October 20, 2020
Two Harvard researchers published an article three years ago saying Exxon had misled the public on climate science. Now the company is trying to discredit their work, in the same journal that published it, but its efforts could backfire.
The Cameron Peak fire has become the biggest in Colorado history, burning over 200,000 acres near Fort Collins. This is the second fire in 2020 to hold the title—the Pine Gulch fire near Grand Junction was the state's largest, at 139,000 acres, for only seven weeks. Wildfire experts say that 2020 has made it clear that climate change has arrived in the West.
Climate change may not be a top priority for Mississippi voters, despite it taking a toll on the state. Still, a Senate race in Mississippi pits a fossil fuels advocate against a candidate who recognizes global warming threats. This is the latest in our series on key Senate races that could determine the future of U.S. climate policy.
A district judge has invalidated plans created under William Perry Pendley's leadership that would manage resources for hundreds of thousands of acres of federally owned wildlands. It's the latest court decision to rule against the controversial figure.
During a rally in Arizona, Trump bragged about his ability to fundraise by describing a hypothetical call with ExxonMobil's CEO involving a $25 million campaign donation. The oil producer has denied that such a call ever took place.
While high temperatures are usually associated with urban locales, North Carolina state health officials believe people in rural areas are at risk of heat illnesses. Farmworkers, non-citizens and people living in mobile homes face the biggest threat.
October 19, 2020
Nearly 3,000 people in Colorado were forced to evacuate as a new wildfire blazed through 8,700 acres near Boulder in less than 24 hours on Sunday. The historic fires struck amid a devastating fire season throughout the Western United States.
Tule elk are at the center of a major battle in Point Reyes National Seashore between ranchers, who say elk are overpopulated and disruptive to their operations, and environmental activists, who think that ranching has degraded the land. The National Park Service plans to shoot tule elk to help protect ranchers' land. That's despite opposition in 90 percent of public comments.
The mosaic of red, yellow, orange and amber that characterizes many U.S. landscapes in the fall are under threat as introduced pests, pathogens and invasive species kill off whole populations of trees, slashing diversity in forests.
Not long ago, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan's seat seemed secure. But now that he's embroiled in a controversy over Pebble Mine, that's no longer the case. Al Gross, an independent on the Democratic ticket, is nipping at his heels. This is the latest in our series on key Senate races that could determine the future of U.S. climate policy.
Sharks Have Killed 7 People in Australia This Year, the Most Since 1934. Climate Change Could Be a Factor
The long-term average is one shark attack death per year in Australia, but in 2020, that number is already at seven. This year could be an anomaly, or it could be a symptom of global warming, which is heating up oceans, leading fish to different locations and causing sharks to follow their prey closer to shores popular with humans.
Ramón Cruz, a Brooklyn activist originally from Puerto Rico, is the first Latino to head the Sierra Club, which announced a new emphasis on environmental justice during the height of the summer's racial justice protests triggered by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We talked with Cruz about the country's oldest environmental organization's new priorities.
Louisiana Company to Permanently Store Millions of Tons of Greenhouse Gases 10,000 Feet Below Ground
Gulf Coast Sequestration LLC has taken on an ambitious plan to permanently store 80 million tons of carbon gas emitted by Louisiana industrial plants. The company is in the process of obtaining a permit for the underground well where carbon would be sequestered, which could take over a year for the EPA to issue.
New research shows that melting permafrost weakens mountains, which could lead to landslides that cause tsunamis if they fall into the ocean. One area of concern is a slope of the Barry Arm fjord in Alaska that overlooks a popular cruise ship route, The Guardian reports.
October 16, 2020
The Trump administration has rejected California's request for disaster relief aid for six recent fires that have scorched more than 1.8 million acres in land, destroyed thousands of structures and caused at least three deaths last month, the New York Times reports. President Trump has repeatedly blamed poor forest management, not climate change, for the state's wildfire crisis.
President Trump is blaming California's water woes not on climate change, but on regulations meant to protect an endangered fish species known as the delta smelt—or in his words: "some kind of tiny little fish." In response, the leading expert on California's waters and native species, Peter Moyle, says Trump is "an ignorant bully" looking for a scapegoat.
