Climate Change & Environment

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Benjamin Zycher, the head of the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) energy studies criticizes an article I wrote earlier this week about the climate dangers of approving the Keystone Pipeline Project. In that article, I said that the Earth’s climate is on a trajectory to raise the mean global temperature by at least 3 degrees C [...]

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The new State Department Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone Pipeline does three things. First, it signals a greater likelihood that the pipeline project will be approved later this year by the administration. Second, it vividly illustrates the depth of confusion of US climate change policy. Third, it self-portrays the US Government as a helpless bystander to [...]

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Three cheers for the new EU energy policy for 2030. While last week’s announcement was criticised by some observers as a retreat on clean energy (and praised by some businesses for the same alleged reason), it was no retreat at all. The EU maintains its global leadership in pointing the way out of the climate-energy [...]

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Energy lies at the heart of the world’s sustainability challenge. On the one hand, abundant, accessible, low-cost energy is vital for economic prosperity. On the other hand, the world’s pattern of energy use, based on fossil fuels, threatens massive future climate change with devastating potential consequences. The greatest sustainability challenge, therefore, is to meet the [...]

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NEW YORK – Tacloban in the Philippines has now joined the growing list of cities – including New Orleans, Bangkok, Moscow, New York, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, and Port-au-Prince, to name just a few – pummeled in recent years by climate catastrophes. Many of the world’s largest cities, built on seacoasts and rivers, face the [...]

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By some early measures, Typhoon Haiyan — which ripped through the Philippines and claimed thousands of lives — is the strongest storm on recordto make landfall. But mega-storms like Haiyan and Hurricane Sandy are just one of the many warnings that we are flying toward climate disaster. In the past couple of years, the United [...]

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Policy makers are not keeping up with events. Just as the world’s climate-change negotiators met in Warsaw, Typhoon Haiyan was hitting the Philippines. And as they started their talks – aimed at keeping global temperature increases below 2C – the International Energy Agency issued a new “reference scenario” implying a rise of 3.6C. Calamity is [...]

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  A special event at the UN General Assembly on Sept 25, 2013 marks a bridge between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the end of 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that presumably will run from 2016 to 2030.1 The special event will address urgent actions to accelerate progress to the MDGs over their [...]

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September 20th, 2013

The next frontier

  CLIMATE science tells us unequivocally that we need to “decarbonise” much of the energy system by the middle of this century. Yet advanced techniques for extracting fossil fuels—fracking, new deep-ocean drilling and the like—dominate today’s economic and political discussion. These measures may temporarily boost the economy but they would end up crowding out investments [...]

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