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Biophilic or Dystopic: The Future in our Hands

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Apr 22, 2015 10:18:00 AM

Will we choose to live in harmony with nature or separated from it?

Last weekend, I watched two movies. The first one, set in in the 1920’s, was about a female immigrant who came to New York City to build a new life. Instead of finding streets paved with gold, she encountered heartbreak and deception everywhere. The movie was grim and grimy, depicting the hardships of the era. As I watched, I remember thinking how grateful I am to be alive today, with all of our amenities, technological innovations, and medical advancements.

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Climate Change by Any Other Name…

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Mar 12, 2015 9:31:00 AM

What’s in a name? As Shakespeare orated in his epic love story Romeo and Juliet, “that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” But in Florida Governor Rick Scott’s world, the perils of a warming planet are somehow diminished simply by changing the words we use to refer to them.

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Paris Talks May Be Last, Best Chance to Slow Global Warming

Posted by Wyatt C. King

Mar 11, 2015 11:23:00 AM

But will negotiators bend far enough to forestall catastrophic climate change?

Global temperatures are 0.9 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial averages. The planet is already showing significant changes, such as lower extents of sea ice. Photo Credit: Doc Searls

IN DECEMBER, representatives from almost 200 nations will convene in Paris under the auspices of the United Nations, to try to reach an agreement on how to limit greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep the average global temperature from increasing more than two degrees Celsius, and thereby avoid the worst effects of climate change. With the recent news that 2014 was the hottest year on record, and instances of extreme weather continuing to mount around the world, the stakes could hardly be higher. Many veterans of international climate negotiations believe the Paris talks are the last hope for the world to avert climate catastrophe.

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To Keystone or Not to Keystone?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Feb 26, 2015 7:28:00 AM

The Keystone XL Pipeline drama continues—on Tuesday, President Obama vetoed a bill proposed by Congress to approve construction of the $8 billion project. In a succinct rejection statement, Obama stated that the legislation would “circumvent longstanding and proven processes” for evaluating a project like this one.

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U.S. Reduces Investments in Overseas Coal Plants

Posted by Wyatt C. King

Feb 23, 2015 3:42:00 PM

To comply with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, U.S. agencies are withdrawing support for coal-fired plants in foreign countries. But will Congress thwart this progress?

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT has provided essential financing for major infrastructure in foreign countries for decades, including coal-fired power plants and other fossil energy projects. Most of these investments have flowed through one of two federal agencies: the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which invests to boost development in poor countries, or the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), which provides financing for projects that will create demand for U.S. exports. The aggregate emissions from projects funded by these agencies have been significant: according to an analysis by Greenpeace, they produced 8 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions in the period from 1990 to 2003.

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