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America is making climate promises again. Should anyone care?

Biden speaks outside the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington on September 14, 2020. | Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images Policy, not aspirations, will determine Biden’s legacy on climate change. In 2015, when President Barack Obama signed the US on to the Paris climate agreement, he did what all participating nations must do and […]


Joe Biden should do everything at once

Use it or lose it. | Demetrius Freeman/Washington Post/Getty Images How to succeed in hyperpolarized politics: run a blitz. Joe Biden will become the US president during an extraordinary moment in history, one that could very well prove to be the calm before the storm, a brief prelude to dissolution and illiberalism. Trump’s bid to […]


Big electric trucks and buses are coming. Here’s how to speed up the transition.

Tesla semi. | Tesla Financing, policy, and private sector tools can fund vehicle costs and new charging infrastructure. There’s a growing consensus in the climate change community that the key to transitioning the US economy from fossil fuels is to electrify everything — shift the electricity grid over to carbon-free power and shift other big […]


The Earth itself could provide carbon-free heat for buildings

Geothermal district heating. | Shutterstock The world needs clean heat, and geothermal energy has it. The heat stored in the Earth’s crust, known as geothermal energy, is carbon-free and effectively inexhaustible. There’s enough of it to run all of civilization for generations, if it could be cost-effectively tapped. Tapping it turns out to be no […]


Joe Biden will be president, but there will be no Green New Deal

Without control of the Senate Biden’s power to effect the kind of radical change called for by the Green New Deal will be substantially curtailed. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images Without Congress, he’ll be limited to executive action, just like Obama. As polling almost unanimously (over)predicted, Joe Biden has amassed the electoral votes necessary to become […]


Live results: Nevada renewable energy ballot initiative

Nevadans need to pass the same renewable energy initiative to amend the state constitution. | John Locher/AP Voters could require the state’s electricity supplies to shift to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. Update November 4, 2020, 8:55 pm: Nevada voters approved this renewable energy ballot initiative, according to the New York Times and the […]


Nevada voters seal renewable energy goals in their state constitution

Christina Animashaun/Vox The state will target 50 percent renewables by 2030. As was widely expected, Nevada voters approved Question 6 on the ballot, which amends the state constitution to mandate that the Nevada’s electricity providers shift to at least 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, according to the New York Times and the Associated Press. […]


What’s causing climate change, in 10 charts

By David Roberts

With heat waves, wildfires, intense hurricanes, and other extreme weather events in the headlines, the ravages of climate change have become undeniable and unavoidable. Who or what is responsible for this? It seems like a simple enough question, but like so many things about climate change, it gets more complicated the more you look into it. It turns out there are a number of ways of divvying up the blame.


Air pollution is much worse than we thought

By David Roberts

Ditching fossil fuels would pay for itself through clean air alone. In the late 1960s, the US saw regular, choking smog descend over New York City and Los Angeles, 100,000 barrels of oil spilled off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, and, perhaps most famously, fires burning on the surface of the Cuyahoga River in Ohio. These grim images sparked the modern environmental movement, the first Earth Day, and a decade of extraordinary environmental lawmaking and rulemaking (much of it under a Republican president, Richard Nixon).


How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly

The roof of the 96,000-square-foot “Circa” building on Platte Street in the Lower Highland neighborhood in Denver, Colorado, is covered by solar panels. | Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images The US has everything it needs to decarbonize by 2035. In the runup to World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enlisted the entire […]