Menu
Archive: Policy & Politics

17 Apr 2014

UN Panel Looks to Renewables As the Key to Stabilizing Climate

by FRED PEARCE
In its latest report, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes a strong case for a sharp increase in low-carbon energy production, especially solar and wind, and provides hope that this transformation can occur in time to hold off the worst impacts of global warming. READ MORE

24 Mar 2014

UN Climate Report Is Cautious On Making Specific Predictions

by FRED PEARCE
The draft of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that the world faces serious risks from warming and that the poor are especially vulnerable. But it avoids the kinds of specific forecasts that have sparked controversy in the past. READ MORE

13 Feb 2014

Amid Elephant Slaughter, Ivory Trade in U.S. Continues

by ADAM WELZ
In the last year, the U.S. government and nonprofits have put a spotlight on the illegal poaching of Africa’s elephants and Asia’s insatiable demand for ivory. But the media coverage has ignored a dirty secret: The U.S. has its own large ivory trade that has not been adequately regulated. READ MORE

30 Jan 2014

Animal ‘Personhood’: Muddled Alternative to Real Protection

by VERLYN KLINKENBORG
A new strategy of granting animals “personhood” under the law is being advanced by some in academia and the animal rights movement. But this approach fails to address the fundamental truth that all species have an equal right to their own existence. READ MORE

14 Jan 2014

Greenpeace’s Kumi Naidoo on Russia and the Climate Struggle

by DIANE TOOMEY
In a Yale Environment 360 interview, the outspoken executive director of Greenpeace discusses why his organization’s activists braved imprisonment in Russia to stop Arctic oil drilling and what needs to be done to make a sharp turn away from fossil fuels and toward a green energy economy. READ MORE

02 Jan 2014

A Legal Call to Arms to Remedy Environmental and Climate Ills

by FEN MONTAIGNE
University of Oregon law professor Mary Wood says environmental laws in the United States are simply not working. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she explains why she believes a new strategy and robust judicial intervention are needed to protect nature and the climate. READ MORE

12 Dec 2013

In South Africa, Renewables Vie With the Political Power of Coal

by ADAM WELZ
Although coal has dominated the South African electricity sector for decades, the country’s abundant solar and wind resources offer a promising renewable energy alternative. But entrenched political interests connected to the ruling party are fighting to expand coal’s role in the national economy. READ MORE

19 Nov 2013

How Industrial Agriculture Has Thwarted Factory Farm Reforms

by CHRISTINA M. RUSSO
In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Robert Martin, co-author of a recent study on industrial farm animal production, explains how a powerful and intransigent agriculture lobby has successfully fought off attempts to reduce the harmful environmental and health impacts of mass livestock production. READ MORE

14 Nov 2013

China at Crossroads: Balancing The Economy and Environment

by R. EDWARD GRUMBINE
After three decades of unbridled economic growth and mounting ecological problems, China and its new leadership face a key challenge: cleaning up the dirty air, polluted water, and tainted food supplies that are fueling widespread discontent among the country’s burgeoning middle class. READ MORE

31 Oct 2013

A Year After Sandy, The Wrong Policy on Rebuilding the Coast

by ROB YOUNG
One year after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the U.S. East Coast, the government is spending billions to replenish beaches that will only be swallowed again by rising seas and future storms. It’s time to develop coastal policies that take into account new climate realities. READ MORE

24 Oct 2013

The Trillion-Ton Cap: Allocating The World's Carbon Emissions

by FRED PEARCE
The U.N. climate panel concluded last month that carbon emissions should be capped at a trillion tons, a total the world is rapidly approaching. Now comes the hard part: How will we decide how the remaining emissions are apportioned? READ MORE

03 Oct 2013

Top Climate Scientists Assess Latest Report from U.N. Panel

Yale Environment 360 asked some leading climate scientists to discuss what they consider to be the most noteworthy or surprising findings in the recently released report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s working group on the physical science of a warming world. READ MORE

30 Sep 2013

Has the U.N. Climate Panel Now Outlived Its Usefulness?

by FRED PEARCE
Some scientists are saying the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is overly conservative and fails to mention some of the most worrisome possible scenarios. The panel, they contend, is no longer fulfilling its mission of informing policy makers of the risks of global warming. READ MORE

23 Sep 2013

Will Offshore Wind Finally Take Off on U.S. East Coast?

by DAVE LEVITAN
After years of delays and legal battles, several offshore wind projects seem poised to be launched off the U.S. East Coast. But the lack of stable government incentives and tax credits may continue to hobble an industry that already has a strong foothold in Europe. READ MORE

17 Sep 2013

In Australia, an Uphill Battle To Rein in the Power of Coal

by SAMIHA SHAFY
Australia is the world’s second-largest exporter of coal, thanks to huge markets in China, Japan, and other Asian countries. Environmentalists have been struggling to scale back the nation’s coal boom, but the recent election of a conservative prime minister may keep coal on top. READ MORE

12 Sep 2013

Finding a Better Message on The Risks of Climate Change

by DIANE TOOMEY
To overcome polarization on the issue of climate change, Yale professor Dan Kahan says in an interview with e360, scientists and the media need to frame the science in ways that will resonate with the public. A message that makes people feel threatened, he says, simply will not be effective. READ MORE

03 Sep 2013

With Rooftop Solar on Rise, U.S. Utilities Are Striking Back

by MARC GUNTHER
Faced with the prospect of a dwindling customer base, some U.S. power companies are seeking to end public subsidies and other incentives for rooftop solar. In Arizona, the issue has sparked a heated public relations battle that could help determine the future of solar in the United States. READ MORE

28 Aug 2013

Incineration Versus Recycling: In Europe, A Debate Over Trash

by NATE SELTENRICH
Increasingly common in Europe, municipal “waste-to-energy” incinerators are being touted as a green trash-disposal alternative. But critics contend that these large-scale incinerators tend to discourage recycling and lead to greater waste. READ MORE

19 Aug 2013

Bringing Back the Night: A Fight Against Light Pollution

by PAUL BOGARD
As evidence mounts that excessive use of light is harming wildlife and adversely affecting human health, new initiatives in France and elsewhere are seeking to turn down the lights that flood an ever-growing part of the planet. READ MORE

15 Aug 2013

Scientists and Aid Experts Plan for a Warmer Future

by DIANE TOOMEY
Climate scientists and humanitarian relief workers need to collaborate far more closely to prepare for a future of increased extreme weather events. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Harvard University public health expert Jennifer Leaning analyszes the results of a meeting between these two very different factions. READ MORE

12 Aug 2013

The War on African Poaching: Is Militarization Doomed to Fail?

by ADAM WELZ
African countries and private game reserves are engaging in an increasingly sophisticated arms race against poachers, yet the slaughter of elephants and rhinos continues. Some experts argue that the battle must be joined on a far wider front that targets demand in Asia and judicial dysfunction in Africa. READ MORE

08 Aug 2013

Recycling’s ‘Final Frontier’: The Composting of Food Waste

by DAVE LEVITAN
A move by New York City to begin collecting food scraps and other organic waste is just the latest example of expanding efforts by municipalities worldwide to recycle large quantities of unused food and slash the amount of material sent to landfills. READ MORE

29 Jul 2013

Facing Tough Market at Home, U.S. Coal Giant Pushes Overseas

by LISA PALMER
With prospects in the U.S. increasingly uncertain, Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company, is expanding its operations abroad. But that strategy could carry significant risks, as coal-consuming powerhouses like China are working to reduce their dependence on the fossil fuel. READ MORE

24 Jul 2013

Leaving Our Descendants A Whopping Rise in Sea Levels

by FEN MONTAIGNE
German scientist Anders Levermann and his colleagues have released research that warns of major sea level increases far into the future. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he raises important questions about how much we really care about the world we will leave to those who come after us. READ MORE

22 Jul 2013

Forum: How Daring is Obama's New Climate Plan?

President Obama has unveiled a proposal to combat global warming that would, for the first time, regulate carbon dioxide emissions from all U.S. coal-fired power plants. Yale Environment 360 asked a group of experts to assess the president’s climate strategy. READ MORE

18 Jul 2013

Should Wolves Stay Protected Under Endangered Species Act?

by TED WILLIAMS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stirred controversy with its proposal to remove endangered species protection for wolves, noting the animals’ strong comeback in the northern Rockies and the Midwest. It’s the latest in the long, contentious saga of wolf recovery in the U.S. READ MORE

15 Jul 2013

New Green Vision: Technology As Our Planet’s Last Best Hope

by FRED PEARCE
The concept of ecological modernism, which sees technology as the key to solving big environmental problems, is gaining adherents and getting a lot of buzz these days. While mainstream conservationists may be put off by some of the new movement’s tenets, they cannot afford to ignore the issues it is raising. READ MORE

03 Jul 2013

New Initiatives to Clean Up The Global Aquarium Trade

by REBECCA KESSLER
An estimated 30 million fish and other creatures are caught annually to supply the home aquarium market, taking a toll on some reef ecosystems. Now conservationists are working to improve the industry by ending destructive practices and encouraging aquaculture. READ MORE

27 Jun 2013

Marines Push to Front Lines in Renewable Energy Innovation

by JUSTIN GERDES
A backpack that generates electricity? A vest that cools you in a hot tent? As the U.S. military looks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, the Marine Corps is leading the way with cutting-edge technology and innovative devices. READ MORE

24 Jun 2013

Our Overcrowded Planet: A Failure of Family Planning

by ROBERT ENGELMAN
New UN projections forecast that world population will hit nearly 11 billion people by 2100, an unsettling prospect that reflects a collective failure to provide women around the world with safe, effective ways to avoid pregnancies they don't intend or want. READ MORE

19 Jun 2013

Coal Pollution and the Fight For Environmental Justice

by DIANE TOOMEY
As its director of "climate justice," Jacqueline Patterson is leading the NAACP’s campaign to shut down coal-burning power plants in minority communities. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talks about the skepticism she faces from her own constituents. READ MORE

17 Jun 2013

An Economic Boom in Turkey Takes a Toll on Marine Life

by SULMAAN KHAN
The development-at-any-cost policies of Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan — a key factor behind the protests and clashes in Istanbul’s Taksim Square — are also playing a role in the steady decline of the nation’s porpoises, dolphins, and other marine life. READ MORE

10 Jun 2013

Green Highways: New Strategies To Manage Roadsides as Habitat

by RICHARD CONNIFF
From northern Europe to Florida, highway planners are rethinking roadsides as potential habitat for native plants and wildlife. Scientists say this new approach could provide a useful tool in fostering biodiversity. READ MORE

04 Jun 2013

China’s New Arctic Presence Signals Future Development

by ED STRUZIK
China’s recent admission to the Arctic Council under observer status reflects a new reality: the world’s economic powers now regard development of natural resources and commerce in an increasingly ice-free Arctic as a top priority. READ MORE

30 May 2013

Will Huge New Hydro Projects Bring Power to Africa’s People?

by FRED PEARCE
A giant new hydro project on the Congo River is only the latest in a rush of massive dams being built across Africa. Critics contend small-scale renewable energy projects would be a far more effective way of bringing power to the hundreds of millions of Africans still without electricity. READ MORE

20 May 2013

A Plague of Deforestation Sweeps Across Southeast Asia

by DANIEL DROLLETTE
Illegal logging and unchecked economic development are taking a devastating toll on the forests of Vietnam and neighboring countries, threatening areas of biodiversity so rich that 1,700 species have been discovered in the last 15 years alone. READ MORE

16 May 2013

In Post-Tsunami Japan, A Push To Rebuild Coast in Concrete

by WINIFRED BIRD
In the wake of the 2011 tsunami, the Japanese government is forgoing an opportunity to sustainably protect its coastline and is instead building towering concrete seawalls and other defenses that environmentalists say will inflict serious damage on coastal ecosystems. READ MORE

14 May 2013

Son of Climate Science Pioneer Ponders A Sobering Milestone

by FEN MONTAIGNE
Climate scientist Ralph Keeling has followed in the footsteps of his father, who pioneered the measurement of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, the younger Keeling talks about the implications of crossing an alarming CO2 threshold this month. READ MORE

09 May 2013

How Mussel Farming Could Help to Clean Fouled Waters

by PAUL GREENBERG
Along the shores of New York Harbor, scientists are investigating whether this ubiquitous bivalve can be grown in urban areas as a way of cleansing coastal waters of sewage, fertilizers, and other pollutants. READ MORE

07 May 2013

Will Lead Bullets Finally Kill Off the California Condor?

by TED WILLIAMS
The California condor, the largest bird in North America, was saved from extinction by a captive breeding program that increased its numbers in the wild. But now the condor is facing a new and pernicious threat — the lead from bullets used by game hunters. READ MORE

02 May 2013

A Key Experiment to Probe the Future of Our Acidifying Oceans

by PETER FRIEDERICI
In a Swedish fjord, European researchers are conducting an ambitious experiment aimed at better understanding how ocean acidification will affect marine life. Ultimately, these scientists hope to determine which species might win and which might lose in a more acidic ocean. READ MORE

30 Apr 2013

Declining Bee Populations Pose A Threat to Global Agriculture

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
The danger that the decline of bees and other pollinators represents to the world’s food supply was highlighted this week when the European Commission decided to ban a class of pesticides suspected of playing a role in so-called “colony collapse disorder.” READ MORE

25 Apr 2013

Fires Burn More Fiercely As Northern Forests Warm

by DYLAN WALSH
From North America to Siberia, rising temperatures and drier woodlands are leading to a longer burning season and a significant increase in forest fires. Scientists warn that this trend is expected continue in the years ahead. READ MORE

