Climate Change

A global green economy: ‘Let no man say it cannot be done’

America was able to convert from a peacetime to a wartime economy at a stunning speed.We need an economy for the 21st century, one that is in sync with the Earth and its natural support systems, not one that is destroying them. The fossil fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economy that evolved in Western industrial societies is no longer a viable model — not for the countries that shaped it or for those that are emulating them. In short, we need to build a new economy, one powered with carbon-free sources of energy — wind, solar, and geothermal — one that has a …

Clean Air

Why the Supreme Court should let states sue the country’s biggest carbon polluters

This post was coauthored by Matt Pawa. He and I represent the land conservation trusts in American Electric Power vs. Connecticut. Today, the Supreme Court hears oral argument in American Electric Power vs. Connecticut — a case in which six states and other plaintiffs are trying to put emissions limits on America’s five largest greenhouse-gas polluters. The states are invoking their right, recognized by the Supreme Court more than a century ago, to seek relief in federal court when polluters in other jurisdictions send dangerous air or water pollution across state lines. The suit charges five gigantic electric power companies …

Here’s what Earth was like last time CO2 was this high

Last time there was this much CO2 in the atmosphere was 3 million years ago, in the Pliocene era. What can that tell us about what we're in for? The world will probably keep warming. Sea levels will probably keep rising. Ice sheets will probably keep melting. Saber-tooth tigers? NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION. Okay, probably out of the question.  

Climate Change

This is what a Power Shift looks like [SLIDESHOW]

Thousands of young climate activists descended on Washington, D.C., over the weekend for the third biennial Power Shift conference. Then on Monday they took their message to the streets and the president’s doorstep. Check out these photos by Jay Mallin to get a sense of what went down. Photo: Jay Mallin The Power Shift crowd protests outside the White House on Monday. On Friday, a few of the activists got to take their message inside the White House and meet with President Obama.

Supreme Court set to weigh in on whether we can hold companies responsible for climate change

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court is set to rule on American Electric Power vs. Connecticut, a case where the state of Connecticut is suing a power company for contributing to global warming. Trying to research the legal details of this case is making me cry, so I hope you people appreciate the following bullet points, which will hopefully spare you having to do the same: At issue, big picture: Can states and private entities sue utilities for contributing to climate change? At issue, smaller pictures: Do states and private entities have a leg to stand on when complaining about climate change? …

Climate Change

Bill McKibben’s must-watch speech at Power Shift

Bill McKibben gave a fiery speech to young climate activists Saturday night at Power Shift 2011. Here’s the video and transcript: All right, listen up. Very few people can ever say that they are in the single most important place they could possibly be, doing the single most important thing they could possibly be doing. That’s you, here, now. You are the movement that we need if we are going to win in the few years that we have. You have the skills now. You are making the connections. And there is no one else. It is you. That is …

A leading expert withdraws his name from the Climate Shift report

Matthew Nisbet’s conclusions don’t match his own report’s data.Professor Matthew Nisbet of American University has written an error-riddled, self-contradictory, demonstrably false report, “Climate Shift: Clear Vision for the Next Decade of Public Debate” [PDF]. The 99-page report’s two central, but ridiculous, claims are: The environmental movement outspent opponents during the climate bill debate. Media coverage of climate change has become balanced and was not a factor in the defeat of the cap-and-trade bill. The report makes these untenable claims in order to shift the blame for the bill’s failure to climate scientists, environmentalists, foundations, and most especially Al Gore. None …

Climate Change

The planet strikes back: Why we underestimate the Earth and overestimate ourselves

The Earth may look glum, but it’s not to be messed with.Photo: John LeGearThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom’s kind permission. In his 2010 book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, environmental scholar and activist Bill McKibben writes of a planet so devastated by global warming that it’s no longer recognizable as the Earth we once inhabited. This is a planet, he predicts, of “melting poles and dying forests and a heaving, corrosive sea, raked by winds, strafed by storms, scorched by heat.” Altered as it is from the world …

How to explain climate change to Joe Sixpack

(click to embiggen) Look, not everyone's motivated by the threat of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and threatened habitats. But nobody likes warm beer. Use this chart to put climate change in perspective for the beer guzzler in your life. (Note: Will not work in Britain.)

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.