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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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Interstellar: Climate Change and the Evolution of Cli-Fi Movies

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is as much about outer space as it is about our own planet. The story arc begins with a dying earth that can no longer support humanity and ends with a lesson on what it takes to survive. Read More

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Amazon Deforestation in Brazil: New Numbers, Better Understanding

The new annual data on Amazon deforestation in Brazil has just come out, and it’s good news. For the latest year—August 2013 through July 2014—the annual total was 4,848 square kilometers. That’s 18 percent less than in the previous year, and the second-lowest figure ever. Read More

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Could Lima Mark a Climate Turning Point? What to Look For

With the historic climate march in New York, and pledges by the world’s three largest emitters—China, the United States, and the 28 countries of the European Union—to cap or cut emissions, I’m already on record as suggesting that the fall of 2014 could be a turning point in the international effort to address global warming.

The momentum seems to be building.  Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming  

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How to Talk About Climate Change at Thanksgiving: Recipes for Good Conversations

My mother’s family is politically diverse. And opinionated. As my grandmother tells it, the last time she and my grandfather voted for the same president was Eisenhower. Like a lot of families, our discussions around the holidays can veer into national issues and politics. Sometimes those discussions are enlightening, but they can also devolve into arguments. Read More

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2014 on Track to be Hottest Year on Record

Today, NOAA announced another startling record-breaking month of elevated global temperatures. We have just experienced the  hottest October since record keeping began 135 years ago. This year, May, June, August, September and now October – half the months so far – all smashed previous records for global land and ocean temperatures.

According to NOAA, “The January–October combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the warmest such period on record, surpassing the previous record set in 1998 and 2010.”

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It’s Cold Out But it’s Not the Polar Vortex

The “polar vortex” is synonymous with cold air blasts for Americans. But is it correct to equate polar air with the polar vortex? The answer is no. Read More

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Here’s a Utility Hiding Some Facts About the EPA Clean Power Plant Rule

ERCOT, the electricity reliability organization for Texas, distorts the impacts of the EPA power plant carbon rules 111(d) by leaving out any context in its recent report. Read More

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The Vital Role of Protected Areas in Climate Disaster Risk Reduction

There’s been a huge buzz at the World Parks Congress in Australia this week about the need to implement carbon reduction plans and accelerate climate resilience strategies. Read More

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