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OPINION
August 30, 2013
Re "For students, fossil fuels become an issue of conscience," Aug. 26 Congratulations to the students of San Francisco State University who persuaded the trustees of their college to divest from fossil fuel companies. However, this article has an egregious omission: the carbon bubble. This bubble will likely pop and fossil fuel stocks will crash in the next decade or so if we are to preserve the planet for future generations. According to the climate change activist group 350.org, the planet cannot handle more than 565 gigatons of carbon emissions before 2050.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
Pitzer College, a liberal arts school in Claremont, has joined the vanguard of U.S. campuses deciding to sell off its investments in fossil fuel companies as a statement of concern about global warming. Pitzer's board of trustees recently voted to approve a divestment plan to sell off about $4.4 million in fossil-fuel related investments, mainly in oil and gas companies, by the end of this year from the school's $125-million endowment. The remaining $1 million or so in fossil fuels investments, mainly those in large multi-industry funds, will be sold off soon after, officials said.
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OPINION
March 25, 2014
Re "Energy boom may augur a new export era," March 23 Every dollar invested to expand the use of fossil fuels here or abroad is a bad investment. Spending a single penny or drilling any new wells to find more dirty energy is wrongheaded. We have more fossil fuels in the ground than we can afford to burn. To avoid a climate catastrophe, most of that dirty energy must remain where it is. Talking about gas as if it were the 1970s is not productive. We must go green by passing a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Our country can be off fossil fuels within the next few decades - or even sooner once entrepreneurs and innovators understand that the days of dirty energy are over.
OPINION
March 25, 2014
Re "Energy boom may augur a new export era," March 23 Every dollar invested to expand the use of fossil fuels here or abroad is a bad investment. Spending a single penny or drilling any new wells to find more dirty energy is wrongheaded. We have more fossil fuels in the ground than we can afford to burn. To avoid a climate catastrophe, most of that dirty energy must remain where it is. Talking about gas as if it were the 1970s is not productive. We must go green by passing a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Our country can be off fossil fuels within the next few decades - or even sooner once entrepreneurs and innovators understand that the days of dirty energy are over.
BUSINESS
November 25, 2011 | Bloomberg
Renewable energy is surpassing fossil fuels for the first time in new power-plant investments, shaking off setbacks from the financial crisis and an impasse at the United Nations global warming talks. Electricity from the wind, sun, waves and biomass drew $187 billion last year compared with $157 billion for natural gas, oil and coal, according to calculations by Bloomberg New Energy Finance using the latest data. Accelerating installations of solar- and wind-power plants led to lower equipment prices, making clean energy more competitive with coal.
OPINION
June 6, 2010 | Bill McKibben
Here's the president on March 31, announcing his plan to lift a longstanding moratorium on offshore drilling: "Given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy." And here he is on May 26, as political pressure started to really build over BP's hole in the bottom of the sea: "We're not going to be able to sustain this kind of fossil fuel use. The planet can't sustain it."
OPINION
April 5, 2012 | By Bill McKibben
Last week, the Senate voted on a proposal by New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez to end some of the billions of dollars in handouts enjoyed by the fossil-fuel industry. The Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act was a curiously skimpy bill that targeted only oil companies, and just the five richest of them at that. Left out were coal and natural gas. Even so, the proposal didn't pass. But that hasn't stopped President Obama from calling for an end to oil subsidies at every stop on his early presidential-campaign-plus-fundraising blitz.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2009 | Jim Tankersley
World leaders at the Group of 20 summit are set to pledge to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels, according to a copy of a declaration scheduled for release this afternoon. The pledge is purposely vague, though it clearly intends to eliminate tax breaks and direct government assistance for oil, coal and other fossil fuels. It does not set a date for that subsidy phaseout, nor does it specify what would count as a "subsidy" or how countries would police compliance. Environmentalists hailed the pledge as a building block for international efforts to curb global warming and as a small burst of momentum in the run-up to international climate change treaty negotiations in Copenhagen in December.
NATIONAL
June 16, 2010 | By Jim Tankersley, Tribune Washington Bureau
President Obama on Tuesday night capped his Oval Office address on the massive gulf oil spill with a call for new efforts to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, saying "the tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean-energy future is now." In a bow to political reality and the still-troubled economy, however, he stopped short of spelling out specifics for dealing with a problem that has bedeviled presidents since Richard Nixon in the 1970s and goes straight to the heart of such bread-and-butter issues as consumer prices, jobs and the viability of major industries.
