Environment & Climate Change

18 Items

In this photo taken Friday Oct. 10, 2014, a dilapidated rice box, normally used to control the flow of water between two rice fields, sits idle on a field that has been fallowed due to the drought, near Davis, Calif.

AP

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

Climate Change: Voters Will Be Hot Under the Collar by 2099

| October 26, 2016

By 2099 the nature of democratic politics could change in costly ways for politicians because of climate change, according to Nick Obradovich, research fellow with Harvard Kennedy School’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy program. Leveraging a century’s worth of political science research, he predicts in an article in Springer’s journal Climatic Change that voters’ disgruntlement about the societal effects of climatic extremes and weather-related disasters they experience will translate into more frequent turnover of political parties elected in and out of office, and will keep politicians of especially warmer, poorer countries more on their toes than is currently the case.

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Journal Article - Environmental Science & Policy

African Voters Indicate Lack of Support for Climate Change Policies

| In Press

In this article — across two experimental studies — the authors find evidence that Sub-Saharan African politicians who commit to climate change policies may lose electoral support. Electorally important swing voters with weak party affiliations are least likely to support party statements about climate change. Interviews with standing elected officials from Malawi and South Africa corroborate the experimental findings. The combined results suggest voter preferences may hinder the successful implementation of climate change policy in Sub-Saharan African democracies.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Fiscal Education for the G-7

| May 26, 2016
As the G-7 Leaders gather in Ise-Shima, Japan, on May 26-27, the still fragile global economy is on their minds.  They would like a road map to address stagnant growth. Their approach should be to talk less about currency wars and more about fiscal policy.Fiscal policy vs. monetary policyUnder the conditions that have prevailed in most major countries over the last ten years, we have reason to think that fiscal policy is a more powerful tool for affecting the level of economic activity, as compared to monetary policy.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Statement on Agricultural Biotechnology

| Sep. 30, 2015

My work on agricultural biotechnology for Africa dates to the mid-1980s. My first major publication on the subject in 1989 was entitled The Gene Hunters: Biotechnology and the Scramble for Seeds. This was nearly seven years before the first commercial release of the transgenic crops in North America. The focus of my work has been on identifying technologies that could contribute to sustainable development in Africa. I have advocated policies that seek to reduce the negative consequences of new technologies while maximizing their impacts.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Africa

| June 03, 2013

The global community is increasingly facing critical challenges in healthcare, energy, sustainability, and agriculture.  These issues are technologically complex, requiring scientific literacy among politicians, policymakers, and populations in both developed and developing nations.  Moreover, these issues demand innovative discoveries, requiring well-trained engineers to both invent creative and cost-effective solutions as well as inform decisionmakers on relevant technical considerations.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Africa's New Science and Innovation Agenda

| May 14, 2013

I am on my way back from the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. This was a remarkable meeting with an overwhelming intellectual energy. The event was unique in many respects. But foremost, it was anchored by a preliminary meeting of the Grow Africa venture where private enterprises have pledged $3.5 billion in support to African agriculture. This was a serious event that involved heads of state and government from eight African countries. I had the unique opportunity to be part of a small group of people working to connect science and technology with the larger business agenda of WEF.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Engineering the Future

| Mar. 18, 2013

The rise of emerging markets is heralded as a force that will change the global balance of power. But behind the rise of the new economies lies a strong commitment to leveraging engineering as a foundation for economic transformation. Engineering provides the basic foundations for economic growth such as energy, transportation, irrigation, and telecommunications. Yet the men and women who build and maintain these systems are hardly recognized. The announcement of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering will go a long way toward helping the international community appreciate the role that engineers have played in making modern civilization possible.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Africa and Brazil at the Dawn of New Economic Diplomacy

| Feb. 26, 2013

In recent years the major focus of China’s engagement in Africa has been on economic diplomacy. Much of this debate has been influenced by concerns over China’s rise as an economic superpower and the preoccupation with viewing Africa through the jaded natural resource lens. A closer look at Africa’s growing economic diplomacy reveals a more complex picture involving other important emerging market economies as illustrated by economic relations with Brazil. Africa’s relations with Brazil highlight the emergence of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) as a new economic alliance that is reshaping international trading relations.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Developing Country Farmers Bridge the “Biotechnology Divide”

| Feb. 22, 2013

  Critics of agricultural biotechnology have long contended that it would not benefit farmers in developing countries. Their concerns were not unjustified. A large number of technologies continue to be restricted to industrialized countries despite their global relevance. Farmers in developing countries, however, are bridging the “biotechnology divide.” According to a new report by Clive James of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), “For the first time, developing countries grew more, 52% of global biotech crops in 2012 than industrialized countries at 48%.