One problem is that we’ve pursued optimization rather than robustness.
Scientists are warning us that even comparatively small changes in average temperature may have disastrous results. If you turn up your thermostat 2 ºC (about 3.6 ºF), the difference may be noticeable but it’s no big deal. So why is that a scary increase in global temperatures? Some reasons are physical, particularly the difference between …CONTINUE READING
Vicious attacks on climate progress are on the rise.
Presumably, no one actually wants rising seas, dangerous heat waves, severe droughts, runaway wildfires, and floods. Nor, I assume, are there many who want those climate disasters for their children and grandchildren. Still, there are all too many politicians and public figures who act as if their goal was to foment climate change. No doubt the …CONTINUE READING
One of these things is not like the others.
The automotive world is changing quickly. Most of the trends are mutually reinforcing. But one points in the opposite direction. The first and most obvious trend is the rise of EVs. In the twenty years since Tesla arrived, EVs have gone from 0.2% of new cars to 13%, and Bloomberg predicts that this figure will …CONTINUE READING
Some thoughts for Environmental History Week.
An international agreement in 1992 committed the world’s nations to addressing climate change but contained few specifics. The US ratified that agreement, but there was little concrete action here through the end of the 20th Century. As this century began, things looked optimistic, with both presidential candidates favoring reductions in carbon emissions. Promptly after taking …CONTINUE READING
“The Empire Strikes Back” or “The Return of the Jedi”? Either is possible on Election Day.
We’re now a year away from Election Day, but things are already starting to heat up. And the outcome couldn’t be more important. The next election could transform U.S. environmental policy, for better or worse. A GOP trifecta in 2024 would put Trump in the White House with GOP control of Congress. That would be …CONTINUE READING
“The Truth is Out There.” Or maybe not.
Conspiracy theories about climate change are widespread. They cover a wide range, but the theme is generally that the world is run by some elite that is secretly using climate change as an excuse to take over the world. My favorite conspiracy theory is that the world is run by the Lizard People, evil reptiles …CONTINUE READING
A tale that should send shivers down your back.
Given that Halloween is tomorrow, here’s a frighting story– the tale of what a Trump victory would mean for the future climate. Would a Trump victory be the end of the world? That might be an overstatement. But the result would surely be a surge in carbon emissions, dooming us to even more severe climate …CONTINUE READING
Republicans think clean energy is terrible and woke and they also want more of it.
“You know, I’ve joined many of you on the groundbreakings . . . And as I told my Republican friends, we’ll even do their districts too. (Laughter.) And I’ll be there for the ribbon cutting. (Laughter.)” That was President Biden tweaking the GOP members of Congress who had all voted against the Inflation Reduction Act …CONTINUE READING
Johnson’s selection as Speaker signals trouble ahead— but could be political good news for Democrats.
So, the Republicans finally settled on a Speaker: Religious Right activist Mike Johnson. Johnson is a climate denier. In 2017, he said: “The climate is changing, but the question is, is it being caused by natural cycles over the span of the Earth’s history? Or is it changing because we drive SUVs? I don’t believe …CONTINUE READING
Who is Tom Emmer and what are his environmental views?
[First posted at 10:18, revised at 2:10] The revolving door for Republican GOP nominees continues. Tom Emmer, who was briefly the [ newly picked] Republican nominee for Speaker of the House on Tuesday, is a relative unknown despite having been part of the House Republicans’ leadership team. Emmer, who grew up in an affluent suburb of …CONTINUE READING