Union of Concerned Scientists

How Will DTE’s Long-Term Plan Impact Michigan’s Clean Energy Future?

Union of Concerned Scientists

This month, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) is holding a public hearing on DTE Energy’s plans for Michigan’s energy future. DTE’s proposal, known as an integrated resource plan, describes how the utility intends to fulfill its customers’ electricity needs over the next 20 years.

Where’s My Train? Chronic Disinvestment in Transit Leaves Us All Stuck

Union of Concerned Scientists

If you live in an area with public transit, and have found yourself wondering where things went wrong, you’re not alone. Maybe you ride every day but have had to navigate line closures and service changes like in Boston or Washington DC.

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Don’t Believe the Lies: Five Facts to Consider as the UN’s COP27 Comes to a Close

Union of Concerned Scientists

The 27 th Conference of the Parties (COP27), this year’s UN climate conference, is in its final days.

The Electric Cars of the Future Are Already Here Today

Union of Concerned Scientists

I recently had the chance to visit the Los Angeles Auto Show and I was amazed at the number of electric vehicle (EV) offerings.

Shaping a Resilient Future: Climate Impact on Vulnerable Populations

Speaker: Laurie Schoeman Director, Climate & Sustainability, Capital

During this event, national climate and housing expert Laurie Schoeman will discuss topics including relocation, decarbonization, housing affordability, disparities in climate risks, and the health impacts of climate change.

Report from COP27: The Fossil Fuel Industry Continues to Block the Path to Climate Justice

Union of Concerned Scientists

The situation is dire. Entire neighborhoods are underwater, priceless cultural heritage has disappeared, and ecosystems have been destroyed. The destruction caused by climate change is directly linked to human activity, primarily burning fossil fuels.

What Is the Story about Greenland and Climate Change?

Union of Concerned Scientists

As the world heads into COP27 , there is no room for bad information on climate change in our major newspapers. Allow me to share the latest on what’s happening in Greenland based on information from scientists whose major focus includes study of the ice sheet and the Arctic region.

Are There Enough Materials to Manufacture All the Electric Vehicles Needed?  

Union of Concerned Scientists

The short answer is yes. But this is a complicated question, so let’s dig in further. The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is necessary to decrease climate-changing emissions. As deployment increases, so will the demand for EV battery materials such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel.

Ask a Scientist: What’s Up With the Attack on ESG Investing?

Union of Concerned Scientists

Officials at the state and federal level have launched a full-court press against what the financial industry calls “environmental, social and governance” (ESG) investing.

Why UCS Supporters Are Pressing EPA to Let California Enforce Its Truck Pollution Rules

Union of Concerned Scientists

California has a longstanding leadership role on transportation pollution, and the Clean Air Act grants the state the right to set strong vehicle emissions standards.

Congress Releases New Evidence of Big Oil Climate Disinformation

Union of Concerned Scientists

As part of its ongoing investigation of fossil fuel industry climate disinformation, the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform released more than 200 pages of internal corporate documents last month that provide new evidence of industry deception.

Sustainability at Retail

As part of a global Sustainability at Retail initiative, Shop! worked collaboratively with its global affiliates to address critical environmental issues, outlined in this white paper.

Cultural Heritage Loss and Damage Goes Ignored. This Needs to Change at COP27.

Union of Concerned Scientists

Losses and damages caused by climate change to intangible cultural heritage such as Indigenous and local knowledge, and traditional agricultural practices have been vastly underestimated in discussions of Paris Agreement implementation. This needs to change.

COP27 Global Methane Pledge Efforts Are Not Enough

Union of Concerned Scientists

One of the top agenda items at the 27 th annual UN Conference of the Parties (COP27) climate meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt—now in its second week—is how to implement the Global Methane Pledge launched at last year’s COP26 negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland.