Wind gusts as high as 76 mph fueled explosive growth of the Cameron Peak fire west of Fort Collins on Wednesday, helping push the 2-month-old wildfire across nearly 23,000 new acres and making it the largest in Colorado's recorded history, The Denver Post reports. It's the second time that record has been broken this year.
Nearly half of the continental United States is gripped by drought, government forecasters said Thursday, and conditions are expected to worsen this winter across much of the Southwest and South. It's the most widespread drought the Lower 48 states have faced since 2013, said one official, as a lack of late-summer rain expanded dry conditions from Colorado to the Pacific Coast.
Oregon has closed its last operating coal-fired power plant 20 years ahead of schedule, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. Portland General Electric permanently closed its Boardman coal-fired power plant on Thursday. Much of the electricity from the Boardman plant will be replaced by hydropower from nearby suppliers.
Greta Thunberg, credited with spurring the youth climate movement, called out Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday for being neutral on climate change. "To be fair, I don't have any 'views on climate change' either. Just like I don't have any 'views' on gravity, the fact that the earth is round, photosynthesis nor evolution," the 17-year-old climate activist tweeted.
October 15, 2020
Germany will no longer use coal to generate electricity starting in 2038, a hard-won compromise between environmental advocates and coal workers. But how did the country get there, and what could the U.S. stand to learn from its experience? This is the third installment of our Power Switch series, exploring the lessons the United States can learn from Germany's energy transition.
In an exchange with Sen. Kamala Harris during her second Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, Amy Coney Barrett said climate change was "a very contentious matter of public debate," and again declined to express her opinion on the matter. The comments reignited concerns over how Trump's Supreme Court nominee might rule on vital climate cases.
The EPA's Science Advisory Board is meant to serve as an independent board of some of the nation's top scientific experts to weigh in on the agency's policy proposals. But under the Trump administration, the board will add at least one adviser with strong industry ties and who has a history of working to discredit science on matters such as the health risks associated with tobacco.
We are heading into a world where solar is king, coal is nearly extinct and oil has only about a decade of rising demand left. That's according to the latest report from the International Energy Agency, a body of some of the world's most authoritative energy analysts. That and more in the latest Inside Clean Energy by Dan Gearino.
This year, roughly a quarter of the vast Pantanal wetland in Brazil, one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, has burned in unprecedented wildfires that have been worsened by climate change, the New York Times reports. So what happens to a rich and unique biome when so much is destroyed?
Pacific Gas & Electric, California's largest utility, said it will cut power to about 53,000 customers, or 159,000 people, in northern parts of the state to reduce the chances of its power lines starting fires as the parched region braces for another round of high winds. The utility's equipment was blamed for causing some of California's worst blazes, forcing the company into bankruptcy last year.
October 14, 2020
Prosecutions of environmental crimes have "plummeted" during the Trump administration, according to a new report from the University of Michigan law school. The first two years of the Trump administration had a 70 percent decrease in criminal prosecutions under the Clean Water Act and a decrease of more than 50 percent under the Clean Air Act.
With nearly 300 miles of coastline, the Hawaiian islands that make up Maui County face the threat of sea level rise from all sides. It's that assault that has formed the foundation of a lawsuit Maui filed this week against 20 fossil fuel companies seeking compensation for the rising costs of climate change. It's just the latest in a growing number of similar suits against Big Oil.
There is no single silver bullet, like planting a trillion trees, to stop what scientists have identified as the twin threats of extreme climate disruption and biodiversity loss, but new research published today in the journal Nature shows that a holistic, global approach to healing ecosystems would be a big step in the right direction.
Half the corals on Australia's Great Barrier Reef have died over the past 25 years, a new study found, warning that climate change is irreversibly destroying the World Heritage-listed underwater ecosystem. The study found an alarming rate of decline across all sizes of corals on the reef since the mid-1990s, but larger species, such as branching and table-shaped corals, have been worst affected.