No let up–it just gets worse

The State of the Climate in 2017 report from the American Meteorological Society is packed with the latest data on the planet's deteriorating climate. There are no signs that the situation is improving. On the contrary, most of the climate variables point to a worsening situation. The US, Canada, and Europe should be taking the lead. We got one out three. Read More

Pricing carbon: regressive or not?

Economists don't always agree: but they all seem to like the idea of setting a price on carbon. Either through a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme, a levy on carbon appears certain to eventually reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. But at a price. The poorest sector of the population carries a disproportionately greater burden. It's a regressive tax. Is there a way to reduce emissions without penalizing low-income families? Read More

Antarctic melt accelerates sea level rise

Recent satellite data from NASA and the ESA show that the Antarctic ice sheet is melting much faster than previously thought--leading to more rapid global sea level rise. The rate of increase of atmosheric carbon dioxide is also increasing. These data show evidence of geophysical positive feedbacks that will be difficult if not impossible to control without forceful measures to reduce emissions of carbon. Read More

Two steps forward? Not for Canada.

2017 was an exceptional year for renewable energy. That was the good news. But the bad news is that energy intensity declined worldwide, CO2 emissions are once again on the rise, and king coal refuses to cede its place to cleaner fuels. Surprisingly, the US gets good grades--and Canada gets the raspberry. Read More

Three suicides and climate change

It was a depressing week. Three suicides, one of which was by a man who made the ultimate sacrifice in protest against the environmental policies of Scott Pruit's EPA. But no-one should be driven to the point where they are willing to sacrifice their life in the hope that government climate policies will change for the better. Read More

Is the TMEX pipeline a future stranded asset?

The US and Canada, rely heavily on fossil fuel production and exports. But the surging market penetration of renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency improvements, and climate emission policies will substantially reduce the global demand for fossil fuels. As the demand for fossil fuels declines and the price of oil falls, the impact on the oil industry in the US and Canada is severe--curtailing production and stranding their assets. The oil sands are exceptionally vulnerable, and the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline by the Canadian government looks like a colossal mistake. Read More

Maria’s death toll in Puerto Rico more than 5700

A recent review of the additional mortality in Puerto Rico associated with the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017 has sharply revised the numbers upwards--by almost two orders of magnitude. Most deaths occurred after the hurricane had passed--and are due to the failure of health care systems because of power outages, water shortages, and communication black-outs. Read More

Alberto, Beryl, and Chris

These are the names proposed for the first three named tropical storms that develop in the Atlantic and Caribbean during this year’s hurricane season.  Alberto has already shown up early. Although the season doesn’t officially start until June 1, Alberto who started life in the south west Caribbean close to Belize, is heading north for […] Read More

Renewables outshine natural gas

A new study from the Rocky Mountain Institute shows that new natural gas-fired power plants cannot compete with clean energy systems that combine renewable energy with energy storage, efficiency improvements, and demand management. Smart energy storage systems are the key to fully unlocking the potential of intermittent renewable energy. Read More