Union of Concerned Scientists1 min read
The Scientific Integrity Act and the Importance of Storytelling in Science Communication
My job regularly requires explaining complex science and policy topics to the media, public, and decisionmakers. So I took over the Union of Concerned Scientists’ twitter account (#GretchenTakeover) to share my top tips for talking about science in d
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min readTech
Now’s The Time For California To Start Planning For Self-Driving Cars
Imagine if traffic gets even worse? Uber and Lyft are already being implicated in the rise of congestion in San Francisco and other cities.  Add self-driving cars in the coming few years to the mix and things could look even worse. But it doesn’t hav
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readTech
More Charging Infrastructure Coming for Electric Trucks and Buses in California
Great news from San Francisco today. The California Public Utilities Commission approved San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDG&E) five-year, $107 million proposal to invest in charging infrastructure for electric trucks and buses.
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min readScience
As Global Warming Increases, Is There an Upper Limit to How Much Additional Water Vapor The Atmosphere Can Hold?
I’m sure you’ve heard that old adage, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Living in Washington, D.C., for the last three decades, I certainly know what it means. That said, it would be more accurate to say, “It’s not only the heat, it’s also the
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readScience
The Trump Administration Dismantles Endangered Species Protections as Sixth Mass Extinction Crisis Looms
Today, the Trump administration released a final rule dismantling the role of science in informing protections for endangered and threatened wildlife. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the protections it has afforded to threatened and endangered s
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readTech
Why Colorado Needs a Zero Emission Vehicles Standard
Colorado is poised to enact requirements for automakers to sell “Zero Emission Vehicles” (ZEVs) in the state. In 2018, Colorado was already in the top 5 states in terms of percent of vehicle sales that are electric in the country, so why is this impo
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readScience
Maunakea And The Need To Indigenize Astronomy
I am told by Hawaiians that Maunakea is sacred. I am not sure I understand what that means, I am not Hawaiian, I am an outsider. What I know about Maunakea is really only two things. The first is that Maunakea is one of the best sites for astronomy o
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min readFood & Wine
Trump Administration’s Attacks on SNAP Hurt Farmers and Rural Areas
Sonny Perdue’s latest regulatory attack on SNAP is full of dishonesty, denialism, and downright cruelty. If enacted, it would take food off the plates of $3.1 million low-income people, there’s something else. Secretary Perdue’s proposed SNAP cuts wo
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
Tribute to Dr. Frank Ackerman, a Second Draft
The confidence a good mentor places in you can give you confidence in yourself. When a good mentor is willing to invest in you, you can become willing to invest in yourself. Good mentors can be hard to come by, and earlier this month the most influen
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readPolitics
So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, Says The EPA To Southwest Alaska
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has once again washed its hands of its responsibility to protect the health and safety of our waterways. On Tuesday, the agency helped clear a path towards the development of Pebble Mine, a proposed mine in B
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readPolitics
Trump Administration Sidesteps Congress to Cut SNAP. Again.
The Trump administration has announced a new proposed rule that would make it harder for millions to feed their families—and is defying Congress in the process. If that sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve seen this movie before. Several times. Rememb
Union of Concerned Scientists6 min read
Four Automakers Stand Firm With California Against a Trump Administration Rollback
Last week, California’s governor and lead regulator announced an agreement with four automakers (BMW, Ford, Honda, and Volkswagen) on vehicle emissions standards that exceed anything the Trump administration has proposed, though it remains lower than
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
An Absence of Energy Leadership in a Climate Crisis
State officials have a variety of policies and goals for the electricity supply for each of their states, from rate stability and economic development incentives, to ambitious renewable goals, to health and safety protections for workers and consumer
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readScience
What do Alaska Wildfires Mean for Global Climate Change?
