For decades governments have been using insecticide spray and other chemicals to reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. But now scientists have come up with another method, thanks to help from Nature — oh, and about 50 years of plodding through tropical jungles. The answer all along, was in the soil …
Policy & Government
A catch all category for government, politics and initiatives to influence either.
Much of Pittsburgh’s success and quality of life is due to local NGOs and foundations, which of course showcase names such as Mellon, Carnegie and Heinz. But many of these nonprofits are not paying their fair share of taxes and lack transparency, say some critics.
In the aftermath of Harvey and Irma, critics have pointed out that Florida’s leadership has done little to prepare the state for climate change risks – and the mainstream media has also fallen short when it comes to explaining the role climate change has had on these extreme weather events.
While hurricanes Harvey and Irma deluge floods of biblical proportions, 21.7 million Americans – 11 percent of the country – were living under drought conditions on August 1. And drought conditions are expected to worsen.
Amazon could over $10 billion in reduced tax breaks and other incentives for its recently-announced second headquarters, but some civic leaders question the wisdom of giving a very profitable company billions that could go to schools or infrastructure.
The reality of daily life is that we try to fix the problems that are staring us in the face. In many ways, the desire for short-term results defines the rhythm of both public and private life. So the idea that decisions today will define where we end up in a couple of decades is difficult to grasp, and may even appear outlandish. Yet Hurricane Irma and the other Atlantic storms foreshadow a perilous tomorrow if we don’t tackle climate change now. We are at an historic crossroads that requires us to factor in the future. Because in a very real sense, 2050 is now.
The Florida Attorney General’s office has announced it will be going after those companies that “price gouge” in accordance with the state’s stiff law that is meant to protect consumers during disasters like Hurricane Irma. But some companies are already trying to lead the way with innovations and transportation price reductions, reflecting what one airline spokeperson gauged as a “new dynamic for businesses faced with providing pricey but urgent services.
The U.S. recently began shifting its global gaze to an inward focus, and climate policy is no exception. From President Trump declaring he represents Pittsburgh and not Paris, our once broad and inclusive views have narrowed considerably.
A new study backed by the Union of Concerned Scientists finds that about 30 percent of the world’s sea level rise can be directly attributed to emissions from fossil fuel producers. And they name names too.
SPECIAL SERIES: COMMIT! Forum
There’s a reason why it makes perfect sense that business leaders are leading the call on some the country’s most decisive initiatives. According to Bob Keefe, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), who helped launch the We Are Still In initiative, there’s a strong business case for supporting the Paris Accord, and for putting it in the framework that business people – including President Trump – can understand.
Combating climate change requires scientific research, judicious regulation and smart money. Capitalism’s expanding role in pushing all three offers hope.
It turns out the U.S. government is not alone when it comes to fraying its relationship with the business community. Across the pond, a leaked letter has caused more angst within the leadership of many corporate C-suites.
SPECIAL SERIES: COMMIT! Forum
Few brands are as famous for their social activism than Ben & Jerry’s. The Vermont ice cream maker with global revenues of more than $1.2 billion (2015) is as much known for its social conscience as for its creamy, irresistible ice cream flavors. Pick a flavor and chances are you’ll walk away with more than just a good feeling in your tummy: You’ll feel you’re making a statement.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been having a tough time promoting his plans to cut EPA regulations. First an appeals court squashed his plans to delay enforcement of the Methane Rule. Then there was Hurricane Harvey and the collapse of the Arkema plant. Now he has a list of complex questions to answer for homework about just how his agency plans to protect Americans from environmental disasters.
A coalition of environment groups has urged the federal government to enact more cuts in biofuels production, as they claim the environmental promises promised by the Renewable Fuel Standard have failed to materialize 10 years after the program launched.