Climate Change

This Sunday, get Mother Earth a big bouquet of youth activism

Okay, normally it makes me throw up in my mouth a little to say "Mother Earth," but 16-year-old environmental activist Alec Loorz is just too cute, and he's helping to organize worldwide youth marches for the environment on Mother's Day. So the joke is inevitable. Your fault, adorable activist teen! Anyway, if you're looking for something green to do with your mom, there's probably a march in your town, and if there's not, you can start one! (Some of the marches aren't actually this Sunday, because of scheduling conflicts.) Here's the marches' raison d'etre, and if this doesn't make you pump your …

It’s almost summer, we can start believing in climate change again

It's common knowledge that global warming deniers are prone to confusing climate with weather, as in this video that we posted last year but which I am embedding anyway because it's awesome. But a study in this month's Psychological Science confirms that your average schmo is more likely to believe in global climate change on unseasonably warm days than unseasonably cold ones. That's true even after controlling for political affiliation — Democrats were more likely to believe in climate change, but the weather had an effect nearly two-thirds as strong as preexisting political commitments. "It is striking that society has …

How to profit from the coming ecopocalypse

While a quarter of Americans have a net worth of zero, Jeremy Grantham controls a hedge fund worth $107 billion, and he has a message for the world: Resource scarcity, peak oil, and climate change could mean big bucks for those who can get out ahead of the disaster. Well, okay, not BIG bucks — just nonzero bucks. "Our goal should be to get everyone out of abject poverty, even if it necessitates some income redistribution," Grantham says in his latest quarterly letter. Hippie! But even that level of success, he argues, will depend on us reconfiguring our expectations to …

Climate Change

Building the economic case for climate action

The Economics for Equity and the Environment Network convened a recent meeting of economists [PDF] at the Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to discuss the role of economics in building support for climate action in the U.S. The economists who convened view climate change as a civilizational challenge that demands immediate action to protect the quality of human life today and in the future. They recognize that conventional economic thinking has failed to envision a way through the climate crisis, but believe firmly that economics can and must provide critical skills and insights. These economists take as their …

Climate Change

Top climate scientist on monster tornadoes: ‘It’d be irresponsible not to mention climate change’

“Climate change is present in every single meteorological event,” says scientist Michael Mann.Photo: Tom VanNortwickCross-posted from the Wonk Room. Throughout human history, the climate system has been a source of life and death, the sun and rain capable of feeding our crops and bringing us comfort, or unleashing terrible devastation in wind, fire, drought, storm, and flood. Each tragedy that occurs — such as the terrible outbreak of tornadoes and flooding storms last week in the South — reminds us of that awesome power, which is beyond our control and at the limits of our comprehension. We have also learned that humanity …

Climate change could lead to more tornadoes, say NASA scientists

There have been increasing numbers of measured tornadoes in the past 60 years, and may be even more in the future. Meteorologists chalk this up to better detection. But climatologists believe that we’re going to see more and worse severe storms and tornadoes in the U.S. in coming years thanks to climate change. Two studies from 2007 point to a warmer future that could "bring the USA a dramatic increase in the frequency of weather conditions that feed severe thunderstorms and tornadoes by the end of the 21st century." The first, a study published in the Proceedings of the National …

Climate Policy

Dr. Grist’s four-part prescription for managing climate change

Dr. Grist fills in the blanks.We are not going to solve climate change. That’s not pessimism — it’s just not the kind of thing that can be “solved.” It’s already underway. There’s enough carbon stocked in the atmosphere to keep the temperature going up for decades even if we cease polluting entirely, which isn’t going to happen. Climate change won’t be solved, it will be managed, by us, by our kids, by our grandkids. As presidential science advisor John Holdren is fond of saying, we’ll end up with some mix of mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. What’s left to us is …

Climate Change

Want to save the planet? Al Gore has an app for that

An Inconvenient Truth started out as a book and became an Oscar-winning movie. Al Gore’s follow-up book, Our Choice, has now gone multimedia too, but in a whole new way, as a first-of-its-kind app complete with documentary footage and even a trailer set to swelling, melodramatic music. Watch it here: After Our Choice was published in 2009, Gore — a Mac geek who sits on Apple’s board —  wondered how he could take advantage of the fledgling app craze. He teamed up with two former Apple employees, Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, to adapt the book for iPhone and iPad, …

Climate Change

Extreme weather costs lives, health, economy — and could be here to stay

A wildfire burns out of control in Texas earlier this month.Photo: Texas Military ForcesCross-posted from the Center for American Progress. This post was coauthored by Valeri Vasquez, special assistant for energy policy at the Center for American Progress, and Ben Kaldunski, a former intern with the Energy Team at American Progress. “April is the cruelest month.” – T. S. Eliot April 2011 has been a cruel month indeed for Americans due to extreme weather. The Weather Channel observed that: It’s been a truly awful, record-setting, tornadic April. We’ve had eleven major severe weather events, some lasting multiple days. These extreme …