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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks into a megaphone after joining striking Stop & Shop workers on April 12 in Somerville, Massachusetts. Scott Eisen / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Environmental activists and advocacy groups praised Sen. Elizabeth Warren Monday after she promised that if she is elected president in 2020, she will ban new fossil fuel extraction leases for federally controlled lands and waters.

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Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country's mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation. TED / YouTube screenshot

Let's be real: Renewable energy is super cool. Harnessing virtually limitless energy from the natural world? Check. Without releasing dangerous carbon pollution into our atmosphere? Double check.

Around the world, cities, states, countries, and companies are making the switch to clean, renewable energy to help stop climate change. Better yet? It just makes good economic sense.

Here are five eye-opening TED Talks that show how renewables are taking over every corner of the world — from Bhutan to Costa Rica, back to Germany, and more.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Aerial view of electric cars lining up at Kandi Electric Vehicles Group Co., Ltd in Changxing County on Oct. 24, 2017 in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Tan Yunfeng / VCG

By Jordan Davidson

Electric vehicles will be the stars of the show when the Auto Shanghai 2019 expo opens Tuesday. China wanted cleaner air, reduced dependence on foreign oil and to be a pacesetter in a growing high-tech industry. So, it invested more than $60 billion in electric vehicles over the last decade and plans to keep that investment going over the next decade, according to Quartz.

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Indigenous Waorani elders, youth and leaders gathered in Puyo, Ecuador, on Feb. 27, to launch a lawsuit against the government's auctioning of their ancestral lands to the oil industry. Mitch Anderson / Amazon Frontlines

By Reynard Loki

On Feb. 27, hundreds of Indigenous Waorani elders, youth and leaders arrived in the city of Puyo, Ecuador. They left their homes deep in the Amazon rainforest to peacefully march through the streets, hold banners, sing songs and, most importantly, submit documents to the provincial Judicial Council to launch a lawsuit seeking to stop the government from auctioning off their ancestral lands in the Pastaza region to oil companies. An eastern jungle province whose eponymous river is one of the more than 1,000 tributaries that feed the mighty Amazon, Pastaza encompasses some of the world's most biodiverse regions.

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Nick Knittel / North Carolina Public Radio / WUNC.org

One person was killed and 17 were injured after a natural gas explosion in Durham, North Carolina Wednesday morning.

The explosion occurred at 10:07 a.m., about 30 minutes after firefighters responded to a 911 call reporting the smell of gas in the 100 block of North Duke Street, Fire Chief Robert J. Zoldos II told The Durham Herald-Sun. The firefighters had begun evacuating nearby buildings when the blast destroyed one building and damaged four others, sending up a plume of dark smoke.

"It looks like the front of the Pentagon on 9/11 — but on a very, very small scale," Zoldos, who was a first responder during the attacks, told CBS.

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Pedro Szekely / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Andrea Germanos

Chicago made history on Wednesday by becoming the largest U.S. city to commit to 100 percent renewable energy before the middle of the century.

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Flooding at Duke Energy's H.F. Lee Energy Complex in Goldsboro, North Carolina on Oct. 10, 2016 after Hurricane Maria. Travis Graves, Lower Neuse Riverkeeper

By Emilie Karrick Surrusco

The toxic mess left behind from burning coal is a growing, nationwide problem. But we're seeing that state governments can be convinced to do the right thing and clean it up. Recently, North Carolina joined its neighboring state to become a trendsetter in the proper disposal of coal ash waste.

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A chemical plant fire at 16503 Ramsey Road in Crosby, Texas on Tuesday, April 2. Harris County Fire Marshal's Office

By Jake Johnson

Just a week after a chemical plant explosion killed one worker and spewed thousands of pounds of dangerous pollutants into the air in Crosby, Texas, President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to visit that city Wednesday to sign executive orders to speed up approval of pipelines and other fossil fuel projects.

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The Northeast Corridor sees millions of riders a year, but expanding rail in the U.S. is always fraught. Loco Steve, CC BY-SA

By Andreas Hoffrichter

Transportation represents a large portion — about 29 percent — of U.S. emissions, and the share has been rising in recent years. Rail proponents often argue that investment in trains and public transportation is a key part of making transportation cleaner, and indeed, the Green New Deal calls for greatly expanding high-speed rail.

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Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty Images

President Trump signed an order greenlighting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline Friday, a move that circumvents a court's decision to block a previous federal permit on the long-delayed project.

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Excitement over a new solar installation. Black Rock Solar / CC BY 2.0

By Lacey Shaver

When a city decides to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, headlines follow. But the work has only just begun. Cities have many options for generating and purchasing renewable electricity, each of which comes with distinct benefits and challenges.

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