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Climate change in the News

ONGOING - 2050: Degrees of Change - original podcast  that explores how our world and lives will adapt to climate change within a few decades.  On Google Podcast

March 25, 2020  Breaking: Rights of Nature Law Forces Pennsylvania to Revoke Industry Permit - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection enforces local Grant Township law in revoking permit for dangerous frack waste injection well
July 4, 2019  How Trees Could Save the Planet  (detailed study here and article here)
April 17, 2019 24 Magazine Covers About Climate Change -  Washington Post Magazine 
March 18, 2019 Maryland should put power in the hands of communities - local opinion from By Marc Elrich and Lorig Charkoudian
March 11, 2019 Howard's plastic bag fee isn't a regressive tax op-ed by Alisa Niefeld
story here and here See interactive map here.
December 11, 2018 States can lead the way on climate change. Let’s get to work. OpEd by Governors Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam
October 2018 - Apocalypse 2040  - Hothouse Earth podcast 
May 13 2018 We’re making hurricanes worse. We’re also not preparing for them - Washington Post Editorial Board
Nov 9, 2011 (But as relevant today) Capitalism vs. the Climate  By Naomi Klein
"Responding to climate change requires that we break every rule in the free-market playbook and that we do so with great urgency."
Jan 5, 2016  Study Shows Public Says Climate Change is Real Monmouth University Poll

July 21, 2015 Drivers of the US CO2 emissions 1997–2013 - Refutes now old claim that rise of fracking and the replacement of "dirty" coal with clean-burning natural gas is responsible for decrease. 
June 24, 2015 Humanity's unhealthy future, editorial from Baltimore Sun
February 17, 2015   Greening the Tea Party from the New Yorker  Climate change no.  Solar YES!
January 17, 2015  Fracking Debate Intensifies in Western Maryland - Baltimore Sun
January 15, 2015  Here’s what climate activists should do in 2015  leaders share with Grist
January 5, 2015 The Sea Also Rises - Baltimore Magazine article about the Eastern Shore
December 12, 2014 - Md Sierra Club Opinion Piece in Balt Sun - SC Opposes Fracking Plan
December 9, 2014 Chris Van Hollen to Serve as New Co-Chair of Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change  - He takes over for retiring Henry Waxman. 
September 1, 2014 Show leaders that people care about climate change, an oped in the Philly Inquirer
Aug. 26, 2014 NYT report: Draft UN climate report says failure to act on runaway greenhouse gas emissions raise risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades. Also: If society wants to limit the risks to future generations, it must find the discipline to leave the vast majority of these valuable fuels in the ground, the report said.
August 2014 Read essays by scared scientists.   
June 21, 2014 The Coming Climate Crash - Hank Paulson Jr. in the NYT arguing for a carbon tax
June 9, 2014  Obama Said What?  - Tom Friedman interviews Obama on climate
May 2014 - Energy and Climate - statistics on public opinions on issues
May 6, 2014  National Climate Assessment Released - PDF Download site with regional reports
April 7, 2014  Call Climate Change What it is: Violence  Guardian post by Rebecca Solnit
January 15, 2014   Researchers find nearly 6,000 natural gas leaks in District’s aging pipe system - A new study "said that while pipeline safety has improved in recent years, incidents involving natural gas transmission systems in the United States cause an average of 17 fatalities and $133 million in damage every year."
October 10, 2013   Set the Right Price on Carbon and Investors will Come from the World Bank  - Their consensus: Current levels of public and private finance won’t even begin to do the job.

August 28, 2013 Fracking contracts can leave landowners high and dry - by the Washington Post Editorial Board 
Aug 27, 2013 - op ed in Balt Sun - Beat Baltimore brownouts with solar.  Maryland should require solar on all housing.
August 26, 2013 - Hold the water: Some firms fracking without it. A story from dry Texas. 
August 3, 2013   Washington Post Sunday Magazine has a cover story on  a website on the extent of fracking wells across the country.  

August 2, 2013    A Republican Case for Climate Action   - Call for a carbon tax from  heads of EPA in Republican administrations

July 18, 2013: Mike Tidwell explains why he's walking 100 miles, from Camp David to DC, in the Walk for our Grandchildren. 

July 10, 2013 - "Stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Global Revolt Against Corporate Domination", Truthout article by By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese  (see this page for info on link to fracking)

June 28, 2013 Methane in Pennsylvania Groundwater May Originate in Fracked Gas Wells -  Scientific American article on new Duke Univ. study

Are Our Emotions Preventing Us From Taking Action on Climate Change? -  From 1/2/13 but an excellent response to Obama climate leadership, this article discusses guilt and apathy which can result from overemphasis on individual action. The public can be energized to take action but a  "society-wide mobilization must start with our government."

June 27, 2013 Paul Krugman's NYT op ed  "Invest, Divest and Prosper" - President's climate plans increases jobs!

June 25, 2013 Obama's speech on climate change, and the plan. Here's ClimateHoward's blog post on the highs and (very low) lows of the speech.

