Millennium Consumption Goals—Part 2

The Millennium Consumption Goals are moving forward—and thanks to all the great comments we received, they’re getting more nuanced too!

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Tags: Consumption, Economy, Energy, Environment, Food, Health, Policy

Tallying the True Costs of Fossil Fuels

Monday, the New York Times reported that a National Academy of Sciences study tallied the cost of burning fossil fuels and found that it was running the county about $120 billion dollars each year. That price tag is based almost entirely on health care costs and thousands of premature deaths from...

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Tags: Carbon, Climate, Climate change, Consumption, Economy, Energy, Environment, Global warming, Health, Policy

McKibben Reminds Us that We Have Yet to Come to Terms with Our Limits

In A Timely Reminder of the Real Limits to Growth, a recent opinion piece in Yale Environment 360, Bill McKibben reminds us that it's been 37 years since publication of the book, Limits to Growth, which warned, "If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food ...

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Tags: Carbon, Climate change, Consumption, Economy, Environment, Global warming, Policy

G20 Leaders Signal an End to Free Ride for Fossil Fuels

On one or two occasions, friends of mine have complained about renewable energies because they have to be subsidized to survive. (Yeah, I know. Fun party conversation.) My response is always to point out that we've been subsidizing fossil fuel production for decades. I never go into any details, ...

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Tags: Carbon, Climate, Climate change, Consumption, Economy, Environment, Global warming, Policy

NYT Reporter Asks Economists About the Future of Consumer Culture

A few days ago, New York Times reporter and Dot Earth blogger Andrew C. Revkin asked a handful of prominent economists what they thought about evidence showing a substantial and sustained cooling of consumer spending habits. In addition to Nobel laureate, Kenneth J. Arrow, a few others weighed in...

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Tags: Consumption, Culture, Economy, Environment, Policy, Recession, Shopping

Political Ecology and the Anecdote of the Jar

Governments the world over have been imagined in different forms. In some cases, a society's governing structure has been seen as a benevolent patriarch, a contract among equals, a custodian of what is or a shepherd that will lead us to the future. What would be the result if we thought of politi...

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Tags: Collective, Ecology, Environmental, Interdependence, Policy

Do those opposing climate action even know where the high ground is?

I think it's fair to say that a measure of how morally bankrupt your position is on an issue is related to how much you have to lie to rally public support for your position. (No, I'm not talking about that other issue currently dominating the news. I'm talking about climate change legislation.) ...

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Tags: Climate change, Energy, Environment, Global warming, Policy

AM Inspiration: The Body Knows Its Heritage

Health care has once again taken center stage on the political landscape, and it's proving to be one of those subjects like food or carbon...Health and the measures we take to keep or recover it have to do with just about everything, which may explain why the national discussion on health care so...

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Tags: Body, Choice, Conscience, Health care, Policy, Wellness

Are plastic bags necessary?

Last year, the Seattle City Council voted yes for Referendum 1, a proposal to impose a twenty cent fee on people who choose to put their items in paper or plastic bags. What are your views regarding Referendum 1? Do you think your area should pass a similar resolution? Are taxes and fines the bes...

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Tags: Fine, Local, Plastic, Plastic bags, Policy, Seattle, Waste

Cash for Clunkers: Success?

This is a follow up post to the Cash for clunkers, otherwise known as Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) posted July 23,2009. Cash for clunkers program was expected to last till November 1,2009 with the $1 billion fund they received from the government. However, the program seems to have been mor...

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Tags: Bailout, Class, Economy, Emissions, Gm stakeholders, Policy, Transportation

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