One reason why people find it difficult to think about climate change and the future may be their understanding of human history.
If we don’t make a fundamental change to the way we are living, the world faces the destruction of entire eco-systems, flooding of coastal areas, and ever more extreme weather.
The Green New Deal endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more than 40 other US Representatives has been criticized as imposing a too-heavy burden on the rich and upper-middle-class taxpayers who will have to pay for it, but taxing the rich is not what the Green New Deal resolution proposes.
Environmental activists are teaming up with fresh faces in Congress to advocate for a Green New Deal, a bundle of policies that would fight climate change while creating new jobs and reducing inequality.
Massachusetts is leading the charge in dual-use solar installations, making it possible to grow some crops and pasture animals while generating clean energy.
A carbon tax makes fossil fuels like oil and coal more expensive. That, in turn, leads consumers and industries to use less of them.
I spend many hours working on my computer while sitting in front of sliding glass doors so as to be part of nature.
Rapid progress towards clean energy is needed to meet the global ambition to limit warming to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures.
2018 has been a year of unprecedented weather extremes around the world.
Climate change news can be incredibly depressing. But things cannot be entirely bad, can they? We asked some climate researchers to peer through the smog and highlight a few positive stories from 2018.
As the scale and impacts of climate change become increasingly alarming, meat is a popular target for action. Advocates urge the public to eat less meat to save the environment. Some activists have called for taxing meat to reduce consumption of it.
It seems like a day doesn’t pass without the release of yet another study that shows human actions will inevitably increase the Earth’s average temperature past a tipping point that will lead to runaway climate change.
The relationship between supply and demand, a fundamental economic concept, holds that when the price of something rises, people use less of it. Similarly, when prices fall, they use more.
What do your car, phone, soda bottle and shoes have in common? They’re all largely made from petroleum. This nonrenewable resource gets processed into a versatile set of chemicals called polymers – or more commonly, plastics. Over 5 billion gallons of oil each year are converted into plastics alone.
Kwan Phayao, a large, crescent moon of a lake in Northern Thailand, is home to about 50 fish species, several hundred small-scale farmers and fishers, and the city of Phayao, where 18,000 people live.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced last week that a federal Labor government would create a Just Transition Authority to overseee Australia’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
As the price of renewable energy drops and storage technologies mature, hydrogen fuel is drawing fresh attention. Perhaps, finally, hydrogen’s moment has arrived. Japan is planning to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to showcase its vision for a hydrogen society and has invested US$348 million in establishing hydrogen refueling stations and other infrastructure. Germany has launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered trains...
Will taxing meat products based on their carbon footprint reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve public health? The answer is maybe, but not notably — and it will come with significant costs.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been called a “deafening” alarm and an “ear-splitting wake-up call” about the need for sweeping climate action. But will one more scientific report move countries to dramatically cut emissions?
“Drain the swamp” has long meant getting rid of something distasteful. Actually, the world needs more swamps – and bogs, fens, marshes and other types of wetlands.
Renewable energy is increasingly inevitable, and those that dominate the markets in these new technologies will likely have the most influence over the development patterns of the future. As other major powers find themselves in climate denial or atrophy, China may well boost its power and status by becoming the global energy leader of tomorrow.
The Turnbull government’s flagship energy plan, the National Energy Guarantee, was intended to end a decade-long stalemate on energy and climate policy in Australia. Ironically, since its unveiling in October 2017, the debate has heightened considerably, with the result that the government has now walked away from the emissions-reduction component of the policy.
To cool the world and also boost plant growth, geo-engineered crops might do the trick. But if they work by dimming the sunlight, the plants will suffer. Proposals to tackle climate change that rely on geo-engineered crops show neatly the double bind that can await remedies which try to do too much.
More people than ever are acutely aware that rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in the atmosphere are accelerating climate change and global warming.
Megacities are on the rise. There are currently 47 such areas around the globe, each housing more than 10 million residents.
Transforming U.S. energy systems away from coal and toward clean renewable energy was once a vision touted mainly by environmentalists.
In 2016, more renewable energy was added to the global grid than ever before, and at a lower cost. A global energy revolution is clearly underway. What catalysed this transformation?
If recent trends continue for another two years, the global share of electricity from renewables excluding hydropower will overtake nuclear for the first time.
Imagine then an enlightened “quantitative easing” transferring resources not to banks, but to mobilise a rapid transformation in energy infrastructure, retrofitting existing buildings, decarbonising transport and constructing zero-carbon power stations.
In the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, nearly every country on Earth pledged to keeping global temperatures “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C”.
