In the News Archives - Page 3 of 7 - State of the Planet

Obama’s Oil Speech: What Wasn’t Said

I was eagerly anticipating President Obama’s speech last night and very much hoping it would mark a true turning point in the administration’s handling of the crisis. However, like many others, I was sorely disappointed. While the speech used plenty of combative terms (“battle plan”, “siege”) it was completely absent of specifics, both for responding to the crisis and for how to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

by |June 16, 2010

The Implications of Snowcover on Climate: A Conversation with Stefan Sobolowski (Part 1)

Stefan Sobolowski says he has always had a passion for water, weather and climate—a passion he attributes to lifetime of skiing, hiking, snowboarding, and playing in oceans. Here, Stefan discusses his research on the effects of continental snowcover on climate and why one cold winter in the United States doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as global warming.

by |June 15, 2010

The Importance of Wetlands

As we continue to see ever-more disturbing images on the shores of Louisiana from the gulf oil spill, it’s worth thinking again about the immense ecological importance of wetlands and why they must be protected. Oil from the leak has already filtered up from the beaches into Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, killing wildlife there. Ironically, last… read more

by |June 9, 2010

Your friendly neighborhood Sinkhole: a sign of things to come?

Your old infrastructure is going to eat you alive.

Well, maybe not you, exactly, but it is eating some people alive.

I’m talking about the astounding sinkhole that formed in Guatemala City over the weekend.

by |June 1, 2010

The Water Conflict in Ecuador

Over the last year, the government has been working on passing a new water bill, the Hydraulic Resources Law, which would, as I understand it, allow the concessions to stand, codify privatization of water rights and centralize decision-making at the state level, possibly further excluding traditional local water-management structures from the process. In the last weeks an estimated 10,000 protesters have descended on the capitol city of Quito, trying to stop the bill as it comes before the national assembly.

by |May 14, 2010

The Letter: Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

255 prominent scientists from all over the United States published an open letter in today’s Science Magazine, in defense of science, scientists and the scientific process in the face of vocal and aggressive climate change skeptics. In case you don’t subscribe to Science Magazine, it’s worthwhile reproducing the letter here.

by |May 7, 2010

T. Boone Pickens vs. Texas Water Conservation Board

T Boone Pickens, well known for his strong opinions on renewable energy, is hoping that selling water to thirsty cities will be as commercially profitable as he’s found oil to be, and has been investing heavily in purchasing water rights. He opposes a public groundwater management plan that interferes with that.

by |April 21, 2010

Good News from EPA – No Fooling

Recently, the Obama administration has been getting harsh reviews from some environmentalists for its decision to open several new areas of the US to offshore drilling.  Putting this admittedly odd decision aside though,  the Thursday April 1 (April Fool’s Day) decision to roll out tough new water quality standards that could severely limit some of the most destructive… read more

by |April 13, 2010

UK report on oceanic geoengineering study

New research from the UK’s National Oceanography Centre, Southampton shows that plans to pump nutrient-rich water up from the deep ocean in order the boost algae growth at the surface to absorb CO2 would likely only sequester a small amount of total anthropogenic carbon emissions, and if the system was stopped could lead to rapid release of greenhouse gases.

by |February 19, 2010

Saving water, paying more?

New York City’s Water Board (which determines the finances for Department of Environmental Protection’s water system) is proposing a water rate increase of 14% for fiscal year 2010. According to an article in the Daily News, the rate increase is needed because New Yorkers are using less water, meaning that DEP is earning less revenue…. read more

by |February 9, 2010