22 Apr 2013

Will Electric Bicycles Get Americans to Start Pedaling?

by MARC GUNTHER
Electric bicycles are already popular in Europe and in China, which has more e-bikes than cars on its roads. Now, manufacturers are marketing e-bikes in the U.S., promoting them as a "green" alternative to driving. READ MORE

11 Apr 2013

Copenhagen’s Ambitious Push To Be Carbon Neutral by 2025

by JUSTIN GERDES
The Danish capital is moving rapidly toward a zero-carbon future, as it erects wind farms, transforms its citywide heating systems, promotes energy efficiency, and lures more people out of their cars and onto public transportation and bikes. READ MORE

08 Apr 2013

Probing the Reasons Behind The Changing Pace of Warming

by FRED PEARCE
A consensus is emerging among scientists that the rate of global warming has slowed over the last decade. While they are still examining why, many researchers believe this phenomenon is linked to the heat being absorbed by the world’s oceans. READ MORE

04 Apr 2013

Blocked Migration: Fish Ladders On U.S. Dams Are Not Effective

by JOHN WALDMAN
Fishways on rivers in the U.S. Northeast are failing, with less than 3 percent of one key species making it upriver to their spawning grounds, according to a new study. The researchers’ findings provide a cautionary tale for other nations now planning big dam projects. READ MORE

28 Mar 2013

Long Outlawed in the West, Lead Paint Sold in Poor Nations

by REBECCA KESSLER
A new study finds that household lead paint — banned for years in the U.S. and Europe because of its health effects on children — is commonly sold in the African nation of Cameroon. Is lead paint the latest case of Western companies selling unsafe products in developing countries? READ MORE

25 Mar 2013

The Scientist as Guardian: A Tool for Protecting the Wild

by WILLIAM LAURANCE
An expanding body of evidence shows that the presence of field biologists and their assistants is playing an important part in deterring poaching, illegal logging, and other destructive activities in the world’s parks and wildlife reserves. READ MORE

18 Mar 2013

Can a Divestment Campaign Move the Fossil Fuel Industry?

by BROOKE JARVIS
U.S. climate activists have launched a movement to persuade universities, cities, and other groups to sell off their investments in fossil fuel companies. But while the financial impact of such divestment may be limited, the campaign could harm the companies in a critical sphere — public opinion. READ MORE

14 Mar 2013

Into the Heart of Ecuador’s Yasuni

Few places on earth harbor as much biodiversity as Ecuador’s Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, which sits atop vast deposits of oil and now faces intense development pressure. In a Yale Environment 360 video, filmmaker Ryan Killackey travels to the heart of Yasuni with scientists inventorying its stunning wildlife and plants. The researchers hope their work will bolster initiatives to preserve this threatened land. READ MORE

13 Mar 2013

An Advocate in Pursuit of Environmental Justice at EPA

by BEN GOLDFARB
Matthew Tejada is taking over the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice after helping low-income communities in Houston fight air pollution in their neighborhoods. He talks to Yale Environment 360 about how his work in Texas prepared him for the challenges of his new post. READ MORE

11 Mar 2013

Counting Species: What It Says About Human Toll on Wildlife

by VERLYN KLINKENBORG
By analyzing mitochondrial DNA, scientists now can make more accurate estimates of the numbers of individual species that existed centuries ago. What does it tell us about our impact on the natural world and about our own future? READ MORE

07 Mar 2013

Biodiversity in Logged Forests Far Higher Than Once Believed

by FRED PEARCE
New research shows that scientists have significantly overestimated the damage that logging in tropical forests has done to biodiversity, a finding that could change the way conservationists think about how best to preserve species in areas disturbed by humans. READ MORE

28 Feb 2013

Will Reform Finally End The Plunder of Europe’s Fisheries?

by CHRISTIAN SCHWäGERL
Maria Damanaki, Europe’s crusading fisheries minister, is making major headway in changing a cozy, “old boys” network that over-subsidized the European fishing industry and brought about the severe overfishing of the continent’s marine bounty. READ MORE

21 Feb 2013

To Control Floods, The Dutch Turn to Nature for Inspiration

by CHERYL KATZ
The Netherlands’ system of dikes and sea gates has long been the best in the world. But as the country confronts the challenges of climate change, it is increasingly relying on techniques that mimic natural systems and harness nature’s power to hold back the sea. READ MORE

19 Feb 2013

Grisly Trend: Green Activists Are Facing Deadly Dangers

by FRED PEARCE
With activists killed in Brazil, Cambodia, the Philippines, and elsewhere, 2012 may have been the worst year yet for violence against those working to protect the environment. So far, little has been done to halt this chilling development. READ MORE

14 Feb 2013

A Conservative Who Believes That Climate Change Is Real

by ROGER COHN
Republican Bob Inglis’ statement that he believed in human-caused climate change helped cost him his seat in Congress. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, Inglis explains why he is now trying to persuade his fellow conservatives that their principles can help save the planet. READ MORE

06 Feb 2013

Will Bold Steps Be Needed to Save Beleaguered Polar Bears?

by ED STRUZIK
In a new paper, the world’s leading polar bear scientists say the time has come to consider drastic measures to save these iconic animals, including supplemental feeding by humans during ice-free periods and relocating more southerly populations to the High Arctic. READ MORE

28 Jan 2013

Boom in Mining Rare Earths Poses Mounting Toxic Risks

by MIKE IVES
The mining of rare earth metals, used in everything from smart phones to wind turbines, has long been dominated by China. But as mining of these key elements spreads to countries like Malaysia and Brazil, scientists warn of the dangers of the toxic and radioactive waste generated by the mines and processing plants. READ MORE

23 Jan 2013

Charting a New Course for The U.S. and the Environment

by ROGER COHN
After more than four decades as a leading environmentalist, Gus Speth is disillusioned with what has been accomplished. What’s needed now, he says in an interview with Yale Environment 360, is a transformative change in America’s political economy that will benefit both society and the planet. READ MORE

21 Jan 2013

Proposed Energy Exploration Sparks Worry on Ocean Canyons

by PAUL GREENBERG
The Atlantic Canyons off the Northeastern U.S. plunge as deep as 15,000 feet and harbor diverse and fragile marine ecosystems. Now, the Obama administration’s plans to consider offshore oil and gas exploration in the canyons is troubling conservationists. READ MORE

14 Jan 2013

Should Polluting Nations Be Liable for Climate Damages?

by FRED PEARCE
An international agreement to study how to redress developing nations for damages from climate change illustrates how ineffective climate diplomacy has been over the last two decades. But this move may pave the way for future court suits against polluting countries and companies. READ MORE

10 Jan 2013

Reviving Europe’s Biodiversity By Importing Exotic Animals

by CHRISTIAN SCHWäGERL
Scientists are conducting intriguing — and counterintuitive — experiments at several sites in Germany: Bringing back long-lost herbivores, such as water buffalo, to encourage the spread of native plants that have fared poorly in Europe’s human-dominated landscape. READ MORE

08 Jan 2013

The Perils and Rewards of Protecting Congo’s Gorillas

by CHRISTINA M. RUSSO
Virunga National Park, home to one of the last remaining populations of mountain gorillas, has witnessed years of war and civil strife. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, the park’s warden describes the lethal threats faced by his rangers and the remarkable survival of the park’s gorillas. READ MORE

07 Jan 2013

Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill Fails to Face Coastal Realities

by ROB YOUNG
As part of the sorely-needed aid package to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, Congress is also considering spending billions on ill-advised and environmentally damaging beach and coastal rebuilding projects that ignore the looming threats of rising seas and intensifying storms. READ MORE

02 Jan 2013

In U.S., the Lure of Export May Further Fuel Natural Gas Boom

by SHAUN GOHO
As the United States experiences a glut of natural gas, a host of facilities are being proposed that would convert gas to a liquid and export it. But before embracing a gas export boom, the nation should carefully weigh the implications for both the economy and the environment. READ MORE

20 Dec 2012

In Midwest, Bringing Back Native Prairies Yard by Yard

by REBECCA KESSLER
Across the U.S. Midwest, homeowners are restoring their yards and former farmland to the native prairie that existed in pre-settlement days. The benefits can be substantial — maintenance that uses less water and no fertilizer, and an ecosystem that supports wildflowers and wildlife. READ MORE

17 Dec 2012

Too Big to Flood? Megacities Face Future of Major Storm Risk

by BRUCE STUTZ
As economic activity and populations continue to expand in coastal urban areas, particularly in Asia, hundreds of trillions of dollars of infrastructure, industrial and office buildings, and homes are increasingly at risk from intensifying storms and rising sea levels. READ MORE

10 Dec 2012

Without Congress, There’s Still a Path to U.S. Progress on Climate

by JOHN CAREY
Don’t expect the U.S. Congress to take any action on climate change in the next four years. But by continuing to use its regulatory authority and working with the states, the Obama administration can make significant progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. READ MORE

06 Dec 2012

Should Environmentalists Just Say No to Eating Beef?

by MARC GUNTHER
Conservation organizations are working with industry to try to make beef production more sustainable. But some are questioning whether green groups should be accepting funds from the beef industry or whether they should instead be urging consumers to stop eating beef. READ MORE

05 Dec 2012

Designing the Urban Landscape To Meet 21st Century Challenges

by DIANE TOOMEY
Martha Schwartz, a professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, explains in a Yale Environment 360 interview how creative landscape architecture can help cities become models of sustainability in a world facing daunting environmental challenges. READ MORE

29 Nov 2012

Tar Sands Oil Boom Drives Push for A Northern Pipeline

by ED STRUZIK
The rapid development of Alberta’s tar sands has spawned a new proposal for a 731-mile pipeline that would transport oil to the British Columbia coast. The project is strongly opposed by conservationists and First Nations leaders, who fear the environmental risks it would bring. READ MORE

27 Nov 2012

The Dirty War Against Africa’s Remaining Rhinos

by ADAM WELZ
The killing of rhinoceroses has escalated dramatically, especially in South Africa, which is home to 75 percent of the world’s rhino population. The slaughter is being orchestrated by brazen, highly organized gangs that smuggle the rhinos' horns to black markets in China and Southeast Asia. READ MORE

21 Nov 2012

UN Climate Chief: Talks Are Making Slow, Steady Progress

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
With a new round of climate negotiations about to get underway, Christiana Figueres, head of the United Nations climate organization, explains in a Yale Environment 360 interview why, despite the obstacles, she thinks the world community is slowly inching its way toward an agreement. READ MORE

15 Nov 2012

As Myanmar Opens to World, Fate of Its Forests Is on the Line

by CHARLES SCHMIDT
Years of sanctions against Myanmar’s military regime helped protect its extensive wild lands. But as the country’s rulers relax their grip and welcome foreign investment, can the nation protect its forests and biodiversity while embracing development? READ MORE

12 Nov 2012

Will President Obama Seize Moment on Climate Change?

by WILLIAM BECKER
Climate change received scant attention in the election campaign. But with public concern about global warming growing in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, President Obama has an unprecedented opportunity to take bold action on climate and clean energy. READ MORE

08 Nov 2012

Forget the Kyoto Accord And Tax Carbon Consumption

by DIETER HELM
Given the failure of international climate negotiations, a tax on carbon consumption is the most effective way of lowering CO2 emissions. If nations are serious about addressing climate change, then they must pay for the carbon pollution caused by what they consume. READ MORE

06 Nov 2012

Battered New York City Looks For Ways to Hold Back the Sea

by BRUCE STUTZ
New York City had been gradually preparing for a world of rising seas and more powerful storms. But the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy is now forcing officials to consider spending billions of dollars on storm protection, including a network of surge barriers. READ MORE

22 Oct 2012

Why Are Environmentalists Taking Anti-Science Positions?

by FRED PEARCE
On issues ranging from genetically modified crops to nuclear power, environmentalists are increasingly refusing to listen to scientific arguments that challenge standard green positions. This approach risks weakening the environmental movement and empowering climate contrarians. READ MORE

18 Oct 2012

What’s Wrong with Putting a Price on Nature?

by RICHARD CONNIFF
The concept of pricing ecosystem services and allowing them to be bought and sold has gained wide acceptance among conservationists in recent years. But does this approach merely obscure nature’s true value and put the natural world at even greater risk? READ MORE

01 Oct 2012

As Arctic Melts, Inuit Face Tensions with Outside World

by ED STRUZIK
With Arctic summer sea ice rapidly disappearing, the native Inuit of Canada are encountering not only unsettling changes in their subsistence way of life, but also a growing number of outsiders who will further transform their once-isolated homeland. READ MORE

20 Sep 2012

Shining a Bright Light on Africa’s Elephant Slaughter

by CHRISTINA M. RUSSO
Fueled by a rising demand for ivory, the mass killing of African elephants has reached extraordinary levels. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, New York Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman discusses his in-depth investigation of the deadly ivory trade, which involves the U.S.-backed military forces of several African nations. READ MORE

17 Sep 2012

For Obama and Romney, A Stark Contrast on Energy and Environment

As the U.S. presidential campaign enters its final phase, Yale Environment 360 compares the sharply divergent views of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the environment and energy. READ MORE

13 Sep 2012

Beyond Big Dams: Turning to Grass Roots Solutions on Water

by FRED PEARCE
Mega-dams and massive government-run irrigation projects are not the key to meeting world’s water needs, a growing number of experts now say. For developing nations, the answer may lie in small-scale measures such as inexpensive water pumps and other readily available equipment. READ MORE

