National Academy of Sciences

(Still More) Bad News on the Doorstep

New Reports Document Accelerating Wildlife Extinctions, Global Deforestation Trends

While public attention in recent weeks and months has understandably focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice shockwaves triggered by George Floyd’s tragic death, another disaster continues apace. This week the New York Times published two alarming stories documenting the accelerating decline of our global environment.  The first, entitled “Extinctions Are Accelerating, Threatening …


Climate Engineering: National Academy Committee recommends starting research (with limits)

An NAS report on controversial engineered responses to climate change gets all the big things right, but avoids the hardest questions

Earlier this week, the National Research Council Committee on Geoengineering Climate released two reports, “Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration” and “Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth.” Requested and funded by several US federal departments – NASA, NOAA, DOE, and the cutely labeled “U.S. Intelligence Community” – this report is the first …


The New IPCC Assessment, Carbon Budgets and the Role of the U.S.

National Academy Study Used the Carbon Budget Approach Taken in New IPCC Report to Show How the U.S. Could Limit Emissions

Today’s major environmental news is, of course, the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report addressing the physical science basis for climate change.  The findings are strong and alarming:  warming of the climate system is unequivocal and unprecedented; atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions “have increased to …


More on BP’s guilty plea: it’s not just about the money

Cross-posted on CPRBlog. As already noted by Rick and Megan, last week BP pleaded guilty to 14 criminal counts arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. Megan provided a good basic overview of the terms of the agreement. Here is the plea agreement itself. The amount of money BP has …


Sea-Level Rise Rockets Ahead Due to Climate Change

Here’s a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: An international research team has shown that the rate of sea-level rise along the U.S. Atlantic coast is greater now than at any time in the past 2,000 years and has shown a consistent link between changes in global mean surface temperature …


The New Top 40: Facing Up to the Worst Coal-Fired Powerplants

People are talking about it in emails and all over the blogosphere – it turns out that coal-fired electric power is not as cheap as many people want to think it is. In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress directed the National Academy of Sciences to “define and evaluate key external costs and benefits—related …


Feds re-engage on the Delta

Last week brought a lot of good California water news. Restoration of the San Joaquin River took a giant step forward, as the first flows were returned to the channel in accordance with a settlement agreement negotiated in 2006, ending years of litigation by NRDC. As Steve and I noted, removal of four dams on …


Followed by a moonshadow

Referencing the Apollo Program and our country’s near-mythic success in achieving the goal of a first moon landing has become commonplace in the climate-and-energy debates.  Here’s Obama doing it in his address a few days ago to the National Academy of Sciences (a great speech, btw, defending the role of government in spurring scientific advances, transcript and analysis available …


Carlson to Nat’l Academy of Sciences panel on mitigating climate change

Contributor Ann Carlson’s too modest to post this herself, but she’s recently been named as one of two lawyers to the National Academy of Sciences’ expert panel on “limiting the magnitude of future climate change.”   (The other is CARB chair Mary Nichols.)  As called for by Congress, NAS is convening experts from across disciplines to produce …