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Inside Climate News


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1.  Lead Poisonings of Children in Baltimore Are Down, but Lead Contamination Still Poses a Major Threat, a New Report Says  

2022-05-19


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BALTIMORE, Md.—An estimated 85,087 occupied homes in Baltimore have “dangerous lead hazards,” according to a recent report from the Abell Foundation, a local public policy think tank. Fixing the problem would cost between $2.5 billion and $4.2 billion, the report said. Meeting this need “would requir...

2.  Study Identifies Outdoor Air Pollution as the ‘Largest Existential Threat to Human and Planetary Health’  

2022-05-17


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Since the turn of the century, global deaths attributable to air pollution have increased by more than half, a development that researchers say underscores the impact of pollution as the “largest existential threat to human and planetary health.” The findings, part of a study published Tuesday in Th...

3.  In the Race for Pennsylvania’s Open U.S. Senate Seat, Candidates from Both Parties Support Fracking and Hardly Mention Climate Change  

2022-05-16


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Pennsylvania voters head to the polls Tuesday in the primary elections for what will be a critical swing-state Senate race this fall. Two years ago, natural gas drilling became a top focus of Donald Trump’s failed bid to win Pennsylvania, and this year the war in Ukraine and surging gasoline prices hav...

4.  A Climate Progressive Leads a Crowded Democratic Field for Pittsburgh’s 12th Congressional District Seat  

2022-05-14


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Summer Lee was considered a longshot when she ousted a 20-year incumbent Democrat in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives back in 2018. Now Lee, an avid environmental justice advocate and supporter of a Green New Deal, is testing her mettle again as she attempts to become the first Black woman i...

6.  In Pennsylvania’s Primary Election, Little Enthusiasm for the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative  

2022-05-13


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Pennsylvania became the first major fossil fuel-producing state to agree to put a price on carbon last month, when Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration finalized rules to join 11 other states in the  northeastern Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). But it remains to be seen whether Wolf, a Democra...

7.  Fossil Fuels Aren’t Just Harming the Planet. They’re Making Us Sick  

2022-05-12


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For years, researchers have warned that chemical pollutants tied to fossil fuels have become so pervasive that they would be impossible for anyone to avoid. A study released earlier this week may be the first indication of how widely some chemicals have spread. Researchers found multiple classes of potentiall...

8.  Inside Clean Energy: In a World Starved for Lithium, Researchers Develop a Method to Get It from Water  

2022-05-12


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The world needs vast quantities of lithium to meet demand for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. And the United States is way behind China in securing a supply of this rare metal. Catching up in this global race may take some magic, or at least a process that looks like magic...

9.  Coming this Summer: Spiking Electricity Bills Plus Blackouts  

2022-05-11


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Electricity prices are rising in much of the country at the same time that climate change is contributing to extreme heat and a high chance of blackouts this summer. For consumers, the result is an increase in financial strain to pay for a product that often is less reliable than before. The nationa...

10.  New Research Shows Aerosol Emissions May Have Masked Global Warming’s Supercharging of Tropical Storms  

2022-05-11


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Ample research shows how surging greenhouse gas concentrations intensify deadly storms, droughts and heat waves, but cutting them, along with other industrial pollution emissions, will also affect global weather. The effects of emissions reductions are less studied than increases, but understanding ho...

11.  Earth Has a 50-50 Chance of Hitting a Grim Global Warming Milestone in the Next Five Years  

2022-05-10


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As likely as not, the Earth’s average annual temperature will soon have its first spike above the 1.5 degree Celsius cap set for post-Industrial Revolution warming by the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to a new five-year climate outlook from the World Meteorological Organization. Greenhouse gas emission...

12.  In ‘Silent Spring,’ Rachel Carson Described a Fictional, Bucolic Hamlet, Much Like Her Hometown. Now, There’s a Plastics Plant Under Construction 30 Miles Away  

2022-05-10


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SPRINGDALE, Pa.—If you stand in the sloping yard of the Rachel Carson Homestead and look southwest, down toward the Allegheny River, you can see the towers of the Cheswick Generating Station. Through the bare trees and thick green bramble that surround the house, the smokestacks emerge in the distance...

