Robert Eshelman

Robert S. Eshelman writes about the environment, energy policy, and climate change. His articles have appeared in Mother Jones and The Nation.

Recent Articles

Hurray for Global Warming!

Flickr/chiz2008
Flickr/chiz2008 T he take-away from the latest U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report could hardly be more stark: The globe is warming, and it’s already impacting every continent and the oceans. In order to avoid widespread food and water insecurity, waves of human migration, more frequent civil war, ocean acidification, and a severe global economic contraction, governments must act quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in things like barriers to protect from rising seal levels and storm surges to setting up insurance schemes to cover agricultural losses during severe drought. “No matter what we do,” says Christopher B. Field, a professor of interdisciplinary environmental studies at Stanford University and one of the report’s authors, “we are already going to have impacts that we need to adjust to.” Among the more surprising findings of the IPCC report, which took into account more than 12,000 scientific papers and received upwards of 50,000...

After the Revolution

Five months after the president's resignation in February, Egypt struggles to turn the page on the Mubarak era.

(AP Photo/Amr Nabil) Egyptian protesters shout anti-military rulers slogans as they march at Tahrir Square on Monday, July 11, 2011.
Cairo, Egypt -- Five months ago, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was forced from power following 18 days of nationwide protest that claimed the lives of more than 800 Egyptians. "Hold your head high; you're Egyptian," protesters chanted in the streets after Vice President Omar Suleiman announced Mubarak's resignation. In the Middle East's most populous nation, the moment's jubilation then seemed capable of wiping away decades' worth of humiliation under the U.S.-supported despot. Since that historic February evening, however, Egypt's political constituencies have been locked in a battle over how to turn the page on the Mubarak era and set the nation on a path toward representational democracy. The protesters who filled the streets and public squares in January and February brought with them years of grievances: from pervasive corruption and police brutality to yawning economic inequality and government collusion in Israeli's blockade of Gaza. But Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed...

The Invention of Lying

Why do conservatives hate science?

(Flickr/ragesoss)
Despite this spring's ferocious weather, which scientists warn could become more commonplace as the planet warms, climate change denial is en vogue, particularly among congressional Republicans. They claim the science is unsettled, and seek deep cuts in programs that would research and prepare for climate-change. The GOP's current attacks on climate science, though, are part of a decades-long narrative that questions scientific authority. In Merchants of Doubt , Naomi Oreskes, a professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego, and her co-author Erik M. Conway detail the right-wing's history of obscuring connections between tobacco smoke and cancer, sulfur dioxide emissions and acid rain, and, currently, fossil fuels and climate change. The Prospect talked with Oreskes about the denial; why tornados, floods, and wildfires should come as little surprise; and how Cold War ideology continues to define political debates -- even around climate change. In...