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Google's New Product Puts Peer Pressure to a Sunny Use

June 12, 2017 One of the best predictors of whether people install solar panels on their house isn’t their age, their race, their level of income, or their political affiliation. It’s whether their neighbors did it first. This finding has been shown repeatedly across space and time, including in California, Connecticut, Germany, Switzerland,...

Trump’s Paris Decision Hurts More than the Climate

June 1, 2017 The politics of climate change requires constantly comparing the very small and the very massive. On the one hand, the carbon-dioxide molecule: three atoms, bound together by electromagnetism, that in sufficient quantities can reflect heat energy back to its source. On the other, the whole planet, our island in the...

from govexec

What Does Trump's Budget Mean for the Environment?

May 24, 2017 Didn’t we just go through this? In early March, President Trump proposed a budget that would have scaled back the federal government’s stewardship of the environment beyond recognition. The budget traded historically unprecedented cuts to the EPA for $50-billion boosts to defense spending, and it shuttered long-running programs that protect...

from govexec

The Dismissed EPA Advisers Had Nothing to Do With Regulation

May 9, 2017 Less than three years ago, the threat of an Ebola pandemic caused millions of Americans to fear for their lives. As more than 11,000 people died of the virus in some of the poorest countries in the world—Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—people in the United States panicked about a pandemic...

What’s Next for the Keystone XL Pipeline

March 28, 2017 Because that which has never lived cannot really die, the Keystone XL—the grinding, symbolic climate-change fight of the Obama era—has returned. On Friday morning, President Trump formally approved the pipeline, completing a process that he began a few days into his presidency. In the United States, the pipeline as planned...

A Visual Search Engine for the Entire Planet

March 8, 2017 At this moment in history, there are more satellites photographing Earth from orbit than just about anyone knows what to do with. Planet, Inc., has more than 150 orbiting cameras, each the size of a shoebox. DigitalGlobe has five dump-truck-sized sensors. And more startups are planning to launch their own....

from govexec

Congress and Trump Won't 'Terminate the EPA'

February 16, 2017 It could not look more grave, more straightforwardly destructive. Below a simple title—H. R. 861, A BILL TO TERMINATE THE EPA—runs the staggering text: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on...

Google Remakes Satellite Business, By Leaving It

February 7, 2017 Last week, Google pushed one of the most interesting sectors in Silicon Valley toward maturity—and brought a milestone in cartography closer to reality. It accomplished all that, paradoxically, by getting out of the market. From a business standpoint, here’s the news: Google sold its in-house satellite business, known as Terra...

from govexec

Who Abused Their Executive Power at Standing Rock?

February 1, 2017 Late on Tuesday evening, as President Donald Trump announced his pick for the Supreme Court, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signaled a shocking reversal: It will now allow the Dakota Access pipeline to go forward as planned. Specifically, at the direction of the acting secretary of the army, the...

How Will We Know Trump’s Inaugural Crowd Size?

January 20, 2017 On Friday, hundreds of thousands of people made their way to downtown Washington, D.C., to celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump. The next day, thousands more will make the same journey for the Women’s March on Washington. In the days following both events, the press will report their total attendance....