In the wake of several major climate reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. Government, climate change has taken center stage in American political discourse, encapsulated by — but in no way limited to — the Green New Deal. Many of the proposed plans for confronting the climate crisis stress the imperative of decreasing emissions by transitioning to 100% "clean" or "renewable" sources of energy.
PALISADES, NEW YORK — Peter Kelemen spends time in Oman looking for ways to pull carbon out of the air and put it back underground. His colleague, David Goldberg, looks at ways to store it far below the sea floor off the Oregon coast. Chemical engineer Alissa Park is working with steel mills in China to turn slag and waste carbon dioxide into reusable material.
If we're going to reach the goal of keeping Earth from warming more than 1.5° C (2.7° F) this century, it's not enough to just reduce our carbon dioxide emissions – we need to actively clean it out of the atmosphere too. Inspired by the ocean's role as a natural carbon sink, researchers at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and Georgia Tech have developed a new system that absorbs CO2 and produces electricity and useable hydrogen fuel.
The promise of a Green New Deal has become a galvanizing force in US politics, inspiring climate activists and building much-needed pressure behind a sweeping federal climate plan.
But the proposed environmental and economic policy package has contained a technical flaw from the start that’s coming into sharper relief as interest groups seek to translate its high-minded ideals into nuts-and-bolts policies.
After dropping for three years in a row, U.S. carbon emissions spiked in 2018, demonstrating how hard it can be to move away from fossil fuels while the economy is growing.
Preliminary data from the Rhodium Group, a research consultancy, found that emissions rose 3.4 percent last year. That's even as Americans' reliance on coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, hit a 40-year low.
If COP24 and its successors want to create lasting impact, rational thought and realistic appraisals of global conditions must prevail over ideological fervor.
Even though the outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, are to be celebrated as a step in the right direction despite all odds, a somewhat bitter aftertaste remains.