Energy, Environment & Climate


  • The Movement To Take Money Away From Fossil Fuels Is Working

    I remember the night in the autumn of 2012 when the first institution in the U.S. publicly committed to divest from fossil fuel. I was with a group of other climate activists in a big theater in Portland, Maine, halfway through a monthlong road show with rallies in cities across the country, and the president of tiny Unity College in the state’s rural interior announced to the crowd that his trustees had just voted to rid their endowment of coal, gas and oil stocks. We cheered like crazy.

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  • When Will We Have the Last Oil Spill?

    Perhaps the first serious shadow to fall on the oil age came in the winter of 1969, after a blowout on a well, six miles off the coast of Santa Barbara. At least two million gallons of crude coated beaches and killed everything, from gulls to sea lions, and the resulting uproar fuelled the first Earth Day, in 1970, and also the first broad environmental laws in the United States, which were soon copied around the world.

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  • Starving the Beast

    Willie Sutton robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” But if he was still alive, he’d probably be studying pension funds.

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  • Our Responsibility to Climate Migrants

    By any moral calculation, the United States should be weighing its responsibilities to Central Americans displaced by climate disasters. And, whether migrants cross international borders or not, it should be US policy to make their journeys as safe and humane as possible.

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  • Climate Change Is About Greed. It's Time For Big Oil to Pay Us Back

    Four interconnected pieces of climate change-related news from the past two weeks reveal America's predicament. And they also show the way forward, which ultimately must include oil companies' paying restitution for damage that they have done to the climate and humanity for decades.

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  • Climate Anxiety Makes Good Sense

    Even as we begin to emerge from the stress of the pandemic year, mental-health professionals are noting a steady uptick in a different form of anxiety—the worry over climate change and the future that it will bring. 

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  • Renewable Energy Is Suddenly Startlingly Cheap

    Earth Week has come and gone, leaving behind an ankle-deep and green-tinted drift of reports, press releases, and earnest promises from C.E.O.s and premiers alike that they are planning to become part of the solution. 

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  • How 1.5 Degrees Became the Key to Climate Progress

    It’s Earth Day +51, as we near the end of President Biden’s first hundred days, and forty world leaders are scheduled to join him for a virtual summit on climate change. 

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  • In a Historic Wildfire Season, It’s Time to Follow the Lead of Young Campaigners

    Using the west coast fires as the backdrop, McKibben discusses the big picture of climate change and the young activists who are stepping up.  This article is part of McKibben’s New Yorker series, Annals of a Warming Planet

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  • What Facebook and the Oil Industry Have in Common

    Why is it so hard to get Facebook to do anything about the hate and deception that fill its pages, even when it’s clear that they are helping to destroy democracy? And why, of all things, did the company recently decide to exempt a climate-denial post from its fact-checking process?This article is part of McKibben’s New Yorker series, Annals of a Warming Planet

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  • What Could Possibly Go Right: Episode 2 with Bill McKibben

    In this episode of What Could Possibly Go Right? Conversations with Cultural Scouts, host Vicki Robins interviews McKibben about our concurrent crises of climate change, the pandemic, and racial injustice, and the lessons we can glean to build solidarity to make systemic change.

    This episode originally aired on June 25, 2020

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  • What Stands in the Way of Making the Climate a Priority

    Inertia and vested interest, it seems to me, are the two forces that make changing the system for the better so rare. Once things are as they are, some group benefits from them-and that group usually has more of a stake in maintaining the status quo than others have in changing it. This article is part of McKibben’s New Yorker series, Annals of a Warming Planet

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  • New Unity Needed Amid Challenges of New Global Age

    Sachs discusses the current upheaval and changing form of globalization, arguing  that global solidarity is essential to the safety of the planet.

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  • Racism, Police Violence, and the Climate Are Not Separate Issues

    McKibben discusses the reasons why the two groups of Americans who care most about climate change are Latinx Americans and African-Americans.  This article is part of McKibben’s New Yorker series, Annals of a Warming Planet

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  • Are We Past the Peak of Big Oil’s Power?

    In this article, McKibben argues that as the economic prospects of the fossil-fuel industry weaken, its political power may wane, too. This article is part of McKibben’s New Yorker series, Annals of a Warming Planet

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  • Stuck in the Past on the Climate

    If you want to know why young people increasingly despair that the rest of us will leave them without a habitable world, consider the case of Lee Raymond.  McKibben argues that shareholders at JP Morgan Chase should block the re-election of this former chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, to its board.

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  • This Earth Day, We Must Stop the Fossil Fuel Money Pipeline

    Taking down the fossil fuel industry requires taking on the institutions that finance it. Even during a pandemic, the movement is gaining steam.

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  • Wanted: Shovel-Ready Projects for a Green New Deal

    As we learned in the previous recession, backing projects before they’re ready has a political cost.  In advancing a Green New Deal for the United States under current conditions, it is important to take seriously issues around how best to time the launch of various components of the overall project. The point is to ensure that we maximize both their short-term stimulus benefits in addition to their longer-term impacts.

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  • Big Oil is Using the Coronavirus Pandemic to Push Through the Keystone XL Pipeline

    McKibben discusses the banking industry’s continued support of fossil fuels while the country is focused on the coronavirus.  ‘In this moment they are using the cover of the pandemic to make yet more money, to do things they could not get away with at any other time.’

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  • If We’re Bailing Out Corporations, They Should Bail Out the Planet

    During the coronavirus pandemic, lobbyists are hounding the Hill looking for company bailouts.  McKibben argues that now is the time for different actions that “could actually be building a world that is safer on every front.”

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  • Universities Should Listen to Their Students on Climate Change

    Students have pushed university administrators to divest, while administrators have pushed back, lecturing students about the “real world” of sound investing and the purported need to keep fossil fuels in the endowments. Eight years on, the lessons are clear. The students are the ones living in the real world, while university administrators, trustees, and endowment managers have been living in an energy fantasyland.