13.  To Equitably Confront Climate Change, Cities Need to Include Public Health Agencies in Planning Adaptations  

2022-05-09


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Cities must better involve their public health agencies in plans to prepare for the impacts of climate change if their adaptations are to equitably help their citizens, according to a recent study in PLOS Climate. City officials must prepare for increasing threats to the physical and mental health o...

14.  In Pennsylvania’s Hotly Contested 17th Congressional District, Climate Change Takes a Backseat to Jobs and Economic Development  

2022-05-09


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BEN AVON, Pa.—On a Saturday morning late last month, in this tree-lined suburb west of Pittsburgh, Chris Deluzio, a Democrat running for Congress, met with residents and supporters at the Anchor & Anvil coffee shop, a community-oriented business on a peaceful street.  Several houses near the coffee sho...

15.  Analysis: Fashion Industry Efforts to Verify Sustainability Make ‘Greenwashing’ Easier  

2022-05-08


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Environmental certification programs that claim to verify the sustainability of fashion brands actually facilitate “greenwashing” for the apparel industry, according to a recent report by environmental advocacy organization Changing Markets Foundation.  The organization, which was founded in 2015 an...

17.  Inside Clean Energy: Navigating the U.S. Solar Industry’s Spring of Discontent  

2022-05-05


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Troy Van Beek is an optimist by nature, but he sounded dour this week. His solar business, Ideal Energy in Fairfield, Iowa, is dealing with the blowback from a Department of Commerce investigation that could lead to retroactive tariffs on certain solar panels imported from Southeast Asia. “We keep gettin...

18.  Activists Laud Biden’s New Environmental Justice Appointee, But Concerns Linger Over Equity and Funding  

2022-05-05


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The White House on Thursday announced it has appointed Jalonne White-Newsome as the Council on Environmental Quality’s senior director for environmental justice. White-Newsome will succeed Cecilia Martinez, whose abrupt departure in January raised concerns among activists that the Biden administratio...

20.  Texas’ Wildfire Risks, Amplified by Climate Change, Are Second Only to Californina’s  

2022-05-03


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This story appeared previously in the Texas Observer. Jody Forbus first volunteered for his local fire department in 2007, the year after his own house in the small Eastland County town of Carbon burned down in a sweeping wildfire. He was mainly determined not to lose his own home again, but soon too...

21.  A Black Woman Fought for Her Community, and Her Life, Amidst Polluting Landfills and Vast ‘Borrow Pits’ Mined for Sand and Clay  

2022-05-01


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PENSACOLA, Fla.—Late last summer, LaFanette Soles-Woods carefully made her way to the podium to address the Escambia County commissioners. Normally, she rode a mobility scooter because she so easily lost her breath. But she thought this occasion was vital enough to make an exception. “I am asking yo...

23.  California Attorney General Investigates the Oil and Gas Industry’s Role in Plastic Pollution, Subpoenas Exxon  

2022-04-30


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The oil and gas industry has a new battle to fight with California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s first-of-its-kind investigation into their role in the global plastics crisis—and it looks a lot like one they’ve been fighting over climate change. Bonta on Thursday announced his investigation and said tha...

24.  The Largest U.S. Grid Operator Puts 1,200 Mostly Solar Projects on Hold for Two Years  

2022-04-29


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The nation’s largest electrical grid operator has approved a new process for adding power plants to the sprawling transmission system it manages, including a two-year pause on reviewing and potentially approving some 1,200 projects, mostly solar power, that are part of a controversial backlog. PJM Interconnectio...

25.  Inside Clean Energy: US Electric Vehicle Sales Soared in First Quarter, while Overall Auto Sales Slid  

2022-04-28


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In a challenging few months for the auto industry, sales of electric vehicles are rising while just about every other category is falling. U.S. electric vehicle sales rose 76 percent in the first quarter, which was enough to double EVs’ share of the market to 5.2 percent, up from 2.5 percent in the firs...

