How Nebraska Brings Everyone Power from a Public Grid

How Nebraska Became the Only State to Bring Everyone Power From a Public GridIn this red state, publicly owned utilities provide electricity to all 1.8 million people. Here's how Nebraska took its energy out of corporate hands and made it affordable for everyday residents.

Why There's A Sunny Future Ahead For Rooftop Solar Power

Why There's A Sunny Future Ahead For Rooftop Solar PowerOver the past five years the world has seen a dramatic fall in the cost of solar energy, particularly rooftop solar panels or solar photovoltaic power. It is now a real alternative and considerable player in the power markets.

11 Reasons Trains, Buses, Bikes And Walking Move Us Toward A Brighter Future

rapid transit

According to the pundits and techno-prophets who dominate the media, the future of transportation is all figured out for us.  Cheaper gas prices mean we can still count on our private cars to take us everywhere we want to go. The only big change down the road will be driverless autos, which will make long hours behind the wheel less boring and more productive.

How Have Sea Levels Changed Over The Past 100 Years?

How Have Sea Levels Change Over The Past 100 Years?When you ask yourself what the biggest unanswered scientific questions are, “how did sea levels change over the past 100 years?” is unlikely to appear at the top of your list. After all, haven’t we already figured that out? It turns out that obtaining a complete picture of how our oceans have been changing is not a simple task, yet is vital for making future projections.

Naomi Klein on the Climate Heroes Who Inspire Her

Naomi Klein on the Climate Heroes Who Inspire HerWhy has it taken so long to respond? Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, explores that question. Klein points to the “terrible timing” of the climate crisis coming into public awareness—with NASA scientist James Hansen’s 1988 testimony to Congress—right at the time free-market “neoliberal” ideology was on the rise.

2014 Was Australia's Third-Hottest Year On Record

2014 Was Australia's Third-hottest Year On Record

2014 has been confirmed as Australia’s third-hottest year, capping off a record-breaking decade, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s annual climate statement, released today.

Why Bacteria Could Be The Answer To A Future Without Oil

Why Bacteria Could Be The Answer To A Future Without Oil

Chemicals are all around us. They are crucial in all manner of industries, from agriculture to food to cosmetics. Most people give little thought to how these chemicals are made – and certainly very few would consider the chemical industry as a contributor to our society’s dependence on oil. But it is.

Here’s A Way To Pay For A Healthier Planet

Here’s A Way To Pay For A Healthier Planet

A few years ago, the Mexican government pinpointed a promising method for reducing carbon dioxide emissions: Encourage Mexicans to trade in their old refrigerators, air conditioners, light bulbs and the like for more up-to-date models. But how to pay for the program, while making it affordable for poor households?

What Major Cities Are Ready for Climate Change?

What Major Cities Are Ready for Climate Change?

Climate change is going to affect every city on the planet in some way—but not necessarily in the same way. For those cities already adapting to it, strong, decisive action may spell the difference between surviving global warming and succumbing to it. Five cities that are steeling themselves…and five that are fooling themselves.

Managing Tropical Coastal Seas for 21st Century Challenges

Managing Tropical Coastal Seas for 21st Century Challenges

In tropical developing countries, effective coastal management must acknowledge the widespread dependence of poor and politically weak communities on the use of fish for food. Acknowledging this dependence on artisanal fisheries is pivotal to reconciling the largely separate agendas for food security and biodiversity conservation.

Is India's Plan For New Energy Mix A Game-Changer?

Is India's Plan For New Energy Mix A Game-Changer?

India’s contribution to global carbon emissions was only 7% last year, yet there are fears being expressed in the western world that rapid population growth and development will mean this vast country will soon be a major polluter − like its neighbour, China.

The Train to Sustainability: Next Stop, Your Hometown

The Train to Sustainability: Next Stop, Your Hometown

The urbanization of our population has major implications for climate change. The sheer volume of all this growth in highly concentrated areas, combined with the corresponding growth in carbon emissions, requires that our cities be able to adapt and evolve more quickly than ever before.The good news is: they can.

Get Ready for a New Future: The End of The Arctic As We Know It

Get Ready for a New Future: The End of The Arctic As We Know It

At the top of the world, it’s time to get ready for a new future. In the winter of 2013–14, hundreds of milk-white birds with luminous yellow eyes and wingspans of up to 5 feet descended on beaches, farmers’ fields, city parks and airport runways throughout southern Canada and the United States.

Four Ways a California Police Chief Prevents Police Violence

magnus chris

In the wake of a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, it can be difficult to imagine a place where law enforcement and a racially diverse population work together productively in the United States.