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  • Want to Do Something About Climate Change? Follow the Money.

    Lennox Yearwood Jr. and Bill McKibben, both part of the organizing team at StopTheMoneyPipeline.Com, discuss the role banks play in the fossil fuel industry and how “cutting off that flow of cash may be the single quickest step we can take to rein in the fossil fuel industry and slow the rapid warming of the earth.”

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  • Europe’s Green Deal

    The Green Deal announced by the European Commission is a demonstration of European social democracy at work. A mixed economy, combining markets, government regulation, the public sector, and civil society, will pursue a mixed strategy, combining public goals, public and private investments, and public support.

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  • How Do We Pay For A Zero-Emissions Economy?

    The IPCC estimates that to achieve the 1.5 degrees maximum global mean temperature increase target as of 2100, global net CO2 emissions will have to fall by about 45 percent as of 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

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  • Getting to a Carbon-Free Economy

    In this long-form, detailed piece, Sachs outlines the key pillars of the transition to a carbon-free economy in line with the Paris Agreement and demonstrates both its feasibility and affordability.

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  • Big Oil Needs to Pay for the Damage It Caused

    McKibben and Tamara Toles O’Laughlin write about the landmark case brought by New York State’s attorney general Letitia James on ExxonMobil’s fraud and how justice and equity must serve to guide how we move forward. Toles O’Laughlin is the North America director for the global climate campaign of

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  • Bill McKibben on How Climate Crises and New Technologies Will Change What it Means to Be Human

    In this wide-ranging interview with Intercept’s Murtaza Hussain, McKibben discusses his recent book “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”, as well as the implications of future technologies on social movements and humanity.

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  • A Recession is Coming. When it Does, we Need to Demand a Green New Deal

    ‘Having squandered the last crisis, we cannot make the same mistakes again.’ In this co-authored opinion with David Adler, Varoufakis explains why the only response is a Green New Deal.  Adler is the policy leader fellow at the School of Transnational Governance (EUI) and the policy coordinator of the Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25).

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  • Hello From the Year 2050. We Avoided the Worst of Climate Change — But Everything Is Different.

    Let’s imagine for a moment that we’ve reached the middle of the century. It’s 2050, and we have a moment to reflect-the climate fight remains the consuming battle of our age, but its most intense phase may be in our rearview mirror. And so we can look back to see how we might have managed to dramatically change our society and economy. We had no other choice.

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  • The Amazon Rainforest is Burning. Be Afraid.

    The global impact of the climate crisis is the ultimate reminder that, like it or not, we’re all hitched together. When you cut down the Amazon or dig up the coalfields of Montana, you’re messing with the future of the entire planet. And it’s time for the entire planet to say no.

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  • Yanis Varoufakis and the Green New Deal for Europe

    StartupTV presents Yanis Varoufakis talking about his vision for the future of European politics, including a Green New Deal for Europe. 

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  • An Interview with Yanis Varoufakis

    Dissent editorial board member Kate Aronoff interviews Varoufakis on  how the climate has risen to the top of European politics and ‘whether the left can ground the conversation about rising temperatures in a broader egalitarian vision that can counter tepid centrist technocracy and far-right xenophobia alike, and the response of each to the existential threat hurtling toward us.

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  • It's Time for Nations to Unite Around an International Green New Deal

    Several countries have proposed their own versions of a Green New Deal, but climate change knows no borders. Varoufakis and co-author David Adler  argue the need for a global response.

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  • Puerto Rico: Austerity or a Green New Deal

    Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Almost three thousand Puerto Ricans died, infrastructure and energy systems were devastated, and it will take many years for Puerto Rico to recuperate. With this crisis has come a decision for Puerto Rico: Austerity, or rebuilding using a Green New Deal framework. At the Sanders Institute Gathering, we brought together Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, economist Robert Pollin, and community land trust expert John Davis to talk about the path forward for Puerto Rico.

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  • Dr. Jane Sanders Addresses The Geoscience and Society Summit

    Dr. Jane Sanders, Sanders Institute Co-Founder and Founding Fellow, addressed the 2019 Geoscience and Society Summit in Stockholm hosted by the American Geophysical Union about the need for grassroots movements to elevate interdisciplinary conversations about the climate crisis and how to build effective international collaboration on this important issue.

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  • The Climate Crisis and the Green New Deal

    At the Sanders Institute Gathering, we set out to have  conversations with some exceptional people that have made studying issues like the climate crisis their life’s work. We brought together some of the leading progressive minds to address this issue. Sanders Institute founding fellow, author and climate expert Bill McKibben, author and activist Naomi Klein, Executive Director of Presente Matt Nelson, Sanders Institute founding fellow and leading economist Stephanie Kelton, and physician and former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed, spoke in depth about the climate crisis and how it intersects with each and every issue that our progressive movement is fighting for.

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  • The Green New Deal isn’t Outlandish - It is a Necessity

    Sachs considers the question of how we get to zero-carbon economies by 2050, not only in the US, but in Europe, China, India, and the rest of the world. Sachs is a regular contributor to The Hill

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  • Here’s What a Green New Deal Looks Like in Practice

    With the climate change challenge growing more acute with every passing year, the need for the adoption of a new political economy that would tackle effectively both the environmental and the egalitarian concerns of progressive people worldwide grows exponentially. Yet, there is still a lot of disagreement on the left as to the nature of the corresponding political economy model. One segment of the left calls for the complete overthrow of capitalism as a means of dealing with climate change and the growing levels of economic inequality in the era of global neoliberalism, while another one argues against growth in general. In the interview below, Robert Pollin, distinguished professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, explains some issues raised by each of these positions, and how to move toward solutions grounded in a fuller understanding of economic development.

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  • Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Industry Has Money, But We Have Movements

    After hosting a panel at the Sanders Institute Gathering on the Climate Crisis and a Green New Deal, Sanders Institute Fellow, Bill McKibben, sat down with the Real News Network to expand on the vision of a Green New Deal and the consequences if America and the world does not find a path forward to fight the climate crisis.

