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Environmental Politics

Paris Agreement--A Good Foundation for Meaningful Progress

Robert Stavins | Posted 01.02.2016 | Green
Robert Stavins

The Paris Agreement provides an important new foundation for meaningful progress on climate change, and represents a dramatic departure from the past 20 years of international climate negotiations.

Climate Snub

Edward Flattau | Posted 12.22.2015 | Media
Edward Flattau

The Guardian runs at least one feature on climate change every week come rain or come shine. Our media should follow suit for the edification of the American public and benefit of future generations. Done in a reasoned, responsible manner, the public will respond.

The Nature of Growth

Edward Flattau | Posted 12.16.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

A dialogue is needed to focus the spotlight on the unsustainability of our current economic growth and what it would take to put us on the path to sustainability.

Congressional Rants

Edward Flattau | Posted 11.24.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

The congressional House Science Committee is supposed to conduct objective oversight on the merits of research possibly impacting domestic and/or foreign policy. So much for expectations. The committee's controlling Republican majority has frequently chosen a different track.

Paris Can Be a Key Step

Robert Stavins | Posted 11.22.2015 | Green
Robert Stavins

I've been asked many times what success will look like in Paris. Here's my scorecard and my predictions of five key elements that -- if all were achieved -- would constitute an exceptionally successful 21st Conference of the Parties:

Conservation Hospitality

Edward Flattau | Posted 11.20.2015 | Green
Edward Flattau

Throughout the industry, there has been a move to ingrain the conservation ethic and in the process, promote practices that reduce carbon emissions associated with the exacerbation of global temperature rise.

Ben Carson: Dr. No

Edward Flattau | Posted 11.10.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

How would one rate Republican presidential aspirant Dr. Ben Carson as a physician? Lights out for medical afflictions involving the brain. But when it comes to the heart, lungs, and other bodily organs, not so much.

A Key Element for the Forthcoming Paris Climate Agreement

Robert Stavins | Posted 09.22.2015 | Green
Robert Stavins

This minimalist approach will allow diverse forms of linkage to arise, among what will inevitably be highly heterogeneous INDCs, thereby advancing the dual objectives of cost effectiveness and environmental integrity in the international climate policy regime.

A Key Moment Is Coming for the IPCC's Future

Robert Stavins | Posted 07.13.2015 | Green
Robert Stavins

Now is an important moment to think carefully about the path ahead for the much-maligned and much-celebrated IPCC, because in early October of this year, the 195 member countries of the IPCC will meet in plenary in Dubrovnik, Croatia, to elect a new Chair.

The Last Best Hope?

Edward Flattau | Posted 07.03.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

Congress is dragging its feet in tackling global warming. Our current president is trying to address the problem, but his powers are limited. That leaves the courts, the third pillar of our government's triumvirate. Are they our last best hope?

American Apathy

Edward Flattau | Posted 06.24.2015 | Green
Edward Flattau

What will it take for us to join the rest of the international community in giving climate change its due?

A Columnist's Lament

Edward Flattau | Posted 06.03.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

Pentagon analysts make a credible case that climate change-related sea level rise threatens our coastal transportation systems. In addition, they warn that increasingly extreme weather events are potential disruptors of domestic energy supply and distribution.

Crude Oil Prices, Climate Change, and Global Welfare

Robert Stavins | Posted 06.03.2015 | Business
Robert Stavins

With gasoline prices relatively low — and natural gas supplies holding down electricity prices, at least in the United States — there has never been a better time to introduce progressive climate policies in the form of carbon pricing. Unfortunately, none of us should hold our breath waiting for that to happen.

When Reasonable Policy Discussions Become Unreasonable Personal Attacks

Robert Stavins | Posted 06.02.2015 | Green
Robert Stavins

It is ironic, offensive, and sad that anyone would suggest that my support of Harvard's divestment position is somehow tied to my outside engagements. That suggestion -- and the recent threats I have received -- defies logic and is contradicted by the record.

What to Expect at COP-20 in Lima

Robert Stavins | Posted 06.03.2015 | Green
Robert Stavins

On Monday, December 1, the Twentieth Conference of the Parties (COP-20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commence...

The Final Stage of IPCC AR5 -- Last Week's Outcome in Copenhagen

Robert Stavins | Posted 05.18.2015 | Green
Robert Stavins

First of all, here's the simplest headline statement: Things improved significantly at the Synthesis Report (SYR) government approval sessions in Copenhagen last week, but in saying this, I am only referring to the material for which I've been responsible. Let me explain.

The UN Climate Summit and a Key Issue for the 2015 Paris Agreement

Robert Stavins | Posted 05.04.2015 | Green
Robert Stavins

The following post was originally published on Sept. 27, 2014, on Robert Stavins' personal blog. World leaders converged at the United Nations in New...


Edward Flattau | Posted 05.18.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

Many Republican officials harbor a rebellious stance towards the federal government that they were elected to serve, and whose authority they are supposed to uphold.

Vatican Remorse

Edward Flattau | Posted 04.21.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

House Speaker John Boehner has proudly announced that Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress in September during the Holy Father's visit to the United States. But Boehner, Catholic though he is, should be careful of what he wishes for.

Oblivious to Oblivion

Edward Flattau | Posted 04.07.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

Scientists have moved the well-publicized Doomsday Clock from five minutes to three minutes before midnight (aka catastrophe), but the Republican majorities in Congress are not keeping time.

Alternate Universe

Edward Flattau | Posted 03.25.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

Since Senator Ernst failed to mention global warming, it's safe to assume Republicans will continue attempting to change the country's course by sidetracking the Obama Administration's climate change initiatives.

Transforming Power, Protecting the Environment in El Salvador

Beverly Bell | Posted 03.10.2015 | World
Beverly Bell

La Coordinadora of the Lower Lempa and the Bay of Jiquilisco in El Salvador is a grassroots, community-led organization of 27,000 families in more than 100 communities. It is transforming economic and political power and the health of the environment, across the department of Usulután.

Voters Cognitive Dissonance

Edward Flattau | Posted 01.13.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

If the new GOP leadership debuts by substituting a crusade against environmental protection and Obama for jumpstarting the economy, it won't be too long before many voters experience buyer's remorse.

GOP's True Identity

Edward Flattau | Posted 01.06.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

At their own peril, Republicans have conflated deregulation of red tape bedeviling business with environmental regulations protecting public health. The electorate overwhelmingly support dispensing with the former, not with the latter.

Unconscionable Cop-out

Edward Flattau | Posted 12.29.2014 | Politics
Edward Flattau

Politicians who beg off taking a stance on global warming because they are not scientists are shirking the sacred responsibility and trust vested in public office.