Nick Engelfried

Nick Engelfried

Posts by This Writer

11 years 4 months ago

If this summer feels like a scorcher, it isn’t just you. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on a worldwide basis June of 2010 was the hottest June ever recorded. While there were certainly other factors at play besides climate change, the finding is part of an overwhelming body of evidence showing the effects of climate change are being felt, and the planet is on average growing progressively warmer. Contrary to the claims of climate science deniers, global warming is not only real, but is happening now.

Worldwide land and ocean surface temperature data from NOAA show last month wasn’t just the hottest June recorded since...


11 years 4 months ago

Forestry and palm oil giant Sinar Mas has become nearly synonymous with runaway deforestation in Southeast Asia, which threatens endangered species and local communities while contributing to climate change. In response, global companies have been dropping Sinar Mas products right and left. As environmental groups call attention to the social and environmental impacts of the Sinar Mas group’s activities, major market players are finding business with Sinar Mas to be incompatible with their social responsibility commitments.

Global demand for paper pulp...


11 years 4 months ago

In 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into being one of the nation’s first and most ambitious state laws to reduce climate change. AB 32 mandates California reduce its statewide carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and has been held up time and again as an example of bold state-level climate change legislation. The bill has helped spur the green economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in California.

Now out-of-state oil companies have launched a campaign to kill AB 32, which if successful could destroy thousands of jobs and discourage green innovation in a region that’s become a hotbed for clean energy industries...


11 years 4 months ago

As June 11th marks World Population Day, this is a fitting time to delve into how (if at all) efforts to deal with a growing global population should be part of reducing the causes of climate change. It’s a touchy subject, which many people on all sides of the debate feel very strongly about. There is likely no simple answer: while the size and growth of human populations certainly can contribute to climate change, arguments that try to single out population growth as the main cause of climate change and other environmental problems are over-simplistic and frankly quite wrong.

In the end, the most important thing may be how NGOs, governments, and...


11 years 4 months ago

President Obama has been saying some great things about cracking down on dirty energy and emissions from the fossil fuel industries, in the wake of the BP oil spill. But even as the president takes some initial steps to invest in clean energy technology, the Obama administration is also giving the green light to decisions that increase carbon emissions and our dependence on dirty energy. It’s a frustrating case in which the administration seems to be counting on its good deeds to mute criticism of its negative ones. Perhaps the only antidote is...


11 years 5 months ago

In a well-known story the predates widespread awareness of climate change, President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the roof of the White House, to raise the profile of his campaign to transition the US to a cleaner energy economy. When President Ronald Reagan took office, the solar panels on the White House weren’t just torn off: Carter-era incentives for renewable energy were abandoned, and the United States was cemented even further into fossil fuel dependence.

Now international climate organizations are challenging Barack Obama and other world leaders to install solar panels again, and usher in a new wave of...


11 years 5 months ago

Social media and the online world can quickly connect like-minded people from all distant regions of the planet, and this property can be harnessed to fight the causes of climate change. Few problems are more worldwide in scale than climate change. Climate activists have been quick to embrace online organizing as a way to rapidly make local or regional initiatives, like the fight to stop a major coal plant, go global.

With many companies and government entities establishing a presence on Facebook and Twitter, anyone with access to the...


11 years 5 months ago

India will soon have a new source of funding to finance clean energy research and development: a carbon tax on the coal industry, which went into effect the first day of this month, will raise fifty rupees for each metric ton of coal used in India. This money will help create India’s National Clean Energy Fund and jump-start the renewable industry in this developing country’s growing economy. India’s tax on coal is one of the first carbon taxes enacted at the national level by any major economy in the world. It’s an indicator of the growing importance of developing nations in setting the...


11 years 5 months ago

As a resident of the United States, which has long been and continues to be the biggest obstacle to global action on climate change, I probably have no business criticizing someone else’s country. Yet it’s my fervent hope that as Julia Gillard takes the helm of the Australian government as the nation’s first female prime minister, she will seize the opportunity to make Australia a more positive player in climate politics. It’s much too soon to tell how Gillard will deal with the need for an Australian climate bill, but there are some hopeful signs that she is at least willing to take the challenge seriously.

For years,...


11 years 5 months ago

What do you do if you want to disprove the reality of climate change, but don’t have any scientific evidence to support your claims? Apparently you try to confuse the public by hacking into a major database on climate research, publishing thousands of emails from scientists out of context, and accusing scientists of distorting the truth about the causes of climate change. Then you sit tight and hope no one will look too closely at what the stolen emails actually say, because it might turn out they contain nothing that disproves climate change after all. At least, that’s what you do if you’re one of the unknown perpetrator’s of last year’s “...


Pages