TAG: Climate change

It’s Getting Warmer

Climate change study

In a new study released by the Pew Research Center shows that more Americans are finally coming to the realization that climate change may really be occurring. According to Pew Research Center, 67% of people say that there is now solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades. That number is up four points since last year and up ten points since 2009. An increasing number of people say that the rise in the earth’s temperature has much to do with and may be directly caused by human activity. As of today,… read more

5th Highest Global Temps

Photo Credit: NOAA

The globally-averaged temperature for November 2012 marked the fifth warmest November since record keeping began in 1880. November 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive November and 333rd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. Most areas of the world experienced higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including far eastern Russia, Australia, the central and western United States, northern Africa, and most of Europe and western Asia. Meanwhile, central Asia, Alaska, much of western and central Canada, and the eastern United States were most notably cooler than average. The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November… read more

The Norquist Bombshell

Carbon tax swap

Grover Norquist, the influential lobbyist who has bound hundreds of Republicans to pledge never to raise taxes, said a proposed “carbon tax swap”—taxing carbon pollution in exchange for cutting the income tax—would not violate his pledge. This admission may help open the bipartisan dialogue on climate change, given the reluctance (to say the least) of Republicans to have those important discussions regarding the environment. On the heels of the election where the Americans who voted showed a rejection of the status quo environmental policy, it would behoove Republicans to jump on the progressive bandwagon, at least pertaining to reducing the… read more

EU Carbon Emissions Bill

US airlines and EU regulations

The United States Senate unanimously passed a bill in September which will prevent EU carbon emission regulations for airlines from applying to U.S. flights. The European Union has been attempting to apply across-the-board carbon emissions so both domestic and foreign flights abide by the same rules, but this action from the U.S. Senate has escalated pressure on the EU to back down on enforcement. The Emissions Trading Scheme, which contains an overall goal to combat climate change, has been advocated since January by the European Commission, and it requires all airlines to participate. However, it is that requirement which has… read more

U.S. Oil Independence

US oil independence

The U.S. will rid itself of the long-standing dependence on Saudi Arabian oil within the next decade by increasing domestic oil and gas production, but there is the inherent risk, and rising likelihood, of worsening global warming. In a report released on Monday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the United States will benefit from “unconventional” sources of oil and gas, including shale gas and oil, derived from blasting rocks apart to release the fossil fuels trapped within, i.e. fracking. Hydraulic fracturing has been linked to increases in seismic activity, but it has been difficult for geologists and seismologists to… read more

Looking Forward

President Obama and the Environment

Now that the election is over and a candidate has been selected, it is time to begin looking forward at what kind of second term president Barack Obama is going to be, especially regarding the environment and climate change. Over the course of the campaign, President Obama dodged questions about the environment and was vague in those he did answer, but there was mention of a “warming planet” during his acceptance speech, amidst the plethora of other issues a president must concern themselves with. He made an effort to tell the American public he will be concerned about climate change… read more

Reckless Endangerment

Environmental policy, US election

There is only so much a reasonable perspective can allow for ridiculous and inane policy proposals, and every single line that has been drawn has been crossed by Mitt Romney and the Romney campaign. While there is time for unbiased criticism of policy, there comes a point when an event proves a policy so incorrect, and so out of touch with reason, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to justify considering it legitimate. Hurricane Sandy is an event which does all those things, and though devastating, it has shown the policies proposed by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are… read more

Continued Climate Silence

Climate change silence

Climate change and the environment have been largely ignored by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, but the debates offered another hope for environmentalists and progressives for a discussion on solutions and strategies to combat climate change. However, it has been more of the same, with no mentions of the subject and still ignored. Worse yet, the debate moderators, Jim Lehrer and Candy Crowley, had the option to ask about climate change, but decided against it, favoring questions on the economy. The decision is fair, albeit annoying—the economy is an important issue which needs to be discussed, and voters are… read more

NASA Nailed It

Effects of Hurricane Sandy

Six years ago, scientists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York warned the city of the vulnerability to hurricane impacts in a changing climate. It was calculated that with a 1.5 foot rise in sea levels, a worst-case-scenario Category 3 hurricane could submerge the vast majority of the city, including “the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan, and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano Bridge.” These findings came on the heels of the release of… read more

Questions Raised By Sandy

Devastation of Hurricane Sandy

Obviously, Hurricane Sandy has, and continues, to wreak havoc on the eastern U.S. coastline, and it cannot be denied it is a big storm. Climate scientists, along with hurricane researchers, in their endeavors to learn more about the relationship between climate and hurricanes, have begun to ask critical questions about the impact of climate change. The first step though has been to acknowledge whether climate change has an impact on the size of the storm, or if it was just a naturally occurring large storm. The science is still out on that question (apparently), but there are scientists who have… read more