Category Archives: alternative energy

Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources


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Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

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Batteries are key to clean energy — and they just got much cheaper

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Batteries are critical for our clean energy future. Luckily, their cost has dropped so low, we might be much closer to this future than we previously thought.

In a little less than a year, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 35 percent, according to a new Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. Cheaper batteries mean we can store more solar and wind power even when the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing. This is a major boost to renewables, helping them compete with fossil fuel-generated power, even without subsidies in some places, according to the report. Massive solar-plus-storage projects are already being built in places like Florida and California to replace natural gas, and many more are on the way.

The new battery prices are “staggering improvements,” according to Elena Giannakopoulou, who leads the energy economics group at Bloomberg NEF. Previous estimates anticipated this breakthrough moment for batteries to arrive in late 2020, not early 2019.

According to the report, the cost of wind and solar generation is also down sharply — by between 10 to 24 percent since just last year, depending on the technology. These numbers are based on real projects under construction in 46 countries around the world.

The lower battery prices have big implications for electric cars, too. There’s a key cost threshold of about $100 per kilowatt hour, the point at which electric vehicles would be cheap enough to quickly supplant gasoline. At this rate, we’ll reach that in less than five years.

Now that cheap batteries are finally here, we’re well on our way to electric modes of transportation and always-on renewable energy — and not a moment too soon.

What’s driving the plunge? Giannakopoulou cites “technology innovation, economies of scale, stiff price competition and manufacturing experience.” Other storage methods, like pumped hydro, still account for the vast majority of energy storage capacity, but lithium-ion batteries are much more flexible and don’t require specific locations or environmental conditions to work. Like everything in the built environment, lithium-ion batteries also require mining and manufacturing. There’s still a chance that some new exotic battery technology will quickly supplant lithium-ion, but its ubiquity and — now — cheapness will be hard to beat.

Electric vehicles will become cheaper to own and operate than gas ones. In places like California, Texas, and Germany, electricity prices have occasionally dropped below zero — a sign that the grid wasn’t yet ready to handle the glut of renewable energy produced there. Now, more of that cheap power will be stored and passed on to consumers. This could be the moment when renewable energy starts to shut down fossil fuel for good.

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Batteries are key to clean energy — and they just got much cheaper

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The first floating wind turbines just came online, which is very good news, indeed.

Toward the end of the last ice age, about 19,000 years ago, the sea rose in several large spurts, according to a new study of coral reefs that grew during this period.

This contradicts assumptions that sea level rises gradually. Instead, coral fossils show sudden inundations followed by quieter periods. This offers new information that supports the theory that glaciers and ice sheets have “tipping points” that cause their sudden collapse along with a sudden increase in sea level.

Researchers at Rice University surveyed deep-sea coral fossils in the Gulf of Mexico, scanning their 3D structures to analyze them for growth patterns. Coral likes to live close to the surface, so it grows slowly when sea level is constant. But when sea level rises quickly, the coral grows vertically to try to stay near the surface, forming terraces.

“The coral reefs’ evolution and demise have been preserved,” lead author of the study, Pankaj Khanna, said in a press release. “Their history is written in their morphology — the shapes and forms in which they grew.”

Whether the future is written in these forms, too, remains to be seen.

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The first floating wind turbines just came online, which is very good news, indeed.

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OPEC still just tryin’ to OPEC, but not doing so well at it.

A report on the employment practices of green groups finds that the sector, despite its socially progressive reputation, is still overwhelmingly the bastion of white men.

According to the study, released by Green 2.0, roughly 3 out of 10 people at environmental organizations are people of color, but at the senior staff level, the figure drops closer to 1 out of 10. And at all levels, from full-time employees to board members, men make up three-quarters or more of NGO staffs.

Click to embiggen.Green 2.0

The new report, titled “Beyond Diversity: A Roadmap to Building an Inclusive Organization,” relied on more than 85 interviews of executives and HR reps and recruiters at environmental organizations.

Representatives of NGOs and foundations largely agreed on the benefits of having a more diverse workforce, from the added perspectives in addressing environmental problems to a deeper focus on environmental justice to allowing the movement to engage a wider audience.

The most worrisome finding is that fewer than 40 percent of environmental groups even had diversity plans in place to ensure they’re more inclusive. According to the report, “Research shows that diversity plans increases the odds of black men in management positions significantly.”

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OPEC still just tryin’ to OPEC, but not doing so well at it.

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Why Donald Trump Will Fail to Make Good on One of His Biggest Campaign Promises

Mother Jones

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President Trump loves to boast that he’s going to bring back coal—he said as much again on Monday when he signed his Clean Power Plan executive order. But the economics just don’t work in his favor. King Coal has tumbled from its traditional throne as renewable energy prices have plunged and cheap, cleaner natural gas has flooded the markets. From 2000 to 2016, meanwhile, wind-power generation has increased 37-fold (to more than 2,100 trillion Btus). Solar, which accounts for a smaller part of the pie (335 trillion Btus) grew even faster: by a factor of 67! And that doesn’t even account for the growth in rooftop solar.

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In 2016, the American solar industry provided more jobs than its coal industry did, according to a recent report from the Department of Energy. And despite Trump’s coal talk, the Solar Foundation projects another 10 percent increase in solar employment this year.

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So will Trump keep his promise to put the miners back to work? Can he? Even Robert E. Murray, the chief executive of one of the nation’s largest coal mining companies doubts it. “I really don’t know how far the coal industry can be brought back,” he conceded recently. Indeed, here are just a week’s worth of news highlights demonstrating why coal might have a tough time overcoming the nation’s momentum toward cleaner energy.

March 22: Abita Springs became the first city in Louisiana—one of the nation’s most energy intensive states—to pledge to using only renewable power sources by 2030. This “is a practical decision we’re making for our environment, our economy and for what our constituents want,” Mayor Greg Lemons noted back in January. (Abita Springs is part of St. Tammany Parish, 75 percent of whose voters backed Trump during the election.) Madison, Wisconsin announced its own 100 percent commitment the same day, bringing the total of cities making this pledge to 25. Prominent state policymakers, including the Republican governors of Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan, have also vowed to boost the percentage of renewables in their energy portfolios.

March 23: The share of electricity coming from renewable sources hit an all-time peak in California in late-morning, when renewables successfully met 57 percent of total demand—solar and wind accounted for 49 percent. The state is also ahead in meeting its 2030 goal of having renewables serve half of all energy consumption. A bill introduced by Democratic state Sen. Kevin de Leon last month would reset that deadline to 2025. Under De Leon’s bill, California would also follow Hawaii‘s lead and establish a target of 100 percent renewables by 2045. You want jobs? The Golden State’s solar industry employed more than 100,000 people last year, a 32 percent increase from 2015—and the rapid employment growth is projected to continue.

