Energy & Environment

Scarce Water Resources Will Drive Life-and-Death Politics

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
March 19, 2012 |

Every day, around the globe, nearly 4,000 children die from waterborne diseases. That is 166 children every hour, nearly three per minute. More than one billion people lack clean drinking water, and more than 2.5 billion lack adequate sanitation. Those numbers tell the story: while increased attention has been paid lately to a "coming water crisis", for many, that crisis has already come.

Not Too Hot to Handle

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
April 9, 2012 |

It's a great time to be depressed about the fate of the planet. The last United Nations confab on climate change, a November meeting in Durban, South Africa, suggested we're unlikely to see any new deal on greenhouse gasses having an impact before 2020. And it was over less than a day before Canada withdrew from what is the only current legally binding treaty on climate change -- the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of this year.

An Interview With the Island President

  • By
  • Mark Hertsgaard,
  • New America Foundation
April 10, 2012 |

He’s been called “the Mandela of the Maldives.” And like the anti-apartheid icon, Mohammed Nasheed began public life as a democracy activist who was jailed for years by a regime he eventually helped overthrow. Also like Mandela, Nasheed went on to win the first free and fair elections ever held in his country, a scattering of 2,000 low-lying islands off the tip of India that boast some of the most beautiful beaches and high-end resorts on earth.


  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
April 2, 2012 |

ABSTRACT: The political scene about how ExxonMobil became a finance arm of the Republican Party. In late February, President Obama proposed, not for the first time, that Congress end four billion dollars’ worth of subsidies for oil and gas companies. He seemed to be signalling that he will be running for President this year, as he did four years ago, in open opposition to the American oil industry. The President’s policies toward the oil industry are not easy to categorize.

Strategic Resources: The NIC Looks at Water

March 30, 2012
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On March 22, the National Intelligence Council, a senior body of U.S. government intelligence analysts, released an unclassified report on global water security. The report assesses the effect of global water problems on geopolitics to 2040, the next thirty years. Annual global water requirements will reach 6,900 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2030, 40 percent above current sustainable water supplies.

A New Green Agenda for Commuters

  • By
  • Lisa Margonelli,
  • New America Foundation
March 29, 2012 |

As gasoline prices passed $3.50 a gallon nationally, the politicking predictably kicked into overdrive. “There’s no reason we can’t get gasoline down to $2 and $2.50 a gallon,” said Newt Gingrich, who in February promised he would accomplish this via an agenda he called “Drill here, drill now, pay less.” Two days later three prominent Democrats, including Representative Ed Markey, called for President Obama to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices.

Climate Change in The Hunger Games

  • By
  • Torie Bosch,
  • New America Foundation
March 21, 2012 |

This week, the first film based on the blockbuster young-adult book trilogy The Hunger Games will open, crowning its stars heartthrobs and, likely, making Lionsgate, its studio, a mint.

Much discussion has focused on The Hunger Games as commentary on the popularity of reality television; actress Jennifer Lawrence, who stars as the temperamental heroine Katniss Everdeen, said as much in a recent interview. But barely mentioned in the film—if at all—is another, subtler lesson currently in vogue among young-adult fiction: the societal implications of climate change.


The Business Case for Sustainability

March 19, 2012
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The MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group recently released a report, “Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point.” In a survey of over 4,000 managers from 113 countries, the study found “70% of companies have placed sustainability permanently on their management agendas.”

Sustainability is here and it is the future. It is transforming companies, commercial networks, and industries. Will the tipping point soon reach government?

The Sidebar: The U.S. in Afghanistan and Rising Gas Prices

March 16, 2012
Counterterrorism Research Fellow Brian Fishman and Schwartz Fellow Steve Levine explore the real challenges facing the U.S. in Afghanistan and rising gas prices at home. Pamela Chan hosts.

The Sidebar: China's Global Influence and Iran's Nuclear Ambition

February 23, 2012
Afshin Molavi and Sam Sherraden discuss The tensions surrounding Iran’s nuclear development program, the state of manufacturing jobs in the US, and how China’s growing influence is affecting economic and political relations around the world. Pamela Chan hosts.
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