Listening to President Obama’s State of the Union address, it would have been easy to conclude that we were slowly but surely gaining in the war on climate change. ‘Our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet,” the president said. ‘Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth.” Indeed, it’s true that in recent years, largely thanks to the dampening effects of the Great Recession, U.S. carbon emissions were in decline (though they grewby 2% in 2013). Still, whatever the president may claim, we’re not heading toward a ‘cleaner, safer planet.” If anything, we’re heading toward a dirtier, more dangerous world.

A series of recent developments highlight the way we are losing ground in the epic struggle to slow global warming. This has not been for lack of effort. Around the world, dedicated organizations, communities, and citizens have been working day by day to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of renewable sources of energy. The struggle to prevent construction of the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline is a case in point. As […]

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