March 27: To the surprise of environmentalists, EPA boss Scott Pruitt signed off on a renewal of the Clean Air Act’s Regional Haze Program, which requires coal-fired plants near national parks and wilderness areas to install stringent pollution controls. The costs of complying with the ruling likely doomed one Arizona power plant, says Earthjustice attorney Michael Hiatt. By 2025, the plant must either transition to natural gas or be shut down entirely. “This is a powerful illustration of, try as the Trump administration might to keep burning coal, a lot of times it just doesn’t make any economic sense,” Hiatt says. “Because of this rule, the days for burning coal are numbered.” Since 2010, according to the Sierra Club, 175 US coal plants have ceased operation, and 73 are scheduled to retire by 2030.

March 28: Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch joined the ranks of nearly 100 other big businesses by committing to source all of its purchased electricity from renewables by 2025. “Climate change has profound implications for our company and for the communities where we live and work,” CEO Carlos Brito said in a statement. “Cutting back on fossil fuels is good for the environment and good for business.” Other companies committing to RE100—a global business initiative to increase the use of renewables—include Google, H&M, Walmart, and Goldman Sachs. Microsoft says it got to 100 percent renewable energy in 2014.

March 29: As Trump makes moves to sabotage the Paris accord, China is stepping in to take the lead as both the largest emitter of carbon and the largest investor in solar and wind power. “As a responsible developing country, China’s plan, determination and policy to tackle climate change is resolute,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said after Trump signed his order to roll back Obama-era climate rules. China isn’t the only country making strides: The UK set a new record for solar-electricity generation this past week, beating out coal-fired generation by six-fold. Australia, which relies on coal for two-thirds of its energy, is preparing for a major solar push as better technology drives down costs—seven large-scale projects were completed last year and more than a dozen are now under construction. Costa Rica is on track to be carbon-neutral by 2021. Last year, it met more than 98 percent of its energy demands with renewables. It seems the elusive Quetzal knows something that Donald Trump does not.

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Why Donald Trump Will Fail to Make Good on One of His Biggest Campaign Promises

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How the "Trump Effect" Could Undermine Germany’s Clean Energy Revolution

Mother Jones

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The world’s most advanced energy revolution has hit an obstacle: the Trump effect.

Germany has long been a clean energy pioneer. Despite the fact that the sun hardly shines there, the country was the world leader in installed solar capacity until it was finally overtaken last year by China, a vastly larger and sunnier country. By 2050, Germany aims to get 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 95 percent. It currently derives about one-fifth of its power from wind and solar (and one-third from total renewables), compared to just 5 percent in the United States. Even though this dramatic energy transition—known as the Energiewende—has contributed to higher household electricity costs, 90 percent of Germans say they support it.

For years, Germany’s mainstream political parties have supported clean energy, too. But that broad consensus could soon face a significant test, another possible casualty of the resurgence of right-wing, nativist politics across the Western world. Unlike many of its neighbors, Germany hasn’t had a far-right party represented in its parliament since the Second World War. But that’s almost certain to change next year, when national elections could make the Alternative for Germany party (known by its German acronym, AfD) the second- or third-strongest faction in the government, if polling trends continue. The party, which began as a euro-skeptic movement, has built its success on stringent opposition to immigration and admission of refugees—and on inflammatory rhetoric that echoes the campaign of Donald Trump.

The AfD also opposes Germany’s clean energy policies. It’s calling for an end to the law behind the Energiewende and even questions the existence of human-induced climate change, stating on its website, “Scientific research on the long-term development of the climate because of man-made CO2 emissions is fraught with uncertainty.” Now, in an effort to slow the AfD’s rapid rise, the country’s mainstream parties could be poised for a step back in the fight against global warming.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of Germany’s energy transition. Several countries get a higher percentage of their electricity from renewables, but Germany’s economy and manufacturing industry are far larger, making the Energiewende a model for a cleaner future among economic superpowers.

“If it succeeds, it could be a great case study for the world,” says Sven Egenter, executive director of Clean Energy Wire, which provides information about the Energiewende to journalists in Germany. “And if it fails, it could be a great case study for the world.”

But Germany will almost certainly fall short of its emissions reduction target for 2020, for one reason: It can’t kick its coal habit. Germany still gets more than 40 percent of its electricity from coal—a higher share than in the United States or any other major Western economy. That’s in part because Chancellor Angela Merkel doubled down on the country’s commitment to abandoning nuclear power after Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster, shutting down eight plants virtually overnight and pledging to take all the others offline by 2022. Something had to fill the void, and renewable energy production wasn’t adequate to the task, so the reliance on coal continued.

If Germany is to have any chance of meeting its longer-term targets, it will have to find a way to move off coal almost as quickly as it’s ditching nuclear. But there are several impediments to doing so. One is that wind and solar aren’t quite ready to take over. Even if their production numbers were sufficient, electricity storage and transmission would require major advances to make renewables the country’s primary electricity source.

And then there are the political hurdles—what Katharina Umpfenbach of the Ecologic Institute, an environmental think tank based in Berlin, calls “the Trump effect.”

During the US presidential campaign, Trump promised to bring coal-mining jobs back to Appalachia (and bashed alternative energy sources like wind). Voters in the region—parts of which were once Democratic strongholds—responded enthusiastically. They waved “Trump Digs Coal” signs at rallies and voted for him by overwhelming margins. Market forces will make Trump’s coal promises nearly impossible to keep, but his victory is already having a very real impact in Germany. Politicians there are looking at Trump’s success among disaffected voters in coal country and seeing similar fears among their own constituencies in areas where coal production is being phased out.

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Trump’s election capped a year of successes for the populist right that has left mainstream politicians scrambling to shore up their support. There was the British vote to exit the European Union, the resignation of Italy’s prime minister, the near-victory of a right-wing extremist in Austria, and the growing strength of the far right in France. Merkel, dubbed the “liberal West’s last defender” by the New York Times, is now facing her own insurgency in the form of the AfD. And so she and her coalition partners, the center-left Social Democrats, are tacking to the right to bolster their eroding support.

The biggest effect is likely to be on immigration and refugee policy: Earlier this month, Merkel proposed a ban on the face veils worn by some Muslim women. Anti-refugee sentiment has only climbed since then with the attack on a Berlin holiday market last week; the chief suspect is a Tunisian asylum seeker.

But clean energy advocates worry that the Energiewende could suffer as well. “My biggest fear is that the conservatives in Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union get so nervous that they also move to the right,” says Annalena Baerbock, a member of the German parliament and the Green Party’s parliamentary spokeswoman on climate policy.

Few lawmakers in Germany’s longstanding political parties—Merkel’s Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats, and the Greens, as well as smaller parties like the pro-business Free Democrats—would deny that the country ultimately has to move away from coal. That’s particularly true when it comes to lignite, a type of coal that is less efficient and burns dirtier than hard coal. Lignite alone accounts for half of the country’s carbon emissions in the electricity sector.

Just 20,000 Germans work in lignite mining, compared with at least 300,000 in renewable energy, according to Christian Redl of the think tank Agora Energiewende. (The coal industry says its figure is more like 100,000, according to Baerbock, if you include associated roles such as delivery workers.) “The issue is that it’s very concentrated in specific regions,” Redl says. “In those regions, huge numbers of people work in that sector, and there’s no renewables industry there yet.”

