Posted inOp-Ed

Derrick Z. Jackson: Herding People to Slaughter: The Dangerous Fringe Theory behind the Great Barrington Declaration and Push toward Herd Immunity

October 25, 2020 – Officials at the highest levels are discussing the possibility of caving in on controlling the coronavirus and instead letting it run rampant throughout the United States until we reach “herd immunity,” the point where the virus effectively runs out of people to infect. More than 6,200 scientists, health professionals, and research […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Andrew Rosenberg: As COVID-19 Crisis Continues, GAO Will Investigate Political Interference at Key Health Agencies

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2020—The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent federal agency, has announced an investigation to learn whether political appointees have interfered with the work of scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in violation of those agencies’ scientific integrity and communications policies. The […]

Posted inCalifornia

California Water Managers Not Ready for Climate Change, Science Group Says

OAKLAND, Calif. October 7, 2020 — Water managers are underprepared for climate change in ways that will leave the state simultaneously at increased risk of water shortages and floods, according to a new analysis released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and accompanying peer-reviewed study in Climatic Change. The volatile swings from very […]

Posted inCalifornia

Op-Ed: Dr. Kristina Dahl: 5 of California’s 6 Largest Fires on Record Are Burning Now

Editor’s note: This post has been revised to reflect the most accurate data on fire acreage in the 1980s. The original relied on data from the NIFC for 1980-1983 and the updated version excludes this period, as the data are less reliable. The 1980s statistics now reflect data from MTBS and CalFire. California is a state […]

Posted inCalifornia

Op-Ed | Don Anair: Governor Newsom Accelerates State’s Progress on Clean Vehicles

OAKLAND, Calif. September 23, 2020—Amid increasingly worrying climate impacts from historic wildfires, weeks of suffocating smoke and record-breaking heat waves, California Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California must be zero-emission by 2035. Emissions from cars, trucks and buses make up more than 40 percent of the state’s […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Anita Desikan: Political Officials Undermine CDC Scientists’ COVID-19 Studies

September 15, 2020 – In a scary and dramatic shift away from normal, the entire process for publishing CDC reports on COVID-19 has been upended by political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for reasons that appear to be entirely political, Politico reported late last week. Throughout the summer, including as recently as last Friday, […]

Posted inLife

Union of Concerned Scientists Web Feature Visualizes Ways Climate Change is Driving Wildfires

September 10, 2020 – With months still remaining in the wildfire season, already nearly 100 large fires covering roughly 3.5 million acres are currently active across the western United States, with California, Oregon and Washington being hit especially hard. The fires have forced some communities to evacuate, thousands of properties have been damaged, entire towns […]

Posted inCalifornia

Why Did My Power Go Out? Four Ways the Grid Can Fail and Cause an Outage

August 17, 2020 – In the midst of a global pandemic and a sweltering heatwave across the western United States, California experienced two consecutive days of rolling blackouts this past weekend. These power outages are truly historic, but not for the usual reasons. They are not historic because they affected a large number of people, nor because […]

Posted inSci/Tech

First Study to Quantify Potential COVID-19 Spread from Hurricane Evacuation

OAKLAND, Calif. August 12, 2020—With the peak of the hurricane season upon us and COVID-19 widespread and abundant in many hurricane-prone areas, the United States is poised to experience the collision of two major disasters. According to a study by scientists at Columbia University and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a large-scale hurricane evacuation […]

Posted inUS

Climate-Driven Flooding at Superfund Sites Puts Communities at Risk—but Administration Ignores the Danger

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2020—Hundreds of hazardous Superfund sites across the country are at high risk of flooding as sea levels rise in the coming decades, putting nearby communities in potential danger, according to an analysis based on research that was discontinued by the Trump administration in 2017 but released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). […]

Posted inLife

Don’t Be Deceived: How to Spot and Stop COVID-19 Disinformation (VIDEO)

July 14, 2020 – Today, UCS launched a new online resource with tips on how to spot and stop the spread of disinformation around COVID-19. Disinformation (intentionally false or misleading information) is especially dangerous when it happens during a public health crisis. Its spread can undermine the recommendations of public health officials, for example, making people […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Dr. Andrew Rosenberg: EPA Waters Rule Is a License to Pollute

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2020 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a final rule that limits the waters afforded protection under the Clean Water Act. This new, restrictive definition will enable higher levels of pollution and undermine the agency’s mission of protecting public health, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Below […]

Posted inUS

EPA’s Mercury Rule Disregards Inconvenient Science, Putting Public Health at Risk

CAMBRIDGE (April 16, 2020)—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to announce a change to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal and oil-fired power plants today. Under the revised rule, the EPA will no longer consider all public health benefits that come from reducing mercury emissions. Actions to reduce mercury also bring significant […]

Posted inEnviro

Ride-Hailing Services Are Increasing Carbon Emissions

WASHINGTON, February 25, 2020 – Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have experienced exponential growth in a short period of time. The expansion of these services is changing transportation, but that rapid growth also comes with significant risks. A new report, “Ride-Hailing’s Climate Risks: Steering a Growing Industry Toward a Clean Transportation Future,” by the Union of […]

Posted inUS

UCS: Virginia Rep. McEachin Lays Out Bold Vision to Transition to Net Zero Emissions by 2050

WASHINGTON (November 21, 2019)—Today, Rep. Don McEachin (D-Va.) and other cosponsors introduced the 100 Percent Clean Economy Act of 2019. The bill would set a national goal to achieve a 100-percent clean energy economy no later than 2050, direct federal agencies to use their existing authority toward that goal, and create a clean economy federal […]

Posted inUS

Study Predicts Additional Month of 100-Degree Days at US Military Bases by Midcentury

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2019—Over the next three decades U.S. military bases in the contiguous United States could average an extra month of dangerously hot days each year when the heat index—or “feels like” temperature—exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to an analysis released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Building on data from UCS’ […]

Posted inUS

77 Groups Join to Counter Trump Administration Attack on Science Advice

Washington, October 4, 2019 – Political appointees in the Trump administration are already starting to eliminate science advisory committees, following a presidential executive order earlier this year directing agencies to reduce the total number of advisory committees by a third. This effort to undermine science advice has drawn strong opposition from the science community and […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Alden Meyer: Pres. Trump More Concerned With Helping Election-Meddling Russia Than Acting on Climate Crisis

WASHINGTON, August 26, 2019—The G7 leaders summit just concluded in Biarritz, France, with a one-page declaration. Due to deep divisions between the U.S. and the other six industrialized countries, the declaration failed to mention climate change or the Paris Agreement. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement—adopted by nearly 200 countries in […]