You Can’t Eat Scenery: Economic Progress, the Environment & Indicators

The World Economic Forum released its annual ranking of global economic competitiveness last week, drawing attention not only to which countries prominent business leaders and economists believe have the best equipped economies, but to the deep and wide-ranging impact statistical economic indicators have, and how we define economic progress, as well as our social and environmental well-being.

Powershift 2007 – Students Lobby for Bold Climate Change Legislation

By Lorna Li Climate change activism has taken to the streets this weekend. Saturday November 3rd was the National Day of Climate Action, which saw hundreds of student rallies on campuses across the nation. On Monday, November 5th, 3,000 students will descend upon Capitol Hill for the largest youth lobby on global warming ever – … Continued

On Halloween Congress Gets the Spooky Truth about Fuel Efficieny

by Lorna Li On Halloween, the Pew Campaign for Fuel Efficiency is sending out “Spooky Truth” Trick or Treat bags to every member of Congress, urging them to approve strong fuel efficiency standards for the 2007 Energy Bill. In June, the Senate passed the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standard – a strong, bipartisan compromise … Continued

Ever Wonder Where All those Foreign Aid and Development $$$ Went?

We all know corruption is often considered a part of doing business in varying degrees and in one form or another in just about every country in the world. Just how much corruption takes place and just how bad it can get, particularly in the developing world, is highlighted in the UNODC and World Bank’s latest Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) report…

Promote Sustainability by Rethinking the Income Tax?

As a first-semester student in Presidio School of Management’s MBA in Sustainable Management program, I’ve been learning quite a bit about what sustainability really means, and what it will take for business and our economy to become sustainable. One topic that gets discussed quite a bit is how to encourage people and business to use … Continued

New Congress Holds Big Changes for Attitudes on Global Warming

Take this with whatever political grain of salt you want to come up with, but suffice it to say that the incoming Democratic congress is likely to produce significant changes in the US Government’s attitude towards handling climate change. The following data are from an environmental defense poll of Democratic caucus voters and chairs in … Continued

Warren Karlenzig’s Top 10 Sustainability Stories

I love top ten lists. Have a quick look at Warren Karlenzig’s top ten sustainability stories of 2006. It’s seen through the lens of what applies to local government and is the sort of thing that most people might overlook – despite the importance of their local governments. It’s a good quick read for your … Continued

Is America Voting Green?

I try to stay out of partisan politics here, but this election has gotten me really excited about the political benefits of ‘going green’. A number of candidates won whose green credentials were almost certainly a deciding factor: Arnold Scharzenegger’s stance on global warming and solar energy helped win many thousands of otherwise democratic voters. … Continued

Sustainlane’s Government Resources Taking Shape

Sustain Lane, the emerging portal on sustainability recently let me know about an exciting new project –, a growing database of best practices for local goverments interested in sustainable development. Having made a name for themselves with interesting “top ten” lists like the “top ten most sustainable cities”, Sustainlane seems to be begining to … Continued

Emeryville Going Solar

Emeryville, California, is a small enclave wedged between Oakland and Berkeley best known for its giant IKEA and even more giant freeway interchange. It’s also one of the more successful and impressive brownfield redevelopments around, with hundreds of forlorn acres having been turned into new offices, loft and retail – a lot of which is … Continued

Norway Helping Other Oil-Rich Nations Overcome Corruption

IPS News reports, via WBCSD, on ways that Norway manages to distributed its oil wealth that are now being passed on to other oil-rich states with legacies of corruption and injustice. But it’s not as simple as simply bestowing money on governmental agencies that supposedly invest it for the good of a country’s people – … Continued

OpEd: Struggle for Better Transit Exemplifies Governmental Inefficiencies

On Saturday, July 29th, there was a town hall style meeting to discuss the state of research into a bus rapid transit system along Geary Boulevard in San Francisco. A lot of community members turned out, and there was a productive conversation. If you’d like some context, here’s Nick’s introduction to the proposed Geary BRT. … Continued

Offshore Drilling Moving to State Level – A Good Idea?

So the house passed a law approving offshore drilling in the United States for natural gas and oil. What’s curious about this is the fact that it passes the responsibility to the state level. In other words, states that don’t want drilling can still keep it illegal, but states that approve of it get a … Continued

Toward A Brand & Technology Neutral Gas Saving Tax Incentive

Forget sending everyone a check for $100. What might Congress do that could benefit anyone, be flexible, and reduce per capita gasoline consumption year after year? By now most people have figured out that the only hybrid car that makes economic sense to own and is widely available is the Toyota Prius. A tax code … Continued