These regions are similar to Appalachia: economically distressed and reliant on a dying coal industry, but with an outsized influence on the political debate. One of the main regions is Brandenburg, just outside of Berlin, a portion of which Baerbock represents in the parliament. The center-left Social Democrats are doing all they can to maintain their strength in these coal regions as the AfD attempts to attract discontented voters by campaigning for the continued use of lignite to generate electricity. Already struggling to remain relevant as Merkel has established herself as the bulwark against the rising right, the Social Democrats can hardly afford to lose support among coal workers, a heavily unionized group that has historically backed them.

The political situation has created an incentive for the Social Democrats to drag their feet on the transition away from coal. It’s an uncomfortable development for Baerbock’s Greens, who laid the groundwork for the Energiewende while in a ruling coalition with the Social Democrats in the late 1990s and early 2000s

“The Social Democrats in Brandenburg, they want to keep lignite running for decades,” says Philip Alexander Hiersemenzel, a spokesman for Younicos, which is working to develop large-scale battery storage for renewable electricity, while giving a tour to journalists of the company’s industrial facility on the outskirts of Berlin.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economy and energy minister and the Social Democrats’ party chairman, rejected calls this summer for a rapid phaseout of coal. In October, he said he expects Germany to continue burning lignite into the 2040s. (“That’s absolutely hilarious,” responds Umpfenbach, “because how will we reduce emissions by 95 percent if we still have coal?”)

Hubertus Heil, vice chairman of the Social Democrats’ parliamentary group, said recently that if people in coal-producing regions were presented with an end date for the use of coal without a plan for economic assistance, “you might as well send them to the AfD right away.” (The Social Democrats’ press spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.)

A lignite mine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Tim McDonnell/Climate Desk

As Mother Jones reported in 2014, open-pit lignite mining has destroyed the landscapes of large swaths of Germany and has even threatened to swallow villages that stand in its way. But the devastation caused by mining could actually present an opportunity for the country to phase out coal without killing too many jobs. In the aftermath of the abrupt nuclear phaseout, I visited a small town in northern Germany whose nuclear plant had employed as many people as the town had residents. Workers there were upset at the sudden shutdown of the plant, but their frustration was mitigated by the knowledge that many of them would remain employed decommissioning the plant, a process that can take up to 15 years. Similarly, clean energy advocates suggest, some lignite miners could get jobs repairing and rebuilding the decimated landscapes of the former mines.

“It will take centuries to reconstruct the whole area,” says Baerbock, speaking in a conference room in the parliamentary office building, with a wide bay window looking out over rows of bicycle racks in the government quarter. Looming over that view is a towering smokestack from a gas-powered plant two kilometers to the north, a reminder of the work still to be done.

Residents of Appalachia have been turned off by what they see as decades of empty promises from politicians pledging to preserve coal jobs. Baerbock is determined to avoid the same fate. “We have to be very honest,” she says. “So I would never say this will not cost a single job, because I don’t believe this is true.”

The key is to manage the coal phaseout in a “socially inclusive” way, says Umpfenbach. For Germany’s mainstream parties, that means being more successful than US Democrats have been in both retaining the support of voters in mining regions and sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, it means finding a way to sidestep the Trump effect by coming up with a concrete solution for coal regions that has evaded American politicians.

“In my point of view,” says Baerbock, “if we find a good solution for the workers, then it’s not so hard to have the discussion of the coal phaseout.”

Success or failure, the world is watching.

Reporting for this story was supported by the International Center for Journalists.


How the "Trump Effect" Could Undermine Germany’s Clean Energy Revolution

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Can You Really Power Your Phone from a Solar Panel?

At approximately 4pm on Oct 18, my phone died. In our modern age, those words fill people with dread, as they mean your constant connection to the world’s information has been severed without your approval. Fortunately, I was near plenty of other computing devices, so I wasn’t entirely cut off, and I had ample access to power for recharging it. Whew, disaster averted!

Putting aside the argument of whether or not we’re too dependent on this type of technology, having a backup for charging your phone seems like a good idea. In my case, I had a small 6-watt solar panel available that I set up on a table outside. The setup was started at 4:25pm and less than an hour later, at 5:05 pm, I was able to power the phone up. It reported only 16 percent power, but it’s not a bad electricity haul for a partially overcast day and only 40 minutes of charging.

From this short trial, it was evident that one of these panels could be quite useful if normal grid power was unavailable. Another great use case could be mounting one of these to a backpack while hiking in order to keep your communication equipment active during a long trek.

Besides simply knowing that you can revive your phone in an emergency, another way to measure this type of unit’s effectiveness would be to calculate how long it would take to pay for itself and the power you’ll save using it. However, in the case of a phone at least, it would be a long, long time. According tothis on ZDNet, it takes only 84 cents per year to charge an iPhone 6 Plus, which has the biggest battery of the Apple phones. Similarly-sized Samsung phones would cost about the same, with older models costing less. My own very rough estimate of my phone’s power cost was .125 cents per charge, given a yearly cost of 46 cents per 365 days if charged every day.

Since my particular 6-watt panel cost nearly $70 with tax, this would mean a payback of roughly 150 years. If a good return on investment is your goal, perhaps putting your money into a savings account would be a better idea. Although things can always be better, it’s nice to step back once in a while and realize just how good we have it. The power for something that would have been considered a supercomputer 20 years ago can now fit in the palm of your hand and access a seemingly infinite amount of information. Each of these can be powered with roughly two quarters worth of power per year.

So a portable panel is a poor investment money-wise, but could be a good option if the power grid goes out. I did a little more testing at my house in the generally sunny region of Tampa, Florida. Tests are summarized in the following results:

Test 1 10/18/2016

My phone (Android Moto G) died. It was put out around 4:25 pm, with the panel pointed roughly toward the sun. I checked it at 5:05pm and was able to power it up. It was reading at only 16 percent at the time, and soon dropped to 15 percent, reporting a low battery.

Test 2 10/20/2016

I set up the charger on the table at 10:10am; it was collecting power within five minutes. Power initially read at 46 percent. It was placed on roughly the same spot as before, in a semi-shaded area, not really aimed towards the sun.

I checked my phone at 12:10pm. It was very bright at that moment and the charger was hot. The phone was resting under the charger to shield it and was warm. The phone read at 44 percentlower than before, but a two percent drop over two hours seems better than normal. The charging icon showed up immediately. Perhaps the charger did not give sufficient (or any) power to charge the panel during the earlier time, but the phone did start to charge later.

Test 3 10/21/2016

I set my phone on the same table at 12:50pm with a 53 percent charge. The panel was facing up, but it was not aimed toward the sun. I checked my phone at 2:21pm; it read at 72 percent power. It was still sunny out at the time, though a partial cloud cover was seen while checking. I checked again at 2:55pm and the phone read at 79 percent. It was sunny when the final check was made.

Test 4 10/24/2016

Hooked up an iPad 3 to the charger at 11:50am with a five percent charge. The sun was fairly bright, and when plugged in, I noticed that it read at six percent almost immediately after panel attachment, but the iPad didnt show as charging.

When I checked again at 4:52pm, it was in the shade from our house. Power read at 28 percent. The device had charged significantly, but it was definitely not at full power.

