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We’re Approaching Several ‘Positive’ Climate Tipping Points. Is It Enough?
When it comes to climate change, tipping points are typically a bad thing. They refer to a threshold at which irreversible, self-perpetuating and catastrophic environmental changes – often referred to as feedback loops – will ensue. For example, in the Amazon, deforestation threatens to set off a chain of processes in which the rainforest emits moreREAD MORE
Italy Is Fighting Energy Poverty — and Climate Change
San Giovanni a Teduccio is a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Italy. Once an industrial center, today it’s home to abandoned factories that sit in ruins by the sea. But the rooftop of a former orphanage points to new beginnings for the community. There, the sun shines onto the deep blue surface of 166READ MORE
Freeways Blighted Milwaukee’s North Side. Can Tearing Them Down Bring New Life to the City?
Before the freeways came in, Bronzeville, on Milwaukee’s North Side, was a vibrant neighborhood known for its restaurants, bars and jazz scene. The area had been home to successive waves of immigrants and most recently had become the heart of the city’s Black community. But it suffered a major blow in the 1960s when large swathsREAD MORE
“It’s Absolutely a Sacrifice Zone.”
As an Indigenous fisherman from southern Louisiana, Travis Dardar knows what it’s like to have his home deemed unworthy of saving. Dardar grew up on Isle de Jean Charles, a small island in the marsh nearly washed away by storms, erosion and rising seas. In the early 2000s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded thatREAD MORE
Can We Game Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis?
Europe is planting trees to offset its emissions but is swiftly hit with massive wildfires. The United States is investing in mining operations abroad to wean off its dependence on fossil fuels but harbors concerns about trading with an abusive government. Meanwhile, a coalition of countries from the Global South must decide whether to accept constructionREAD MORE
‘We’re Basically Condemning Them to Unhealthy Pregnancies.’
When Jamika Jones was pregnant with her son earlier this year, her mother worried about her drinking water from the tap. Jones lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where more than a third of the water service lines contain lead; when those pipes corrode, they can release the neurotoxin into the water flowing through them. Lead exposure hasREAD MORE
Doulas Are Frontline Climate Workers
As Hurricane Ian approached southern Florida in late September, Tifanny Burks got a call from a recent client. A single mother of three, including an infant Burks had helped deliver, was facing eviction and scrambling to find a place to weather the storm. Burks, who uses they/her pronouns, connected their client with lawyers who could helpREAD MORE
Mobile Homes Offer Low-Cost Living. Now, They’re Threatened by Climate Change.
Charlotte Bishop was standing at her kitchen window in January 2019 when she saw water streaming into her yard. A block of ice had clogged the brook that snakes around the mobile home park where she and her husband Rollin live in Brattleboro, Vermont. Bishop grabbed her keys and rushed outside to move their cars toREAD MORE
Can a Green Bank Help the US Meet Its Climate Goals?
Five years ago, when Clauditta Curson became a first-time homebuyer, she was shocked by the “astronomical” utility bills she received for her 1,200-square-foot house. The 60-year-old adult daycare aide in Hamden, Connecticut, turned to the Connecticut Green Bank (CBG), the oldest such bank in the country. The bank was financing solar panel installations with no upfrontREAD MORE
New Heat Regulations Could Save Hundreds of Workers’ Lives. Do Employers Care?
Extreme heat — a phenomenon that is increasing in severity and frequency as the planet warms — is the deadliest weather related disaster, killing more than 5,600 people each year, according to some estimates. It attacks the elderly, the isolated, and workers — particularly those laboring outside. A farmworker in the United States is 35 timesREAD MORE
Fast Fashion Is an Environmental Catastrophe. Is Composting Your Clothes the Solution?
When Katie Lopes set out to create a women’s underwear brand, she wanted her products to be comfortable and hip — and eventually disappear into a pile of coffee grounds, eggshells and potato peels in her garden. “I was beginning to become more aware of the damage the fashion industry was doing to the planet, so itREAD MORE
“It Was Like Taking the Heart Out of the Body.”
Growing up in Rosemont, a once vibrant Black neighborhood on Baltimore’s West Side, Glenn Smith remembers “having everything you needed” — parks, markets and even a movie theater — within walking distance of the home he shared with his parents and seven siblings. “It was a Norman Rockwell existence,” he said. But in 1974, when SmithREAD MORE
The Climate Crisis Is Here. When Will TV Reflect Our Shifting Reality?
