Pulitzer winning climate news

InsideClimate News

Climate Change Lands on Agenda of the PTA

California PTA adopts resolution on teaching climate science, but its passage nationwide and its impact beyond the state are uncertain.

May 19, 2015

School districts in California—and perhaps nationwide—will soon feel increased pressure from parents to teach climate science in their classrooms.

The California State Parent Teacher Association, which represents nearly 1 million parents and educators, adopted a resolution this month to urge schools to prioritize climate curriculum and improve energy efficiency, as well as to lobby lawmakers to act on climate warming.

Coal Faces Three Hurdles and Steady Decline, Projections Show

Coal's future as a major energy source is being undermined by market forces, government regulations and moral arguments.

May 18, 2015

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of stories by InsideClimate News reporters exploring the future of the coal industry, Coal's Long Goodbye: Dispatches From the War on Carbon. It begins with this look at energy source projections in the U.S.

If coal were a medical patient, its prognosis would be creeping toward the critical list.

Canada Promises Emissions Cuts, but Tar Sands Still Full Speed Ahead

Critics call Canada's climate pledge both inadequate and unreachable with no lull in tar sands oil.

May 15, 2015

Canada's federal government, in a pledge that skeptical climate campaigners called a triumph of hope over experience, promised on Friday to reverse years of emissions growth and get its global warming pollution back on a downward slope.

"This is a fair and ambitious target that is in line with other major industrialized countries and reflects our national circumstances," said the government's announcement of Canada's contribution to the goals of a new climate treaty the world is struggling to complete in Paris at the end of the year.

Why Did NY Ban Fracking? The Official Report Is Now Public

The massive study finds that health, safety and environmental uncertainties regarding fracking's dangers have 'grown worse over time.'

May 15, 2015

New York issued its long-awaited environmental assessment of fracking Wednesday detailing a wide range of health and climate concerns that underpinned Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision last December to impose a statewide ban on the practice. 

High-volume hydraulic fracturing "raises new, significant, adverse impacts not studied" in the state's last major analysis of oil and gas development in 1992, the 2,000-page report concludes. The negative effects that fracking could bring to the state include: 

Pennsylvania High School Students Convince School to Divest From Coal

George School in Newtown, after a campaign by students, decides that even a high school can make a statement, joining the divestment movement.

May 15, 2015

A Pennsylvania high school just made history.

George School in Newtown announced April 27 that it would divest its $150 million endowment of holdings in coal mining companies, likely becoming the first secondary school in the nation to join the global movement to rid investment portfolios of fossil fuel stocks. The decision was prompted by a student petition.

"I was thrilled that the kids were active and concerned and brought this to the board—and that the board was respectful," said head of school Nancy Starmer.

What's Behind India's Crackdown on Social Justice & Climate Activists?

Attacks are undermining India's global standing, the stability of its democracy and its role in upcoming climate talks, experts say.

May 14, 2015

India has recently ramped up attacks on environmental and development organizations that work on climate, clean energy and sustainability issues. The world’s largest democracy has frozen bank accounts, restricted international donations, and in some cases prevented the organizations’ staffers from traveling abroad.

Michigan's $75 Million Settlement with Enbridge Draws Praise, Questions

Critics say the money isn’t enough to make up for damage from the Kalamazoo spill, but state officials are pleased.

May 13, 2015

Oil pipeline giant Enbridge, Inc. has agreed to a $75 million settlement with the state of Michigan over the rupture of its line 6B that sent more than a million gallons of heavy crude oil into the Kalamazoo River nearly five years ago.

Tesla's Battery Power Could Provide Nevada a $100 Billion Jolt

Infographic shows how Tesla's new gigafactory will provide a statewide clean economy and jobs boom.

May 12, 2015

The new Tesla Motors factory being built outside Sparks, Nev., was already on tap to produce 500,000 electric car batteries and become the largest battery factory in the world when chief executive Elon Musk announced last month it would also produce the potentially revolutionary home battery, the Powerwall.

Its biggest energy boost, however, could be to Nevada's economy, with the state estimating a $100 billion impact over the next 20 years.

That's a lot of battery power.

Resistance to Pipeline Bigger than Keystone Thwarts Enbridge in Wisconsin

Enbridge wants to triple the volume of oil it pumps through Dane County, which wants a $25 million safety net.

May 12, 2015

Pipeline giant Enbridge, Inc., is in a standoff with a Wisconsin zoning committee over the company's plans to vastly increase the amount of tar sands oil pumped through one of its lines.

In an unusual move, the Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee slapped additional insurance requirements on Enbridge before letting it build a new high-capacity pump station along its Line 61.

Climate Denial Takes a Toll on Scientists—and Science

When scientists spend time refuting denialist theories, they add credence to their antagonists' campaigns, study says.

May 11, 2015

Climate denial campaigns have helped slow the public's acceptance of man-made climate change and delay political action for years, but a new study published last Thursday finds these contrarian arguments have also had an impact on climate scientists.