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Connecting the Dots: Drought, Climate Change, and Groundwater Regulation

UCS California Climate Scientist Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith provides this guest blog that celebrates today’s signing of historic California legislation to require regulation of groundwater, and offers some thoughts about the need for climate-resilient water management going forward.

Although California is known as a leader when it comes to climate change, its approach to groundwater has been more reminiscent of the Wild West. Groundwater provides around 60 percent of the state’s water supply in dry years, but it has remained largely unregulated since the Gold Rush era. Today, California took a major leap forward into the 21st century as Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law aimed at protecting groundwater for current and future generations. Read More

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How do EVs Compare with Gas-Powered Vehicles? Better Every Year….

As we embark on the 4th annual National Drive Electric Week, U.S. electric vehicle (EV) sales are approaching a quarter million, and 20 plug-in models are now available in at least some parts of the country. This represents a major advancement from the first introduction of the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf plug-in electric vehicles in model year 2011. Read More

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Why Are Latinos Way Ahead of the Climate Change Curve?

In the summer of 2009 I had a unique opportunity in my young professional career. I gave several lectures on climate change and society at various venues in Guayaquil, Ecuador. There was a common theme throughout my talks: the audience accepted climate science and strongly felt that they had to act. This sentiment was shared by people with varied backgrounds, from architects to soybean farmers to students. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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How Much Carbon Dioxide Is in the Atmosphere? A Massive Increase in 2013 Sets a Record

The atmospheric CO2 increase of 2.9 ppm between 2012 and 2013 was the largest year-to-year change over the 1984 to 2013 period of record from the World Meteorological Organization.This is sobering news when it comes to what is arguably the most important statistic in climate science. Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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Cap and Trade: Alive and Well

After reading his obituary, Mark Twain famously remarked that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” When a national climate bill failed in 2010, a lot of people said that so-called cap and trade programs to cut heat-trapping gases were dead. The claim was exaggerated then, and proven wrong now. Recent results in the northeast and California show that cap and trade is alive and well, and poised to expand in the next several years. Read More

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How Many Homes Have Rooftop Solar? The Number is Growing…

Remember when the most likely place to glimpse solar in action was the little strip attached to a pocket calculator? Well, fortunately solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies have come a long way, and now it’s common to see PV panels on residential and commercial rooftops around the country. This dramatic rise in residential solar PV installations is depicted below in UCS’s new solar infographic. From 2006 to 2013, the number of homes with solar grew by more than 1,000 percent.
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Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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Where Is the Wastewater Going? How Better Data Can Make Us More Resilient

Guest Bogger

Omar Malik, Indicators Research Coordinator
University of Maryland

College Park, MD

According to the United Nations, up to 90 percent of the developing world’s wastewater does not get treated before it goes back into the environment. That’s a staggering statistic, especially considering the implications of untreated wastewater and the huge importance of good water management today. Read More

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A Funny Thing Happened at the Fish and Wildlife Service: The Wolverine Endangered Species Listing

What does the wolverine have to do with climate change? No, the X-men haven’t decided to #ActOnClimate (yet), but the two are very much related.  Wolverines are mammals that live in snowy terrain of the mountain West, and they are currently threatened by climate change, at least according to some scientists. But if you ask the decision makers at the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), you might get a different story. Read More

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How Much Does Rooftop Solar Power Cost? Grid Parity Here or Coming in More Than Half of U.S. States

Predicting the arrival of solar energy for electricity that is as cheap as local electricity prices is actually harder than predicting the sunrise. But UCS’s new solar infographic tells this exciting crossover point is right in front of millions of homeowners across the country. Read More

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There Oughtta Be a Law to Fix the Grid—and There Is!

Federal policies to introduce more choice in electricity supplies, and competition from new technologies and companies, continue to evolve and improve. These reforms have greatly fostered the growth of renewable energy across the United States. And a court decision today will help ensure that they continue to do so.
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