Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
As Presidential Candidates Prepare for Ohio Debate, Farmers Need a New Vision
It has been a very bad year for Ohio’s farmers. Across the state, they were unable to plant crops on nearly 1.5 million acres this past spring due to unrelenting rainfall and flooding. The Buckeye State has also been hard-hit by the Trump administrat
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min read
Ask a Scientist: How Can Cereal Makers Help Save Our Soil, Support Farmers, and Take a Bite out of Climate Change?
The grains that make up the primary ingredients of most US cereals all too often are grown in ways that degrade soil, pollute water, and contribute to climate change. Fortunately, major cereal makers are slowly beginning to pay attention to the probl
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Lithium Batteries Finally Get their Due with Nobel Prize Win
Today’s award of  the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to the scientists that created lithium ion batteries marks the common heritage of mobile communications (laptops and smart phones), electric vehicles, and a new era in energy storage for our electric sys
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readPolitics
Bringing Science Back to the EPA — Whether EPA Wants it or Not.
The current administration’s attacks on both scientists and science are unprecedented, reaching a new low a few weeks ago when the White House Chief of Staff and the Secretary of Commerce attempted to stifle NOAA employees from giving the public accu
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min readPolitics
What To Expect at the Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel Meeting
On the anniversary of being disbanded by the EPA, the 20-member Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel is set to reconvene to ensure that independent, robust science advice informs the EPA’s review of air pollution standards for particulate matt
Union of Concerned Scientists6 min read
Do Renewables Lead to Increased Air Pollution from California Power Plants?
California is a national leader in the transition to clean electricity, but integrating all that renewable energy onto the grid is no easy feat. Critics of renewables have long claimed that adding variable renewables (such as wind and solar) to the g
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
Particulate Matter Air Pollution: Here’s Why The Facts Matter
Extra deaths in the US caused by particulate matter are in the range of 30,000-80,000 per year. That's more deaths per year than from car accidents and gun deaths combined.
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Tesla, Edison, “The Current War,” and What it Has to Do With Getting to Work
Getting to work on time can be enough of a hassle, but imagine if there wasn’t an agreed standard time, or worse if we didn’t have agreement about which side of the street to drive on. This simple but vital task of getting to work on time would be a
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min read
Weighing in on Xcel Energy’s Plans for Minnesota’s Energy Future
This month, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is holding a series of public meetings to hear from individuals, communities, advocates, and other stakeholders on Xcel Energy’s plans for Minnesota’s energy future. Xcel Energy’s proposed 2020-20
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Recusal Is Not An Excusal: William Pendley And Conflicts Of Interest At The BLM
The acting director of the BLM is deeply conflicted, unqualified, and fundamentally opposed to the mission of the agency he is leading.
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Bipartisan Support for Scientific Integrity Reform is Growing
“We are at a crisis point,” according to a new report from the highly respected Brennan Center for Justice, “with almost weekly violations of previously respected safeguards.” The crisis in question involves threats to scientific integrity in governm
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Clean Energy Tax Policy is Congress’s Last Chance to do Anything Meaningful on Climate This Year
As calls for action on climate change become even louder across the globe (including here in the U.S.) and the impacts of climate change increasingly threaten our way of life, Congress still has a chance to do something right now to reduce greenhouse
Union of Concerned Scientists1 min read
Score One for Worker Safety: Trump Administration Drops Proposed Beryllium Rollback
It appears that the Trump administration has come to its senses and reconsidered its dangerous and hare-brained plan to roll back safety protections for construction and shipyard workers exposed to beryllium.
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
An October Heat Wave Bakes the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Is This Our Future?