26.  UN Report Says Humanity Has Altered 70 Percent of the Earth’s Land, Putting the Planet on a ‘Crisis Footing’  

2022-04-27


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Damage to the Earth’s lands, largely caused by the expansion of agriculture, has put the planet on “crisis footing,” say the authors of a sweeping new report that urgently calls for the restoration of billions of acres of terrain to forestall the worst impacts of climate change. The report, publishe...

28.  Proponents Say Storing Captured Carbon Underground Is Safe, But States Are Transferring Long-Term Liability for Such Projects to the Public  

2022-04-26


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As states rush to enact rules and regulations for the underground storage of carbon dioxide, a key question is who will hold long-term responsibility for projects that could require monitoring for decades. The question is increasingly important, as a host of companies have proposed dozens of project...

29.  EPA Opens Civil Rights Investigation Into Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’  

2022-04-25


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Robert Taylor knows so many people in his Louisiana hometown who have been diagnosed with cancer that it’s easier for him to name those who don’t have the disease.  The 81-year-old Black man lives in St. John the Baptist Parish, a community nestled along a series of bends in the Mississippi River tha...

30.  Climate Change is Spreading a Debilitating Fungal Disease Throughout the West  

2022-04-22


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When Tim Gulley moved to Bakersfield, California in the late 90s, his dad would order him inside when wind kicked up dust from the area’s vast agricultural lands.  “Valley fever,” officially known as coccidioidomycosis, an infection caused by a soil-borne fungus, could come with the dust.  Inhaling jus...

31.  Two US Electrical Grid Operators Claim That New Rules For Coal Ash Could Make Electricity Supplies Less Reliable  

2022-04-23


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Two of the nation’s grid operators are warning the Environmental Protection Agency that enforcement of coal ash regulations poses risks to the reliability of electrical service over a large part of the country. The comments from PJM Interconnect and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO...

33.  What Does Climate Justice in California Look Like?  

2022-04-20


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Six to eight years ago, “the best science” predicted it would take several decades for California to see the type of climate-driven disasters that have already devastated communities, said Wade Crowfoot, California’s Secretary of Natural Resources, before a packed ballroom during a climate summit i...

34.  The ‘State of the Air’ in America Is Unhealthy and Getting Worse, Especially for People of Color  

2022-04-21


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Millions more Americans are breathing unhealthy air compared to just a few years ago, in large part due to climate change, which is also widening the nation’s health disparities, a new study from one of the country’s leading public health organizations has concluded. On Thursday, the American Lung Associatio...

35.  Should EPA Back-Off Pollution Controls to Help LNG Exports Replace Russian Gas in Germany?  

2022-04-20


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The nation’s top exporter of liquified natural gas, Cheniere Energy, is using Russia’s war on Ukraine to pressure the Biden administration for a break on regulations aimed at reducing toxic air emissions at its LNG export terminals in Louisiana and Texas. Environmental advocates are hoping the Bide...

36.  In South Asia, Vehicle Exhaust, Agricultural Burning and In-Home Cooking Produce Some of the Most Toxic Air in the World  

2022-04-19


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In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that New Delhi was one of the most polluted cities in the world, with dangerous levels of fine particulate matter pollution, known as PM2.5. Ever since, New Delhi has been synonymous with hazardous air quality.  Over the last few years the air quality level...

37.  Erin Schulte Joins Inside Climate News as Senior Editor for Networks and Partnerships  

2022-04-18


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Erin Schulte has joined Inside Climate News as its first senior editor for networks and partnerships, assuming responsibility for amplifying the award-winning nonprofit’s national reach and developing its climate and environment reporting networks in the Southeast, Midwest, Mountain West, West Coas...

38.  The Decline of Kentucky’s Coal Industry Has Produced Hundreds of Safety and Environmental Violations at Strip Mines  

2022-04-18


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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As the coal industry has collapsed in Kentucky, companies have racked up a rising number of violations at surface mines, and state regulators have failed to bring a record number of them into compliance, internal documents show. Enforcement data from 2013 through February, along wit...

