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  • West Virginia Water is Still Contaminated

    With the epic storms ripping through the southeast this week, the news cycle has kind of moved past the dirty coal spill that contaminated a large part of the West Virginia water supply. Unfortunately, toxic chemicals associated with coal production are still showing up in some resident’s water. More

  • As Sea Ice Shrinks, Arctic Shipping Options Expand

    By Janet Larsen and Emily E. Adams On October 7, 2013, the Nordic Orion bulk carrier ship completed its journey from Vancouver, Canada, to Pori, Finland, having traveled northward around Alaska and through the Northwest Passage. It was the first large commercial freighter ever to make the voyage through these typically ice-covered Arctic waters. Avoiding […] More

  • U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Down 11 Percent Since 2007

    Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels in the United States peaked at more than 1.6 billion tons of carbon in 2007. Since then they have fallen 11 percent, dropping to over 1.4 billion tons in 2013, according to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Emissions shrank rapidly during the recession, then bounced back slightly as the economy recovered. But shifting market conditions, pollution regulations, and changing behaviors are also behind the decline. More

  • Fossil Fuel Use Pushes Carbon Dioxide Emissions into Dangerous Territory

    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. More

  • The Energy Game is Rigged: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Topped $620 Billion in 2011

    The energy game is rigged in favor of fossil fuels because we omit the environmental and health costs of burning coal, oil, and natural gas from their prices. Subsidies manipulate the game even further. According to conservative estimates from the Global Subsidies Initiative and the International Energy Agency (IEA), governments around the world spent more than $620 billion to subsidize fossil fuel energy in 2011. More

  • The Carbon Footprint of Santa's Trip Around the World [Infographic]

    Flying reindeer and a sleigh would seem like a pretty eco-friendly form of travel… but even Santa has a carbon footprint. Toys take energy to make, lumps of coal are carbon-intensive, and reindeer produce methane just like cattle. Here are some suggestions for St. Nick and team for cutting the environmental impact of their annual trip around the world. More

  • The Great Transition, Part I: From Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy

    The great energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is under way. As fossil fuel prices rise, as oil insecurity deepens, and as concerns about pollution and climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old energy economy, fueled by oil, coal, and natural gas, is being replaced with an economy powered by wind, solar, and geothermal energy. More

  • Governments Spend $1.4 Billion Per Day to Destabilize Climate

    We distort reality when we omit the health and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels from their prices. When governments actually subsidize their use, they take the distortion even further. Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010. More

  • U.S. Carbon Emission Down 7 Percent in Four Years, Even Bigger Drops Coming

    By Lester R. Brown Between 2007 and 2011, carbon emissions from coal use in the United States dropped 10 percent. During the same period, emissions from oil use dropped 11 percent. In contrast, carbon emissions from natural gas use increased by 6 percent. The net effect of these trends was that U.S. carbon emissions dropped […] More

  • Learning from China: Why the Existing Economic Model Will Fail

    By Lester R. Brown For almost as long as I can remember we have been saying that the United States, with 5 percent of the world’s people, consumes a third or more of the earth’s resources. That was true. It is no longer true. Today China consumes more basic resources than the United States does. […] More

  • A Fifty Million Dollar Tipping Point?

    By Lester R. Brown At a press conference on July 21, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he was contributing $50 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. Michael Brune, head of the Sierra Club, called it a “game changer”. It is that, but it also could push the United States, and […] More

  • The Good News About Coal

    By Lester R. Brown During the years when governments and the media were focused on preparations for the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiations, a powerful climate movement was emerging in the United States: the movement opposing the construction of new coal-fired power plants. Environmental groups, both national and local, are opposing coal plants because they are […] More

  • How Many Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Does It Take to Close 705 Coal Plants?

    By Lester R. Brown The lighting sector is on the edge of a spectacular revolution, a shift from the century-old, inefficient incandescent light bulb to far more efficient technologies. Perhaps the quickest, most profitable way to reduce electricity use worldwide—thus cutting carbon emissions—is simply to change light bulbs. The Current Standard in Energy-Saving Light Bulbs: […] More

  • Coal-Fired Power On the Way Out?

    The past two years have witnessed the emergence of a powerful movement opposing the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States. Initially led by environmental groups, both national and local, it has since been joined by prominent national political leaders and many state governors. The principal reason for opposing coal plants is […] More

  • Sierra Club Chalks Up 100th Victory in Fight to Stop New Coal-Fired Power Plants

    Written by Stacy Morford. Originally published on July 9, 2009, at SolveClimate. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/bIQqnlDXXxc&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1] In 2001, energy companies across the United States were busy drawing up plans for about 150 new coal-fired power plants. That year, Sierra Club launched its Beyond Coal campaign. Today, the campaign celebrated its 100th defeat of a proposed coal plant. “Coal […] More

  • SolveClimate: Media Savvy Youth are Blogging Coal to Death

    Editor’s note: This post was written by Rachel Barge, and originally published on Tuesday, March 31, at SolveClimate. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/71kckb8hhOQ&hl=en&fs=1] We all know young people have a handle on the Internet like no other demographic. My generation grew up playing computer games, had PC literacy classes in elementary school, and secretly hijacked the internet for music […] More

  • Building a "Green Economy": A New Revolution in China?

    A “green economy” can be built in China in less than 20 years, argues a new McKinsey report. The new study, “China’s Green Revolution“, offers the most comprehensive quantitative analysis to date of China’s abatement cost curve. Previous studies of a similar ilk, like the Stern Review, have incorporated social benefits to partially offset the […] More

  • The Coen Brothers Take On 'Clean' Coal

    The Reality Coalition has a new campaign ad exposing the lie behind “clean” coal. This one was directed by Academy Award winning film makers, Ethan and Joel Coen, and includes the great line, “clean coal harnesses the awesome power of the word clean”. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/uFJVbdiMgfM&hl=en&fs=1] More

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