As you can see from these tests, charging from your house’s electrical grid is normally the best way to keep your electronics functional. On the other hand, though more costly, a home solar system can produce a much shorter payback period and give you some power backup options. If you just want a backup for your phone or tablet, perhaps one of these small panels would be a good fit!

Jeremy Cook is obsessed with tech and creating DIYs. He likes to test new gadgets, like the solar panel phone charger mentioned here, and gives some great advice on how to use them. To see a selection of Home Depot solar panel options,click here.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Can You Really Power Your Phone from a Solar Panel?

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Here Are the Races to Watch If You Care About Global Warming

Mother Jones

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The climate didn’t get much attention in this year’s debates, but Tuesday’s election will still have a major consequences for the fight against global warming. Donald Trump thinks climate change is a hoax; he’s pledged to withdraw from the historic Paris climate accord and to repeal President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which is intended to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants. Hillary Clinton has said she will continue Obama’s climate legacy and has called for installing half-a-billion solar panels by the end of her first term.

The debate isn’t restricted to the top of the ticket; there are a number of state races that will play a key role in determining US climate policy, along with a handful of ballot initiatives covering everything thing from rooftop solar to a proposed carbon tax. The situation in each state is unique. Some races—New Hampshire’s Senate contest, for instance—feature two candidates who want to act on climate change. Others, such as West Virginia’s gubernatorial election, feature two candidates who are champions of the coal industry. The impacts of climate change also vary from state to state: Alaska faces wildfires and melting permafrost; Florida is confronting rising seas; Iowa could be hit with falling corn yields. And of course, the voters in each state are different, too. Coloradans overwhelmingly acknowledge that humans are warming the planet. Their neighbors in Utah: not so much.

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Impacts of climate change: “Alaska has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the nation, bringing widespread impacts. Sea ice is rapidly receding and glaciers are shrinking. Thawing permafrost is leading to more wildfire, and affecting infrastructure and wildlife habitat. Rising ocean temperatures and acidification will alter valuable marine fisheries.” National Climate Assessment, 2014

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 47%

Presidential battleground? No.

Senate race:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R): “I do believe that our climate is changing. I don’t agree that all the changes are necessarily due solely to human activity.” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee session, 1/8/15

Joe Miller (L): “We haven’t heard there’s man-made global warming.” Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 8/22/10

Ray Metcalfe (D): “Every Alaskan has witnessed climate change over the past fifty years. Our winters are warmer, our summers are longer, and our Arctic Village shores, once protected by sea ice are eroding. Bold clean energy action is needed to stave off a climate hostile to human life. Unfortunately, Congress is protecting the profits of those opposed to protecting the planet.” Metcalfe Facebook post, 8/2/16


Impacts of climate change: “Annual precipitation has decreased in Arizona during the last century, and it may continue to decrease. So soils are likely to be drier, and periods without rain are likely to become longer, making droughts more severe…Increasing droughts and higher temperatures are likely to affect Arizona’s top agricultural products: cattle, dairy, and vegetables.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43%

Presidential battleground? Maybe.

Senate race:

Sen. John McCain (R): “I think we need to address greenhouse gas emissions. But I try to get involved in issues where I see a legislative result…So I just leave the issue alone because I don’t see a way through it, and there are certain fundamentals, for example nuke power, that people on the left will never agree with me on. So why should I waste my time when I know the people on the left are going to reject nuclear power?” Time, 3/2/14

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D): “The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is another example of Washington’s lack of understanding when it comes to rural and Western energy issues. I oppose this new rule because it hurts my district, which has four coal-fired plants that power Arizona’s big cities, small towns, businesses and residences. These plants also provide good-paying jobs in our tribal and rural regions. The Navajo Generating Station in Page, for example, employs hundreds of people, mostly Native Americans, and provides nearly all of the power for the Central Arizona Project. That means our entire state has a big stake in the energy production and economic stability of these plants. We need to find a balance between protecting our local economies while pursuing the longer-term goal of producing clean, affordable and reliable power. I will not support efforts that kill jobs in my district and lack provisions for responsibly transitioning us toward a clean-energy economy.” Kirkpatrick press release, 6/2/14


Impacts of climate change: “Rising temperatures have and will continue to impact the state’s resources in a variety of ways, including more rapid snowmelt, longer and more severe droughts, and longer growing seasons…Moreover, Colorado experiences numerous climate-related disasters, such as tornadoes, hailstorms, and wildfires, that will continue to occur and may be exacerbated by climate change.” University of Colorado and Colorado State University, Jan. 2015

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 41%

Presidential battleground? Yep.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D): “Colorado’s economy is already being threatened by unchecked climate change…The Clean Power Plan is an important step toward curbing carbon pollution and addressing climate change.” Bennet press release, 8/3/15

Daryl Glenn, El Paso County commissioner (R):

Ryan Warner, Colorado Public Radio: To get you on the record, you do not agree with the majority of scientists who say climate change has human causes. Is that correct?

Glenn: Well that’s your assumption. You’re bringing an assumption to the table and the premise to your question has me to basically adopt your position and I can’t do that without verifiable data.

Warner: Oh it’s not my position. It’s that the majority of scientists believe that climate change has a human caused component. Do you concur with them?

Glenn: Again, you are bringing facts to the particular issue that I don’t have, been presented to me. You’re saying that the majority of scientists are saying that. That’s your statement.

Warner: Right. Well, that’s a fact. Is it a fact that you agree with?

Glenn: Well that’s the fact that you’re representing and I don’t accept your premise of that question.

Warner: Do you believe that climate change has human causes?

Glenn: Well again, I would, I am a data guy, I would want to see the, a verifiable information of that.

Warner: There’s a lot out there. Have you looked at it?

Glenn: We’ve looked at a lot of things. We’ve also looked at that and we’ve also looked at the economic impact of this policy and how they are disproportionately hurting people when it comes to their livelihood. So that’s really where the focus is. We need to make sure we’re looking at policies like that that we’re looking at both sides of the equation instead of just one. Colorado Public Radio, 7/29/16


Impacts of climate change: “There is an imminent threat of increased inland flooding during heavy rain events in low-lying coastal areas such as southeast Florida, where just inches of sea level rise will impair the capacity of stormwater drainage systems to empty into the ocean. Drainage problems are already being experienced in many locations during seasonal high tides, heavy rains, and storm surge events.” National Climate Assessment, 2014

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 42%

Presidential battleground? Always.

Senate race:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R): “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it…And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it—except, they will destroy our economy.” ABC News, 5/13/14

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D): “Everywhere I go in Florida, I see the effects of climate change. Sen. Rubio denies science.” WFTV debate via Media Matters, 10/17/16

On the ballot:

Rooftop Solar (Amendment 1): This is a confusing initiative that could actually undermine rooftop solar in the Sunshine State. As we reported in March, “Amendment 1 was created by an organization with a grassroots-sounding name: Consumers for Smart Solar. In reality, though, the organization is financed by the state’s major electric utility companies as well as by conservative groups with ties to the Koch brothers…The amendment says state and local governments have the authority ‘to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.'” That’s widely seen as an attack on net metering, the policy requiring utilities to pay consumers for the extra power produced by their solar panels.