A vital takeaway from this autumn heat wave is that, for hundreds of cities and towns, this kind of heat is projected to become standard throughout the warm season and into the fall as a result of climate change, assuming we remain on our current pat
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min readNutrition
New Studies on Red and Processed Meat Are a Big, Fat Nothingburger
If you caught any health news from The Washington Post, New York Times, or NPR this morning, you might have been inundated (happily or otherwise) with pictures of bacon, burgers, hot dogs, and sausages. And those pictures were likely accompanied by h
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readPolitics
Science Advice Shouldn’t Be At The Whim Of A President And His Appointees
News is beginning to trickle out about advisory committees that will no longer be used by the federal government as the deadline for agencies to arbitrarily cut one-third of their advisory committees was yesterday, September 30. It has only been thre
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Cultivating Censorship at the National Park Service: New Acting Director Issues Controversial Memo
It has come to light that a recently issued memo may severely restrict the ability of park superintendents and other staff to weigh in on activities happening on adjacent public lands. It is a clear effort by the Trump administration to undermine gov
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
Our Next Generation of Scientists, Exploited
Our federal labor laws have a loophole: If you can get away with characterizing your employees as “students”, you don’t have to respect their right to unionize. Research institutions have been doing this to prevent graduate student workers, who are p
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min readScience
The Indelible Ink of SharpieGate Spreads to NOAA Fisheries
The health of our oceans is profoundly impacted by global warming. Yet you wouldn’t know it from current NOAA Fisheries Director Chris Oliver. At a Senate hearing last week, he “could not say whether climate change is endangering the nation’s fisheri
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min read
Trump Axing Advisory Committees Is Bad for Farmers and Nation’s Food Supply
Earlier this summer, the Trump administration issued an Executive Order that would arbitrarily eliminate one-third of all federal advisory committees (FACs) across the government, while restricting an agency’s ability to form new FACs. FACs provide a
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min readSociety
Science Workshop on PFAS Highlights the Need for Government Action
I spent Thursday and Friday of last week at the National Academies of Science Environmental Health Matters Initiatives (EHMI) workshop, “Identifying Opportunities to Understand, Control, and Prevent Exposure to PFAS” which brought together scientists
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
Bureau of Land Management Headquarters to Move in with Chevron. Will They Share a Bed?
The Department of the Interior is relocating BLM headquarters to a new office Grand Junction, Colorado, where it will share a building with Chevron and oil and gas lobbying organizations—a symbolic capstone to the administration’s blatant efforts to
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min readPolitics
The EPA Cut Science Out of Air Pollution Standard-Setting. We’re Putting It Back.
EPA leaders have now irreparably damaged the agency’s process for setting health-based air pollution standards. That’s why scientists are taking matters into their own hands. To ensure that independent science informs the particulate matter standards
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readSociety
What You Should Know This Mesothelioma Awareness Day
Did you know asbestos—the carcinogen that causes mesothelioma—is still in-use and is imported into the country every year? Most people think asbestos went the way of 8-track tapes and brick-sized cell phones, but it’s still legal and lethal in the Un
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readScience
Scary Changes Documented In The IPCC Report On Climate Change And The Ocean
The past two weeks have been extraordinary in the battle against global warming. Young leaders around the world have spoken out so strongly and eloquently about the importance of taking real action to address the changing climate. And millions took t
Union of Concerned Scientists6 min readPolitics
By Phasing Out Animal Testing, the EPA Could Turn You into the Guinea Pig
When you encounter chemicals in the normal course of your life—while eating food, drinking water, playing in the backyard, or breathing air—do you want the assurance that these chemicals have been deemed safe using the most rigorous scientific method
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min read
Utility Restoration Workers a Large Factor in Speed—and Cost—of Hurricane Response
In the face of severe storms, utilities are investing billions of dollars in grid hardening to boost electricity resilience. But in the aftermath of such storms, vast numbers of restoration workers have also proven key to bringing power back fast. An
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
ExxonMobil, BP, Shell Oppose Methane Regulation Rollback, Here’s What Else They Should Do
The industry has claimed that the rollback won’t affect emissions due to voluntary measures being taken by oil and natural gas companies, but that’s not accurate. Even EPA Administrator Wheeler has admitted that relaxing regulations will increase met
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Dear Students of STEM, I Challenge You to Vote!
So, did students vote more in 2004 than in prior years? Yes, they did; however, when voter turnout data was analyzed across student identified majors, social scientists found students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Union of Concerned Scientists6 min read
Threatened by EVs, Oil Companies Employ Disinformation Tactics in Massachusetts
The oil industry is responding to the important role utilities have in accelerating electric vehicle (EV) adoption through undertaking a broad campaign to fight against utility programs that invest in EV charging infrastructure. Mischaracterizing quo
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