In an unexpectedly less terrible turn of events, 2020 has seen several oil and gas companies announce more ambitious climate targets. Just last week, ConocoPhillips released a new “net-zero” climate ambition, becoming the first US oil and gas company to do so. While that breakthrough looks impressive at first glance, we’ve found some glaring deficiencies in the company’s recent announcement. Read more >
October 29, 2020 12:49 PM EDT
5 of California’s 6 Largest Fires on Record Are Burning Now: The Astonishing 2020 Wildfire Season in Context
October 6, 2020 7:00 AM EDT
Editor’s note: This post has been revised to reflect the most accurate data on fire acreage in the 1980s. The original relied on data from the NIFC for 1980-1983 and the updated version excludes this period, as the data are less reliable. The 1980s statistics now reflect data from MTBS and CalFire.
California is a state that burns. Like epic snowstorms in Tahoe, fog in San Francisco, and the dry heat of Palm Springs, wildfires are a natural feature of California’s climate—and like all of those, wildfire is changing because of global warming. Rising temperatures are drying out soils, plants, and forests, which then act as fuel for increasingly large fires.
When you’re far from the fires, or when their smoke isn’t cloaking your neighborhood, it can be difficult to conceive of their scale. Here are nine graphics that put this year’s fires into context. Read more >
September 24, 2020 4:54 PM EDT
Is BP Finally Committing to Ambitious Climate Action–or About to Fool Us Twice? Five Things to Look For in Its Climate Strategy
September 11, 2020 2:11 PM EDT
BP plans to unveil further details of the company’s climate strategy at a virtual investor meeting next Monday September 14th. The company’s history of false-starts on climate action and misleading clean energy advertising provides plenty of fodder for justified skepticism. So, how shall we assess their climate claims this time around? Read more >
August 26, 2020 4:24 PM EDT
Hurricane Laura is projected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane late tonight along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Conditions will be severe, with pockets of rainfall totaling up to 15 inches, storm surge reaching a staggering 15 to 20 feet, and wind speeds topping 140 miles per hour. Evacuation orders have been declared across the region, racing to get people out of immediate harm’s way.
A hurricane, though, is often only the first part of what can become a rapidly widening disaster post-storm. In particular, lasting disruptions to critical infrastructure like electricity can prove another disaster all their own. This is made all the more urgent given that not all residents in the region have the capacity to leave, and all disaster response will be additionally complicated by navigating the challenges simultaneously posed by the ongoing pandemic. Read more >