Agroforestry could play an important role in mitigating climate change because it sequesters more atmospheric carbon in plant parts and soil than conventional farming, report researchers.
Imagine a world where every country has not only complied with the Paris climate agreement but has moved away from fossil fuels entirely. How would such a change affect global politics?
For the first time, the European Union generated more electricity from wind, solar and biomass than from coal in 2017, according to new analysis from two thinktanks.
Forest owners at greater risk of illegally cutting trees on their land prefer to join conservation programs that allow sustainable timber harvesting, a new study suggests.
In tumultuous times, art can and must express the turmoil and help us process what’s going on.
Many cities which endure cold winters are adapting district heating schemes to keep people warm without the use of fossil fuels.
Planting more urban forests is a simple way not only to improve the health of a city’s people, but to make them wealthier too.
The need to cut emissions from the energy sector has motivated the use of hydro, solar and wind power, and the development of more efficient buildings that consume less energy.
A new water-based air-conditioning system cools air to as low as 18 degrees Celsius (about 64 degrees Fahrenheit) without using energy-intensive compressors and environmentally harmful chemical refrigerants.
Recently, National Geographic published an article called “This Tiny Country Feeds the World,” where the author extolled the innovations of a small European country that has managed to become a global powerhouse in agriculture and technology—the Netherlands.
A program of one of the five largest supermarket chains in South Africa, drove increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level, a new study of the store’s supply chain indicates.
Last night I cooked my family a delicious pasta dinner using biogas energy. This morning we all had eggs cooked on biogas. I’m not sure what’s for dinner tonight, but I know what will provide the energy for cooking
Climate change will not affect every place equally. Here’s what seven regions in the bull’s eye are doing about it now.
On June 3 2017, two days after President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged a hug with French President Emmanuel Macron during an official visit to Paris.
Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations pledged to keep the average global temperature rise to below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to take efforts to narrow that increase to 1.5C.
The latest UN Climate Change Conference since the 2015 Paris Agreement is taking place in Bonn between November 6-17 – and the world will be watching.
Robert Jay Lifton was born 91 years ago. Living through the catastrophes of the 20th century — world war, tyrannical regimes, genocide, the nuclear bomb, terrorism — he grappled with their terrible impact on human beings. His work as a psychiatrist, historian and public intellectual forged his reputation as one of the world’s foremost thinkers.
Researchers have found at least eight occurrences of iron penetrating the Pacific Ocean, with each occurrence likely associated with global climate change over thousands of years.
Solar has become the world’s favourite new type of electricity generation, according to global data showing that more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity is being installed than any other generation technology.
Most of the world could switch to 100% renewable energy by 2050, creating millions of jobs, saving millions of lives that would otherwise be lost to air pollution, and avoiding 1.5℃ of warming.
By virtue of its size, elevation and currently frozen state, Greenland has the potential to cause large and rapid increases to sea level as it melts.
When utility executives make decisions about building new power plants, a lot rides on their choices.
By continuing to delay significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, we risk handing young people alive today a bill of up to US$535 trillion.
Solarpunk imagines a sustainable future, and what it might be like to live in it. Solarpunk’s optimism towards the future is the first concept that needs complicating here.
Using energy stored in the batteries of electric vehicles to power large buildings not only provides electricity for the building, but also increases the lifespan of the vehicle batteries, new research shows.
People who report working to save energy in their own lives may be less likely to support government action on energy-use reduction and sustainability, a new study suggests.
President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate agreement reaffirmed what was already clear
There are so many ways we can slow and stop the burning of fossil fuels in the United States. But we need to get to work.
The federal government recently announced that it is giving recycling company ResourceCo a loan of A$30 million to build two waste-to-fuel plants producing “solid waste fuel”.
Socially and politically, 2016 was a momentous year for Britain. It was also a record breaking year for energy and the environment, but thankfully for all the right reasons.
The US Environmental Protection Agency recently enacted regulations to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas production.
Getting climate change under control is a formidable, multifaceted challenge. Analysis by my colleagues and me suggests that staying within safe warming levels now requires removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Around the world, 1.1 billion people have no electricity and 2.9 billion can’t cook with “clean” energy. The international community has big aspirations to tackle this challenge, and its focus is on sustainable energy.
Since the February blackouts in South Australia, the Australian government has increased its interest in carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS).
On Tuesday, March 28, President Trump traveled to the Environmental Protection Agency to sign an executive order rolling back a number of climate-related regulations that have taken effect over the past eight years.
There are a number of available low-carbon technologies to generate electricity. But are they really better than fossil fuels and nuclear power?
A key question amid the consternation over the current state of Australia’s east coast energy market has been how much renewable energy capacity to build, and how fast.