Robot Submarine Looks Under Antarctic Sea Ice To Gage Its Thickness

Robot Submarine Looks Under Antarctic Sea Ice To Gage It's Thickness

For several years now climatologists have puzzled over an apparent conundrum: why is Antarctic sea ice continuing to expand, albeit at the relatively slow rate of about one to two percent per decade, while Arctic sea ice has been declining rapidly?

Cities Are The Greatest Hope For Our Planet

Illustration by Erin Dunn

When we design cities like ecosystems, they have the potential to address many of our most pressing issues. Of all the things people build, cities are the most important.

Move Over Big Power, The Micropower Revolution Is Here

Move Over Big Power – The Micropower Revolution Is Here

There is no shortage of shouting and dire warnings about the state of the climate and our need to phase out fossil fuels. But there is a more silent revolution happening too — in micropower.

US China Climate Deal Is At Last A Real Game Changer On Emissions

UJS China Climate Deal  Is At Last, A Real Game Changer On Emissions

The United States, the world’s biggest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, has pledged to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025 relative to 2005 levels, while China, the current biggest emitter, has promised to peak its emissions by no later than 2030.

Outlook Declines For Fossil Fuel Investments

Outlook Declines For Fossil Fuel Investments

Warnings within the world of high finance are coming thick and fast that the increasingly urgent need to combat climate change means investors could lose heavily by sinking funds into coal, oil and gas.

Wind and Solar Create More Jobs When They’re Locally Owned

Westmill Solar Co-operative

When it comes to providing jobs and money to towns and cities, not all renewable energy is created equal. At last month’s People’s Climate March, among the most popular signs were ones supporting renewable energy like wind and solar as the best way to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Plants Absorb More CO2 Than We Thought, But

Plants Absorb More CO2 Than We Thought, But

Through burning fossil fuels, humans are rapidly driving up levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn is raising global temperatures.

Fall Foliage In The Crosshairs of Climate Change

fall follage small

One of nature’s most spectacular events occurs every autumn, when the leaves of hardwood trees burst into brilliant color before falling to the ground. These autumnal displays entice people to experience nature in all its raw beauty.

As Temperatures Rise Wildfires Will Become More Intense

As Temperatures Rise Wildfires Will Become More Intense

As the forest fires season peaks in the western US, a new report predicts that climate-led temperature rise will lead to millions more acres across the world being burned to the ground.

Clearing Up Confusion Between Correlation And Causation

Clearing Up Confusion Between Correlation And Causation

Here’s an historical tidbit you may not be aware of. Between the years 1860 and 1940, as the number of Methodist ministers living in New England increased, so too did the amount of Cuban rum imported into Boston – and they both increased in an extremely similar way. Thus, Methodist ministers must have bought up lots of rum in that time period!

Economic Resistance Went Mainstream at People’s Climate March

Long-standing Economic Resistance Went Mainstream At People’s Climate March

Combined, the People’s Climate March on Sunday followed by Flood Wall Street the next day, uplifted a narrative around climate change that was impossible for even the most mainstream of media to ignore. In the words of Fox News talking head James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Japan's Floating Solar Islands to End Reliance on Nuclear Power?

Japan Turns To Floating Solar Islands As It Seeks To End Reliance On Nuclear Power

Two companies in Japan recently announced they are to begin building two huge solar power islands that will float on reservoirs. This follows Kagoshima solar power plant, the country’s largest, which opened in late 2013 and is found floating in the sea just off the coast of southern Japan.

Why Not Change The Way You Wee To Save The World?

Why Not Change The Way You Wee To Save The World?

The critical links between water, sanitation, and our global consumption of energy – the “energy-water nexus” are more obvious than ever before. But how many of us will take direct action at the most basic level of all?

The Best Reporting on California's Drought

The Best Reporting on California's Drought

After a decade of relatively little rain, California is facing its third year of debilitating drought. The drought has placed a $44.7-billion-a-year agriculture industry, drinking water for millions of people, and some 204 cities located in high-risk fire zones in jeopardy.

Revolutionary Perovskite Solar Cells Could Be A Game Changer

Revolutionary Perovskite Solar Cells Could Be A Game Changer

Whenever I tell people I work with solar cells I am asked the same two questions: are they ever going to be really cheap? And can you get me some? While the answer to the second question is no, the answer to the first is a lot more positive.

New Hope for the World’s Driest Regions

New Hope for the World’s Driest Regions

Globally 1.2 billion people live in areas of water scarcity — defined by the United Nations as locations with an annual water supply that drops below 1,000 cubic meters per person.

