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EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
Fields of solar panels line rolling green hills. LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

By Jenna McGuire

The United States has the resources and technology to shift away from fossil fuels and build an energy system entirely run on renewables, according to a new report released Thursday by Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) (5th L) speaks as (L-R) Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) listen during a news conference on a bipartisan infrastructure on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on July 28, 2021. Alex Wong / Getty Images

The bipartisan legislation currently under Senate consideration falls far short of President Biden's commitment to transforming the fossil-fueled underpinnings of the U.S. economy, the AP reports.

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zstockphotos / iStock / Getty Images

Solar energy has been among the fastest-growing sources of power generation in the U.S. in recent years, catapulting from 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of generation in 2010 to over 90.1 billion kWh in 2020. While that's still just a small slice of the overall energy mix (2% of all U.S. electricity in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), the rate of growth is accelerating. The EIA forecasts that by 2022, solar capacity installations will outpace wind capacity installations for the first time on record after wind turbines had a huge head start.

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn of 2020 led to equipment shortages and other hardships for the solar industry. However, forecasts show the industry is primed for a resurgence in 2021 and beyond. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, solar installations are ramping up at a record pace and experienced a 46% year-over-year increase compared with the first quarter of 2020.

As 2021 continues to look like a prime year for solar power in the United States, which states are leading the charge? We can look to the recently released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report® from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) for some answers.

Read More Show Less
Coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean are the most threatened by the climate crisis, according to a new study. Wild Horizons / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Unless we act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world's coral reefs will stop growing by the end of the century.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Smoke billows from an unauthorized steel factory on November 4, 2016 in Inner Mongolia, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

China now emits more greenhouse gas pollution than the 37 member nations of the OECD combined, a new report from the Rhodium Group says.

Read More Show Less
Oil sheen is seen with vessels assisting near the source of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on July 18, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. Mario Tama / Getty Images

By Chris McGreal

After a century of wielding extraordinary economic and political power, America's petroleum giants face a reckoning for driving the greatest existential threat of our lifetimes.

An unprecedented wave of lawsuits, filed by cities and states across the US, aim to hold the oil and gas industry to account for the environmental devastation caused by fossil fuels – and covering up what they knew along the way.

Read More Show Less
Earth's energy imbalance is on the rise, a new NASA and NOAA study confirms. NASA / Tim Marvel

As the U.S. West continues to bake amidst dangerously high temperatures, a new study from NASA and NOAA confirms that Earth is indeed heating up as the climate crisis persists.

Read More Show Less
A new climate study finds that consuming "less-carbon polluting meats" like chicken may not be a sustainable replacement to beef. achayakorn lotongkum / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Curbing the world's appetite for meat is necessary to combat the climate crisis, but global meat consumption is on the rise.

Beef cattle have an outsized environmental impact because they belch methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In total, they account for 3.7 percent of the United States' total greenhouse gas emissions, and nearly half of all agricultural emissions, Inside Climate News reported. To replace beef, some environmentalists and scientists have suggested choosing chicken instead, which produces significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
Trending
An activist holds a "Stop Ecocide" placard outside the Science Museum in South Kensington, London, UK on May 19, 2021. Protesters and scientists gathered inside and outside the museum to demonstrate against oil giant Shell's sponsorship of the Our Future Planet climate change exhibition. Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a court of law has held a private company responsible for its contributions to the climate crisis.

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The Salas y Goméz and Nazca ridges are one of the most unique biodiversity hotspots on Earth. Coral Reefs of the High Seas Coalition

A new study is shedding light on what lies in the deep.

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Trending
Micheile Henderson / Unsplash

For those looking for a quick and convenient way to eat delicious, hearty meals with little to no hassle, there are plenty of meal kit delivery services to choose from. But out of all of the brands available, which is the best meal delivery service for the environment? We review the top eco-friendly meal kit services and discuss what makes a meal delivery service sustainable.

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A crack in the Pine Island Glacier. NASA's Earth Observatory / CC BY 2.0

The Pine Island Glacier is currently Antarctica's greatest contributor to sea level rise, and, now, a new study warns that it could be closer to collapse than previously thought.

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In Today's Eco Update

  • Keystone XL is dead.
  • Revived Siberian microorganism.
  • The Big Con.
  • Record CO2 emissions.
  • Dr. Bronner's chocolate.

– summaries below written by Angely Mercado

The Keystone XL Pipeline Is Officially Dead

The Keystone XL pipeline is officially canceled.

TC Energy, the Canadian company behind the pipeline that would have moved oil from Alberta's tar sands to Nebraska, confirmed Wednesday that it was giving up on the controversial project.

"The Company will continue to coordinate with regulators, stakeholders and Indigenous groups to meet its environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe termination of and exit from the Project," the company wrote.

The news was met with jubilation from environmental and Indigenous groups who had spent years battling the project over concerns it would worsen the climate crisis and harm the ecosystems and communities along its route.

Olivia Rosane

24,000-Year-Old Microorganism Revived From Permafrost

Scientists in Russia have revived a bdelloid rotifer — a multicellular microorganism found in wet environments — after the invertebrate spent 24,000 years frozen 11 feet beneath the Siberian permafrost.

According to a study published in Current Biology, research has suggested these tiny creatures can slow their metabolisms down to almost stagnant and survive frozen for up to 10 years. Scientists from the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science found that rotifers can survive for much longer. The 24,000-year-old rotifer was able to reproduce and feed after being thawed.