39.  North Carolina’s Bet on Biomass Energy Is Faltering, With Energy Targets Unmet and Concerns About Environmental Justice  

2022-04-17


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North Carolina’s push to integrate biogas as a reliable component of the state’s energy mix appears to be on shaky ground, after the state’s utilities commission reported that poultry and swine waste-to-energy projects have failed to meet their energy targets, resulting in supply chain problems and promptin...

40.  In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Unintended Consequences of ‘Fortress Conservation’  

2022-04-15


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Last July, teams of armed park guards and Congolese soldiers who were supposed to be protecting a national wildlife preserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo from poaching and illegal mining surrounded the village of Muyange and began firing on a community of 100 to 200 unarmed Indigenous Batwa people....

42.  Global Warming Drove a Deadly Burst of Indian Ocean Tropical Storms  

2022-04-12


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Global warming supercharged one of the most destructive tropical storm seasons on record in the South Indian Ocean, an international science team said on Monday. In a new study, the researchers focused on deadly rain and flooding from five storms that raked Madagascar and southeastern Africa in quic...

43.  Ocean Warming Doubles Odds for Extreme Atlantic Hurricane Seasons  

2022-04-13


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For storm-battered residents of the Caribbean, the Southeast and the Gulf Coast, new research on hurricanes is rarely good news, with recent studies showing trends toward stronger storms that intensify suddenly near the coast and maintain their strength longer after hitting land. A study published o...

44.  Inside Clean Energy: The Idea of Energy Efficiency Needs to Be Reinvented  

2022-04-14


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For decades, some of the most effective ways of cutting carbon dioxide emissions have been to find ways to burn less fuel. Think of the Honda Civic in your garage that can go for more than 40 miles per gallon of gasoline on the highway, or the natural gas furnace in your basement that is […]

45.  Across the Boreal Forest, Scientists Are Tracking Warming’s Toll  

2022-04-11


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This article was originally published by Yale Environment 360. Read the original story here. A sign hanging above the door of a giant open-top glass chamber in a remote part of Minnesota’s Marcell Experimental Forest explains why so many scientists from around the world have worked hard to get a piec...

46.  A Biomass Power Plant in Rural North Carolina Reignites Concerns Over Clean Energy and Environmental Justice  

2022-04-10


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A North Carolina power plant that generates electricity from poultry waste and wood chips has touched off a controversy over an operating permit that, if granted, would imperil public health and wellbeing, residents and environmental advocates in the surrounding community say.  Since it started operatin...

47.  Texas A&M Shut Down a Major Climate Change Modeling Center in February After a ‘Default’ by Its Chinese Partner  

2022-04-07


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HOUSTON—U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in February mailed letters to 22 U.S. universities: Cut ties with Chinese institutions that have previously “ensnared” scholars in schemes to steal valuable information, he wrote. China’s military, he said, is attempting to acquire and develop cutting-edge technology, sometime...

49.  Occidental is Eyeing California’s Clean Fuels Market to Fund Texas Carbon Removal Plant  

2022-04-06


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Occidental Petroleum is seeking to sell credits in California’s transportation carbon market to help finance the construction of what would be the world’s largest industrial carbon dioxide removal plant. The operation would effectively invert what Occidental has done for a century, by taking carbon ou...

50.  Two Areas in Rural Arizona Might Finally Gain Protection of Their Groundwater This Year  

2022-04-07


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In the late 1990s, Steven and Lucia Kisiel bought 20 acres of land with a new well in Cochise County, a rural area in southeastern Arizona. The couple built a straw bale house with their own hands and started growing produce for themselves and others in the area. In 2013, Kisiel turned on his kitche...

51.  As Russia’s War In Ukraine Disrupts Food Production, Experts Question the Expanding Use of Cropland for Biofuels  

2022-04-05


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In the six weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, the conflict has not only sent energy prices soaring, but has disrupted food production, pushing costs upward and stoking fears of global food shortages.  The United Nations has warned of surging food insecurity in countries that depend on wheat from Ukraine...

