Author: Guest Contributor

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Buildings consume lots of energy – here’s how to design whole communities that give back as much as they take

Although the coronavirus pandemic has dominated recent headlines, climate change hasn’t gone away. Many experts are calling for a “green” economic recovery that directs investments into low-carbon energy sources and technologies. Charles F. Kutscher, University of Colorado Boulder The Conversation Buildings account for 40% of total energy consumption in the U.S., compared to 32% for […]

September 17th

Yes, carbon emissions fell during COVID-19. But it’s the shift away from coal that really matters

Much has been made of the COVID-19 lockdown cutting global carbon emissions. Energy use has fallen over recent months as the pandemic keeps millions of people confined to their homes, and businesses closed in many countries. Projections suggest global emissions could be around 5% lower in 2020 than last year. Flickr/David Clarke Frank Jotzo, Australian […]

September 16th

Gold rush, mercury legacy: Small-scale mining for gold has produced long-lasting toxic pollution, from 1860s California to modern Peru

Gold is everywhere in modern life, from jewelry to electronics to smartphones. The global electronics industry alone uses 280 tons annually. And that demand keeps growing. But most people know little about the environmental impacts of gold mining. About 15% of world gold production is from artisanal and small-scale mining in over 70 countries throughout […]

September 15th

Stark new visualizations show how climate change is fueling worsening Western wildfires

A new report and visualizations from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows how climate change is fueling more intense and an increasing number of wildfires across the western United States, concluding that better forest management and climate action are the best tools to help limit future fire risks. By Brett Wilkins Common Dreams “Every year, […]

September 15th

Coping with Western wildfires: 5 essential reads

Intense wildfires are raging in California, Oregon and Washington state, spurring mass evacuations and leaving charred towns in their wake. A regional heat wave is keeping temperatures high and humidity low, creating difficult conditions for firefighters. These five articles from The Conversation’s archive explain what’s driving Western fires and how they’re affecting residents. By Jennifer […]

September 10th

September 2020 ENSO update: La Niña is here!

La Niña conditions were present in August, and there’s a 75% chance they’ll hang around through the winter. NOAA has issued a La Niña Advisory. Just how did we arrive at this conclusion, and what does a La Niña winter portend? Read on to find out! By Emily Becker NOAA Checking the boxes Let’s revisit our La […]

September 10th

Extinction Rebellion: why disavowing politics is a dead end for climate action

Since emerging in 2018, the same year that the IPCC warned humanity had 12 years to avoid climate catastrophe, Extinction Rebellion’s disruptive campaigns have helped push the UK government to declare a “climate emergency”. Governments and local councils in over 30 countries have since followed suit. By Heather Alberro, Nottingham Trent University The Conversation More […]

September 9th

Learning from the contentious history of carbon removal

Large-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR), also referred to as “negative emissions”, is increasingly seen as a key component of climate change mitigation pathways that limit warming to 1.5C or 2C. By Dr Wim Carton  and Prof Jens Friis Lund Carbon Brief Its prominence in global pathways derived from technologically focused integrated assessment models has spurred a growing scientific […]

September 9th

NOAA: Aviation is responsible for 3.5 percent of climate change

New research that provides the most comprehensive calculations of aviation’s impact on the climate finds that global air travel and transport is responsible for 3.5 percent of all drivers of climate change from human activities. The study, published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, evaluated all of the aviation industry’s contributing factors to climate change, including emissions of […]

September 8th

3 Hurdles to racial justice in clean energy – and 3 ways U.S. cities can overcome them

For years, city governments in the United States have taken the lead on committing to climate action, with more than 165 cities aiming for 100% community-wide clean energy. But whether ambitious goals translate to ambitious action is another question altogether, and unfortunately we’ve seen cities fall short of their commitments before. By Ted Wong, Lacey Shaver, Eric Mackres and Yeou-Rong Jih  World […]

September 8th