Author: Dave Levitan

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Can We Really Get Back to 350 ppm?

Today is 350.org’s International Day of Climate Action, during which people around the world are trying to call attention to our need to bring the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere back down to 350 parts-per-million (ppm). A noble cause, to be sure — but can we actually do it?

October 24th

Senate Fights For EPA’s CO2 Regulation Power

In the midst of a week when climate change finally stole back some of the spotlight that had been hogged by health care reform for months, the Senate fought off a potentially devastating attempt to emasculate the EPA and its recently won power to regulate greenhouse gases.

September 26th

EPA Grants California Fuel Emissions Waiver Request

The Environmental Protection Agency has granted California’s waiver request that will allow the state to enforce strict greenhouse gas emissions standards on cars beginning with the present model year. California first applied for the waiver in 2005, but was denied several years later. Now, the EPA grants the waiver based on the need for California to improve its air pollution conditions.

June 30th

Senate Committee Passes Drilling and Energy Legislation

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved by a vote of 15 to 8 a piece of legislation that would open up huge areas of the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere for drilling of oil and natural gas. It also contains requirements for increases in renewable energy generation, and a number of other energy-related measures, but it seems a sad and regressive alternative to Waxman-Markey, which may reach a floor vote in the House by next week.

June 18th

Japan’s Bold New Emissions Target (Note: Not Really Bold)

Japan will attempt to reduce emissions to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, which is about equivalent to eight percent below 1990 levels. Critics will say that the new targets aren’t remotely bold enough for the world’s second largest economy and fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, just as some say the cuts proposed for the US in the Waxman-Markey Bill are off the mark.

June 11th

Should Environmental Scientists Be Policy Advocates?

In a paper published recently in the journal Conservation Biology, two scientists attempt to summarize all the available arguments both for and against scientists-as-advocates. Their conclusion, arrived at because of the determination that scientists are citizens first and scientists second, is that the scientific community should indeed be more involved in advocacy than it is. Climate change, to me, seems to be the ideal spot for this to take place.

May 20th

Waxman-Markey: What the Big Green Guns Are Saying

As discussions open in Congress today surrounding the American Clean Energy and Security Act (the Waxman-Markey Bill), I started to wonder what environmental advocacy groups’ attitudes are about the climate change/green jobs/clean energy/energy independence legislation. Here is a quick rundown of statements from some of the biggest and most influential environmental groups in the country.

May 18th

Happy National Train Day!

May 9 is National Train Day, one of my favorite holidays. (Well, since it was created last year, at least.) I find trains to be a particularly great way to travel, for both short and long trips.

May 9th

EPA: May is Sustainability Month

In what feels like an extension of Earth Day (Month), the Environmental Protection Agency has declared May to be Sustainability Month. EPA scientists and administrators will engage the public through in-person events and online communication, all aimed at teaching people how to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

May 8th

How to Green Your Cows’ Gas

A recent study by Canadian researchers published in the Journal of Animal Science indicate that by fine-tuning the balance of starch, sugar, cellulose, ash, fat and other elements of cattle feed, methane production by the cows can be reduced by as much as 25 percent.

May 7th