A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Role of resilience highlighted by artists, speakers featured in Transylvania’s Creative Intelligence Series

As Transylvania University’s 2019-20 campus focuses on resilience this academic year, creative and thought leaders from across the nation will bring their ideas and work to the Lexington college in this year’s Creative Intelligence Series. “We need to cultivate resilience and inventiveness so we can energetically respond to climate change, challenges to our core democratic ideals, populations...

Bill Straub: Mocking Indiana Jones isn’t appropriate response to the real problem of climate change

The United Kingdom’s Met Office, which serves as that nation’s weather service, recently determined that the world’s oceans have warmed to a greater degree than previously thought, indicating that previous estimates of global climate change have been too low. Meanwhile, a recently released report from the International Monetary Fund, the University of Cambridge and the University of Southern...

Climate change report: Few places will be unaffected by extreme heat conditions by midcentury

Increases in potentially lethal heat driven by climate change will affect every state in the contiguous U.S. in the decades ahead, according to a new report and accompanying peer-reviewed study in Environmental Research Communications, both by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Few places would be unaffected by extreme heat conditions by midcentury and only a few mountainous regions would remain extreme...

State’s air quality receives mixed grades for particle and ozone pollution in 2019 ‘State of the Air’ report

The American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” report found the Louisville/Bardstown metro region ranked 26th as the most polluted city in the nation for ozone (smog) pollution. The region experienced more high ozone days and retained the ranking it received last year. However, the metro area ranked tied for 30th most polluted for year-round particle levels, a marked improvement...

Bill Straub: McConnell will pass on serious climate change discussion, go right to Green New Deal vote

WASHINGTON – Oh, that Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, such a clever boy. Progressive lawmakers, growing increasingly concerned over the impact of global climate change and the inability to address the catastrophe because of no-nothing legislators who refuse to acknowledge its looming impact, have offered up what has come to be called the Green New Deal. The package, offered by Sen. Ed...

Josef Winkler: We are doing great harm to our planet by using fossil fuels, change is needed, and quickly

The days of plausible deniability are over. We (humans) are doing great harm to our one and only planet by the use of fossil fuels. We need to make major changes, and we need to do it quickly. If you are still a non-believer or do not believe that humans are responsible, I urge you to spend just one hour reading a few recent reports. Type “USGCRP 4th report” into your favorite search engine and...

Kentucky youth movement calling for officials to act in 2019 on Green New Deal on climate change

By Eric Tegethoff Public News Service The Sunrise Movement, a youth movement calling for action on climate change, is set to make big moves in 2019. At the end of 2018, more than 1,000 young people, including 75 from Kentucky, gathered in the halls of Congress to call for support of the Green New Deal – legislation to address climate change and income inequality. Members of the Sunrise Movement...

Teresa Werner: Assessment details current, future economic climate change impacts; call legislators

The recently released National Climate Assessment issued by NASA, NOAA, the Department of Defense, and 10 other federal scientific agencies specifically details the current and future economic impacts of climate change. The study stresses that if left unchecked, emissions of heat-trapping gasses from the burning of coal, oil, and gas could eventually cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars...

Bill Straub: When you don’t know anything, it is probably best to shut up and listen to those who do

Permit me to borrow a phrase that has been used consistently by Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell and any number of his colleagues on the GOP side of the aisle: I am not a scientist. Here is my curriculum vitae on the subject: I somehow managed to survive a high school chemistry class taught by Mr. George Barstow who had been a teacher since the Roosevelt Administration...

Climate Change: A look at the latest National Climate Assessment report — and a heads up

Staff report Thirteen federal agencies released findings this week in a 1,600-page report on climate change. The U.S. Global Change Research Program is a consortium of 13 federal agencies that include the Department of Defense, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency. The fourth National Climate Assessment is the latest of required reports on federal research into climate change. Mandated by...

Bill Straub: EPA chief Pruitt playing games with nation’s health, safety to gain energy industry favor

WASHINGTON – Scott Pruitt, the Kentuckian in charge of what little is left of the Environmental Protection Agency since the Trumpsters took a chainsaw to it, is very much like the pet shop owner in the famous Monty Python “dead parrot’’ sketch. Confronted by an irritated customer demanding a refund for a rather obviously deceased “Norwegian Blue’’ purchased a half hour earlier, the pet...

Rural Blog: New study shows south region will be hit hardest economically by climate change

Climate change will make the U.S. poorer and will further inequality, with the South hit hardest, a new study shows. “The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, calculates probable economic harms and benefits for the more than 3,100 counties in the United States under different possible scenarios for worldwide emissions of heat-trapping gases,” writes Seth Borenstein of the Associated...

Greensource: We can significantly reduce our food waste – and footprint – as long as we do it together

As an avid Facebook user, I often feel bombarded by videos promising to change my life. And while many of them are remarkable videos, I can only think of one that has truly left a lasting impact. It was about how to eat an apple. Start at the bottom, eat upward. The discovery that the inedible core is just a myth was eye-opening to me. And because I do not eat several bushels of apples in a single...

Lewis Donohew: Rejecting scientific findings doesn’t really alter the facts; is this the year for change?

Throughout history, new scientific theories and discoveries have been greeted with skepticism and opposition, despite overwhelming data to support them. In the end, science always wins. Not that it is always right the first time. But if an explanation of a phenomenon is not right, it is dropped or amended over time to make it right. Consider three of the most prominent examples. When the development...

Bill Straub: Old foes Beshear, McConnell now seem to have a common enemy – the EPA

WASHINGTON – Gov. Steve Beshear and Sen. Mitch McConnell have never been tight as ticks. In fact you can say they can’t abide one another.   In addition to emerging from opposing parties, Beshear, a Democrat, and McConnell, a Republican, were involved in a rather direct and personal confrontation in 1996 when McConnell rather easily withstood Beshear’s effort to displace him in the U.S....

Rural Blog: Report says climate change already happening; can help, harm agriculture

Special to KyForward   Climate change is already happening throughout the entire U.S., according to the National Climate Assessment released Tuesday by a scientific panel overseen by the government. Justin Gillis reports for The New York Times that the panel found “water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more common and more severe,...