52.  One Last Climate Warning in New IPCC Report: ‘Now or Never’  

2022-04-05


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Whatever words and phrases the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have been parsing late into Sunday night, its new report, issued Monday, boils down to yet another dire scientific warning. Greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2025 to limit global warming close to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2....

55.  Inside Clean Energy: US Battery Storage Soared in 2021, Including These Three Monster Projects  

2022-03-31


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Battery storage is quickly moving from the margins to near the center of the U.S. energy system. In 2021, the market added 3,508 megawatts of battery storage capacity, an amount more than double from the prior year, according to a report issued last week by the research firm Wood Mackenzie and the America...

56.  Indigenous Land Rights Are Critical to Realizing Goals of the Paris Climate Accord, a New Study Finds  

2022-04-01


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The land rights of Indigenous peoples across millions of acres of forests in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru must be protected and strengthened if the world has any hope of achieving the goals set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement, a study released on Thursday found.  The study, by the World Resource...

57.  US Taxpayers Are Spending Billions on Crop Insurance Premiums to Prop Up Farmers on Frequently Flooded, Unproductive Land  

2022-03-30


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The vast Mississippi River watershed contains famously fertile soil, making the cropland of the American Midwest some of the most valuable and productive in the world. The watershed is also projected to flood more frequently and intensely as the climate warms, meaning more of that prized farmland wil...

58.  Russia’s War in Ukraine Reveals a Risk for the EV Future: Price Shocks in Precious Metals  

2022-03-28


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A silver sedan rolled off of the General Motors assembly line in Spring Hill, Tennessee, last Monday that represented the $35 billion bet the company is making on the future inside the chassis of its most storied brand. It was GM’s first all-electric Cadillac Lyriq, launched nine months earlier tha...

59.  Deadly ‘Smoke Waves’ From Wildfires Set to Soar  

2022-03-28


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Along with the surge in deaths and destruction from their flames, smoke from Western wildfires presents a health threat to people far from the fires that will get much worse in the next few decades, scientists reported today. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences...

61.  With Biden in Europe Promising to Expedite U.S. LNG Exports, Environmentalists on the Gulf Coast Say, Not So Fast  

2022-03-25


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CAMERON, La.—In a marsh near the Gulf of Mexico shoreline, under a blue sky with white pelicans and bright pink roseate spoonbills flying overhead, John Allaire grabs a fishnet and runs it through the brackish water.  Caught in the green mesh are several juvenile red drum fish and tiny, translucent shrimp...

63.  Hurricane Michael Hit the Florida Panhandle in 2018 With 155 MPH Winds. Some Black and Low-Income Neighborhoods Still Haven’t Recovered  

2022-03-22


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Patricia Roundtree expected that the hurricane that was about to slam the Florida Panhandle in October 2018 would be a close call, like so many other storms over the years that had skimmed over her neighborhood in Panama City but never hit directly.  But Hurricane Michael was different, rapidly intensifyin...

64.  SEC Proposes Landmark Rule Requiring Companies to Tell Investors of Risks Posed by Climate Change  

2022-03-22


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Public companies will have to report their greenhouse gas emissions and inform investors about the dangers that climate change poses to their businesses under a highly anticipated proposal unveiled Monday by the Securities and Exchange Commission. “This is a watershed moment for investors and capita...

65.  Saving Starving Manatees Will Mean Saving This Crucial Lagoon Habitat  

2022-03-22


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This story was produced in partnership with WMFE in Orlando and National Public Radio.  SATELLITE BEACH, Fla.—Not long ago, seagrass spanned the 156-mile Indian River Lagoon like a vast underwater meadow nourished by sunlight that reached through the crystalline water. The lagoon, an estuary on Florida’...

