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  • Water, the New Petrol

    Water, the New Petrol is a web site which aims to raise awareness of the current state of water issues in the world and the problems related to it. On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department announced that Water, the New Petrol was one of two web sites that had won the Doors to Diplomacy Award. More

  • Full-Cost Pricing: Getting the Market to Tell the Truth

    The key to restructuring the economy is to get the market to tell the truth through full-cost pricing. If the world is to move onto a sustainable path, we need economists who will calculate indirect costs and work with political leaders to incorporate them into market prices by restructuring taxes. Full-cost pricing that will create an honest market is essential to building an economy that can sustain civilization and progress. More

  • Time to Slap a Tariff on Chinese Solar Panels?

    Cheap Chinese solar panels are great for installers, but present a challenge for US solar manufacturers. Is it time to put a tariff on panels from China in order to level the playing field? More

  • The State of Solar Incentives in the UK – The Story So Far

    Back in April 2010, the UK’s Feed-in Tariff scheme was introduced by the government, which aimed to increase the level of renewable energy in accordance with the legal commitment to produce at least 15% of the country’s total energy from renewables by 2020. After nearly two years, how well is the system working? More

  • Governments Spend $1.4 Billion Per Day to Destabilize Climate

    We distort reality when we omit the health and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels from their prices. When governments actually subsidize their use, they take the distortion even further. Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010. More

  • sustainablog Stands with the SOPA/PIPA Blackout

    No, we haven’t gone dark today like some of the bigger players online. But we do stand with Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, and other sites, large and small, that have decided to shut down for the day (in part, or in full) to protest SOPA/PIPA legislation currently pending in the US House of Representatives and Senate. More

  • Before the Clean Water Act: 1970s Photos from the EPA

    In 1972, the EPA sent freelance photographers out across the nation to document the state of the environment. The EPA was only a year old at the time and hadn’t had much of a chance to change things. Some of these photos show stunningly beautiful wilderness, but some serve as a stark reminder of why we have anti-pollution regulations. More

  • Demographics Loom Large in State Failure

    After a half-century of forming new states from former colonies and from the breakup of the Soviet Union, the international community is today faced with the opposite situation: the disintegration of states. Failing states are now a prominent feature of the international political landscape. The most systematic ongoing effort to analyze countries’ vulnerability to failure […] More

  • City Of Toronto Latest To Pass Shark Fin Ban

    While the practice of shark finning is illegal in North America, current laws banning shark finning do not address the issue of the shark fin trade. Therefore, fins are being imported into North America from countries with few or even no shark protections in place. More

  • Occupy George: Protest Wealth Inequality in America on Your Dollars

    As Occupy Wall Street protests ramp up around the country, conversations abound about wealth and income inequality in America. But now you can put your message on your money with Occupy George dollar bill templates, which highlight economic disparities through clever graphics that you can print directly on your greenbacks. More

  • Economic Growth: Another Benefit of Bicycling

    A few months ago, I took note of Jay Walljasper’s arguments for public investment in bicycling infrastructure: in short, government spending on trails and bike lanes pays off in terms of increased ridership. That’s a good thing, of course — people are emitting less carbon and getting more exercise — but what about financial payoff? […] More

  • Not just Creating Little Treehuggers: Environmental Education as a Learning System

    What’s going on in Washington these days? Duh, debt ceiling negotiations, right? Fortunately, that’s not all… there is still legislation in the works that addresses other issues beyond government spending. One bill that’s back: the No Child Left Inside Act, which would provide a funding mechanism for state environmental education initiatives. Of course, this isn’t […] More

  • Imitating Erasmus

    Desiderius Erasmus is a hero of mine.  He was a 16th century monk from Rotterdam who maintained correspondence with most of the educated world of his day.  He translated the Hebrew Scriptures to the vernacular language.  On behalf of the Pope, he wrote grand theological works like “The Freedom of the Will,” which was a […] More

  • When the Nile Runs Dry: Egypt, Water, and Political Stability*

    By Lester R. Brown A new scramble for Africa is under way. As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, countries that rely on imported grain are panicking. Affluent countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China and India have descended on fertile plains across the African continent, acquiring huge tracts of land […] More

  • Biofuels For Transportation: Been There, Done That

    There is a great deal of controversy about the wisdom of diverting a significant percentage of the US corn crop into the production of ethanol to fuel cars.  Something like 25-30% of the crop will probably be used this way in 2011 which sounds alarming in the face of global food supply issues that have […] More

  • Transportation Funding for Bicycling: an Economic No-Brainer?

    Even the most die-hard supporter of our current personal transportation infrastructure (essentially, roads and bridges designed for cars) will likely admit that bicycling (and walking) has some fundamental benefits: a very low environmental footprint, a lot of saved money for those using bikes for at least some of their transportation (though just how much savings […] More

  • The World Food Prices Spike Continues (4th Installment)

    The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN) released their global food price index data today showing what happened in April.  Last month there had been a glimmer of hope that the upward price trend was reversing, but as many predicted that was not a trend that continued.  Dairy, Oil and Sugar prices on […] More

  • Sustainability as Security: Mr. Y's National Security Narrative

    No doubt, today’s kind of an odd day to be discussing new thinking on national security, as the US (and much of the world) is celebrating the killing of Osama bin Laden largely through the security infrastructure we’ve built up over the past 60 or so years. But a post from Grist’s Glenn Hurowitz got […] More

  • 1996: The Year That Everything Changed For US Agriculture

    Farming is a unique industry.  Even though less than 1% of Americans are doing it, it is still an industry with hundreds of thousands of independent decision makers.  It is also a far more dynamic and adaptable industry than one might imagine.  A look at USDA crop statistics before and after 1996 demonstrates this point […] More

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