Michael D. Lemonick 360

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting, and debate on global environmental issues.
Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

Fossil Fuel Interests Have Outspent Environmental Advocates 10:1 on Climate Lobbying

Thu, 2018-07-19 13:31

More than $2 billion was spent on lobbying climate change legislation in the United States from 2000 to 2016, with the fossil fuel industry, transportation companies, and utilities outspending environmental groups and the renewable energy industry 10 to 1, according to a new analysis published in the journal Climatic Change.

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Why Nuclear Power Must Be Part of the Energy Solution

Thu, 2018-07-19 05:00

Many environmentalists have opposed nuclear power, citing its dangers and the difficulty of disposing of its radioactive waste. But a Pulitzer Prize-winning author argues that nuclear is safer than most energy sources and is needed if the world hopes to radically decrease its carbon emissions. 

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How Rising Seas Could Threaten the Internet

Tue, 2018-07-17 12:10

Climate change poses a serious threat to the United States’ internet infrastructure, with more than 4,000 miles of fiber optic cable expected to be under water within 15 years from just 1 foot of sea level rise, according to a new analysis by scientists at the University of Oregon and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Just 84 Amur Leopards Remain in the Wild Globally

Mon, 2018-07-16 13:37

A new study estimates that the number of Amur leopards surviving in the wild is somewhat larger than previously believed, with 84 leopards scattered along the border of China, Russia, and North Korea. The species has been listed as critically endangered since 1996, but cross-border conservation efforts in recent years have worked to slow the loss of the species by establishing several leopard- and tiger-specific national reserves and increasing monitoring.

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After a 400-Year Absence, A Rare Ibis Returns to European Skies

Mon, 2018-07-16 05:00

The northern bald ibis is critically endangered, with fewer than 1,000 existing in the wild. But a German group is reintroducing these birds in Europe, where they once thrived, and is using ultralight aircraft to lead them on migrations south toward the Mediterranean.

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Renewables Have Been Germany’s Top Source of Electricity For the Last Six Months

Thu, 2018-07-12 13:12

Renewable energy met more of Germany’s electricity needs than coal during the first six months of 2018 — the longest period that renewables have been the country’s largest source of energy to date. According to new data from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), 36.3 percent of Germany’s electricity was generated by solar, wind, hydropower, and biogas between January and June of this year, while coal provided only 35.1 percent.

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Why This U.S. Climate Scientist Is Leaving Trump’s America for France

Thu, 2018-07-12 05:00

With the Trump administration spurning efforts to combat global warming, the French government has invited U.S. scientists to bring their climate research to France. In an interview with Yale e360, scientist Ben Sanderson talks about why he is taking France up on its offer.

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Can A Tiny Fern Help Fight Climate Change and Cut Fertilizer Use?

Wed, 2018-07-11 12:53

Scientists have sequenced the entire genome of the tiny fern species Azolla filiculoides, a wunder-plant that played a pivotal role in cooling our planet 50 million years ago. Among its many properties, the Azolla can capture CO2 and nitrogen from the air and has genes that provide insect resistance.

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The Number of AC Units Installed Worldwide Could Quadruple by 2050

Tue, 2018-07-10 12:27

As global temperatures rise due to climate change, the number of air conditioning units in use globally is expected to quadruple by mid-century, increasing from 3.6 billion today to 14 billion in 2050, according to a new report by scientists at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. As a result, the world will consume five times more energy for cooling than it does today.

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Is the Global Era of Massive Infrastructure Projects Coming to an End?

Tue, 2018-07-10 05:00

The world’s wild places have been badly carved up by decades of roadbuilding, dam construction, energy exploitation, and other megaprojects. Now, as the financial community, environmental groups, and local citizens increasingly oppose big infrastructure development, the tide of environmental destruction may be turning.

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Starbucks Joins the Growing Movement to Ban Plastic Straws

Mon, 2018-07-09 12:21

Global coffeehouse chain Starbucks announced it will phase out plastic straws at its 28,000 locations by 2020, using recyclable strawless lids or straws made from alternative materials, like paper, Reuters reported. The announcement marks a significant victory for environmental groups that have urged cities and companies to ban single-use plastics.

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‘Historic’ Rainfall in Japan Forces Hundreds of Thousands to Flee Homes

Fri, 2018-07-06 13:29

Some 210,000 people were ordered to evacuate their homes this week in western and central Japan as torrential rain caused widespread flooding and landslides, killing four people, Reuters reported. The Japan Meteorological Agency called the rainfall “historic” and warned it would continue for several more days.

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As Pruitt Resigns, Former Coal Lobbyist Takes Leadership of EPA

Fri, 2018-07-06 13:24

Scott Pruitt resigned as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday following months of alleged ethics violations, the latest of which claimed he deleted records of controversial meetings with industry leaders from his public calendar. Deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, will take over as acting director of the agency.

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