A NASA study says it’s the first to directly measure humans’ role in climate change

Every year, the sun sends radiation toward Earth equivalent to more than 7,000 times humans’ annual energy consumption. Much of it is reflected out into space (about 30%), ricocheting off the atmosphere; the rest is absorbed or reflected back out after reaching Earth’s surface. Global warming happens when the greenhouse gases dumped into the atmosphere […]

Climate action is poised to punch a $9 trillion hole in petrostates’ budgets

The “resource curse” was coined in 1993 to describe a phenomenon British economist Richard Auty observed around the world: Countries richly endowed in natural resources often descended into grinding poverty. Oil is a primary culprit. With few exceptions, economies sitting above rich reservoirs of fossil fuels develop anemic economies beset by corruption. Of 23 countries […]

Waiting 10 years to start eliminating emissions will cost the US more than $3.5 trillion

When it comes to climate change, the world is on two different timelines. Since 1988, or even the 1890s, scientists have said (with increasing urgency) that eliminating greenhouse gas emissions will be essential to avoid a warming climate. Until recently, lawmakers responded with the policy equivalent of, “We’ll deal with this later.” A new study from […]

Climate risk is about to become a much bigger part of the financial system

On Jan. 25, the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank simultaneously signaled their intent to make climate considerations a central part of finance. Both say they will now analyze the risk climate poses to the stability of individual banks, as well as the broader financial system. The announcements are being welcomed by environmental groups […]

BlackRock is forcing finance to take climate risk seriously

“Climate risk is investment risk,” concluded BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in his annual letter to chief executives this month. With climate change rewriting core assumptions in modern finance, he argued, trillions of dollars are at stake. “Sooner than most anticipate, there will be a significant reallocation of capital,” Fink wrote. “We believe that sustainable investing […]

BlackRock’s list of climate commitments just got longer

The world’s largest asset manager kicked off 2020 by laying out a list of climate pledges that put the rest of the financial sector on notice. “Climate risk is investment risk,” wrote BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink in his annual open letter to chief executives in January. Climate change is rewriting the most basic assumptions of […]

Are millennials really giving up on children over climate change?

Last March, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told an Instagram Live chat that “there’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult” as climate change intensifies. She asked her audience, “Is it OK to still have children?” The 29-year-old congressional representative for New York’s 14th district voiced a worry permeating the lives […]

New study shows why hurricanes stay so strong after making landfall

Hurricanes’ fury is fueled by warm water. As storms barrel toward the coast, ocean water pumps them full of moisture like a tank filling with gas. This water vapor gives storms the energy to drive far inland, bringing destructive winds and flooding with them. Usually, Atlantic hurricanes lose about 75% of their energy within a […]

Wall Street is the key to solving the climate crisis—not Silicon Valley

In 2003, Jigar Shah envisioned building a company using photons. Almost every modern energy source had worked the same way: burn fossil fuels, boil water, generate steam, turn a turbine. Photovoltaic panels were different. Sunlight was all that was needed to turn photons into electricity. “I thought it was cool,” says Shah, who founded SunEdison […]