Impacts of climate change: “Sea level is rising more rapidly in Georgia than along most coasts because the land is sinking. If the oceans and atmosphere continue to warm, sea level is likely to rise one to four feet in the next century along the coast of Georgia. Rising sea level submerges wetlands and dry land, erodes beaches, and exacerbates coastal flooding…Hurricane wind speeds and rainfall rates are likely to increase as the climate continues to warm. Whether or not storms become more intense, coastal homes and infrastructure will flood more often as sea level rises, because storm surges will become higher as well.” EPA, 8/16

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 45%

Presidential battleground? Apparently so.

Senate race:

(Goes to a runoff if no one wins a majority)

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R): “I’ve done everything I can as a United States Senator to educate myself on the carbon issue and the climate change issue. Seven years ago I went with Sen. Boxer from California to Disko Bay in Greenland with Dr. Richard Alley who’s the leading glaciologist in the world to study for a while what he says about the possibility of carbon being the cause of climate change. And there are mixed reviews on that; there’s mixed scientific evidence on that.” Atlanta Journal Constitution, 3/18/15

Jim Barksdale (D): “Climate change is a reality and if left unchecked, rising ocean tides will harm Georgia’s Atlantic coast and threaten our state’s robust tourism and shipping industries.” Barksdale campaign website, accessed 10/28/16

Allen Buckley (L): “Change the gas tax to be an energy tax with the following general concept—the cleaner a fuel is, the less tax it bears and the dirtier a fuel is, the more tax it bears. For example, the current federal excise tax is 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline. If, in the future, one-third of our vehicles run on gasoline, one-third run on batteries and one-third run on hydrogen, and the respective ‘well to wheels’ carbon dioxide output is 6, 3 and 1, then the 18.4 cent excise tax should be allocated so that gasoline bears 33.1 cents per gallon, battery-powered cars pay 16.6 cents per gallon in gasoline-equivalent terms and hydrogen vehicles pay 5.5 cents per gallon in gasoline-equivalent terms…Concerning global warming, while I believe it is happening, the degree to which it is man made is very hard to gauge.” Buckley campaign website, accessed 10/28/16


Impacts of climate change: “Changing climate is likely to increase the frequency of floods in Illinois. Over the last half century, average annual precipitation in most of the Midwest has increased by 5 to 10 percent. But rainfall during the four wettest days of the year has increased about 35 percent, and the amount of water flowing in most streams during the worst flood of the year has increased by more than 20 percent. During the next century, spring rainfall and average precipitation are likely to increase, and severe rainstorms are likely to intensify. Each of these factors will tend to further increase the risk of flooding…In Lake Michigan, changing climate is likely to harm water quality. Warmer water tends to cause more algal blooms, which can be unsightly, harm fish, and degrade water quality.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 39%

Presidential battleground? No.

Senate race:

Sen. Mark Kirk (R): “I have voted that climate change is happening and it’s also caused by man…The best thing that we can do on climate change is make sure that China converts to a more nuclear future to limit those—that one coal-burning plant coming on a week that we expect—that would really help the planet…We need to work cooperatively with developing countries to make sure they emit less.” WICS debate via Media Matters, 10/27/16

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D): “Of course climate change is real. And I support an all-of-the-above approach attacking climate change—everything from moving our country towards being carbon-neutral, moving our country towards clean energy…My opponent has not been consistent…Depending on whether or not he’s up for election…he’s either voted for the Clean Power Plan or against the Clean Power Plan. He’s switched back and forth.” WICS debate via Media Matters, 10/27/16


Impacts of climate change: “Changing the climate is likely to increase the frequency of floods in Indiana…During the next century, spring rainfall and average precipitation are likely to increase, and severe rainstorms are likely to intensify. Each of these factors will tend to further increase the risk of flooding…Although springtime in Indiana is likely to be wetter, summer droughts are likely to be more severe…Longer frost-free growing seasons and higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide would increase yields for some crops during an average year. But increasingly hot summers are likely to reduce yields of corn and possibly soybeans.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 46%

Presidential battleground? No.

Senate race:

Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D): “Evan Bayh supports Indiana’s coal industry, including opposing the EPA’s coal rules. Pointing out that the coal industry contributed $2 billion to Indiana’s economy, Evan argued that the EPA’s rules would put ‘tens of thousands’ of Hoosier jobs at risk. In the Senate, Evan not only voted twice against cap-and-trade legislation, he signed a letter stating that he would not support any climate change bill that did not protect Indiana jobs.” Bayh campaign website, accessed 10/28/16

Rep. Todd Young (R): “My mind remains open about the various scientific questions and so forth. We’re often told that there is a consensus among scientists, and I’ve come to discover—as the number of scientists I’ve talked to and the number of things I read—that’s not necessarily the case. But I think we need to prepare for the worst, and so I support energy efficiency measures. I think natural gas has been a big part of the solution if in fact we need to reduce man-generated carbon dioxide emissions. And I think any public policy that doesn’t account for the fact that most CO2 emissions don’t come from the United States, but they come from other countries, is a flawed policy. So let’s not unilaterally tax our power, our people, to solve a global problem.” WLKY, 10/8/14

Gubernatorial race:

John Gregg, former Indiana Speaker of the House and former coal lobbyist (D): “Like my family, I’ve worked in the coal industry. And I’ve opposed federal rules impacting coal jobs.” Gregg campaign ad, 8/11/16

Lt. Gov Eric Holcomb (R): “Holcomb will stand strong against unreasonable Federal EPA rules, like the so-called Clean Power Plan, that continue to lead to higher prices for Hoosiers.” Holcomb campaign website, accessed 10/28/16


Impacts of climate change: “Iowa will face the highest likely losses of any Midwest state from climate-related commodity crop yield declines. By the end of this century, absent significant adaptation by Iowa farmers, the state could face likely declines in its signature corn crop of 18% to 77%—a huge hit for a corn industry worth nearly $10 billion.” Risky Business, Jan. 2015

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 44%

Presidential battleground? Yes.

Senate race:

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R): “We had global warming between 1940 and 1998. Since then, we haven’t had a rise in temperature. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a problem. If that problem is going to be solved, it ought to be solved by an international treaty.” Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network, 5/17/14

Former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (D): “Climate change is very real. It is a serious issue it should be treated that way…It is not just ours here in Iowa or even in the United States. One of the things that we need to do immediately is try to move our self away from petroleum-based or fuels from carbon-based fueling of this country, and, you know, we started doing that here in Iowa and we’ve been very successful with developing our alternative energy programs.” Iowa Public Radio, 5/31/16


Impacts of climate change: “Heat waves, more powerful storms, and rising seas are increasingly transforming Maine—effects that most climate scientists trace to greenhouse gases warming the planet…Over the past 100 years, temperatures throughout the Northeast have risen by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit…Precipitation has increased by more than 10 percent, with the worst storms bringing significantly more rain and snow. And sea levels have climbed by a foot. A study by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute this year found that coastal waters are warming at a rate faster than 99 percent of the world’s other oceans.” Boston Globe, 9/21/14

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 42%

Presidential battleground? Yes. (Maine allocates electoral votes by congressional district, and the 2nd district is competitive.)


