Tagglobal warming

The war on fossil fuels goes hyper-local

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One theme that I’ve come back to a lot in the last few months is the notion that local jurisdictions — state and even city and county governments — can take the lead in the fight against climate change, even at a time when Washington seems determined to pull back. All across the country, local jurisdictions are taking actions to promote the use of electric cars, though charging...

A pro-Trump Louisiana town ditches fossil fuels

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The main topic on this blog in the last few years has been the danger posed by society’s addiction to fossil fuels — an addiction we continue to feed with more and more offshore drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere, with fracking that pollutes our environment and causes earthquakes, and with pipelines that leak and taint our sources of pure drinking water. But in politics they have a...

Too early spring

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The book that triggered the environmental movement in America was Silent Spring, published by Rachel Carson in 1962. The subject of the book was the indiscriminate use of pesticides such as DDT — which was banned by the federal government a few years later, in part a result of the outcry that Carson had raised. The title refers to the fact that flagrant abuse of these chemicals was killing...

Flooding of Atlantic coastal cities about to get a lot worse

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If you live near the Atlantic Ocean — and millions of Americans do, along the most densely populated stretch of the nation — then you know the coastal flooding is always in the background. When a big storm like a Nor’easter barrels its way up the Eastern Seaboard, cities from Miami Beach all the way up to Maine can expect some beach erosion and possibly a couple feet of water...

Climate change is attacking the Great Barrier Reef

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One of the more fantastic experiences that I’ve enjoyed in my lifetime was an opportunity, several years ago, to scuba dive along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This is truly one of the world’s great natural splendors; it is the largest living thing on Planet Earth, stretching some 900 miles, and it is also much larger than anything that humans have ever constructed. Chock full...

Trump’s crazy climate policy is even worse than you think

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More than a week into the transition into Donald Trump’s presidential administration, we don’t know which of his campaign promises he will actually keep, and which ones will be tossed out the window. On the environment, we know that he’s getting his advice from some dangerous people, including the climate-change denier Myron Ebell, who’s been tapped to help fill top jobs...

The Trump environmental disaster begins

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For the last few months, I’ve written at least a half dozen posts about the massive environmental catastrophe that awaits America and the world if Donald Trump were to be elected president. Clearly, not enough voters were focused on these issues when they pulled the lever on Tuesday. Now, barring the unexpected, Trump will be the president of the United States from January 2017 to January...

The drip, drip, drip of Big Oil on La.’s fragile environment

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More than six years ago, this blog was created largely in response to one gigantic and catastrophic event: The massive BP oil spill in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. That tragedy has had dozens of story lines — from the toxic dispersant that made so many clean-up workers ill, to the deaths of sea creatures from dolphins to endangered turtles, to the destruction of...

Climate breakthrough is another reminder of the stakes in November

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With all of the crazy things that have happened — or are happening right now — in the 2016 presidential race, it’s easy to lose track of the issues that really matter. The non-stop flow of groping and assault allegations swirling around Republican Donald Trump, or the hacked emails of aides to Democrat Hillary Clinton, are sensational stories that tend to drown out any serious...

The truth about Hurricane Matthew and climate change

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As I write this, Hurricane Matthew — a monster Category 4 storm — is just hours away from striking the central Florida coast. Millions of people have evacuated over the last day or so, and those who’ve stayed behind face an enormous risk from winds as high as 140 mph, from storm surges as great as nine feet or more, and other hazards such as falling trees. The entire nation...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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