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Virginia Supreme Court Unanimously Supports Academic Freedom at the University of Virginia

The Supreme Court of Virginia today found unanimously in favor of the University of Virginia in its attempt to protect its employees from unwarranted intrusions into their privacy through the commonwealth’s Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA). In doing so, the Court rebuffed efforts by the American Tradition Institute (ATI) to gain access to the private correspondence of UVa researchers. The Court’s decision signals to scientists at public universities that the pursuit of scientific knowledge will be protected in Virginia, no matter how their research results might be received. Read More

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We’re Going on a Vampire Hunt: Standing Up to Standby Power on Earth Day

Yesterday we talked about 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day with your family, save money, and cut your carbon emissions. Here’s a deeper dive into two of them: how to find and get rid of phantom loads or energy vampires, in ways that engage the kids.

You can pitch your Earth Day adventure to the kids as an updated version of the classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (easy-listening video version here). Fun for the whole family. But without the mud, the river, or the long swishy-swashy grass.

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Cows Are the Real Hogs: The IPCC and the Demand Side of Agriculture

One small but important breakthrough in the new IPCC report on climate mitigation, released Sunday in Berlin, is that the chapter on agriculture, forest, and other land use (AFOLU) looks at the demand side, not just supply. In other words, it not only asks how we can create less global warming pollution in producing food and wood products, but also what kinds of food and wood products we ought to be producing and consuming if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. Read More

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Cashing in on Earth Day: 10 Activities to Kick-start Low-Carbon Living and Save You Money

With Earth Day just a week away, there is no better time to be thinking about steps you and your family can take to protect the environment and our climate. And the most impactful steps are often the ones that cut your carbon emissions and save you money. Read More

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Severe Texas Drought Exposed in “Years of Living Dangerously”

Don Cheadle talks with a displaced meat-packing plant worker, Nelly Montez, about the punishing multi-year drought in Texas that drastically reduced the cattle herd in the first episode of Years of Living Dangerously, which aired April 13 and can be viewed online. A USDA spreadsheet on cattle losses, or a map of the most severe period during the recent drought in Texas, do not do justice in conveying the stories of people demonstrating courage in the face of mighty external forces. This episode has several surprising stories that I will not soon forget.

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Reactions to Our Analysis of Climate Science on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC

Reactions to our recent analysis of how cable news networks portray climate science have been interesting, to say the least. Read More

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What do Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Indonesian Forests All Have in Common?

The answer, of course, is Harrison Ford. He stars in Showtime’s new dramatic documentary series on climate change Years of Living Dangerously, and deforestation due to palm oil is Ford’s latest crusade. Read More

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Why Should We Conserve Southeast Asia’s Peat Swamp Forests?

Guest Bogger

David S. Wilcove, Professor & Xingli Giam, Ph.D. candidate
Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

A fetid swamp filled with dangerous animals and diseases.  A vast expanse of muck serving no useful purpose.  A century ago, that was the way people viewed the Everglades in the United States, and they went about ditching and draining this amazing wetland until much of it had been converted to “useful” cropland and pastures, and the wildlife had been decimated.  Read More

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Arctic Sea Ice Thins as Old Thick Ice Rapidly Disappears

Last week brought news of yet another alarming season for sea ice in the Arctic. The National Snow and Ice Data Center announced the Arctic sea ice coverage for winter was the fifth lowest maximum on record. The extent of ice was more than 280,000 square miles below the 30-year average for 1981-2010. That’s an area just bigger than the size of Texas missing. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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Africa’s Meningitis Belt and the Power of a Single Weather Forecast

During spring 2009 I started experimenting with 7- to 14-day forecasts for West Africa as part of a project to help with meningitis mitigation in the region. A single forecast for West Africa shed light on a type of system capable of changing conditions in the region, one that can contribute to the cessation of meningitis epidemics. The findings were recently published after many years of work. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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