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  • We Can Pay For A Green New Deal

    In this HuffPost opinion, Stephanie Kelton is joined by Andres Bernal, and Greg Carlock, in making the case for the financial feasibility of the Green New Deal and how we can rethink our budget in order to pay for it. Andres Bernal is a lecturer in urban studies at Queens College and Greg Carlock is a Washington-based researcher in climate action policy and data.

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  • The Climate Crisis and How We Fix Our World for the Future

    The world is not only facing climate “change” we are facing a CLIMATE CRISIS.

    For thirty years, scientists have warned that we were changing the climate and now those predictions are coming true with a vengeance:

    • The five hottest years on record have all taken place since 2010
    • The 2017 hurricane season caused more damage than any other natural disaster in U.S. history
    • California wildfires devastated a million acres. 
    • And weather events have cost the American economy alone 240 billion dollars a year

    We need to start addressing this climate crisis and we need to have started yesterday. This video series addresses some of the major ways that we can address our climate crisis: Looking to countries around the world, holding corporations accountable, debunking myths about renewable energy jobs, changing how we talk about the climate crisis, and finally, the individual steps that we can take.

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  • Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

    While the best thing that we can do to fight the climate crisis is to join together (our recent video featuring founding fellow Bill Mckibben covers how to do this), we can also pair these group actions with the individual ones that climate organizations have been pushing for years.

    This article outlines some of the ways that we can reduce our individual carbon footprint through: being more energy efficient in our homes, choosing renewable power, eating foods that have lower carbon footprints, making green travel choices, and recycling.

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  • What Can I Do About Climate Change?

    People ask me all the time: 'what can do to fight climate change?' And it's a great question... The biggest thing an individual can do is become a little less of an individual. We must join together with others to form the kind of movements that can push for changes big enough to matter.

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  • We Are All Climate Refugees Now

    This summer's fires, droughts, and record-high temperatures should serve as a wake-up call. The longer a narrow and ignorant elite condemns Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland.

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  • How We Talk About Climate Change

    What are the most effective weapons in the fight against the climate crisis? New energy sources? New technology? Political action? One of the most powerful tools we have is the language we use to talk about the issue.

    In this video, Bill McKibben describes the ways in which both the public and the media can change the way that they talk about the climate crisis to ensure that all Americans understand what is going on, what is at stake, and what we can do to address it.

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  • Climate Change Fact Sheet

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  • The Renewable Energy Jobs Myth

    One of the largest myths about addressing climate change is that transitioning to renewable energy from fossil fuels (especially coal) will create a net loss of American jobs.

    This video outlines some of the key reasons that we should support and encourage renewable energy jobs around this country.

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  • The Private Sector & Climate Change: Holding Corporations Accountable

    The future or our planet depends on us taking action against climate change. The United States of America needs to take a closer look at the economic policies that encourage and allow companies to contribute to climate change and global warming.

    In this video, Bill McKibben addresses some of the ways that we can hold corporations accountable and stop actions that negatively affect the environment: we must get money out of politics, encourage taxes that reflect the true cost of pollution, incentivize the right types of activities, and get the penalties right when companies harm the environment.

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  • Renewable Energy Around the World

    The United States is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world and we have been a leader in so many ways across different generations. However, when it comes to climate science and renewable energy we are falling behind other countries who have taken the leadership and initiative to move towards 100% renewable energy.

    This video outlines some of the ways that other countries around the world are moving towards renewable energy - the types of renewable energy production, as well as the strategies for how to get there. 

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  • The Climate Crisis

    The world is not only facing climate “change” we are facing a CLIMATE CRISIS.

    For thirty years, scientists have warned that we were changing the climate and now those predictions are coming true with a vengeance:

    • The five hottest years on record have all taken place since 2010
    • The 2017 hurricane season caused more damage than any other natural disaster in U.S. history
    • California wildfires devastated a million acres. 
    • And weather events have cost the American economy alone 240 billion dollars a year

    We need to start addressing this climate crisis and we need to have started yesterday. This video gives an overview of climate change, how we got where we are, and what we can do now.

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  • The Fossil Fuel Industry is Weaker Than Ever

    If you’re looking for good news on the climate front, don’t look to the Antarctic. Last week’s spate of studies documenting that its melt rates had tripled is precisely the kind of data that underscores the almost impossible urgency of the moment.

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  • Hit Fossil Fuels Where It Hurts – the Bottom Line

    The divestment movement is having a big impact, and holdouts may be missing their one great chance to really change the world

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  • The Cost of Coal

    If you sell something with knowledge of the damage its consumption will do, you bear some responsibility for that damage.

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  • Achieving 100% Renewable Energy

    What Medicare for All is to the health care debate, or Fight for $15 is to the battle about inequality, 100% Renewable is to the struggle for the planet’s future. It’s how progressives will think about energy going forward.

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  • China's Bold Energy Vision

    China’s proposed Global Energy Interconnection - based on renewables, ultra-high-voltage transmission, and an AI-powered smart grid – represents the boldest global initiative by any government to achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement. It is a strategy fit for the scale of the most important challenge the world faces today.

    Tags: Energy, China
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  • How Climate Activists Failed to Make Clear the Problem With Natural Gas

    Last week, the New Orleans City Council - all Democrats — voted 6-1 to approve a big new gas-fired power plant. Sometime in the coming weeks, in Orange County in upstate New York, another vast new gas power plant is expected to go on line — as soon as it’s hooked up to a new pipeline, one of literally dozens planned across the country. Local opponents — environmentalists, community activists — are fighting hard, but somewhere, almost every day, a new piece of natural gas infrastructure goes up.

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  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s OFF Act for Pathway to 100% Clean Energy Economy Gains National Momentum

    Washington, DC-Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s (HI-02) Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act), H.R. 3671, continues to gain momentum, adding 28 Congressional cosponsors and over 400 endorsements from clean energy, climate change, and environmental organizations since introduction. Building on progress made in Hawai‘i and other states, this legislation will put the United States on a pathway to replace fossil fuels with 100 percent clean energy generation and use by 2035.


