Trump Eases the Way for More Gas Guzzlers

Trump Eases the Way for More Gas Guzzlers

After three years of tumult and revised scientific analyses, the Trump administration Tuesday formally relaxed Obama-era fuel economy rules that aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stall the effects of climate change .Under the new rules, automakers will have to meet less stringent targets for cars and light-duty trucks through 2026.

GMOs Could be a Key to Sustainable Farming

GMOs Could be a Key to Sustainable Farming

Illustration: Alvaro DominguezBut unfortunately, the packages on my counter and elsewhere in my kitchen, like my fancy organic sauerkraut (“Our passion for healthy, natural living is reflected in all our products”), told me very little that was relevant to climate change .

Covid-19 Poses a Heightened Threat in Jails and Prisons

Covid-19 Poses a Heightened Threat in Jails and Prisons

Due to extra security measures put in place during the global outbreak of Covid-19, she will have to wait a further 14 days before she can travel from prison to a post-correctional treatment facility, just in case she has been exposed to coronavirus while incarcerated.

The Feds Ban a Self-Driving Shuttle Fleet From Carrying People

The Feds Ban a Self-Driving Shuttle Fleet From Carrying People

Late Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—the federal agency in charge of road safety in the US—took the unusual step of ordering a fleet of self-driving shuttles to stop carrying passengers.

Uber Changes Its Rules, and Drivers Adjust Their Strategies

Uber Changes Its Rules, and Drivers Adjust Their Strategies

On a recent morning in Santa Monica, California, Sergio Avedian pulled into the parking lot of a Vons supermarket, signed into the Uber driver app, and waited.

New Data Backs Up Details in a Fatal 2018 Tesla Model X Crash

New Data Backs Up Details in a Fatal 2018 Tesla Model X Crash

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board released dozens of new documents that provide a detailed understanding of the circumstances of Huang's death.The documents confirm a claim by Walter Huang's family that he had experienced this particular glitch, in this particular spot, multiple times prior to the crash.

Wildfire Photographs Are Constant Reminders of Chaos

Wildfire Photographs Are Constant Reminders of Chaos

“They’ll say, ‘Oh I thought it was wrapping up and suddenly the wind shifted and three hours later it’s burning 500,000 acres,’” McCulloh says.

Do Carbon Offsets Really Work? It Depends on the Details

Do Carbon Offsets Really Work? It Depends on the Details

Last week, JetBlue announced it will offset its 15 billion to 17 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing carbon credits and pumping cleaner-burning aviation fuel into planes landing at San Francisco International Airport.

Australia Is Blazing Into the Pyrocene—the Age of Fire

Australia Is Blazing Into the Pyrocene—the Age of Fire

And just as fast-moving flames swallowed up Paradise in 2018 , fires are moving so quickly, they’re overwhelming whole Australian towns.

Now the Courts Will Decide Whether Uber Drivers Are Employees

Now the Courts Will Decide Whether Uber Drivers Are Employees

Vermont’s Department of Labor wrote in a 2017 bulletin that the “usual course of [Uber]’s business is the provision of a technology platform to its drivers, in exchange for a service fee.” But one federal judge in California called the distinction between technology and transportation company “fatally flawed.” (Uber settled that lawsuit by workers in March 2019, for $20 million.).

Everything You Need to Know About the CCPA

Everything You Need to Know About the CCPA

But as the mechanisms of the law get finalized, and depending on how it’s enforced, its impact could go a long way to determining whether the 2020s become the decade when the US started taking privacy seriously.

It's Not Just You—Wild Swings in Extreme Weather Are Rising

It's Not Just You—Wild Swings in Extreme Weather Are Rising

All that rain meant a bumper crop of grasses and other vegetation, which, as hot and dry conditions returned, likely contributed to a combustible mix of fuels that played a role in the severe fires that have swept California in the past two years .These wild swings from one weather extreme to another are symptomatic of a phenomenon, variously known as “climate whiplash” or “weather whiplash,” that scientists say is likely to increase as the world warms.

Sustainable Swordfish: Fishing Deep for Conservation Solutions

Sustainable Swordfish: Fishing Deep for Conservation Solutions

“The Nature Conservancy needed a conservation solution that could tackle bycatch challenges while still providing economic opportunities for sustainable fishing in coastal fishing communities,” said Dr. Alexis Jackson, Fishery Project Director with TNC’s California Oceans Program.

Kamala Harris' Opposing Truths

Kamala Harris' Opposing Truths

Case in point: Headlines this week reporting that California senator Kamala Harris was suspending her presidential campaign and, in doing so, ceding her chance to become the first black woman to win the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Cheap at Last, Batteries Are Making a Solar Dream Come True

Cheap at Last, Batteries Are Making a Solar Dream Come True

“It’s a pretty big deal for us,” says Chad Raley, who manages technology and renewables at Ameren, a Missouri utility that is building three rural solar-plus-storage projects to better manage the flow of electricity across the local grid.

