March, 2014

  • 25 March

    Remember the Bubal Hartebeest!

    Deserts make up 17 percent of the world’s landmass and are home to all sorts of endangered species. And yet, when was the last time you saw a bumper sticker demanding that we “Save the Scimitar-Horned Oryx”? That’s what I thought.   Jungle cats and pandas in misty, green forests get lots of attention (as they should), but a recent …

  • 23 March

    Why a Melting Arctic Could Sink the Global Economy

    [Climate change in the Arctic] is one of the most obvious shared challenges on the face of the planet today … Today, as Secretary of State, I come here keenly aware that the long list of [Arctic] challenges—acidification, pollution, ice melt, rising sea levels, disappearing species, and indiscriminate development practices—all of these carry even more challenges downstream, so to speak, …

  • 1 March

    Saving Our Blue Future

    Have you heard? The world is running out of accessible clean water.   Humanity is polluting, mismanaging, and displacing our finite freshwater sources at an alarming rate. Since 1990, half the rivers in China have disappeared. The Ogallala Aquifer that supplies the U.S. breadbasket will be gone “in our lifetime,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.   By 2030, global demand …

February, 2014

  • 23 February

    The Fracking War on Coal

    When the EPA opened a new comment period on Jan. 8 for the public to weigh in on proposed greenhouse gas limits for new coal-fired power plants, it didn’t take long for the overblown rhetoric denouncing President Barack Obama’s so-called “War on Coal” to begin.   The following week, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing titled “The Obama …

  • 16 February

    World’s Largest Solar Thermal Plant is Water Efficient

    Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz marked the opening of the world’s largest solar thermal plant on Thursday (February 13) in the Mojave Desert near the border of California and Nevada. The 392-MW Ivanpah project, developed by BrightSource Energy Co, started operating last month after six years of construction.   With California struggling through one of the worst droughts on record, and Ivanpah …

  • 11 February

    How California’s Drought Can Spike Your Grocery Bill

      If what the tree rings say is true, California hasn’t been this dry in more than 500 years. If what the leading climate scientists say is true, that dryness will only get worse in the coming years. And if what economics predict is true, grocery bills nationwide may be some of the first things to suffer.   When conditions are ripe, California’s $44.7 …

  • 7 February

    Himalayan Climate Change and Earthquakes

    Seismologists and geologists studying the Himalayas have been trying update the seismic map of the mountain belt for several years now. Their urgency comes from the ­­­­expectation of one or more high-magnitude earthquakes in the region in the 21st century.   If the task of assessing the risk to life and property in the Himalayas was not tough enough, it …

  • 4 February

    Keystone Pipeline Report May Not End the Debate

    The U.S. State Department has released its final environmental analysis of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, and many scientists and advocates who have spent years making the case that it would be an environmental disaster don’t much like the results—even though the department, for the first time, acknowledges that the project could worsen climate change.   Ultimately, however, the report …

January, 2014

  • 30 January

    A Familiar Plan of Action

    By a president’s fifth State of the Union address, perhaps it’s only natural to feel a sense of déjà vu. How many times now have we heard President Obama declare in major speeches—as he did last night—that the science is settled and climate change is a fact?   Still, for those who recognize it as an existential threat to human civilization, …

  • 25 January

    Debate on Large Dam Divides Georgia

    The village of Khaishi sits in the picturesque mountains of the historical Georgian province of Svaneti, some 2,000 meters above sea level. But soon it and a few other nearby villages will be under water, forcing more than 2,000 people to leave their homes, if the long-planned Khudoni dam is finally built over the Enguri river.   Locals have sworn …