environment

In the News: August 6, 2015

Extinction linked to Warming Events through Time

Scientists have discovered that rapid warming events led to extinction of multiple species, including mammoths, throughout time by the analysis of fossils and climate data from ice and sediment.

Companies Investing Money to Fight Climate Change

More than a dozen US companies, including Google, Bank of America, and Walmart have pledged to invest $140 billion to fight climate change, such as financing renewable energy plants or purchasing 100% of their energy from renewable resources.

Scientists Say Fires in Alaska is Yet Another Sign of Climate Change

This summer, Alaskan wildfires have burned nearly 5 million acres, an area larger than Connecticut. Climate change is leading to the wildfires and other phenomenon such as the erosion of Alaskan coastlines and the destabilization of permafrost.

Obama Unveils the Clean Power Plan

The Obama administration unveiled a new plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Find out more here.

Scientists Look Into How Drought Affects Trees

Drought affects trees’ ability to grow and intake carbon, which could speed up climate change.

Greenpeace Members Protest Arctic Drilling

Greenpeace members rappelled down a bridge in an attempt to block Shell’s icebreaker.. Greenpeace has been fined $17,500.

The Phenomenon of Ghost Fishing

Fishermen’s discarded nets threaten wildlife.

Climate Change Past the Point of No Return

From heat waves to drought, the world is suffering from climate change in scary ways.

Tragic Record-Setting Polar Bear

A polar bear made a record setting dive of 3 minutes, but only out of necessity.

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Clean Power Plan

Announced by President Obama on Monday, the Clean Power Plan aims to lower carbon emissions for the first time ever.

Power plants are responsible for one third of the United States’ carbon dioxide emissions. Power plants will be required to cut emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. States have until 2018 to devise a plan, which must be implemented in 2022 (although they get incentives to start earlier). The plan is part of the Clean Air Act which was implemented in 1963.

The plan was not released solely as a way to slow global warming, but also as a public health initiative. Asthma has more than doubled in the past thirty years, and other health risks and natural disasters can be linked to high carbon emissions. The plan will cost about $8.4 billion, but the plan will save much more. It is estimated that the average annual family electric bill will have decreased $85 by 2030.

While politicians such as Hillary Clinton approve of the plan, many do not. A group of attorney generals are preparing to file a lawsuit against the plan they feel will hurt the economy. The public face of the lawsuit is Patrick Morrisey, attorney general of West Virginia. Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and Jeb Bush are all against the Clean Power Plan. Half a dozen states, including Texas and Oklahoma, are refusing to follow the plan.

However, other states are preparing to put plans in place. Many view this as a good measure to reduce our carbon footprint and to stand as a role model to other countries in our global fight against pollution and climate change.

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