Posted inCalifornia

Tropical Storm Could Make California Landfall for First Time Since 1939

A hurricane in the Pacific headed toward the California coast strengthened to a Category 4 storm yesterday. It is projected to hit Mexico’s Baja California peninsula as a hurricane Saturday night, then strike California as a tropical storm, marking the first time a tropical storm has struck the California coast in 84 years. “Over the […]

Posted inCalifornia

New UCS Study Finds Top Fossil Fuel Companies Responsible for Over a Third of Area Burned by Wildfires Across Western North America in Last 40 Years

WASHINGTON (May 16, 2023)—A pioneering study published today in Environmental Research Letters links the area burned by forest fires and increases in drought and fire-prone conditions to heat-trapping emissions from the largest global carbon producers. The findings of “The Fossil Fuels behind Forest Fires,” an analysis led by experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists […]

Posted inEnviro

Environmental Justice Leaders, Energy Analysts and Labor Reps Release Equitable Grid Principles

WASHINGTON (May 2, 2023)—A group of community and environmental justice leaders, electric grid analysts, and labor representatives today released new “Equitable Grid Principles” intended to guide electric grid infrastructure decision-making in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region. “The clean energy revolution is an exciting opportunity to transform an electricity system that has burdened and […]

Posted inCalifornia

José Pablo Ortiz Partida: Drought, Floods, and the Future of California’s Water Challenges

“Is California still in a drought?” is the single most-asked question I hear as someone working daily with water science, advocacy, and policy in California. That question will arise again on April 3 as water officials carry out the season’s final snow survey. My answer as an advocate is the drought won’t end until everyone in […]

Posted inUS

Survey Shows Real Progress in Restoring Federal Science

Washington (February 22, 2023)—Federal scientists faced extraordinary challenges under the previous administration: unprecedented levels of political interference, active hostility from political leaders, and a botched pandemic response that vividly demonstrated the dangers of undermining science.  But there’s good news: a just released survey shows that science is coming back strong under a new administration.     […]

Posted inOp-Ed

UCS: Russian Attack on Energy Grid Marks Dangerous New Phase of Invasion, Threatens Nuclear Reactor Safety

WASHINGTON (November 23, 2022)—Relentless Russian air strikes on the Ukrainian electricity sector Wednesday have caused instabilities that forced the disconnection of all fifteen reactors at its four nuclear stations from the grid. Below is a statement by Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS): “Russia’s ruthless attack on […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Johanna Chao Kreilick, UCS: Permitting Reform Legislation Undercuts Community Protections and Climate Goals

September 22, 2022 – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s proposal to reform the federal permitting process, which Senate leadership has indicated will be included in a stop-gap government funding bill, would undercut protections for communities near new pipelines and other energy projects—communities that are often Black, Brown and Indigenous and already facing disproportionate and cumulative […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Johanna Chao Kreilick: President Biden Signs Landmark Climate Bill into Law

WASHINGTON (August 16, 2022)—President Joe Biden today signed into law the largest climate bill in U.S. history. This bill will go a long way toward reducing emissions and building the clean energy economy of the future, advancing the ongoing work of fighting climate change and lingering harms from fossil fuel extraction and use, according to […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Wildfires in US, Canadian Boreal Forests Could Release Sizable Amount of Remaining Global Carbon Budget

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2022)—A paper by U.S. scientists published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances today finds that fires occurring in U.S. and Canadian boreal forests between now and 2050 could release about 3% of the remaining global carbon budget unless greater investments are made to limit fire size in these carbon-rich forests. The first-of-its-kind […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Analysis: States Can Lead Equitable Transition to 100% Renewable Energy by 2035

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (April 19, 2022)—The need for resilient renewable energy is stronger than ever, as demand for clean electricity grows and worsening climate impacts challenge the aging power grid. Fortunately, states can show climate leadership and meet 100% of their electricity needs with renewable energy by 2035, according to “On the Road to 100% Renewables,” […]

Posted inEnviro

Peer-reviewed study released today finds extreme heat could threaten $55.4 billion annually in outdoor worker earnings by midcentury

WASHINGTON (January 13, 2022)—Between now and 2065, climate change is projected to quadruple U.S. outdoor workers’ exposure to hazardous heat conditions, jeopardizing their health and placing up to $55.4 billion of their earnings at risk annually if no action is taken to reduce global warming emissions, according to an analysis by the Union of Concerned […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Union of Concerned Scientists: No One Surprised 2021 One of the Hottest Years on Record—and That’s Terrifying

WASHINGTON (January 13, 2022)—The U.S. government agencies NASA and NOAA released their latest scientific data on 2021 climate change trends, including how the global average temperature compares to that of years past. According to NASA and NOAA, 2021 was the sixth warmest year on record globally. This data continues a long-term trend that saw the […]

Posted inCalifornia

World Leaders at COP Say ‘The World is on Fire.’ People in the West Are Living it

November 9, 2021 – With the start of the rainy season, fire activity in the Western United States has slowed. As of November 1, over 2.4 million acres had burned across California, with nearly 40% of that total coming from the Dixie Fire. Another 1.1 million acres burned in Oregon and Washington state, meaning the West Coast of the US saw […]

Posted inWorld

IEA Report Reaffirms Need to Sharply Phase Down Fossil Fuels to Meet Global Climate Goals, Signals World Currently Far Off Track – UCS

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its annual World Energy Outlook report today, which analyzes the global energy supply and demand under different scenarios and what that means for energy security, climate targets and economic development. The report also includes new scenarios looking at the impact of countries’ announced emission reduction pledges ahead of this […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Now Is the Time to Rebuild and Revitalize Federal Science

The federal government’s scientific workforce has faced unprecedented pressure in recent years, with thousands of expert staff driven out by political interference, low morale and inadequate support for their work. Today, however, there’s an opportunity for a new direction for federal science. With new leadership, now is the time to bring bright, diverse scientists into public […]

Posted inWorld

Science Group Calls for Postponement of COP26 Due to Public Health and Vaccine Access Concerns, Urges Continued Climate Action

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has joined a global coalition of civil society groups calling for the postponement of the international climate conference, known as COP26, scheduled to take place October 31 through November 12 in Glasgow. Below is a quote by Rachel Cleetus, policy director for the Climate and Energy Program at UCS. […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Union of Concerned Scientists: Major Scientific Report Deepens Understanding of Climate Crisis, Making Continued Inaction by Policymakers Even More Inexcusable

WASHINGTON, August 9, 2021—Following a virtual approval session, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the summary of the first part of its Sixth Assessment Report, providing policymakers with an updated accounting of the latest science on the physical manifestations and trajectory of climate change. This report is the result of several years of […]

Posted inUS

New Analysis Estimates an Equitable Energy Economy will Require $33 Billion to $83 Billion Investment in Workers

WASHINGTON, DC (MAY 4, 2021) – As the Biden administration considers federal resources for coal workers and their communities, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) urge a set of comprehensive supports estimated to cost between $33 billion over 25 years to $83 billion over 15 years. The analysis, Supporting […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Union of Concerned Scientists: FEMA Releases New Risk Rating 2.0 Information Moving Forward Update of Antiquated Flood Policies

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2021 – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released additional information on Risk Rating 2.0, a new flood-insurance rating system that is expected to be implemented in phases this year and into next year. The culmination of five years of work, Risk Rating 2.0 moves away from the antiquated binary approach […]

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