science-based decision making


Deforestation Has Decreased

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

In the last few years, there has been heartening news, based on new scientific data, about progress in reducing global deforestation. The IPCC, in its Fifth Assessment Report in 2014, reviewed all the previously published evidence and concluded that deforestation and the emissions of global warming pollution that it produces had dropped in recent years. The Global Carbon Project, an annual review of the planet’s carbon cycle and its implications for climate change, found the same trend in its 2014 assessment. Read more >

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Making Big Data Bigger: Sleeker Science to Inspire Water Pollution Solutions

, agroecologist

We live in an era of big data, where anyone with access to a computer has loads of scientific treasures at their fingertips. Yet all too often, these amazing resources find themselves with oh-so-small audiences. I know, I know… not everyone gets as excited about data as I do. But, with the keys to many of our biggest challenges out there to discover, we need more hands on deck. Read more >

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Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey’s Legacy for Science and Democracy

, former analyst, Center for Science & Democracy

On August 7, 2015, Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey passed away at the age of 101. Dr. Kelsey—a true hero of science and democracy—championed science-based policies that protected public health and safety throughout her life. Most famously, her actions preventing the FDA approval of thalidomide—a drug that causes birth defects—stopped what could have been a devastating tragedy for Americans. As my colleague Celia Wexler wrote, “The lesson of thalidomide is that regulations matter.” Read more >

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Ozone in Houston: Combatting Misinformation and Protecting Public Health

, lead analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

As I’ve been following, the Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of updating the national ambient air quality standard for ozone pollution. The standard is likely to be strengthened below the current standard of 75 ppb, due to the compelling scientific evidence linking ozone to adverse health impacts at this concentration. The EPA has proposed a standard between 65 and 70 ppb, narrowing the range advised by its independent science committee of 60-70 ppb, and the agency will issue a final rule by October. Read more >

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Fracking in Colorado: Did the Oil and Gas Taskforce Finish Its Tasks?

, lead analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

When Colorado officials announced that they would set up a blue-ribbon taskforce charged with making informed recommendations on oil and gas development in the state, there were high hopes. In fact, I commended the state for establishing a strong procedure and promising mechanism for informed decision-making for fracking in Colorado. What an opportunity, I thought, for a science-informed decision in an otherwise science-lacking debate. Now that the commission has issued recommendations, it’s worth revisiting what happened. Did the taskforce succeed? Let’s walk through its moves. Read more >

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