New Analysis Shows Truck Manufacturers’ Scare Tactic Just a Bunch of Hot Air

Union of Concerned Scientists

I’ve written previously about how the truck industry is fighting regulations at the state and federal level with everything they’ve got. One of the scare tactics truck manufacturers have been pushing is the old industry canard of job-killing regulations.

Cumulative Impacts: Why Environmental Protections Need to Take Them into Account

Union of Concerned Scientists

When I began working as a state government scientist in Minnesota, I was motivated to advance environmental protections that prevent against pollutants from crossing from one environmental medium to another, such as from the air to water.

This Year’s Danger Season Is Over, but Risks to Farmworkers Remain

Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate scientists at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) have dubbed the six-month stretch from May through October “ Danger Season ” because of the confluence of extreme weather—record heat, raging wildfires, severe storms, and flooding—that is putting people at risk around the world.

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World Heritage at 50: Can We Give a Future to Our Past?

Union of Concerned Scientists

Not far from where world leaders are gathered at Sharm El Sheikh to negotiate the latest round of climate commitments lies a 3,000-year-old temple that revolutionized how we think about humanity’s shared sense of continuity.

What 115°F in California’s Central Valley Feels Like

Union of Concerned Scientists

It is early September, and we are late into what we at UCS call Danger Season , or the period between May and October when climate change is increasing the frequency, intensity, and/or duration of extreme weather events such as heat waves and wildfires.

How to Take on a Pipeline (and Win)

Union of Concerned Scientists

In January 2022, the Fourth Circuit US Court of Appeals ruling on a Sierra Club lawsuit stripped the Mountain Valley Pipeline of construction permits in the Jefferson National Forest.

President Biden’s Farm Bill Must Transform Our Food System

Union of Concerned Scientists

Roughly every five years, Congress passes legislation known as the Farm Bill, a nearly trillion-dollar package of investments that touches all of our lives, every day.

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Solar Panels Should Be Reused and Recycled. Here’s How.

Union of Concerned Scientists

Picture this: Light energy from the sun zooms through the solar system to reach your sunny rooftop, gets absorbed into your solar panel, and charges the device or computer on which you are reading this post. It is a perfectly closed, sustainable system.

Can the Electric Grid Handle EV Charging?

Union of Concerned Scientists

As the adoption of electric cars, trucks, and buses gains momentum, many people are wondering if the electric grid is up to the task of charging all of those vehicles.

How Are Solar Panels Made?

Union of Concerned Scientists

A new solar project was just installed in the US. Set a timer for 60 seconds and wait. Maybe take a step outside and soak up some sunlight. another solar project was just installed. The sun is shining on the solar industry; the numbers are impressive.

New England Climate Leadership: Signs of Holes and Hope

Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate change is putting mounting pressure on New England states: drought conditions interrupted by intense precipitation events, invasive pests killing ash and hemlock, sunny day flooding in coastal towns, increased public health burdens due to high heat days.

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More Fossil Natural Gas Won’t Lower High Energy Bills

Union of Concerned Scientists

Today’s high energy prices are the result of recent events and long-term strategies. Reliance on fossil natural gas and the slow adoption of renewable energy contributed to electricity bills in New England in the first nine months of 2022 that are $5 billion higher than the prior year.

California’s Progress Toward Recycling Policy for EV Batteries

Union of Concerned Scientists

As electric vehicle (EV) policies are implemented around the country, and sales continue to rise, a question many ask is if vehicle batteries are recycled. Yes, EV battery recycling is happening in facilities around the United States.

Can the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Avoid a Major Disaster?

Union of Concerned Scientists

As the possibility of an all-out military conflict engulfing the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine becomes even more likely, the situation there is growing increasingly dire.

Rare and Severe Weather Events Are Now More Common Thanks to Climate Change

Union of Concerned Scientists

This summer, also known as danger season , already has seen record heat waves, drought, and floods. It continues a trend of recent summers that saw record flooding, major hurricanes, and severe wildfires unlike what many of us can remember from our lifetimes.