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  • 3 Strategies To Get To A Fossil Free America

    The fossil-fuel industry doesn’t hold all the high cards. We’ll start playing our own aces for a Fossil-Free United States on January 31, when Bernie Sanders and an all-star lineup brought together by that includes everyone from indigenous activist Dallas Goldtooth to NAACP organizer Jacqui Patterson to star youth climate organizer Varshini Prakash lay out a coordinated plan for the year ahead.

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  • A Bold Bid for Climate Justice

    (CNN) Americans are paying a fearsome price for global warming. The federal government’s National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported earlier this week that the three powerful Atlantic hurricanes of 2017 - Harvey, Irma and Maria — cost Americans $265 billion, and massive Western forest fires another $18 billion. Scientists have shown that human-induced climate change has greatly increased the frequency and intensity of such disasters.

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  • How is Today’s Warming Different from the Past?

    There are a number of misconceptions about global warming and climate change. One of the most prominent ones is that the warming that we are experiencing is not an anomaly and that the world has been this warm before. 

    This article from NASA describes the type of warming that we have seen in the past, and gives clear examples of how and why the warming that we are seeing now is different. 

    Global Temperature Anomaly

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  • The Movement To Divest From Fossil Fuels Is Gaining Momentum

    Tuesday should have been a day of unmitigated joy for America’s oil and gas executives. The new G.O.P. tax bill treats their companies with great tenderness, reducing even further their federal tax burden.

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  • Winning Slowly is the Same as Losing

    The technology exists to combat climate change - what will it take to get our leaders to act?

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  • US must transition to low-carbon energy

    Energy is the lifeblood of the economy. Without ample, safe, and low-cost energy, it is impossible to secure the benefits of modern life. For two centuries, fossil fuels - coal, oil, and natural gas — offered the key to America’s and the world’s growing energy needs. Now, because of global warming, we have to shift rapidly to a new low-carbon energy system.

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  • We’re Not Even Close To Being Prepared For The Rising Waters

    Those who pay attention to global warming have long considered that its effects on hydrology - the way water moves around the planet — may be even more dramatic than the straightforward increases in temperature.

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  • Politics and Global Warming, October 2017

    This report from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication investigates U.S. public opinion on Climate Change. 

    It finds that "Americans “very worried” about global warming has reached a record high (22%) since first measured in 2008." 

    There are also other key changes in public opinion: Americans increasingly view global warming as a threat. Since Spring 2015, more Americans think it will harm them personally (50%, +14 points), their own family (54%, +13 points), people in the U.S. (67%, +18 points), people in developing countries (71%, +18 points), and future generations (75%, +12 points).

    Finally, Climate Change is becoming more personal to Americans "Nearly two in three Americans (64%) think global warming is affecting weather in the United States, and one in three think weather is being affected “a lot” (33%)."

    Climate Change Study Figure 1

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  • Op-Ed Just say 'no' to Arctic Refuge drilling

    The high Arctic is almost unbearably beautiful. The plains that turn tawny gold and rust red come autumn, the flat tundra that rises sharply into icy peaks, the vast herds of caribou. For decades these images have been enough to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling - it is, after all, a wildlife refuge, and people who’ve never been there can nonetheless deduce simply from that name that it is no place for oil rigs.

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  • Lecture: Climate Crisis, Climate Hope

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  • New York, divest pensions from the fossil fuel companies that are accelerating global warming

    Forget the bizarre tweets and insults from the White House, or the images of the President touring San Juan: What’s happened in Puerto Rico will change life there for many years after all the news has faded from your feed.

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  • TRNN SPECIAL: Trump, The Koch Brothers and Their War on Climate Science

    A documentary special reveals how climate change science has been under systematic attack; the multi-million dollar campaign allowed a climate change denier to be elected president (a new version with updated content and music)

  • Big Oil Will Have to Pay Up, Like Big Tobacco

    Here is a message to investors in the oil industry, whether pension and insurance funds, university endowments, hedge funds or other asset managers: Your investments are going to sour. The growing devastation caused by climate change, as seen this month in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, are going to blow a hole in your fossil-fuel portfolio.

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  • Stop Talking Right Now About The Threat Of Climate Change. It’s Here; It’s Happening

    "For the sake of keeping things manageable, let’s confine the discussion to a single continent and a single week: North America over the last seven days."

    This article looks solely at the devastating effects that the recent hurricanes have had on North America and their link to climate change. McKibben uses these events to galvanize Americans and the world to look beyond day to day life and take steps to begin addressing the dangerous trajectory that we are on.

    "We have to seize the moment we’re in right now - the moment when we’re scared and vulnerable – and use it to dramatically reorient ourselves."

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  • Be Part of the Solution

    What Houston and the rest of the world are up against is physics. As we've heated the planet by burning fossil fuel, certain things have changed. Since warm air can hold more water vapor than cold air, for instance, the stage has been set for previously unimaginable rainstorms like the one that accompanied Harvey.

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  • The Unimaginable is Now Possible: 100% Renewable Energy. We Can't Settle for Less.

    The knock on environmentalists is that they've been better at opposing than proposing. Sure, being against overheating the planet or melting the ice caps should probably speak for itself-but it doesn’t give us a means. So it’s important news that the environmental movement seems to be rallying round a new flag. That standard bears a number: 100 percent.

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  • The Trump Administration's Solution To Climate Change: Ban The Term

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently began instructing its employees to refrain using the phrase 'climate change' and other phrases commonly associated with it. In this article, originally published in The Guardian, Bill McKibben unpacks this 'what you can't say won't hurt you' approach to dealing with a very real issue. 

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  • What Would Thoreau Think of Climate Change?

    Bill McKibben reflects on the author's 200th birthday and what "Walden" can teach us about our time. 

