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Educating the First Generation of Sustainability Managers

The field of organizational management is undergoing a fundamental transition, one of a number that have taken place over the past century or so. At the start of the 20th century, management needed to understand mass production and the first complex...

Posted December 19, 2014    

New York City's de Blasio Administration and the Path to 80 Percent Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Although it took almost a year to get there, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has put in place the third critical piece of the city's sustainability leadership. Last week, he appointed Nilda Mesa, an experienced sustainability professional, as the...

Posted December 10, 2014    

Everyone Likes to Breathe

This past week, at President Obama's direction, the EPA continued to use its extensive powers under the Clean Air Act (thank you, 1970 U.S. Congress) and announced a new, tighter regulation on ozone pollution. As one might expect, these rules are...

Posted December 3, 2014    

America's Infrastructure Disinvestment Will Slow the Development of a Sustainable Economy

This is the 50th anniversary of New York's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the span that connects Staten Island with Brooklyn. As a child growing up in Brooklyn I remember watching its towers rise as if by magic. I always connected it with the 1964 World'...

Posted November 26, 2014    

The Importance of the U.S.-China Climate Accord

Last week, the United States pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% from 2005 levels before 2025, and China agreed to stop growing its carbon emissions by 2030. Since we do not have a world government and are unlikely to get one...

Posted November 19, 2014    

Under the Republican Congress, All Environmental Politics Will Be Local

With the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate in January, Oklahoma's Senator James Inhofe is likely to once again serve as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, a position he held from 2003-2008 during George W. Bush's...

Posted November 14, 2014    

A Key Lesson from Superstorm Sandy: We Still Need a Rainy Day Fund

Last week was the second anniversary of "superstorm" Sandy and, for many in the northeast, it is a reminder of the fragility and interdependence of modern life. The New York Times profiled the transformative effect the storm had on some of the...

Posted November 7, 2014    

The Symbolic Politics of Climate Diplomacy

Last week, the European Union began the process of setting the agenda for the climate negotiations scheduled for Paris in late 2015. They agreed that by 2030 Europe would cut emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels. Writing in the New York Times,...

Posted October 30, 2014    

Why We Are Working With Colleagues in China to Develop Sustainability Metrics

I am in no way an expert on China, but one need not be an expert to understand that China's elite know they are in the midst of a deep crisis of environmental sustainability. I visited Beijing last week to finalize a partnership between Columbia...

Posted October 22, 2014    

Sustainable Consumption and the World of Endless Images, Voices, and Ideas

The world we are creating with global communications and global economic production is fast becoming a true global society. Nevertheless, place -- or home -- continues to have meaning as both communities and nations become even more treasured in a...

Posted October 17, 2014    

The Transition to Renewable Energy is Difficult but Feasible

The United States Energy Information Agency estimates that 11% of the world's total energy comes from renewable sources, a number they project will grow modestly to 15% by 2040. They also estimate that 21% of the world's electricity came from...

Posted October 7, 2014    

It's Time to Abandon the Delusion of a Carbon Tax

At the United Nations last week, President Obama urged the nations of the world to follow our lead and begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The president has moved aggressively to use the powers of the Clean Air Act to begin the decade-long...

Posted September 30, 2014