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Posts Tagged ‘climate-change’

Overreliance on Natural Gas: Risky for the Climate and the Economy

In last week’s State of the Union (SOTU) address, President Obama reiterated his support for climate science by unequivocally stating “The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.” He also should be commended for highlighting the urgency of the problem as local communities are already experiencing damaging and costly climate impacts like drought, wildfires, heat waves, and coastal flooding.

But the President’s enthusiasm for increasing natural gas production and use as an important climate solution missed the mark. And like his climate action plan speech at Georgetown University last June, the President highlighted the economic benefits of increasing U.S. natural gas production, while failing to mention the economic risks of an overreliance on natural gas. Read More

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Climate Change and Nuclear Power

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recently received by email an open letter by four nuclear scientists and engineers—Andrew C. Kadak, Richard A. Meserve, Neil E. Todreas, and Richard Wilson—titled “Nuclear Power’s Role in Responding to Climate Change.” Below we look at some of their arguments. Read More

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President Obama’s State of the Union: Will Climate Change Get Left Out in the Cold?

As the president prepares to take the podium for the State of the Union speech, much of the country has just been released from the grip of the dreaded polar vortex, single digit temperatures, wind chills and snow, and shortages of home heating oil in the Midwest and Northeast. Does he dare remind Congress and the country of the Climate Action Plan he unveiled this past summer, delivered on a hot June day? Read More

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Water Woes: Dramatic Increase of Droughts in California Is a Bellwether of Future Climate Impacts

It’s now well known that California is facing an unprecedented drought emergency. Governor Brown declared a state of emergency to address the drought last week, and in his annual State of the State message today indicated that the situation we face may be a harbinger of things to come due to climate change. Our California climate scientist Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith shares her thoughts below on what this really means and the kinds of measures the state needs to be exploring to truly address this problem: Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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The Slow Burn Continues: 2013 Ranks in the Top 10 Warmest Years on Record

Even as I sit in the northern hemisphere winter writing this, I am not surprised that 2013 ranked within the top 10 hottest over the 134-year record maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). According to NOAA, 9 of the top 10 years occurred this century. Read More

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Corn Belt Farmers Respond to Climate Change

Guest Bogger

Gabrielle Roesch, PhD Student
Iowa State University, Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Sociology

Ames, Iowa

My family’s direct ties to the land ended generations ago, yet I have been drawn to agriculture, food production and the broader issues of natural resource management since I was a child. It likely started picking raspberries for my grandmother on Long Island, and was further fueled by a food security fellowship in Zambia and Ethiopia. Read More

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Recap: Virginia Supreme Court Hearing on FOIA, Scientific Research, and Michael Mann

Emblazoned on the facade of the Virginia State Library, and steps from the commonwealth’s capitol and Supreme Court are the following words of the state’s most prominent former resident, Thomas Jefferson: “Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error. They are the natural enemies of error and of error only.” This was the setting for the second trip in as many years by the University of Virginia and climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann to the commonwealth’s highest court. Read More

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Preview of Thursday’s VA Supreme Court Hearing: University of Virginia v. American Tradition Institute

UPDATE: I have now posted a recap of the January 9 hearing.

On Thursday, the Virginia Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the American Tradition Institute’s lawsuit seeking the private correspondence of climate scientist Michael Mann and dozens of other scientists. UCS and several other scientific and educational organizations argue that granting this access would damage scientists’ ability to communicate frankly and openly with their peers, and to explore new ideas free from harassment. Read More

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More Chicken or Pork, Less Beef: A Holiday Gift for the Climate

Today an article by five co-authors and me was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. It’s on “Ruminants, climate change and climate policy,” and makes the point that political and business leaders concerned about global warming have missed an important part of the problem. This missing piece of the puzzle is the emissions – mostly of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times as powerful as CO2 – that come from ruminant livestock, which include sheep, goats, water buffalo, and most importantly cattle. Read More

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Consumers, Carbon Majors, and the Start of a New Conversation about Climate Change

Yesterday I read in the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business blog that it is silly for UCS to suggest that consumers are “being tricked, bullied or seduced into burning fossil fuels…” Economist Severin Borenstein responded to an article in the recent edition of the UCS e-newsletter regarding groundbreaking new research that documents that 90 private companies or state-sponsored enterprises produced two-thirds of the carbon that has been released since the Industrial Revolution. Borenstein’s critique is one of many different reactions to this research so far. He raises some new points and he echoes others raised by Andy Revkin and some commenters on our website. So perhaps it’s time we address these interpretations of the work. Read More

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