Brian Palmer

Five Years on, We’ve Learned Nothing from the Largest Onshore Oil Spill in U.S. History

Five years ago, in the middle of the night, an oil pipeline operated by Enbridge ruptured outside of Marshall, Michigan. It took more than 17 hours before the Canadian company finally cut off the flow, but by then, more than a million gallons of tar sands crude had oozed into Talmadge Creek. The oil quickly flowed into the Kalamazoo River, forcing dozens of families to evacuate their homes. Oil spills of that magnitude are always disastrous, but the Kalamazoo event was historically damaging.

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Climate Change Poses Catastrophic Risks to Public Health, Says Major New Study

The medical journal The Lancet released a comprehensive review of the potential health effects of climate change today. In the paper, a blue-ribbon panel of experts from the fields of climate science, engineering, economics, medicine, and many others lay out powerful evidence of the public-health impacts climate change has already inflicted on us, as well as the dire consequences that await us in the near future. I have read many papers on climate change and health, and this one is both the most convincing and the most frightening. Here are three important take-home points.

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Sorry, Deniers: Sea-Level Rise Is Accelerating, Just Like Climate Science Predicts

Global warming causes sea level to rise in two ways. First, it melts ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice. The melting ice flows into the ocean, increasing the total amount of water as well as sea level. Second, water expands as it heats. Therefore, a warmer ocean is a bigger ocean.

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