NEWS
September 10, 1995 | Associated Press
A U.N. scientific panel on climate change says it is now convinced that global temperatures have warmed over the last century because of human activity, a newspaper reports today. The experts say new computer studies have given them confidence in data that suggests the cause of the global temperature rise of 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1900, the New York Times said.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACARAMENTO - Californians, who already pay some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation, could soon be asked to pay more. Pump prices are likely to climb more than 12 cents per gallon starting Jan. 1, both the oil industry and environmental experts agree. That's when the state's complex cap-and-trade system for pollution credits expands to cover vehicle fuels and their emissions. As a result, gasoline producers would need to buy pollution credits, and they are expected to pass the cost along at the pump.
OPINION
February 8, 2014
Re "Free the pipeline, Obama," Opinion, Feb. 4 Those who oppose Keystone XL aren't doing so primarily to make the pipeline a "litmus test issue for climate seriousness," as Jonah Goldberg writes. Rather, they're taking a principled stand. We must stop the juggernaut of business-as-usual that is leading inexorably to climate disruption. Environmentalists recognize that our civilization depends on vast amounts of energy and we cannot stop using fossil fuels overnight. But with more frequent extreme weather showing up right on schedule and rising sea levels, we absolutely must replace fossil fuels with sustainable energy as soon as possible.
NATIONAL
December 21, 2013 | By Evan Halper
Tom Steyer is standing upright near the corner of a small, beige meeting room at Georgetown University, arms at his sides, eyes shut intently. Half a dozen ministers and priests surround him, laying hands on his torso. Together, the pastors begin to pray, asking for divine help in shaping public opinion: "Soften them.... Open them to you … for your purpose.... Claim the promise made to Moses. " It is a curious warmup for a technical conference about an oil pipeline. But like many other environmentalists concerned that America is dawdling as the world burns, these ministers, each a leader in efforts to mobilize churchgoers against climate change, see Steyer as, quite literally, a godsend.
OPINION
December 7, 2013
Re "Studies raise urgent climate alarms," Dec. 4 It's senseless to argue that burning fossil fuels isn't driving the rise of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to levels that scientific core samples show have not been seen in millions of years. Clearly the Earth's internal system of environmental balances can be pushed out of whack by human actions. Foolish farming practices caused the Dust Bowl, and it didn't take centuries. I hope we are not past the global warming tipping point.
OPINION
November 2, 2013
Re "Governor signs emissions pact with neighbors," Oct. 29 Gov. Jerry Brown is right to seek new ways to address climate change, but he's sabotaging his own efforts by greenlighting fracking for dirty oil in our state. The governor's support for fracking is out of step with both climate science and the electorate here, where a poll this summer found that 58% of Californians want a moratorium on the practice. To have a decent chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, we have to leave most fossil fuels buried safely in the ground, as noted by the recently released report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
WORLD
October 25, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - A new study has detected air pollutants, including carcinogens, in areas downwind of Canada's main fossil fuel hub in Alberta at levels rivaling those of major metropolises such as Beijing and Mexico City. The study by researchers from UC Irvine and the University of Michigan also found a high incidence of blood cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among men in the area, compared with the rest of Alberta and Canada. "When you get cancers that can be caused by the carcinogens we are seeing, that is reason for concern," said Isobel J. Simpson, a lead author of the study and a researcher at UC Irvine's chemistry department.
OPINION
December 5, 2002
Re "The Highest Patriotism Lies in Weaning U.S. From Fossil Fuels," Commentary, Dec. 2: Robert Redford has it right. While California is making a determined effort to encourage energy conservation through legislation and public advertisements, with good initial success, the Bush administration gives only minimum lip service to this critical need. As seen in California, the public is ready and willing to make sacrifices if called upon by its leaders. Is the White House so deeply obligated to big oil and other energy corporations that it is unable to call upon the public to conserve energy?
NATIONAL
July 6, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Corals and other marine creatures are threatened by chemical changes in the ocean caused by the carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, a panel of scientists warned Wednesday. Much of this added carbon dioxide is dissolving in the oceans, making them more acidic. Such a change can damage coral and other sea life, according to the panel of researchers convened by the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Geological Survey.
OPINION
August 30, 2013
Re "For students, fossil fuels become an issue of conscience," Aug. 26 Congratulations to the students of San Francisco State University who persuaded the trustees of their college to divest from fossil fuel companies. However, this article has an egregious omission: the carbon bubble. This bubble will likely pop and fossil fuel stocks will crash in the next decade or so if we are to preserve the planet for future generations. According to the climate change activist group 350.org, the planet cannot handle more than 565 gigatons of carbon emissions before 2050.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
In the 1980s, student protests against apartheid led universities to sell off stocks in companies doing business in South Africa. More recently, concerns about genocide in Darfur, the health effects of tobacco and handgun violence led to more college divestments. Now another issue - the effect of fossil fuels on global temperatures - is rousing a new generation of student activists to press their schools to drop coal, petroleum and natural gas investments from campus endowments. Student campaigns, such as "Fossil Free UC," are underway at about 300 colleges and universities nationwide, organizers estimate.
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