Toxic Coal Ash Afflicts Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic

During my recent visit to Puerto Rico, I spoke for The Real News with environmental attorney Ruth Santiago about Puerto Rico’s extreme dependence on fossil fuels and the mountains of toxic coal ash being produced by American energy giant AES Corp.

Our discussion can be watched and listened to here:


Puerto Rico Faces a Flood of Fracked Gas in Wake of Hurricane Maria

I recently travelled to Puerto Rico to examine the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

While there, I learned that, faced by an existential climate crisis, the Trump administration is exploiting the island’s severe energy challenges to promote the interests of America’s fracking and LNG industries.

This is my report for The Real News:


My thanks to my Real News colleagues Steve Horn and Oscar Leon for their excellent work on this report.

Puerto Rico’s Government Was Warned Climate Catastrophe Was Coming, But Didn’t Listen

March 21, 2019

In Puerto Rico, I spoke to environmental activist Juan Rosario about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

As Juan explains, Puerto Rico’s government was warned that a monster hurricane was inevitable, but did too little to prepare.

My interview with Juan can be watched and listened to here:

Insect Apocalypse: New Study Reveals Stunning Decline in Insect Populations

For The Real News Network, I speak to ecologist Francisco Sanchez-Bayo of Sydney University in Australia about a new study showing alarming rates of decline in insect populations.

If current trends persist, the earth could be essentially devoid of insects within about a century.

My discussion with Dr. Sanchez-Bayo can be seen and listened to here:

Study: Loss of Stratocumulus Clouds Could Precipitate Extreme Global Warming

56 million years ago, the Earth experienced a brief, cataclysmic hot spell now known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM.

After heat-trapping carbon leaked into the sky from an unknown source, the planet, which was already several degrees Celsius hotter than it is today, gained an additional six degrees.

The PETM another episodes of intense warming were more extreme than theoretical models of the climate have been. Even after accounting for differences in geography, ocean currents, and vegetation during these past episodes, paleoclimatologists realized that an important but unknown factor was missing from their models.

Now, a new study in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience indicates that hitherto unknown factor is cloud cover. According to the study, decks of stratocumulus clouds, which cover about 20 percent of the low-latitude oceans, become unstable and break up into scattered clouds when CO2 levels rise above 1,200 parts per million.

This instability triggers a surface warming of a stunning 8 degrees Celsius globally.

For The Real News Network, I spoke to a co-author of the study, Professor Tapio Schneider. Our discussion can be watched and listened to here:

New Poll Shows Increased Bipartisan Desire to Act on Climate Change

According to a new poll by researchers at George Mason and Yale Universities, climate change concerns are more bipartisan than political elites would have us believe.

Among other things, their study found that 81% support the congressional Green New Deal.

For The Real News, I spoke to Dr. John Kotcher of George Mason University about the data. Our discussion can be seen and heard here:

Americans’ Concern About Climate Change Surging to Record Levels

For the Real News, I speak Dr. John Kotcher of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication.

As Dr. Kotcher explains, a new poll has revealed that Americans’ belief that climate change is happening and is human-caused, and their concerns about how climate change will affect them, have surged to record levels.

My interview of Dr. Kotcher can be watched and listened to here: