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Americans like wind turbines as neighbors, at least when compared with the alternatives.

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Students striking for climate action in Brisbane, Australia on Nov. 30, 2018. Stop Adani / CC BY 2.0

In 92 countries and counting, hundreds of thousands of students are planning to skip school on March 15 as part of the "School Strike 4 Climate" — a growing movement of young people demanding that policymakers worldwide take urgent and radical steps to battle the climate crisis.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A Volkswagen e-Golf electric car in production. Jens Schlueter / Getty Images

Volkswagen plans to go carbon neutral by 2050, the word's current largest vehicle maker announced at a news conference Tuesday where CEO Herbert Diess acknowledged that the company's cars caused one percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, The New York Times reported.

"We aim to reduce this to zero," he said.

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A new plug-in electric truck is in development, along with an electric SUV. Richard Truesdell / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

By Venkat Viswanathan and Shashank Sripad

Electric vehicles — specifically, the Tesla Model 3 — are dominating the U.S. market for premium sedans, but are barely even on the radar in the busiest automotive category, which includes SUVs and pickup trucks.

The immediate reason is economics, but it has a lot to do with physics as well: Larger, heavier, less aerodynamic electric vehicles need larger, heavier, more expensive batteries to power them. Our research has looked at the energy needed to move cars and trucks along the road, and has identified the important factors that affect power usage.

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Governor Tim Walz holds up the signed oath on his Jan. 8 inauguration day at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lorie Shaull / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Rachel Rye Butler

We've only got 10 years to work on the climate. But, thankfully the Green New Deal is pushing and shoving its way through Congress — putting elected leaders and presidential candidates to the test to show us whether they're actually serious about climate action.

And while climate champions like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are advocating for widespread and far-reaching federal climate policy, we need to do everything in our power (which is pretty mighty) to make sure state officials like Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan keep fossil fuels in the ground right now by stopping projects like Enbridge's dangerous Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

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Tesla Model 3 cars arriving at a port in Shanghai. Zhao Yun / VCG via Getty Images

Three years after it was first announced, Tesla's Model 3 is now available for $35,000 in the United States, The Verge reported Thursday.

"We are incredibly excited to announce that the standard Model 3, with 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds is now available at $35,000!" the company announced in a blog post. "Although lower in cost, it is built to achieve the same perfect 5-star safety rating as the longer-ranged version, which has the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the U.S. Government."

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By Tim Donaghy

Time is running out for the oil and gas industry, and they know it. But delaying the transition to a clean energy economy even for a few more years means billions of dollars in profits for their investors. The 2018 elections show that even in their twilight years, oil cash can corrupt our democracy and block necessary progress on climate. The industry spent millions to kill off a Green New Deal-style initiative in Washington state and a Colorado initiative that would have increased the buffer between homes and schools and drilling areas.

When popular democracy threatened their profits, the oil industry opened up their checkbooks. And they'll run the same playbook on the fledgling Green New Deal too — unless we stop them.

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The Timber Road II Wind Farm's 52 windmills in Paulding County, Ohio, generate enough electricity to power 29,000 homes. David Grant / Flickr

By Jeff Turrentine

From a political standpoint, defending coal consumption is harder than ever. Coal is far and away the dirtiest fossil fuel there is in terms of carbon emissions and regular old air pollution (and its messy mining practices certainly aren't helping its reputation). And when you factor in health care costs, environmental costs, and costs to local communities in the form of reduced tourism and property values, coal is also a real loser economically speaking—especially in relation to natural gas and renewables like wind and solar.

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This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.

"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.

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The Paradise Fossil Plant in western Kentucky. CC BY 3.0

Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.

Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.

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One of the demonstrators at the Women's March in 2019 held a sign that read "Green New Deal" while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addressed the crowd in Manhattan, NYC on Jan. 19. Ira L. Black / Corbis News / Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced on Thursday their highly anticipated joint resolutions on a Green New Deal.

The sweeping 10-year plan aims to "mobilize every aspect of American society ... to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create economic prosperity for all," according to the resolution's FAQs section from Ocasio-Cortez's office posted by NPR.

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