Impacts of climate change: “Changing the climate is likely to harm water quality in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. Warmer water tends to cause more algal blooms, which can be unsightly, harm fish, and degrade water quality. During August 2014, an algal bloom in Lake Erie prompted the Monroe County Health Department to advise residents in four townships to avoid using tap water for cooking and drinking. Severe storms increase the amount of pollutants that run off from land to water, so the risk of algal blooms will be greater if storms become more severe. Severe rainstorms can also cause sewers to overflow into lakes and rivers, which can threaten beach safety and drinking water supplies.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43%

Presidential battleground? Yes.


Impacts of climate change: “The state has warmed one to three degrees (F) in the last century. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on lakes is forming later and melting sooner. In the coming decades, these trends are likely to continue. Rising temperatures may interfere with winter recreation, extend the growing season, change the composition of trees in the North Woods, and increase water pollution problems in lakes and rivers. The state will have more extremely hot days, which may harm public health in urban areas and corn harvests in rural areas.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43%

Presidential battleground? Perhaps.


Impacts of climate change: “Seventy years from now, Missouri is likely to have more than 25 days per year with temperatures above 95°F, compared with 5 to 15 today. Hot weather causes cows to eat less, produce less milk, and grow more slowly—and it could threaten their health. Even during the next few decades, hotter summers are likely to reduce yields of corn. But higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide increase crop yields, and that fertilizing effect is likely to offset the harmful effects of heat on soybeans, assuming that adequate water is available. On farms without irrigation, however, increasingly severe droughts could cause more crop failures. ” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 45%

Presidential battleground? Probably not.

Senate race:

Sen. Roy Blunt (R): “Electric service providers in Missouri have warned that the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan will raise energy costs for Missourians, reduce jobs, and hurt our state’s economic competitiveness. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve fought hard to ensure provisions that would defund this harmful power grab were included in the final appropriations bill. I also support legislation to block this harmful rule and protect workers and families from the damaging effects of the Obama Administration’s executive overreach and costly energy regulations.” Blunt press release, 8/3/15

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D): “He understands that climate change is a real consequence of human activity and we have a moral obligation to address this challenge. That means reducing carbon pollution and accelerating our transition to clean energy, not only to protect our planet, but also to ensure our national security.” Kander campaign website, accessed 10/31/16

Gubernatorial race

Eric Greitens (R): “Federal overreach from agencies like the EPA is hurting family farms. I will fight against these crippling regulations, and always side with the hard working farmers and ranchers of Missouri.” Greitens campaign website, accessed 10/31/16

Missouri Attorney Gen. Chris Koster (D): “The EPA’s Clean Power rule effectively eliminates Missouri’s competitive advantage as a low energy-cost state…A significant question exists whether the final rule goes beyond EPA’s authority to set emission standards…For these reasons, I have decided to file suit against the EPA as soon as the final rule is published. Look folks, I believe that climate change is real, and cleaner energy production is an important state goal, one Missouri’s energy producers are already aggressively working toward…However, it is essential that we achieve these goals in a responsible way that makes sense for Missouri’s economy and Missouri’s future.” Koster speech transcript, 10/9/15


Impacts of climate change: “Since the 1950s, the snowpack in Montana has been decreasing. Diminishing snowpack can shorten the season for skiing and other forms of winter tourism and recreation…More than one thousand glaciers cover about 26 square miles of mountains in Montana, but that area is decreasing in response to rising temperatures. Glacier National Park’s glaciers receded rapidly during the last century.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 46%

Presidential battleground? No.

Gubernatorial race:

Gov. Steve Bullock (D): “Steve believes Montanans should control our own energy future. He introduced a balanced and responsible plan that builds upon Montana’s traditional base of energy generation, like coal in Colstrip, while sparking a new generation of clean technology development, investing in renewables like wind and solar and encouraging innovation, savings, and energy efficiency for homes and businesses.” Bullock campaign website, accessed 10/31/16

Greg Gianforte (R): “This the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the Clean Power Plan is great news for Montana, but the fight isn’t over. We cannot rest. We must keep up the pressure and work to defeat this “costly power plan” once and for all.” Gianfote press release, 2/9/16


Impacts of climate change: “The number of high temperature stress days over 100°F is projected to increase substantially in Nebraska and the Great Plains region. By mid-century (2041â&#128;&#144;2070), this increase for Nebraska would equate to experiencing typical summer temperatures equivalent to those experienced during the 2012 drought and heat wave.” University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Sept. 2014

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 47%

Presidential battleground? Trump will win Nebraska, but the state awards its electoral votes by congressional district, and the 2nd district might be up for grabs.


Impacts of climate change: “Much of Nevada’s tourist income comes from attractions that will be vulnerable to climate impacts. For instance, Las Vegas’s 45 golf courses, which are used by one-third of all visitors, could see a sharp decline in golfers due to rising temperatures and decreased water supplies…Lower water levels in Lake Mead significantly reduced recreational visitors, especially boaters, as marinas and docks were left high and dry.” Demos, 4/19/12

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 41%

Presidential battleground? Yes.

Senate race:

Former Nevada Attorney Gen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D): “The Clean Power Plan is a bold step not just in lowering carbon emissions, but also in creating the clean energy jobs of the future. With our abundance of wind, solar, and geothermal energy, Nevada has been a leader in moving away from carbon emissions and embracing a clean energy economy that has created good-paying jobs in our state that can’t be shipped overseas.” Cortez Masto campaign press release, 8/3/15

Rep. Joe Heck (R): “To maintain our economic and national security, we must maximize all of our nation’s energy resources, including renewable sources, alternative fuels, and fossil fuels, all in a way that balances economic development and protecting our environment. Nevada is poised to lead our nation in renewable development and we must harness those resources. However, we shouldn’t penalize those that depend on fossil fuels for energy and the jobs they provide. The Clean Power Plan is not the all-of-the-above energy strategy needed to boost job creation and reduce energy prices for families.” Heck press release, 8/3/15

On the ballot:

Electricity Deregulation (Question 3): Nevadans will be voting on a state constitutional amendment that would dismantle the monopoly held by NV Energy, the state’s biggest utility. If Question 3 passes—and then passes again in 2018—consumers will be able to purchase power from any electricity retailer willing to sell it. The measure is backed by a number of large, energy-intensive businesses in the state, including Tesla and Sheldon Adelson’s Sands casinos. Proponents argue that deregulation will allow them to purchase cheaper renewable energy. According to the Wall Street Journal, one of Questions 3’s supporters, a Nevada data-storage company called Switch, “estimates it is currently paying NV Energy as much as 80% more for green power than it would pay a competitive supplier.” Opponents, including the state’s AFL-CIO chapter, counter that the measure could harm consumers and cost jobs, according to the Journal. (For more on the problems surrounding energy deregulation, read our investigation.)

