How a top environmentalist responds when a Koch executive acknowledges climate change

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Koch Industries, generally viewed as Lucifer by environmentalists, surprised people at a recent Wall Street Journal forum when the company’s director of environment, health and safety, Sheryl Corrigan, said that climate change is real and people have something to do with it.

Even in states suing over new climate regulations, coal use is shrinking

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

More than two dozen states have sued over the Obama administration’s signature climate rule, the Clean Power Plan, which seeks to cut back the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions in coming years by shifting away from carbon-intense power sources, like coal, in favor of cleaner forms of electricity generation.

But the arguments unfolding in the federal courts are, in some ways, disconnected from the realities playing out on the ground.

For instance, many of the states that oppose the Clean Power Plan — particularly mid-western ones like Texas and Kansas — are leaders in the wind energy industry, which would be favored under the plan (as would natural gas and solar).

New data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration also highlighted another potential contradiction: Virtually every state suing to block the Clean Power Plan has itself shifted toward burning less coal to generate the electricity its residents need since the year 2007 — in some cases by very large amounts.

Poll: Public supports Clean Power Plan as their states fight it

Read the full story from Midwest Energy News.

Attorneys general in Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri are “out of step” with the majority of voters in their state who support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, according to polling released last week.

Princeton/Brookings Journal Outlines Dangers of Climate Change for Children

Children are largely left out of discussions about appropriate responses to climate change. But they ought to be central to such debates because they—as well as future generations—have a much larger stake in the outcome than we do.

The latest issue of Future of Children, to be released May 4, examines how rising temperatures, rising sea levels, drought, extreme weather and other consequences of climate change will alter our children’s lives and the lives of their own children. The Children and Climate Change issue will be the only publication of its kind: a source of unbiased, scientifically sound information about how climate change can be expected to affect children specifically—and what policy makers might do to counter the dangers it will pose for children—written by leading scholars in language accessible to nonspecialists.

 

The issue contains nine articles:

  • Introducing the Issue: Janet Currie (Princeton) and Olivier Deschênes (UC Santa Barbara)
  • The Science of Climate Change: Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton) and Jesse K. Anttila-Hughes (University of San Francisco)
  • Temperature Extremes, Health, and Human Capital: Joshua Graff Zivin and Jeffrey Shrader (UC San Diego)
  • Climate Change, Conflict, and Children: Richard Akresh (University of Illinois)
  • Impacts of Natural Disasters on Children: Carolyn Kousky (Resources for the Future)
  • Pollution and Climate Change: Allison S. Larr (Citi) and Matthew Neidell (Columbia)
  • Implications of Climate Change for Children in Developing Countries: Rema Hanna (Harvard) and Paulina Oliva (UC Santa Barbara)
  • Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Climate Change to Our Children: Simon Dietz (London School of Economics), Ben Groom (London School of Economics), and William A. Pizer (Duke)
  • Mobilizing Political Action on Behalf of Future Generations: Joseph E. Aldy (Harvard)

The issue is accompanied by a policy brief, written by Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution with Janet Currie and Olivier Deschênes.

The Children and Climate Change issue and the policy brief will be available to download free of charge from our website beginning on May 4.

About the Future of Children

The Future of Children is a collaboration of Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. Our mission is to translate the best social science research about children and youth into language accessible to the media, policymakers, advocates, practitioners, grant-makers, and the educated public. All Future of Children publications can be downloaded for free from our website, http://www.futureofchildren.org, and may be reprinted or redistributed at no charge.

HFC Refrigerants Phase-Down Is Coming. Is Your Company Prepared?

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Carbon dioxide emissions aren’t the only greenhouse gases that corporations need to address when considering how to close the emissions gap and keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are greenhouse gases that the EPA says can be up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide and are used in commercial refrigeration, building and vehicle air conditioning and other equipment.

In March the EPA issued a proposed rule under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program that will expand the list of climate-friendly HFC alternatives and phase out certain HFCs in favor of safer options that are already available.

And globally, 197 countries are working to amend the international Montreal Protocol agreement to phase out HFCs. The phase-down could begin as early as this year.

World Bank: The way climate change is really going to hurt us is through water

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

As India, the world’s second-most populous country, reels from an intense drought, the World Bank has released a new report finding that perhaps the most severe impact of a changing climate could be the effect on water supplies.

Researchers Aim to Put Carbon Dioxide Back to Work

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Think, for a moment, of carbon dioxide as garbage, a waste product from burning fossil fuels. Like other garbage, almost all of that CO2 is thrown away — into the atmosphere, where it contributes to climate change. A small amount is captured and stored underground to keep it out of the air.

But increasingly, scientists are asking, rather than throwing away or storing CO2, how about recycling some of it?

At laboratories around the world, researchers are working on ways to do just that. The X Prize Foundation has created an incentive, a $20 million prize for teams that by 2020 come up with technologies to turn CO2 captured from smokestacks of coal- or gas-fired power plants into useful products.