Environmental Policy (30 found)

Emergency pleas for energy conservation may have unintended consequences

When the demand for electricity threatens to exceed supply, electric utilities often issue public requests for households to dial down their energy usage during peak hours. A recent study suggests that those appeals may inadvertently have the opposite effect.

The compounding effects of multiple stressors on freshwater environments

Water scarcity intensifies freshwater ecosystem degradation. A new study evaluates the compounding effects of several stressors on water-scarce ecosystems in order to construct better management strategies.

Reducing environmental impact with green buildings

Adherence to three green building code and certifications systems demonstrates on average a 14-percent reduction in the environmental impact of a typical office building, with LEED results displaying worrisomely high variability in performance.

Another one bites the (road) dust: Study shows consequences of particulate matter

Road dust suspected to be the largest contributor to hospital admissions for heart and lung diseases from particulate matter pollutants in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Earth’s biodiversity is declining faster than ever before

Species are going extinct 1,000 times faster than at any point in Earth’s history, and even with protected areas, biodiversity preservation remains sub-optimal due to knowledge gaps and low representation of ecological habitats.

Fracking fluids in the Marcellus: Does it mix with groundwater?

The drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires the injection of specific mixtures of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground, a key concern around shale extraction. A recent study examined the movement of these fracturing fluids in groundwater.

Can private land conservation efforts adapt to climate change?

Conservation easements aimed at protecting privately owned land from development are self-limiting in the face of climate change. The time has come for land conservation organizations to reframe strategies that not only stand the test of time, but also a changing climate.

Post-Fukushima: The impacts on Japanese public opinion of nuclear power

A recent paper explores how demographics, cognition and emotions characterize post-disaster opinions of nuclear energy in Japan.

A tale of two rivers: Comparing water management strategies at the Jordan and Colorado rivers

Although exhibited in different ways, similar forces drive water management decisions in Israel and in Arizona. Understanding these motivating factors is crucial when developing successful and effective water management approaches.

Quantifying the primary causes of the urban heat island effect

Regional differences in the impacts of the urban heat island effect across the US are largely explained by variations in efficiency of heat convection to lower atmosphere and strongly influenced by humidity patterns rather than evapotranspiration.

Greening trade agreements:
Environmental impact analysis for policy

Environmental impact assessment of economic policies can help export-oriented countries manage environmental pressures and make smarter trade decisions.

Carbon policies may neglect the interest of water scarce areas

A national carbon policy may exasperate water shortages in the western United States. Yet, the high cost of water reduction in the electricity sector makes it an unlikely candidate for mitigating water consumption in light of climate change and carbon policies. 

Are we heading toward conscious consumption?

A sustainable future lies not only in the hands of individuals, but also in the collective efforts of the society.

Stranded nuclear fuel poses new challenges

Since nuclear fission was discovered in 1938, the world has built many bombs, dropped a few, provided low emission energy, and facilitated the creation of long-lived nuclear waste that currently has nowhere to go

How personality traits are associated with environmental engagement

Scientists find that the Big Five personality traits are related to environmental values and behavior at the individual and national level. Policymakers can use this information to tailor programs and policies to yield changes in environmental behavior. 

Public attitudes towards bike-sharing

Cities can implement effective bicycle-friendly programs by examining how different groups of people view bike transportation

Property tax incentives benefit forest connectivity

Forest property tax incentives are effective tools for ensuring landscape connectivity, yet what type of program forest owners participate in differs by type of forest and owners. Policymakers can use this information to tailor programs and policies to increase forest conservation programs.

A new environmental profession: the knowledge broker

Scientists and policy makers operate under very different time frames and professional priorities. Environmental research organizations should consider hiring knowledge brokers to ensure timely translation of scientific discoveries into regulations.

Measuring progress towards the millennium development goals

Environmental indices such as Yale’s Environmental Performance Index can help monitor progress towards achieving global sustainable development goals despite persistent challenges.

Assessing tools for formalizing property rights

Offering property licenses to “squatter communities” may not make property rights more secure as investment and property markets fail to take newly registered property licenses seriously

How and why environmental issues are neglected

Understanding how and why people fail to recognize the importance of future environmental problems can be used to tailor responses to environmental information problems

Orchids flourish with assisted migration

Assisted migration is hotly debated as an aid for species adapting to climate change, but new research reveals survival success for orchids.

Quantifying the energy paradox: US consumers undervalue future fuel costs by 32 percent

When choosing fuel efficient vehicles, US consumers undervalue future fuel costs by valuing one dollar’s worth of future savings at 76 cents for the present price, a value gap of 32 percent.

Developing national plans of action to protect sharks saves threatened species

Little is known about whether regional shark management plans are robust enough to sustainably manage shark stocks. However, implementing national action plans that adhere to international guidelines and that build on experiences from other fisheries can help save endangered shark species from extinction.

Using Land Use Policy and Zoning to protect environmentally sensitive areas from informal settlements

Scientists examine how zoning and land use policy can protect environmentally sensitive areas at the fringe of the cities from damage by shantytowns. Political and social factors can often cause these policies to fail.

Economic impact of invasives in the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes – our largest global reserve of freshwater – are under attack from invasive species, and a new study provides an estimate of what this will cost us. 

Only three countries lead 60 percent of global environmental technology innovations

Despite capital investment and regulatory initiatives worldwide, international environmental technology transfer between developed and developing country occurs rarely while 60 percent of related innovation is concentrated in 3 countries.

The challenge of solidifying safeguards in REDD+

The policies and measures aiming at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) have proliferated, resulting in varying interpretations of “safeguards”. Now that REDD+ is maturing, direct trade-offs between monetized emissions reductions and social and biodiversity values call for more explicit regulations in this approach to climate change mitigation.

Economic growth by stricter regulation

More stringent air pollution standards could encourage, rather than restrict, economic growth.