From hurricanes bearing down on Florida to megafires burning in the West, the climate crisis seems to be everywhere, all at once. But on TV and film screens, mentions of climate are far rarer. A study by the University of Southern California’s Media Impact lab examined more than 37,000 film and TV scripts that aired inREAD MORE
How Utah’s ‘Spiral Jetty’ Became a Barometer of the Climate Crisis￼
In 1972, just two years after it was completed, “Spiral Jetty” all but disappeared from view. Robert Smithson’s seminal earthwork was created at a time when the water levels of Utah’s Great Salt Lake were unusually low, making it easy to discern the sculpture’s vortex-like coil of black basalt rocks. But when heavy rain battered theREAD MORE
Is a Mass Timber Construction Boom Coming to America?
When it opens up to tenants later this month, the Ascent, a 25-story, $125 million luxury high-rise in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will offer an array of swanky amenities, including an indoor dog track and spa, electric car chargers and a golf simulator. But that’s not what animates architect Jason Korb, whose firm designed the 259-unit structure. “ThisREAD MORE
Facebook’s New Ad Policies Make It Harder for Climate Groups to Counter Big Oil
Last month, Facebook removed certain interests from its Detailed Targeting advertising tool “that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive.” Advertisers can no longer target people based on interests in causes or organizations related to “health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion or sexual orientation.” The change was a response to concerns about online abuse—theREAD MORE
The Energy Transition Has a Labor Shortage Problem. This Startup Is Taking It On.
Before he joined the Civilian Climate Corps, Robert Clark assumed building and electric work was all low-skilled labor, akin to “working at McDonald’s,” he said. That was before he learned to install electric heat pumps, maintain electric vehicle charging stations and perform 3D image modeling of spaces about to get energy upgrades. The apprenticeship program hasREAD MORE
Can High-tech Methane Detectors Help the U.S. Reach Its Climate Goals?
To explain how high-tech aerial photography can help save the planet, research scientist Riley Duren refers to a map of Los Angeles, where a pixelated blue and green cloud hovers over a few city blocks. The plume resembles precipitation on a doppler radar map, but it is more insidious: it’s methane, a powerful heat-trapping gas, leakingREAD MORE
The United States Owes a Massive Climate Debt. One Way to Pay It: Let In Climate Migrants.
The United States has generated more heat-trapping carbon pollution than any other nation, but it has not felt the impact of climate change in equal measure. Poorer countries in warmer latitudes are enduring the most devastating droughts, heat waves and violent storms, and seeing more poverty, disease and mass migration as a result. By doing soREAD MORE
The Oil and Gas Industry Is In Denial About Its Own Demise
In one of his first acts as president, Joe Biden paused new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. Companies can still drill areas they had previously leased, and they can still lease state and private lands. They just can't stock up on new federal leases. In response to this order, the oil andREAD MORE
The Scariest Thing About Climate Change Isn’t the Weather—It’s Us
Last year saw a raft of unprecedented extreme-weather events — the biggest-ever California wildfire, the most named storms in the Atlantic, the costliest thunderstorm in U.S. history. Experts said these disasters both highlight the current toll of climate change and provide a grim preview of what’s to come. Last year also saw unprecedented attacks on U.S.READ MORE
Electric Cars Could Save California’s Power Grid
Climate change ramped up its attacks on California this year, serving up massive wildfires and blistering heat waves, which led to widespread power outages. To fight back, Governor Gavin Newsom took aim at heat-trapping carbon pollution from cars. In September, he signed an order to phase out the sale of new gas-powered cars in California byREAD MORE
No, Renewables Did Not Cause California’s Blackouts
Record heat across California last weekend spurred Golden Staters to blast their air conditioners. The strain on the power grid was so great that California’s grid operator started rationing electricity. For the first time since the 2001 electricity crisis, it imposed rolling blackouts, shutting down power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses up and down theREAD MORE
Latino Voters Are Worried About Climate Change. They Could Swing the Election.