23 Aug 2012

With Funding Tight, Cities are Turning to Green Infrastructure

by JIM ROBBINS
From Seattle to Sweden, an ever-growing number of city and regional governments are using roof gardens, specially designed wetlands, and other forms of “green infrastructure” to rein in pollution from countless diffuse sources — and to save money. READ MORE

13 Aug 2012

Natural Gas and Its Role In the U.S. Energy Endgame

by KEVIN DORAN AND ADAM REED
The boom in natural gas production has undeniable benefits for the United States. But two policy analysts argue that embracing a monolithic energy future dominated by gas will mean the loss of a golden opportunity: Leveraging cheap, abundant gas to create a sustainable future based on renewable power. READ MORE

08 Aug 2012

The Imperative of Thinking Big In Global Conservation Efforts

by FEN MONTAIGNE
In his 12 years as president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Steven E. Sanderson oversaw major projects in Gabon, Chile, South Sudan, and elsewhere. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Sanderson explains why conservation groups need to better coordinate work across large, human-influenced landscapes and more effectively marshal science to fight their battles. READ MORE

06 Aug 2012

Shrimp Farms’ Tainted Legacy Is Target of Certification Drive

by MARC GUNTHER
As shrimp aquaculture has boomed globally to keep pace with surging demand, the environmental toll on mangroves and other coastal ecosystems has been severe. Now, conservation groups and some shrimp farmers are creating a certification scheme designed to clean up the industry and reward sustainable producers. READ MORE

02 Aug 2012

Dreaming of a Place Where the Buffalo Roam

by HILLARY ROSNER
Former Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sean Gerrity is trying to turn a swath of northeastern Montana into a prairie reserve teeming with herds of bison. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Gerrity talks about the challenges of reclaiming a landscape long dominated by agriculture. READ MORE

12 Jul 2012

The Dead Sea is Dying: Can A Controversial Plan Save It?

by DAVE LEVITAN
The Dead Sea — the lowest terrestrial point on the planet — is dropping at an alarming rate, falling more than 1 meter a year. A $10 billion proposal to pipe water from the Red Sea is being opposed by conservationists, who point to alternatives that could help save one of the world’s great natural places. READ MORE

10 Jul 2012

Cooling a Warming Planet: A Global Air Conditioning Surge

by STAN COX
The U.S. has long used more energy for air conditioning than all other nations combined. But as demand increases in the world’s warmer regions, global energy consumption for air conditioning is expected to continue to rise dramatically and could have a major impact on climate change. READ MORE

02 Jul 2012

Oh Canada: The Government’s Broad Assault on Environment

by ED STRUZIK
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has been weakening Canada’s environmental regulations and slashing funds for oversight and research — all while promoting aggressive resource development. Critics warn these unprecedented actions pose a major threat to the nation’s vast natural heritage. READ MORE

28 Jun 2012

Beyond Rio’s Disappointment, Finding a Path to the Future

by FRED PEARCE
The Rio+20 Summit produced a largely meaningless document that failed to address the daunting environmental challenges the world faces. But many at the conference looked to an alternative approach they called “green economics” — using market forces to help nations achieve sustainable development. READ MORE

21 Jun 2012

Fifty Years After Silent Spring, Attacks on Science Continue

by FRANK GRAHAM JR.
When Silent Spring was published in 1962, author Rachel Carson was subjected to vicious personal assaults that had nothing do with the science or the merits of pesticide use. Those attacks find a troubling parallel today in the campaigns against climate scientists who point to evidence of a rapidly warming world. READ MORE

19 Jun 2012

Looking for Solutions in the Fight to Preserve Biodiversity

by ROGER COHN
At the Rio+20 conference this week, conservation biologist Thomas Lovejoy received the prestigious Blue Planet Prize. Before traveling to Brazil, Lovejoy talked with Yale Environment 360 about the loss of biodiversity and about whether it is too late for the world to do something about it. READ MORE

18 Jun 2012

Shoot the Messenger: Carolina’s Costly Mistake on Sea Level Rise

by ROB YOUNG
The North Carolina Senate has approved legislation that would prohibit the state from considering projected sea level increases in its coastal management strategy. But a scientist involved in the debate argues that ignoring these projections will wind up costing North Carolina — and the rest of the U.S. — far more. READ MORE

12 Jun 2012

A Desperate Effort to Save the Rainforest of Borneo

by RHETT BUTLER
The once-magnificent tropical forests of Borneo have been decimated by rampant logging and clearing for oil palm plantations. But in the Malaysian state of Sabah, a top official is fighting to reverse that trend by bringing sustainable forestry to the beleaguered island. READ MORE

11 Jun 2012

An Influential Global Voice Warns of Runaway Emissions

by FEN MONTAIGNE
Few international figures have been as consistent in warning about the threat posed by global warming as economist Fatih Birol, of the International Energy Agency. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Birol explains why the situation is worsening and what needs to be done to significantly slow emissions. READ MORE

07 Jun 2012

On Safe Drinking Water, Skepticism Over UN Claims

by FRED PEARCE
With great fanfare, the United Nations announced in March that the world had reduced by half the proportion of people drinking unsafe water, meeting a critical development goal five years ahead of schedule. But a closer look reveals that the facts simply do not support this claim. READ MORE

29 May 2012

Japan at a Crossroads Over Nuclear Revival or Greener Path

by ANDREW DEWIT
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Japan has idled all 50 of its nuclear reactors. While the central government and business leaders are warning a prolonged shutdown could spell economic doom, many Japanese and local officials see the opportunity for a renewable energy revolution. READ MORE

24 May 2012

The Pollution Fallout From Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds

by ANDREW MAMBONDIYANI
The regime of President Robert Mugabe has been accused of profiting from the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe, garnering illicit funds that could be used to bolster his oppressive security forces. Now critics are alleging the government is failing to stop mining-waste pollution that is sickening livestock and local villagers. READ MORE

23 May 2012

Global Scarcity: Scramble for Dwindling Natural Resources

by DIANE TOOMEY
National security expert Michael Klare believes the struggle for the world’s resources will be one of the defining political and environmental realities of the 21st century. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he discusses the threat this scramble poses to the natural world and what can be done to sustainably meet the resource challenge. READ MORE

21 May 2012

The Clean Water Act at 40: There’s Still Much Left to Do

by PAUL GREENBERG
The Clean Water Act of 1972, one of the boldest environmental laws ever enacted, turns 40 this year, with an impressive record of cleaning up America's waterways. But from New York Harbor to Alaska’s Bristol Bay, key challenges remain. READ MORE

16 May 2012

Taking Green Chemistry Out Of The Lab and into Products

by ROGER COHN
Paul Anastas pioneered the concept of green chemistry and has led the effort to rethink the way we design and make the products we use. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about the challenges of bringing this approach to policy making and the frustrations of tackling environmental issues in a politically polarized era. READ MORE

14 May 2012

Africa’s Ambitious Experiment To Preserve Threatened Wildlife

by CAROLINE FRASER
Five nations in southern Africa are joining together to create a huge conservation area that will extend across their borders and expand critical territory for elephants. But can these new protections reverse decades of decline for area wildlife while also benefiting the people who live there? READ MORE

02 May 2012

Waging the Battle to Build the U.S.’s First Offshore Wind Farm

by DOUG STRUCK
After a decade seeking approval to build the U.S.’s first offshore wind farm, Cape Wind president Jim Gordon is on the verge of beginning construction. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he describes why his struggle has been good for clean energy — and why the fight is still not over. READ MORE

30 Apr 2012

China’s Looming Conflict Between Energy and Water

by CHRISTINA LARSON
In its quest to find new sources of energy, China is increasingly looking to its western provinces. But the nation’s push to develop fossil fuel and alternative sources has so far ignored a basic fact — western China simply lacks the water resources needed to support major new energy development. READ MORE

25 Apr 2012

A Kenyan Woman Stands Up Against Massive Dam Project

by CHRISTINA M. RUSSO
Ikal Angelei is helping lead a campaign to stop construction of a major dam in Ethiopia that threatens the water supply and way of life of tens of thousands of indigenous people. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she explains what she believes is at stake in the fight against the Gibe III dam. READ MORE

23 Apr 2012

Insurance Companies Face Increased Risks from Warming

by BEN SCHILLER
If the damages related to climate change mount in the coming decades, insurance companies may face the prospect of paying larger disaster claims and being dragged into global warming lawsuits. But many firms, especially in the U.S., have barely begun to confront the risks. READ MORE

19 Apr 2012

As Threats to Biodiversity Grow, Can We Save World’s Species?

by LEE HANNAH
With soaring human populations and rapid climate change putting unprecedented pressure on species, conservationists must look to innovative strategies — from creating migratory corridors to preserving biodiversity hotspots — if we are to prevent countless animals and plants from heading to extinction. READ MORE

16 Apr 2012

Hopes Fade for Cleanup In Nigeria’s Oil-Rich Delta

by FRED PEARCE
The Ogoniland region of Nigeria has long been badly polluted by decades of oil production that has fouled the delta and contaminated drinking water. A United Nations report has recommended a massive recovery initiative, but so far the Nigerian government has shown few signs it will agree to the cleanup project. READ MORE

12 Apr 2012

Besieged by Climate Deniers, A Scientist Decides to Fight Back

by MICHAEL E. MANN
Climate scientist Michael Mann, who has faced years of attacks from climate-change skeptics, explains why he believes bad-faith assaults on science have no place in a functioning democracy and why the truth about global warming will inevitably gain wide acceptance. READ MORE

10 Apr 2012

China’s Ma Jun on the Fight To Clean Up Beijing’s Dirty Air

by CHRISTINA LARSON
Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun played an important role in a recent successful effort to force the government to more strictly monitor air pollution in Beijing. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about the daunting challenges of China’s anti-pollution battle and how social media is helping lead the fight to improve the nation’s air. READ MORE

02 Apr 2012

Bill McKibben on Keystone, Congress, and Big-Oil Money

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
Author/activist Bill McKibben says environmentalists cannot ease up after their recent victory in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. In a conversation with Yale Environment 360 contributor Elizabeth Kolbert, he talks about what he’s learned about the power of the fossil fuel industry — and why the battle over Keystone is far from over. READ MORE

29 Mar 2012

U.S. Fossil Fuel Boom Dims Glow of Clean Energy

by KEITH SCHNEIDER
A surge in gas and oil drilling in the U.S. is helping drive the economic recovery and is enhancing energy security. But as the situation in Ohio shows, cheaper energy prices and the focus on fossil fuels has been bad news for the renewable energy industry. READ MORE

26 Mar 2012

Shunning Nuclear Power Will Lead to a Warmer World

by SPENCER R. WEART
A physicist argues that if we allow our overblown and often irrational fears of nuclear energy to block the building of a significant number of new nuclear plants, we will be choosing a far more perilous option: the intensified burning of planet-warming fossil fuels. READ MORE

22 Mar 2012

Can Reforming the Farm Bill Help Change U.S. Agriculture?

by JIM ROBBINS
For decades, farm bills in the U.S. Congress have supported large-scale agriculture. But with the 2012 Farm Bill now up for debate, advocates say seismic shifts in the way the nation views food production may lead to new policies that tilt more toward local, sustainable agriculture. READ MORE

19 Mar 2012

Scientists Warn of Low-Dose Risks of Chemical Exposure

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
A new study finds that even low doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals — used in everything from plastics to pesticides – can have serious effects on human health. These findings, the researchers say, point to the need for basic changes in how chemical safety testing is conducted. READ MORE

15 Mar 2012

Digital Defenders: Tribal People Use GPS to Protect Their Lands

by FRED PEARCE
From the rainforests of central Africa to the Australian outback, indigenous people armed with GPS devices are surveying their territories and producing maps they can use to protect them from logging and other outside development. READ MORE

13 Mar 2012

In Fight to Save Coral Reefs, Finding Strategies that Work

by KEVIN DENNEHY
In four decades as a marine biologist, Nancy Knowlton has played a key role in documenting the biodiversity of coral reefs and the threats they increasingly face. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she assesses the state of the world’s corals and highlights conservation projects that offer hope of saving these irreplaceable ecosystems. READ MORE

12 Mar 2012

Innovation is Not Enough: Why Polluters Must Pay

by GERNOT WAGNER
Innovative energy technologies are certainly essential if the world is to curb carbon emissions. But in response to a recent e360 article by the co-founders of the Breakthrough Institute, an economist argues we must also cap emissions or put a price on carbon in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. READ MORE

08 Mar 2012

California Takes the Lead With New Green Initiatives

by MARK HERTSGAARD
Long ahead of the rest of the U.S. on environmental policy, California is taking bold steps to tackle climate change — from committing to dramatic reductions in emissions, to establishing a cap-and-trade system, to mandating an increase in zero-emission vehicles. The bottom line, say state officials, is to foster an economy where sustainability is profitable. READ MORE

01 Mar 2012

How a Gold Mining Boom is Killing the Children of Nigeria

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
It is a pattern seen in various parts of the world — children being sickened from exposure to lead from mining activities. But the scale of the problem in Nigeria’s gold-mining region of Zamfara is unprecedented: More than 400 children have died and thousands more have been severely poisoned by exposure to lead dust. READ MORE

27 Feb 2012

Beyond Cap and Trade, A New Path to Clean Energy

by TED NORDHAUS AND MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER
Putting a price and a binding cap on carbon is not the panacea that many thought it to be. The real road to cutting U.S. emissions, two iconoclastic environmentalists argue, is for the government to help fund the development of cleaner alternatives that are better and cheaper than natural gas. READ MORE

