Category: Environment

Was Rio Conference Worth It?

The adopted “Rio+20″ agreement, adopted by numerous countries on June 22 has been panned mercilessly by many environmental and human rights groups as doing too little too late. They have substituted their own nickname for the document: “The Future We Don’t Want.” (proposals for the document had been entitled: “The Future We Want.”) What is […]  More »

Exxon, Rosneft arctic drilling assailed by Greenpeace

Celebrities joined advocacy group Greenpeace International in seeking a ban on oil drilling and excessive fishing in Arctic waters that would scuttle plans by Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and its Russian state-run rival OAO Rosneft to extract petroleum there.  More »

“Acting as if Tomorrow Matters” hits the bookshelves in Rio

Just in time for the beginning of the official Rio activities, comes Professor John C. Dernbach’s book “Acting as if Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability.” This book notes that we already know what needs to be done to move towards a sustainable system, the trick is to actually do it. Professor Dernbach and […]  More »

U.S Position on Sustainable Development at Rio

(with assistance from Amanda Byrum, UNC JD 2013) Each country represented at Rio+20 was asked to create and submit a document outlining its priorities for the conference. In addition, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders have submitted suggestions for the event’s final agenda to be adopted by participating countries as the conclusion of the conference. As […]  More »

Accounting for natural wealth gains world traction

What is a sip of clean water worth? Is there economic value in the shade of a tree? And how much would you pay for a breath of fresh air?  More »

Cloudy Days for Human Rights Activists at Rio

There has been a great deal of controversy for months about what UN negotiators would put forward for possible treaty adoption by countries at the end of Rio+20. What was supposed to be a simple document became complex and demonstrated many divisions between countries. When the negotiating team couldn’t reach agreement this created an opportunity […]  More »

EPA proposes stricter standards for soot pollution

Risking an election-year backlash from Republicans, the Obama administration is proposing new air quality standards to lower the amount of soot that can be released into the air.  More »

The View from Rio on June 14

As the first wave of visitors, delegates and speakers arrive in Rio for the Rio +20 sustainability summit, the overall picture is still unsettled. The persons charged with drafting a possible International Agreement to come out of the conference have still not settled on a straightforward document. Disagreements remain over how to measure national progress […]  More »

Conservation efforts help avoid lizard listing

The federal government will not place the dunes sagebrush lizard, a sand-dwelling reptile of the West Texas oil patch, on the lists of species requiring special protection, officials said Wednesday.  More »

World Health Organization unit says diesel fumes cause cancer

The risk of getting cancer from diesel fumes is small, but since so many people breathe in the fumes in some way, the science panel said raising the status of diesel exhaust to carcinogen from “probable carcinogen” was an important shift.  More »

Houston Mayor backs EPA coal rule ahead of Senate vote

Houston Mayor Annise Parker joined dozens of other mayor who are supporting recent announced Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at curbing emissions from coal-fired power plants.  More »

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says coal’s problems economic, not regulation

Environmental Protection Agency Chief Lisa Jackson said the coal industry’s problems involve the relative price of coal and natural gas, not her agency’s regulations.  More »