This is a super category for all issues falling within one's personal life
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Can Sustainable Development Be Clean AND cheap? A Promising ‘Carbon Credits’ Case Study
Must the costs of clean development necessarily be prohibitive for developing nations?
We saw in Eliza Barclay's article
how this is called into question. Let's revisit the issue, and submit it to a closer look.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Bush The Humanitarian?
It is a truly vintage political and theatrical maneuver.
In times of ambivalence and sagging popularity, present yourself to your most immovably dedicated audience. Reap positive PR accordingly.
Except this time Bush has returned not to Texas, but rather to Africa.
One had reason for pause when Bono gave the President high marks for his policies on the continent.
Approval is by no means universal, but the reception Bush has enjoyed this week shows that it extends well beyond the self-raised pedestal of an Irish ex-rocker.
The President has given massively to campaigns against AIDS and malaria that have gained widespread recognition for their progress. Additionally, he has promoted innovative new partnerships to spur economic growth. These new initiatives are founded on trade and investment rather than purely on aid handouts, which many economists feel cannot provide lasting sustainable relief.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Economic Front-Line: Dangers of Dirty Development
A very vivid reminder of the urgency of the campaign for cleaner economic development.
Green Policies: Carbon Credit Markets in Action
As I have sought to highlight in recent posts, there is great debate in international discourse concerning the respective roles of developed and developing nations in the struggle to cut greenhouse emissions. U.S. reluctance to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol is in large part perpetuated, rightly or wrongly, by the failure of other big emitters like India and China to do so. However those skeptical of the U.S. position contend that America is sufficiently wealthy to effect the necessary changes if only there were political will. The economies of India and China continue to expand by volumes and with no end in sight; this expansion often wreaks devastating environmental destruction.
All of this begs one question: must the costs of clean development necessarily be prohibitive for developing nations? The answer, of course, is only maybe. See what Mexico’s state oil producer is doing on this front.
Eliza Barclay Reports
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Climate Change and its Discontents
Perhaps the most unnerving aspect of climate change is that its enduring effects are, ultimately, unknowable. The team of scientists whose work was influential in Al Gore’s filmmaking and many others have dedicated much time and many resources to make predictions through the use of models. There is no express reason to doubt their work of its own merits, but to accept it unquestioningly is to deny the infinite complexity of the earth’s natural environment.
For the earth’s environment is a spectacularly tremendous system composed of innumerable variables. The article linked below offers a glimpse into one specific area for concern in which, once again, the experts can only speculate.
Sustainable Development on the Stump: Environmental Policies of Obama, Clinton, and McCain
How will U.S. environmental and energy policies look in 2009? With the primaries winding down, we're starting to get a better idea. Senator Barack Obama fancies himself on this issue, as on most, a man of vision. Senator Clinton calls above all for accountability. The presumed nominee of the Republican Party, Senator John McCain, has very noble beliefs. Because recent polling
shows that environmental issues like global warming aren't at the top of voter priorities, it is doubly important to press candidates about clarifying their positions. So, what are candidates saying now about environmental and energy policies?
Monday, February 11, 2008
Economic Front-Line: Local Purchases in Syria
We have seen substantial returns of refugees to Iraq from its neighbor Syria. Without a steady stream of income, many of these refugees are reduced to squalid conditions and underground economies of drug trafficking and prostitution. Their condition is hardened by the fact that they are generally unwanted by a Syrian government which is reeling under other pressures.
The ubiquitous and itinerant Josette Sheeran here is in Damascus to showcase a World Food Program effort with two distinct beneficiaries.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Economic Front-Line: Rising World Food Prices
We have seen meal-provision regimes improve attendance rates at inner-city schools in the first world (specifically in the United States). Similar efforts can also yield quick results in the developing world.
Rising world food prices, while having a positive buoying effect for millions of impoverished farmers, could pose a mortal threat to millions of others if not monitored properly.
See how something as fundamental as the satisfaction of a biological need can be a step toward the empowerment of young girls through education.
World’s Tallest Building, Indoor Ski Mountain, Manmade Islands and… A Model of Green Design?
The Emirati city of Abu Dhabi is often overlooked, eclipsed in world news by the glitz and glamour of its neighbor Dubai. While the latter certainly provides the more jolting example, in reality both have become experimental playgrounds of architectural extravagance in the oil-rich Middle East.
In perhaps the first foray of this scale by a hydrocarbon-producing state into sustainable energy, groundbreaking was scheduled today for the crowning achievement of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Initiative. Masdar City, a solar-powered and nearly self-contained community where your produce comes from the greenhouse down the way and your wheels are no good, aims to be home to 50,000 residents by 2016. It is hoped that Masdar will become a "hub for academic and corporate research on nonpolluting energy technologies".
Check out the second link for a virtual tour of Masdar City and an accompanying NY Times blog.
International Herald Tribune
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Sustainable Development: What does it mean and who wants to tell you?
Today’s journals of trade and popular culture are all but awash in the buzzwords ‘sustainable’ and ‘sustainability’. Here, we are obliged to raise the red flag and warn of lurking danger. These diverse and many advocates do a great disservice in more ways than they know.
For in this great sea of ‘sustainability’, which spans business strategies and regimens of weight loss, one all too easily loses sight of the real battle. We know that over-use of a term can have an unintended blunting effect. But the word is so much in vogue, and its employment so overzealous, that it has in many instances become obscured entirely. So, you ask, what is sustainable development? Who are its proponents and antagonists? And, oh yes, why exactly is it to be so desired after all?