Department of Energy Analysis Shows the Vast Economic Potential of Renewable Energy

A new analysis released by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows renewable energy sources like wind and solar have the economic potential to supply from 35 percent to as much as 10 times our nation’s current power needs. This is welcome news coming on the heels of the EPA releasing its final Clean Power Plan to limit power plant carbon emissions and a spate of ambitious renewable energy goal announcements. It clearly demonstrates that U.S. can affordably accelerate the transition to a safe and reliable low-carbon energy future. Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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Native Alaskan Villagers May Become the First U.S. Climate Refugees

The health, future, and fate of thousands of native villagers and their cultural heritage hangs in the balance as rapid climate change tightens its grip on Alaska. Read More

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On Katrina, My Family, And Knowing The Big One Was Coming

Hurricane Katrina devastated my home city of New Orleans in 2005, taking lives and erasing dreams. And it changed the fabric of the city.

The losses experienced from Katrina were partly due to the strength of the storm and also partly due to engineers’ underestimation of what a storm of this magnitude could do. Inadequate planning also played a role in the impacts faced by New Orleans.

The truth, however, is that Katrina could have been worse. Read More

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Obama, Kerry and Ministers Meet in Alaska: Why the Arctic Matters

President Obama plans to address ministers and experts from 20 nations at the U.S. State Department conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER) at the end of August. According to a White House official, President Obama is the first sitting U.S. President to visit Alaska’s Arctic. In a video about his upcoming trip to Alaska, the President pronounced, “As long as I am President, America will lead the world to meet this threat before it’s too late.”

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Crazy Hot Days, Crazy Warm Nights: A New Study on Climate Change in California’s Central Valley

Last week I, along with an international group of scientists, published a study in the journal Climatic Change in which we found that the hottest summer days (24 hour periods) in the Central Valley were twice as likely to occur due to climate change. Heat waves in California’s Central Valley have become progressively more severe in recent decades due to  higher humidity and warmer nighttime temperatures. Observations obtained from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center show that Central Valley nighttime temperatures were nearly 2°F (1°C) warmer in the 2000s compared to the 1901-1960 average and even higher for the whole of California (see plot below). Read More

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Climate Change Is Boring

Guest Bogger

Dr. Rod Lamberts, Deputy Director
Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science

Canberra, Australia

When it comes to climate change, I’m pretty sure there are really only three types of people. Those who believe we’re buggering things up, those who don’t believe we’re buggering things up, and those who don’t know (and maybe don’t give a toss) either way.

Sure there are sub-groups, cliques and factions, but these are the big three. And nowadays it’s clear to me they all have one fundamental thing in common. For all these groups, hearing more science information about climate change makes no practical difference. The acceptors keep accepting, the deniers keep denying, and the ‘meh’ crowd keep on meh-ing.

So why are we still spraying the media waves with public communications full of climate science? Read More

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Let’s Talk Trash: What the EPA’s Methane Rules Lack on Landfills

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas—34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In our battle against climate change, we need to limit methane’s release into the atmosphere, which is exactly what the EPA’s methane rules, released earlier this week, attempt to do. But as documented in our recently released fact sheet, we can do more with methane than just limit its release. In fact, in the case of landfills, we can actually optimize methane production and capture it as a low-carbon biofuel. I’ll have much more to say about reducing climate emissions from the oil and gas sector over the next several months—stay tuned—but for now, let’s talk trash. Read More

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WSPA Lies: Oil Companies Are At It Again… And California Is The Target

This month my mail has included a handful of very sad and frustrating reminders of what a heavy hit truth and integrity can take when oil profits come into play, and I’m not alone. Read More

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Humanity’s “Need” for “Food” in 2050

Perhaps the most viral meme in the discussion about global food and agriculture has been that we will need to produce at least 60% more food in 2050. This statement has been repeated hundreds and perhaps thousands of times in the past decade, often as the introduction to articles, speeches and web postings explaining why it’s necessary to raise agricultural production, whether by using GMOs, clearing forests, or totally revolutionizing the global food system.

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Doing More to Protect Frontline Communities Ten Years After Katrina

As we come up on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the terrible devastation wrought by the hurricane is in the headlines again. For those who experienced the storm first-hand, the ongoing struggle to recover is ever-present and this must be a wrenching anniversary. What can we do as a nation to support frontline communities to be better prepared and protected for future disasters? How can we better account for the growing risks to coastal communities, especially in light of sea level rise and worsening storm surge?  And how can we ensure that we channel our investments in an equitable way so as to build resilience in all communities? Read More

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