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are in a dead heat in Texas, a state that has swung Republican in every presidential election since 1976. If Biden pulls off the unthinkable and defeats Trump in Texas, it will be by mobilizing Latino voters. This fact could play into the ongoing debate in DemocraticREAD MORE
Armed With Eminent Domain, Pipeline Projects Continue During the Pandemic
Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan is cutting a 400-mile line across the middle of Texas, digging up vast swaths of private land for its planned Permian Highway Pipeline. The project is ceaseless, continuing through the coronavirus pandemic. Landowner Heath Frantzen said that dozens of workers have showed up to his ranch in Fredericksburg, even as public healthREAD MORE
The Fed Could Rescue Fossil Fuel Firms That Were Already In a Tailspin
In the normal course of business, healthy companies succeed and sickly companies fail. But the coronavirus has interrupted the normal course of business, putting even successful firms on life support as they struggle to pay for sidelined workers and shuttered storefronts. The government’s goal, in theory, should be to keep these companies alive without lending aREAD MORE
Trump’s War on Immigrants Is Making It Harder to Fight COVID-19
A prominent Asian virologist with longstanding ties to the United States was making plans to attend a conference here when he learned he couldn’t get a visa. It was the first time he had been blocked from visiting after decades of trips to collaborate with American researchers. And the timing couldn’t be worse. His expertise isREAD MORE
Coronavirus Shows How to Fight Lies About Climate Change
With both coronavirus and climate change, misconceptions abound. In each instance, people have downplayed the impact or blamed China, and many believe that news outlets are exaggerating the threat. But with coronavirus, news outlets and tech companies have done a much better job of quashing misinformation, experts say, which could provide lessons on how to fightREAD MORE
Progressives Forced a Conversation on Climate Change — and Pushed Trump to Change His Tune
The last few years have seen a stunning shift in the way Americans think about climate change, which has gone from a marginal concern—one scarcely mentioned in run-up to the 2016 election—to a leading issue. The primary reason is that progressive elected officials and activists have made a bold tactical shift in the way they approachREAD MORE
The Innovative Design of One of the World’s Largest Net-Zero Buildings
It is hard to build a net-zero building — one that produces more energy than it consumes — in the middle of a city. For one thing, nearby skyscrapers might block sunlight from reaching rooftop solar panels. For another, urban office buildings are cramped for space, and it generally isn’t possible to set up wind turbines on site. But MartineREAD MORE
Air Pollution Could Literally Cause You to Lose Your Hair
There is no question that air pollution poses a serious health danger. It exacerbates asthma, especially in children, and shortens lives. It’s also linked to diabetes, cognitive decline and birth defects, as well as heart disease and stroke. The contamination comes from multiple sources, including cars, trains, airplanes and power plants, which foul the air andREAD MORE
Scientists Use the Dark of Night to Generate Clean Energy
Scientist Aaswath Raman long has been keen on discovering new sources of clean energy by creating novel materials that can make use of heat and light. And lately, he has focused on developing better cooling systems, perhaps inspired by childhood summer visits to his grandparents in Mumbai, where the temperature can hover at 100 degrees FREAD MORE
Politics Is Literally Keeping Americans Up at Night
Two defining features of the Trump presidency are conflict and chaos. From the moment he took the oath of office, waves of criticism followed him wherever he went. Now, as the House begins to build a potential case for impeachment, political discourse will only become more strained, taking a toll on the American people. Take KimberlyREAD MORE
Months After a Coal Company’s Sudden Bankruptcy, Workers Are Still Struggling
If you ask her, Peggy Stanley can give you a rough running tally of the money that Blackjewel Mining owes her husband. First, there are the paychecks. One was supposed to be sent out mid-July, after the company filed for bankruptcy, but it never came. There’s also the one that was sent out in the middleREAD MORE
GE’s Investment Mistake Could Cost Billions
Last week, General Electric announced it would close a California gas plant 20 years ahead of schedule. The Inland Empire Energy Center in California, the company said, was “uneconomical to support further” in part because of outdated technology. But California’s aggressive clean energy goals and commitment to using renewable energy was also a key determinant in GE’sREAD MORE
The Climate Rebellion Inside Amazon
When Kathryn Dellinger moved to the Pacific Northwest five years ago to take a position at Amazon, she fretted over friends and relatives back home in Virginia as successive hurricanes tore apart coastal towns on the East Coast. But when wildfires ripped through Washington state last summer, filling the Seattle area with smoke, Dellinger had someoneREAD MORE
The Simple, yet Elusive, Key to Fighting the Climate Crisis
A new scientific report finds human behaviors are driving the extinction of non-human species at a rate so severe that the subsequent disappearance of life will soon be a threat to human health and prosperity. Habitat destruction on land, over-fishing in the seas and overconsumption across much of the globe, among other things, now threaten toREAD MORE
The Killer Argument for a Profoundly Dangerous Climate Fix
The UN Environment Assembly recently considered a proposal to research solar geoengineering, as it’s known, an outlandish scheme to cool the Earth by blanketing the heavens with aerosols — chemicals that would reflect a small measure of sunlight back into space, lowering the average global temperature. The measure failed, not because countries were wary of investigating geoengineering, butREAD MORE
Big Automakers Grudgingly Buy Into EVs. Oil Majors Still Lag Behind.
In just three years, many electric cars will sport the same sticker price as their gas-powered counterparts, according to a recent analysis. Electrification, as well as other advances like ride-sharing and driverless cars, will radically overhaul the transportation sector. The next decade will see sweeping changes to the way we get around, and everyone is copingREAD MORE
Everybody Wants EV Charging Stations. Nobody Wants to Build Them. (VIDEO)
This article is part of a series about barriers to the widespread adoption of electric cars. A driver planning to make the trek from Denver to Salt Lake City can look forward to an eight-hour trip across some of the most beautiful parts of the country, long stretches with nary a town in sight. The fastestREAD MORE