Environmental writer living in Washington, DC. Opinions are his own.

Joe Manchin might be onto something.

The moderate Democratic senator from West Virginia has repeatedly opposed dismantling the filibuster — a legislative tool that allows Senate minority parties to block any bill indefinitely. Manchin recently doubled-down on his sentiment, saying he’d “never” support ending the tool.

And though that opposition foils Democrats’ short-term plans, it may prove the best long-term decision for fighting climate change.

On the surface, eliminating the filibuster seems like a no-brainer for a Democratic party that just pulled off a hat trick. Without a filibuster, Democrats have the numbers to push through sweeping bills on voting…


An alarming one in three Americans said they won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new AP-NORC poll. And since 70–80% of Americans must get the vaccine to establish herd immunity, our effort to suppress the virus by vaccine may already be doomed.

Most people cite safety and effectiveness of the vaccine as the roots of their skepticism. They also cite distrust of the government and the speed with which these vaccines were created. And then there are the conspiracy theorists.

We won’t dive into each of these concerns, because plenty of websites already do that. Instead, I want…


It’s a mess in Texas, and everyone’s playing the blame game.

This week, a record cold front and series of winter storms swept through Texas, leaving at least 30 Texans dead and nearly 5 million without power. While millions of Americans huddle together for warmth, politicians are using the opportunity to point fingers and spout lies.

“This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America,” Texas Governor Greg Abbot told Fox News on Tuesday. “It just shows that fossil fuel is necessary.”

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Satellite imagery of nighttime lights in Houston, Texas, after winter weather caused widespread power outages in the region. NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens.

Other politicians, including fellow Texan Rep. Dan Crenshaw, followed…


Calls for United States President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency are heating up.

In late-January, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made news by floating the idea. And last week, a trio of politicians put forward a bill that requires the president to declare a climate emergency.

Okay, so, what does declaring a climate emergency even look like? One imagines The Office’s Michael Scott yelling “I declare bankruptcy!” and calling it a day. Declaring a climate emergency, however, is much more than just putting something in writing (or shouting it in your office).

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Joe Biden at a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President

Should Joe Biden heed these…


This year’s Super Bowl will look different.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States’ top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned against Super Bowl parties, advising fans to just “lay low and cool it.”

We should heed Fauci’s advice and watch the game with only those in our household. But we can also use this year’s game to try something different — like help out the Planet.

Even if it’s a small gathering, people are still likely to eat a ton on Sunday — the Super Bowl is the second-largest food consumption day in the U.S., and last Super Bowl…


Watch Joe Biden’s “Climate Day” speech last week, and one theme is obvious: It’s all about jobs.

“Today is ‘Climate Day’ at the White House and — which means that today is ‘Jobs Day’ at the White House,” Biden said in his opening remarks. “We’re talking about American innovation, American products, American labor.”

To reinvigorate the economy, Biden plans to use federal policy to create “good-paying union jobs” in the clean energy field. Central to that plan are two of Biden’s recent executive orders: last Monday’s “Buy American” order and Wednesday’s “Tackling the Climate Crisis” order. …


Amid a deadly pandemic, growing fear of radicals and terrorists, and the fallout of a racist commander-in-chief, an incoming president promised a return to normalcy.

“America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration,” spoke the candidate on the campaign trail.

Those words were not from Joe Biden, though. They were spoken over a hundred years ago by Warren G. Harding, the United States’ 29th president. Unfortunately for the latter, that rhetoric never paid off—most historians mark Harding’s short time in office as unremarkable, if not a total failure.

The Harding administration, plagued…


Not even a week into his presidency, and Joe Biden is carving out a legacy for himself.

Biden signed 17 executive orders on his first day, wielding executive power quicker than any president before him. But as stated in his inaugural address last week, “Few periods in our nation’s history have been more challenging or difficult than the one we’re in now.”

The incoming administration faces an out-of-control pandemic, a tanking economy, and a global climate crisis — problems which were largely ignored by former President Donald Trump. That backdrop, along with the expanded power of the modern presidency and…


We’re already halfway through January, and some of us have fallen behind our New Year’s resolutions. One survey shows that a third of Americans will ditch their resolutions by February.

The good news, though, is that January 1 is arbitrary, and you can make resolutions whenever. After all, I should’ve written this post weeks ago, but here we are. Regardless, the New Year gives us a chance to reevaluate some of our own behaviors and change them to better serve our Planet.

With that in mind, these four resolutions will focus solely on cutting the biggest chunk of your individual…


As the sun set on the United States Capitol Wednesday night, electors had yet to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory — a process that started around 1 pm and usually takes under 45 minutes.

The vote wasn’t only delayed by a group of conservative politicians, however; it was suspended by a pro-Trump mob, which literally stormed the Capitol Building, forcing a lockdown. The rioters were driven by baseless claims of election fraud from a lame-duck president.

These lies have not only fueled the recent riots, putting democracy at risk — they have fueled climate change, putting our Planet in peril…

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