Nick Engelfried

Nick Engelfried

Posts by This Writer

8 years 10 months ago

Protection of vested interests by billion dollar ad blitzes, misinformation campaigns designed to confuse the public about reality, and corporate influence over politics may be the most important barriers to addressing climate change in the United States. These tactics for derailing progress also form a large part of the toolbox for Koch Industries, one of the foremost supporters of anti-progressivism in this country. As the role of Koch Industries in preventing climate change action becomes clear, more and more people are taking notice. This weekend when brothers Charles and David Koch met with conservative and Tea Party political figures in Palm Springs,...


8 years 10 months ago

Part of doing business better is making companies pay and account for the environmental and social impacts of their projects. This is especially important in the energy sector, where coal, oil, and gas corporations have for years been allowed to externalize the costs of mining, drilling, and air pollution onto consumers and nearby communities. If these companies had to pay the full health and environmental bills for what they do, we surely would have seen a transition to 100% clean energy a long time ago. Fortunately the US Department of the Interior has a critical chance to right old wrongs and take a first step toward making coal companies pay for their messes...


8 years 10 months ago

While running for office in 2008, now-President Barack Obama made much of his plans to re-power the US economy with clean energy. Since being sworn in as president Obama has continued to talk about clean energy and low-carbon fuels—but his words on the subject have often been long on vaguely expressed desires and short on specific dates and goals. That’s why during the State of the Union Address it was nice to hear the president put some of those specific numbers out on the table. Last night President Obama made what could turn out to be the most important pledge of his career, setting a...


8 years 10 months ago

France will soon join other European countries like England, Scotland, and Denmark in generating electricity from offshore wind projects free from the environmental impacts associated with carbon or nuclear energy. This week French officials...


8 years 10 months ago

Have you ever wondered exactly how scientists track climate change and the warming of the world at a global level? Estimating the overall surface temperature of the Earth isn’t easy when you have to account for seasonal variations across six continents and four oceans. It requires compiling data from satellites positioned high up in the atmosphere and from hundreds of meteorological stations scattered across the globe. However being able to compare average global temperatures from year to year is incredibly important, and allows scientists to track the progress of climate change.

Fortunately leading scientific institutions make it their business to record...


8 years 10 months ago

The year 2010 may be remembered as the year the world felt the effects of climate change as never before. From historic fires in Russia to devastating floods in Pakistan, last year sometimes seemed like one long chain of extreme weather events that affected millions of people. The world’s most authoritative centers of climate research have recently confirmed 2010 was also one of the three warmest years on record, effectively tying with 2005 for the top spot (according to NASA , the temperature differences between these two years are small...


8 years 10 months ago

According to a popular and pernicious myth, you can’t fight poverty in the developing world without fossil fuel energy and the emissions that come with it. Yet while trumpeting this idea makes a good marketing strategy for the coal industry, more and more developing countries are proving you can in fact have environmentally responsible and low-carbon development. Most recently, the nation of Algeria announced plans to build a low-carbon city that could serve as a model for development efforts throughout the country.

Algeria will partner...


8 years 10 months ago

In a historic move spelling hope for the triumph of sustainable business over dirty and outdated means of energy production, this week the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) vetoed one of the most destructive mining projects proposed in the United States. Invoking the agency’s authority under the Clean Water Act, the EPA formally overturned an earlier decision by the US Army Corps of Engineers to grant a permit for Arch Coal’s proposed Spruce No. 1 mountaintop removal mine in Logan County, West Virginia.

Mountaintop removal mining is a practice...


8 years 10 months ago

One way fossil fuel industries are trying to stay relevant in a world moving toward better, cleaner ways of producing energy is to argue that carbon emissions which contribute to climate change can be captured and stored underground. This “carbon capture and sequestration,” is supposedly a technological fix that will allow energy companies to keep burning fossil fuels indefinitely, only with the addition carbon capture equipment that conveniently eliminates their contribution to climate change. The coal industry in particular has gone to great lengths to publicize the idea that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) can work; witness the deluge of...


8 years 11 months ago

In many ways the Pacific Northwest United States has become a leader in fighting climate change. From progressive energy efficiency standards that were adopted before most other US states, to joining with California in implementing clean car standards that became the Obama administration’s model for national policy, Washington and Oregon have been proactive when it comes to curbing carbon emissions and growing the clean energy economy. Now it is time to get serious about what may be the region’s biggest climate change fight of all: eliminating the Northwest’s largest carbon polluter and replacing a dying industry with new green-collar jobs. It is time to...


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