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What Was the Top #ScienceFail for 2014?

Science isn’t easy. Scientific research is often difficult, tedious, and can take years to come to fruition. And it’s because it takes such dogged effort to reach solid scientific conclusions that we trust the work scientists do. Unfortunately, too many politicians and institutions reject or distort scientific conclusions they don’t like.

We all lose when political spin runs roughshod over evidence scientists have uncovered regarding risks to our health and well-being. Sadly, such incidents are now commonplace enough to have their own hashtag: #ScienceFail. Here are our nominations for the worst cases of #ScienceFail for 2014. Read More

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Google and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Leaders and Fortune 500 Companies Unite in Support of Renewable Energy

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

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Who Else Stood Up for Science in 2014? Our Members’ Picks

When we announced our Got Science? champs for 2014, we asked our members whose story inspired them the most. We also asked them to share stories about other people who stood up for science in 2014. We received about 500 responses; here are some highlights: Read More

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Global Warming Fact: More than Half of All Industrial CO2 Pollution Has Been Emitted Since 1988

By the end of this year, more than half of all industrial emissions of carbon dioxide since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution will have been released since 1988 — the year it became widely known that these emissions are warming the climate. Read More

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6 Reasons I Am Optimistic COP 20 in Lima Will Help Avert the Climate Crisis

I have been attending the annual meetings of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2006 and this rarified, diplomatic process has been inspiring, frustrating, and sometimes profoundly depressing. Having stepped back from engaging in the details of the negotiations the past couple of years, I was able to observe them this year in Lima from a new perspective. And I believe we are actually making progress. Read More

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Busting the Myth of “Job-Killing EPA Regulations”

Earlier this month, when EPA proposed a new health-protective air quality standard for the pollutants that form “ozone,” some critics predictably pounced on it as another example of a long string of “job-killing EPA regulations.” Yet last week, we learned that the U.S. economy created about 320,000 new jobs in November, and average wages are starting to rise as the labor market tightens.

If you spot some dissonance here, you’re not alone. The claim that EPA regulations kill jobs is belied by the record. Read More

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We’re Number One! – In What Our Land Can Do for the World’s Climate

You hear the phrase “we’re number one!” from Americans fairly often, usually in relation to sports or politics. Now new research from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows  that there’s another domain where it applies. It’s not as an assertion of superiority, and probably never will lead to a chant at the Olympics, the World Cup or even the UN climate negotiations. Rather, it’s in terms of our potential to use our land sector – that is, agriculture and forests – to reduce our global warming pollution and avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

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At COP 20 in Lima: The Buzz about Renewable Energy

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

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Why COP 20 Lima Matters to South American Countries

The Conference of Parties (COP20) currently being held in Lima is critically important for South American countries given their exposure to climate change impacts. Land surface changes, fossil fuel extraction, and sea level rise are key concerns for these countries. Read More

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The Clean Power Plan is a Climate Game Changer. Here are Seven Ways to Strengthen it.

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.
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