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Posts Tagged ‘climate-change’

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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Holding Big Carbon Accountable: Response to Severin Borenstein

Respected UC Berkeley economist Dr. Severin Borenstein released a blog yesterday that included at least one point we can agree on: fossil fuels are cheap. But Borenstein missed the boat in dismissing significant new research that traces 63 percent of heat-trapping emissions to just 90 institutions, including oil giants Exxon-Mobil, BP, and California-based Chevron, suggesting that holding fossil fuel producers accountable is a “copout.”  Read More

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10% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Come from Deforestation

Earlier this week we put on our website a page that explains the best estimate of what percentage of global warming pollution comes from deforestation. The percentage — 10 percent — updates the consensus estimate of 15 percent that scientists and organizations, including UCS, released at the Barcelona climate conference in November 2009. It also explains why the decrease only represents progress in reducing deforestation to a limited extent. Read More

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Misleading IER Report on Wind Power Ignores Some Crucial Facts

A new, misleading report on wind power has emerged from the Institute for Energy Research. This small single-issue group has released an analysis of a single federal tax policy – the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) – and hidden an awful lot of relevant information in the process, including the group’s history of payments from fossil fuel interests and its distortions of renewable energy facts. Read More

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Do We Need GMOs?

Most observers agree that we are facing big obstacles to producing enough food sustainably in coming decades. Issues of distribution and food justice remain paramount, but production must also be adequate, and the huge impact that agriculture has on the environment must be reversed. Read More

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North Carolina Museum Bans Screening of Film “Shored Up” – Is the Political Climate a Factor?

Guest Bogger

Ben Kalina
Director, Shored Up; Owner, Mangrove Media

Philadelphia, PA

Over the past few days I’ve had to consider the definition of several words that haven’t been part of my daily vocabulary, the biggest one being the word ‘banned.’ I’m the director of the documentary Shored Up, which has until now been a relatively uncontroversial film addressing coastal development, sea level rise, and the threat that climate change is bringing to our coastlines.  Read More

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Can State and Local Action Kick-Start Global Cooperation on Climate?

Poland’s political leaders need to meet West Virginia’s State Senate President Jeff Kessler. At a recent forum on increasing economic diversity in the state, Kessler said, “Coal has been king in West Virginia for 100 years, but it hasn’t taken very good care of its subjects.” While Kessler was referring to the poverty many of the state’s largest coal producing counties have experienced, people in Poland are facing serious health consequences because of coal. One study from Bankwatch reports that living and breathing in Krakow for a year, a resident inhales as much benzopyrene, a highly carcinogenic pollutant, as he or she would from smoking 2,500 cigarettes. Read More

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Who Is Responsible for Climate Change? New Study Identifies the Top 90 Producers of Industrial Carbon Emissions

Today’s publication in the journal Climatic Change by Richard Heede on Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854–2010 provides a robust scientific basis for motivating fresh thinking and dialogue about responsibility for taking action to address climate change. Read More

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Counting the Cost of Climate Disasters: What do Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan Tell Us About What the U.S. and the Philippines Have in Common?

Angela Anderson, Director of the UCS Climate and Energy program, is in Warsaw for the latest round of international climate talks. In the political wake of typhoon Haiyan, she sent me this urgent dispatch about why developed and developing nations alike must consider the costs of climate impacts. And why she’s joined other activists who are fasting in solidarity with the Philippines’ chief negotiator: Read More

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