Foreign Policy Blogs

Climate Change

Who Are the Radicals?

“The radicals are the people who are fundamentally altering the composition of the atmosphere.”  That’s the voice of Bill McKibben at this year’s annual Power Shift conference in Washington. Power Shift brought ten thousand young leaders to hear about how to transition from the fuel-based energy economy – and the money-driven politics of the special […]

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More Fracking Controversy, Continued

More Fracking Controversy, Continued

In the post below, I wrote about the recent and instantly controversial study from Cornell that calls into question the greenhouse gas advantage that natural gas was assumed to have over coal and oil.  This BBC article, for instance, points out what may seem like the obvious:  As one very involved British geologist says “By […]

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More Fracking Controversy

More Fracking Controversy

You may be entirely aware by now that the controversy over shale gas resources and their extraction by hydraulic fracturing heated up last week with the publication of an important paper in Climatic Change, a well-respected scientific journal.  (Here is a great little video on what exactly the heck hydraulic fracturing is – aka hydrofracking […]

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The Germans Really Get It – Part Deux

The Germans Really Get It – Part Deux

I wrote here recently that the Germans, in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, are seeking the right path:  phasing out nuclear power.  What is astonishing to me, and gratifying beyond my fondest wishes, is that the whole country is embracing it.  That means the public, and the Chancellor and her ministers, including the environment […]

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The Big Fool Says to Push On

The Big Fool Says to Push On

Just a quick update on the situation in Japan relative to the nuclear facility at Fukushima:  The rating for the accident has risen to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s highest level.  As people have been at pains to point out, it is not – as yet – as bad as Chernobyl.  It is, nevertheless, now […]

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Tar Sands – The Fight Continues

Tar Sands – The Fight Continues

I have written on a number of occasions here about the Alberta tar sands.  Like many environmentalists, I find the idea of ripping tar out of the ground with excavators the size of aircraft carriers – or sucking it up after spending months softening it with injected steam – repellent.  The greenhouse gas implications are […]

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Nero is Fiddling

Nero is Fiddling

You know the EPA made its endangerment finding on greenhouse gases for a reason:  There are a number of ways in which human health is now being harmed or threatened by climate changes including steadily rising temperatures and temperature extremes.  An article just out in a peer-reviewed journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health […]

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Economic Development in the Arctic

Economic Development in the Arctic

There’s an event next Wednesday, April 6th, in NYC that you might like to attend.  It’s being cosponsored by NYU’s Center for Global Affairs (where I teach) and the government of Québec.  Our public programming at CGA is, as a rule, pretty interesting and engaging. This program, Going North: Economic Development and Sustainable Livelihoods, “…will […]

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Lester Brown's Plan B

Lester Brown's Plan B

Here’s a terrific book from the sustainability pioneer Lester Brown that I used in my Clean Tech class last Fall.  It touches on everything that needs examination.  It shows the state of the climate system and the impacts we’ve been experiencing, and it looks closely at all the other environmental insults we’ve been visiting on […]

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The Germans Really Get It

The Germans Really Get It

(Poster in front reads: Fukushima warns: Pull the Plug on all Nuclear Power Plants. White banner behind reads : ‘Solidarity with the people in Japan.’  AP Photo/dapd/Roberto Pfeil) ************ I wrote last Fall about how the Germans get it:  that nuclear power, in a sane society, should not long endure.  Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor […]

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Global Consciousness of Climate Change

Global Consciousness of Climate Change

“Hundreds of millions in thousands of cities, towns and communities in a record 134 countries were expected to have participated …”  That’s the word from the Earth Hour folks.  Good on ya!  (See a slideshow here.)

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Earth Hour 2011

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Nuclear State of Play

Nuclear State of Play

The FT has had some excellent coverage of the nuclear disaster in Japan.  Obviously, as I’ve mentioned here, and has been bruited about all over the world, the Fukushima Daiichi nightmare has implications for nuclear power all over the world.  The FT has provided a very useful “atomic atlas” to show where the world’s existing […]

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Stupefied by Civilization

Stupefied by Civilization

There is an op-ed in today’s NYT from a Japanese astrophysicist, Satoru Ikeuchi.  He recalls the words of a predecessor in Japanese science:  “The more civilization progresses, the greater the violence of nature’s wrath.”  I am not a Luddite, by any stretch of imagination.  I firmly believe, however, in using the power of reason, and […]

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Why Nuclear is NOT the Way to Stop Climate Change

Why Nuclear is NOT the Way to Stop Climate Change

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