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How Many Products with Palm Oil Do I Use in a Day?

I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it. In fact, I’ve even written it, “While most U.S. consumers have never gone to the supermarket and purchased a bottle of palm oil directly, as they would, say, canola or olive oil, chances are good that they use a product containing palm oil every day.” Read More

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Top 5 Ways the Latest IPCC Review of Climate Change Reflects the U.S. Experience

Reading the summary of the IPCC report on climate impacts, I was struck by the parallels between the major findings and the observed trends in the U.S. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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Which Costs More? Transmission Lines for 10x More Renewable Energy, or Pipelines for 2x More Natural Gas

Two recent reports make clear that long-distance gas pipeline infrastructure will cost more than the transmission investment needed for achieving 80% renewable electricity. The Keystone XL pipeline is just one new pipeline – let’s think about the energy system we are building. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming  

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President Obama’s Plan to Cut Methane Emissions Will Help Reduce Climate Risks of Natural Gas

On Friday, the Obama Administration released a multi-sector strategy to cut methane emissions from agriculture, landfills, coal mines, and oil and gas production. This is an important step to reduce the climate risks of natural gas — as long as we get the details right — and to create a more level playing field for cleaner, less risky options like renewable energy and energy efficiency. Read More

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Climate Change May Cause Baseball Ticket Prices to Rise

First, Chipotle warned of peak guacamole. Now, Major League Baseball is claiming that it may need to raise ticket prices across the board for the 2015 season because the cost of baseballs is expected to rise due to climate change. The warning came in a quarterly filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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On Human Strength and Climate Change: Thoughts on Chavez Day

It’s now officially Chavez Day in the State of California, in honor of his birthday on March 31st. Someone suggested that I write a blog connecting Chavez Day with how climate change will affect farms and farmworkers, and that’s what I set out to do. Science tells us that climate change will indeed wreak increasing havoc on the agricultural industry — heat waves that can and do kill people, as well as crops and livestock; water shortages and/or floods; new plant diseases and pests; and seasonal changes that will affect crop viability. But as I commenced writing and remembered that long-forgotten day it dawned that there may be a more important point about what Chavez represents applied to climate change. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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The Ocean’s Cooling Effect: An Air Conditioner for the Planet

The tropical Pacific Ocean has been acting as a type of air conditioner for the planet during the past decade and a half by slowing the rate of global warming. Recent research suggests that the “speed bump” is in large part due to cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures. Read More

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A Conspiracy Theory Researcher Falls Victim to Conspiracy Theories: Intimidated Journal to Retract Lewandowsky Paper

A social science journal will soon retract a paper not because the research is flawed but because the journal fears being exposed to legal risks under antiquated (and since corrected) British libel law, according to Desmogblog and the paper’s lead author. Such a retraction would reflect badly on the journal and may set a terrible precedent. Papers should be withdrawn based on significant concerns with the quality of the research, not based on threats.
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What Are We Doing with our Planet’s Land? A Report from Berlin

I’m in Berlin at the Global Land Project conference, a biennial gathering of about 1000 scientists who study how we Earthlings use our world. I gave a talk on beef compared to other meats in the informal “Pecha Kucha” format, which requires you to use only 20 slides, each displayed for only 20 seconds. It was fun, but the big excitement has been hearing new ideas presented by researchers from all over the world.
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The New 400ppm World: CO2 Measurements at Mauna Loa Continue to Climb

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million for the first time in human history at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in May last year. That same level has been reached again in the last few days. This year we’ve hit the target in March, two months earlier, and it will stay above 400ppm for longer. At that rate, it will only be a handful of years until we are living in an atmosphere permanently above 400 ppm. While 400 ppm is a somewhat arbitrary marker, humans did not exist the last time atmospheric CO2 was at that level. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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