We’re in a race against time to solve climate change. Can the good news catch up to the bad?
More bad news at the federal level this week. On the brighter side, solar storage and food waste prevention promise both emissions reductions and cost savings.
The Bad News
PRUITT SPREADS CLIMATE LIES
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new head Scott Pruitt said in an interview this week that he doesn’t think carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. This statement is untrue. He also implied that humans’ role in driving climate change is still up for debate, although nearly all scientists confirm that human activity is the main driving factor. Read More
EPA’S HEAD OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE STEPS DOWN
Mustafa Ali, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental justice program has resigned in protest. Ali joined the EPA in 1992 under George H.W. Bush, and worked to protect poor and minority communities from various forms of pollution. In a departing letter, he urged Scott Pruitt not to cut the programs he headed. Read More
PRAIRIE WILDFIRES TURN DEADLY
At least six people were killed this week in wildfires that burned across Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. Climate change is a contributing factor in the lighter-than-average precipitation and higher-than-average temperatures that set the stage for the blaze. A state of emergency has been declared in Oklahoma and Kansas. Read More
FEDERAL LAND FIGHT ISN’T OVER
Although Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah withdrew his bill to sell off millions of acres of federal lands, House Republicans aren’t done with the subject. Rep. Rob Bishop, who is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, requested that $50 million be set aside in the federal budget to cover the costs of transferring federal lands to state or local governments. Climate change experts worry the move could open these lands up to new drilling for fossil fuels. Read More
The Good News
DRAMATIC DROP IN UK’S EMISSIONS
The United Kingdom continued to lower the amount of coal used to generate power last year, resulting in a 6 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. That puts 2016 carbon emissions in the UK at 36 percent lower than they were in 1990, the lowest level since the 19th century. Read More
SOLAR MEETS STORAGE IN HAWAII
Tesla has completed a large-scale solar array and storage installation in Hawaii, as part of a contract with the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The installation included 13 megawatts of solar panels, plus 52 megawatt-hours of battery storage. The project is expected to deliver electricity to consumers at lower costs than the coop’s diesel oil plants. Read More
PREVENTING FOOD WASTE PAYS OFF
Food waste contributes to climate change and exacerbates its consequences in a number of ways. But a new report finds that taking steps to stop food waste can really pay off. For every $1 companies invest in preventing food waste, they can save $14 in operating costs. Read More
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