 17th, 2014
Q: What do Google, 223 other businesses, 14 attorneys general, 11 U.S. senators, and more than 25 environmental, public health, and clean energy organizations all have in common?
A: They all told EPA that renewable energy should play a strong role in reducing emissions from existing power plants under its proposed Clean Power Plan. Read More
December 10th, 2014
I’m in the beautiful city of Lima, at the annual United Nations climate talks, or COP 20. Even as negotiators labor over “non-papers” and “elements of draft negotiating text,” the real buzz here is about the incredible opportunity to drive down global emissions by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. What makes this a particularly exciting time is that the costs of renewable energy are falling dramatically. The clean energy transition has never been more affordable – or, frankly, more urgently needed. Read More
Felix Aguilar, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
Los Angeles, CA
December 9th, 2014
The buzzing sound of a hand-held nebulizer has become background noise at my clinic. It sounds like a hive of bees moving noisily. Everyday children and adults in South Los Angeles get asthma treatments at community clinics because of exacerbations, also known as asthma attacks. I am a family physician with over a decade of work at community clinics in the poorest areas of Los Angeles. Read More
December 2nd, 2014
Yesterday the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) submitted its comments on the draft Clean Power Plan (CPP) to the EPA. Joining millions of others, we registered our strong support for these historic, first-ever limits on carbon emissions from power plants, which are the single largest source of these emissions in the United States. This rule could be a climate game changer. We also recommended a number of ways the plan should be strengthened and improved, especially by increasing renewable energy contributions.
December 2nd, 2014
News comes today of disruptions to life in Detroit. But before we see this story spun up into an argument for one type of power plant or another, let’s get the facts. Read More
December 1st, 2014
With the historic climate march in New York, and pledges by the world’s three largest emitters—China, the United States, and the 28 countries of the European Union—to cap or cut emissions, I’m already on record as suggesting that the fall of 2014 could be a turning point in the international effort to address global warming.
The momentum seems to be building. Read More