66.  Shifts in El Niño May Be Driving Climates Extremes in Both Hemispheres  

2022-03-23


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The record-breaking heat wave last week in East Antarctica, the coldest region on Earth, saw temperatures surge as much as 85 degrees Fahrenheit above average, bringing readings near freezing and unexpected surface melting instead of the usual sub-zero conditions. The heat wave adds to a quickly growin...

67.  Inside Clean Energy: Here Are The People Who Break Solar Panels to Learn How to Make Them Stronger  

2022-03-24


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Solar panels sit in the elements for decades, dealing with whatever nature has to offer. Despite the challenges of being outside all the time, many panels come with 25-year warranties, and manufacturers say the equipment is capable of operating at a high level for 30, 40 or even more years into the future...

68.  FERC Says it Will Consider Greenhouse Gas Emissions and ‘Environmental Justice’ Impacts in Approving New Natural Gas Pipelines  

2022-03-21


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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued new policy statements saying its approval process for natural gas pipelines and liquified natural gas facilities will take greenhouse gas emissions and “environmental justice” impacts into consideration in determining whether the infrastructure project...

70.  As a Senate Candidate, Mehmet Oz Supports Fracking. But as a Celebrity Doctor, He Raised Significant Concerns  

2022-03-20


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When Dr. Mehmet Oz appeared as a guest on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show nine days ago to give his thoughts about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the celebrity doctor covered expected ground, discussing the plight of civilian victims of the war and the “dwindling” supplies of food, wate...

71.  In Florida, DeSantis May End the Battle Over Rooftop Solar With a Pen Stroke  

2022-03-18


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In 2010, just as the solar industry in the United States was taking off, Justin Vandenbroeck joined a small business as a solar panel installer, an entry level position. “You don’t need to have a college degree to install solar panels, work in the trades or become an electrician,” said Vandenbroeck...

72.  ‘Last Gasp for Coal’ Saw Illinois Plants Crank up Emission-Spewing Production Last Year  

2022-03-18


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This article is the result of a partnership between Inside Climate News and the Chicago Sun-Times. When Illinois lawmakers decided last year to ban most coal-burning power plants by 2030, it was because their harmful effects were well known. The emissions they spew into the air are a leading cause o...

73.  US Blocks Illegal Imports of Climate Damaging Refrigerants With New Rules  

2022-03-17


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Just weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency began enforcing strict new limits on the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, the agency said it has blocked illegal imports of the harmful chemicals equa...

74.  Inside Clean Energy: Here’s a Cool New EV, but You Can’t Have It  

2022-03-17


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Volkswagen has given the world a first look at the new ID. Buzz, an all-electric van that takes design cues from the classic Volkswagen microbus. Buyers in Europe can get the new model later this year. But customers in the United States will need to wait until 2024 for a larger version tailored to th...

75.  Puerto Rico Is Struggling to Meet Its Clean Energy Goals, Despite Biden’s Support  

2022-03-16


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After a year marked by major power outages, high-profile resignations by public officials and widespread protests in the streets of Puerto Rico, the Biden administration is responding to calls from residents to help the U.S. territory quickly transition to renewable energy. Biden has pledged to alig...

76.  In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pandemic Connects Rural Farmers and Urban Communities  

2022-03-14


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When Covid-19 arrived in the Bay Area in 2020, bringing with it shelter-in-place orders, soaring unemployment, and shuttered businesses, Nina Arrocena knew that Mandela Partners’ food programs in West Oakland would have to pivot, and quickly.  Before the pandemic, the nonprofit distributed food at seve...

78.  At Global Energy Conference, Oil and Gas Industry Leaders Argue For Fossil Fuels’ Future in the Energy Transition  

2022-03-11


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Energy titans from around the globe were set to discuss climate change and the challenges it poses to their industry when they gathered in Houston this week, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the turmoil it unleashed in energy markets, reframed their agenda. Taken together, the twin crises pose a...

79.  Latest IPCC Report Marks Progress on Climate Justice  

2022-03-11


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Last week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on climate impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation marks a breakthrough for emphasizing environmental justice in the worldwide effort to limit global warming, some climate experts say. Since the IPCC’s last assessment of climate science i...