Climate Change

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Pete Ogden

Thanks to a newly proposed pollution rule, the United States is finally on its way toward meeting its Copenhagen emission reduction commitments. The move comes at the perfect time: At the end of next year, global leaders will convene in Paris to conclude the next major round of climate negotiations.

Comment, Sept/Oct 2013
Jerry Patchell and Roger Hayter

To stop climate change, the international community should shift focus from setting targets countries can’t meet to compelling multinational corporations to act. The immense power wielded by a small number of companies might be just what is needed to save the planet.

David G. Victor, M. Granger Morgan, Jay Apt, John Steinbruner, Katharine Ricke

With predictions about climate change growing direr every week, geoengineering (which includes everything from fertilizing the oceans in an attempt to cajole great blooms of carbon-sucking phytoplankton to spraying particles into the upper atmosphere to make the earth more reflective) is starting to look more attractive. But the science still lags behind the ambitions. To understand how such schemes would work in practice -- and what their consequences would be -- it is time to start small-scale field tests.

Response, Sept/Oct 2012
Frances Beinecke; Dennis Meadows; Jørgen Randers; John Harte and Mary Ellen Harte; Bjorn Lomborg

The warnings of The Limits to Growth were far more prescient than Bjørn Lomborg suggests, argue several critics, including two of the book’s authors. No they weren’t, Lomborg insists. 


John Sulston

Bjørn Lomborg’s recent essay on environmental alarmism overlooked a number of grave threats to the planet, most notably overconsumption. As poorer countries grow out of poverty, the developed world must scale back how rapidly it devours natural resources.

Peter M. Haas

Despite high expectations and an ambitious agenda, the Rio+20 Conference failed to deliver meaningful progress on environmental issues. Fortunately, government inaction is not the whole story: the private sector, NGOs, and civil society groups are working to fill the void.

Essay, Jul/Aug 2012
Richard K. Morse

Coal combustion is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions on the planet. But the fuel isn’t going away anytime soon, since demand for it is ballooning in the developing world. So instead of indulging in quixotic visions of a coal-free world, policymakers should focus on supporting new technologies that can reduce how much carbon coal emits.

Essay, May/June 2012
Jeffrey Ball

Proponents of renewable energy have had a hard time lately, thanks to the recession, competition from natural gas, and embarrassments such as Solyndra. But it’s too early to give up, since recent advances have made wind and solar power more competitive than ever. Still, governments must redesign their policies and help renewables slash costs.

Essay, May/June 2012
David G. Victor, Charles F. Kennel, Veerabhadran Ramanathan

For too long, climate diplomacy has focused on carbon dioxide. But at least 40 percent of global warming can be blamed on shorter-lived pollutants, which also cause disease and damage crops in developing states. Reining in pollution would thus accomplish two goals, while finally getting countries such as China and India into the climate-change business.

Essay, Mar/Apr 2012
Miyun Park and Peter Singer

As demand for meat has spread around the world, so, too, have the brutal industrial scale methods used to raise and slaughter animals for food, raising a host of pressing ethical and environmental questions. Improving animal welfare is no longer an issue of private, or even national, concern -- it is now a global imperative.

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