Climate Change Up Close & Personal

Climate Change up Close & Personal

If you’ve ever wondered how much little things really matter, consider the mountain pine beetle. Roughly the size of a grain of rice, the glossy black insect lives only about a year. A throng of beetles can ravage a pine as tall as an eight-story building, as the tree first oozes sap, then its needles turn rusty red...

Seasons Are Changing But Long-Term Effects on Wildlife Still Unclear

Seasons Are Changing But Long-term Effects On Wildlife Still Unclear

Spring and summer have come early – and observations from some parts of the country even suggest that typical autumn events, such as the development of beech nuts and hawthorn berries, are already in evidence. But, to understand effects on our wildlife, a longer view is needed...

Solving The Climate Problem by Encouraging The Free Market to be Altruistic

Solving The Climate Problem by Encouraging The Free Market to be Altruistic

The UK government’s senior adviser on science has made an entirely sensible call for researchers and policy makers to move the climate change debate towards workable strategies and solutions. The trouble is, the models we have for assessing those strategies are deeply flawed.

Planning a Vacation? Germany Offers "Renewable Energy Tourism"

Germany Is Even Out In Front On Renewable Power Tourism

A guidebook with a difference is selling well in Germany. It details nearly 200 renewable energy sites it thinks will appeal to tourists. Wind turbines and solar panels: do you love them or hate them? Do you think of renewable energy as the way to a greener future, or an awful blight on the present?

Rise & Shine: Solar Efficiency Records Are Being Shattered By New Advances

Time to Rise and Shine: Solar Efficiency Records Are Being Shattered By Recent Advances

Last month, a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., loaded a postage stamp–sized solar cell onto a tray and placed it under a high-intensity pulse solar simulator. A new world record for solar photovoltaic efficiency had been set.

Norway's Military Institutes Meatless Mondays for the Climate

Norway's Military Does "Meatless Mondays" for the Climate

The “Meatless Mondays” campaign was originally thought up to support the war effort during World War I, but now a modern army is using it to fight an even bigger battle—the one against climate change. It's not just Norway where the military is concerned about climate change. Former United States army officer...

Higher Insurance Costs As Industry Tackles Risks of a Warming World

Insurance Leaders Pack Climate Punch

The heavyweights of the global insurance industry, well aware of the risks posed to their finances by extreme weather events, have made a renewed commitment to use their financial clout and influence to tackle the climate impacts of a warming world

Climate Change In The U.S. In 8 Compelling Charts

climate charts

The newly released National Climate Assessment spans 30 chapters with thousands of references on how climate change is impacting the U.S. The report took more than 300 scientists and 4 years to prepare, including addressing more than 4,000 comments from the public. The message of the report is that climate change is already happening across the country.

Antarctica Was Once As Warm As California

Antarctica Was Once As Warm As California

Parts of ancient Antarctica were as toasty as today’s California coast, say scientists who used a new method to measure past temperatures. The study focused on Antarctica during the Eocene epoch, 40 to 50 million years ago, a period with high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and consequently a greenhouse climate.

Don’t Write Off Biofuels Just Yet - We Will Need Them In The Future

hemp harvesting

Bioenergy and biofuels have an important role to play in lowering the use of carbon-intensive fossil fuels – a point underscored by the IPCC report which confirmed the need for further research to improve such technology. 

Hollywood Goes Big on Climate Change with "Years of Living Dangerously"

Hollywood Goes Big On Climate Change With Year Of Living Dangerously

It’s being billed as “the biggest story of our time.” This weekend viewers of Showtime, the US cable channel, will be watching the first of an nine-part documentary series on climate change: some of the biggest names in Hollywood are involved.

The Vicious Cycle of Concentrated Wealth and Political Power

The Vicious Cycle of Concentrated Wealth and Political Power

If wealth and income weren’t already so concentrated in the hands of a few, the shameful “McCutcheon” decision by the five Republican appointees to the Supreme Court wouldn’t be as dangerous. But by taking “Citizen’s United” one step further and effectively eviscerating campaign finance laws, the Court has issued an invitation to oligarchy.

When It Comes To Discussing Climate, The Facts Are Not Enough

When It Comes To Discussing Climate The Facts Are Not Enough

Can the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change most recent report or a star-studded Showtime mini-series change the way people talk and think about climate change? Katharine Hayhoe urges her fellow climate scientists to ramp up their messaging game.

Forget The Cost – Tackle Climate Change Anyway

Forget The Cost – Tackle Climate Change Anyway

Forget the cost of mitigating climate change, say two researchers. It’s impossible to work out how much it will be – and whatever it is, we should do it anyway. Two researchers who tried to work out the economics of reducing global climate change to a tolerable level have come up with a perhaps surprising answer...

