Nick Engelfried

Nick Engelfried

Posts by This Writer

8 years 7 months ago

Burning coal for power is the single most important cause of climate change and the biggest obstacle to preventing a planetary climate crisis. Yet this week leaders of the coal industry are meeting in Beijing, China, for “World Clean Coal Week”—an event that appears dedicated to celebrating the wonders of coal and branding the coal industry as a virtual humanitarian business. Apart from the laughably ironic title (coal is one of the...


8 years 7 months ago

This morning youth organizers in Washington, DC set up under canopies in the rain to send federal decision makers a message: young voters support using the Clean Air Act’s full authority to reduce carbon energy and emissions and transition the US to a cleaner, healthier future. To show they have backing from students all over the country, these activists are displaying thousands of hand-made pinwheels mailed to DC from more than fifty schools across the nation. Each pinwheel represents a student voice calling for...


8 years 7 months ago

As the latest round of international climate change negotiations gets underway this week in Cancun, Mexico, you can expect to hear a lot from the mainstream media about China and the United States blaming each other for failure to agree on a climate change treaty. The media (at least the US media) loves to repeat a narrative in which these two economies face off against each other, the US blaming China for now being the world’s largest annual producer of carbon emissions, while Chinese officials condemn the US for being the biggest historical contributor to climate change.

While there’s a certain amount of accuracy in this narrative, it overlooks the fact...


8 years 7 months ago

When you think of cutting-edge green vehicle technology, a giant semi-truck probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Despite the fact that large trucks, trailers, and buses account for some 20% of carbon emissions from transportation in the United States, they have long been overlooked as a source of potential fuel savings. Fortunately this is now change, as the Obama administration moves ahead with plans to improve the fuel economy of heavy-duty vehicles, which were first unveiled back in October.

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held two public hearings on proposed new...


8 years 8 months ago

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, it might be a good idea to be thankful today for a federal Environmental Protection Agency that’s actually willing to protect the environment from industry energy and emissions practices—at least some of the time. Under the leadership of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, the agency charged with protecting US air and water quality has finally begun to crack down on polluters after years of negligence. US citizens now have until the end of the month to let decision makers know we want the EPA to continue pushing large corporations to do business better. Think of it as an opportunity to say “thank you” to the EPA for cracking...


8 years 8 months ago

When it comes to naming US states that can make a truly large dent in climate change, the Pacific Northwest probably isn’t the first spot that comes to mind. Compared with California, Texas, and the Midwest, Washington and Oregon contribute relatively little to total US carbon emissions. This is partly because of the Northwest’s smallish population, and partly because both states already have rather progressive climate policies on the books. But while policymakers and activists in the Northwest should take pride in what...


8 years 8 months ago

Thanks partly to its success using biofuels to power cars instead of oil, Brazil has become known as something of a sustainable business leader. The country deserves credit for taking some initiative on renewable energy, and at last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was one of the most outspoken proponents for an ambitious climate treaty from any of the world’s major economies. Yet every now and then Brazil embarks on a project which casts a pall over the nation’s environmental accomplishments,...


8 years 8 months ago

Editor's note: for a huge event like eARTh, the Justmeans Climate Change team thought it would be great to publish multiple perspectives on the implications for the fight against climate change. Please see Brian Kahn's post for another take on eARTh.

For decades climate scientists and activists have tried to drive home the need for action on...


8 years 8 months ago

Just a few days after my last post on the unfolding Boardman Coal Plant drama, there is a new major development to report. Despite public concern over the Boardman Plant’s contribution to pollution and climate change, as well as convincing evidence that keeping the plant open another ten years in not in the best interest of ratepayers, Oregon’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has decided to “acknowledge” Portland General Electric’s plan to burn coal at...


8 years 8 months ago

When the East Kentucky Power Cooperative proposed building a new 278 megawatt coal-fired power plant, a coalition of local environmental groups and concerned members of the cooperative became determined to stop this dirty energy and emissions project. For the past few years groups like Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, the Sierra Club, and the Kentucky Environmental Foundation have been fighting the Smith Coal Plant, taking on the powerful coal industry in the heart of coal country. Today these groups have announced their hard-fought battle for clean energy is finally won.

East...


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