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  • As Climate Changes, Southern States Will Suffer More Than Others

    This article looks at the economic damage that climate change would have on individual counties in the United States. It is based on a study that found that " the nation could face damages worth 0.7 percent of gross domestic product per year by the 2080s for every 1 degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature. But that overall number obscures wide variations: The worst-hit counties - mainly in states that already have warm climates, like Arizona or Texas — could see losses worth 10 to 20 percent of G.D.P. or more if emissions continue to rise unchecked."

    US Map Climate Change 1

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  • How to Tell if Your Reps are Serious About Climate Change

    In this article, Bill McKibben explains how to gauge whether state and local politicians are serious about climate change and not just riding the anti-Trump tide.

    This article originally appeared in Rolling Stone on June 26th, 2017.


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  • So What Exactly Is the Paris Climate Accord?

    Recently, the Paris Climate Agreement as been in the news but what is the agreement and why does it matter? This article from NPR outlines some of the key goals included in the Paris Climate Agreement:

    2 Degrees: "Holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels ..."

    $100 Billion: "To help developing countries switch from fossil fuels to greener sources of energy and adapt to the effects of climate change, the developed world will provide $100 billion a year,"

    2020: "The agreement now codifies that and sets a framework for those reductions to begin in 2020."

    5 years: The deal is designed to evolve as the years pass. Every five years, specifically, each nation's targets will be reevaluated to move the world closer to the 2-degree target.

    The article explains how and why these, and other goals were included.

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  • Jeffrey Sachs at the Global Solutions: T20 Summit

    On May 20th, 2017, Professor Jeffrey Sachs addressed the Global Solutions T20 Summit in Berlin. In this speech, Sachs puts our current economic, social and environmental crises into historical context and addresses the importance of new ideas and solutions to the most pressing issues facing the world today, specifically those in the 2030 agenda of Sustainable Development Goals that were unanimously decided upon in September 2015 by a group of world leaders. 

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  • Lecture: The Climate Fight Reaches Its Crucial Stage

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  • 2017 Climate March

    On April 29th 2017 the Sanders Institute was a partner of the Climate March. 

    We brought our own signs to help raise awareness about scientific facts around climate change that we passed out and, and found others in the crowd that also sought to educate.

    This article compiles some of our favorites, and describes the facts behind them. 

    Climate March 3

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  • Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock

    The Water Protectors at Standing Rock captured world attention through their peaceful resistance. While many may know the details, AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock captures the story of Native-led defiance that forever changed the fight against for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet. The film is a collab­oration between Indigenous filmmakers, Director Myron Dewey, Executive Producer Doug Good Feather and environmental Oscar Nominated filmmakers Josh Fox and James Spione. It is a labor of love to support the peaceful movement of the water protectors.

    For more information on the film, click here.

  • How Much Can This Planet Stand?

    In this article Bill McKibben talks about the potentially disastrous effects of a policy approach to carbon emissions that ignores the science of climate change.

    "What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating."

    McKibben states that many of the aspects of President Trump's approach to energy policy will have longer term effects: "The effects will be felt not immediately but over decades and centuries and millenniums. More ice will melt, and that will cut the planet’s reflectivity, amplifying the warming; more permafrost will thaw, and that will push more methane into the atmosphere, trapping yet more heat. The species that go extinct as a result of the warming won’t mostly die in the next four years, but they will die. The nations that will be submerged won’t sink beneath the waves on his watch, but they will sink. No president will be able to claw back this time - crucial time, since we’re right now breaking the back of the climate system."

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  • Climate Change: The Biggest Thing Human Beings Have Ever Done

    On April 17th Bill McKibben addressed the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at the State University of New York. This article is an excerpt from that speech.

    He stresses that at this point the world has only seen 1 degree Celsius increase in average temperature, yet so much has changed. He describes some of the environmental changes that have occurred due to climate change that he has witnessed himself - from the melting ice in the arctic to the bleaching of coral reefs. He goes on to describe the link between climate change and the Syrian civil war. 

    McKibben concludes that climate change is "by far the biggest thing that human beings have ever done" but that humans are not doing very little to cope with it. 

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  • Lecture: Outside the Comfort Zone

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  • From Standing Rock To Maui: Tulsi Gabbard Joins Resistance To A&B’s Massive Water Theft

    Many people have heard about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Native community's struggle against it. However, this type of struggle is not unique to that one area of the country.

    In Maui, Hawaii, residents are facing a similar struggle against corporations about their access to water: "Instead of paying market rate for the water from public lands and sharing the proceeds with Native Hawaiians, as required by state law, for decades A&B has taken more than 80% of all public water consumed on the island." The corporation pays $3 per million gallons, while the island's 155,000 residents pay $4,000 for 1 million gallons. 

    This article looks at the intrinsic unfairness of this system and describes the coming together of a number of prominent Hawaii politicians, including Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, against this situation.

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  • Coal And The Energy Future

    During the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump talked a significant amount about "putting people back to work. And one of the industries he focused on most was the coal industry."

    In this video, Prof. Robert Reich looks at the numbers of jobs in the coal industry compared to the solar and wind industries: "In 1985 the coal industry employed a over 178,000 miners. By 2016, it employed just 56,000. By contrast, in 2016, wind and solar energy provided more than 6 times the number of jobs as coal. The trend is toward even more jobs in wind and solar, regardless of what Trump does."

    Reich believes that the country should focus on helping people get jobs in the growing wind and solar industries rather than the coal industry. 

    "It’s our choice." 

    Tags: Energy, Coal, Jobs
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  • Op ed: Citizens Must Hold Government Accountable on Climate

    In this opinion article originally published in The Boston Globe, Founding Fellow Bill Mckibben lays out the current climate crises and the response of average citizens and city leaders to the recent Trump administration mandates effectively ending the support of environmental measures and research to combat climate change. 

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  • Fighting Back on Climate Change

    On a particularly bad day for Earth's wellbeing - the EPA revealed massive budgetary cuts while the Trump administration waffled on the Paris Agreement on climate change – environmentalist and 350.orgfounder Bill McKibben appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher to discuss the dire situation and how the American people can fight back.