Aerial Scans Help Bust California's Worst Methane Leakers

Aerial Scans Help Bust California's Worst Methane Leakers

Even though Duren’s California Methane Survey looked only at focused point-source emissions, because it looked at so many and for so long, Duren’s team was able to conclude that by themselves those sources coughed out 500,000 metric tons of methane a year, give or take, and that just 10 percent of the emitters were responsible for 60 percent of the total.

The Super-Optimized Dirt That Helps Keep Racehorses Safe

The Super-Optimized Dirt That Helps Keep Racehorses Safe

It began with Psychedelicat, a horse that would have remained unremarkable for the rest of his life, were it not for the precise timing of his death.

Shifting Winds and the Changing Shape of California Fires

Shifting Winds and the Changing Shape of California Fires

But while new research says that climate change might actually reduce the frequency of the Santa Anas, that might not be the good news it first appears.

California’s Wildfires Are the Doom of Our Own Making

California’s Wildfires Are the Doom of Our Own Making

A single spark can ignite a wind-driven wildfire that moves with such speed firefighters can’t safely confront it, even from the air, as flame retardants dropped from planes and helicopters blow off course in the gusts.

Kincade Fire: The Age of Flames Is Consuming California

Kincade Fire: The Age of Flames Is Consuming California

All it takes is one spark to ignite ultra-dry brush, and high winds will carry that flame with incredible speed, overwhelming communities like Paradise, where many residents simply didn’t have time to escape .

California’s Power Outages Are About Wildfires—But Also Money

California’s Power Outages Are About Wildfires—But Also Money

“If the assumptions in your analysis turn out to be wrong, your whole strategy can blow up and be immensely costly, and delay your bankruptcy,” says Jared Ellias, an expert in bankruptcy law at UC Hastings College of the Law. That means you try to get through it fast, and with minimal chaos.

A Mass Power Outage, Twitter's Data Misuse, and More News

A Mass Power Outage, Twitter's Data Misuse, and More News

Massive power outages won't save California, Twitter misused your two-factor authentication data, and scientists now know where lightning strikes twice (as much as anywhere else).Power shutoffs can't save California from wildfire hell.

PG&E’s Power Shutoffs Can’t Save California From Wildfire Hell

PG&E’s Power Shutoffs Can’t Save California From Wildfire Hell

“If you imagine the atmosphere over your head as a sponge, you can’t wring it out anymore,” says Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA.At ground level, the warm air screaming through the mountains sucks away whatever moisture might be left in the vegetation—which is increasingly little as the climate warms in California and autumns grow increasingly dry .

A Court Says Repealing Net Neutrality Was (Mostly) OK

A Court Says Repealing Net Neutrality Was (Mostly) OK

In its decision Tuesday, the appeals court also ruled that the FCC hadn’t adequately considered how repealing the net neutrality rules would affect public safety, utility pole regulations, and an FCC program that subsidizes phone and internet service for low-income families.

Trump’s Emissions Fight, Amazon’s EVs, and Other Car News This Week

Trump’s Emissions Fight, Amazon’s EVs, and Other Car News This Week

We imagine President Donald Trump whistled something similar this week, when he officially announced that his administration would strip the Golden State of the 50-year-old waiver allowing it to set its own auto emission rules.

Trump Threatens California's Role as a Clean-Air Pioneer

Trump Threatens California's Role as a Clean-Air Pioneer

In 1990, the state tightened its standards again, and added a new component: Its Low-Emission Vehicle program required that automakers sell some zero-emission vehicles, as in battery and fuel-cell electric cars.

An Area 51 Warning, Trump Takes on California, and More News

An Area 51 Warning, Trump Takes on California, and More News

An Area 51 aficionado gives a warning, Trump is fighting with California over vehicle emissions, and the FDA is struggling to regulate vaping.That's the estimated number of people who use vapes, or e-cigarettes, up from 7 million in 2011.

California Vows Fight as Trump Takes Aim at Clean-Car Authority

California Vows Fight as Trump Takes Aim at Clean-Car Authority

Under Trump’s plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will revoke the so-called waiver underpinning the state’s ability to set tailpipe greenhouse-gas emissions standards that are more stringent, as well as the state’s electric vehicle sales mandate.

New Electrics, New Laws, and Other Car News This Week

New Electrics, New Laws, and Other Car News This Week

But we saw stages set for two huge shifts this week: One was in Frankfurt, where automakers gathered to show off their latest and greatest concept cars, a melange of hybrid and electric shinies.

The Fight Over Fuel Economy Rules Gets Messy

The Fight Over Fuel Economy Rules Gets Messy

That’s why the Obama administration decided in 2012 to (slowly) strengthen regulations governing vehicles’ tailpipe emissions and fuel economy standards, requiring each automaker’s fleet to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 and boosting the penalty for missing that target.