Michael Northrop is Program Director for Sustainable Development at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. David Sassoon runs SolveClimate.com, a Web site dedicated to debating and advancing solutions to global warming.
More from Michael Northrop and David Sassoon
Hampered by a slow-moving Congress, the Obama administration is offering only modest greenhouse gas reduction targets at the Copenhagen conference. But limited federal action does not mean the U.S. is standing still: More than half of the 50 states are already taking steps to reduce emissions on their own.
If crucial climate negotiations later this year in Copenhagen are to have any chance of success, the U.S. must take the lead. To do that, President Obama needs to act boldly in the coming months.
The next U.S. president should not wait for Congress to act on climate-change legislation. Instead, he should make use of the Clean Air Act to begin controlling greenhouse gas emissions and to implement a national cap-and-trade program.
With the Bush Administration and Congress failing to act, many states are devising sweeping climate and energy policies that could be a blueprint for a future national climate policy.
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
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, winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest, documents the work of African researchers monitoring wildlife in Uganda's remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Watch the video.