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  • 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 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

  • 5 Reasons We Should be Concerned about Fracking (Film)

    We all know that the affordability, efficiency, and sustainability of cleaner, greener energy will be a major challenge for this century. Some have called natural gas a better and cleaner energy source; yet, even if we set aside this hot air, the process of extracting the gas (called hydraulic fracturing or fracking) proves problematic for both environmentalists as well as those in proximity to the wells. SnagFilms’ After the Gas Rush series explores the dangers associated with natural gas fracking. 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

  • Reducing Carbon Emissions on the Road: from Cars to Infrastructure

    Slowly, it seems that everyone is waking up to the dangerous potential of our dinosaur-sized carbon footprints. And speaking of dinosaurs, perhaps the worst contributor to world-wide CO2 emissions is fossil fuel consumption. One of the driving forces behind all of these emissions is, well, driving. Between personal travel, commercial transport and construction and maintenance, […] More

  • Swedish City Fuels Up On Waste, Not Fossils

    Ten years ago, Kristianstad, Sweden made a pledge to wean itself from its use of fossil fuels, and currently the city can claim to have eliminated oil, natural gas, and coal in heating homes. Compare that to twenty years ago, when all of the city’s energy for home heating came from imported fossil fuels. The […] More

  • Environmental Impact of Eating Meat

    New United Nation Food and Agriculture report tells us again that eating meat has perhaps the largest negative environmental impact of any human action. And more than half of the world’s crops are fed to animals. I’ve written on the relationship between eating meat (or being vegetarian) and the environment extensively before. However, there is […] More

  • Why Toxic Coal Waste May End Up In Your Food

    There is a long history of the US pushing industrial waste onto agriculture and our water supplies (water fluoridation, anyone?), and it continues today with the government’s hope to spread a chalky waste product from coal-fired power plants, FGD gypsum, on fields of crops. FGD gypsum (flue gas desulfurization gypsum) is a synthetic form of […] More

  • Earth Policy Institute: A Massive Market Failure

    By Lester R. Brown When Nicholas Stern, former chief economist at the World Bank, released his ground-breaking study in late 2006 on the future costs of climate change, he talked about a massive market failure. He was referring to the failure of the market to incorporate the climate change costs of burning fossil fuels. The […] More

  • Banks Announce "Carbon Principles"

    Spurred by looming federal policy on CO2 emissions, many banks are exploring how to mitigate their financial risk as much as possible. This week, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan announced guidelines to help them determine whether to lend money to projects that emit a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) – like coal-fired power plants. […] More