21 Feb 2012

As Arctic Sea Ice Declines, Polar Bear Patrol Gets Busy

by ED STRUZIK
Polar bears have long come ashore in Churchill, Manitoba, the self-styled ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World.’ But as summer sea ice steadily disappears in Hudson Bay, bears are being marooned on land for longer periods of time — and that is generating a lot of work for the Polar Bear Alert Team. READ MORE

20 Feb 2012

Amory Lovins Lays Out His Clean Energy Plan

by FEN MONTAIGNE
For four decades, Amory Lovins has been a leading proponent of a renewable power revolution that would wean the U.S. off fossil fuels and usher in an era of energy independence. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about his latest book, which describes his vision of how the world can attain a green energy future by 2050. READ MORE

16 Feb 2012

Busting the Forest Myths: People as Part of the Solution

by FRED PEARCE
The long-held contention that rural forest communities are the prime culprits in tropical forest destruction is increasingly being discredited, as evidence mounts that the best way to protect rainforests is to involve local residents in sustainable management. READ MORE

13 Feb 2012

Can Smarter Growth Guide China’s Urban Building Boom?

by DAVID BIELLO
The world has never seen anything like China’s dizzying urbanization boom, which has taken a heavy environmental toll. But efforts are now underway to start using principles of green design and smart growth to guide the nation’s future development. READ MORE

09 Feb 2012

On the Road Back to Rio, Green Direction Has Been Lost

by FRED PEARCE
Twenty years ago, an historic environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro produced groundbreaking treaties and high hopes that pressing issues would be addressed. But as organizers prepare for the Rio+20 conference in June, there is little on the agenda to suggest any substantive action will be taken. READ MORE

08 Feb 2012

California’s ‘Clean Car’ Rules Help Remake U.S. Auto Industry

by PAUL ROGERS
With the passage of strict new auto emission and air pollution standards, California has again demonstrated its role as the U.S.’s environmental pacesetter. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, explains how her state is helping drive a clean-car revolution. READ MORE

06 Feb 2012

In Fast-Track Technology, Hope For a Second Green Revolution

by RICHARD CONNIFF
With advances in a technique known as fast-track breeding, researchers are developing crops that can produce more and healthier food and can adapt and thrive as the climate shifts. READ MORE

02 Feb 2012

Mysteries of Killer Whales Uncovered in the Antarctic

by FEN MONTAIGNE
Two of the world’s leading experts on the world’s top marine predator are now in Antarctica, tagging and photographing a creature whose remarkably cooperative hunting behavior and transmission of knowledge across generations may be rivaled only by humans. READ MORE

30 Jan 2012

A Vast Canadian Wilderness Poised for a Uranium Boom

by ED STRUZIK
Canada’s Nunavut Territory is the largest undisturbed wilderness in the Northern Hemisphere. It also contains large deposits of uranium, generating intense interest from mining companies and raising concerns that a mining boom could harm the caribou at the center of Inuit life. READ MORE

26 Jan 2012

For the Electric Car, A Slow Road to Success

by JIM MOTAVALLI
The big electric car launches of 2011 failed to generate the consumer excitement that some had predicted. But as new battery technologies emerge and tougher mileage standards kick in, automakers and analysts still believe that electric vehicles have a bright future. READ MORE

23 Jan 2012

Monitoring A Grim Rise In the Illegal Ivory Trade

by CHRISTINA M. RUSSO
For two decades, TRAFFIC’s Tom Milliken has tracked the illicit ivory trade that has led to the continued slaughter of Africa’s elephants. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Milliken talks about the recent increase in ivory seizures and the criminal gangs that supply Asia’s black market for ivory. READ MORE

19 Jan 2012

As Roads Spread in Rainforests, The Environmental Toll Grows

by WILLIAM LAURANCE
From Brazil to Borneo, new roads are being built into tropical forests at a dizzying pace, putting previously intact wilderness at risk. If we hope to preserve rainforests, a leading researcher says, new strategies must be adopted to limit the number of roads and reduce their impacts. READ MORE

17 Jan 2012

China’s Reforestation Programs: Big Success or Just an Illusion?

by JON R. LUOMA
China has undertaken ambitious reforestation initiatives that have increased its forest cover dramatically in the last decade. But scientists are now raising questions about just how effective these grand projects will turn out to be. READ MORE

12 Jan 2012

Florida Counties Band Together To Ready for Warming’s Effects

by MICHAEL D. LEMONICK
While U.S. action on climate change remains stalled, four south Florida counties have joined forces to plan for how to deal with the impacts — some of which are already being felt — of rising seas, higher temperatures, and more torrential rains. READ MORE

09 Jan 2012

As Fukushima Cleanup Begins, Long-term Impacts are Weighed

by WINIFRED BIRD
The Japanese government is launching a large-scale cleanup of the fields, forests, and villages contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But some experts caution that an overly aggressive remediation program could create a host of other environmental problems. READ MORE

05 Jan 2012

Putting a Price on The Real Value of Nature

by ROGER COHN
Indian banker Pavan Sukhdev has been grappling with the question of how to place a monetary value on nature. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he discusses the ways natural ecosystems benefit people and why policymakers and businesses must rethink how they assess environmental costs and benefits. READ MORE

04 Jan 2012

Solar Power Off the Grid: Energy Access for World’s Poor

by CARL POPE
More than a billion people worldwide lack access to electricity. The best way to bring it to them — while reducing greenhouse gas emissions — is to launch a global initiative to provide solar panels and other forms of distributed renewable power to poor villages and neighborhoods. READ MORE

21 Dec 2011

A Development Expert Relies On the Resilience of Villagers

by KEITH KLOOR
Geographer Edward Carr has worked extensively in sub-Saharan Africa, where climate change and other environmental threats present a growing challenge. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Carr talks about why any outside aid to the developing world must build on the inherent capability of the local residents. READ MORE

15 Dec 2011

Can ‘Climate-Smart’ Agriculture Help Both Africa and the Planet?

by FRED PEARCE
One idea promoted at the Durban talks was “climate-smart agriculture," which could make crops less vulnerable to heat and drought and turn depleted soils into carbon sinks. The World Bank and African leaders are backing this new approach, but some critics are skeptical that it will benefit small-scale African farmers. READ MORE

12 Dec 2011

In Australia’s New Carbon Tax, A Host of Missed Opportunities

by RICHARD DENNISS
The Australian government will begin imposing a tax on carbon emissions in mid-2012. But large giveaways to industry mean Australia’s scheme doesn’t go nearly far enough in reducing the nation’s CO2 emissions or providing economic stimulus. READ MORE

07 Dec 2011

Exploring Humanity's Place In the Journey of the Universe

Mary Evelyn Tucker has been one of the innovators in the study of the connections between ecology and religion. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talks about her work and about a new film she co-produced that points to the spiritual dimension of responding to the world’s environmental challenges. READ MORE

01 Dec 2011

Sweden’s Green Veneer Hides Unsustainable Logging Practices

by ERIK HOFFNER
Sweden has a reputation as being one of the world’s most environmentally progressive nations. But its surprisingly lax forestry laws often leave decisions about logging to the timber companies — and as a result, large swaths of biologically-rich boreal forest are being lost. READ MORE

28 Nov 2011

The New Story of Stuff: Can We Consume Less?

by FRED PEARCE
A new study finds that Britons are consuming less than they did a decade ago, with similar patterns being seen across Europe. Could this be the beginning of a trend in developed countries? Might we be reaching “peak stuff”? READ MORE

17 Nov 2011

China’s Appetite for Wood Takes a Heavy Toll on Forests

by WILLIAM LAURANCE
More than half of the timber now shipped globally is destined for China. But unscrupulous Chinese companies are importing huge amounts of illegally harvested wood, prompting conservation groups to step up boycotts against rapacious timber interests. READ MORE

14 Nov 2011

Making the Case for the Value of Environmental Rules

by GERNOT WAGNER
Some U.S. politicians have been attacking environmental regulations, arguing that they hurt the economy and that the costs outweigh the benefits. But four decades of data refute that claim and show we need not choose between a clean environment and economic growth. READ MORE

10 Nov 2011

Military Bases Provide Unlikely Refuge For South’s Longleaf Pine

by BRUCE DORMINEY
The expanses of longleaf pine forest that once covered the southeastern United States have been whittled away to just 3 percent of their original range. But as scientists are discovering, this threatened forest ecosystem has found a sanctuary in an unexpected place — U.S. military installations. READ MORE

31 Oct 2011

The Triumph of King Coal: Hardening Our Coal Addiction

by FRED PEARCE
Despite all the talk about curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the world is burning more and more coal. The inconvenient truth is that coal remains a cheap and dirty fuel — and the idea of “clean” coal remains a distant dream. READ MORE

27 Oct 2011

Killing Wolves: A Product of Alberta’s Big Oil and Gas Boom

by ED STRUZIK
The development of the tar sands and other oil and gas fields in Alberta has carved up the Canadian province's boreal forest, threatening herds of woodland caribou. But rather than protect caribou habitat, officials have taken a controversial step: the large-scale killing of the wolves that prey on the caribou. READ MORE

20 Oct 2011

The Ethical Dimension of Tackling Climate Change

by STEPHEN GARDINER
The global challenge of climate change poses a perfect moral storm — by failing to take action to rein in carbon emissions, the current generation is spreading the costs of its behavior far into the future. Why should people in the future pay to clean up our mess? READ MORE

19 Oct 2011

Britain’s Mark Lynas Riles His Green Movement Allies

by KEITH KLOOR
Activist Mark Lynas has alienated his green colleagues by renouncing long-held views and becoming an advocate for nuclear power and genetically modified crops. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he explains why he rethought his positions and turned to technology for solutions. READ MORE

17 Oct 2011

A Once-Polluted Chinese City Is Turning from Gray to Green

by CHRISTINA LARSON
Shenyang — once a key in Mao Zedong’s push to industrialize China — has begun to emerge from its smoggy past, cleaning up its factories and expanding its green spaces. In doing so, this city of 8 million people has been in the forefront of a growing environmental consciousness in urban China. READ MORE

13 Oct 2011

Revisiting Population Growth: The Impact of Ecological Limits

by ROBERT ENGELMAN
Demographers are predicting that world population will climb to 10 billion later this century. But with the planet heating up and growing numbers of people putting increasing pressure on water and food supplies and on life-sustaining ecosystems, will this projected population boom turn into a bust? READ MORE

12 Oct 2011

Thinking the Unthinkable: Engineering Earth’s Climate

A U.S. panel has called for a concerted effort to study proposals to manipulate the climate to slow global warming — a heretical notion among some environmentalists. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Jane C. S. Long, the group’s chairwoman, explains why we need to know more about the possibilities and perils of geoengineering. READ MORE

10 Oct 2011

Can Wildlife Corridors Heal Fragmented Landscapes?

by JIM ROBBINS
Conservationists have long called for creating ecological corridors that would enable large mammals and other wildlife to roam more freely across an increasingly developed planet. But now scientists are taking a closer look at just how well these corridors are working and what role they might play in a warming world. READ MORE

06 Oct 2011

With the Keystone Pipeline, Drawing a Line in the Tar Sands

by BILL MCKIBBEN
For environmentalists protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, the battle is about more than just transporting tar sands oil from Alberta. It’s about whether the United States — and the rest of the world — will finally come to its senses about global warming. READ MORE

03 Oct 2011

A Revolutionary Technology is Unlocking Secrets of the Forest

by RHETT BUTLER
A new imaging system that uses a suite of airborne sensors is capable of providing detailed, three-dimensional pictures of tropical forests — including the species they contain and the amount of CO2 they store — at astonishing speed. These advances could play a key role in preserving the world’s beleaguered rainforests. READ MORE

29 Sep 2011

Are Flame Retardants Safe? Growing Evidence Says ‘No’

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
New studies have underscored the potentially harmful health effects of the most widely used flame retardants, found in everything from baby blankets to carpets. Health experts are now calling for more aggressive action to limit these chemicals, including cutting back on highly flammable, petroleum-based materials used in many consumer products. READ MORE

19 Sep 2011

What If Experts Are Wrong On World Population Growth?

by CARL HAUB
A central tenet of demography is that global population will peak at 9 to 10 billion this century and then gradually decline as poorer countries develop. But that assumption may be overly optimistic — and if it is, population will continue to rise, placing enormous strains on the environment. READ MORE

15 Sep 2011

The Crucial Role of Predators: A New Perspective on Ecology

by CAROLINE FRASER
Scientists have recently begun to understand the vital role played by top predators in ecosystems and the profound impacts that occur when those predators are wiped out. Now, researchers are citing new evidence that shows the importance of lions, wolves, sharks, and other creatures at the top of the food chain. READ MORE

12 Sep 2011

A Huge Oil Palm Plantation Puts African Rainforest at Risk

by RHETT BUTLER AND JEREMY HANCE
As global agricultural companies turn to Africa, a U.S. firm is planning a massive oil palm plantation in Cameroon that it says will benefit local villagers. But critics argue that the project would destroy some of the key remaining forests in the West African nation and threaten species-rich reserves. READ MORE

25 Aug 2011

How to Find Common Ground In the Bitter Climate Debate

Even as the impacts of climate change intensify, many Americans remain confused by the issue. In an interview Yale Environment 360, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe discusses what rising temperatures will mean for the U.S., how to talk with climate skeptics, and what she would say to Texas Gov. Rick Perry to prod him into action on global warming. READ MORE

18 Aug 2011

A Planetary Crisis Is A Terrible Thing to Waste

by CHRISTIAN SCHWäGERL
There are striking similarities between the current economic and ecological crises — both involve indulgent over-consumption and a failure to consider the impacts on future generations. But it’s not too late to look to new economic and environmental models and to dramatically change course. READ MORE