May 27, 2013 - Lines  in the Sand - re Tars Sands by Elizabeth Kolbert

May 26, 2013 - Going to Jail for Justice - Bill Moyers interview of Tim DeChristopher who inspired tar sands arrestees and the entire climate movement.
May 23, 2013: We are out of time on climate change, says Eugene Robinson in an op-ed in the W.Post..

May 23, 2013: Amphibians are vanishing, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey. 

May 18, 2013:  Without Water Revolution - Tom Friedman in the NYT states: "...about the “Jafaf,” or drought, one of the key drivers of the Syrian war. In an age of climate change, we’re likely to see many more such conflicts."

May 17, 2013  A Black Mound of Canadian Oil Waste Is Rising Over Detroit -  The New York Times reports Tar Sands waste is growing in U.S. and we are selling it so it can be burned overseas.  

May 2013: Watch the world change over three decades of satellite photography. See the retreat of the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska, the leveling of mountains for coal mining, the strip mining in Alberta's boreal forests for tar sands oil,  the destruction of Amazon forests to logging. 

May 10, 2013: CO2 levels in the atmosphere reach 400 ppm,  "a long-feared milestone," scientists reported.
"reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years." According to R
alph Keeling, who runs the monitoring program: "It means we are quickly losing the possibility of keeping the climate below what people thought were possibly tolerable thresholds.”  

May 9 , 2013 - The Obama Administration's Natural Gas Policy Is Tragically Misguided - Waste that will haunt future generations - Chris Martensen on why Liquified Natural Gas exports are a bad idea  

April 30, 2013: Some daily readings at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii are at 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere.
April 28, 2013 - Renewable Energy Wins in North Carolina Thanks to Key Republicans.  They resisted a barrage of lobbying from the fossil fuel industry. Right wing Americans for Prosperity's response -  Right wing Americans for Prosperity's response -  “This was a horrible vote by Republicans, and they need to be held accountable,”
April 23, 2013  Solar Energy: This Is What a Disruptive Technology Looks Like - about how solar is gaining
April 12, 2013 The Mounting Economic Toll of Erratic Weather - from Kiplinger Magazine
April 11, 2013 Bill McKibben writes in Rolling Stone about the powerful climate movement growing around the world.

 March 18, 2013   Storm Surge Risk Amplified By Climate Change, Study Finds - article from Huffington Post; also coverage here, from

March 11, 2013 - Jeremy Grantham,  large scale investor,  opposes tar sands development on Charlie Rose.

March 8, 2013  More evidence of spike in global temps  Global temperatures are higher than they've been in 4,000 years, according to research  published in the journal Science. The NYT has a report here. Read ClimateProgress report here.   

Feb 28, 2013 The Climate Reality Project launched "Reality Drop" to spread truth and counter climate change denial.  Posting online to refute deniers explained here   - and see the site - 

Report on Amplifying Public Opinion: The Policy Impact of the U.S. Environmental Movement  - 
Not new but timely because of Forward on Climate vision of  the start of a real "movement".  Summary. Full Report.  Audio interview on study. 

Feb 22, 2013 - Md., D.C. utilities pay paper mills burning ‘black liquor’ for alternative fuel credits  - Not a good thing. Mike 
Tidwell of CCAN comments

Feb 17, 2013 estimates nearly 50,000 attended  the largest climate rally ever!  See:
Feb 17, 2013 Let Maryland set the pace in wind power -  letter published in the Washington Post by Dereck Davis (D-Prince George’s) ,chairman of the Maryland House Economic Matters Committee.  and Mac Middleton (D-Charles) is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. 

Gas prices were up in 2012 while Big Oil made billions in profits. Industry spend those billions lobbying to preserve tax breaks and repurchasing stock for shareholders instead of investing in technology or alternative enegy;

Farmland conversion for biofuels leads to deforestation

Here's an unintended consequences of the push for biofuels in the United States: Farmers are converting the United States’ prairie lands to farms at rates comparable with deforestation levels in Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia – rates not seen here since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. This contributes to climate change because grassland holds carbon in the soil better than cropland.Tall grasses are also the breeding grounds for ducks and other birds. Read articles here and here

Feb 21, 2013  Keystone Pipeline: Bad for Business and the Economy, Business Leaders Say  &

July 19, 2012
Bill McKibben does the math
Bill McKibben wrote an article in Rolling Stone that lays out our predicament. He discusses three numbers, their implications for our planet and civilization as we know it -- and the enemy we have to confront. For example: "The five biggest oil companies have made more than $1 trillion in profits since the millennium – there's simply too much money to be made on oil and gas and coal to go chasing after zephyrs and sunbeams. Much of that profit stems from a single historical accident: Alone among businesses, the fossil-fuel industry is allowed to dump its main waste, carbon dioxide, for free. Nobody else gets that break – if you own a restaurant, you have to pay someone to cart away your trash, since piling it in the street would breed rats. But the fossil-fuel industry is different, and for sound historical reasons: Until a quarter-century ago, almost no one knew that CO2 was dangerous. But now that we understand that carbon is heating the planet and acidifying the oceans, its price becomes the central issue."