During the (on-going) 2019 fire season, over 2 million acres have burned - an area roughly equivalent to that of Yellowstone National Park. In comparison to many fires in the conterminous United States, many fires in Alaska burn far away from populat
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
Calor Fatal En Cada Distrito De Congreso: Nuevo Mapa Y 433 Fichas Informativas Que Muestran Lo Que Está En Juego
Un nuevo mapa interactivo de Union of Concerned Scientists le deja explorar cómo se pronostica que el calentamiento global va a aumentar la frecuencia y la severidad del calor extremo en su distrito de congreso. Con esta herramienta, podrá descargar
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
Why Berkeley Banned Natural Gas in New Buildings
Two weeks ago, Berkeley, California became the first city in the nation to ban natural gas hook-ups in new construction. The ordinance passed unanimously with overwhelming public support, but the gas industry has been quietly fighting back by stealth
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readSociety
Tackling Health Disparities in St. Louis
Many factors cause disparities in who has access to healthcare, as well as the quality of the care they receive. Health disparities facing St. Louis are not unique to the city but are intensified by two primary factors: division between the city and
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min read
New Electric Options for Drivers Looking to Cut Carbon Emissions
Electric vehicles can significantly reduce the emissions from driving by substituting increasingly cleaner electricity for gasoline. At UCS we’ve been tracking how the difference between gasoline and electric car emissions have been changing and wher
Union of Concerned Scientists8 min readScience
My Written Testimony on Transportation Infrastructure and Climate Change
In May of this year, I had the opportunity to provide written testimony to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s hearing on “The Need for Resilience: Preparing America’s Transportation Infrastructure for Climate Change.” I focused on ho
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readPolitics
Resilience and Transitioning to EVs Should Be Key Features in New Highway Bill
Most legislation introduced in Congress doesn’t go anywhere – it doesn’t get a hearing, doesn’t get a vote, it just dies quietly at the end of the two-year congressional session.  However, there are a few things that Congress must do either annually
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min read
Misinterpreting Scientific Integrity Data in House Oversight Hearing
Last week, the House Natural Resource Committee held a hearing on scientific integrity and attacks on science at the Department of Interior (DOI). In his opening statement, ranking member Rob Bishop from Utah showed the Committee a graph and offered
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readPolitics
EPA Might Be Using Its Advisors To Do Away With Protective Science Guidelines
At the last EPA Science Advisory Board meeting in June, the EPA SAB was asked to partake in a consultation process in review of the EPA’s planned changes to its cancer and noncancer risk assessment guidelines. These guidelines are used by the agency
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readPolitics
Why the PFAS Industry Should Ditch the Disformation Playbook and “Do the Right Thing”
The House Oversight and Reform Committee, Subcommittee on the Environment held a hearing this week titled, The Devil They Knew: PFAS Contamination and the Need for Corporate Accountability. The testimony of three people whose lives have been upended
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readPolitics
Killer Heat by Congressional District: New Map and 433 Fact Sheets Show What’s at Stake
A new map tool from the Union of Concerned Scientists lets you explore how the frequency and severity of extreme heat are projected to change in your congressional district in response to global warming. Through the tool, you can download district-sp
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min read
Climate Risk Disclosure Act Is Good for Your Investments
This legislation is desperately needed – our economy is so interconnected, and the effects of climate change so far-reaching that no publicly-traded company is untouched by or immune to climate-related financial risks. Companies will emerge with more
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readFood & Wine
How Cereal Companies and Consumers Can Make Breakfast Better
What’s for breakfast? Maybe it’s a bagel and cream cheese, or toast and coffee, or eggs (or not). For millions of Americans, though, cereal is a breakfast mainstay. There’s a mind-boggling array of ready-to-eat cereal brands on offer, and everyone ha
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
A Spoonful of Science in Your Surprisingly Powerful Cereal Bowl
When you think about “farm to table”, what comes to mind? Heirloom tomatoes? Local mixed greens? Farmstead cheese? Whatever it may be, I hope you’ll add breakfast cereal to that list. Yes, breakfast cereal.  Why? Although a morning bowl of flakes, pu
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readSociety
What I Will Say to the House Committee on Natural Resources about Attacks on Science
I will be testifying tomorrow (Thursday, July 25) before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources concerning attacks on science in the Trump Administration and scientific integrity at the Department of Interior. It is a great
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min readPolitics
You Won’t Hear President Trump Boast About These Records
President Trump recently boasted about his amazing environmental record, which others have shown to be, in fact, not great. What records has President Trump achieved? I did some research to find out. Here is a list of records that the Union of Concer
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min read
Vulnerable Populations Across US Metro Areas at Risk of Fatal Heat by Mid-Century
If we don’t take action now to reduce heat-trapping carbon emissions, we will experience many more days of killer heat in many parts of the country, putting millions of people at risk of heat-related illness or death. We estimate that without action,
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