08 Aug 2011

China’s Nuclear Power Plans Unfazed by Fukushima Disaster

by DAVID BIELLO
In the wake of the Fukushima meltdowns, some nations are looking to move away from nuclear power. But not China, which is proceeding with plans to build 36 reactors over the next decade. Now some experts are questioning whether China can safely operate a host of nuclear plants. READ MORE

04 Aug 2011

In Arid South African Lands, Fracking Controversy Emerges

by TODD PITOCK
The contentious practice of hydrofracking to extract underground natural gas has now made its way to South Africa’s Karoo, a semi-desert known for its stark beauty and indigenous plants. But opposition is growing amid concern that fracking will deplete and pollute the area’s scarce water supplies. READ MORE

25 Jul 2011

Forum: Assessing Obama’s Record on the Environment

When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, environmentalists were optimistic that their issues would finally become a priority at the White House. So how is Obama doing? Yale Environment 360 asked a group of environmentalists and energy experts for their verdicts on the president's performance. READ MORE

21 Jul 2011

On Lake Taihu, China Moves To Battle Massive Algae Blooms

by RICHARD STONE
For two decades, the once-scenic Lake Taihu in eastern China has been choked with devastating algae blooms that have threatened drinking water for millions. Now, in a move that could provide lessons for other huge lakes worldwide, China is taking steps to restore Taihu’s ecological balance. READ MORE

18 Jul 2011

The World at 7 Billion: Can We Stop Growing Now?

by ROBERT ENGELMAN
With global population expected to surpass 7 billion people this year, the staggering impact on an overtaxed planet is becoming more and more evident. A two-pronged response is imperative: empower women to make their own decisions on childbearing and rein in our excessive consumption of resources. READ MORE

07 Jul 2011

Phosphate: A Critical Resource Misused and Now Running Low

by FRED PEARCE
Phosphate has been essential to feeding the world since the Green Revolution, but its excessive use as a fertilizer has led to widespread pollution and eutrophication. Now, many of the world’s remaining reserves are starting to be depleted. READ MORE

05 Jul 2011

As Alberta’s Tar Sands Boom, Foes Target Project’s Lifelines

by JIM ROBBINS
Exploiting North America’s largest oil deposit has destroyed vast stretches of Canada's boreal forest, arousing the ire of those opposed to this massive development of fossil fuels. Now those opponents are battling the Keystone XL pipeline, which would pass through environmentally sensitive Western lands as it moves the oil to market. READ MORE

30 Jun 2011

Green Activists Feel Sting of Chinese Government Crackdown

by CHRISTINA LARSON
Even before this spring’s ominous clampdown on China’s public-interest lawyers, writers, and activists, the country’s fledgling environmental community felt the authorities’ noose tightening. READ MORE

23 Jun 2011

Brown to Green: A New Use For Blighted Industrial Sites

by DAVE LEVITAN
Few places in the U.S. are as well suited to developing renewable energy as the contaminated sites known as “brownfields.” But as communities from Philadelphia to California are discovering, government support is critical to enable solar and wind entrepreneurs to make use of these abandoned lands. READ MORE

20 Jun 2011

Forum: Just How Safe Is ‘Fracking’ of Natural Gas?


New technologies for freeing natural gas from underground shale formations have led to a hydraulic fracturing boom across the U.S. that is now spreading to other countries. In a Yale Environment 360 forum, eight experts discuss whether “fracking” can be done without serious harm to water and air quality and what environmental safeguards may be needed. READ MORE

16 Jun 2011

The Unfulfilled Promise of the World’s Marine Protected Areas

by BRUCE BARCOTT
Biologists and conservationists maintain that establishing marine reserves — areas where fishing is off-limits or severely restricted — offers the best hope for recovery for our overstressed oceans. So why is such a small area of the world's oceans protected? READ MORE

14 Jun 2011

In Brazil, Palm Oil Plantations Could Help Preserve the Amazon

by RHETT BUTLER
In recent years, palm oil development in Malaysia and Indonesia has devastated tropical forests there. With Brazil on the verge of its own palm oil boom, can sustainable cultivation of the crop actually help save the rainforest, rather than hastening its destruction? READ MORE

08 Jun 2011

Using the Power of the Web To Protect Africa’s Wildlife

by CHRISTINA M. RUSSO
Paula Kahumbu runs a conservation organization with a distinctly 21st-century mission: Posting field blogs from conservationists to attract global support for wildlife protection. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Kahumbu talks about her group’s triumphs and struggles as it battles to preserve Africa’s magnificent animals. READ MORE

06 Jun 2011

As Arctic Sea Ice Retreats, Storms Take Toll on the Land

by ED STRUZIK
For millennia, the blanket of ice covering the Arctic Ocean protected the shore from damaging storms. But as that ice buffer disappears, increasingly powerful storm surges are eroding the coastline and sending walls of seawater inland, devastating Arctic ecosystems that support abundant wildlife. READ MORE

02 Jun 2011

Forum: Is Extreme Weather Linked to Global Warming?


In the past year, the world has seen a large number of extreme weather events, from the Russian heat wave last summer, to the severe flooding in Pakistan, to the recent tornadoes in the U.S. In a Yale Environment 360 forum, a panel of experts weighs in on whether the wild weather may be tied to increasing global temperatures. READ MORE

31 May 2011

Off the Pedestal: Creating a New Vision of Economic Growth

by JAMES GUSTAVE SPETH
The idea of economic growth as an unquestioned force for good is ingrained in the American psyche. But a longtime environmental leader argues it’s time for the U.S. to reinvent its economy into one that focuses on sustaining communities, family life, and the natural world. READ MORE

26 May 2011

Green Failure: What’s Wrong With Environmental Education?

by MICHELLE NIJHUIS
Marine conservationist Charles Saylan believes the U.S. educational system is failing to create responsible citizens who consider themselves stewards of the environment. To do that, he says in a Yale Environment 360 interview, educators need to go beyond rhetoric and make environmental values a central part of a public education. READ MORE

16 May 2011

From the Fields to Inner City, Pesticides Affect Children’s IQ

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
Scientists studying the effects of prenatal exposure to pesticides on the cognitive abilities of children have come to a troubling conclusion: Whether pregnant mothers are exposed to organophosphate pesticides in California fields or New York apartments, the chemicals appear to impair their children’s mental abilities. READ MORE

12 May 2011

An African Success: In Namibia, The People and Wildlife Coexist

by RICHARD CONNIFF
Shortly after gaining independence in 1990, Namibia turned ownership of its wildlife back to the people. By using a system of community-based management, this southern African nation has avoided the fate of most others on the continent and registered a sharp increase in its key wildlife populations. READ MORE

28 Apr 2011

Europe’s CO2 Trading Scheme: Is It Time for a Major Overhaul?

by BEN SCHILLER
Now in its seventh year, the EU’s carbon emissions trading system is the only international program designed to use market mechanisms to control CO2 emissions. But critics contend it has done little to slow the release of CO2 and argue that it should be significantly reformed — or scrapped. READ MORE

25 Apr 2011

Energy Déjà Vu: Obama Must Break with Failed U.S. Policies

by MICHAEL GRAETZ
Despite soaring rhetoric and some promising proposals, President Obama is repeating the same mistakes that have doomed U.S. energy policy to failure for 40 years. Until Obama and Congress finally put a true price on the fossil fuels America consumes, the U.S. will continue its addiction to foreign oil and domestic coal. READ MORE

18 Apr 2011

One Year Later: Assessing the Lasting Impact of the Gulf Spill

by CARL SAFINA
On the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the worst fears about the long-term damage from the oil spill have not been realized. But the big challenge is more fundamental: repairing the harm from the dams, levees, and canals that are devastating the Mississippi Delta and the Louisiana coast. READ MORE

13 Apr 2011

Against the Odds: Saving Rhinos in a Troubled Land

by CHRISTINA M. RUSSO
For three decades, Raoul du Toit has led the fight to protect black rhinos in Zimbabwe, a struggle that earned him a Goldman Environmental Prize this week. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about the challenge of saving this iconic African animal in the face of his country’s economic collapse and a new wave of poaching. READ MORE

11 Apr 2011

A New Pickens Plan: Good for The U.S. or Just for T. Boone?

by FEN MONTAIGNE
Three years after unveiling his plan for U.S. energy independence, which won praise from environmentalists for its reliance on wind power, Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens is back with a proposal to convert the U.S. trucking fleet to natural gas. But as his new plan gains traction, questions arise over how green it really is. READ MORE

07 Apr 2011

Radioactivity in the Ocean: Diluted, But Far from Harmless

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
With contaminated water from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear complex continuing to pour into the Pacific, scientists are concerned about how that radioactivity might affect marine life. Although the ocean’s capacity to dilute radiation is huge, signs are that nuclear isotopes are already moving up the local food chain. READ MORE

05 Apr 2011

A Scientist Extols the Value Of Forests Shaped by Humans

by JOHN CAREY
Political ecologist Susanna Hecht has incurred the wrath of some conservationists by arguing that the notion of the primeval forest is largely a myth and that disturbed forests play a vital ecological function. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she makes the case for a “new rurality” that places less emphasis on protected forests and more on the areas where people live. READ MORE

04 Apr 2011

Along Scar from Iron Curtain, A Green Belt Rises in Germany

by CHRISTIAN SCHWäGERL
A forbidding, 870-mile network of fences and guard towers once ran the length of Germany, separating East and West. Now, one of the world’s most unique nature reserves is being created along the old “Death Strip,” turning a monument to repression into a symbol of renewal. READ MORE

31 Mar 2011

As Larger Animals Decline, Forests Feel Their Absence

by SHARON LEVY
With giant tortoises, elephants, and other fruit-eating animals disappearing from many of the world’s tropical woodlands, forests are suffering from the loss of a key function performed by these creatures: the dispersal of tree seeds. But a new experiment shows that introduced species may be able to fulfill this vital ecological role. READ MORE

21 Mar 2011

Anatomy of a Nuclear Crisis: A Chronology of Fukushima

by DAVID BIELLO
The world’s worst nuclear reactor mishap in 25 years was caused by a massive natural calamity but compounded by what appear to be surprising mistakes by Japanese engineers. The result has been a fast-moving disaster that has left officials careening from one emergency to the next. READ MORE

17 Mar 2011

Japan’s Once-Powerful Nuclear Industry is Under Siege

by CAROLINE FRASER
The disaster at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant has highlighted the importance of nuclear energy to Japan and the power long wielded by the nuclear sector. But that influence now is sure to wane, to the relief of opponents who have fought for years to check nuclear's rapid growth. READ MORE

14 Mar 2011

Can Electric Vehicles Take Off? A Roadmap to Find the Answer

by JOHN D. GRAHAM AND NATALIE MESSER
Electric cars are finally coming to market in the U.S., but what is the future potential for this much-touted technology? A good way to find out would be to launch demonstration projects in selected U.S. cities to determine if, given incentives and the proper infrastructure, the public will truly embrace plug-in vehicles. READ MORE

07 Mar 2011

Agribusiness Boom Threatens Key African Wildlife Migration

by FRED PEARCE
The Ethiopian region of Gambella is home to Africa’s second-largest mammal migration, with more than a million endangered antelope and other animals moving through its grasslands. But the government has now leased vast tracts to foreign agribusinesses who are planning huge farms on land designated a national park. READ MORE

28 Feb 2011

‘Fracking’ Comes to Europe, Sparking Rising Controversy

by BEN SCHILLER
As concerns grow in the U.S. about the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to extract natural gas from shale, companies have set their sights on Europe and its abundant reserves of this “unconventional” gas. But from Britain to Poland, critics warn of the potentially high environmental cost of this looming energy boom. READ MORE

22 Feb 2011

How Fisheries Can Gain From The Lessons of Sustainable Food

by JOHN WALDMAN
As agriculture and energy production have made strides toward becoming more sustainable, the world’s fisheries have lagged behind. But restoring our beleaguered oceans to health will require an emphasis on diversification and conservation — and a more sensible mix of fishing practices. READ MORE

17 Feb 2011

Climate’s Strong Fingerprint In Global Cholera Outbreaks

by SONIA SHAH
For decades, deadly outbreaks of cholera were attributed to the spread of disease through poor sanitation. But recent research demonstrates how closely cholera is tied to environmental and hydrological factors and to weather patterns — all of which may lead to more frequent cholera outbreaks as the world warms. READ MORE

10 Feb 2011

Growth of Wood Biomass Power Stokes Concern on Emissions

by DAVE LEVITAN
Across the U.S., companies are planning scores of projects to burn trees and wood waste to produce electricity, claiming such biomass plants can be carbon-neutral. But critics contend that combusting wood is not really a form of green energy and are urging a go-slow approach until clear guidelines can be established. READ MORE

03 Feb 2011

Africa’s Flourishing Niger Delta Threatened by Libya Water Plan

by FRED PEARCE
The inland Niger delta of Mali is a unique wetland ecosystem that supports a million farmers, fishermen, and herders and a rich diversity of wildlife. But now, the country’s president and Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi have begun a major agricultural project that will divert much of the river’s water and put the delta’s future at risk. READ MORE

31 Jan 2011

In Novel Approach to Fisheries, Fishermen Manage the Catch

by BRUCE BARCOTT
An increasingly productive way of restoring fisheries is based on the counter-intuitive concept of allowing fishermen to take charge of their own catch. But the success of this growing movement depends heavily on a strong leader who will look out not only for the fishermen, but for the resource itself. READ MORE

