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Keith Peterman
Keith Peterman is a professor of chemistry at York College of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Chemical Society Committee on Environmental Improvement. He has served as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany and in Russia, a National Academy of Sciences Scholar in Poland, a Research Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory in DC, and as a visiting professor in China and New Zealand. His current pedagogical activities, research, and writing focus on issues related to climate change and sustainability. He writes a Global Hot Topic blog hosted by the York Daily Record/Sunday News and participates in the UN climate conferences as an accredited member of the press.

Entries by Keith Peterman

Climate Change in Context; Science, Policy, Political Will, and Commitment

(6) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 5:27 PM

It's been an interesting week for putting climate change in context. "Context" in this case means the weaving together of science, policy, political will, and commitments. ("Context" is derived from Latin contexere "to weave together".)

Last Friday in a joint webcast, NOAA and NASA presented their independently derived findings that...

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'Lima Call for Climate Action' Falls Short of What Science Urges and People Demand

(3) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 5:19 AM

The UN climate conference in Lima, Peru (COP 20) finally came to a close early Sunday morning. Negotiators haggled around the clock well past the formal Friday deadline, but still could only come up with a weak agreement called the "Lima Call for Climate Action."

The agreement falls...

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John Kerry Calls on All Nations to Act Responsibly at UN Climate Conference in Lima, Peru

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 8:43 AM

I just returned from a packed, standing-room-only briefing by Secretary of State John Kerry at the UN climate conference in Lima, Peru. Kerry is the highest ranking US official to attend a UN climate conference since the 2009 COP 15 in Copenhagen. Kerry's appearance is a positive development since we...

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People's Climate March in Lima Unites Citizen Voices of the Americas

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 3:27 PM

Yesterday, I joined an estimated 15,000 people who took to the streets of downtown Lima, Peru for the largest climate march ever in South America. This People's Climate March in Lima comes on the heels of the recent massive People's Climate March in New York. Citizens of the America's have...

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Ban Ki-Moon's Provides Cautious Optimism for a Positive Outcome at UN Climate Conference

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 12:26 PM

It's a bit disarming when the Secretary General of the United Nations steps off the stage to shake your hand. Ban Ki-moon just held his first press briefing here at the UN climate conference in Lima (COP 20). Following the briefing, he came directly to the front row...

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Students Host an International Undergraduate Summit on Global Climate Change at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 9:49 PM

Seventeen thousand scientists, engineers, representatives from business & industry, students, and others gathered in San Francisco during the week of August 10-14 for an American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting focused on Chemistry and Global Stewardship. Among the thousands of lectures and presentations underscoring the need for...

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Climate Science Literacy from A to Z in the Interest of Global Stewardship

(2) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 1:42 PM

More than 15,000 chemists are gathering in San Francisco this weekend for the upcoming August 10-14 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The theme for our national meeting is "Chemistry and Global Stewardship."

I spent last evening in Mountain View, a community situated in the heart of...

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Species Migrating Upslope Due to Climate Change in Tropical Montane Cloud Forests of Peru May Meet a Grass Ceiling

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 1:22 PM

A recent letter by Evan Rehm in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) respectfully challenges prior "spurious conclusions" by authors of an earlier article hypothesizing that "tropical montane species are responding more strongly to climate change than temperate-zone species." This scientific...

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Monthly Carbon Dioxide Concentration in our Atmosphere Will Surpass the 400 ppm Threshold in April

(5) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 11:19 AM

April 2014 will become a month of infamy in the climate change story. Once the numbers for April are crunched by NOAA and Scripps Institute, it will be the first time in human history that the monthly average carbon dioxide concentration in our atmosphere will be confirmed to exceed 400...

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US Senators' Discourse on Air Quality Regulation and Climate Change: Cartoonish Prop or Environmental Reality?

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 2:12 PM

Cherry trees are in full bloom in Washington, DC. On Tuesday, I traveled to DC with a group of students from my York College science classes. Pink cherry blossoms -- considered the springtime soul of our nation -- graced the entire perimeter of the tidal basin....

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Montezuma, Costa Rica: Volunteering to Save Solitary Nesting Olive Ridley Sea Turtles

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 10:40 AM

I have taken up residence in Costa Rica for a few weeks to do some exploring and research. Currently, I am tramping about sunny beaches near the funky seaside village of Montezuma on the southeastern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula where eco-tourists and beach buffs mingle among dreadlocked vendors. One...

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He Did It! 10-year-old Spends Every Night of 2013 in a Tent

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 8:48 AM

On a bitter cold, New Year's night one year ago, ten-year-old Lyle Cordes zipped shut the entrance of the Alps Mountaineering tent he had received for Christmas the previous week and settled in for the first of 365 consecutive nights he would spend in his nylon cocoon. He had not...

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UN Climate Conference in 'Coaland'; What Can We Learn from Copernicus?

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 8:19 AM

As I walked down Krakowskie Przedmieście the other day, the main street leading to Warsaw's Old Town, I passed by a statue of Copernicus. It gave me pause. I couldn't help but think of the circumstances Copernicus faced in the 16th Century and how they relate to 21st Century climate...

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Bamboo Bikes Address Gender Equity, Poverty, and Climate Change

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 8:34 AM

I just returned from a photo-op session with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. They posed with and rode on two bamboo bikes made by young women in Ghana. The bamboo bikes represent women's leadership in an effort to tackle climate change.

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UN Climate Conference in Warsaw: Power of the People

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 10:15 AM

Greetings from Warsaw! I'm in Poland to observe and report on the UN climate conference (UNFCCC COP19), and I'll confess that it was a surreal moment when I collected my luggage and stepped onto Polish soil this past Saturday.


The last...

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Climate Justice for Our Grandchildren: Why I Plan to Walk From Harper's Ferry to the White House

(8) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 9:54 AM

Last week, most of us in the lower 48 states endured brutal, sweltering 90+ degree weather. Factoring in humidity, the heat index pushed it to 105 degrees in my hometown. I'm relieved that temperatures will drop to a comparatively balmy mid-80's for my walk from Harpers Ferry, W. Va. to...

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Kid Spending a Year in a Tent Fosters Environmental Identity

(1) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 10:15 AM

In a remote corner of Pennsylvania, an ambitious 10-year-old is nearing the midpoint of a unique personal journey. As the rest of us rang in the New Year, L.R.C. (his parents don't like him using his real name) pitched the tent he got for Christmas and resolved to sleep in...

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Dentsply Challenged to Phase out Toxic Mercury Dental Fillings

(4) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Mercury is pretty cool stuff! It is the only metallic element that is a liquid at room temperature. The dense, lustrous, silvery goo begs to be played with. When I was a little kid growing up in the 1950's, mercury was my version of Play-Doh--toss it onto the floor and...

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Earth Day: The Face of Climate Change

(3) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 5:03 PM

Earth Day Network is promoting "The Face of Climate Change" as the global theme for Earth Day 2013. The goal is to put a real-world face on the remote concept of climate change. During my research visits to various locations, I've encountered numerous faces linked to the climate...

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National Awards for Incorporating Sustainability Into Chemical Education

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 3:34 PM

Strolling down Decatur Street in the French Quarter on a sunny spring day, it's not hard to appreciate New Orleans as "The Big Easy." Easy jazz mixes with Cajun aromas wafting out wide-open doors of bistros, restaurants, and pubs. The weather is quite agreeable this week as New Orleans plays...

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