But the just-released, roughly 30,000 word article by Nathaniel Rich is already being widely criticized by leading scientists, historians, and climate experts. As physicist Ben Franta, who studies the history of climate politics, put it, “Rich’s exoneration of fossil fuel producers as well as the Republican party seem based on logical non sequiturs.”
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Duke Energy is attempting to save money by avoiding standard pollution controls at the fracked gas-fired power plant it proposes to build on the Duke University campus. This would allow a key respiratory pollutant to be emitted at a rate ten times higher than allowed at most other facilities – and the plant would be disastrous for the climate.
Homeowners are slowly growing wary of buying property in the areas most at risk, setting up a potential economic time bomb in an industry that is struggling to adapt.
By James Hansen. Continued high fossil fuel emissions unarguably sentences young people to either a massive, possibly implausible cleanup or growing deleterious climate impacts or both, scenarios that should provide both incentive and obligation for governments to alter energy policies without further delay.
A new comprehensive report offers details on how the increasing numbers of extreme weather events are affecting air and water quality, challenging the ability of health care facilities to respond to community needs, compromising food and water supplies, exacerbating existing illnesses and disparities, and threatening to overwhelm people emotionally.
The elephant in the room is Duke Energy, the nation’s largest carbon-polluting utility, based in Charlotte. Duke is driving carbon emissions higher at the worst possible time. By planning to build 15 fracking-gas power plants in the Carolinas and pipelines to supply them, Duke is crashing headlong into some cold, hard facts: Methane leakage is the nation’s leading greenhouse gas problem and fracking economics is increasingly risky.
The threat to agriculture is seldom mentioned among the impacts of global climate change. Few other economic activities depend so much on climate. Year-to-year variations in climate, including rainfall and the length of the growing season, remain the greatest determinant of agricultural productivity and the cost of food.
When Stephen Conley, an atmospheric scientist and pilot, saw an emissions indicator skyrocket in his Mooney TLS prop plane, he knew he had found a significant methane leak. His gas-detecting Picarro analyzer indicated he was flying through a plume of gas escaping at 900kg per hour. The colorless, odorless gas was enough to cover a football field to a height of 20 feet in a single day. But this flight wasn’t over the highly publicized Aliso Canyon in Los Angeles; Conley was circling the Bakken Shale, a rock formation in western North Dakota that has been aggressively pumped for oil and natural gas.
The Paris draft agreement says its purpose is to limit global warming to ‘well below’ 2 degrees and to ‘pursue efforts’ to limit it to 1.5 degrees. But it cuts all links with the means of doing this and in reality puts the world on track for 3 to 4 degrees warming. That means 5 to 8 degrees warming for Africa with terrible heatwaves, droughts and floods.
“This is not something that we can drop a few million dollars and make some nice news reel and put it away,” said Bobby Jones, also from Goldsboro. “This is killing people in our state.”