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Union of Concerned Scientists

'Better' Burgers Worse For Your Health, No Better For The Climate

Elliott Negin | Posted 09.08.2014 | Home
Elliott Negin

Americans' love affair with beef has consequences beyond our borders. According to Boucher's 2012 study, U.S. beef consumption helps drive tropical deforestation, which is now responsible for about 10 percent of the world's carbon emissions. As demand for beef goes up worldwide, so does deforestation.

Montana: Big Sky Country, Big Climate Problems

Elliott Negin | Posted 09.04.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

The glaciers I marveled at on my backpacking trip have shrunk considerably, and even then they were a pale approximation of what they once were.

Kate Sheppard

Cost Of Wildfires Burns Through Budgets, Pushing Feds To Find Other Funds

HuffingtonPost.com | Kate Sheppard | Posted 07.24.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- As a massive wildfire burned in Washington state this week and the threat of more fires looms over the West, there has been increasing p...

U.S. Nuclear Power Agency Still Playing With Fire

Elliott Negin | Posted 07.25.2014 | Politics
Elliott Negin

Last week marked the 10th anniversary of a federal reactor fire safety standard, but it's doubtful anyone at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) broke out the Champagne. That's because 35 reactors -- more than a third of the U.S. fleet -- still don't fully comply with it.

Red States Are Way Ahead of Congress on Global Warming

Elliott Negin | Posted 09.14.2014 | Politics
Elliott Negin

Americans across the country have been grappling with a range of severe, climate change-related weather events, including prolonged droughts, extreme precipitation, heat waves and, like Florida, coastal flooding. And majorities in both blue and red districts want federal action.

Nuclear Giant Exelon Blasts Wind

Elliott Negin | Posted 08.05.2014 | Politics
Elliott Negin

Exelon's brazenly dishonest campaign against wind and other renewables has outraged environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups. But it also has aroused the ire of some of its own industry fraternity members.

Nuclear Giant Exelon Launches Front Group to Cover Its Assets

Elliott Negin | Posted 08.02.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

Nuclear Matters is just the latest gambit of a very powerful political player. Over the last five years, Exelon has spent millions on political candidates and tens of millions on lobbying, and has taken advantage of its close ties with the Obama administration to weaken or stymie stronger nuclear plant safeguards.

Kate Sheppard

History Under Water: Climate Change Imperils Historic, Cultural Sites

HuffingtonPost.com | Kate Sheppard | Posted 05.20.2014 | Politics

On a bright, unseasonably hot morning in early May, Susan Meredith pushed her kayak off the banks of the Little Blackwater River, a shallow, 15-mile t...

The Time for Wind and Solar Energy Is Now

Elliott Negin | Posted 08.20.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

Renewables are now a lot cheaper and better than they were when the last IPCC report came out seven years ago. It's time to put them to use.

Memo to Congress: Protect Public Health, Not Toxic Chemicals

Elliott Negin | Posted 06.04.2014 | Politics
Elliott Negin

Here in the United States our toxic chemical policy is best described as caveat emptor -- let the buyer beware -- and it's making us sick.

It's Time to Hold Accountable Advocates Who, in Pursuit of Their Values, Put Us at Risk

David Ropeik | Posted 05.19.2014 | Politics
David Ropeik

Golden rice is still not in use anywhere, because of opposition to GM (genetic modification) technology. Now two German economists have quantified the price of that opposition, in human health, and the numbers are truly frightening.

Congress Deep-Sixes Flood Insurance Reform

Elliott Negin | Posted 05.17.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

Last Monday night, 30 members of the new Senate Climate Caucus held an all-night talkathon on the Senate floor to highlight the urgency of global warming. Two days later, all but one voted to roll back a law that actually does something about it.

Fukushima: What Have We Learned?

Bob Burnett | Posted 05.14.2014 | Green
Bob Burnett

On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced a 9.0 earthquake. The six nuclear plants at Fukushima Daiichi survived the quake but were swamped by a 45-foot wave that overwhelmed the 19-foot seawalls. In the ensuing three years, we learned four grim truths.

Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster Warns It Could Happen Here

Elliott Negin | Posted 04.29.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

Fukushima is far more than a disaster diary. It also provides a clear-eyed look at the Japanese regulatory regime that helped make the disaster all but inevitable, and makes a strong case that U.S. oversight is plagued by the same complacent attitude and undue industry influence.

Why Are Latinos Way Ahead of the Climate Change Curve? 3 Latino Climatologists Respond

Javier Sierra | Posted 04.23.2014 | Green
Javier Sierra

In the battle against climate change, Latinos are in the line of fire. And our musketeers are our scientists.

Coal Baron Digs a Deeper Hole

Elliott Negin | Posted 04.04.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

Murray Energy Corp. -- the largest producer of underground coal in the country -- alleges that the EPA has illegally ignored the impact of Clean Air Act enforcement on jobs in the coal industry. Rhetoric aside, does Murray Energy have a legitimate beef with the EPA?

How the SEC Can Fight Climate Change

Sean McElwee | Posted 03.18.2014 | Green
Sean McElwee

At this point, denying climate change is like denying the harmful effects of smoking -- only someone with a commercial interest would even question the data.

A New Year's Resolution That Saves Money, Improves Health, and Reduces Global Warming Pollution

Elliott Negin | Posted 03.18.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

The top five for 2014 include losing weight, saving money, and staying fit and healthy. There's a way to accomplish all those things and protect the planet, too: Eat less beef.

Strike Threat Looms at Indian Point Nuke Plant

Roger Witherspoon | Posted 03.17.2014 | Green
Roger Witherspoon

Representatives of Entergy Nuclear and the union representing control room operators and other technical workers are preparing for around the clock bargaining sessions to avoid a strike at the two Indian Point nuclear plants.

Who's to Blame for Climate Change?

Elliott Negin | Posted 02.19.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

A new study documenting that just 90 companies are responsible for two-thirds of manmade carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution triggered some pushback in the blogosphere. Blame the likes of BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell for global warming? Not fair!

Kate Sheppard

Science Provision Buried In House Farm Bill Could Gum Up Regulatory Work, Critics Say

HuffingtonPost.com | Kate Sheppard | Posted 12.19.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Some senators and environmental and public health groups are concerned that a little-noticed provision in the House's version of the far...

How Bill McKibben Ruined My Life

Annie Spiegelman | Posted 02.11.2014 | Green
Annie Spiegelman

If I am going to be informed about our dismal future living on a carbon-crammed planet I want you to be miserable right alongside me. We will sink or swim together. Literally. Bottoms up!

The Koch Brothers Are Still Trying to Break Wind

Elliott Negin | Posted 02.04.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

The Koch brothers have turned loose their network of advocacy groups, think tanks and Capitol Hill friends to kill a key federal tax break for the wind industry, despite the fact that the oil and gas industry has been getting four times more in tax breaks and subsidies annually since 1918.

Wind Energy Threat to Birds Is Overblown

Elliott Negin | Posted 04.10.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

There's no getting around the fact that we have to wean the world off fossil fuels as soon as possible, and one of the answers, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

Got Science? Scientists in Nebraska Say 'No' to Political Interference

Seth Shulman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Science
Seth Shulman

To get through the present political logjam, Wilhite and some other Nebraska climate scientists are working to broker a compromise in which the University of Nebraska agrees to underwrite a full climate impacts study for the state. But it remains unclear how the issue will be resolved.