Author: Steve Cohen

Learning From Japan’s Catastrophe

by | 3.14.2011 at 9:08am | 1 Comment
Earthquake and Tsunami damage, Japan-March 12, 2011: This is a satellite image of Japan showing damage after an Earthquake and Tsunami at the Sendai Port, Japan. (credit: DigitalGlobe)

The images and stories of the devastation caused by Japan’s massive earthquake is heart wrenching. We see countless examples of extraordinary acts of human courage and generosity as the local, national and world communities struggle to respond to this catastrophe. Japan, a nation that has long ensured that its buildings were built to withstand earthquakes [...]

Cancun and the Fundamentals of the Global Climate Crisis

by | 12.9.2010 at 9:24am
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After the intensity and optimism of last year’s Copenhagen climate meetings, the U.N. climate talks have returned to a less highly charged, lower key set of diplomatic exchanges.

Haiti: America’s ‘Teachable Moment’

by | 1.21.2010 at 3:05pm

President Obama is providing the leadership we need and hoped for in the face of the horror of the Haitian earthquake. The clearest evidence of American unity behind the effort to respond to the tragedy in Haiti took place at the White House on Saturday, Jan. 16, as Obama joined forces with two ex-presidents to [...]

Whole-Earth Management

by | 12.22.2009 at 1:21pm | 2 Comments

The issues that emerged at the Copenhagen climate conference serve to remind us of the difficulty of solving complicated cross-national environmental problems. Ever since Rachel Carson and Barry Commoner first popularized the idea of a single interconnected biosphere, it’s been obvious that national sovereignty would make it difficult to solve some global environmental problems. The climate problem is [...]

Urban Action: The Ultimate Reality Show

by | 12.15.2009 at 3:48pm | 3 Comments

As the giant climate classroom in Copenhagen moves toward its closure, some will come away frustrated and even angry, while others may be satisfied or at the very least relieved. Whatever documents may be signed at the end of the meeting, these two weeks of December will have a lasting impact. The stresses on our planet caused [...]

We Can’t Solve the Problem–But We Can Make It Less Bad

by | 12.11.2009 at 3:48pm

This week, the spotlight of the 24-7, web-based global media on steroids has shifted some of its attention from Tiger Woods to the climate negotiations in Copenhagen. That is good news for Tiger, and for the rest of the world. The basic science of global climate change is now generally accepted as fact. There is a broad consensus about the need for reductions in the emissions that cause global warming. [...]

There Must Be a Way to Weatherize New York City

by | 12.7.2009 at 9:50am | 1 Comment

With the Copenhagen Climate Conference about to begin, the issue of New York’s carbon footprint has taken center stage here—just as the city government has been forced to trim back its plans to require large buildings to reduce their use of energy. On Earth Day, 2009, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and city council speaker [...]

Our Leaders Can Run, But They Can’t Hide

by | 11.30.2009 at 1:34pm

As the nations of the world prepare to meet in Denmark, there is some well publicized noise being emitted to lower expectations for a climate treaty. The United States and China—the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, with over 40% of the world’s pollutant load–appear to be at the center of this effort at political agenda setting. They are trying to lower expectations so that any progress at all can be presented as a [...]

Ecosystem Services Come to New York City: The Natural Way to Reduce Pollution

by | 9.3.2009 at 8:53am

On August 27th, New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced that his office will provide $1.8 million of a $7 million settlement with a number of towns in Westchester that had been illegally dumping raw sewage into the Bronx River. According to Cuomo’s web site: “The funding will be provided to seven entities, including [...]

Cash for More Than Just Clunkers

by | 8.5.2009 at 5:44am

Our inability to predict policy outcomes was once again confirmed this week by the wildly popular Cash for Clunkers program. The program provides between $3,500 and $4,500 to anyone who trades in an older auto for a shiny new car that has better fuel efficiency. One billion dollars was originally allocated for the program, which [...]