Global environmental challenges
John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.
President Barack Obama read the last rites for national cap and trade in 2010 on Feb. 2, while senior Democrats in the House of Representatives prepared to put a stake through its heart to ensure the Environmental Protection Agency does not try to resurrect it unilaterally without congressional approval.
Obama finally bowed to the inevitable and admitted cap and trade might need to be separated from a more popular green jobs bill in the Senate, a shift that would effectively end prospects for cap and trade in 2010.
In a question-and-answer session the president commented: “The only thing I would say about it is this: We may be able to separate these things out. And it’s possible that’s where the Senate ends up.”
Obama made no mention of cap and trade in his State of the Union speech last week and it was absent from the list of priorities the president outlined in a meeting with Senate Democrats on Wednesday, when he called on them to “finish the job” on healthcare and financial reform.
Just last month, Walmart announced that it would be moving to eliminate non-biodegradable plastic bags from stores across the United States to reduce their collection in landfills. While they’ve demonstrated positive green initiatives, this week there’s been accusations of hypocrisy because they’ve been passing off a harmful, manufactured textile as sustainable.
Environmental advocates had been applauding Walmart for their plastic bag reduction goals and the installation of more energy-efficient systems. For example, coolers that only light up when a shopper’s presence is detected. So this new accusation from the Federal Trade Commission comes at a bad time.
David Rockefeller, Jr., a philanthropist, is sponsoring a year-long sailing trip around the Americas looking at environmental impacts on the oceans — from melting ice to fish farms. Here are his thoughts after stepping aboard the voyage for two weeks around Cape Horn. The views expressed are his own.
For climbers, there is just one Everest. For sailors, there is just one Cape Horn – the southernmost piece of the American Continents, and often the windiest, most treacherous place in all the oceans.
from The Great Debate UK:
- Luuk van der Wielen is at BE-Basic and Delft University of Technology; Roger Wyse is Managing Director, Burrill & Company, San Francisco. The opinions expressed are their own.-
Today the global megatrends of food security, energy security, global climate change and sustainability command the attention of nations worldwide. Confronting these challenges will test political systems, drive policy and stress international relations.
from UK News:
If the scientific evidence for manmade global warming is so compelling, why do so many people still have their doubts?
Why do politicians and the media often discuss global warming with such certainty, ignoring the scientists' carefully worded caveats?
Most people wouldn’t consider an earthquake to be an environmental issue. But while the tremors that shattered Haiti early this month have nothing to do with the island’s degradation, the extent of the suffering they unleashed is a direct result of the country’s ecological woes.
President Barack Obama came into office with climate change and the environment on his list of top priorities.
Nearly a year later, one of the top environmental groups in the United States says that Obama has made the grade so far.
(Updates with comments from Karen Alderman Harbert)
A key component of a prospective climate deal coming into Copenhagen has been the targets for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
Targets would help put a “price” on carbon emissions that could then be bought and sold under a cap and trade scheme. (Click here for a related article.)
The talks were supposed to be over, “family photo” taken, and slaps on the back given all round.
So all the 193 countries and many RINGOS, BINGOS, YOUNGOS, banks and others who had set up temporary Copenhagen offices had been told to have them packed up by Friday evening.
There are around 120 heads of government at the Copenhagen climate talks, so many that it’s hard to keep track of the exact number.
Their presence has been trumpeted as a sign of the world’s commitment to tackling climate change. But in return for showing up, they all want a chance to address the conference – and by extension the world.