During his American introduction last week in Washington, D.C., Pope Francis addressed not only religion, but also a variety of pressing societal concerns. In particular, he spent more time encouraging action on climate change than he did on any other topic.

The vision of the future dreamed up by General Motors largely came to pass … but utopia did not follow.

FracFocus’ long-awaited decision to open the data for broader use allowed us to develop an estimate of the amount of chemicals used in fracking on University of Texas lands. 

Our new report released today, Childhood Hunger in America’s Suburbs, found that since the Great Recession nearly half of all public school children newly eligible for free and reduced-price lunches live in the suburbs – far more than live in inner cities or rural areas. And while urban areas are still home to the most total eligible children, that could soon change.

Forward-thinking cities around the country and around the globe are improving bike infrastructure because they are coming to recognize bicycling as a healthy, affordable, efficient, eco-friendly and fun way for people to get around.

States with good solar policy are seeing a solar revolution – and that’s not just in sunny states like California, but also northern states like Massachusetts. The flipside is also true: States without good solar policy – like Florida, the Sunshine State – are seeing lackluster solar growth.

The average number of hours spent in traffic by an auto commuter hasn’t budged since 2006.

Solar energy is booming in popularity, and that has a lot to do with its rapidly declining price. Google’s new Sunroof project (for now available in Boston, San Francisco, and Fresno) taps into some advanced technology to give consumers perhaps the easiest way yet to see their opportunity for big savings potential from installing solar panels.

Frontier Group intern Dana Bradley explains the challenges of trying to obtain basic information about fracking.

Of all the possible reasons not to prioritize the North-South Rail Link, the notion that “there’s no money” is the least compelling.

As of July, America’s first offshore wind farm is under construction. The Block Island Wind Farm, located off the coast of Rhode Island, will generate enough electricity to completely replace the approximately million gallons of diesel that the island currently relies on for its electricity needs each year.

Despite a troubling lack of progress in several areas (including, sadly, baseball), Massachusetts has made significant strides to reduce global warming pollution. As we document in our new report, Cool Solutions, an array of new technologies and emerging societal trends provide the Commonwealth with the opportunity to achieve a 45 percent cut in emissions by 2030, putting Massachusetts on track to meet its long-term emission reduction targets.

A system that results in many Americans being almost literally shackled to their vehicles for the purpose of extracting high-interest debt is far from ideal. 

A study published yesterday in Energy Science & Engineering contends that a measurement tool at the heart of in an important recent analysis of methane leaks from fracking sites was improperly used and thus the results of that study greatly underestimate methane emissions. There are other reasons to think that the study in question, by Prof. David Allen at the University of Texas, Austin, and supported by the Environmental Defense Fund, lowballs the amount of global warming pollution from fracking sites.

It is easy in the midst of any extractive boom to giddily anticipate that the good times will roll on forever. The past two centuries have provided example after example that they don’t. The time for government to prepare for the inevitable bust is not when trouble appears on the horizon, but at the very beginning of the boom-bust cycle.

In raising their gas taxes, Maryland and Washington took a politically bold step. However, the result of those moves is likely to be – at least in part – more of the same kind of massive highway expansions that have done little to address congestion while endangering our environment and threatening our quality of life.

If the choice is between a refundable gas tax – which pairs general fund expenditures on transportation with a price signal to drivers – and one that simply diverts money that would otherwise go to the general fund (such as taxes on overseas corporate profits) to highways without a price signal - the former has a lot to recommend it.

The political viability of the nation’s current model of transportation policy – which ties revenue for and spending on highways to gas taxes – is dependent on a Millennial generation that is ambivalent about whether we should be spending money on highways in the first place.

Now, new evidence reveals that the reckless antibiotic use on animals is not just a threat to human health. Animal bacteria are quickly developing resistance that is rendering ineffective some of the antibiotics used on factory farms.


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