27 Jan 2011

Panel Chief on the Gulf Spill: Complacency Led to Disaster

by JOHN MCQUAID
William Reilly led the national commission that investigated the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and says he was struck by the totally inadequate response plans that were in place. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about why it’s crucial to carry out the reforms needed to prevent future disasters. READ MORE

24 Jan 2011

Living in the Anthropocene: Toward a New Global Ethos

by PAUL J. CRUTZEN AND CHRISTIAN SCHWäGERL
A decade ago, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Paul Crutzen first suggested we were living in the “Anthropocene,” a new geological epoch in which humans had altered the planet. Now, in an article for Yale Environment 360, Crutzen and a coauthor explain why adopting this term could help transform the perception of our role as stewards of the Earth. READ MORE

19 Jan 2011

A Fierce Advocate for Grizzlies Sees Warning Signs for the Bear

Doug Peacock has been tireless defender of the Yellowstone grizzly for decades, but he believes the bear may now be facing its toughest threat yet. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Peacock talks about the insect infestation that is destroying a key food source for grizzlies and recalls some of his closest encounters with the bears. READ MORE

13 Jan 2011

Massive Outbreak of Jellyfish Could Spell Trouble for Fisheries

by RICHARD STONE
The world’s oceans have been experiencing enormous blooms of jellyfish, apparently caused by overfishing, declining water quality, and rising sea temperatures. Now, scientists are trying to determine if these outbreaks could represent a “new normal” in which jellyfish increasingly supplant fish. READ MORE

06 Jan 2011

Calculating the True Cost Of Global Climate Change

by JOHN CAREY
Researchers disagree about what the economic costs of climate change will be over the coming decades. But the answer to that question is fundamental in deciding how urgent it is to take action to reduce emissions. READ MORE

20 Dec 2010

In China, a New Transparency On Government Pollution Data

by CHRISTINA LARSON
The Chinese government has begun to make environmental records available to the public, empowering green groups and citizens as they try to force factories — and the Western companies they supply — to comply with the law. READ MORE

16 Dec 2010

Did Cancun Prove the UN Irrelevant in Tackling Climate?

by FRED PEARCE
The Cancun conference is being credited with keeping international climate talks alive. But the real potential for bringing emissions under control may lie in a Plan B, with nations acting on their own in moving toward a low-carbon economy. READ MORE

13 Dec 2010

‘Perverse’ Carbon Payments Send Flood of Money to China

by MARK SCHAPIRO
To offset their own carbon emissions, European companies have been overpaying China to incinerate a powerful greenhouse gas known as hfc 23. And in a bizarre twist, those payments have spurred the manufacture of a harmful refrigerant that is being smuggled into the U.S. and used illegally. READ MORE

08 Dec 2010

New Mission for U.S. Military: Breaking its Dependence on Oil

by LOUIS PECK
As head of a new energy office at the Pentagon, Sharon Burke is charged with finding ways for the U.S. armed forces to cut its dangerous reliance on oil. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talks about what new technologies are being tested and why the military considers energy use a key strategic issue in the field. READ MORE

24 Nov 2010

A Warning by Key Researcher On Risks of BPA in Our Lives

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
The synthetic chemical, BPA — found in everything from plastic bottles to cash register receipts — is a potent, estrogen-mimicking compound. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, biologist Frederick vom Saal harshly criticizes U.S. corporations and government regulators for covering up — or ignoring — the many health risks of BPA. READ MORE

15 Nov 2010

With Tigers Near Extinction, A Last-Ditch Strategy Emerges

by CAROLINE FRASER
In the past century, populations of wild tigers have plummeted from 100,000 to 3,500. Now the World Bank and conservationists have launched an eleventh-hour effort to save this great predator, focusing on reining in the black market for tiger parts and ending the destruction of tiger habitat. READ MORE

09 Nov 2010

After a Strong Counterattack, Big Coal Makes a Comeback

by JEFF GOODELL
With an aggressive campaign focused on advertising, lobbying, and political contributions, America’s coal industry has succeeded in beating back a challenge from environmentalists and clean-energy advocates. The dirty truth is that Big Coal is more powerful today than ever. READ MORE

28 Oct 2010

China Takes First Steps In the Fight Against Acid Rain

by CHRISTINA LARSON
Amid China’s seemingly boundless emissions of industrial pollutants, there are signs of hope. Discharges of sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, have actually decreased, offering some evidence that China is starting to establish a culture of pollution monitoring and control. READ MORE

27 Oct 2010

In California’s Mojave Desert, Solar-Thermal Projects Take Off

by TODD WOODY
By year’s end, regulators are expected to approve a host of solar energy projects in California that could eventually produce as much electricity as several nuclear plants. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, John Woolard, the CEO of the company that has begun construction on the world’s largest solar-thermal project, discusses the promise — and challenges — of this green energy boom. READ MORE

18 Oct 2010

A Positive Path for Meeting The Global Climate Challenge

by ROGER A. PIELKE JR.
Climate policies that require public sacrifice and limiting economic growth are doomed to failure. To succeed, policies to reduce emissions must promise real benefits and must help make clean energy cheaper. READ MORE

14 Oct 2010

Rising Hopes that Electric Cars Can Play a Key Role on the Grid

by DAVE LEVITAN
Will electric cars one day become part of a network of rechargeable batteries that can help smooth out the intermittent nature of wind and solar power? Many experts believe so, pointing to programs in Europe and the U.S. that demonstrate the promise of vehicle-to-grid technology. READ MORE

05 Oct 2010

Climate Forecasts: The Case For Living with Uncertainty

by FRED PEARCE
As climate science advances, predictions about the extent of future warming and its effects are likely to become less — not more — precise. That may make it more difficult to convince the public of the reality of climate change, but it hardly diminishes the urgency of taking action. READ MORE

29 Sep 2010

Forging a Landmark Agreement To Save Canada’s Boreal Forest

Last spring, conservation groups and timber companies signed an historic agreement to protect a large swath of Canada’s boreal forest. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, the Pew Environment Group's Steven E. Kallick, a key player in the agreement, explains why the accord is integral to a larger plan to eventually preserve half of Canada’s extensive boreal forests. READ MORE

27 Sep 2010

What Are Species Worth? Putting a Price on Biodiversity

by RICHARD CONNIFF
When officials gather for an international summit on biodiversity next month, they might look to remind the world why species matter to humans: for producing oxygen, finding new drugs, making agricultural crops more productive, and something far less tangible — a sense of wonder. READ MORE

20 Sep 2010

New Hope for Pavlovsk Station And Russia’s Rare Plant Reserve

by FRED PEARCE
In the early 20th century, Russian botanist Nikolai Vavilov created a preserve outside St. Petersburg that today contains one of the world’s largest collections of rare seeds and crops. Now, scientists and conservationists are waging an international campaign to save the reserve’s fields from being bulldozed for housing development. READ MORE

09 Sep 2010

Steady Growth of Wind Industry Moves EU Closer to Green Goals

by FEN MONTAIGNE
Europe is in the midst of a wind energy boom, with the continent now installing more wind power capacity than any other form of energy. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, the European Wind Energy Association's Christian Kjaer describes his vision of how wind can lead the way in making Europe’s electricity generation 100 percent renewable by 2050. READ MORE

07 Sep 2010

A Symbolic Solar Road Trip To Reignite a Climate Movement

by BILL MCKIBBEN
An activist caravan to bring one of Jimmy Carter’s solar panels back to the White House symbolizes the time that the U.S. has lost in developing new energy technologies – and the urgent need for taking action on climate. READ MORE

26 Aug 2010

Spurred by Warming World, Beetles Threaten Coffee Crops

by ERICA WESTLY
Coffee production has long been vulnerable to drought or excess rains. But recently, a tiny insect that thrives in warmer temperatures — the coffee berry borer — has been spreading steadily, devastating coffee plants in Africa, Latin America, and around the world. READ MORE

19 Aug 2010

How Marketplace Economics Can Help Build a Greener World

by DANIEL GOLEMAN
Consumers now have little information about the true ecological impacts of what they buy. But that may be about to change, as new technologies that track supply chains are emerging and companies as diverse as Unilever and Google look to make their products more sustainable. READ MORE

16 Aug 2010

LEED Building Standards Fail to Protect Human Health

by JOHN WARGO
LEED certification has emerged as the green standard of approval for new buildings in the United States. But the criteria used for determining the ratings largely ignore factors relating to human health, particularly the use of potentially toxic building materials. READ MORE

11 Aug 2010

The Sierra Club’s New Leader On Charting a More Assertive Course

by TODD WOODY
Earlier this year, 38-year-old environmental activist Michael Brune was named the unlikely choice to take over as head of the Sierra Club, the largest U.S. conservation organization. In an interview with Yale Environment 360 Brune says it’s time to move beyond overly accommodating strategies like those that failed to win passage of U.S. climate legislation. READ MORE

29 Jul 2010

In Wreckage of Climate Bill, Some Clues for Moving Forward

by ERIC POOLEY
Ample blame exists for the demise of climate legislation in the U.S. Senate, from President Obama’s lack of political courage, to the environmental community’s overly ambitious strategy, to Republican intransigence. A way forward exists, however, to build on the rubble of the Senate’s failure to cap carbon emissions. READ MORE

26 Jul 2010

Growing Shortages of Water Threaten China’s Development

by CHRISTINA LARSON
With 20 percent of the world’s population but just 7 percent of its available freshwater, China faces serious water shortages as its economy booms and urbanization increases. The government is planning massive water diversion projects, but environmentalists say conservation — especially in the wasteful agricultural sector — is the key. READ MORE

22 Jul 2010

Enlisting Endangered Species As a Tool to Combat Warming

by TODD WOODY
Environmentalists in the U.S. are increasingly trying to use the Endangered Species Act to ease the impact of global warming on numerous animals and plants, including the American pika. The goal is not only to protect the habitat of at-risk species but also to force reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. READ MORE

01 Jul 2010

As Madagascar is Plundered, A Staunch Defender Fights Back

by STEVEN KOTLER
Primatologist Patricia Wright has spent the past 25 years studying — and protecting — Madagascar’s rich yet highly threatened biodiversity. Now, as many of the island’s remaining forests are being felled in the wake of a 2009 coup, Wright describes how she is helping organize the local residents and international conservation organizations to fight back. READ MORE

24 Jun 2010

In the Fight to Save Forests, Activists Target Corporations

by RHETT BUTLER
Large corporations, not small-scale farmers, are now the major forces behind the destruction of the world’s tropical forests. From the Amazon to Madagascar, activists have been directing their actions at these companies — so far with limited success. READ MORE

21 Jun 2010

A Grim Outlook for Emissions As Climate Talks Limp Forward

by FRED PEARCE
In the wake of the failed Copenhagen summit, prospects for cutting global CO2 emissions are worse than they’ve been in years. With talk of mandated cuts now fading and with countries exploiting loopholes, the world appears headed toward a flawed agreement based not on science but on politics. READ MORE

21 Jun 2010

Despite Rough Ride on Climate, Yvo de Boer Departs an Optimist

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
Even after the failure to reach agreement on binding CO2 cuts in Copenhagen last December, the United Nations’ outgoing chief climate negotiator is confident that the world is making progress on global warming. The key, he says, is convincing all nations, particularly developing ones, that tackling climate change is in their long-term economic interest. READ MORE

17 Jun 2010

The Nuclear Power Resurgence: How Safe Are the New Reactors?

by SUSAN Q. STRANAHAN
As utilities seek to build new nuclear power plants in the U.S. and around the world, the latest generation of reactors feature improvements over older technologies. But even as attention focuses on nuclear as an alternative to fossil fuels, questions remain about whether the newer reactors are sufficiently foolproof to be adopted on a large scale. READ MORE

15 Jun 2010

A Louisiana Bird Expert Assesses Damage from the Spill

The images of pelicans and other Gulf of Mexico seabirds drenched in oil have stirred sadness and outrage around the world. But, says conservationist Melanie Driscoll, the unseen effects are probably far greater, with some birds perishing out of sight, far from shore, and others facing spill-related declines in the fish on which they depend. READ MORE

14 Jun 2010

As the Far North Melts, Calls Grow for Arctic Treaty

by ED STRUZIK
The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a warning, conservationists say, of what could happen in the Arctic as melting sea ice opens the Arctic Ocean to oil and gas drilling. Many experts argue that the time has come to adopt an Arctic Treaty similar to the one that has safeguarded Antarctica for half a century. READ MORE

10 Jun 2010

Global Warming Deniers and Their Proven Strategy of Doubt

by NAOMI ORESKES AND ERIK M. CONWAY
For years, free-market fundamentalists opposed to government regulation have sought to create doubt in the public’s mind about the dangers of smoking, acid rain, and ozone depletion. Now they have turned those same tactics on the issue of global warming and on climate scientists, with significant success. READ MORE

09 Jun 2010

The Oil Spill’s Growing Toll On Sea Life in the Gulf of Mexico

by DAVID BIELLO
A prominent marine biologist says the impacts of the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico will persist for years, no matter when the flow finally stops. What’s more, scientist Thomas Shirley says that most of the damage remains out of sight below the surface, as creatures succumb to the toxic effects of the rapidly spreading tide of oil. READ MORE

07 Jun 2010

Climate Intervention Schemes Could Be Undone by Geopolitics

by MIKE HULME
As global warming intensifies, demands for human manipulation of the climate system are likely to grow. But carrying out geoengineering plans could prove daunting, as conflicts erupt over the unintended regional consequences of climate intervention and over who is entitled to deploy climate-altering technologies. READ MORE

