Environment America Research and Policy Center Latest Blog Posts

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Johanna Neumann
Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy

One small side benefit of isolating from society in a home other than my own is that I’ve gotten access to a whole new set of bookshelves and, therefore, a whole new set of ideas. Scanning my sister and brother-in-law’s bookshelves, I recently came across Susan Schulten’s “A History of America in 100 Maps” and soon buried myself in historic images that told the story of our country. I learned that maps played a key role in military strategy (like the ones Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman used to plan his march through Georgia). Maps were used for planning logistics (like deciding where postal roads would be sited). Maps were also used to fundamentally change how America eats (like maps put together by early meat-industry leader Armour).

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Emma Searson
Director, 100% Renewable Campaign

In this age of a global pandemic, uncertainty surrounds everything -- including the future of energy. How quickly states are able to continue the renewable energy progress of the past decade post-COVID19 remains to be seen, and may depend largely on how thoughtfully our governments respond to the challenges this virus has posed. Nevertheless, the remarkable gains of the last decade and unwavering enthusiasm in states across the country should offer hope for continued success. 

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Kelsey Lamp
Protect Our Oceans, Advocate

This incredible underwater wonder was designated a marine national monument in 2016 to ensure that everything from the seabed to the surface was protected. It is the first and only marine monument created in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean. Since its designation, scientists have flocked to this area. 

My mom has a knack for giving pithy advice.

“Sometimes ‘no’ is a full sentence,” she’d say if I was taking on too many commitments. “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides,” she’d tell me if I was jealous of someone from school.

But recently, one of her phrases in particular has returned to me again and again.

“Just do the next right thing.”

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Emma Searson
Director, 100% Renewable Campaign

The Public Interest Network’s Environment America and U.S. PIRG are working on multiple campaigns to help America get through the coronavirus pandemic as quickly and safely as possible. But we're also working to ensure that when the outbreak ends, the United States’ policies and practices ensure a cleaner, safer, better world for all of us. 

Taking a socially-distanced walk around your neighborhood is a great way to get out of the house, stretch your legs, and see some of the wonder of the natural world in your own backyard. Here is a list of 10 ways to appreciate nature on a walk around your neighborhood.

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Ben Sonnega
Renewable Energy Advocate, Environment America

The sun shimmered off the golden dome of the Massachusetts State Capitol as I entered the building to deliver petitions signed by more than 4,000 Bay Staters who want the state to commit to getting all its energy from renewable sources like the sun and the wind.

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Johanna Neumann
Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy

After my family cut short an overseas sabbatical four months early, we are now in quarantine at my sister-in-law’s in Western Massachusetts. From a small table in the back of their rustic farmhouse, I’ve been leading daily digital huddles for our team of clean energy advocates since all of us have been practicing social distancing and working from home since March 16. Earlier this week our team discussed how our program needs to adapt to the new variables of organizing in this new reality.

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Ben Sonnega
Renewable Energy Advocate, Environment America
Bronte Payne
Director, Go Solar Campaign
Emma Searson
Director, 100% Renewable Campaign
Johanna Neumann
Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy

The coronavirus pandemic means that we’re all spending more time at home. This shift in “place” also means a shift in how we consume energy. We’re keeping the lights on longer in our homes. We’re doing the dishes and turning on the microwave more often. We’ve left communal spaces, which means we’ve also left communal energy consumption, and isolating our energy use as we isolate ourselves. For some, this might mean an uptick in electric bills, even at a time of financial uncertainty.

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James Horrox
Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

Since the 1980's, when Rachel and Stephen Kaplan published their groundbreaking book The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective, we’ve known that spending time in natural surroundings has all manner of benefits for our psychological and emotional wellbeing.