Energy & Environment

How a Grassroots Rebellion Won the Nation's Biggest Climate Victory

  • By
  • Mark Hertsgaard,
  • New America Foundation
April 23, 2012 |

By most accounts, the summer of 2010—when climate legislation died its slow, agonizing death on Capitol Hill—was not a happy time for environmentalists. So why was Mary Anne Hitt feeling buoyant, even hopeful? Part of the reason, no doubt, were the endorphins of first-time parenthood. Baby Hazel, born in April 2010, was fair like her mother and curly haired like her father. She was also an 11th-generation West Virginian, which perhaps explained her mom's other preoccupation: stopping mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia.

China’s Strategic Food Concerns

April 13, 2012
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In my last post, I wrote about the recent National Intelligence Council report on global water security. Here’s the gist of it:

Private Empire

May 1, 2012

In Private Empire Steve Coll investigates the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States, revealing the true extent of its power. ExxonMobil’s annual revenues are larger than the economic activity in the great majority of countries. In many of the countries where it conducts business, ExxonMobil’s sway over politics and security is greater than that of the United States embassy. In Washington, ExxonMobil spends more money lobbying Congress and the White House than almost any other corporation. Yet despite its outsized influence, it is a black box.

How to Feed the World After Climate Change

  • By
  • Mark Hertsgaard,
  • New America Foundation
April 12, 2012 |

Hertsgaard discusses how ecological agriculture can create a sustainable food supply and prevent some of the potential impact of climate change on the world's food supply.

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.

Gusher

  • 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.

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