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Fossil Fuel Use Pushes Carbon Dioxide Emissions into Dangerous Territory

By Emily E. Adams Increasing global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a heat-trapping gas, are pushing the world into dangerous territory, closing the window of time to avert the worst consequences of higher temperatures, such as melting ice and rising seas. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have grown exponentially. Despite wide agreement by governments on the need to limit emissions, the rate of increase ratcheted up from less than 1 percent each year in the 1990s to almost 3 percent annually in the first decade of this century. After a short dip …

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Less than 1 percent of tar-sands environmental infractions penalized

A new report out today finds that enforcement of environmental infractions by companies in the Alberta oil sands are 17 times lower than similar infractions reported to the United State's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report [PDF], authored by the environmental nonprofit Global Forest Watch, looked at more than 15 years of data on recorded environmental mishaps by oil sand's companies, tracking the follow-up actions taken and the final verdict on fines. The findings are shocking and come at a very inconvenient time for government and industry supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline project that would greatly increase tar sands processing and shipments to …

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Protecting Our Water from Coal Pollution

Think about this: Have you spent a day out on the water this summer? Swimming? Fishing? Boating? Well believe it or not, for decades, power plants have been allowed to dump toxic pollution into our nation's waterways, with almost no limits. Coal plants have become by far the largest source of toxic water pollution in the country! If you're like me and love to take your family swimming, fishing, and boating, you know how much is at stake. (Click the graphic at the left to see more details) Today the Sierra Club joined a coalition in releasing a report (PDF) …

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INFOGRAPHIC: The Koch Bros, Getting Richer While the World Burns

Click to embiggen: Click to embiggen. You may repost this infographic PROVIDED that you do not alter it in any way. Download SOURCES: 1. FORBES  2. SMITH (NOAA) & Katz (NCAR) 3. POLITICAL ECONOMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE 4. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING WORKSHOP 5. GREENPEACE 6. CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY 7. THE HILL, NEW YORK TIMES This post also appears on Huffington Post and Republic Report.

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Youth Climate Activists Deliver a Memo to Interior Secretary Jewell: #ActOnClimate, Keep Our Coal in the Ground

Department of Interior staff were greeted during their lunch break today by youth climate activists distributing memos from a made-up government agency, the “Department of Climate Action,” to highlight that the federal coal leasing program is undermining President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Earlier today, several national, regional and local organizations sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell underscoring the urgency of a federal coal leasing moratorium in light of the Bureau of Land Management’s recent announcement that it intends to sell 148 million tons of publicly-owned coal at the Maysdorf II North coal lease by application on August 21. The Maysdorf II lease sale announcement comes …

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Is Solar Cheaper Than Grid Electricity? Yes. And No.

The word "parity" is to the solar advocate as the word "abracadabra" is to the magician.  Through it, all things are possible.  But there's really two kinds of solar parity with electricity prices, and the difference is significant. Take this article from Renewable Energy World last month.  It claims that solar installations in New Mexico are at grid parity – i.e. the cost of solar is equivalent or less than the cost of grid electricity – for schools that are buying solar electricity instead of electricity from the power company. It's true, for these schools and many consumers, the price …

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Activist Profile: National Christian Denomination Stands Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

One of the best parts of my work is that I get to be inspired, every day, by the stories of people who are taking action – and taking leadership – to rein in coal pollution and move America to clean energy. Heather Moyer is one of those inspiring people, and she is also a writing partner with me on my columns every week. I’m so excited to hand the blog over to her today for a guest post, to share some great news about an important recent victory she lead in the struggle to end mountaintop removal coal mining. …

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Kelloggs killing last Sumatran tigers for cheap processed snack food

The Sumatran tiger is awesome. It's one of the most beautiful creatures in the world, and there are less than 400 left in the wild. To give you an idea of how fast this creature is being wiped out, I remember only a couple of years ago writing that there were only 500 Sumatran tigers left. Now there is less than 400. The Sumatran tiger is being killed by poachers to a certain degree, but the much bigger problem lies in the cereal you eat and those shitty little processed snacks that just make us all fatter. No kidding, these tigers …

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Speaking Out for Clean Water Protections

Today was a great day for clean water. We saw more than 100 activists turn out at an Environmental Protection Agency public hearing to support strong water pollution standards. We heard personal stories of families living in the shadow of coal plants who have been directly affected by toxic water pollution from power plants.  We listened to community leaders from across the nation make moving, powerful requests of EPA to finalize strong, meaningful standards that will protect their health, their families, and their homes. Believe it or not, for decades, power plants have been allowed to dump toxic pollution into …

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Peak Water: What Happens When the Wells Go Dry?

Peak oil has generated headlines in recent years, but the real threat to our future is peak water. There are substitutes for oil, but not for water. We can produce food without oil, but not without water. We drink on average four liters of water per day, in one form or another, but the food we eat each day requires 2,000 liters of water to produce, or 500 times as much. Getting enough water to drink is relatively easy, but finding enough to produce the ever-growing quantities of grain the world consumes is another matter. The world is seeing aquifer …

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