While federal support for new technology and infrastructure would be helpful, there is another approach that can also be effective. We should focus on modernizing our state and local energy systems. By modernizing the energy system we can reduce the costs and environmental impact of our energy use.
How do multiple stakeholders compromise their competing needs and develop a global coordinated strategy that is politically palatable, possible and comprehensive enough to have an impact? Students from universities all over the U.S. Northeast gathered at Columbia for the 2017 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition that challenged students to do just this.
After helping Chris an Dan with soil salinity and reflectance measurement, Humayun, Liz and I moved onto the smaller M.B. Mewl to sail through the Sundarban Mangrove Forest to service our GPS station at Hiron Point.
Humayun, Liz and I headed to Khulna in SW Bangladesh a day after Chris and Dan. Along the way, we stopped at our sediment compaction meter for surveying and removing the GPS, and getting feasted by the family that hosts the system.
Across the nation, abandoned mine sites continue to pollute the environment for decades as acid mine drainage flows into rivers and streams. A 1980 law was supposed to fix that, but lack of funding and enforcement have left the public stuck with the bill.
While many people around the world are concerned about President-elect Trump’s threat to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, I am far more concerned about the possible signal to American corporations and jurisdictions that enforcement of our air, water, and toxic rules would be relaxed under EPA’s new administrator.
If you had the experience of hearing Leon Billings teach and tell stories, it is hard to believe his voice is no longer with us. He was a great American and an important figure in American environmental history.
In northern Alaska’s Brooks Range, the earth as most of us know it comes to an end. The northern tree line-a boundary that circles all of earth’s northern landmasses for more than 8,300 miles, and forms the planet’s biggest ecological transition zone–runs through here. Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying how climate may change it, and the tundra beyond.
As we face a Donald Trump administration, we must reflect on the development of environmental policy and politics of the past. Despite the skepticism that President-elect Trump could halt progress on sustainability efforts such as research and development for renewable energy, it seems that the average person values a clean and safe environment. Donald Trump is anything but predictable, and we should maintain hope that we can continue to make a case for sustainability and pursue progress in our country and around the world.