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  • The Solutions Project

    The Solutions Project is an organization that works to demonstrate and accelerate the United States' transition to 100% renewable energy.

    Their goal is to transition the United States and the world to 80% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2030 and 100% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2050. They envision that this will primarily be through the expansion of multiple facets of solar and wind energy.Solutions World Transition


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  • Senator Bernie Sanders And Bill Nye Discuss Climate Change

    Senator Bernie Sanders and Bill Nye sit down to discuss a number of issues around climate change, energy, and the future of science in America.

    Bill Nye begins his description of the current issue around climate change with a description of the consequences of doing nothing - including that sea level rise would displace millions of people around the globe and disproportionately affect lower income, and third world countries. He describes that "the science is settled" and skeptics are misinterpreting scientific uncertainty about minor elements of climate change to be uncertainty about the entirety of climate change. 

    They then discuss the transition to renewable energy. Bill Nye mentions his support for the "Solutions Project" that has laid out a plan that will transition the United States to 80% renewable energy in 15 years and 100% renewable energy in 30 years through converting all transportation to electric modes, and covering every roof with solar panels. Nye encourages young engineers to innovate and create a new electric grid that would collect electricity from all across the country. 

    Ultimately, Nye states that he wants to be able to find common ground on climate change and make this country the leader in renewable energy technology, space exploration, and addressing climate change. 

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  • Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal And Gas Across Much Of The United States

    Renewables are cheaper than coal and gas across much of the United States.

    For the second year in a row, wind and solar accounted for roughly two-thirds of new U.S. generating capacity, while natural gas and nuclear made up most of the rest.

    That’s because right now, in much of the United States, wind and solar are the cheapest form of power available, according to a new report from investment bank Lazard.

    This article looks at a report that shows the progress and therefore, reduction in cost of both wind and solar energy. 

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  • US Must Transition To Low-Carbon Energy

    In this article Jeffery Sachs outlines how and why the U.S. should transition to low carbon energy.

    He states that while the Trump administration has talked about the resurgence of coal and other fossil fuels, he believes that the pushback from other world leaders and millennials makes this less than likely. 

    Sachs' roadmap to a transition to low carbon energy includes three steps:

    1. Energy efficiency: cutting back on excessive energy use through switching to energy-saving technologies.

    2. Transitioning to zero carbon electricity: by 2050 electricity should be generated entirely by non-carbon sources.

    3. Fuel switching: instead of burning fossil fuels in cars, people would use electricity or other substitutes.

    Sachs describes that global warming has already had major impacts on the world and the United States of America is in a prime position to use it's readily-available renewable energy sources to transition away from carbon energy and mitigate further consequences of global warming. 

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  • Bill McKibben on The Fate of The Earth

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  • Recalculating The Climate Math

    In this article, Bill McKibben investigates the question "How much more new digging and drilling can we do and still keep the atmosphere temperature rise below 2 degrees?"

    His answer: None. 

    Based on a report from Oil Change International McKibben demonstrates that the amount of carbon that exists in current oil and gas wells exceeds the amount of carbon that the world can safely emit into the atmosphere and have a reasonable chance of staying beneath the 2 degree limit.

    McKibben argues that we have already raised the world's temperature by 1 degree can have seen drastic effects - half the ice in the arctic has melted, huge swaths of coral has died out, there have been increases in floods and droughts, recent months have broken records for heat, areas of the world have approached temperatures that humans cannot survive. 

    He calls for an immediate cease to new exploration and a managed decline of the fossil fuel industry because "We literally cannot keep doing what we're doing if we want to have a planet."

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  • Mapping the World's Energy Sources

    The world produces electricity from three major sources: fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and renewables. Of the three, fossil fuels is still the most dominant. So how many countries would be left in the dark if we were to ban them tomorrow? The innovators at goCompare can answer that question with their interactive map that reveals the different sources of energy that power the world.

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  • Why We Need a Carbon Tax, And Why It Won’t Be Enough

    It feels as if we may be getting close, or at least closer, as a nation to putting some kind of price on global warming pollution.

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  • How to Let Go of the World And Love All the Things Climate Can't Change

    In How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change, Oscar Nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND) continues in his deeply personal style, investigating climate change – the greatest threat our world has ever known. Traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, what is it that climate change can’t destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?

    To read more information about the film, click here.

  • Disobedience

    This video describes the political situation around climate change and how the Paris Agreement was not enough, specifically because it is not a legally binding contract. 

    It calls on individuals and communities to step into this issue and fight to limit climate change where politics have fallen short. It uses  examples of communities that stood together and stood up to corporate interests to demonstrate that through organization, civil disobedience, and making others aware of the situation, strides can be made.

    These communities include an area in the Philippines where they were able to oust a dictatorship that had many dirty and harmful energy projects. A community in Canada that stopped a Shell project, a community in Turkey that was successful at preventing the construction of a plant, and a movement in Germany that stopped lignite machines in protest of the destruction of a town that produced 100% of its energy from renewables simply because it sat on fossil fuel deposits. 

    The video encourages the viewers to make their voices heard because it is important to grab public attention on this issue to galvanize support. 

    It ends with the call to action: “The limits of the impossible are meant to be moved. How many people are active and engaged on this issue? All we have is a choice whether to be one of those people”

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  • New Politics For Clean Energy

    The Paris climate agreement was a large step for the world, but implementation of that agreement is going to be much more difficult. 

    The U.S. government, and governments across the world will need "a new approach to an issue that is highly complex, long term, and global in scale." This sort of fast paced, wholistic transformation in industry is unprecedented.

    Sachs believes that "politics as usual" will not be sufficient to meet the need for this aggressive shift to reduce carbon emissions and that policies that look beyond the short-term political environment are needed to enact the necessary changes. Therefore, Sachs suggests removing the control of day to day planning and implementation of climate change regulation from "short term electoral politics" and creating "politically independent energy agencies with high technical experience."

