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As Sea Level Rises in Jamaica Bay, New York, Tidal Flooding Moves from Occasional to Chronic

What would it be like to live in a place that floods every full moon? We asked that question and others in our report, Encroaching Tides, which was released last week. Read More

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The Future of Historic Places and Climate Change

Sometimes a visitor’s appreciation of historic sites can benefit from a good dose of imagination. Who doesn’t conjure thousands of soldiers from their mind’s eye on a walk across the battlefield at Gettysburg? But more and more, I find myself imagining not what these places were like in the past, but what will become of them in the future. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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A Response to Stephen Koonin’s Call to Inaction

Guest Bogger

Dr. Kerry Emanuel and Dr. Susan Solomon, Professors, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

Stephen Koonin’s recent Wall Street Journal op‐ed illustrates the importance of distinguishing scientific fundamentals from numerical details, and keeping the distinction between science and values clear in discussions of risk.   Read More

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An Honest Conversation about Hardworking Coal Miners

I applaud David Roberts over at Grist for elevating a very interesting and timely conversation on worker transition for coal miners. On Monday he argued that the Democratic Party should simply cede Coal Country as collateral damage from the culture war, and instead focus on its base of environmentally minded liberals. And yesterday, in response to many tweets and comments, his blog asked the question, Should the Feds Bail Out Coal Miners? While I agree with many of his arguments, I’d have to disagree with his conclusion (in short, “no”) and offer some ideas about why protecting our coal workers is critical to successfully solving the climate problem. Read More

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EPA Clean Power Plan Underestimates Power of Renewable Energy to Reduce Carbon Emissions

UCS released a new analysis today showing that strengthening the contribution from renewable energy can significantly increase the emissions reductions from the EPA’s 2014 Clean Power Plan. We found that increasing non-hydro renewable energy sources from about 6 percent of U.S. electricity sales today to 23 percent by 2030—or nearly twice as much renewable energy as the EPA proposed—could raise the reductions in U.S. power plant carbon emissions from the EPA’s estimated 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 to 40 percent. We also found that increasing renewables to these levels is affordable, resulting in little impact on electricity prices and lowering natural gas prices for both utilities and consumers. Read More

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EPA Clean Power Plan: We Must Do Better, We Can Do Better

Today, UCS unveiled a proposal to strengthen a laudable but modest U.S. EPA rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions from our nation’s power plants by increasing renewable energy use.

We make this proposal because of the urgent need to dramatically lower the emissions of this heat trapping gas, and because power plants are 40 percent of the problem and offer the most cost-effective option we have to cut carbon. Implementing our approach to expand the role of renewable energy could increase total power sector carbon reductions under the rule to nearly 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, or 220 million metric tons more reduction than proposed by the EPA. Read More

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Wall Street Journal Offers a Skewed Climate Perspective from Judith Curry

The Wall Street Journal has published an op-ed from Dr. Judith Curry, a researcher who is often at odds with many of her colleagues when it comes to both the severity of future climate change, as well as how policymakers should view climate risks. Read More

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ALEC Can’t Deny Its Record of Climate Change Disinformation

Faced with an ongoing exodus of corporate funders — News Corp and Occidental Petroleum are among the latest departures — the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is suddenly in a hurry to hide its long history of denying the reality of climate change.

But there’s no hiding the fact that ALEC has fought for decades to inappropriately sow doubt around the scientific consensus that climate change is happening, that its cause is largely man-made, and that we need to do something about it. Read More

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Another Faulty New York Times Op-ed: 5 Reasons Why an Attack on LEDs Is Way Off the Mark

An op-ed in today’s New York Times from Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus tries to throw cold water on this week’s exciting announcement of the Nobel Prize for Physics being awarded for blue LEDs, which made white LEDs possible and increasingly ubiquitous. This op-ed comes on the heels of a similar NYT-published contrarian piece on trees and climate change. Today’s, sadly, is similarly misguided. Here are five reasons why their critique is way off the mark. Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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Who’ll Plant the Trees for Our Grandchildren to Use?

Thinking about trees often makes you think about your grandchildren. Both start small, can live for many decades, and will grow old in a world very different from ours today. And they’re connected. I expect that my granddaughter Esme, who just turned 1 ½, will probably live in a house made of wood, will write on paper, and perhaps will keep her house warm in the winter, as my wife and I do, with a wood stove. Have we thought about what trees that wood will come from? Read More

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