03 Jun 2010

Under Pressure to Block Oil, A Rush To Dubious Projects

by ROB YOUNG
In response to the widening disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, government officials have approved a plan to intercept the oil by building a 45-mile sand berm. But scientists fear the project is a costly boondoggle that will inflict further environmental damage and do little to keep oil off the coast. READ MORE

25 May 2010

Eyeing the Difficult Path To a Sustainable Future

Environmentalist David Orr says the easy part of helping the United States live within its ecological limits may be passing laws, such as one that puts a price on carbon. The hard part, he maintains in an interview with Yale Environment 360, is changing a culture of consumption that causes extensive environmental damage — and unhappiness. READ MORE

20 May 2010

Energy Sleuths in Pursuit Of the Truly Green Building

by RICHARD CONNIFF
The practice of “commissioning,” in which an engineer monitors the efficiency of a building from its design through its initial operation, just may be the most effective strategy for reducing long-term energy usage, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. So why is it so seldom used? READ MORE

06 May 2010

Under Threat in the Gulf, A Refuge Created by Roosevelt

by DOUGLAS BRINKLEY
Among the natural treasures at risk from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, created by Theodore Roosevelt to halt a grave threat to birds in his era — the lucrative trade in plumage. Now, oil from the BP spill is starting to wash up on beaches where Roosevelt once walked. READ MORE

03 May 2010

Turning to Greener Weapons In the Battle Against Malaria

by SONIA SHAH
Insecticides such as DDT have long been used to combat the scourge of malaria in the developing world. But with the disease parasite becoming increasingly adept at resisting the chemical onslaught, some countries are achieving striking success by eliminating the environmental conditions that give rise to malarial mosquitoes. READ MORE

20 Apr 2010

Despite Attacks from Critics, Climate Science Will Prevail

by RAJENDRA K. PACHAURI
The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledges it has been a rough few months for his organization. But, he argues, no amount of obfuscation and attacks by conspiracy theorists will alter the basic facts — global warming is real and intensifying. READ MORE

12 Apr 2010

Beyond the Limits of Earth Day: Turning Up the Heat on Climate

by DENIS HAYES
This April marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, an event that has attracted millions to environmental causes. But winning passage of meaningful legislation on climate change requires more than slogans and green talk — it demands intense, determined political action.  READ MORE

05 Apr 2010

Out of the Demographic Trap: Hope for Feeding the World

by FRED PEARCE
In Africa and elsewhere, burgeoning population growth threatens to overwhelm already over-stretched food supply systems. But the next agricultural revolution needs to get local — and must start to see rising populations as potentially part of the solution. READ MORE

01 Apr 2010

A Hard Look at the Perils and Potential of Geoengineering

by JEFF GOODELL
The Asilomar conference on geoengineering had been touted as a potentially historic event. What emerged, however, were some unexpected lessons about the possibilities and pitfalls of manipulating the Earth’s climate to offset global warming. READ MORE

29 Mar 2010

Freeing Energy Policy From The Climate Change Debate

by TED NORDHAUS AND MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER
Environmentalists have long sought to use the threat of catastrophic global warming to persuade the public to embrace a low-carbon economy. But recent events, including the tainting of some climate research, have shown the risks of trying to link energy policy to climate science. READ MORE

25 Mar 2010

A Controversial Drilling Practice Hits Roadblock in New York

by BRUCE STUTZ
Hydro fracturing is a profitable method of natural gas extraction that uses large quantities of water and chemicals to free gas from underground rock formations. But New York City’s concerns that the practice would threaten its water supply have slowed a juggernaut that has been sweeping across parts of the northeastern United States. READ MORE

22 Mar 2010

The Secret of Sea Level Rise: It Will Vary Greatly By Region

by MICHAEL D. LEMONICK
As the world warms, sea levels could easily rise three to six feet this century. But increases will vary widely by region, with prevailing winds, powerful ocean currents, and even the gravitational pull of the polar ice sheets determining whether some coastal areas will be inundated while others stay dry. READ MORE

01 Mar 2010

In India, a Clear Victor on The Climate Action Front

by ISABEL HILTON
In the internal struggle over the nation’s climate policy, India’s charismatic Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has triumphed and is pushing his country toward low-carbon policies both at home and internationally. READ MORE

25 Feb 2010

The IPCC Needs to Change, But the Science Remains Sound

by ROBERT T. WATSON
The former chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the organization he once headed needs to improve its work and openly acknowledge its mistakes. But, he writes, a handful of errors does not mean that human-induced climate change is an illusion or that CO2 emissions do not need to be cut. READ MORE

25 Feb 2010

Major Change Is Needed If the IPCC Hopes to Survive

by ROGER A. PIELKE JR.
Well before the recent controversies, the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was marred by an unwillingness to listen to dissenting points of view, an inadequate system for dealing with errors, conflicts of interest, and political advocacy. The latest allegations of inaccuracies should be an impetus for sweeping reform. READ MORE

23 Feb 2010

The U.S. Chamber: A Record of Obstruction on Climate Action

by SHAUN GOHO
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been fighting climate-change legislation and is now opposing federal efforts to regulate CO2 emissions. Its actions stand in stark contrast to an earlier business group, which more than a century ago fought to create New York’s vast Adirondack Park. READ MORE

08 Feb 2010

America’s Unfounded Fears of A Green-Tech Race with China

by CHRISTINA LARSON
There has been growing talk about a clean-tech race between China and the U.S., often cast in ominous tones. But the quest to develop and implement renewable energy can be one where both nations win. READ MORE

01 Feb 2010

It’s Green Against Green In Mojave Desert Solar Battle

by TODD WOODY
Few places are as well suited for large-scale solar projects as California’s Mojave Desert. But as mainstream environmental organizations push plans to turn the desert into a center for renewable energy, some green groups — concerned about spoiling this iconic Western landscape — are standing up to oppose them. READ MORE

26 Jan 2010

A Journalist Reflects on the Rising Heat in Climate Debate

Although he writes one of the most popular blogs on the environment, Dot Earth author Andrew Revkin recognizes both the drawbacks and potential of the Web for exploring complex issues.  In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Revkin explains why the rhetoric surrounding climate change has gotten so hot.audio READ MORE

21 Jan 2010

The Electric Car Revolution Will Soon Take to the Streets

by JIM MOTAVALLI
For years, the promise and hype surrounding electric cars failed to materialize. But as this year’s Detroit auto show demonstrated, major car companies and well-funded startups — fueled by federal clean-energy funding and rapid improvement in lithium-ion batteries — are now producing electric vehicles that will soon be in showrooms. READ MORE

19 Jan 2010

Why Africa’s National Parks Are Failing to Save Wildlife

by FRED PEARCE
The traditional parks model of closing off areas and keeping people out simply may not work in Africa, where human demands on the land are great. Instead, what’s needed is an approach that finds ways to enable people and animals to co-exist. READ MORE

22 Dec 2009

Stewart Brand’s Strange Trip: Whole Earth to Nuclear Power

by TODD WOODY
When the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog embraces nuclear power, genetically engineered crops, and geoengineering schemes to cool the planet, you know things have changed in the environmental movement. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Stewart Brand explains how the passage of four decades — and the advent of global warming — have shifted his thinking about what it means to be green. READ MORE

21 Dec 2009

Copenhagen: Things Fall Apart and an Uncertain Future Looms

by BILL MCKIBBEN
The Copenhagen summit turned out to be little more than a charade, as the major nations refused to make firm commitments or even engage in an honest discussion of the consequences of failing to act. READ MORE

15 Dec 2009

Bringing Hope to Copenhagen With a Novel Investment Idea

by ORVILLE SCHELL
Governments from the developed world will never come up with enough money to help poorer nations adapt to global warming and implement renewable energy technologies. The solution may lie in using a modest allocation of government funds to spur private sector investment in green energy projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. READ MORE

14 Dec 2009

Copenhagen: The Gap Between Climate Rhetoric and Reality

by BILL MCKIBBEN
As the UN conference enters its second and decisive week, the calls for strong global action to deal with climate change do not appear to be penetrating inside Copenhagen’s Bella Center. READ MORE

10 Dec 2009

Climategate: Anatomy of A Public Relations Disaster

by FRED PEARCE
The way that climate scientists have handled the fallout from the leaking of hacked e-mails is a case study in how not to respond to a crisis. But it also points to the need for climate researchers to operate with greater transparency and to provide more open access to data. READ MORE

08 Dec 2009

Ambitious Actions by the States Push U.S. Toward Climate Goals

by 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. READ MORE

07 Dec 2009

The Case Against the Skeptics Stirring Up the Warming Debate

The recent controversy over hacked e-mails in the climate science community has emboldened global warming skeptics who dismiss the notion that humanity is dangerously heating up the planet. But James Hoggan, founder of the Desmogblog, is taking on the deniers, accusing them of cynically obfuscating an issue long ago settled by mainstream science. READ MORE

30 Nov 2009

As the World Waits on the U.S., a Sense of Déjà Vu in Denmark?

by BILL MCKIBBEN
Twelve years ago in Kyoto, the world was poised to act on a climate treaty but looked for a clear signal from the United States. Now, with the Copenhagen talks set to begin, the outcome once again hinges on what the U.S. is prepared to do. READ MORE

24 Nov 2009

The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Sobering Update on the Science

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
On the eve of the Copenhagen conference, a group of scientists has issued an update on the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their conclusions? Ice at both poles is melting faster than predicted, the claims of recent global cooling are wrong, and world leaders must act fast if steep temperature rises are to be avoided. READ MORE

23 Nov 2009

As Copenhagen Talks Near, What Are Prospects for Success?

For months, hopes that a climate treaty would be signed at the upcoming Copenhagen conference have been raised, then dashed, then raised again. Now, with prospects waning that a binding accord on reducing greenhouse gas emissions can be reached this year, ten environmental leaders and climate experts outline for Yale Environment 360 what they believe can still be accomplished at Copenhagen. READ MORE

16 Nov 2009

Apocalypse Fatigue: Losing the Public on Climate Change

by TED NORDHAUS AND MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER
Even as the climate science becomes more definitive, polls show that public concern in the United States about global warming has been declining. What will it take to rally Americans behind the need to take strong action on cutting carbon emissions? READ MORE

09 Nov 2009

The Pursuit of New Ways to Boost Solar Development

by JON R. LUOMA
The solar power boom in Germany, Spain, and parts of the United States has been fueled by government subsidies. But now some U.S. states — led by New Jersey, of all places — are pioneering a different approach: issuing tradable credits that can be sold on the open market. So far, the results have been promising. READ MORE

04 Nov 2009

Amid Mounting Pessimism, A Voice of Hope for Copenhagen

With skepticism growing about the chances of reaching a climate agreement next month in Copenhagen, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says he is “cautiously optimistic” that a treaty can still be signed. But in an interview with Yale Environment 360, Pachauri says the global community may have to move ahead without any commitment from the United States.audio READ MORE

02 Nov 2009

Coping With Climate Change: Which Societies Will Do Best?

by GAIA VINCE
As the world warms, how different societies fare in dealing with rising seas and changing weather patterns will have as much to do with political, social, and economic factors as with a changing climate. READ MORE

26 Oct 2009

The Greenest Place in the U.S. May Not Be Where You Think

by DAVID OWEN
Green rankings in the U.S. don’t tell the full story about the places where the human footprint is lightest. If you really want the best environmental model, you need to look at the nation’s biggest — and greenest — metropolis: New York City. READ MORE

21 Oct 2009

Geoengineering the Planet: The Possibilities and the Pitfalls

Interfering with the Earth’s climate system to counteract global warming is a controversial concept. But in an interview with Yale Environment 360, climate scientist Ken Caldeira talks about why he believes the world needs to better understand which geoengineering schemes might work and which are fantasy — or worse.audio READ MORE

20 Oct 2009

The Economic Case for Slashing Carbon Emissions

by FRANK ACKERMAN
Amid a growing call for reducing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to 350 parts per million, a group of economists maintains that striving to meet that target is a smart investment — and the best insurance policy humanity could buy. READ MORE

05 Oct 2009

The Other Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis in Global Land Use

by JONATHAN FOLEY
As the international community focuses on climate change as the great challenge of our era, it is ignoring another looming problem — the global crisis in land use. With agricultural practices already causing massive ecological impact, the world must now find new ways to feed its burgeoning population and launch a "Greener" Revolution. READ MORE

01 Oct 2009

A Timely Reminder of the Real Limits to Growth

by BILL MCKIBBEN
It has been more than 30 years since a groundbreaking book predicted that if growth continued unchecked, the Earth’s ecological systems would be overwhelmed within a century. The latest study from an international team of scientists should serve as an eleventh-hour warning that cannot be ignored. READ MORE

21 Sep 2009

Korea’s Four Rivers Project: Economic Boost or Boondoggle?

by JAMES CARD
The natural landscape of South Korea has been largely re-engineered, with nearly every river damned or forced into concrete channels. Now the government is reviving plans for a mammoth water project that would dredge and develop hundreds more miles of waterways and put added stress on the country's remaining wildlife. READ MORE

10 Sep 2009

New York City Girds Itself for Heat and Rising Seas

by BRUCE STUTZ
By the end of the century, New York’s climate could resemble that of present-day Raleigh, North Carolina and its harbor could easily rise by two feet or more. Faced with this prospect, the city is among the first urban centers to begin changing the way it builds its infrastructure — and the way it thinks about its future. READ MORE

