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Energy & Environmental Policy

Attitudes at the Knife’s Edge

  For the last week and a half, I have been in Ethiopia, conducting research on climate change and adaptation. Rambling around Addis Ababa and the Central Rift Valley has been an exercise in patience and flexibility, but also enormously informative and enjoyable. Ethiopia is a country that has been particularly hard-hit by climate-related disasters, […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Repackaging the Climate Change Debate

  If Americans are confused about anything lately, it seems that climate change and global warming are probably somewhere at the top of that list. While Republicans are set up as the enemies of climate regulation and Democrats as the defenders of the environment, survey data shows that many Americans are skeptical about climate change, especially the […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Getting Back to the BASICs of Climate Change

  Members of both chambers of the U.S. Congress are pushing bills that will dramatically slash what little funding the U.S. spends on climate change research and action. This includes major funding cuts for the EPA and other environmental initiatives across the States, as discussed in last week’s Baines Report. To this I say… So […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Oh, Those Onerous Environmental Programs

  In this, the age of budget deficits, no political party wants to be caught being the one without any budget cuts to advocate. President Obama handed down a budget that promised to cut troubled programs or programs that had not been able to deliver results, to achieve what one administration official told the Associated […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Ethiopia’s Got Big Ambitions

  In July 2010, Ethiopia’s Environment Protection Authority declared it would have a carbon-neutral economy by 2025. What? An entire country? Carbon neutral? While I know that developing countries emit considerably less carbon than countries like the United States do, this is a hard claim to swallow, especially in such a short timeframe.  Indeed, it […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Explaining NAPAs and Climate Change Adaptation

  Developed countries’ aid programs in Africa often center on responding to the challenges created by climate change, such as desertification, coastal erosion, flooding, and myriad other problems affecting food supply, availability of water, and livelihoods of the impoverished. Through the use of National Adaptation Programs of Action, developed according to guidelines agreed upon internationally, […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Rare Earth Elements: A Critical Component of a Clean Energy Future

As our nation moves towards an increased use of renewable energy technologies, we should plan for the increased demand this will place on rare earth elements. In an effort to prevent the substitution of a dependence on foreign oil for a dependence on foreign REEs, the United States should implement a proactive strategy to diversify […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Air Pollution: Texas’ Major Export?

The severe air pollution in Beijing became a sensationalized international concern when the dangers of air pollution put the 2008 Olympic Games at risk. The air pollution within China’s capital was so dense that it affected visibility. Athletes worried how the Beijing air pollution would affect their health as well as their performance. The Chinese […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Energy and Climate Legislation in the Senate: Hope Moving Forward

The energy and climate baton has been held by the Senate since last June, after the House passed their bill (H.R. 2454). Over the past several months, this baton has been carried by three senators: Lieberman – an Independent from Connecticut Kerry – a Democrat from Massachusetts (also the home state of Representative Markey, a […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

The Gulf Oil Spill: Reality Hits Home

Watching the Gulf oil spill unfold this past week has been surreal. Almost on cue, we have a coal mining disaster and catastrophic oil spill occur as we begin to ramp up climate and energy legislation talks. You can bet that these two disasters will shape the role of carbon-based fuels in this country moving […]