2927 Items

Acting on the Climate Crisis: What Must Be Done Now?

As numerous studies have made strikingly clear, climate change is increasing much more rapidly than anticipated and its negative impacts are becoming more and more visible around the world. From the escalating extremity of weather events, severe droughts and wildfires, to melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and disastrous floods, climate change is already harming humans and our ecosystems in a myriad of ways. We asked John P. Holdren, Henry Lee, Robert N. Stavins, Afreen Siddiqi, Kelly Gallagher and Halla Hrund Logadóttir for their thoughts on how best to tackle our climate crisis.

Presentation - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Rapid Climate Change in the Arctic: Why Everybody Should Care

| June 06, 2019

On June 6, 2019, Professor John P. Holdren gave a lecture for students and faculty at Tsinghua University's School of Public Policy and Management on the latest climate science as it affects the Arctic.  He discussed efforts to understand the challenges affecting the region and the global community and what further worldwide actions are required to address these challenges.

Workers shovel waste from a wheat farm into a prototype for a biomass machine

AP/Andy Wong

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Gasification of Coal and Biomass: A Net Carbon-Negative Power Source for Environment-Friendly Electricity Generation in China

    Authors:
  • Xi Lu
  • Liang Cao
  • Haikun Wang
  • Jia Xing
  • Shuxiao Wang
  • Siyi Cai
  • Bo Shen
  • Qing Yang
  • Chris P. Nielsen
  • Michael B. McElroy
| 2019

Deploying coal-bioenergy gasification systems with carbon capture and storage (CBECCS) provides a promising opportunity for China to realize its carbon mitigation and air pollution abatement goals simultaneously. The authors conducted a comprehensive assessment of CBECCS technology for China, with a focus on plant and fuel configurations (e.g., biomass ratios) and economics, as well as CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions and cobenefits for air quality.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer uses a handheld GR135- Radiation Isttope Identifier to check a container that was stopped after passing through a radiation detection device at the port of Newark in February 2006 (AP Photo/Mel Evans).

AP Photo/Mel Evans

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Combating Nuclear Smuggling? Exploring Drivers and Challenges to Detecting Nuclear and Radiological Materials at Maritime Facilities

| June 03, 2019

International concern over nuclear terrorism has grown during the past few decades. This has driven a broad spectrum of efforts to strengthen nuclear security globally, including the widespread adoption of radiation-detection technology for border monitoring. Detection systems are now deployed at strategic locations for the purported purpose of detecting and deterring the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials. However, despite considerable investment in this area, few studies have examined how these programs are implemented or the operational challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. This article seeks to address this with a focus on radiation-detection efforts at maritime facilities. Utilizing practitioner interviews and a survey, this article identifies the factors that influence the planning and use of these systems in this fast-moving environment. The results clearly demonstrate that the implementation of these systems varies significantly across different national and organizational contexts, resulting in a fragmented global nuclear-detection architecture, which arguably undermines efforts to detect trafficked nuclear-threat materials. Greater consideration should therefore be given to developing international standards and guidance, designing and adopting tools to support key parts of the alarm assessment process, and broader sharing of good practice.

Panorama of Pyongyang, North Korea.

Wikimedia CC/Sven Unbehauen

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Deterrence in Cyberspace

| June 03, 2019

Understanding deterrence in cyberspace is often difficult, because  minds remain captured by an image of deterrence shaped by the Cold War: a threat of massive retaliation to a nuclear attack by nuclear means. A better analogy is crime: governments can only imperfectly prevent it.

President Barack Obama walks with John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, at the White House in Washington, Friday, March 7, 2014.

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

John P. Holdren Receives Japan's Order of the Rising Sun

| May 22, 2019

The Government of Japan has announced that its prestigious Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star will be awarded to John P. Holdren, Co-Director of the Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program and former Assistant to the President for Science and Technology during the Obama administration. Holdren will receive the award for his "contributions to strengthening relations between the two countries in science and technology."