Tim McDonnell

Tim McDonnell

Climate Desk Associate Producer

Tim McDonnell joined Climate Desk after stints at Mother Jones and Sierra magazine. He remains a cheerful guy despite covering climate change all the time. Originally from Tucson, Tim loves tortillas and epic walks.

Get my RSS |

These Maps Show How Many Brutally Hot Days You Will Suffer When You're Old

| Tue Jun. 24, 2014 11:14 AM EDT
Risky Business

One of the main difficulties in getting people to care about climate change is that it can be hard to notice on a daily basis. But the prospect of sweating profusely through your golden years? That's more arresting.

If you're aged 4 to 33 right now, the map above shows you how many very hot days—those with temperatures over 95 degrees Fahrenheit—you're likely to experience by the time you're elderly. It comes from a new report by the economics research firm Rhodium Group, which was commissioned by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Henry Paulson, the Republican Treasury secretary under George W. Bush; and Tom Steyer, the billionaire Bay Area entrepreneur and environmentalist. 

Advertise on MotherJones.com

How Much Cleaner Will Obama's Climate Rules Make Your State?

| Tue Jun. 3, 2014 1:15 PM EDT
Solar power can help Arizona make big mandated cuts to its carbon intensity.

Yesterday the Environmental Protection Agency rolled out the centerpiece of President Obama's climate strategy—a plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's power plants. The main takeaway was that by 2030 the regulations will cut these emissions, the biggest single driver of global warming, by 30 percent compared to 2005 levels. But under the hood, things get a little more complex.

Rather than a consistent national standard, the proposed rule sets a different standard for every state, based on the EPA's assessment of what each state can realistically achieve using existing technology at a reasonable cost. The goal applies to a state's carbon intensity, the measure of how much carbon pollution comes from each unit of electricity produced in that state, rather than total carbon emissions. States like Kentucky and West Virginia, for example, rely heavily on coal power and have a higher carbon intensity than states like California that are more energy-efficient and have more renewable energy. By 2030, each state will be required to meet a carbon intensity target lower than where it is today; how much lower, exactly, depends on what the EPA thinks the state can pull off.

States will have broad leeway to devise individual plans to meet their targets, which could include installing air-scrubbing technology on plants themselves, adopting more robust energy efficiency standards, or switching from coal to cleaner sources like natural gas or renewables.

Here's a ranking of which states will have to shrink their carbon footprint the most:

required cuts
Tim McDonnell
Thu Nov. 20, 2014 12:29 PM EST
Wed Nov. 19, 2014 12:59 PM EST
Wed Nov. 5, 2014 2:43 PM EST
Thu Oct. 30, 2014 1:11 PM EDT
Fri Oct. 17, 2014 10:47 AM EDT
Mon Oct. 13, 2014 12:45 PM EDT
Fri May. 9, 2014 6:07 PM EDT
Thu Mar. 27, 2014 5:00 AM EDT
Thu Mar. 20, 2014 12:39 PM EDT
Thu Mar. 13, 2014 1:26 PM EDT
Fri Feb. 7, 2014 6:00 AM EST
Fri Jan. 31, 2014 4:04 PM EST
Thu Jan. 16, 2014 10:40 AM EST
Tue Nov. 12, 2013 6:00 AM EST
Sun Nov. 10, 2013 1:00 PM EST