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Alan B. Sielen

There is no shortage of international recommendations, action plans, and other prescriptions for restoring the oceans’ health. The problem is not ignorance but political will. Yet the longer governments and societies delay action, the worse things will get. Here are some things they can start doing now.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2013
Alan B. Sielen

Over the last several decades, human activities have so altered the basic chemistry of the seas that they are now experiencing evolution in reverse: a return to the barren primeval waters of hundreds of millions of years ago.

Adam Minter

The metal shredder stands as the singularly most important piece of recycling equipment ever developed. It is, among other things, the best and really only solution to managing the biggest source of consumer waste in the world today: the roughly 14 million American automobiles that are junked annually. North America is home to more than 300 of them. Another 500, at least, are located in dozens of other countries from Brazil to China.

Carter Roberts

As of today, just 34 weeks into 2013, humanity’s demand for natural resources has exceeded the earth’s ability to renew them in a year. Welcome to ecological overdraft.

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

Forty years ago, the Club of Rome produced a best-selling report warning humanity that its escalating wants were on a collision course with the world’s finite resources and that the only way to avoid a crash was to stop chasing economic growth. The predictions proved spectacularly wrong. But the environmental alarmism they engendered persists, making it harder for policymakers to respond rationally to real problems today.

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
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.

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