Author Archives: Rick Piltz

On Keystone XL, John Kerry, and the global interest

Secretary of State Kerry calls on developing countries to reduce their carbon emissions, while U.S. corporations push exports of coal, oil, and natural gas. In the U.S. "National Interest Determination" on whether to approve construction of the Keystone XL tar sands … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, International Climate Policy, Obama Administration | Leave a comment

Keystone XL tar sands pipeline & the "National Interest"

The release of the State Department's Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline initiates the final stage in the permitting process: the 90-day National Interest Determination. The multiple reasons to oppose granting a construction permit include an … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Climate Science Watch, Energy, Obama Administration, Science-Policy Interaction | 3 Comments

Climate science-policy champion Rep. Henry Waxman to retire

With Rep. Waxman's (D-California) announcement that he will retire at the end of his current term, I'm reminded that, seven years ago today, I testified before this champion of climate science and policy when he held his first hearing as … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Science Watch, Congress: Legislation and Oversight | Leave a comment

Big Green confronts Obama on climate-energy policy link

A year ago we wrote of  Obama's policy on fossil fuel development: "'All of the above' is not compatible with a serious strategy to deal with the threat of global climatic disruption. ... He can't have it both ways." Our message … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Energy, Obama Climate Plan | Leave a comment

Unleash John Holdren -- beyond the Polar Vortex video

Is a recently posted video on the polar vortex by Obama science adviser John Holdren a sign that the White House is finally ready to unleash this powerfully articulate climate science and policy communicator, after clearly holding him back during … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change Education and Communication, Obama Administration, Science Communication | 1 Comment

"Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change"

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises, now in final form from the National Academy of Sciences, differs from previous studies by focusing both on abrupt climate changes and on abrupt climate impacts that have the potential to severely affect the … Continue reading

Posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Climate Change Preparedness | 2 Comments

A good new scientific integrity official at EPA

Congratulations to EPA on appointing Francesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists as the agency's new scientific integrity official. Hopefully Dr. Grifo will be able to bring about some changes as appropriate on matters of concern that she is well-aware … Continue reading

Posted in Obama Administration, Science Communication, Science-Policy Interaction, Scientific Integrity | Leave a comment

Climate change student PSAs -- Go Green, Invest and Divest

At the University of Michigan, the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the School of Business challenged students to create a public service announcement that would inspire positive action on climate change. The winners are here. The "Critics' Choice" … Continue reading

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"The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars" -- Now in paperback, highly recommended

In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, Michael Mann brings a unique vantage point to his "dispatches from the front lines," chronicling the war on climate science and scientists by the global warming denial machine, alongside the advance of … Continue reading

Posted in Attacks on Climate Science and Scientists, Global Warming Denial Machine, Science Communication | Leave a comment

Obama climate action plus drill baby drill? An "awkward tweet"

The White House Twitter account tweeted a message today that exemplifies the conflict at the heart of the Obama administration's climate and energy policy: set near-term targets for limiting greenhouse gas emissions while continuing expansion of fossil fuel extraction and … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Obama Climate Plan | Leave a comment