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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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Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coasts Communities over the Next 30 Years

Today UCS is releasing a report that outlines steep increases in the frequency, extent, and duration of tidal flooding for communities along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts. Riding on higher seas over the next 15 and 30 years, the tides alone have the potential to start reshaping how and where people in affected areas live, work, and otherwise go about their daily lives. And by causing certain areas to be regularly flooded, sea level rise has the potential to effectively claim land decades before that land is projected to be permanently underwater. We need to understand what we’re dealing with and start responding. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding: Forthcoming Report on Encroaching Tides Signals a New Chapter for Many Coastal Communities

There are things we know pretty well about the effects of sea level rise. Today it is making damage from storm surge worse. In the second half of this century, it will permanently inundate certain places. In between, it is rising, and at an accelerating rate. But there are things we don’t understand nearly well enough for a country with a third of its population living in coastal counties. Things like: What effect will it have on coastal communities over just the next several decades?

Next week, UCS is releasing a new report that takes a hard look at this question for the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts, and outlines in detail the central and disruptive role that tidal flooding is poised to play. Read More

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Big Oil, Climate Change, and California’s AB32

As we approach mid-term elections this fall, most folks following politics are interested in how the balance of power may or may not shift in Congress, what new Governors or new legislators may be elected, and what it all may mean for the future of the nation. Many UCS members are particularly concerned about what electoral changes there may be that will influence the future of state and national climate policy. Here in California, we are in the midst of another type of campaign that could have a huge impact in the future of climate policy for the state and region, as well as the whole country: a massive public relations campaign by oil companies to roll back the gains California has made on our groundbreaking climate law, AB32.   Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming, Vehicles  

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More Misrepresentations of Climate Science in Legal Briefs Criticizing Michael Mann

The latest round of legal briefs have been filed in climate scientist Michael Mann’s lawsuit against the National Review (NRO) and Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Although these documents rehash a lot of arguments about the science I’ve examined previously, some claims jumped out at me. Read More

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Facebook “Dislikes” ALEC’s Climate Change and Clean Energy Deception

It was welcome news last week that social media giant Facebook is “likely” to cease its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) this year, following the lead of Microsoft and Google to become, as The Guardian reported, “the latest tech company to end its support for a controversial rightwing lobby group that works against climate change legislation.” Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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