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?
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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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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.
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? […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]