Wren Climate Blog

The Wren Climate Blog is a growing collection of writing for individuals curious about the climate crisis and what they can do about it.

Wren news

Wren financial report: year two

Over the past 12 months, Wren brought in $760,000 to fund projects that reduce or remove CO2 emissions.

July 1, 2021

Climate knowledge

The key to fighting climate change

In order to combat this crisis, we need to accept just how big the problem is.

March 31, 2021

Climate knowledge

What is El Niño?

El Niño is one piece in a long-term climactic pattern that influences the weather across the globe.

March 23, 2021

Climate knowledge

What is the IPCC?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the world's clearing house for climate-related science.

March 16, 2021

Climate knowledge

Climate change and the Amazon rain forest

An essential carbon sink is facing new threats.

March 9, 2021

Climate knowledge

What is sustainable living?

Sustainability is more than just a checklist.

March 1, 2021

Climate knowledge

The promise of wind power

Can we depend on wind power? We have to.

February 25, 2021

Climate knowledge

How much is the sea level rising?

The rising seas are perhaps the most famous consequence of climate change—and they're already doing real damage.

February 17, 2021

Climate knowledge

Nuclear power and climate change

Essential tool or a dangerous distraction? Nuclear power tends to draw strong opinions on both sides.

February 8, 2021

Climate knowledge

What is the problem with methane?

So much attention is focused on carbon dioxide. But there's another villainous greenhouse gas out there that we need to rein in, too.

February 1, 2021

Climate knowledge

What is the Anthropocene?

Humans have re-shaped the Earth—so much that some scientists think we've entered a new geological era.

January 26, 2021

Climate knowledge

Carbon Pricing 101

Carbon has a cost. The question is when we will pay for it—and how.

January 18, 2021

Climate knowledge

Heat waves and climate change

If we don't make a change, extended periods of hot weather pose a real threat.

January 11, 2021

Carbon Offsets 101

Carbon Offsets 101

Overwhelmed by the concept of carbon offsets? Here's where to start.

January 7, 2021

Climate knowledge

What's the deal with fracking?

Nasty nuisance or climate solution? Here's the full scoop.

January 5, 2021

Carbon Offsets 101

What is a carbon credit?

A carbon credit is like a certificate: it records an accounted-for mass of greenhouse gas emissions. The simple move of tracking these gases opens many new possibilities.

December 23, 2020

Carbon Offsets 101

What distinguishes a high-quality carbon offset?

It can be difficult to verify the impact of carbon offset projects—which is why transparency and rigor are key.

December 21, 2020

Carbon Offsets 101

What is a carbon offset?

Is it really possible to make up for carbon emissions? In the first post of a three-part series, here's a look at the wide variety of projects trying to do just that.

December 17, 2020

Climate knowledge

What's an aerosol?

Scientists are still working to understand the climate impacts of these tiny particles.

December 14, 2020

Climate knowledge

Climate science: a timeline

We first began to grasp the basics of climate science 200 years ago. Here's what we've figured out since.

December 8, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is geothermal energy and why does it matter?

The same forces that underlie Old Faithful might just be a key answer in the fight to slow climate change.

December 3, 2020

Climate knowledge

The emerging story of the climate refugees

The climate is changing. People are moving. But who is considered a refugee?

December 1, 2020

Climate knowledge

What are the "planetary boundaries"?

In an effort to ensure policy is informed by science, researchers have proposed a set of "planetary boundaries," red lines that we do not want to cross.

November 24, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is the state of global climate policy?

There are plenty of tools available to address the climate crisis. The obstacle, for now, is getting politicians to pick them up and put them to work.

November 16, 2020

Climate knowledge

Is there a sustainable future for tourism?

We all get wanderlust sometimes. But, given the climate crisis, we may have to rethink the way we hop across the world.

November 10, 2020

Climate knowledge

The changing climate: a timeline

Once the earth was sheathed in glaciers. Now we're racked by seemingly endless wildfires.

November 6, 2020

Climate knowledge

Essential facts about pollution

Despite decades of clean-up efforts, real concerns about pollution remain. We cannot afford to ignore our waste.

November 4, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is the difference between conservation and preservation?

A hundred-year-old debate that pitched environmentalist against environmentalist still casts a shadow today.

November 2, 2020

Climate knowledge

How can I eat sustainable food?

The way we eat is simply untenable, for the climate and for the earth and for us. But what can we do?

October 27, 2020

Climate knowledge

Why is there debate over climate change?

It doesn't help to think of the climate debate as an us-versus-them battle. There are a wide variety of views on the topic—and to move forward, we need to find the places of agreement.

October 26, 2020

Climate knowledge

A simple guide to the Paris Agreement

The U.S. has dropped out of the Paris Agreement. Here's what that treaty is all about.

October 20, 2020

Climate knowledge

What solutions can reduce deforestation?

If we want to keep carbon out of the atmosphere, it's essential that we hold on to the world's trees. So what strategies work best?

October 19, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is the Green New Deal?

Think of the Green New Deal as a challenge: an attempt to raise the stakes of the climate conversation.

October 13, 2020

Climate knowledge

How does a carbon tax work?

Most economists agree that carbon taxes are effective. So why aren't there more of them?

October 12, 2020

Climate knowledge

Climate change policy: a timeline

Efforts to fight climate change go back more than 40 years. Here's a brief guide to the ups and downs of climate policy across the globe.

