Nick Engelfried

Nick Engelfried

Posts by This Writer

8 years 8 months ago

Chalk up one more reason to invest in alternative transportation: you don’t have to submit to a pat-down before climbing onto a high-speed train. If the United States were equipped with a national network of efficient high-speed rail projects that could zoom passengers across vast distances at more than 200 miles per hour, it would be a lot easier to get around without flying. At a time when potentially invasive airport searches are making...


8 years 8 months ago

Last month I wrote about the debate raging over Oregon’s Boardman Coal Plant—a climate change and air pollution fight with implications for coal plants throughout the United States. Since early October there have been a lot of new developments around this issue, so it’s time for an update!

When I wrote my earlier post on the Boardman Plant, Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) had just finished holding a round of hearings throughout the state, to...


8 years 8 months ago

We've all heard the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and world leaders would do well to take that lesson to heart when it comes to climate change. A new report released by the United Nations and the World Bank concludes dealing with and responding to climate change and climate disasters now will be much less expensive than dealing with the proliferation of natural disasters that would result from...


8 years 8 months ago

The largest city in the Western Hemisphere and third-biggest metropolitan area in the world is going to great lengths to clear its air and reduce its contribution to climate change. A few years ago the office of Mayor Marcelo Ebrard first laid out a citywide “Plan Verde,” intended to gradually convert the massive metropolis into an environmental leader. Many clean air and climate-related initiatives are now well underway, including sophisticated subway and bus systems that continue to expand, a public bike-sharing program, and urban composting initiatives. By the end of next year, the city government hopes to close a major landfill and use methane gas from...


8 years 8 months ago

Delegates from nineteen countries are gathering this week in Kiribati, in an effort to inject new energy into international climate change negotiations. At the Tarawa Climate Change Conference, named for Kiribati’s capital city where the meeting is taking place, delegates hope to agree on a non-binding agreement participating countries will present to the world in Cancun, Mexico later this year. On Wednesday afternoon, the office of Kiribati’s President Anote Tong reported an agreement on text for the declaration had been reached.

Kiribati, a large chain of islands spanning much of the South Pacific, is both one of...


8 years 8 months ago

In the face of Congressional inaction on climate change and a right wing political movement intent on doing all in its power to prevent sweeping climate action, an encouraging trend for the climate is the growing list of coal-fired power units scheduled to be taken off the grid. Coal is the most carbon-intensive of all fossil fuels, and nothing would do more to prevent climate change than breaking the US addiction to coal. I’m thus glad to be able to report that this week climate hawks scored another victory, with the announcement that an additional 560 megawatts...


8 years 8 months ago

In a move that could significantly decrease US energy use and associated emissions, building officials voted on the first of November to increase the efficiency of typical buildings 30% by the year 2012. By making this improvement to the International Energy Conservation Code, builders hope to slash energy and emissions while saving homeowners money on their heat and electricity bills. The decision has been welcomed by environmentalists and climate hawks who...


8 years 8 months ago

Less than one month ago I wrote about PNC Bank’s dirty energy and emissions footprint, which includes funding the hugely destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining. Since then PNC has continued to feel the heat from nonprofits like the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which sought to raise public awareness of this bank’s investment in a dirty activity and persuade PNC...


8 years 8 months ago

On opposite sides of the Eurasian landmass, two small but economically important countries are making big new investments in the sustainable business of offshore wind. If you needed convincing that offshore wind is taking off around the world, this should be it. If other countries like the United States don’t want to be left behind, they had best become serious about their own renewable energy investments in a hurry.

South Korea, which is rapidly becoming a sustainable business leader, aims to finish building a mammoth offshore wind project...


8 years 8 months ago

As the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change build up in the atmosphere, a steadily warming planet isn’t the only result. Much of the carbon dioxide produced since the Industrial Revolution by burning coal, oil, and other fossil fuels has been absorbed by the world’s oceans, changing the very chemistry of seawater. The oceans have grown steadily more acidic since economies first started burning fossil fuels on a large scale, with potential dire results for marine organisms. Allocation of new funds to study the effects of ocean acidification will hopefully help scientists understand the full implications.

Last month the University of Alaska...


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