The human use of energy has profound moral and ethical implications, raising issues that can only be answered by considering notions of justice. Earthzine science writer Osha Gray Davidson blogs about these crucial issues while on a fellowship at the Vermont Law School.
Scientists, citizens, non-governmental organizations and governments need to find a shared language. As the language of the market system, economic valuation can offer common communication that creates a bridge between different fields of work. A synthesis called TEEB outlines an approach to environmental valuation and offers recommendations on how decision-makers can use the plan as an informative tool.
Mr. Arjun Thapan is Special Senior Advisor to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) President for Infrastructure and Water. ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. In this opinion essay, he discusses Asia’s impending water crisis, exacerbated not just by the environmental consequences of economic and population growth, but now also by climate change.
The European Commission sponsored project ÛÏGlobal Earth Observation ÛÒ Benefit Estimation: Now, Next and EmergingÛ (GEOBENE) has developed methodologies and analytical tools to assess the societal benefit areas (SBAs) of GEO in the domains of: Disasters, Health, Energy, Climate, Water, Weather, Ecosystems, Agriculture and Biodiversity. This article presents several of these overarching methodologies as a contribution to the ongoing effort to improve GEOSS, and looks to the future via the EuroGEOSS Project.
Dr. Roy Gibson, first Director General of the European Space Agency and the first Director General of the British National Space Centre, made a strong argument for the need of governments to give priority financial and political support to GEO and GEOSS as speaker at the GEO-IGOS Symposium in Washington DC on 19 November 2009. His adapted speech from that event and a biographical introduction are reprinted here.
In Korown, an Uttar Pradesh India farming village where little has changed for hundreds of years, a 21st century school opened its doors for the first time in July to 100 girls and boys in grades 1-4, 6, and 7. Kuruom vidyalaya is the bricks-and-mortar embodiment of the Hindu goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, and testimony to one man’s spirit and commitment. That man is Bal Ram Singh, Ph.D., 51, once a child of the village and now a successful biophysical chemist at a U.S. university (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth) and director of its Center for Indic Studies, who built the school himself without government assistance. Deeply engaged as a Hindu, a family man, a professor, research scientist, and a U.S. citizen, he is also determined to prove that “one little man” can change the status-quo in India for the better.
In Politically Possible Tax for Reduction of Fossil Fuel Usage in the U.S. and Worldwide Sylvester Johnson, Ph.D. outlines his argument for the key advantages of the straightforward carbon tax over “cap-and-trade” and “cap-and-auction.” He concludes with a guideline on how to get the carbon tax enacted.