Monthly Archives: September 2007

A New Hub for Climate Change Info

The author of today’s post, Lisa Moore, Ph.D., is a scientist in the Climate and Air program.

Here’s something to complement the climate change reading list and list of links that Bill posted a while back.

The folks who publish the journal Nature have just launched Nature Reports: Climate Change, an information hub that brings together research, news, analysis, and commentary. It also links to the blog Nature launched last April, Climate Feedback.

I’ve taken a quick tour, and it looks promising. What do you think?

Posted in What Others are Saying / Read 2 Responses

A Level-Headed Look at Ethanol and the Environment

The author of today’s post, Martha Roberts, is an economist at Environmental Defense, and one of the authors of the Ogallala Aquifer study.

Today Environmental Defense released a new mini-report that analyzes how expanding ethanol production might impact the environment: Potential Impacts of Biofuels Expansion on Natural Resources: A Case Study of the Ogallala Aquifer Region [PDF].

Ethanol arouses a lot of passion in people. Our goal was to produce a report that is balanced, meticulously documented, and offers solutions to potential problems.

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Posted in Cars and Pollution, Energy / Read 1 Response

Dengue Fever Spreading in Texas

The author of today’s post, John Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., is Chief Health Scientist at Environmental Defense.

In the past when I gave talks about dengue fever, I’d say it was a problem in Mexico, but relatively rare over the border in Texas. I need to update my slides. Following an outbreak of dengue fever in Brownsville, Texas, health investigators found that 38 percent of the town was at risk for the most dangerous form of the illness.

This is a big deal, and global warming may well play a role.

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Posted in Health / Read 3 Responses

Coalition Asks SEC for Climate Risk Disclosure

The author of today’s post, Martha Roberts, is an economist at Environmental Defense. She contributed to the coalition’s petition to the SEC.

Climate change can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line – just ask any insurance company. But as the Washington Post points out, it’s not only insurance companies that are affected. Climate change can cause physical damage to facilities, increase costs of regulatory compliance, and (on the plus side) create new markets for climate-friendly products – to give just a few examples.

So today, Environmental Defense and a broad coalition of investors, state treasurers, and other environmental groups petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to clarify that existing regulations require publicly traded companies to assess and disclose their financial risk from climate change. Altogether, the 22 petitioners manage more than $1.5 trillion in assets. You can find full documentation, including the petition, on our Web site.

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Posted in News / Read 1 Response

Mankiw's Argument Against Cap-and-Trade

The author of today’s post, Nat Keohane, Ph.D., is Director of Economic Policy and Analysis at Environmental Defense.

In yesterday’s New York Times, Harvard economics professor N. Gregory Mankiw, advisor to President Bush and presidential candidate Mitt Romney, threw his hat into the climate policy ring. Mankiw called for an international carbon tax to address global climate change.

We’re glad that a highly regarded academic economist is calling for serious action to stop global warming. But we part ways with his prescription for what action to take.

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Posted in Climate Change Legislation, Economics / Read 6 Responses

What Has the Government's Climate Program Achieved?

Today’s post is by Bill Chameides, Ph.D., science adviser to Environmental Defense and member of the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2002, the Bush Administration set up the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). Yesterday, an independent panel released a report through the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) evaluating how that program has done. The headline in the New York Times sums it up: “Panel Faults Emphasis of U.S. Climate Program.”

When I look at the work of the CCSP over the last five years, here’s what stands out.

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Posted in News / Read 3 Responses