The Great Debate UK

How cities can help protect citizens from air pollution

By Guest Contributor
April 11, 2014

–Julian Hunt is former Director-General at the Met Office and Visiting Professor at Delft University of Technology. Amy Stidworthy is Principal Consultant at Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants. The opinions expressed are their own.–

Changing weather patterns mean meteorology is more important than ever

By Guest Contributor
March 24, 2014

–Julian Hunt is former Director-General of the UK Met Office, and a Visiting Professor at Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are his own.–

Europe’s carbon trading system needs radical reform, not stop-gap measures

By Guest Contributor
January 7, 2014

–Laurens de Vries is an assistant professor, Joern Richstein is a doctoral candidate, Emile Chappin is an assistant professor, and Gerard Dijkema is an associate professor at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. The opinions expressed are their own.–

from The Great Debate:

Why “sustainability” should be more than a meaningless buzzword

By Elizabeth Scharpf
October 7, 2013

The term “sustainability” crept into the business lexicon slowly, by way of the environmental movement. It no longer means covering operating costs with profits, the definition I learned at Harvard Business School six years ago. Instead, it’s morphed into a blurry term that fits into whatever suitcase you want it to -- a catchall for everything “socially good,” whatever that means.

from The Great Debate:

Silent Spring’s 50th anniversary: What would Rachel Carson say now?

By Paul R. Ehrlich
June 26, 2012

When I was a graduate student at the University of Kansas, the pesticide DDT was very much on my mind. My assistantship in 1953 involved research on the evolution of DDT-resistance in fruit flies. It quickly became clear to all of us in this research group that the broadcast use of pesticides was a losing and dangerous game. When I attempted to raise butterflies in New Jersey in the 1940s, bringing food plants in from nature usually resulted in the caterpillars dying. In those days, widespread spraying of DDT to control mosquitoes coated much of the countryside with poison. In the lab it was easy to use selection to make flies impervious to DDT in some 10 generations, or, in contrast, so susceptible that they would drop dead at a whisper of that “miracle” chemical’s name. Evolution of resistance tended to make continuous use of any pesticide inefficient. The usual response of the chemical industry was to recommend increasing the dose or to substitute more toxic compounds, making pest control even more expensive and dangerous.

from The Great Debate:

Yes, there are things the Rio summit can accomplish

By Tensie Whelan and Paul Polman
June 21, 2012

The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio was marked by optimism and hope, but much of the buzz about the upcoming Rio+20 meeting is skeptical and cynical. Critics say the Rio process has been unduly bureaucratic and hasn’t lived up to its goals. They are branding Rio+20 as a failure before it has even begun. President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron are sitting it out. Some even say that in the radically decentralized Internet Age, the days when government leaders or U.N. bodies can set global agendas by fiat are long gone.

from The Great Debate:

Mystery of the disappearing bees: Solved!

By Richard Schiffman
April 9, 2012

If it were a novel, people would criticize the plot for being too far-fetched – thriving colonies disappear overnight without leaving a trace, the bodies of the victims are never found. Only in this case, it’s not fiction: It's what's happening to fully a third of commercial beehives, over a million colonies every year. Seemingly healthy communities fly off never to return. The queen bee and mother of the hive is abandoned to starve and die.

Pakistan floods show Asia’s vulnerability to climate change

October 11, 2011

By Lord Julian Hunt and Professor J. Srinivasan. The opinions expressed are their own.

The safest form of power: Everything in moderation

By Morven McCulloch
April 5, 2011

By Morven McCulloch

The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in north-eastern Japan, seriously damaged by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, has led to anti-nuclear protests in several countries and forced governments to rethink their energy policies.

Big business still not tackling carbon emissions

By Guest Contributor
February 16, 2011

– Sam Gill is Operational Director  at the Environmental Investment Organisation. The opinions expressed are his own. —