Report Details Fossil Fuel Industry's Deceptive 'Net Zero' Strategy

A new report published by a trio of progressive advocacy groups unveiled the so called "net zero" climate pledges, which are often touted by corporations and governments as solutions to the climate emergency. The report's authors argued that it's simply a form of greenwashing that should be eschewed in favor of Real Zero policies based on meaningful, near-term commitments to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, The Big Con: How Big Polluters Are Advancing a "Net Zero" Climate Agenda to Delay, Deceive, and Deny, was published by Corporate Accountability, the Global Forest Coalition, and Friends of the Earth International, and is endorsed by more than 60 environmental organizations.

CO2 Reaches Its Highest Level in Human History

Last month, EcoWatch reported that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels this year were expected to climb to beyond 2019 levels, despite falling during the pandemic. Two reports released earlier this week detailed that CO2 levels have indeed spiked, and that the annual peak reached 419 parts per million (PPM) in May, the highest level in human history.

Researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who published the reports, have tracked atmospheric CO2 for more than 60 years. But using other data, researchers were able to estimate that CO2 levels haven't been this high on Earth in more than 4 million years.

Dr. Bronner's to Launch Vegan, Organic Chocolate Bars

Dr. Bronner's, a popular natural soap brand, is releasing Dr. Bronner's Magic All-One Chocolate this Aug. 1 and will sell its product online by the fall. The dairy-free chocolate will come in six different flavors: roasted whole hazelnuts, crunchy hazelnut butter, salted whole almonds, salted almond butter, salted dark chocolate and smooth coconut praline. The bars will be made from cocoa grown through regenerative organic practices, and are made with lower-glycemic coconut sugar.

The push to produce chocolate began when Dr. Bronner's learned that the Ghanian farmers who supply its Regenerative Organic Certified Serendipalm also grow cocoa and decided to expand the partnership. The company's farming partners use dynamic agroforestry, a farming method used by Indigenous peoples of Latin America. Dynamic agroforestry creates "forest-like systems with high biomass production," according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

In addition to being certified USDA organic and vegan, the chocolate is a certified fair trade product.

EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
Fields of solar panels line rolling green hills. LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

By Jenna McGuire

The United States has the resources and technology to shift away from fossil fuels and build an energy system entirely run on renewables, according to a new report released Thursday by Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) (5th L) speaks as (L-R) Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) listen during a news conference on a bipartisan infrastructure on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on July 28, 2021. Alex Wong / Getty Images

The bipartisan legislation currently under Senate consideration falls far short of President Biden's commitment to transforming the fossil-fueled underpinnings of the U.S. economy, the AP reports.

Read More Show Less
zstockphotos / iStock / Getty Images

Solar energy has been among the fastest-growing sources of power generation in the U.S. in recent years, catapulting from 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of generation in 2010 to over 90.1 billion kWh in 2020. While that's still just a small slice of the overall energy mix (2% of all U.S. electricity in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), the rate of growth is accelerating. The EIA forecasts that by 2022, solar capacity installations will outpace wind capacity installations for the first time on record after wind turbines had a huge head start.

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn of 2020 led to equipment shortages and other hardships for the solar industry. However, forecasts show the industry is primed for a resurgence in 2021 and beyond. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, solar installations are ramping up at a record pace and experienced a 46% year-over-year increase compared with the first quarter of 2020.

As 2021 continues to look like a prime year for solar power in the United States, which states are leading the charge? We can look to the recently released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report® from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) for some answers.

Read More Show Less
Coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean are the most threatened by the climate crisis, according to a new study. Wild Horizons / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Unless we act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world's coral reefs will stop growing by the end of the century.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Smoke billows from an unauthorized steel factory on November 4, 2016 in Inner Mongolia, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

China now emits more greenhouse gas pollution than the 37 member nations of the OECD combined, a new report from the Rhodium Group says.

Read More Show Less
Oil sheen is seen with vessels assisting near the source of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on July 18, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. Mario Tama / Getty Images

By Chris McGreal

After a century of wielding extraordinary economic and political power, America's petroleum giants face a reckoning for driving the greatest existential threat of our lifetimes.

An unprecedented wave of lawsuits, filed by cities and states across the US, aim to hold the oil and gas industry to account for the environmental devastation caused by fossil fuels – and covering up what they knew along the way.

Read More Show Less
Earth's energy imbalance is on the rise, a new NASA and NOAA study confirms. NASA / Tim Marvel

As the U.S. West continues to bake amidst dangerously high temperatures, a new study from NASA and NOAA confirms that Earth is indeed heating up as the climate crisis persists.

Read More Show Less
A new climate study finds that consuming "less-carbon polluting meats" like chicken may not be a sustainable replacement to beef. achayakorn lotongkum / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Curbing the world's appetite for meat is necessary to combat the climate crisis, but global meat consumption is on the rise.

Beef cattle have an outsized environmental impact because they belch methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In total, they account for 3.7 percent of the United States' total greenhouse gas emissions, and nearly half of all agricultural emissions, Inside Climate News reported. To replace beef, some environmentalists and scientists have suggested choosing chicken instead, which produces significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
Trending
An activist holds a "Stop Ecocide" placard outside the Science Museum in South Kensington, London, UK on May 19, 2021. Protesters and scientists gathered inside and outside the museum to demonstrate against oil giant Shell's sponsorship of the Our Future Planet climate change exhibition. Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a court of law has held a private company responsible for its contributions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less