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Climate Now: Jul 9, 2024

Sustainable Aviation Fuel – Episode 2

Sustainable aviation fuel can use a variety of feedstocks, from used cooking oils to oily seeds. When those feedstocks are heated under high pressure with a catalyst, the process produces hydrocarbons – the essential component in fuel. This process is

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Climate Now: Jul 1, 2024

Sustainable Aviation Fuel – Episode 1

Aviation accounts for 12% of CO2 emissions from transportation and 2% of all CO2 emissions globally. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is fuel made not from petroleum hydrocarbons, but from other sources of carbon and hydrogen. These non-fossil hydrocarbons inc

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Climate Now: Jun 18, 2024

Clearing the air: How the DOE is tackling carbon dioxide removal

The US Department of Energy (DOE) was established in 1977 with two key missions: to carry out defense responsibilities relating to nuclear weapons, and to bring together under one department the “loosely knit amalgamation” of various energy projec

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Climate Now: May 15, 2024

Climate Change Bites: The Proliferation of Vector-Borne Diseases

According to the CDC, the spread of vector-borne diseases (those spread by blood-feeding bugs like mosquitos, ticks, and fleas) is linked to climate change. Rising temperatures and humidity influence breeding rates and can extend the range of disease-spreading

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Climate Now: Apr 30, 2024

Are cleaner hydrocarbons possible?

Just over 70% of humanity’s energy consumption comes from hydrocarbons like coal, oil, and natural gas. The world is dependent on hydrocarbons, not just for energy but also for plastics, contact lenses, and computers, and so many other things. Using hyd

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Climate Now: Mar 26, 2024

How climate changes where people live

In the U.S. alone, 162 million people will experience a worse quality of life due to the changing climate within the next 30 years. Rising sea levels stand to displace 13 million Americans in the long run while wildfires and other risks are likely to disp

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Climate Now: Mar 21, 2024

Charging Electric Fleets (3/3)

In 2023, electric vehicle drivers reported that, when pulling up to one of the more than 140,000 EV public charging stations across the United States, something went wrong about 21% of the time, leaving them unable to charge their vehicles. Such unreliabili

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Climate Now: Feb 27, 2024

Charging Electric Fleets (2/3)

Today, given route lengths and cargo capacity, it is possible to electrify 65% of medium-duty and 49% of heavy-duty trucks. Commercial fleets’ are responding to this promise, with announced commitments to electrification surpassing 140,000 vehicles in 2022 i

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Climate Now: Feb 20, 2024

Charging Electric Fleets (1/3)

In the United States, nearly one quarter of national greenhouse gas emissions come from the 280 million vehicles that drive on the nations roads each year. And while fleet vehicles – including the ~5 million buses, garbage trucks, law enforcement vehicles an

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Climate Now: Feb 13, 2024

Living outside our comfort zone

In the late 1970’s, English chemist Dr. James Lovelock and American biologist Dr. Lynn Margulis published a research paper hypothesizing that living organisms – without intention or agency – could have a regulatory effect on their environment that help

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Climate Now: Jan 30, 2024

The emerging market that is unlocking renewable projects

Passage of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in 2022 was a game changer in the United States’ effort to address climate change. The hundreds of billions of dollars the IRA has made available for clean energy and climate mitigation projects will likely

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Climate Now: Jan 16, 2024

Virtual power plants and next-gen batteries

Since 2019, the cost of wind and solar electricity production has been lower than that from fossil fuels, and costs are projected to continue falling well into the next decade. But for renewable energy to truly dominate the electricity market, it needs to be c

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Climate Now: Jan 1, 2024

The Voluntary Carbon Offset Market (3/3)

In January of 2023, a headline from Boston Consulting Group read: The voluntary carbon market [VCM] is thriving. Their evidence? A 4-fold increase in the value of the market in the course of a year, to a valuation over $2 billion USD and growing. Nine months l

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Climate Now: Dec 25, 2023

The Voluntary Carbon Offset Market (2/3)

Join us for the second of our three-part series on voluntary carbon offset markets, where we take a look at three companies that have very different strategies for removing carbon from the atmosphere. Vesta aims to increase the amount of atmospheric carbon tha

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Climate Now: Dec 19, 2023

The Voluntary Carbon Offset Market (1/3)

The voluntary carbon offset market (VCM) – in which customers can pay for third-parties to avoid emitting CO2 or remove it from the atmosphere on their behalf – has existed for over 30 years, and has been controversial for nearly as long. On the one hand,

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Climate Now: Dec 11, 2023

Roads to CO2 Removal

How much CO2 is it possible to remove in the United States and at what cost? Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and researchers from more than a dozen institutions have completed a first-of-its-kind national assessment of carbon dioxide removal

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Climate Now: Nov 28, 2023

When insurers can no longer afford the risk

In 2023, two major insurers joined a growing list of companies that will no longer offer new home insurance policies in California. In Florida, the situation is worse, with more than a dozen large home insurance companies retreating from the state. Both states

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Climate Now: Nov 7, 2023

Climate Now Debates: Solar Radiation Management (SRM)

“Geoengineering” refers to the intentional intervention in Earth processes for the purpose of mitigating climate change. A controversial topic, geoengineering is typically divided into two categories: carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management.

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Climate Now: Oct 24, 2023

Pope Francis’ Laudate Deum: uniting faith and science in a call to climate action

In 2015, Pope Francis – head of the Catholic Church – published Laudato Si: On Care For Our Common Home, a “papal cyclical,” or open letter, to the world’s more than 1.3 billion Catholics  about the ethical imperative of addressing climate change, a

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Climate Now: Oct 10, 2023

Energy Superhighways: Bridging the Gap for Clean Energy

The US’s energy system is at a crossroads. As more and more renewable energy projects come online and demand for electricity keeps rising, many utilities and developers are being asked to build more transmission infrastructure to bring all this power to

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Climate Now: Sep 26, 2023

Two views on the future of the US electricity grid

The United States’ aging electricity grid is a problem. Over 70% of the major transmission networks – which transfer electricity from power generation centers to endpoint users in homes and buildings, sometimes in other states – are at least 25 years old

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Climate Now: Sep 11, 2023

The IRA Progress Report

When the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law in August 2022, policy analysts predicted that the incentives it provided for renewable energy deployment, home electrification and EV adoption would put the U.S. on track to reach at least two third

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Climate Now: Aug 28, 2023

Made in America: The next generation of solar

You may recall an Auxin Solar tariff case in which a small domestic solar PV manufacturer, Auxin Solar, alleged that solar cells produced in Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam were circumventing U.S. trade duties against China. On August 18th, the U.S.

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Climate Now: Aug 21, 2023

Building Solar Neighborhoods

There are over 8 billion square meters of rooftops in the US that are viable for solar energy generation, and could produce as much as 40% of national energy needs. And yet, only 8% of US households have installed rooftop solar panels. With so much availab