The electric grid is an amazing integrated system of machines spanning an entire continent.
Chemists have engineered a molecule that uses light or electricity to convert carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide.
Donald Trump wants to restrict or even abolish the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In some political circles, hostility to climate policy has become a way of showing off one’s conservative credentials. But a suggestion for pricing carbon, grounded in classic conservative principles, has now emerged in the United States.
A group of former Republican officials (including James A. Baker, Henry Paulson, George P. Shultz, Marty Feldstein and Greg Mankiw) is proposing a carbon tax starting the tax at $40 per ton, that would gradually increase.
After opposing a Washington state carbon tax in November, climate justice advocates are setting the stage for a more thorough initiative to address both climate change and inequality.
Some commentators seem to be worried that our electricity networks are facing an impending voltage crisis, citing fears that renewables (rooftop solar panels in particular) will threaten the quality of our power supply.
Following a campaign by the coal industry, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has argued for new coal-fired power stations in Australia. But these plants would be more expensive than renewables and carry a huge liability through the carbon emissions they produce.
Last year we found that the growth in global fossil fuel emissions have stalled over the past three years.
There is huge potential for using electric vehicles to tackle climate change, give us cleaner air and grow the green economy.
Forget about oil or gas – you should be worrying about the less discussed but far more concerning fact that the world is running out of clean, drinkable water.
A major opportunity for avoiding climate change’s worst impacts lies in reducing methane emissions, particularly from food production, according to a pair of new studies.
Gene Takle, professor of agronomy and geological and atmospheric sciences at Iowa State University, says tall wind turbines disbursed throughout a field create air turbulence that may help plants by affecting variables such as temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations.
Methane concentrations in the atmosphere are growing faster than any time in the past 20 years. The increase is largely driven by the growth in food production, according to the Global Methane Budget released today.
Detroit-area resident Shamayim Harris bought more than 10 properties on her block. She’s now converting them into sustainable community spaces for education, wellness, and economic development.
While much of the media focus at this month’s climate meeting in Marrakech (COP22) was on US President-elect Donald Trump, there were signs that several countries have begun the long-term planning needed to avoid dangerous climate change.
It seems almost certain that US President-elect Donald Trump will walk away from the Paris climate agreement next year. In the absence of US leadership, the question is: who will step up?
The Paris climate agreement has now officially come into force. Although Donald Trump and other climate change deniers have vowed to abandon it, most have hailed the agreement as a huge success and a significant milestone in our quest to limit the effects of global climate change.
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States is bad news for the global environment. He has made it clear that he will not implement the steps required to meet the pledges to reduce emissions as part of the agreement reached in Paris at the end of 2015.
Since the 1980s, air pollution has increased worldwide, but it has increased at a much faster pace in regions close to the equator.
Iceland is about to tap into water as hot as lava. Several kilometres below ground, a drilling rig named Thor will soon penetrate the area around a magma chamber, where molten rock from the inner Earth heats up water that has seeped through the seafloor.
Solar power in India will be cheaper than imported coal by 2020, but replacing the subcontinent’s fossil fuels with renewable energy is an enormous task.
The pre-industrial atmosphere contained more particles, and so brighter clouds, than we previously thought. This is the latest finding of the CLOUD experiment, a collaboration between around 80 scientists at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva.
Ever since the 1973 oil embargo, U.S. energy policy has sought to replace petroleum-based transportation fuels with alternatives. One prominent option is using biofuels, such as ethanol in place of gasoline and biodiesel instead of ordinary diesel.
The far-reaching Paris Agreement on tackling climate change is close to taking effect − but how just how effective it may prove is far from clear.
Just as people pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, the land also absorbs some of those emissions.
As the country pushes ahead with renewable energy goals, the challenges facing the grid are substantial, but not insurmountable, according to energy experts.
Each kilo (about 2 pounds, 3 ounces) of homegrown veggies can cut greenhouse gas emissions by two kilograms, research shows.
Earlier this summer, I found myself in the middle of a lively debate because of my work on climate change and the ethics of having children.
Energy experts say global investment patterns show a spectacular shift, with renewables on the rise and support for fossil fuels in sharp decline.
New analysis shows the cost of energy from renewables is already lower on average than from fossil fuels, and will soon be even cheaper.
The Aliso Canyon leak in California earlier this year focused public attention on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.
Six years ago, Phoenix lay burning in the sun one day. It was 110 degrees Fahrenheit and I was the only person foolish enough to be out walking instead of moving by air-conditioned car. Arriving hot and parched at a bookstore, I opened the doors to be greeted by a blast of arctic air.