Union of Concerned Scientists Board Chair Jim McCarthy and I sent a letter to President Obama to applaud his commitment to address the threat of climate change in his second term and to propose a number of concrete ways he can do so. Read More
March 11th, 2013
February 11th, 2013
In writing about climate change it’s hard to avoid the use of catch phrases and clichéd metaphors, as much we try to stop shooting silver bullets and keep all those pesky canaries out of our coal mines. At times, though, such oft-repeated words are used in paradoxical ways, jarring you into thinking about them a bit more deeply. This happened to me a few days ago when, in response to new Department of Agriculture data on the U.S. livestock industry, a beef producer referred to the impacts of the persistent drought as “a perfect storm.” Read More
February 8th, 2013
The President’s recent remarks about the imperative to take action in his second term on the threat of climate change can be understood as a sequence of purposeful statements meant to signal intent and resolve.
From his speech on the night of his successful re-election to his remarkable inaugural speech and multiple times in between, the President’s clear and inspiring comments offer a clear rationale and compelling call to action. His next big speech, the State of the Union, is traditionally where presidents provide more details on their plans for the coming year, and we can expect President Obama to do that next Tuesday. Read More
February 5th, 2013
The year 2012 will go down as a very good year for renewable energy, with both the wind and solar industries experiencing record development. What will it take to continue the momentum in 2013? In this new blog series — Ramping Up Renewables: Clean Energy Policies to Watch in 2013 — UCS energy experts will discuss some of the most important policies that President Obama, Congress, and state policy makers can focus on in the coming months to further the clean energy transition this year and beyond. Read More
January 18th, 2013
January 17th, 2013
Since his re-election, President Obama has made it clear that he sees action on climate change as a major piece of unfinished business from his first term. In his election night victory speech, he said he wants “our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt; that isn’t weakened by inequality; that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” Read More
January 9th, 2013
In his Life of Samuel Johnson (1791), James Boswell famously quotes Dr. Johnson as remarking that second marriages are the “triumph of hope over experience.” Today the same might be said of a second Obama administration working with a divided Congress to achieve meaningful bipartisan solutions to climate change. Read More
December 3rd, 2012
Getting more for your money is always good news, and a new report released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) confirms that solar continues to be a good bang for one’s buck. Read More
December 3rd, 2012
I’m now in Doha, Qatar, at the international climate negotiations (“COP18″), and today was Forest Day. This annual event focuses on the role of forests and deforestation in emissions of global warming pollution, and often is the venue for presenting some of the newest science from around the world. Read More
November 27th, 2012
Over the past several years, one of the few pieces of hopeful news about global warming has been the annual release of data from Brazil on its rate of Amazon deforestation. Since forests are immense storehouses of carbon, deforestation causes high levels of greenhouse gas emission. Brazil, which contains about 60% of the Amazon forest, is key to those emissions, and over the last six years it has made important progress in reducing its deforestation rate.
Today, the new data for 2011-2012 were released, and once again they are a ray of sunshine on an otherwise gloomy day. They show a decrease of deforestation to 4,656 square kilometers – down 27% from last year.