Roger Smith, outreach director for the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge and co-director of Clean Water Action CT, discussed the challenges of and lessons learned from this program to engage communities in improving home energy efficiency.In Connecticut, the 64 homes in zip code 06119 emit more annual metric tons of carbon dioxide, on average, than all U.S. users. Most people in this area, like many others who are used to living in homes with big, empty spaces, feel that there is little they can do to improve the energy efficiency of an “old house.” While different energy audits have been developed through natural gas utility and Connecticut Light & Power to help homeowners reduce energy costs, this “energy marketing” focuses on programs, not solutions. Furthermore, there is low consumer awareness and demand for upgrades. Confusion about energy efficiency further inhibits action beyond small changes in air sealing and lighting.
The social cost of carbon is an important theme in both environmental economics and climate change policy analysis. The foundation of the concept lies in Pigouvian theory of externalities, in which environmental quality is legally defined as a public trust resource belonging to each and every member of society. Morally, people have a right to protection from environmental harms, in the present day and across generations. Therefore, if damages do occur due to private activities, the public should be able to charge the polluters a fee to compensate for the pollution, such as carbon emissions, imposed on society. This would be the social cost of carbon.
Dr. Julie Zimmerman, Associate Professor of Green Engineering, has been named a 2013 Women of Innovation Finalist for Research Innovation and Leadership. Overseen by the Connecticut Technology Council, the program recognizes women across Connecticut – those in the workforce and students – who are innovators, role models and leaders in the fields of science, engineering and technology. Finalists were selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, ability to think creatively and solve problems, and demonstration of leadership. The complete list of finalists is available here.
MEM student, Lauren Graham, writes about her summer work in Kenya in the AlertNet - Climate Conversations blog. Lauren co-created the game, Humans vs. Mosquitos, to aid in the fight against mosquito borne diseases, demonstrating the connection between climate change, mosquitoes and human health. Lauren is specifically working to adapt the focus of the game from dengue fever to malaria, piloting the game throughout Kenya's malarian-prone regions, while also interviewing health workers and communities affected by malaria. The hope is for the game to fit directly into Kenya’s national malaria prevention strategy.
Forests are critical to mitigating the effects of global climate change because they are large storehouses of carbon, but there are significant uncertainties about the actual behavior of many of their sinks and sources, according to arecently published textbook, Managing Forest Carbon in a Changing Climate.
The book, written by researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, is a comprehensive review of the science of carbon sequestration in forests, management of forests for carbon mitigation and poverty alleviation, and the socioeconomic and policy implications of managing forests for carbon. Read more
Managing Forest Carbon in a Changing Climate grew out of a series of seminars that were organized by faulty, students and alumni of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The book is published by Springer and can be read online.
Atwood, M.A.*, 2013. Effects of euthanasia method on stable-carbon and stable-nitrogen isotope analysis for an ectothermic vertebrate. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 27(8), pp. 909-913.
Bailis, R., C. Rujanavech*, P. Dwivedi, A.D. Vilela, H. Chang (FES Alum), & R.C. de Miranda, 2013. Innovation in charcoal production: A comparative life-cycle assessment of two kiln technologies in Brazil. Energy for Sustainable Development 17(2), pp. 189-200.
Castillo-Santiago, M.A., A. Ghilardi, et al., 2013. Estimating the spatial distribution of woody biomass suitable for charcoal making from remote sensing and geostatistics in central Mexico. Energy for Sustainable Development 17(2), pp. 177-188.
Crowther, T.W. & M.A. Bradford, 2013. Thermal acclimation in widespread heterotrophic soil microbes. Ecology Letters 16(4), pp. 469-477.
Fenichel, E.P., B. Gentner, R. Arlinghaus, 2013. Normative considerations for recreational fishery management: a bioeconomic framework for linking positive science and normative fisheries policy decisions. Fisheries Management and Ecology 20(2-3), pp. 223-233.
Yeh, S., G.S. Mishra, G. Morrison, J. Teter, R. Quiceno, K. Gillingham, and X. Riera-Palou, 2013. Long-Term Shifts in Life-Cycle Energy Efficiency and Carbon Intensity. Environmental Science & Technology 47(6), pp. 2494-2501.
Mwampamba, T.H., A. Ghilardi, K. Sander, and K.J. Chaix, 2013. Dispelling common misconceptions to improve attitudes and policy outlook on charcoal in developing countries. Energy for Sustainable Development 17(2), pp. 75-85.