Greenland Ice Sheet Is Melting At An Accelerating Rate

Greenland Ice Sheet Is Melting At An Accelerating Rate

Warming in the Arctic has now reached the northernmost sections of the Greenland ice sheet. After a long period of stability (more than 25 years), we have found in a new study of the region that the northeast section of the ice sheet is no longer stable. This means global sea levels may rise even faster than was previously anticipated.

Drought Impact: California Goes Nuts For Water

Drought Impact: California Goes Nuts For Water

While recent rainfall has brought welcome relief to California, the amount of precipitation has not been nearly enough to put an end to what is its worst drought on record.  The state’s $45 billion agricultural sector has been particularly hard hit.

Australian Predictions: Hotter Days, Higher Fire Risk, More Droughts

Australia in for Hot Days, Higher Fire Risk, More Droughts

The 2014 State of the Climate report. a joint undertaking by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, found that Australia’s temperature is predicted to rise by 1°F to 2.7°F by 2030; in comparison, between 1910 and 1990 the temperature rose by 1°F.

Why You Shouldn’t Hope for an Early Spring

-Why You Shouldn’t Hope for an Early Spring

Increasingly common false spring events are leaving crops and wild plants vulnerable to subsequent freezes, creating a cascade of consequences for ecosystems. The spring of 2012 was the earliest recorded across the United States since 1900.

How Rainfall Variability, Food Security and Migration Interact

How Rainfall Variability, Food Security and Migration Interact

The world faces a serious water crisis, warned former heads of government and experts recently in a book that identifies a multitude of associated security, development and social risks, including food, health, energy and equity issues.

Rethinking Drug Policy Could Diminish Deforestation

Rethinking Drug Policy Could Diminish Climate Change

The forests stretching from Mexico through Central America have some of the richest species diversity on the planet. But despite expansive conservation efforts, this region continues to face staggering rates of forest destruction

8 Reasons for Optimism on Climate Change

8 Reasons for Optimism on Climate Change

Recent signs that Barack Obama may approve the Keystone XL pipeline have some environmentalists feeling down about the future of the climate. But huge and positive changes are quietly taking place.

White Roofs Could Offset Summer Warming by 2100

White Roofs Could Offset Summer Warming by 2100

Painting building roofs white could cool some major cities baking in the intensifying heat of a changing climate. How much benefits white roofs could bring depend on the region of the country they’re installed in and the season, new research shows.

Drought and Flood For California: Where are The Locusts?

Drought and Flood For California: Where are The Locusts?

The question of how global warming will influence El Niño has been a challenging one for scientists to answer. A new study suggests while the overall number of El Niños is unlikely to increase, particularly strong “super” El Niños are likely to occur twice as frequently in a warming world.

Believe It, Low Flatulence Livestock Can Help Cool The Planet

Low Flatulence Livestock Can Cool Planet

Farmers may be able to rear livestock which produce fewer emissions from their stomachs of methane, one of the most important greenhouse gases. Stand by for a new breed of farm animal – the low-methane cow

North Carolina Is The Newest Battleground State

North Carolina Is The Newest Battleground State

First it was Wisconsin. Now it’s North Carolina that is redefining the term “battleground state.”  On one side:  a right-wing government enacting laws that are changing the face of the state. On the other:  citizen protesters who are fighting back against what they fear is a radical takeover.

After Declining From Slumping Economy, U.S. Energy Related CO2 Emissions Increased in 2013

 After Declining From Slumping Economy, U.S. Energy Related CO2 Emissions Increased in 2013

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions related to energy increased in 2013 for the first time in three years, possibly the first sign that a trend in declining emissions from energy consumption has ended for now. The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a report on Monday showing that 2013 energy-related CO2 emissions in the U.S. are expected to have increased 2 percent over 2012 emissions once all the data for the year are tallied.

The Real Reason People Vote Against Their Self Interest?

The Real Reason People Vote Against Their Self Interest

For years political scientists have wondered why so many working class and poor citizens of so-called “red” states vote against their economic self-interest. The usual explanation is that, for these voters, economic issues are trumped by social and cultural issues like guns, abortion, and race.

California Drought Is A Disaster in Progress

A wildfire exploded outside Los Angeles Thursday as record temperatures spread across California, where drought conditions are escalating as the state comes off its driest year on record.A new update to the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that severe drought, the second-worst drought category, has spread across 62.7 percent of the California as of Tuesday.

Climate Change Threatens East Africa’s Food Security

climate africa

East African Agriculture and Climate Change, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), looks at threats to food supplies in 11 countries in East and Central Africa – Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

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