A historic storm occurred over Alaska this past weekend as typhoon Nuri merged with an extra tropical system and became a perfect storm. With it also came the chance for more extreme weather for the United States in the form of a small polar vortex event that flooded much of eastern North America with frigid temperatures. But how can we have such cold outbreaks in our warming world? Read More
November 12th, 2014
November 10th, 2014
Last week, my colleague Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel gave a talk alongside Dr. Michael Mann, a Penn State professor who has faced constant harassment from politicians and groups that don’t accept mainstream climate science.
The event received an outsize amount of scrutiny from climate contrarians, including some misleading and forceful demands directed at Dr. Mann and the event organizers. Read More
November 7th, 2014
The conventional wisdom following Tuesday’s election is that national action on climate change is likely to be stalled or mired in partisan political wrangling until at least 2016. The long-sought effort to achieve a comprehensive climate law seems unlikely in the foreseeable future, and even administrative action on climate may be held up in federal budget battles and oversight hearings. For those of us dedicated to lowering emissions to a level that prevents the worst consequences of climate change and worried that time is growing short to achieve significant progress, the election results seem like a very discouraging outcome.
But as UCS President Ken Kimmell has pointed out in a post-election blog post, the results do not mean we should be discouraged or stop trying to make progress—we just need to focus our efforts where they are most likely to make progress. Read More
November 6th, 2014
What should we think when two grid reliability authorities look at large-scale adoption of renewable energy and come to opposite conclusions? This isn’t pretty and we need to get to the bottom of it. Read More
November 5th, 2014
While this morning’s headlines naturally focus on the change in leadership in the U.S. Senate, nothing in the results should change anyone’s mind on these clear truths: we know Americans trust science, support cutting global warming emissions, and want help for communities struggling with the very real consequences of climate change. Read More
November 2nd, 2014
It is remarkable how many U.S. elected officials appear to be baffled about climate change these days. Despite the long scientific consensus that emissions of heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels and other human activities are driving disruptive changes to Earth’s climate, “I am not a scientist” has recently become the response that some members of Congress, governors, and other politicians are now giving to questions about whether they think climate change is a problem.
If you are a confused policymaker, perhaps fearful of answering the question incorrectly, fear no longer. The world’s leading climate scientists have just created a handy guide for you. Read More
October 29th, 2014
On Monday Bunge, an agribusiness and food ingredient company based out of White Plains, New York, indicated its intention to ensure the palm oil that it sources will be deforestation- and peat-free. Coming from one of the largest traders of palm oil in the world, Bunge’s announcement is significant for what it means for both the world climate and for ecosystems at risk due to palm oil production. But to me it also signifies that the status quo—palm oil that is linked with deforestation and peatland destruction—is a sinking ship that is increasingly risky to stay aboard. Read More
The EPA Clean Power Plan: Virginia State Corporation Commission Gets it Wrong. Virginia Is on Track to Meet Its Goals.
October 27th, 2014
In recent comments to the EPA, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) took an extremely pessimistic and inaccurate view of the state’s ability to join a 21st century clean energy economy, claiming it could only do so at a high cost to electricity consumers. In fact, the Commonwealth is well on track to meet its goals under the Clean Power Plan (CPP), affordably and reliably. A majority of its electricity already comes from lower-carbon energy sources like nuclear, natural gas, and renewable energy. Read More
October 27th, 2014
There was a slight thaw in the climate change debate this month. Six candidates for high office – three Republicans and three Democrats – publicly debated what to do about climate change instead of arguing about the science. Read More
October 22nd, 2014
Too often, journalists ask politicians questions about climate change that only reinforce polarized and misleading messages about climate science. That didn’t happen last night. Read More