Controversy at the COP28 Summit

The annual United Nations Climate Change Conference has started with a bang. Comments made before the summit by the event president, Sultan Ahmed al Jaber, were met with scathing criticism. Al Jaber, who went on the record claiming the phase-out of fossil fuels is an alarmist idea not rooted in science, has since been slammed by other attendees for being biased toward fossil fuel and oil companies. Despite the president’s reluctance, a call for the complete removal of the fossil fuel industry continues to be a major focus point of the conference.

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Burners in Hot Water: The Struggle Over Household Gas Appliances

Recent studies link gas appliances to severe adverse personal health and climate effects, with many consumers considering switching to electric or induction alternatives. However, others, including some politicians and industries, are resistant to legislation that would limit or ban gas stoves. New York announced that it will implement a gas stove ban in 2026, while the House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting such bans on a federal level. This legislative back-and-forth will likely continue, and it parallels other attempts to transition away from fossil fuel technologies.

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Climate Change is Driving Canadian Wildfires and Smoky New York City Skies

When wildfires raging in Canada created dangerous air quality in the Northeastern United States, many conversations centered around the eerie smoke-filled haze lingering in cities like New York and Philadelphia. Although air quality is important to discuss, so, too, is the driving force behind the fires. With Canada on track for having its worst wildfire season in history, it is critical that the connection between wildfires and climate change remains clear.

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The Influence of Climate Change on the Pros and Cons of California’s Wet Season

Already in 2023 California has experienced extreme rainfall that has significantly reduced the drought conditions in the state. This wet winter has also led to superblooms, a phenomenon in which wildflowers are able to cover vast fields due to the ground retaining moisture from the excessive rainfall. However, this level of rainfall has also led to extensive damage and flooding, and even the beautiful wildflowers pose an increased risk of wildfires once they dry out. Both these benefits and long term issues can be traced back to climate change, with the warming of the planet leading to a significant increase in the risk of a California megaflood.

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Can Lab-Grown Meat Help Save the Planet?

As the global population and demands for meat continue to grow, so, too, does the meat industry’s contribution to climate change. Lab-grown meats are not far away from grocery store shelves, and they have the capability to reduce the impact of the meat industry on our planet. First, however, they will need to win over consumers.

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The Power of the Sun: Nuclear Fusion’s Future as Clean Energy

A recent achievement in the field of nuclear fusion has propelled the long-researched energy source into the spotlight. Until now, nuclear fusion was only a theoretical way to generate clean energy, but nuclear fusion has passed an important energetic threshold that offers early hope for the technology. However, this technology will likely take decades to implement, and it may come too late if currently available clean energy methods are not rapidly adopted.

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Why the Keystone XL Pipeline was Unethical

This article draws upon environmental, utilitarian, rights and justice ethics in order to explain why the Keystone XL Pipeline extension was unethical and why its permit was revoked by the Biden Administration in 2021. It debunks the common claims that the pipeline would increase jobs and encourage economic growth, as well as sheds light upon the negative environmental effects and risks to indigenous populations, offering ethical guidelines for the future, such as consulting with indigenous communities before embarking on construction projects.

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The Ethical Case for Fossil Fuels

A growing number of industrialized countries are questioning the ethical use of fossil fuels, considering climate change is primarily due to greenhouse gas emissions. Many leaders are removing subsidies for fossil fuel companies, pushing against offshore drilling, and divesting from fossil fuel projects like pipelines and refineries. While this may seem like the right thing to do, many economically developed nations tend to forget about the rest of the world. Countries in the developing world rely on fossil fuels to generate economic growth. If these more economically developed countries fail to take the needs of the developing world into consideration, large swaths of the globe will fall into poverty. Clearly such an approach is not ethical. Developed countries must continue to develop renewable energy worldwide while simultaneously investing in fossil fuel projects abroad as the necessary infrastructure for renewable energy systems are designed, tested, and constructed – only then can the world move on from fossil fuels in a safe, effective, and ethical way.

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How Climate Change Intensified Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian has already devastated Cuba and Florida, and will soon reach the coastline of North and South Carolina. The storm intensified rapidly in a very short period of time and has been fueled by rising ocean temperatures due to climate change. This increased storm intensity has been predicted for years, and the U.S.’s preparation efforts and response to climate change will impact millions of lives.

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How California’s Heat Wave Almost Broke the State’s Power Grid

A historic heat wave in California has led to high demand for energy usage this past week, but officials have urged millions of residents to turn up their thermostats and shut off their appliances to prevent overwhelming the power grid. However, lawmakers and regulators at the forefront of the state’s green energy initiatives are also feeling the heat.

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