A group of MIT students and faculty, including Leah Stokes and Danya Rumore (both DUSP PhD candidates in Environmental Policy and Planning)are attending the negotiations for a global treaty on mercury, which are taking place in Geneva from 13-18 January, 2013. Their goal is to help present the latest scientific results for the information of negotiators. You can follow their progress on their blog and twitter.
Jan 14, 2013. Posted by Ezra Glenn
Dec 04, 2012. Posted by Ezra Glenn
In cities across the country, bike-sharing plans, tree-planting initiatives, and other programs aimed at enhancing urban sustainability are becoming increasingly popular. As mayors consider how to design and implement their own programs, they can turn for guidance to a series of MIT assessments of what kinds of programs have worked — and not worked — in other cities and why. The MIT director of the assessment project is now developing a systematic, user-friendly method of presenting this information as well as a protocol that will permit easy or even automatic updating of the content.
Oct 25, 2012. Posted by Nina Tamburello
Larry Susskind co-published an opinion piece in a Chilean newspaper yesterday with Daniela Martinez, a Chilean attorney and recent graduate of Harvard Law's LLM program.
About 10,000 feet below much of the United States lurks a wealth of natural gas. This high-profit resource is accessed by “fracking,” or piping pressurized chemicals and water into a deep bore in order to break apart compressed layers of shale, releasing the gas between them, and pumping the gas to the surface.
As part of Tushar Kansal’s thesis (MCP 2012), he asked whether the states or the federal government is better able to regulate the risks and environmental and community impacts associated with fracking.
Tushar’s analysis hinges on four concerns:
In recent years, governments in South America have turned to large-scale hydropower as a cost-effective way to improve livelihoods while addressing the energy “trilemma:” ensuring that future energy technologies provide effective solutions to climate change, environmental degradation, and supply security.
Patricio Zambrano-Barragan (MCP ’12) explored the rapidly-changing context for hydropower in South America by looking at three flagship projects: Ecuador’s Coca-Codo-Sinclair (1,500MW), Chile’s HidroAysén (2,750MW), and Perú’s Inambari (2,000MW).
The London games began with a quirky opening ceremony on July 27, 2012, and will wrap up August 12. Ever wondered whether the new Olympic stadiums are LEED certified, or what happens to the city on August 13? Have the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) done their jobs with long-term sustainability principles in mind?
Since the 1970s, some natural resource practitioners and academics have argued that natural resource management should be collaborative and should be adaptable over time in the face of new information and changing environmental and social conditions. Collaborative adaptive management, or CAM, is a natural resource management approach in which a diverse group of stakeholders iteratively plan, implement, monitor, evaluate and adjust management actions to reduce uncertainty and improve decisions over time.
Around 65 million homes in the USA could benefit from comprehensive upgrades to save energy. Serving these homes can decrease emissions, create jobs, stimulate local economies, and improve the health of indoor environments. However, marketing upgrades has proven difficult; households typically do not understand energy saving opportunities, are hesitant to take on financing to realize small net energy savings, and distrust programs and contractors.
Yes! Maybe it’s not strapping on heavy gear and dragging hose, but Molly Mowery (MCP 2008) argues that planners play an important role in shaping policies that reduce catastrophic wildfire incidents. Since writing her DUSP thesis on wildfire and development, Molly has been advocating for stronger links between planning decisions and wildfire risk. You can see her latest thoughts on this topic in this New York Times Room for Debate thread, “Does the Government Cause or Prevent Wildfires?”
Increasing energy efficiency is a popular notion. It garners support from environmentalists to economists to every person who pays a utility bill. But when it comes to retrofits, more homeowners are benefiting from energy efficiency than renters. Patrick Coleman (MCP 2011) thinks this a problem worth looking into.