For five years, companies that make toxic flame retardant chemicals told us that they had hard science to show that their products save lives. Without flame retardants in all of our furniture, they’d say, thousands of children would die in house fires every year. That’s untrue. Here’s the story of the man who crafted the message.
Policy & Government
A catch all category for government, politics and initiatives to influence either.
During his inaugural address back in January, California Gov. Jerry Brown called for 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. The clean energy plan “is economically sound, environmentally beneficial and achievable,” according to a detailed analysis and policy guidance report from Strategen Consulting.
Enabling consumers to choose between competing energy providers is a paradigm shift, and with the advent of community choice aggregation (CCA), that shift is in gear.
The “Philadelphia energy hub” is stuck in the promotional stage of the issue attention-cycle, in which boosters and doomsayers each try to create a narrative that benefits a strategic interest. To have a real discussion about a Philadelphia energy hub, we need to move beyond simplistic references to good things like “a manufacturing revival” and bad things like “an environmental sacrifice zone.” Now, we have two monologues: one saying “absolutely yes” and one saying “absolutely no.” The extremes have a right to state their yes or no positions, and personally I’m glad to have them both on the scene. But the question for the large majority of us is not, “yes or no?” The question is, “under what conditions?”
In a shocking development, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, headed by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Texas), submitted a new budget for NASA that would cut the earth science budget by $300 million. Ironically, this is happening at a time when NASA just reported that atmospheric carbon dioxide has exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in human history.
Oregon was on the leading edge of domestic climate policy in the late ’90s with the nation’s first carbon dioxide regulation, but it has not kept pace, admitting failure on its own climate impact goals established in 2007. There are several promising Oregon bills that would bring the state back to the forefront of climate action.
Studies show that communities with statistically recognized transportation issues benefit the most from having a bike-share option in their neighborhood. However, disproportionately, some of the most recognized bike-share programs in the country have been met with controversy for lack of equitable distribution in core neighborhoods characterized by less affluence.
Greenpeace rates tech companies on their data centers. Oxfam America ranks food brands on the sustainability of their supply chains. The League of Conservation Voters scores elected officials on their voting records. But who rates, ranks and scores Greenpeace, Oxfam America and the League of Conservation Voters? Or The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International or WWF? For now, no one.
The global humanitarian community is feeling the strain from increasing numbers of disasters. Climate change is a big contributor to the trend, as it increases risks and vulnerabilities from natural hazards such as drought, floods and storms and impacts peoples’ livelihoods, health and food systems. Leaders in the humanitarian community recognize that a shift must be made toward an approach that addresses the risks, shocks and stresses to which people are vulnerable, rather than only fixing problems after they occur. There are numerous good-practice examples that can be scaled-up to form the basis for systemwide change.
Political parties, candidates and related advocacy groups are using petitions to build awareness for their platforms and reach prospective voters.
In the emergency sector, where every second counts, the safety of lives and properties might solely hinge on the arrival time of first responders. But what about the lights that guide them?
Many rural southern communities were hit hard by the economic downtown. In seeking to rebuild, instead of returning to traditional manufacturing, these three communities found growth in taking a greener approach to product and job creation.
As the celebration of Earth Month wraps ups, WalletHub’s recently-released study citing America’s most and least eco-friendly states takes the temperature of how we’re progressing toward a more environmentally healthy nation. Click through to see how your state stacks up.