All in Environmental

License to Spill

As a nation and as a world, we must start thinking about the long-term impacts of our actions, rather than the short-term economic and energy benefits. Sustainable growth today will be more profitable in the future. Rejecting Keystone XL this spring is the right choice both for the nation and for the planet.

From Sea to Shining...Puddle?

Despite these gloomy numbers, the American West's 49'er mentality of continual and aggressive resource consumption still persists. While the particular resource in this case is largely abundant (at least when compared to other natural resources) it is in no way infinite, much less renewable in the short-term. If it continues down this path, the West could be in serious trouble.

Antarctica is home to more than emperor penguins and a few dozen humans with science citizenship barricaded in small hermetic bases. It is also host to an estimated 200 billion barrels of hydrocarbons, alongside large quantities of gold, silver, uranium, and many other rare metals underneath a pristine ice cap still virgin of commercial exploitation. Securing a territory with such a rich underground, in whole or in part, would bless any country with durable energy security and, thereby, increased political independence in the international arena.

With movies like The Day After Tomorrow depicting the apocalyptic consequences of global warming, the issue of climate change has since transformed from being simply a “Hollywood problem” to a reality we must confront. Global warming deniers have long since been discredited, and an urgency to address climate change has heightened in policy spheres and also in the public imagination. It is the unfortunate fact that climate change is not an issue that can be simply tackled by one well-meaning individual or even one nation. Maintaining the sustainability of our planet is a collective responsibility, because it affects us all. An effective and lasting solution—or, at the very least, a hope of one—can only be reached through global consensus. The Copenhagen climate summit that will take place early this month provides an opportunity for nations to collectively define the direction of climate change policy over the next few decades.

If you are what you eat, then America is corn. It’s in just about everything we eat: soda, ketchup, English muffins, breakfast cereal, cookies, crackers, ice cream, BBQ sauce… hell, even cough syrup. It feeds the cattle that go into your hamburger. And now it’s going into our gas tanks as ethanol.

The nuclear industry, despite a rough patch in the past few decades, may be poised for a major renaissance. As the prices of conventional fuels such as coal and natural gas skyrocket, nuclear power has become increasingly attractive to utilities looking for stable operating costs, environmentally friendly sources of energy, and insurance against geopolitical threats to energy security. Finally, in an era of rising concern over energy security, the nuclear industry is being promoted as a domestic solution to the nation’s demand for imported energy.