Today UCS is releasing a new report at the international climate negotiations in Warsaw, entitled “Climate-Friendly Land Use: Paths and Policies toward a Less Wasteful Planet.” The theme of the report is waste and inefficiency — how our current global pattern squanders resources, endangers human health, and damages our climate. Read More
November 13th, 2013
November 8th, 2013
Contrary to the public assertions made this week by some of our climate scientist friends, nuclear power is likely to have a limited near-term role in avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. Renewable energy technologies are cheaper, less risky, and ready for deployment today. A look at where things stand with both nuclear and renewables bears all that out. Read More
November 6th, 2013
Sea level rise experts from across Florida and around the world convened in Fort Lauderdale recently to discuss the latest science and strategies for sea level rise adaptation. And as if to urge them on, the king tides rose as conference goers watched, topping canal walls and spilling onto roads. That summit, the second annual held by Florida Atlantic University, dovetails with this week’s sold-out gathering on advancing coastal adaptation action, which brings together state leaders from four southeastern counties. Those who understand what’s at stake here are in a dead sprint for solutions.
Florida: the sunshine state, land of citrus, destination Disney World — and ground zero for sea level rise in America. Read More
November 6th, 2013
Politicians attack scientists to score points with voters and their backers, whether it’s members of Congress attacking individual government grantees or belittling scientists whose research undermines their legislative priorities. It got so bad that UCS put out a guide for scientists who find their work under an unusual amount of scrutiny (still a good idea to take a look before you’re in that situation). But yesterday’s election in Virginia may showcase how these sorts of attacks can backfire, making a candidate look extreme and out of touch. Read More
October 24th, 2013
The road to an electric vehicle future just got a lot wider.
Eight states, representing a quarter of the new vehicle market, announced a joint plan today to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on America’s roads by 2025. The announced Memorandum of Understanding will increase coordination across the states, as well as lead to the development of state-specific actions to support a successful and growing market for electric vehicles, a key solution for tackling climate change and cutting our nation’s projected oil use in half over the next 20 years. Read More
October 23rd, 2013
My parents are almost 80 years old and live in Sydney, the place where they were born and raised. Yesterday I phoned them to ask for news of bush fires that are raging just beyond the western edge of the city. As they described the pall of dark smoke that has covered the city of over four million people, I thought of my childhood summers. We knew there would be searing temperatures and days of “total fire bans” when not even backyard barbeques were allowed. But I remember those days being during my summer vacations – that is, in December and January. Now they are happening in October, in springtime. Read More
October 23rd, 2013
October 11th, 2013
New England gave birth to the Industrial Revolution in this country using water power. Now New England is struggling with decisions over how to power its future. Read More
October 10th, 2013
A new paper published earlier this week in the scientific journal PLoSOne calls into question whether we know enough about biochar to use it as an important strategy to mitigate climate change. The article, two of whose co-authors formerly worked here at UCS, did a systematic review of the scientific literature on biochar through 2011, and found 311 relevant papers.
But even with all this research, a key question remains unanswered: How long does biochar persist in the soil? Read More