New Hampshire

Impacts of climate change: “The frequency of extreme heat days is projected to increase dramatically, and the hottest days will be hotter, raising concerns regarding the impact of extreme, sustained heat on human health, infrastructure, and the electrical grid…Southern New Hampshire can also expect to experience more extreme precipitation events in the future. For example, under the high emissions scenario, events that drop more than four inches of precipitation in forty-eight hours are projected to increase two- to three-fold across much of southern New Hampshire by the end of the century.” University of New Hampshire, 2014

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43%

Presidential battleground? Yes.

Senate race:

Gov. Maggie Hassan (D): “Yes I do believe climate change is man-made. I have been fighting climate change and working to improve our environment. Sen. Ayotte, when she first ran for the United States Senate, doubted whether climate change was real. And I have the endorsement of the Sierra Club, and I’m very proud of that.” NH1 TV debate via Media Matters, 10/27/16

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R): “I do believe that climate change is real, and Gov. Hassan again needs to understand that I was the first Republican in the country to support the president’s Clean Power Plan, that I’ve crossed party lines, even taken criticism from my own party to protect New Hampshire’s environment, and that goes back to my time as attorney general.” NH1 TV debate via Media Matters, 10/27/16

Gubernatorial race:

Chris Sununu, member of the New Hampshire Executive Council (R): “I’m an environmental engineer…The Earth has been slowly warming since the mid-1800s; there’s not doubt about that. Is it man-made or not? Look, one thing I do know: Nobody knows for sure…One of the biggest concerns of this entire issue is that we’ve created all this regulation that pushes down on businesses and pushes down on individuals. I’m going to free that up and do it smart and responsibly.” WMUR debate, 9/7/16

Colin Van Ostern, member of the New Hampshire Executive Council (D): “Van Ostern is a strong advocate for clean energy, and he’ll increase investment in solar and renewable energy. He believes clean energy projects are critical for boosting our clean tech economy, limiting energy costs, protecting our environment, and creating thousands of jobs.” Van Ostern campaign website, accessed 11/3/16

North Carolina

Impacts of climate change: “Most of the state has warmed one-half to one degree (F) in the last century, and the sea is rising about one inch every decade. Higher water levels are eroding beaches, submerging low lands, exacerbating coastal flooding, and increasing the salinity of estuaries and aquifers.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 44%

Presidential battleground? Yes.

Senate race:

Sen. Richard Burr (R): “US Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., voted against legislation in January 2015 that declared in part that ‘human activity contributes to climate change.’…’Senator Burr believes that climate change is real and humans do contribute to those changes,’ said spokesman Jesse Hunt. ‘However, it is his belief that the best way to reduce emissions and pollution is not through partisan political theater but through developing consensus on areas that will bring about effectual change.'” Citizen-Times, 10/4/16

Former State Rep. Deborah Ross (D): “Ross voted repeatedly to support clean energy, oppose fracking, address climate change, and protect North Carolina’s land, air, and water…Deborah knows that we need to slow the harmful effects of climate change. The best ways to do this are to invest in renewable energy and clean technology.” Ross campaign website, accessed 11/1/16

Gubernatorial race:

Gov. Pat McCrory (R): “I believe there is climate change. I’m not sure you can call it climate warming anymore, especially here in the Carolinas. I think the big debate is how much of it is man-made and how much of it will just naturally happen as Earth evolves.” ABC, 2/16/14

North Carolina Attorney Gen. Roy Cooper (D): “A strong economy and a healthy environment go hand-in-hand. I am glad North Carolina has become a leader in renewable energy technology and that energy companies are shifting toward more sustainable power supplies than coal. As Attorney General, I have disagreed with the state environmental regulators who were focused on scoring political points rather than protecting our water, air and other natural resources.” Cooper campaign website, accessed 11/1/16


Impacts of climate change: “In Lake Erie, the changing climate is likely to harm water quality. Warmer water tends to cause more algal blooms, which can be unsightly, harm fish, and degrade water quality. During August 2014, an algal bloom in Lake Erie prompted the City of Toledo to ban drinking and cooking with tap water. Severe storms also increase the amount of pollutants that run off from land to water, so the risk of algal blooms will be greater if storms become more severe. Increasingly severe rainstorms could also cause sewers to overflow into the Great Lakes more often, threatening beach safety and drinking water supplies.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 45%

Presidential battleground? Yes.

Senate race:

Sen. Rob Portman (R): “Portman voted ‘yes’ this week on an amendment declaring that climate change is real, caused by human activity, and Congress should do something about it. In January, Portman voted ‘no’ on a similar amendment, which said ‘human activity significantly’ contributes to climate change…Portman, who is seeking re-election in a key swing state, said he opposed the January measure because he’s not sure how much of a factor human activity is in global warming. ‘I’m not going to quantify it because scientists have a lot of different views on that,’ he told reporters Thursday…Portman has been a vocal opponent of the Obama administration’s new regulations designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.Cincinnati Enquirer, 3/29/15

Former Gov. Ted Strickland (D): “Strickland supports Obama’s plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants while boosting clean-energy jobs. He says he wants to be sure its implementation doesn’t hurt Ohio, although it is unclear how he or anyone could do anything about it if that happens. But one way, he and other Democrats say, is to support expansion of alternative energy sources—wind, solar, biomass—and help those industries become catalysts for jobs. As governor, Strickland signed a bill with the goal of getting 25 percent of electricity sold in Ohio to come from alternative energy sources by 2025—a plan that Gov. John Kasich, who defeated Strickland in 2010, put on ice.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/3/15


Impacts of climate change: “Reduced snowpacks, less water for irrigation, drought-related wildfires, rising sea levels and insect-infested timber. Those are just a few of the impacts of climate disruption that could affect Oregonians, two environmental groups warned Tuesday.” The Oregonian, 5/6/14

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 40%

Presidential battleground? No.

Gubernatorial race:

Gov. Kate Brown (D): “This year, Oregon became the first state to envision a future without coal-powered electricity when Kate signed the nation’s first ‘coal-to-clean’ law, which will completely phase out dirty coal power by 2030 and double Oregon’s reliance on renewable energy by 2040. In 2015, she stood up to Big Oil and signed a law that bolsters the use of cleaner-burning vehicle fuels in Oregon. Kate will continue the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support innovation that reduces Oregon’s reliance on fossil fuels.” Brown campaign website, accessed 11/1/16

Bud Pierce (R): “Repeal the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Law so ordinary Oregonians will not have to spend an extra 19 cents to a dollar per gallon of gasoline in a hidden gas tax whose proceeds will go to state-favored, out-of-state green energy companies.” Pierce campaign website, accessed 11/1/16


Impacts of climate change: “The commonwealth has warmed more than half a degree (F) in the last century, heavy rainstorms are more frequent, and the tidal portion of the Delaware River is rising about one inch every eight years. In the coming decades, changing the climate is likely to increase flooding, harm ecosystems, disrupt farming, and increase some risks to human health.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 44%

Presidential battleground? Yes.

