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‘Why have carbon dioxide levels risen and fa...

Answers to reader questions about climate science. Dear readers, This is not the column I planned to publish this month. I wrote another one several weeks ago in answer to a reader’s question about tourism in Europe. As you might imagine, that column was swiftly rendered out of date, becoming nothing more than a time capsule of life before COVID-19 became a global pandemic. Like many of you, I have spent recent weeks feeling...

Causes of global warming: How scientists know that...

It’s a conclusion shared by the world’s most respected scientific organizations. Hurricane Dorian as seen from the International Space Station on Monday, September 2, 2019. (Photo credit: NASA) You likely have heard about global warming in the news, at school or from a friend. And so you probably have questions such as, “What is causing this warming?” and “What role do humans play in that warming?” and “What’s...

A Chance for More Transparency on Oil and Gas Prod...

Today I had the opportunity to testify to Congress on an important bill, The Transparency in Energy Production Act of 2020, that would require energy companies that lease federal land to disclose more about their social and environmental impact. This is an important idea that I have been advocating for over many years and several reports.  My full written testimony is here, and the oral testimony I delivered today is below....

Science journalist to give talk about radioactive ...

The presentation will be Friday, Jan. 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Ohio University Eastern, Shannon Hall Theater, 45425 National Road West, St. Clairsville. ST. CLAIRSVILLE — On Friday, Jan, 24, Justin Nobel, science journalist writing for the Rolling Stone Magazine, will have an informational meeting regarding the radioactive risks associated with the oil and gas industry at Ohio University Eastern in Belmont County. Nobel...

Study Finds Coal Closures Saved Thousands Of Lives...

A new study finds the closure of coal-fired power plants and transition to natural gas generation across the United States over a decade saved an estimated 26,610 lives due to a reduction in air pollution, with about a fifth of those avoided deaths in the Ohio Valley. The coal-rich Ohio Valley states received outsized health benefits from the shift from coal to gas. The analysis found about 5,300 deaths were avoided in ...

U.S.: The coal rebound that didn’t happen

Industry continues to struggle against increasingly competitive market forces Some energy pundits have spoken in recent times of an impending U.S. coal renaissance. The Heritage Foundation trumpeted coal’s “Colossal Comeback” in 2017, and a Wall Street Journal reporter in 2018 wrote of its global “resilience.” Industry executives three years ago credited the newly-elected Trump administration with paving the way for fresh...

Carbon Emissions Rise to Highest Level in at Least...

It is a record we do not want. It is a record of political failure. It is a record based on the politics of climate denial. We have crossed another climate threshold that, yet again, signals we are in deep trouble. We are now experiencing levels of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, that the earth has not experienced for three to five million years. We are walking – more like stumbling with stupidity – into the...

Natural gas leaks are a much bigger problem than w...

Natural gas has been touted as a green energy source by some because, when burned for fuel, it emits less CO2 than coal. But before that happens, leaks from across the natural gas supply chain — from the drilling process to gas stoves — can unintentionally vent methane into the atmosphere. That’s especially bad news, since methane is roughly 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. And, according to a new study in...

BUT AT WHAT COST? -To many, the pipelines are a li...

The first signs of change came to Belmont County several years ago, as natural gas extraction company trucks rumbled over the roads. Next came drilling rigs and pipelines for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. To many, the pipelines are a lifeline in impoverished Appalachia, bringing in jobs and money. Despite the economic boom, environmentalists and some residents are questioning the health and safety of...

Millions of abandoned wells spark climate, safety ...

A couple of years ago, Charlie Brethauer started to smell gas in the backyard of his home. Figuring it was a leak from the service line that heats his garage, he grabbed a shovel and started digging in a patch of blackened soil about 20 feet from the back door of his rural home in Richland Township, Pa., 15 miles north of Pittsburgh. The shovel struck a plastic bucket covering the end of a vertical steel pipe. As he widened...

Exxon predicted in 1982 exactly how high global ca...

CO2 in the atmosphere has reached unprecedented levels. The concentration of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere reached an unprecedented level this month. Researchers at the fossil fuel giant Exxon saw it coming decades ago. Measurements taken on May 3 at the world’s oldest measuring station, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, recorded “humanity’s first day ever with more than 415 parts per million [ppm] CO2 in the...

Fracking 2.0 Was a Financial Disaster, Will Fracki...

Two years ago, the U.S. fracking industry was trying to recover from the crash in the price of oil. Shale companies were promoting the idea that fracking was viable even at low oil prices (despite losing money when oil prices were high). At the time, no one was making money fracking with the business-as-usual approach, but then the Wall Street Journal published a story claiming all of this was about to change because the...

A Disturbing Tale of Diminishing Returns in Ohio

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently announced that Ohio’s recoverable shale gas reserves have magically increased by 11,076 billion cubic feet (BCF). This increase ranks the Buckeye State in the top 5 for changes in recoverable shale natural gas reserves between 2016 and 2017 (pages 31- 32 here). After reading the predictable and superficial media coverage, we thought it was time to revisit the data to...

‘It’s a ghost page’: EPA site...

Material that said humans were warming the planet was taken down last year for an ‘update’ More than a year after the US Environmental Protection Agency took down information on climate change from its website for an “update”, it now seems uncertain whether it will ever reappear. In April last year, the EPA replaced its online climate change section with a holding page that said the content was being updated to “reflect the...

IEEFA update: The investment rationale for fossil ...

An outdated mindset that no longer lives up to its hype For decades, the fossil fuel sector literally fuelled the global economy and powered the world’s investment markets. This is no longer the case. The long-standing and now outdated investment thesis around fossil fuels—that such holdings would make large and reliable annual contributions to institutional funds—has crumbled. The sector now lags the broader market, and the...