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Public Health

President Obama Says Global Warming Harms U.S. National Security

May 28, 2015 by Henry Auer

President Barack Obama addressed the graduating class at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on May 20, 2015. A major theme in his remarks was that the worldwide effects of global warming negatively impact the security of the United States in its military preparedness and military operations.[read more]

Under Clean Power Plan, Natural Gas, then Renewables, Gain Generation Share

May 28, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Clean Power Plan

The Energy Information Administration's recently released analysis of the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan rule shows it would result in major changes in the fuel mix used to generate electricity in the United States.[read more]

The Right Wing's Endless War on Environmental Regulation

May 27, 2015 by Steven Cohen

Since it seems impossible to update our environmental laws in this era of partisan poison, the Obama Administration has been working to use existing laws to update old rules. Updates like these were anticipated by many of our environmental laws.[read more]

More Steps Towards Paris

May 21, 2015 by David Hone
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Paris Agreement Framework

Substantial progress is being made towards a good coverage of INDC submissions by the time of the Paris COP, although many eyes will now be turning to the emerging economies for the real signal with regards tackling global emissions. Mexico has made a good start in that regard.[read more]

Japan's 'Unholy Trinity': Nuclear Power Must Join Renewables to Move Emissions Reduction Needle

May 20, 2015 by Roman Kilisek

Japan and Emissions Goals

The Asahi Shimbun reported in March on the decision of four big Japanese electric utilities to decommission a total of five nuclear reactors that have been in operation for more than 40 years. Respective plans have been submitted to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).[read more]

IMF Study: Global Energy Subsidies Will Cost $5.3 Trillion in 2015

May 19, 2015 by Katherine Tweed
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Global Subsidy Costs

The global post-tax subsidy for energy, which accounts for the environmental and health toll, will be an estimated $5.3 trillion in 2015, more than 6 percent of global GDP. The figure is more than double the IMF’s own post-tax subsidy analysis just a few years ago.[read more]

Lessons of the Move from Hybrids Back to SUVs

May 19, 2015 by Steven Cohen
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The shift in consumer attitudes from the purchase of hybrid vehicles back to large and gas guzzling SUVs due to the recent drop in gas prices demonstrates that mass behaviors that lead to a sustainable and renewable economy will not come from a simple desire to protect the environment.[read more]

President Obama Regrettably Approves Oil Drilling in the Arctic Ocean

May 18, 2015 by Henry Auer
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President Obama granted conditional approval to Shell to begin drilling in the Arctic Ocean off of Alaska. In addition to generating grave misgivings about possible environmental damage from drilling accidents, this decision represents a major compromise with the President’s own policies on global warming.[read more]

Jeffrey Sachs: 2015 A Critical Year for Sustainable Development

May 15, 2015 by Tom Schueneman

Sustainable Development in 2015

Jeffrey Sachs, the United Nations Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, explains why the year 2015 is going to be a highly critical year for global sustainable development.[read more]

Colorado Health Officials Debunk Lung Association's Ozone 'Report Card'

May 15, 2015 by Simon Lomax

Colorado’s health department and the state’s top air quality regulator have sharply criticized claims by the ALA about ozone levels in the Denver area. Citing its own “report card” on the region’s air quality, they said that levels of ground-level ozone – smog – are deteriorating rather than improving.[read more]

New Federal Flood Protection Standards Will Prepare Nation for Climate Change

May 15, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Preparing for Climate Change

Three months ago the President signed an executive order that updated flood protection standards that federal agencies use when deciding where to build, how to build, and what projects should receive federal funding. The executive order established an improved margin of safety.[read more]

"Pre-Pay" Carbon Policy: How Carbon Removal Enables Regulatory Alternatives

May 14, 2015 by Noah Deich

Carbon Removal and Regulatory Policy

There is growing support for governments across the world to price carbon emissions. Moving from theory to practice, however, has proven challenging, as the two leading approaches to pricing carbon, carbon taxes and cap-and-trade programs, only cover about 12% of all carbon emissions globally today.[read more]

UK Election Aftermath: The Energy Industry

May 14, 2015 by Kelby Twyman

UK Election and Energy Impacts

After witnessing a political storm around the general election, it is time to start looking at what the Conservatives will be doing to the United Kingdom country over the next five years. This is the first majority Conservative government since 1992 when John Major lead the party.[read more]

Indian Point: Physical Versus Political Realities and Nuclear Plants

May 13, 2015 by Will Davis
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Recently, an output transformer at Indian Point Energy Center in New York failed. It leaked, burned and exploded and required water and then firefighting foam to extinguish. This event would have been fairly unremarkable except for the fact that some of the oil went into the Hudson River.[read more]

A Reason to Be Optimistic: The New Generation of Sustainability Professionals

May 13, 2015 by Steven Cohen

While I have a number of jobs at Columbia, the one that I care most about is the one that allows me to be an educator. I serve as the director of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management, a partnership between the Earth Institute and the School of Continuing Education.[read more]