“There is nothing wrong with being helped to go on living. And that is what this[climate change] issue is all about,” stated a senior official from the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia. I am at a ministerial gathering of 28 nations of the Cartagena Group/Dialogue for Progressive Action convening in the beautiful island of Bandos in the Republic of Maldives. The participants are from Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Samoa, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uruguay, UK and the European Commission. The Cartagena Group/Dialogue is an informal space, open to all countries that…
I took a great courses at FES last spring which has been pivotal in shaping my summer internship experience with Axio Power: Dan Esty’s Environmental Law and Policy course.
For those of you unfamiliar with Dan, I encourage you to check out how much comes up from a simple GOOGLE SEARCH. Dan has his own page on Wikipedia, so he is definitely a big deal. Dan’s course focuses primarily on US environmental laws and regulations, including the political, regulatory and legal aspects of how we attempt to address environmental problems. We were challenged in the class to approach each regulation critically, and identify ways that we would choose to improve it. Perhaps someone in the Massachusetts legislature took one of Dan’s courses, as they seem to have…
Last week was a watershed moment for the Massachusetts solar market. Governor Deval Patrick joined Greenfield, MA Mayor William Martin and Paul Curran, Executive Vice President of Axio Power, in signing two contracts for the Greenfield Solar Farm – a 2 megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) project on Greenfield’s capped landfill. Greenfield Community Television published a video of the event, which is available on their WEBSITE.
I am interning with AXIO POWER for the summer to assist with their solar projects in the Northeastern markets, with a specific focus on Massachusetts. Prior to the announcement of the Greenfield Solar Farm, the only significant, larger-scale solar developments in Massachusetts were completed by the regulated utilities, especially National Grid. Other commercial and residential…
At Yale, I am a joint masters student between the schools of Forestry and Public Health interested in the relationships between ecology, environmental health, and human health outcomes. My internship, as groundwork for the thesis that I will write next year, hastaken me to Patillas, Puerto Rico. In Patillas, the Center for Disease Control Dengue Branch has ongoing research on the mosquitoes that transmit the dengue viruses. The story of dengue, how it has emerged and how it is propagated as an urban disease, provides a powerful illustration of how many of the feats of modernization can lead to the spread of disease.
By Andy Barnett.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune published this essay online. It is from the heart:
Note that the comments fall into two categories:
1) Vitriolic climate skeptics who sound VERY similar to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the right-wing noise machine.
2) People who think climate change is an urgent problem that requires global response.
When the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy sponsored “Global Warming’s Six Americas” they suggested that Americans fall into these categories
Doubtful (11%), and
I’m fascinated by the Op-Ed comments on the Star Tribune site. Seems like the “Dismissive” group was fired up as soon as they read the essay. While they…
It is 6:13 am and in the Bella Conference Center I am listening to the chair of the AOSIS (Association of Small Island States) trying to fight off uncontrollable tears. I am almost certain that the Group of 77 (a behemoth of 130 plus developing country states) is coming to an end. Countries are divided and I am witnessing accusations fly across the plenary. Why has it taken us so long to arrive at this point? We sit here with the “Copenhangen Accord” staring at our faces. It is a document full of hot air and is not what billions of people across the planet had been promised to deliver atmospheric restitution. Once again the developed…
There is little encouraging news from inside the Bella Center today. Last night some drafting groups continued but with little progress. In parallel sessions at the high level, heads of state met from 24 countries with broad regional representation and there was consensus that some sort of deal should be possible. Working off of the Danish text, technical drafters worked through the night, hoping to arrive at a deal to present to regional constituencies for this morning. Unfortunately they were unable to come to any agreement and stopped work at paragraph 3 of 13.
Rumors are that another high-level group based on the so-called “Copenhagen Commitment Circle” convened by Australia and the UK have also come up with a text. The problem is that the process for producing this…
By Andrew K. Barnett
After many sleepness nights at Copenhagen’s climate talks, I write to you with an urgent sense of hope. Not the ‘bury your head in the sand’ kind of hope. I’m talking about the ‘roll up your sleeves, put on a rally cap, batting in the bottom of the ninth’ kind of hope. Ultimately we must acknowledge that important work happens before, during, and after these talks. And it is this forward work that Minnesota can engage. If you’re following the news and wondering what you can do, here are some ideas.
First, global warming is undeniable, unforgiving, and urgent- and you can have this conversation. Distinct and multiple data sets indicate that human emissions are trapping heat in the atmosphere at unprecedented…
Currently ‘near-term mitigation’, still bracketed, crops up at the end of paragraph 1 of an obscure LCA text on “Various Approaches, Including Opportunities for Using Markets, to Enhance the Cost-Effectiveness of, and to Promote Mitigation Actions”, proceeding under paragraph 1b5 of the Bali Action Plan. This language is the final result of a long and heated debate over a proposal, originally submitted by Micronesia, on fast-track mitigation options. This proposal drew attention to a number of mitigation opportunities not currently covered by the international climate regime, specifically biochar, *black carbon*, and HFC abatement. The idea is that these could result in for more rapid reductions in radiative forcing then “classic” mitigation efforts (such as reducing CO2 emissions). This paragraph would establish a work programme to explore voluntary implementation of…