FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

posted on 01 January 2016

2015, The Year That Was: Environment And Energy

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Martin LaMonica, The Conversation

As we approach 2016, we look back at the big - even world-changing - stories of The Conversation's environment and energy coverage this year.

The biggest story of 2105 from the environment and energy desk is a clear choice but, paradoxically, its impact is still murky.

The COP21 United Nations climate summit in December yielded the Paris Agreement, which includes pledges from nearly 200 countries to dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions in the years ahead.

Most everyone can agree that it's a remarkable demonstration of the world's commitment to combat climate change, but whether it's a historic turning point in greenhouse gas emissions is very much a matter of debate.

Indeed, moments after the gavel went down in Paris amid much celebration, a number of questions arose, including how accountable countries will be to their commitments and whether there will be sufficient money to help developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change and move off of fossil fuels.

Here in the US, the question was: could Congress and a subsequent president unravel or block Obama's signature climate policies? (Short version: it wouldn't be easy.)

How the energy system is changing - or isn't

In the run-up to Paris, The Conversation published a number of articles to explore the effects of climate change and how our energy system is (or isn't) changing.

Given how much capital is already invested in our fossil fuel-dominated energy system, it will take decades to replace the energy infrastructure, even with climate-friendly policies.

Our academics also explained why energy innovation is so slow, what to do about earthquakes linked to oil and gas drilling, why Tesla's home batteries are such a big deal and how rooftop solar is disrupting the power grid.

The tension between our dependence on fossil fuels and climate change was a theme in many articles, including a look at the merits of hybrid solar-and-natural gas power plants, the emissions cost of shutting down aging nuclear plants, the slow progress on carbon capture and storage, Shell's decision to drop plans to drill in the Arctic and, most dramatically, the Obama administration's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

From California to the Arctic

Much environmental news came from the West this year: California's punishing drought, the rise of a giant El Niño, the warm "blob" in the Pacific Ocean that's wreaking havoc in surprising ways and the devastating wildfire season.

Making sense of a changing Arctic. NASA

In climate science, we published scientists' studies on melting ice sheets in Antarctica, the so-called hiatus in global warming and whether natural variability in the atmosphere and ocean masks the long-term warming trend.

Elsewhere, we focused on the fast-changing Arctic.

We unpacked the latest science on whether a warming Arctic can explain North America's brutally cold weather last winter, how quickly polar bears can adapt to warming, plans to open up commercial fishing and whether the far North will shift from being a carbon sink to a source of carbon.

The Anthropocene

With all the changes humanity is bringing to the planet, we will most certainly hear more of the term "the Anthropocene," the notion that we are in a new geological epoch defined by our species' dominance over the Earth.

Our academics weighed in on various aspects of the Anthropocene, including the value of nature, the ethics of "rewilding" large portions of the Earth and what preserving nature means.

Perhaps the biggest newsmaker in the environment came from an unlikely source this year: the Vatican.

Making waves: Pope Francis speaks to the European Parliament earlier this year. European Parliament, CC BY-NC-ND

Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment known as Laudato Si' raised the issue of humanity's treatment of the Earth into the realm of moral philosophy and reached millions of people.

Also in politics and policy, we covered the link between the climate change-worsened drought in Syria and its civil war.

In Washington, DC we documented Obama's attempts to build a strong legacy on climate change despite his political foes.

What did our readers like? Certainly all of the above, but who doesn't like a good story about animals and wildlife? Here we had a number: eastern coyotes, feral cats, urban wildlife, dogs and elephants.

For more of what you liked, below you'll find links to the 10 most-read articles from environment and energy this year.

The ConversationMartin LaMonica, Deputy Editor, Environment & Energy Editor, The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

Econintersect Contributors


Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Take a look at what is going on inside of
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Was Marx Right?
Angst in America, Part 4: Disappearing Pensions
News Blog
Durable Goods New Orders Improved in March 2017
22 April 2017 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Marginally Improves
Infographic Of The Day: These Are The Countries Most and Least Prepared For Cyber Attacks
Documentary Of The Week: History Of The World From The Beginning Of 'Time'
The Four Factors That Decide How We Feel About Income Inequality
Why Mexican Immigrants Are Healthier Than Their US-born Peers
The US View On Climate Change
Hilarious Security Camera Compilation
Brexit: Whither The Pound?
Is Chinese Growth Overstated?
Trading Ideas Between Countries
Recession To Recovery: A Decade In Perspective
Infographic Of The Day: Visualizing America's Changing Energy Mix
Investing Blog
Facebook Is Coming After Snapchat From All Sides
Know Your Energy Sector
Opinion Blog
Squeezing The Philippine Peso
Trump Just Imposed A New Tax On Lumber
Precious Metals Blog
A New Age For Gold
Live Markets
27Apr2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Higher, But May Not Remain In The Green By The Close, WTI Crude Trading In The Mid 48 Handle And Slipping
Amazon Books & More

.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved