US Opinion and Commentary

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Showing Archived Posts

World’s Attention Has Turned to the Arctic

Posted September 28th, 2016 at 9:35 am (UTC-4)
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Nothing that happens in the Arctic stays in the Arctic. Because of global warming, this is not a play on words but a truism….The Arctic can no longer play second fiddle to other parts of the globe. It’s one of the world’s last major frontiers, and its value to every nation cannot be overstated.

How Energy and Conservation Became Partisan Issues

Posted September 21st, 2016 at 10:43 am (UTC-4)
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Although majorities of Americans cherish the environment and value readily available and reasonably priced energy, the elected officials, campaign activists and financial contributors who control our two major political parties portray it as a zero sum game.

Meet the Mom Litigating the ‘Biggest Case on the Planet’

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 10:36 am (UTC-4)
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Olson will argue that the federal government, by failing to adequately regulate greenhouse gas pollution and by continuing to lease new federal lands and waters for fossil fuel extraction, as recently as this year, is violating the kids’ constitutional right to life, liberty and property

Securing Whose Future? Militarism in an Age of Climate Crisis

Posted May 16th, 2016 at 11:53 am (UTC-4)
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Regardless of the advocates and detractors, climate change is being entrenched into US military policy; a process that will almost certainly continue no matter who is elected in the next US president….the military concern with climate change is about ensuring its future ‘operationability’, rather than because it has become enlightened and decided to ‘go green’.

America’s Never-Ending Oil Consumption

Posted May 16th, 2016 at 11:23 am (UTC-4)
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The United States accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but it consumes about 20 percent of the global energy supply. The average American citizen uses nearly two times as much fossil fuel as a person living in Great Britain….But politicians seem wary of telling Americans they need to cut back.

Paris Is a Good Start – But More Must Be Done

Posted April 22nd, 2016 at 12:21 pm (UTC-4)
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So who’s right? Is the Paris Agreement a historic political breakthrough or is it a potential ecological disaster? It’s both.

Want to Fight Global Warming? Forget Fuel Economy Standards and Focus on Land Use

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 11:28 am (UTC-4)
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[E]ven the Obama administration predicted that CAFE standards will have a negligible effect on global warming….One smart reform: Better land use policy….Despite a strong history of environmentalism and weather that is the envy of the world, the built environment in L.A. makes it unrealistic for most people to walk or bike to work.

Terrorism – Not Climate Change – Dominates Campaign Trail

Posted March 25th, 2016 at 5:35 pm (UTC-4)
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For the most part, the presidential hopefuls from both parties have skirted the threat of climate change – instead, lacing their stump speeches with biting criticism of the current U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS. Despite this week’s deadly reminder of the gravity of Islamic extremism in Brussels, scientists argue strongly that the effects of global warming far outweigh terrorist attacks. Science tells us that 2015 was the warmest year on record. On the same day that 31 people died in twin attacks in the Belgian capital, retired NASA scientist James E. Hansen published a paper stating that the catastrophic consequences of greenhouse gas emissions headed our way at a much faster rate than previously predicted. Both Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump disregard the growing consensus that global warming is real. Even two Republican mayors in Florida urged both men to stop denying the disaster that awaits the Earth and start coming up with policies to address the crisis. Democrat Hillary Clinton is a believer, but it has been her opponent, Bernie Sanders, who has clearly articulated the dangers of global warming while on the stump.

Terrorists, Bathtubs and Snakes

Posted March 24th, 2016 at 10:12 am (UTC-4)
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‘We have a political system that engages quickly and powerfully in response to terrorism and security risks,’ notes Daniel Esty, an environment expert at Yale Law School, ‘but doesn’t seem capable of galvanizing action on climate change and other risks that are less visible and spread over time and space.’

Global Warming in 2015 Made Weather More Extreme and It’s Likely to Get Worse

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 1:11 pm (UTC-4)
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The fingerprints of climate change can be found not only on the air, ice and water, but they’ve also shown up on numerous recent cases of extreme weather around the world.

A Toothless Treaty Can’t Stop Climate Change

Posted December 14th, 2015 at 3:50 pm (UTC-4)
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U.S. President Barack Obama said he believes “this moment can be a turning point for the world”… And indeed, reaching any kind of consensus after months of preparation and weeks of exhausting talks can be cathartic. But the Paris agreement has parts that are specific and parts that are binding — never both at once.

#COP21: Paris Agreement a ‘Tremendous Victory for All of Our Citizens’

Posted December 14th, 2015 at 1:36 pm (UTC-4)
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“We are sending literally a critical message to the global marketplace,” Secretary Kerry noted. “Many of us here know that it won’t be governments that actually make the decision or find the product, the new technology, the saving grace of this challenge. It will be the genius of the American spirit.”

President Hails Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Posted December 14th, 2015 at 8:01 am (UTC-4)
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“We came together around a strong agreement the world needed. We met the moment.”

Why Paris Climate Talks Matter

Posted December 2nd, 2015 at 9:50 am (UTC-4)
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Because the world has dawdled for so long, emissions reductions alone won’t be sufficient to deal with global warming. The response must also involve adaptation to a disrupted climate and the sort of major investments in clean-energy technologies…