The US is a car culture. In 2010, 95% of American households owned a car and 85% of Americans drove to work each day. This is radically different from the lifestyle most Americans had after World War II, when 40% of Americans did not own cars.
China and India are rapidly adopting the … Continue Reading ››
Political leaders did not create any new global treaties at the recent Rio+20 summit. Instead, they acknowledged and reaffirmed their commitments from previous global conferences and emphasized the need for implementation. Implementation, however, can occur when effective institutions are in place, adequate resources are available, and citizens are genuinely engaged.
The institutional framework for sustainable development … Continue Reading ››
Unemployment plagues today’s nations. In Europe, unemployment rate was 11.2% in June. Within those European unemployment statistics, the working youth less than 25 years old are particularly affected – with an unemployment rate of 22.4%. In comparison, national unemployment in the US is approximately 8%.
In order to ameliorate unemployment, improve individual well-being and … Continue Reading ››
Degrowth is a dirty word in growth-centric cultures like the United States. But with humanity using one and a half Earths worth of biocapacity every year, if we want to stabilize the climate and other declining ecosystem services, we’ll have to stop both our populations and the global economy from growing any larger. And some … Continue Reading ››
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the commitments to sustainable transportation were some of the greatest achievements of June’s Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). Very little could exemplify the world’s need for sustainable transport to the delegates better than the average of 6 cumulative hours per day they spent … Continue Reading ››
Emerging from the Rio+20 conference this June, governments and citizens continue to discuss what a sustainable economy should look like. Some see salvation in green growth; while others argue that structural, not just technological, change is necessary. Indeed, fundamental cultural change away from materialism is critical to success.
It’s indisputable that a green economy must offer adequate … Continue Reading ››
With Resolution 65/161, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, recognizing that “…access to modern affordable energy services in developing countries is essential for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and sustainable development, which would help to reduce poverty and … Continue Reading ››
The U.S. farm belt is broiling. Lack of rain and high temperatures have put the huge annual harvests of corn and soybeans at risk. And because the United States is the world’s largest producer of these two staple crops, the ongoing drought threatens food supplies not only in North America, but around the world.
Farmers in … Continue Reading ››
Emissions from transportation are the fastest growing source of global greenhouse gas emissions, with emissions expected to increase 300 percent by 2050. Today, emissions from transportation contribute to approximately 80 percent of the harmful air pollutants that result in 1.3 million premature deaths annually.
The largest financial commitment made at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development … Continue Reading ››
In 2009, Indiana University professor Elinor Ostrom became the first and only woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, for her “analysis of economic governance, especially the commons.” Ostrom’s work focused on the institutional arrangements that govern common resources, such as water, land, fisheries, forests, and grazing lands. While many economists … Continue Reading ››