Why hopes that human exceptionalism will solve global warming aren’t the right way of thinking

For more than a generation, MacGyver has, in many ways, served as the fictional embodiment of human exceptionalism. If you’re unfamiliar with the character, he was the star of an eponymous ABC series from 1985 to 1992 and, in every episode, even when he had limited supplies, he would invariably…

We can summon our collective will to solve our garbage problem

A few months ago, my family and I decided to subscribe to a private for-profit service that takes away hard-to-recycle products. For $15 a month, the company picks up plastic film, batteries, light bulls, textiles and other used goods from our doorstep and finds ways to repurpose or recycle them.

For some, the recent IPCC report will spur action, but others may still need to find their catalyst

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its sixth assessment on climate change, I expected it to be a seminal moment. The report’s authors scrutinized and digested more than 14,000 scientific papers and accumulated evidence that human action is causing climate change. They described the situation as “code…

This act of gardening defiance is a good reminder about infrastructure and nature

Symbolic acts can resonate. Whether it’s raising a black glove on the Olympic medals podium in the name of racial justice or pouring a bucket of ice water over your head to spur ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) research, these gestures can stick with us.

Recently, I became aware of…

How to make sure big business does the right thing

Fighting climate change has become the must-have accessory for a large number of major corporations. Approximately 20 percent of the planet’s 2,000 biggest publicly traded companies have made pledges to produce “net zero” carbon emissions. That includes well-known brands from Apple and Ford to BP and Shell.

In the best…

These energy-efficient devices can be difference makers in the move to clean energy

When discussions of a clean energy future come up with friends, they often gravitate to questions about fancy technology. What kind of battery storage do we need to support wind and solar? How efficient can solar cells become? Can farms of offshore wind turbines play a big role in an…

How climate activist Greta Thunberg gives hope that the public is listening on global warming

The “marketplace of ideas” is a term used to describe how certain philosophies gain prominence in the public sphere. This theory, which was popularized by the philosopher John Stuart Mill in 1859, suggests that open conversations about policy issues should be similar to a grand bazaar where purveyors of differing…

Josh Chetwynd

Communications for The Public Interest Network, Environment America and U.S. PIRG; book author: http://amzn.to/1SNJBJT ; avid curler/ex-baseball player

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