08 Sep 2009

Pumping Up the Grid: Key Step to Green Energy

by MICHAEL NOBLE
The U.S. can build all the wind turbines and solar arrays it wants, but until it does something about improving its outmoded electricity grid, renewable energy will never reach its potential. What we need is a new electricity transmission system, with the costs shared by all. READ MORE

27 Aug 2009

The Growing Specter of Africa Without Wildlife

by RICHARD CONNIFF
Recent studies show that wildlife in some African nations is declining even in national parks, as poaching increases and human settlements hem in habitat. With the continent expected to add more than a billion people by 2050, do these trends portend an Africa devoid of wild animals? READ MORE

24 Aug 2009

A ‘Dow Jones’ for Climate: The Case for a Warming Index

by DANIEL R. ABBASI
If a cap-and-trade bill passes Congress this year, it may include weak emissions targets and will likely need to be strengthened in the years to come. One way to guide future policy: create a Global Climate Change Index that could be used to track global warming’s impacts. READ MORE

20 Aug 2009

Finding Common Ground on Protecting Montana Wilderness

by RICK BASS
In the Yaak Valley of Montana, environmentalists have been talking to loggers, snowmobilers and other longtime opponents of wilderness protection about the future of public lands. Their accord is part of a cooperative effort that could lead to the first wilderness-area designation in the state in a quarter century. READ MORE

17 Aug 2009

The Great Paradox of China: Green Energy and Black Skies

by CHRISTINA LARSON
China is on its way to becoming the world’s largest producer of renewable energy, yet it remains one of the most polluted countries on earth. A year after the Beijing Olympics, economic and political forces are combining to make China simultaneously a leader in alternative energy – and in dirty water and air. READ MORE

13 Aug 2009

Obama’s Science Adviser Urges Leadership on Climate

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
John Holdren, the president’s top science adviser, is playing a key role in shaping the Obama administration’s strategy to combat global warming. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Holdren discusses the prospects for achieving key breakthroughs on climate change, both in Congress and at upcoming talks in Copenhagen.audio READ MORE

29 Jul 2009

The Folly of ‘Magical Solutions’ for Targeting Carbon Emissions

by ROGER A. PIELKE JR.
Setting unattainable emissions targets is not a policy — it’s an act of wishful thinking, argues one political scientist. Instead, governments and society should focus money and attention on workable solutions for improving energy efficiency and de-carbonizing our economies. READ MORE

27 Jul 2009

Sen. Kerry on Climate Bill: ‘We’re Going to Get It Done’

by DARREN SAMUELSOHN
In an interview with Yale Environment 360, John Kerry praises the carbon cap-and-trade legislation now being debated in the U.S. Senate, describes its importance to upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen, and explains how he plans to help the landmark legislation clear the Senate and become law.audio READ MORE

20 Jul 2009

Mountaintop Mining Legacy: Destroying Appalachia’s Streams

by JOHN MCQUAID
The environmental damage caused by mountaintop removal mining across Appalachia has been well documented. But scientists are now beginning to understand that the mining operations’ most lasting damage may be caused by the massive amounts of debris dumped into valley streams. READ MORE

16 Jul 2009

Its Economy In Shambles, the Midwest Goes Green

by KEITH SCHNEIDER
It took awhile, but the U.S. Midwest finally has recognized that the industries that once powered its economy will never return.  Now leaders in the region are looking to renewable energy manufacturing and technologies as key to the heartland’s renaissance. READ MORE

09 Jul 2009

NOAA’s New Chief on Restoring Science to U.S. Climate Policy

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
Marine biologist Jane Lubchenco now heads one of the U.S. government’s key agencies researching climate change — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Lubchenco discusses the central role her agency is playing in understanding the twin threats of global warming and ocean acidification. READ MORE

30 Jun 2009

Report Gives Sobering View of Warming’s Impact on U.S.

by MICHAEL D. LEMONICK
A new U.S. government report paints a disturbing picture of the current and future effects of climate change and offers a glimpse of what the nation’s climate will be like by century’s end. READ MORE

22 Jun 2009

A Plea to President Obama: End Mountaintop Coal Mining

by JAMES HANSEN
Tighter restrictions on mountaintop removal mining are simply not enough. Instead, a leading climate scientist argues, the Obama administration must prohibit this destructive practice, which is devastating vast stretches of Appalachia. READ MORE

18 Jun 2009

The Waxman-Markey Bill: A Good Start or a Non-Starter?

As carbon cap-and-trade legislation works it way through Congress, the environmental community is intensely debating whether the Waxman-Markey bill is the best possible compromise or a fatally flawed initiative. Yale Environment 360 asked 11 prominent people in the environmental and energy fields for their views on this controversial legislation. READ MORE

08 Jun 2009

The Challenge of Copenhagen: Bridging the U.S.-China Divide

by ORVILLE SCHELL
The United States powered its rise to affluence with fossil fuels, and China resents being told it should not be free to do the same. So as negotiators prepare for crucial climate talks this December, the prospects for reaching agreement remain far from certain. READ MORE

28 May 2009

Beyond Abstraction: Moving the Public on Climate Action

by DOUG STRUCK
Most Americans believe climate change is a serious problem but are not committed to making the hard choices needed to deal with it. Recent research begins to explain some of the reasons why. READ MORE

21 May 2009

Regional Climate Pact’s Lesson: Avoid Big Giveaways to Industry

by KEITH SCHNEIDER
As Congress struggles over a bill to limit carbon emissions, a cap-and-trade program is already operating in 10 Northeastern states. But the regional project's mixed success offers a cautionary warning to U.S. lawmakers on how to proceed. READ MORE

19 May 2009

The Flawed Logic of the Cap-and-Trade Debate

by TED NORDHAUS AND MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER
Two prominent — and iconoclastic — environmentalists argue that current efforts to tax or cap carbon emissions are doomed to failure and that the answer lies not in making dirty energy expensive but in making clean energy cheap. READ MORE

12 May 2009

The Razing of Appalachia: Mountaintop Removal Revisited

by JOHN MCQUAID
Over the past two decades, mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia has obliterated or severely damaged more than a million acres of forest and buried more than 1,000 miles of streams. Now, the Obama administration is showing signs it plans to crack down on this destructive practice. READ MORE

07 May 2009

Putting a Price on Carbon: An Emissions Cap or a Tax?

The days of freely dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere are coming to an end, but how best to price carbon emissions remains in dispute. As the U.S. Congress debates the issue, Yale Environment 360 asked eight experts to discuss the merits of a cap-and-trade system versus a carbon tax. READ MORE

23 Apr 2009

Bill McKibben on Building a Climate Action Movement

In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Bill McKibben explains why he’s now focused on organizing a citizens movement around climate change — and why he believes this effort is critical for spurring world leaders into action. READ MORE

16 Mar 2009

An Army of Lobbyists Readies for Battle on the Climate Bill

by MARIANNE LAVELLE
With carbon cap-and-trade legislation now on Washington’s agenda, companies and interest groups have been hiring lobbyists at a feverish pace. For every member of Congress, there are now four climate lobbyists, many of them hoping to derail or water down the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. READ MORE

26 Jan 2009

A Call for Tougher Standards on Mercury Levels in Fish

by JANE HIGHTOWER
In response to industry pressure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has failed to set adequate restrictions on mercury levels in fish. Now the Obama administration must move forcefully to tighten those standards and warn the public which fish are less safe to eat. READ MORE

18 Dec 2008

A Green Agenda for the President’s First 100 Days

Environmentalists – from Bill McKibben and Paul Hawken, to Fred Krupp and Frances Beinecke – offer President Obama their advice on the priorities he should set for the first 100 days of his administration. READ MORE

15 Dec 2008

A Green Scorecard for Stimulating the Economy

by RICHARD CONNIFF
In evaluating an economic recovery package, the new U.S. administration and Congress must weigh any proposed spending – on highways or mass transit or wind-power transmission routes – on the basis of clear criteria that would assess just how green the projects will be. READ MORE

08 Dec 2008

Regulators Are Pushing Bluefin Tuna to the Brink

by CARL SAFINA
The international commission charged with protecting the giant bluefin tuna is once again failing to do its job. Its recent decision to ignore scientists’ recommendations for reducing catch limits may spell doom for this magnificent – and endangered – fish. READ MORE

20 Nov 2008

Obama is Ready to Move on a Clean-Energy Economy

by KEITH SCHNEIDER
For four decades, American politicians have talked about ending U.S. dependence on foreign oil. But during the campaign and since his election victory, Barack Obama has made it clear that he finally intends to change the way America powers itself. READ MORE

17 Nov 2008

Offshore Drilling in Alaska: Time to Slow the Rush

by MARGARET WILLIAMS
In the last eight years, vast areas of offshore Alaska have been opened to oil drilling. Now, a conservationist argues, the Obama administration must reverse the Bush-era policies if the state is to avoid irreparable harm to Arctic wildlife and to some of the most biologically productive waters on earth. READ MORE

05 Nov 2008

President Obama’s Big Climate Challenge

by BILL MCKIBBEN
As he assumes the presidency, Barack Obama must make climate-change legislation and investment in green energy top priorities. And he must be ready to take bold — and politically unpopular — action to address global warming. READ MORE

27 Oct 2008

The Clean Air Act: Jump-Starting Climate Action

by MICHAEL NORTHROP AND DAVID SASSOON
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. READ MORE

24 Oct 2008

Despite Global Recession, Focus on Climate Change Critical

Stavros Dimas, environmental commissioner for the European Union, says the global economic crisis is no reason to lose focus on efforts to fight climate change. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talked about the lessons of the EU's emissions trading system, and why the U.S. should not give away permits in a cap-and-trade system — it should get something for them.audio READ MORE

20 Oct 2008

Environmental Failure: A Case for a New Green Politics

by JAMES GUSTAVE SPETH
The U.S. environmental movement is failing – by any measure, the state of the earth has never been more dire. What’s needed, a leading environmentalist writes, is a new, inclusive green politics that challenges basic assumptions about consumerism and unlimited growth. READ MORE

09 Oct 2008

Thomas Friedman: Hope in a Hot, Flat and Crowded World

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
In an exclusive interview with Yale Environment 360, best-selling author Thomas Friedman talks with Elizabeth Kolbert about his new book and about why he’s optimistic that an energy-technology revolution can revitalize the United States and set the world on a new, greener path. audio READ MORE

06 Oct 2008

Financial Crisis Dims Chances for U.S. Climate Legislation

by MARGARET KRIZ
Environmentalists had been looking to a new president and a new Congress to pass legislation dealing with global warming next year. But with tough economic times looming, the passage of a sweeping climate change bill now appears far less likely. READ MORE

02 Oct 2008

A Corporate Approach to Rescuing the World’s Fisheries

by NICHOLAS DAY
The commitment by Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and other major companies to buy only sustainably-caught seafood is an encouraging sign in an otherwise bleak global fisheries picture. After decades of government inaction and ineffective consumer campaigns, corporate pressure may finally be starting to turn the tide on reckless overfishing. READ MORE

08 Sep 2008

Alaska’s Pebble Mine: Fish Versus Gold

by BILL SHERWONIT
With the support of Gov. Sarah Palin, mining interests have defeated an Alaska ballot measure that could have blocked a huge proposed mining project. Now, plans are moving forward to exploit the massive gold and copper deposit at Bristol Bay, home of one of the world’s greatest salmon runs. READ MORE

25 Jun 2008

After Bush, Restoring Science to Environmental Policy

by CHRIS MOONEY
The Bush administration has been widely criticized for placing politics over science when it comes to environmental policy-making. The next president must act to reverse that trend. READ MORE

10 Jun 2008

Climate Solutions: Charting a Bold Course

by DENIS HAYES
A cap-and-trade system is not the answer, according to a leading alternative-energy advocate. To really tackle climate change, the United States must revolutionize its entire energy strategy. READ MORE

03 Jun 2008

What the Next President Must Do

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
After years of U.S. inaction, a new president will have to move quickly to address global warming. In an e360 report, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert surveys the views of various nonpartisan groups and provides a blueprint for what needs to be done. READ MORE

03 Jun 2008

States Take the Lead on Climate

by MICHAEL NORTHROP AND DAVID SASSOON
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. READ MORE

03 Jun 2008

On Climate Legislation, It Looks Like “Wait Until Next Year”

by DARREN SAMUELSOHN
As debate begins on Capitol Hill, the prospects for passing a climate change bill this year are dimming. Increasingly, it appears as though any new law will await a new Congress and a new president. READ MORE

e360 digest

23 Apr 2014: Five Questions for IPCC Chairman On Future of Climate Change Action

14 Apr 2014: Despite Stark Warnings, UN Panel Finds Signs of Hope on Climate

02 Apr 2014: Comment: e360 Point/Counterpoint Debate On University Fossil Fuel Divestment

01 Apr 2014: Delaware River Watershed Is Focus Of Large-Scale Restoration Project

25 Mar 2014: Consumer Products Giants Commit to Deforestation-Free Palm Oil

25 Mar 2014: Five Questions for Mario Molina On Climate Science’s PR Campaign

21 Mar 2014: Koch Brothers Biggest Lease Holders in Alberta Tar Sands, Report Finds

18 Feb 2014: Website Allows Whistleblowers To Report Wildlife and Forest Crimes

12 Feb 2014: Despite Costs, Most Americans Want Action on Climate Change, Report Finds

31 Jan 2014: U.S. State Department Report Boosts Prospects of Keystone XL Pipeline


SEARCH


Donate to Yale Environment 360


ABOUT

Menu

SUPPORT E360

Menu

TOPICS

Menu

DEPARTMENTS

Menu

HOME PAGE

Menu