October 7, 2020

Climate knowledge

The many types of pollution

Humans have a talent for tarnishing the earth. It's a problem we'll have to consider even as we fight climate change.

October 5, 2020

Climate knowledge

A guide to non-renewable resources and the climate

Non-renewable resources take eons to be replaced—sometimes longer than the entirety of human history. Still, some of these materials are essential in our quest to stop climate change.

September 29, 2020

Climate knowledge

How to plant a tree

Want to add a bit of carbon—and a lot of beauty—to your yard? Just plant a tree.

September 28, 2020

Climate knowledge

Essential facts on deforestation

The rate of cutting is slowing. Still, on average we're losing 270 square kilometers of forest each day.

September 23, 2020

Climate knowledge

Climate solutions, pt. 2: What you can do

Your carbon footprint is just one small piece of the puzzle, but your actions can illustrate the scale of the emergency.

September 22, 2020

Climate knowledge

Climate solutions, pt. 1: Global priorities

There is no silver bullet for the climate crisis. But there are some solutions we already know we need to pursue.

September 16, 2020

Climate knowledge

A simple guide to the Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol launched the first global effort to fight climate change. Behind its tangle of terminology, this treaty contains some easy-to-grasp ideas that still affect our approach today.

September 14, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is happening to the polar ice caps?

Ice shelves are crumbling. Sea ice is melting. It's opening a vast new world of economic possibility—and a whole lot of trouble, too.

September 9, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is a carbon sink?

Features of the natural landscape, from swamps and forests to certain kinds of rocks, can pull carbon from the sky. Can this help us avert disaster?

September 8, 2020

Climate knowledge

Why is biodiversity important?

Global warming is a threat to nonhuman life on this planet—which turns out to be one more threat to us, too.

September 1, 2020

Climate knowledge

What does 'cap and trade' mean?

Cap-and-trade initiatives use the logic of the marketplace to decrease emissions. The goal is to make cleaning up the atmosphere as cheap and easy as possible. But does it work?

August 31, 2020

Climate knowledge

What do projections say about the future climate?

The worst-case scenario now seems unlikely. But don't breathe easy yet.

August 26, 2020

Wren news

Reflecting on racial justice and climate justice

The fossil-fuel economy cannot be separated from a long history of racism. Both need our attention and hard work.

August 23, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is ocean acidification?

Climate change is not the only carbon problem. Fossil fuels are pushing the oceans towards a watery apocalypse.

August 18, 2020

Climate knowledge

How much will climate change cost?

The short answer: we can't know precisely. But, unless we change things, it will cost more than we can afford.

August 17, 2020

Climate knowledge

Could the runaway greenhouse effect come to earth?

Get enough greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and you set off an unstoppable feedback loop of warming. Could it happen on earth?

August 11, 2020

Climate knowledge

What does 'global warming potential' measure?

Carbon dioxide may be the most famous greenhouse gas, but it's not the only factor in climate change. "GWP" helps us compare other gases, too.

August 10, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is geoengineering?

Geoengineering aims to directly manipulate the climate. It is not just mad science—though it does get plenty of people mad.

August 3, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is a carbon footprint and how is it calculated?

There are various environmental "footprints" measured by researchers. So where did the idea come from, and what do those numbers really mean?

July 28, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is the carbon cycle?

Carbon, despite its bad rap, is essential—we're made from it, after all. But the trouble comes from missteps in carbon's shuffling dance, from earth to sky and back.

July 27, 2020

Climate knowledge

What factors affect climate?

The climate is influenced by many different factors, but human beings have an outsized effect.

July 21, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is climate change mitigation?

The scale of climate change can be overwhelming. But there are mitigation steps we can take right now to begin to fix the problem.

July 20, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is climate adaptation?

While there is plenty of fighting left to do, global warming is already happening. Adaptation is about making the best of a changing world.

July 16, 2020

Climate knowledge

What does it mean to be carbon neutral?

Here at Wren, we help people go carbon neutral. A wave of brands are working towards the same goal. But what does that mean?

July 14, 2020

Climate knowledge

How does carbon capture work?

Carbon capture technology, first developed by oil and gas companies, may be essential to fight climate change. How do these technologies work?

July 13, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is the greenhouse effect, and how does it work?

You probably learned about the greenhouse effect, the basic scientific idea behind the climate crisis, years ago. It's never too late for a refresher.

July 13, 2020

Wren news

Why Wren is a Public Benefit Corporation

A Public Benefit Corporation is a new type of legal entity that lets Wren have a legally binding mission while still being able to raise outside investment, allowing us to focus on impact.

July 2, 2020

Wren news

Wren's year 1 financial report

We're committed to being transparent about our impact, business model, and spending. This report explains how much funding we received in the 12 months since we launched, and where it went.

July 2, 2020

Climate knowledge

What do people mean by climate justice?

There is increasing interest in centering climate action around the idea of justice—of ensuring that everyone in the world is being served as we solve the climate crisis.

June 10, 2020

Climate knowledge

What is reforestation and does it mitigate climate change?

A study shows planting many more trees could curb climate change. Could reforestation be the key?

June 6, 2020

Climate knowledge

What are renewable resources?

You've probably heard of renewables. But how do they work and what is the role they play in reversing climate change?

June 1, 2020