New Jungles for Old?

The New York Times has an interesting article about the growth of new forests as poor people abandon farms and move to the cities in less developed countries.  Carbon storage is complicated, so we don’t really know yet just how much effect this might have on climate.  But it’s obviously a very interesting development.

CONTINUE READING

The Bathtub Effect: A sobering assessment of where we are on climate change (but what does this mean for adaptation efforts?)

Andrew Revkin of the New York Times has posted an important essay discussing implications of the recent report by Dr. Susan Solomon and others documenting the profoundly serious impacts that will result from letting GHG concentrations in the atmosphere get too high before they are stabilized (the subject of this post below by Dan and …

CONTINUE READING

Conflicting data need not make environmental controversies worse

Anyone interested in the resolution of environmental controversies featuring conflicting or incomplete scientific accounts (and what interesting environmental conflict doesn’t fit in that category?) should read this article by Biggs et al. in the January issue of BioScience (subscription required). As the authors explain, the fact that two scientific studies produce conflicting results or lead …

CONTINUE READING

The California budget squeeze hits Marine Protected Area research

At least two academic projects supporting California’s marine protected areas program have been halted for now by the state’s budget crisis. From Science Insider: Researchers were ordered to stop work immediately, says Rikk Kvitek of California State University, Monterey Bay, a principal investigator on a $20 million sea-floor mapping program funded by the state. . …

CONTINUE READING

A republican moment on climate change? Maybe not yet

The environmental community has been understandably excited about the prospect of finally getting U.S. legislative action in light of the popularity of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, the development of a public consensus on the reality of global warming, the election of Barack Obama, and strong Democratic majorities in both House and Senate.  That optimism, …

CONTINUE READING

GHG Emissions and Meat Production

This article in the new issue of Scientific American has an important discussion of the ways in which animal-based food production contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. From the article: Most of us are aware that our cars, our coal-generated electric power and even our cement factories adversely affect the environment. Until recently, however, the …

CONTINUE READING

Energy and Environment Issues in the House

According to Energy and Environment Daily, House members have organized to promote energy and climate legislation “Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) are co-chairmen of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, a new caucus designed to push for policies that promote renewable energy and domestic manufacturing, create “green collar” jobs, help curb global …

CONTINUE READING

More accusations of politics trumping science and law at Interior

The Washington Post reports that officials at the Department of Interior ignored “key scientific findings” and the views of National Park Service officials “when they limited water flows in the Grand Canyon to optimize generation of electric power there, risking damage to the ecology of the spectacular national landmark.”  The Post story, written by Juliet …

CONTINUE READING

Getting U.S. Automakers Real

One footnote to yesterday’s historic announcement by President Obama on national climate change policy: in signaling that the federal government will reverse course and support California’s pioneering efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicular sources, the role of the American auto industry in this debate deserves renewed scrutiny. 

CONTINUE READING

A Wavering Federal Policy on Climate Change?

President Obama yesterday made official (sort of) his plan to fulfill a campaign pledge to grant the State of California authority to adopt pioneering greenhouse gas emission controls for vehicular sources.  That announcement, while expected, is a breath of fresh air when it comes to state-federal environmental policymaking.  It comes after eight frustrating years in …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING