National Geographic
Menu

Tag archives for obama

Things You Should Know About Ricin Before Watching the “Breaking Bad” Finale

A tiny vial of powdered ricin could play a powerful part in the final episode of Breaking Bad, the cable-TV saga of cancer-stricken chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin Walter White. At two points in the series White has created a powdered form of ricin. His attempt to use the first batch was foiled because his…

Water Issues Ripple Through Obama Climate Change Speech

President Obama’s climate change speech on Tuesday from Georgetown University was full of references to climate change impacts on water availability, flooding, and drought.  He dealt head on with key issues of changing water cycle intensity, and in particular, with the increasing frequency of hydrologic extremes.  From the outset, the President invoked the Blue Marble…

Obama Could Unveil Climate Strategy with Clean Air Act Tie Soon

The Obama administration could soon make an announcement detailing plans to address climate change, even in the face of continuing political barriers to progress on the issue. Unnamed administration officials pointed to July for the rollout, while an Administration aide was more vague. “In the coming weeks and months, you can expect to hear more from the president on this…

First Person: How This Palestinian Made Friends With Israelis

Aziz Abu Sarah grew up throwing stones at Israelis. Then he took a class with them.

What Is the True Social Cost of Carbon?

A new study in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences contends that the U.S. government significantly underestimated the social cost of carbon in 2010 in its effort to establish a unified cost of carbon for various agencies to use when formulating policy. The government arrived at a cost at $21 per ton of carbon, but the new study argues the…

Obama Calls for “All of the Above” Energy Strategy for America

In President Obama’s third State of the Union address, he devoted more time than before to covering energy issues, calling for an “all-out, all-of-the-above” approach to boosting production of every kind of domestic energy, fossil as well as renewable. Obama also asked the country to imagine “a future where we’re in control of our own…

Oil, Gasoline Prices Hit All-Time Highs in 2011—and May Continue Rising

Average prices of oil and gasoline at the pump reached an all-time high in 2011, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, averaged $111 a barrel—the first time it broke $100 for a whole year. In some ways, these records snuck up on Americans, since there was no extreme…

Fight Over Tar Sands Pipeline May Lead to Cancellation, “Huge” Consequences

In November, the Obama administration decided to delay a decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to bring tar sands from Canada to the United States. But in December, Republicans attached a provision to a tax bill, which President Obama signed, that urges the administration to decide on the pipeline within 60 days,…

After Tar Sands Pipeline Decision Delayed, Other Routes Sought

The Obama administration delayed deciding whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which has been proposed to carry tar sands from Canada to Texas’s Gulf Coast. The administration said it should consider alternate routes and wait until early 2013 to decide. Industry officials in Canada thought the delay may derail the pipeline, and threaten the country’s…

Big Businesses’ Call for Climate Action: Strong Treaty, More Aid

A group of 285 large investors, representing more than $20 trillion in assets, urged world governments to forge a binding treaty at upcoming climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, and said global spending has not been nearly enough to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The call came from a coalition of four green investment groups—representing the…

Beleaguered EPA Must Take Charge of Greenhouse Gases, Supreme Court Rules

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court shot down a global warming lawsuit several states and environmental groups had brought against five of America’s biggest utilities, responsible for about one-tenth of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. The case was aimed at getting the court to rule greenhouse gas emissions a public nuisance and order the defendants…

Carl Sagan Helps Make the Case for Mars

On Monday U.S. President Barack Obama officially released his policy for the nation’s space program, a 14-pager that backs up what many media outlets have been covering as the likely direction for NASA and beyond. The highlights: cooperate with other governments on Earth- and sun-monitoring satellites that feed us vital data on climate change and…

Obama’s New Plan for NASA: Why Go to an Asteroid?

Capping off weeks of rumor and speculation, U.S. President Barack Obama formally unveiled his proposed plan for NASA yesterday, an interesting mix of caution and ambition that makes some significant tweaks to his predecessor’s push for a human return to the moon. Among the main points, Obama is saying we should skip the moon and…

Making Waves in Washington

President Obama is grabbing the bull by the horns (and the fisheries by their quotas) and taking action on the ocean. The President swiftly responded to a request by the Joint Oceans Commission (JOC) to revise United States ocean policy. I’m pleased to see signs that the Obama administration is making the ocean a priority,…

Obama Inauguration Photographed From Space

Satellite image courtesy of GeoEye This is what the National Mall in Washington, D.C., looked like some 40 minutes before Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States two days ago. GeoEye-1, the world’s highest resolution commercial Earth-imaging satellite, collected the image over the United States Capitol from 423 miles…