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“The Uninhabitable Earth” Provides a Heavy Dose of Reality

David Wallace-Wells of New York Magazine wrote an article earlier this month titled, The Uninhabitable Earth, that brings vague anxieties about climate change into clear focus. The link to the annotated version of this article is highly recommended as it reveals a clear path from the scientific evidence to Wallace-Wells’ assertions of the enormity of forthcoming global challenges as the Earth’s temperature rises.

 

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An Economic Perspective on Energy Efficiency

The term “energy efficient” is common enough, used to describe everything from dishwashers to windows. A Freakonomics Radio podcast episode titled How Efficient Is Energy Efficiency? explores the complicated relationship between energy efficiency standards and their real world outcomes. Arik Levinson, an environmental economist and professor at Georgetown University, discusses the 1974 California Energy Commission whose regulations were the first of their kind in the nation. Levinson’s paper on energy consumption as affected by these regulations asserts,

“There is no evidence that homes constructed since California instituted its building energy codes use less electricity today than homes built before the codes came into effect.”

This conclusion, based on Levinson’s research leads the host, Stephen Dubner, to question the validity of his statement and to explore the reasons why energy efficiency regulations are still such a major part of the United States’ climate policy.

Larsen C Iceberg Breaks Free While Climate Activists Say #ExxonKnew

The 2017 Buffalo Humanities Festival spotlight speaker, Bill McKibben, is an environmental activist and writer. He is the founder of 350.org which, among its various campaigns and actions, is currently seeking to hold Exxon Mobile accountable for its denial of climate change using the hashtag, #ExxonKnew. This carries new weight now that a huge iceberg called the Larsen C has broken free from an Antarctic ice shelf. A 350.org press release dated July 10th reads, “Over ten thousand people around the world are calling for the Larsen C Iceberg to be renamed the ‘#ExxonKnew Iceberg.'”

The full press release can be found at https://350.org/media/

Read more about the impact of Larsen C here: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40321674