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In NY Tourist Haven, Arrests Continue at Methane Storage Project

Seneca Lake area residents are alarmed over storing methane and LP gas in underground caverns, and are risking arrest in protests.

Dec 5, 2014

Nine people were arrested Thursday near Seneca Lake, N.Y., for blockading the entrances of an energy facility owned by Crestwood Midstream Partners LP, which received federal approval this fall to expand its methane storage operations there.

VIDEO - Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World, Part 3

'This isn't just about polar bears. Ultimately, unabated warming will affect every ecosystem, every species that we're concerned about...including us.'

By VICE and InsideClimate News

Dec 4, 2014

More than a year ago, InsideClimate News set out to tell the story of seven American hikers who went on a wilderness adventure into Canada's Arctic and came back with a harrowing story after one of them was brutally attacked by a polar bear.

The result was "Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World," an e-book we released last month.

As part of the project, ICN reporter Sabrina Shankman returned to the site of the attack with VICE, ICN's partner in the project, to explore how climate change is wreaking havoc on the polar bear population.

Here is Part 3 of the Vice documentary video, "Polar Bear Man." Watch Part 1. Watch Part 2.

Read a free excerpt of Meltdown here. Click here to get the full book on the ICN books app, or download as a Kindle Single.

Climate Activists Showing Their Colors in Lima

Can activists maintain the momentum they picked up in New York during the People's Climate March?

Dec 4, 2014

As the first delegates landed in Peru this week for the latest United Nations climate talks, activists were already taking to the streets of Lima to demand that world leaders take aggressive action against global warming.

Hundreds of climate activists and faith leaders gathered in Lima Sunday night for a candlelight vigil. Joining them were Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Peru's environment minister and president of the Lima negotiations. That same day, Greenpeace activists projected a pro-solar energy message on Machu Picchu, Peru's ancient, iconic cultural site. On Monday, dozens of others massed for a demonstration of the Fast for the Climate movement, in which people refuse to eat as a show of solidarity for people feeling the effects of climate change.

Those events were just the beginning of what promised to be a busy two weeks for climate activists. Representatives of 190 countries are in Peru to draft the basics of a global climate accord to be finalized in Paris next December. This week delegates are discussing how much nations should reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how much developed nations should pay to help developing countries—most of which did little to contribute to the problem—adapt to climate change. For climate activists, the talks this month are an important opportunity to show world leaders the size, strength and diversity of their movement, as well as to bolster its Latin American base.

2014 Destined for Hottest Year, World Weather Agency Says

Fourteen of the 15 warmest years on record were in the 21st century.

Dec 3, 2014

"There is no standstill in global warming," declared Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, as the United Nations agency presented climate negotiators with confirmation that 2014 seems destined to be the hottest year ever recorded.

He called it "particularly unusual and alarming" that extreme temperatures are being recorded over large ocean areas, a fact that may mean the trend will persist into next year as well.

Even though the data for the final weeks of the year are not yet in, the WMO presented its findings in Lima, where negotiators from around the world are gathering to draft a global climate treaty to be finalized in Paris at the end of next year.



VIDEO - Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World, Part 2

'We've been here for less than 10 minutes hiking, and we've already spotted a polar bear.'

By VICE and InsideClimate News

Dec 3, 2014

More than a year ago, InsideClimate News reporter Sabrina Shankman set out to tell the story of seven American hikers who went on a wilderness adventure into Canada's Arctic tundra—polar bear country—and came back with a harrowing story.

The result was "Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World," an e-book we released last month that shows what is happening right now to polar bears and people as climate change melts the Arctic.

Below is Part 2 of the documentary video "Polar Bear Man" produced by VICE, ICN's partner in this project. Watch Part 1.

Read a free excerpt of Meltdown here. Click here to get the full book on the ICN books app, or download as a Kindle Single.

Boulder Ups the 'Anti' in the Fracking Game

Prosperous Colorado county extends its ban until 2018, could face court challenges.

Dec 3, 2014

Boulder County, one of the first places in Colorado to take a stand against hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, back in early 2012, recently extended its temporary ban on the controversial process until July 2018. 

A handful of towns in the state, including the Boulder County cities of Longmont and Lafayette, have temporarily or permanently banned fracking in recent years. They were promptly sued by either the energy industry, state regulators, or both. But so far, the Boulder County government has avoided a lawsuit.

But does the recent decision now mean a legal battle over local control to restrict oil and gas activity in the state is coming Boulder County's way?

Sam Schabacker, Mountain West region director at the environmental group Food and Water Watch, said a lawsuit is "entirely possible" and noted that the state's oil and gas industry "is quite litigious." 

But, he said, the risk is worth it. "At the local level, [a moratorium] is the only avenue to really make sure that people can slow down and make an informed decision before fracking wells are put next to homes and schools and public parks," Schabacker said.

VIDEO - Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World, Part 1

'Right where they camped, that is a polar bear highway.'

By VICE and InsideClimate News

Dec 2, 2014

More than a year ago, InsideClimate News reporter Sabrina Shankman set out to tell the story of seven American hikers who went on a wilderness adventure into Canada's Arctic tundra—polar bear country—and came back with a harrowing story.

The result was "Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World," an e-book we released last month. 

Read a free excerpt of Meltdown here. Click here to get the full book on the ICN books app, or download as a Kindle Single.

Shankman also traveled with Vice, ICN's partner in this project, to report first-hand from the site where the hikers pitched their tents in the wilderness.

This is part one of the documentary video, "Polar Bear Man," produced by VICE.

The Biggest Hurdles Plaguing a Global Climate Accord, Explained

Failure is not an option for climate negotiators meeting in Lima, Peru. Here are just a few of the biggest issues they must solve to avoid it.

Dec 2, 2014

It was not with starry-eyed optimism, but with fierce determination that global climate negotiators launched their treaty talks in Lima on Monday. Nobody is suggesting that it will be easy to draft a comprehensive pact to be signed in Paris next year.

Rather, the leaders of the talks are simply asserting that failure is not an option, as they confront the reality that significant global warming is already locked in and this year's record-breaking temperatures are bound to be exceeded again and again.

"El mundo nos espera," said Peru's Manuel Pulgar Vidal, the presiding officer at the talks. "El mundo no espera que fallemos."  The world awaits us. The world does not expect us to fail.

Here are just a few of the difficult pieces of the complex puzzle negotiators need to solve if they are to avoid failure.



Terror at the Top of the World: How We Got the Story

Rundown of how we got the polar bear attack story, and how it turned into a harrowing tale of global warming that affects everyone.

Dec 1, 2014

Inside the making of Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World by InsideClimate News in partnership with VICE. 

The Climate-Change Finance Gap at a Glance

Graphic shows how current climate fund pledges for poor nations stack up to what's needed.

Nov 28, 2014

Depending on who you ask, the $9.7 billion in pledges for the Green Climate Fund is either a woeful start or an encouraging sign that wealthy nations are serious about helping poorer ones deal with climate change.

As climate treaty talks begin next month in Peru, it's the opinions of those within developing nations that matter most. Negotiators for those countries have said they cannot commit to emissions reductions or sign a climate treaty without adequate financial support.

The pledge total is just shy of the $10 billion goal for the initial phase of the Green Climate Fund, and well short of the $15 billion that developing nations wanted.