“Keep Polluters Out, Let the People In:” A Rallying Call for Climate Justice at COP25

Since 1995, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has hosted the yearly Conferences of Parties (COP) to facilitate international climate policy. Organizations from around the world gather to set the agenda for coordinated action on climate change. Marking its 25th meeting, COP25 suffered multiple setbacks beginning during the planning stages and continuing …

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The Election & the Paris Agreement: Part 2

Following Tuesday’s election, a lot of people back home have asked us,   What does this mean for climate change, US climate policy, and the Paris Agreement? One aspect of this question, the impact of the new leadership on domestic actions, was addressed in Part 1 of this post. However, the election has a broader …

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The Business of Free. Something to learn for climate change?

“We could have saved [the Earth] but we were too damned cheap.”  -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., A Man Without a Country. Recently, I became aware of a Pew Research Center poll that found overwhelming support for requiring better fuel efficiency for vehicles (79%), funding for alternative energy (74%), and strong support for spending more on mass …

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Its Time to Move Beyond Sputnik Moments and Coors-Light Solutions

Since the publication of Silent Spring in 1962, environmentalism, especially in the United States, has largely been driven by Sputnik moments and Coors-Light solutions: catalyzing events that drove a call for silver bullet solutions. The events were emotional and tangible: a river on fire; a housing development built upon a toxic waste site; the explosion …

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Hope in the world of Bubba Gump

As many will likely remember, Bubba Gump was a fictional character in a fairytale who's largely oblivious to his surroundings. Unfortunately, after one day in Cancun, I'm coming to the conclusion that sometimes a fictional character can represent reality much more closely than hope. The difference in setting could not be more stark between COP-15 …

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The future of oil and the wedge of hope

Most greenhouse gases that people emit come from fossil fuels, so understanding how much fossil fuels we're likely to burn in the coming decades is a crucial climate issue. I've been learning a lot about "peak oil" and related ideas lately, and have been having some heretical thoughts—or at least they feel heretical to me, …

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Politicized Vernaculars and the Vernaculars of Politics

I was sitting on a plane from Washington to Johannesburg last July when I struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler sitting across the aisle from me. As any sane person would do on this 18-hour-long flight, I began to inquire about his vocation and why he was heading to South Africa in the …

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Representing Himself–Why Are We (sort of) Okay With Ken Cuccinelli’s Witchhunt?

Ken Cuccinelli might run the 2013 Governor’s seat in Virginia, one year before his tenure as Attorney General would have run its course. As we ponder the bizarre discrepancy between voters’ articulated demand for transparency and surging support for disingenuous, pandering candidates for public office, we would be wise to avoid making firm predictions about …

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