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  • Climate Change Polling Data

    One of the major hurdles in implementing necessary change to address climate change is public opinion of the issue. Gallup and other prominent public polling firms have tracked public opinion about climate change and global warming since before 2000.

    This article examines what the American public thinks about climate change and why so much cognitive dissonance exists around doing something to address it. 

    CC Polling Data Slide 1 v2

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  • Why We Need to Keep 80% of Fossil Fuels in the Ground

    Physics can impose a bracing clarity on the normally murky world of politics. It can make things simple. Not easy, but simple.

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  • This Changes Everything

    What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

    Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

    Directed by Avi Lewis, Produced by Danny Glover, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

    Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

    *For information on how to see the full film click here.

  • Do The Math

    Do the Math is a video that goes over the science behind climate change, and outlines Bill McKibben's three important numbers of climate change :

    1) 2 degrees - The number that scientists and world leaders have said it would be safe to let the planet warm

    2) 565 - The number of gigatons of carbon that the world could add to the atmosphere and have a reasonable chance of staying beneath the 2 degree threshold. 

    3) 2,795 - The number of gigatons of carbon that fossil fuel industry has in their reserves already (fossil fuel that this industry currently has accessible.) 

    Finally, the video ends with an examination of the Keystone XL pipeline protests as an example of humans standing up to the fossil fuel industry, raising awareness, and halting or slowing the release of greenhouse gasses.

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  • From Good Intentions to Deep Decarbonization

    In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, many observers wondered whether plans submitted by more than 150 governments to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 would be enough. But there is a more important question: Will the chosen path to 2030 provide the basis for ending greenhouse-gas emissions later in the century?

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  • Alaska's National Climate Assessment

    Climate change is a looming problem for the world. However, many people struggle to understand the true impact of climate change because the terms are difficult to understand in real terms - how will this affect my country? my state? my community? me?

    The National Climate Assessment breaks down the effects of climate change into specific regions of the United States. This article specifically focuses on Alaska. It finds some key changes in Alaska due to climate change:

    Disappearing Sea Ice: Arctic summer sea ice is receding faster than previously projected and is expected to virtually disappear before mid-century. This is altering marine ecosystems and leading to greater ship access, offshore development opportunity, and increased community vulnerability to coastal erosion.

    Shrinking Glaciers: Most glaciers in Alaska and British Columbia are shrinking substantially. This trend is expected to continue and has implications for hydropower production, ocean circulation patterns, fisheries, and global sea level rise.

    Thawing Permafrost: Permafrost temperatures in Alaska are rising, a thawing trend that is expected to continue, causing multiple vulnerabilities through drier landscapes, more wildfire, altered wildlife habitat, increased cost of maintaining infrastructure, and the release of heat-trapping gases that increase climate warming.

    Changing Ocean Temperatures and Chemistry: Current and projected increases in Alaska’s ocean temperatures and changes in ocean chemistry are expected to alter the distribution and productivity of Alaska’s marine fisheries, which lead the U.S. in commercial value.

    Native Communities: The cumulative effects of climate change in Alaska strongly affect Native communities, which are highly vulnerable to these rapid changes but have a deep cultural history of adapting to change.

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  • The IPCC's Synthesis Report

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report in 2014 based on numerous reports from "three Working Groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including relevant special reports.

    The entire report provides an assessment of the current state of climate change and addresses the following topics: observed changes and their causes; future climate change, risks and impacts; future pathways for adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development; adaptation and mitigation.

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  • Coastal National Climate Assessment

    Climate change is a looming problem for the world. However, many people struggle to understand the true impact of climate change because the terms are difficult to understand in real terms - how will this affect my country? my state? my community? me?

    The National Climate Assessment breaks down the effects of climate change into specific regions of the United States. This article specifically focuses on coastal regions. It finds some key changes in coastal regions due to climate change:

    Coastal Lifelines at Risk: Coastal lifelines, such as water supply and energy infrastructure and evacuation routes, are increasingly vulnerable to higher sea levels and storm surges, inland flooding, erosion, and other climate-related changes.

    Economic Disruption: Nationally important assets, such as ports, tourism, and fishing sites, in already-vulnerable coastal locations, are increasingly exposed to sea level rise and related hazards. This threatens to disrupt economic activity within coastal areas and the regions they serve and results in significant costs from protecting or moving these assets.

    Uneven Social Vulnerability: Socioeconomic disparities create uneven exposures and sensitivities to growing coastal risks and limit adaptation options for some coastal communities, resulting in the displacement of the most vulnerable people from coastal areas.

    Vulnerable Ecosystems: Coastal ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change because many have already been dramatically altered by human stresses; climate change will result in further reduction or loss of the services that these ecosystems provide, including potentially irreversible impacts. 

    The State of Coastal Adaptation: Leaders and residents of coastal regions are increasingly aware of the high vulnerability of coasts to climate change and are developing plans to prepare for potential impacts on citizens, businesses, and environmental assets. Significant institutional, political, social, and economic obstacles to implementing adaptation actions remain.

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  • Hawaii's National Climate Assessment

    Climate change is a looming problem for the world. However, many people struggle to understand the true impact of climate change because the terms are difficult to understand in real terms - how will this affect my country? my state? my community? me?

    The National Climate Assessment breaks down the effects of climate change into specific regions of the United States. This article specifically focuses on Hawaii. It finds some key changes in Hawaii due to climate change:

    Changes to Marine Ecosystems: Warmer oceans are leading to increased coral bleaching events and disease outbreaks in coral reefs, as well as changed distribution patterns of tuna fisheries. Ocean acidification will reduce coral growth and health. Warming and acidification, combined with existing stresses, will strongly affect coral reef fish communities.

    Decreasing Freshwater Availability: Freshwater supplies are already constrained and will become more limited on many islands. Saltwater intrusion associated with sea level rise will reduce the quantity and quality of freshwater in coastal aquifers, especially on low islands. In areas where precipitation does not increase, freshwater supplies will be adversely affected as air temperature rises.

