Tag Archives: Environment; Energy and Climate

Has the Future Economy arrived?


By Oakley Brooks,  Ecotrust








Has the Future Economy arrived?

You know, the one that will help us and the planet survive.

Couchsurfing. CSAs. Neighborhood energy. Local food clusters. Coops. Promising, hip business models are cropping up all around the country.

Do they constitute the new economy we all long for, the one people have been out in the street demanding—the one that delivers social and financial benefits broadly while restoring the environment? I certainly hope so. But unless we take a clear eyed-look at what’s really going on with these new innovations, we can’t know for sure.

That’s why a new round of research just out is hopeful. To better weigh the progress of innovative business models in the new economy, the E3 Network—a national network of economists focused on equity and environment—deployed researchers around the country to separate hype from reality.  Armed with an analytical framework developed by a national steering committee, these researchers looked deeply into how new business models function, what their impacts are, how scalable they are, and how replicable they are.

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In the spirit of Martin Luther King Day, Two Views is highlighting 5 activists working to secure equal rights and social justice around the world.  Here is our list of 5 tireless advocates who have dared to speak up in the hope of making our lives better:

  1. Fatima Jibrell

 0702jibrellIn a country that lacked a central government for nearly two decades, the fate of Somalia’s environment  would seem nearly futile.  Fatima Jibrell, however, persevered  as an environmental activist working to empower local communities to conserve and  manage their natural resources.  In the wake of Somalia’s 1991 civil war, she co-founded the non-profit organization Adeso (previously called the Horn of Africa Relief and Develop Organization). In recognition of her advocacy of community-driven environmental consciousness, Jibrell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2002 and the National Geographic/Buffet Award for Leadership in African Conservation in 2007.  Most recently in November 2014, she became Somalia’s first Champion of the Earth, the United Nations top environment award.

  1. Emily Stanger

In 2012, emilyForbes Magazine named Emily Stanger to its Top 30 Under 30 list.  Since then, Stanger has been working in Liberia and Sierra Leone to enhance economic opportunities for women in West Africa.  In early 2014, when many were fleeing Sierra Leone during the peak of the Ebola outbreak, Emily redirected her efforts and became an advisor in the Office of the President in Sierra Leone to combat the rapid spread of the ebola virus. One of Stanger’s many contributions to organizing Sierra Leone’s ebola response was spearheading the transformation of a local hotline into a high capacity call center that answered and responded to more than 2,000 ebola-related calls daily. Stanger continues to work tirelessly with the hope that Sierra Leone will be ebola-free in the very near future.


Four Lessons from the Conflict and Tsunami disaster Aid Response in Aceh

Authored with guest blogger Agus Wandi

Ten years ago, as if to complete the destruction of 30 years of war that took the lives of 30,000 people  and displaced many thousands more in the Indonesian Province of Aceh, nature added to the devastation by making 120,000 people victims of a Tsunami that decimated the province. The other side of the story is that, on that day, a person would wake up on the east coast of the province as the survivor of a 3- decades long war, while someone living on the east coast or in Banda Aceh found themselves a survivor of the Tsunami. Stories of hope and resilience abound. Ten years on, Aceh has come a very long way. Here are four lessons from the conflict and tsunami disaster aid response that we learned from working on peacebuilding in Aceh following the 2004 tsunami.

1. Disaster Response Impacts Politics, and it can be Positive.
Whether we like it or not, any post disaster intervention will have a political impact.

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A Violently Hot Topic: Climate Change and Conflict

climate change and conflict on the table

There is no doubt the topic of climate change can lead to heated debate. Throw in the notion that climate change and its impacts are a proximate cause of violent conflict and the conversation boils over. A potential 54% increase in the incidence of conflict in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030, based on global temperature rise of 2° Fahrenheit, foretells a future where the current downward trend in violent conflict could be completely reversed.

But skepticism and debate on the topic of climate change and conflict abounds. With the most hard-talking IPCC climate change report released to date, we delved further into these issues, consulting a variety of academic articles, publications and colleagues to help frame the debate. We also interviewed Marshall Burke, professor at Stanford University as well as Margaret Arnold, Climate Change and Resilience Team Leader at the World Bank. We summarize the major issues; probe the link between conflict and climate change; and discuss what is currently being done as well as what more needs to be done to mitigate climate change impacts on conflict.

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Four Compelling Reasons To Be Hopeful About The U.S.-China Climate Accord

Four compelling reasons to be hopeful about the U.S. China Climate Agreement

It is no secret that the United States and China, the two largest national emitters of global carbon emissions, have fallen short in their efforts to address climate change over the past decade. Things, however, just got interesting. Only one week after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its daunting report, leaders of the U.S. and China announced a breakthrough, non-binding bilateral agreement aimed at decreasing carbon emissions over the next several decades. While some critics have been quick to dismiss the importance of the deal, the possible implications of the effort cannot be underestimated. Borrowing from Obama’s quintessential campaign phrase—change—here are four reasons the accord may spur change in the global climate change arena:

The non-binding agreement is a symbolic commitment that illustrates that climate change is a priority issue

In the agreement, among other commitments, the U.S. aims to reduce U.S. emissions by 26%-28% of its 2005 level by 2025. Likewise, China intends to peaks its emissions by 2030. According to scientists and critics alike, these targets merely go a bit beyond or reinstate previously announced targets made domestically by the two leaders. Nevertheless, even if the commitments recycle or marginally exceed existing commitments the US and China have made domestically, the effort is symbolic of the two powers willingness to move the ball forward and find commonalties that were not previously known.

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