Summer of 2022 Was a Hot One. What Was Climate Change’s Impact on Heat?

Union of Concerned Scientists

After a summer featuring heat wave after heat wave that left almost no part of the United States untouched by extreme heat, this week’s transition to fall brings with it the hope that the hottest days of Danger Season are behind us until next year.

Why Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring Still Resonates Today

Union of Concerned Scientists

This month marks 60 years since the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. The book provides strong scientific evidence of the enormous harms pesticides such as DDT pose to public health and the environment.

Congress-Move the Bipartisan NCARS Bill Over the Finish Line

Union of Concerned Scientists

When it comes to preparing for and responding to climate-related disasters, we cannot continue business as usual nor disregard recommendations by experts. With the frequency and cost of disasters rising, it’s well past time for the U.S.

California’s Proposition 30 Would Put the Transition to Clean Transportation in the Fast Lane

Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate change in California isn’t a future threat; we are already dealing with extreme drought and destructive wildfires. We need to slow global warming, and to do so we must greatly reduce emissions from passenger cars and trucks.

For Millions of Families, Electricity Disconnects Are a Matter of Life and Death

Union of Concerned Scientists

Originally published in The Hill. One in six U.S. families currently has overdue utility bills. When people are unable to pay, many electric and gas utilities have the option to disconnect their services. That means more than 20 million families are at risk of losing vital power for their homes.

Ethylene Oxide at the Intersection of Climate, Environment, and Social Justice

Union of Concerned Scientists

There are a few fundamental chemicals that are the building blocks to most thing that we use, and one of them is ethylene oxide (EtO). EtO is used to make plastics, glycols, detergents, solvents, adhesives, and pharmaceuticals.

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Building a Better Power Grid for Minnesota

Union of Concerned Scientists

Minnesotans are facing concurrent crises of climate change, high energy prices and inflation, and the inequitable public health impacts of fossil fuel air pollution.

How a Fertilizer Shortage Could Drive Food Prices Even Higher

Union of Concerned Scientists

In yet another year characterized by droughts, floods, wildfires, and record high temperatures, food and farming systems have been excessively stressed.

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Are EV Batteries Recyclable?

Union of Concerned Scientists

As electric vehicle (EV) sales continue to increase, questions about how these cars and their batteries will be disposed of have been top of mind for current owners, future buyers, policymakers, and many experts in the automotive industry.

Fighting Climate Change and Unhealthy Air, California Wants to Electrify Trucks, Too

Union of Concerned Scientists

Coming off its recent decision requiring all new passenger cars and trucks be zero-emission by 2035, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing a first-of-its-kind regulation to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles like delivery vans, big rigs, box trucks, and buses.

Removing Barriers to Energy Storage is Key to a Clean Energy Future

Union of Concerned Scientists

In just one year—from 2020 to 2021—utility-scale battery storage capacity in the United States tripled , jumping from 1.4 gigawatts (GW), according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Small-scale battery storage has experienced major growth, too.

California Lawmakers Put Fossil Fuel Companies in the Hot Seat

Union of Concerned Scientists

On November 29, the California Energy Commission will hold a public hearing to question oil executives and experts about why gasoline prices have spiked in California in recent months despite drops in the price of crude oil and gasoline nationally.

Why I Have Renewed Hope for Climate Action on Farms

Union of Concerned Scientists

Watching the climate crisis unfolding all around us, I’ve experienced a rollercoaster of hope and disappointment over the last year. With last week’s surprise announcement about a Senate compromise on climate action legislation, I’m back to hope again.

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5 Powerful Facts for Global Wind Day

Union of Concerned Scientists

We at the Union of Concerned Scientists think a lot about wind power. In honor of Global Wind Day , here’s a roundup of what we’re seeing and what we’ve been thinking—five facts about wind energy to keep in mind as you celebrate, or at least make note, on June 15.