    Increased Stress on Native Plants and Animals: Increasing temperatures, and in some areas reduced rainfall, will stress native Pacific Island plants and animals, especially in high-elevation ecosystems with increasing exposure to invasive species, increasing the risk of extinctions.

    Sea Level Rising: Rising sea levels, coupled with high water levels caused by tropical and extra-tropical storms, will incrementally increase coastal flooding and erosion, damaging coastal ecosystems, infrastructure, and agriculture, and negatively affecting tourism.

    Threats to Lives, Livelihoods, and Cultures: Mounting threats to food and water security, infrastructure, and public health and safety are expected to lead to increasing human migration from low to high elevation islands and continental sites, making it increasingly difficult for Pacific Islanders to sustain the region’s many unique customs, beliefs, and languages.

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  • A Simple And Smart Way To Fix Climate Change

    In this TED talk, Dan Miller explains his journey to towards paying more attention to climate change and how he believes this country can lead the world to reduce the impacts of climate change.

    After examining the scientific proof and consensus, Miller looks at why humans are less likely to believe that climate change is occurring and describes that the usual "threat indicators" that we use to determine whether we are in danger (visible, immediate danger, caused by an enemy) are not present in climate change. 

    However, there is a "need to urgently and dramatically lower fossil fuel emissions." To do so, Miller proposes a "Fee and Dividend" policy. Under this policy, there would be a fee on the CO2 content of fossil fuels. The money collected from that fee would be given as a dividend to every leal resident of America which would help offset the increase in prices. Ultimately, because the wealthy use more CO2 than the poor and middle class, the dividend would disproportionately benefit those classes. 

    In addition, Miller suggests a border duty from other countries who do not have a similar fee on carbon that would encourage other countries to implement similar policies. 

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  • The Climate Change Debate - Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

    In this video, John Oliver makes light of the current climate change "debate."

    He criticizes the media for their coverage of the issue on two fronts:

    He argues that the media should not be reporting on public opinion of whether climate change is caused by human activities because of the strong scientific consensus on the issue. He states that a poll about climate change is not a poll about opinions, it is a poll about facts. "You might as well have a poll that asks "are there hats?""

    He also criticizes the media for their coverage of climate change in using an expert from both sides, because "when you look at the screen, it's inherently misleading" and creating the visual that it is an equal argument, when in reality 97% of scientists endorse the position that humans are causing global warming. 

    To "correct" the situation he holds his own "debate" using 97 people who argue that climate change is caused by human activity, and three people who argue that it is not. 

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  • Movements Without Leaders

    In this article Bill McKibben talks about a shift in protest movements since the 1960s. He describes that when he was growing up, movements had prominent leaders that decided the course of the movement. Now, movements like those that he is involved in that are fighting to mitigate climate change, are "movements without leaders." McKibben believes that the successes of the fight against climate change has come from this structure.

    "This sprawling campaign exemplifies the only kind of movement that will ever be able to stand up to the power of the energy giants, the richest industry the planet has ever known. In fact, any movement that hopes to head off the worst future depredations of climate change will have to get much, much larger, incorporating among other obvious allies those in the human rights and social justice arenas."

    McKibben describes that these movements are not without prominent individuals, but they act as the voice of the movement and inspiration rather than the leaders. These individuals can be people who have experienced the affects of climate change personally, those who have had success organizing against it, to climate scientists who can articulately explain the science. Instead, there is a need for organizational leaders -  "We may not need capital-L Leaders, but we certainly need small-l leaders by the tens of thousands."

    McKibben calls on his readers to step up as leaders in their communities, and galvanizes them with former successes and future challenges.

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  • Debunking The Myths Of Climate Change Denial

    In this video from a number of years ago, Dr. Marshall Shepherd looks at the scientific proof behind climate change and addresses what he calls the "Zombie theories" of climate change - arguments for why climate change isn't real that have been debunked again and again by climate scientists but still exist (even years after this video was released). These zombie theories include:

    1. That climate change is natural - he explains that the normal, natural change is superimposed on the "steroid" (CO2) that humans are adding to the atmosphere

    2. It is caused by the sun - he explains that scientists understand the sun's cycles and that those cycles do not explain the warming

    3. We can't trust the climate models because we can't trust the weather - he explains that this is incorrect because weather is trying to predict events while climate models predict a broader state. Dr. Shepherd describes that  "weather is your mood, and climate is your personality."

    4. Scientists want grant money - Dr. Shepherd explained that  if scientists want grant money it would be in their interests to say "we don't know what is going on, we should do more research."

    5. We have been warmer in the past - he explains that while, yes, it has been warmer, that time period was when dinosaurs existed and the world looked completely different.

    Watch the video to hear Dr. Shepherd talk about more zombie theories.

    Dr. Shepherd ends his talk with the plea that we bring public awareness of and outlook on climate change in line with scientists' views. 

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  • The Colbert Report: Bill McKibben And The Keystone XL Pipeline

    In this video from the Colbert Report in 2012, Bill McKibben describes the issues with the pipeline and calls individuals to act - action that led to a halt of the pipeline under the Obama administration.

    McKibbed describes that his goal as an activist is to change the world for the better - when confronted by Colbert about the affects that environmentalists have on the day to day lives of citizens (gas prices and buying different cars) McKibben replies that "with any luck we are the people who are going help you get the plug in hybrid car that does so well on gas that you forget which side the gas cap is on” and that “Our goal now is to keep the planet working so that when you drop the top [of your car] it’s still alright outside”

    McKibben describes that we are already seeing substantial changes in the environment with 1 degree of warming and that we should beware of burning more without further extreme consequences. 

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  • Gasland

    "The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudia Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown."

    You can watch the full documentary here, and read more about it here.

  • Now or Never: What's An Environmentalist To Do?

    When global warming first emerged as a potential crisis in the late '80s, one academic analyst called it "the public policy problem from hell."

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