The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million for the first time in human history at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in May last year. That same level has been reached again in the last few days. This year we’ve hit the target in March, two months earlier, and it will stay above 400ppm for longer. At that rate, it will only be a handful of years until we are living in an atmosphere permanently above 400 ppm. While 400 ppm is a somewhat arbitrary marker, humans did not exist the last time atmospheric CO2 was at that level. Read More
March 20th, 2014
March 10th, 2014
Tonight more than two dozen Members of Congress from the Senate Climate Action Task Force will be holding the Senate floor to discuss global warming. A number of them are expected to participate throughout the night. Here are some startling climate facts that keep me up at night: Read More
March 6th, 2014
Hot on the heels of news that recent extreme rainfall has caused walls to collapse at ancient Pompeii in Italy, comes a new study showing that hundreds of other iconic places listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites are threatened by sea level rise. Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, Mont Saint Michel in France, Leptis Magna in Libya and the Tower of London are all identified as vulnerable to rising sea levels. Read More
January 28th, 2014
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
November 21st, 2013
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
November 13th, 2013
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 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 8th, 2013
When it comes to investing in clean transportation solutions, Norway is doing it right. Or should I say, Norway is gjør det riktig. The country famous for Vikings, the perfect complement to bagels and cream cheese, and Johan Olav Koss, is also a good example of a country working to reduce their oil use through transforming their transportation sector.
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
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