Bottoms Up

A new global agreement on climate change is in the works and could be completed later this month in Paris. It’s a good thing, because epic droughts, record-breaking heat and cold waves, and killer storms have become the new normal, along with countless other examples that validate the predictions that have been made by our best scientists for decades. But pledges from national governments alone may not be sufficient to solve this global existential challenge - - they must be backed up by action.

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The Candidates Climate IQ

As the world gathers in Paris to hammer out a new comprehensive agreement to tackle climate change, the success or failure of that deal will rest to a great degree on the next President of the United States. Regardless of one’s political or economic views, or scientific understanding of the topic, a lot is at stake for the world’s environment and its economy, so our next choice of President matters. Here then is a summary of the candidates “climate IQ” (focused on those most likely to win their party’s nomination based on current polls*):

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A Green Technology That Isn’t So Green

I have 10 kilowatts of solar panels on the rooftop of my home in Santa Monica, California, enough to power my energy needs most of the time. Instead of selling excess power to the grid (and buying energy at night when the sun isn’t shining) I’d like to install batteries in the garage, storing enough energy in daylight to power my home when it’s dark.

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Volkswagen, Donald Trump, and the Pope

This may sound like one of those bad jokes about three unlikely bar patrons, but German automaker Volkswagen, presidential aspirant Donald Trump, and Pope Francis actually have something in common. All three shared headlines in the past few days about the environment and climate change.

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Carbon Confederacy

As recent news focused on stories and commentary about removing the Confederate battle flag from public property, there has been a little-watched movement by secessionists of a different stripe.   

Yes, a number of leaders are calling on states to secede from the union once again, at least as it applies to the national environmental laws that are designed to protect public health and save money. I’m tempted to compare these misguided politicians to Donald Trump, because their reasoning makes no more sense than a certain New York billionaire who is running for President, but let’s just call them the Carbon Confederacy.

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Climate Change Jumpers

It was fitting that New York hosted the recent UN climate change summit for several reasons. Let’s start with the old joke about the guy who jumps off the Empire State Building and, as he passes the 50th floor on this way down, is heard to say “so far so good.” But the pavement, that is looming larger by the minute to our clueless friend, is about to smack all of us in the face.

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