Senate race:

Sen. Pat Toomey (R): “Senator Toomey believes that coal is an essential part of America’s energy future, not to mention an important part of Pennsylvania’s economy. Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been especially aggressive in pursuing regulations that specifically target coal power plants. These regulations have already put hundreds of Pennsylvanians out of work and will continue to cause economic distress while yielding negligible benefits for our environment.” Toomey Senate website, accessed 11/1/16

Katie McGinty, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Environmental Protection (D): “Climate change presents a serious global threat to our health, economic well-being and national security. In the Senate, I will lead the way to a healthier and safer environment by working to pass commonsense climate protections with investments in energy efficiency and clean energy.” McGinty campaign website, accessed 11/1/16


Impacts of climate change: “Utah has warmed about two degrees (F) in the last century. Throughout the western United States, heat waves are becoming more common, and snow is melting earlier in spring. In the coming decades, the changing climate is likely to decrease the flow of water in Utah’s rivers, increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires, and decrease the productivity of ranches and farms.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 48%

Presidential battleground? Supposedly.


Impacts of climate change: “High nighttime temperatures are increasingly common and have widespread impacts on humans, recreation and energy demand. In winter months, warmer nighttime temperatures threaten snow and ice cover for winter recreation. In summer months, this causes increased demand for cooling. An increase in high-energy electric (lighting) storms is projected to continue particularly threatening infrastructure and transportation systems.” Vermont Climate Assessment, 2014

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 38%

Presidential battleground? No.

Gubernatorial race:

Sue Minter, former Vermont Secretary of Transportation (D): “I’m opposed to a carbon tax. But I am very concerned about climate change. And I think it is clear that change is not just real—it is here; it is having an enormous effect on all of us…I have plans to address climate change, focusing on our clean, green energy future here. Looking at collaborating with other northeastern states like we’ve done before to reduce carbon emissions.” WPTZ debate via Media Matters, 10/25/16

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott: “I would veto a carbon tax if it hit my desk. I believe that this would just ratchet up the cost of living across Vermont. I don’t think that we can afford it. I’m not looking to do anything that would raise the cost of living on already-struggling Vermonters.” WPTZ debate via Media Matters, 10/25/16

Former baseball player Bill Lee (Liberty Union Party): Um, well, just watch this video:


Impacts of climate change: “The combination of land subsidence, sea level rise, flat and low tidewater topography and intensive coastal real estate and infrastructure development puts southeastern Virginia, namely the Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Hampton Roads region, at extreme risk from storm surges…Climate change will make the situation much worse.” Demos, 4/19/12

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43%

Presidential battleground? Yes.

West Virginia

Impacts of climate change: “During the next century, average annual precipitation and the frequency of heavy downpours are likely to keep rising. Average precipitation is likely to increase during winter and spring but not change significantly during summer and fall. Rising temperatures will melt snow earlier in spring and increase evaporation, and thereby dry the soil during summer and fall. As a result, changing the climate is likely to intensify flooding during winter and spring, and droughts during summer and fall.” EPA, Aug. 2016

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 49%

Presidential battleground? No.

Gubernatorial race:

Jim Justice, billionaire coal baron (D): “Until we have really accurate data to prove that humans contribute to climate change I don’t think we need to blow our legs off on a concept. I welcome the scientific approach to it and the knowledge. I would not sit here and say, ‘absolutely now, there’s no such thing’ or I would no way on Earth say there is such a thing. I believe there’s an awful lot of scientist that say, ‘no, no, no, this is just smoke and mirrors.’ I welcome the discussion, but I don’t know, I just don’t know.” The Register-Herald, 4/27/16

State Senate President Bill Cole, (R): “West Virginia must continue to lead the fight for our energy industry against an Obama administration that’s dead set on destroying the development of fossil fuels. The rich history of our state has always been tied to its abundance of natural resources. Those whose motives are highly questionable—will say that the days of coal, oil and gas are over and that we need to move on to solar, wind and other alternative sources of power…Bill Cole supports Donald Trump for President because he will allow our miners to go back to work, let us harness our natural gas, and free us of the impossible roadblock to growth that is the EPA.” Cole campaign website, accessed 11/3/16


Impacts of climate change: “In Washington and Oregon, more than 140,000 acres of coastal lands lie within 3.3 feet in elevation of high tide. As sea levels continue to rise, these areas will be inundated more frequently…Ocean acidification threatens culturally and commercially significant marine species directly affected by changes in ocean chemistry (such as oysters) and those affected by changes in the marine food web (such as Pacific salmon)…Warmer water in regional estuaries (such as Puget Sound) may contribute to a higher incidence of harmful blooms of algae linked to paralytic shellfish poisoning.” National Climate Assessment, 2014

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 40%

Presidential battleground? No.

On the ballot:

Carbon Tax (I-732): Washington voters will decide whether to adopt a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Revenue from the tax would be offset through a sales tax reduction, as well as through tax rebates and credits to individuals and businesses. A number of environmentalists support I-732, but other environmentalists oppose it; they argue that it won’t do enough to support clean energy, that it will disproportionately hurt low-income residents, and that communities of color didn’t have enough input in developing the proposal.


Impacts of climate change: “Research suggests that warming temperatures in spring and fall would help boost agricultural production by extending the growing season across the state. However, increased warming during the summer months could reduce yields of crops such as corn and soybeans, with studies suggesting that every 2° F of warming could decrease corn yields by 13 percent and soybean yields by 16 percent.” Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, 2011

Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43%

Presidential battleground? Yes.

Senate race:

Sen. Ron Johnson (R): “I’ve never denied climate change. It’s always changed, always will. I would ask the questioner: What would happen if we had no sun? It would be a cold, hard rock orbiting in space. So obviously the sun has the primary effect on weather and climate on planet Earth. So I’m just not a climate change alarmist…The jury’s out on man-made climate change…I’m a skeptic.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview, 10/21/16

Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D): “This is enormously threatening to the future of our country and our planet. Anyone who talks about children, grandchildren, great grandchildren has to take this seriously. The climate is obviously changing dramatically.” WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio, 11/2/16

Excerpt from – 

Here Are the Races to Watch If You Care About Global Warming

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Building a ‘Good’ Anthropocene From the Bottom Up


Halloween Cute Characters Sticker for iMessage – Ha Phuoc Viet

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Building a ‘Good’ Anthropocene From the Bottom Up

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A decade from now, nobody will own their own car.

Or so says Lyft’s cofounder and president in a manifesto published on Sunday. John Zimmer writes that he has loved cars ever since getting introduced to Hot Wheels as a 3-year old. But then college ruined all the fun.

“Next time you walk outside, pay really close attention to the space around you,” Zimmer writes, referring to an uncomfortable realization picked up in a city-planning class. “Look at how much land is devoted to cars  — and nothing else.”

For decades now, those with similar epiphanies have concluded that we just need to take that space away from cars, period.

Zimmer proposes something else: a Lyft-branded car subscription service. Composed of both self-driving and people-driven automobiles, it would eliminate the need for private ownership of cars, Zimmer argues. And as this goal gets within reach, the space formerly occupied by parking spots will gradually return to public space.

Zimmer doesn’t have a particular date that this subscription service will be rolled out, which is sensible, because it would have to take a very long time. For now, though, Zimmer’s proposal should be read for what it is — high-quality futurism.

Continue reading: 

A decade from now, nobody will own their own car.

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