Mike Tidwell says extreme fossil fuel extraction means more extreme weather
Mike Tidwell of Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) writes in an essay in the Baltimore Sun about climate extremes and the folly of using extreme techniques such as fracking to extract yet more fossil fuels. Check out the CCIHC blog as well. 

Activists urge end to subsidies for fossil fuels industries
Common Dreams reports that, Friends of the Earth and Taxpayers for Common Sense held a rally in DC to announce legislation introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) that would eliminate tax subsidies for fossil fuels industries. Several CCIHC members attended.

James Hansen reasserts that extracting tar sands oil means "game over for the climate"
In an op-ed in the New York Times, NASA scientist James Hansen encouraged President Obama to deny Canada access to transport its tar sands oil to Gulf Coast refineries. He said it's also imperative that Obama offer incentives to keep fossil fuels in the ground. He said: "If we turn to these dirtiest of fuels, instead of finding ways to phase out our addiction to fossil fuels, there is no hope of keeping carbon concentrations below 500 p.p.m. — a level that would, as earth’s history shows, leave our children a climate system that is out of their control."

W.Post editorial urges Obama to get "serious about climate change"
The editorial comments on an interview in Rolling Stone in which the president said he thinks climate change will be a big issue in the campaign. The editorial concludes: Climate change is one of the great challenges of this century, and the country needs a big, realistic debate about policy to address the threat. We encourage Mr. Obama to follow through on his words, giving the issue — and truly serious ways to deal with it — the prominence they deserve in this year’s election.

Poll shows Americans link weather extremes to climate change
The NYT reports that a new poll shows 69 percent of respondents agree that climate change is affecting recent weather. Researchers at Yale and George Mason commissioned the poll. “Most people in the country are looking at everything that’s happened; it just seems to be one disaster after another after another,” said Anthony A. Leiserowitz ofYale University, one of the researchers who commissioned the new poll. “People are starting to connect the dots.”
 The end of the article includes a plug for's 5/5 event:
 A group called is planning a worldwide series of rallies on May 5, under the slogan “Connect the Dots,” to draw attention to the links between climate change and extreme weather. (The group’s name is a reference to an ideal concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.)  “My sense from around the country and the world is that people definitely understand that things are getting freaky,” said William E. McKibben, the founder of “During that crazy heat wave in March, everyone in Chicago was out enjoying the weather, but in the back of their mind they were thinking, this is not right.”

blog/ 3/28/2012
Republican Meteorologist sends message to his party
Check out a blog by meterologist Paul Douglas, who says that acknowledging climate science "doesn't make you a liberal." (Not that there's anything wrong with that....) Here's one quote: "I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I am a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me uncomfortable," and  "This is not about 'insuring more fat government research grants.' I have yet to find a climate scientist in the '1 Percent', driving a midlife-crisis-red Ferrari into the lab." ....

Editorial in the w. post 3/24/12
Rising concern on climate change
The W. Post, in an editorial 3/24/12, says: "Rising sea levels threaten to inundate low-lying roads in Louisiana, costing billions in port activity, The Post’s Juliet Eilperin reports. Northrop Grumman sees potential damage to billions in shoreline defense infrastructure, such as the imperiled drydock in Hampton Roads built to construct the next generation of aircraft carriers. Other factors are also at work in these examples of rapid coastline loss. But Louisiana and Virginia offer a picture of how further sea-level rise and higher storm surges — just one set of climate-related risks — could seriously disrupt human activity.
America, meanwhile, is fixated on . . . paying an extra buck per gallon at the gas pump.
A recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) underscores how myopic the country’s energy debate is — and, consequently, how delinquent the United States has been in leading the world. 
The organization calculated that the world is on course to increase its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050. ......"

Tom Toles from the W. Post 3/16/12
Tom Toles

Study says cleaner energy (natural gas) won't lower global temperature enough to avert disastrous climate change
Nathan Myhrvold, previously a proponent of geoengineering to solve the climate crisis, has published a paper with climate scientist Ken Caldeira saying that switching to natural gas won't reduce carbon enough to avoid severe warming by the end of the century. reports on his paper.  
“There is no quick fix to global warming,” Caldeira said. “Shifting from one energy system to another is hard work and a slow process. Plus, it takes several decades for the climate system to fully respond to reductions in emissions. If we expect to see substantial benefits in the second half of this century, we had better get started now.” Cladeira and Myhrvold say that rapid transition to clean energy will be needed, and low-carbon sources won't be enough to make a change: 
 “If countries were to start right away and build really fast, so that they installed a trillion watts of gas-fired electricity generation steadily over the next 40 years,” Myhrvold said, “that would still add about half a degree Fahrenheit to the average surface temperature of the Earth in 2112—that’s within a tenth of a degree of the warming that coal-fired plants would produce by that year.”  They say a "substantial benefit" to global temperatures will come only from conservation, solar, wind and  nuclear energy. (although he doesn't look at other issues -- such as huge expense, radioactive waste -- involved with nuclear energy).