Environment & Climate Change

66 Items

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

Rahm Emanuael/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

| June 18, 2018

Early in Richard Rhodes’s new book, “Energy: A Human History,” we hear of a prominent citizen using colorful language to lament the state of his polluted city and urge his government to shut down industry or move it elsewhere: “If there be a resemblance of hell upon earth, it is in this volcano [on] a foggy day.” Though this could easily apply to modern-day Beijing, the speaker here is John Evelyn, a wealthy horticulturalist and one of the founders of the scientific Royal Society of London — and he’s complaining about London in 1659.

Floating desalination unit "Hydriada" powered by wind and solar energy

Creative Commons

Journal Article - Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Towards Sustainability in Water-energy Nexus: Ocean Energy for Seawater Desalination

In this article, the authors review the state of the art of ocean energy in desalination. It explores different sources of energy from the ocean that include electricity generation, as well as mechanical force and thermal energy and salinity gradients that can also be directly harnessed for powering the desalination processes. They also examine recent advances in scaling up for commercial deployment and discuss relevant cost, environmental, and social concerns.

Earth at night, 2012. People around the world depend upon electric lighting. Generating electricity using increased amounts of non-fossil fuels is critical to slowing climate change.

USA.gov

Journal Article - Ecological Economics

Using Inclusive Wealth for Policy Evaluation: Application to Electricity Infrastructure Planning in Oil-Exporting Countries

| 2017

Decision-makers often seek to design policies that support sustainable development. Prospective evaluations of how effectively such policies are likely to meet sustainability goals have nonetheless remained relatively challenging. Evaluating policies against sustainability goals can be facilitated through the inclusive wealth framework, which characterizes development in terms of the value to society of its underlying capital assets, and defines development to be potentially sustainable if that value does not decline over time.

Magazine Article - Global South Development Magazine

A Few Thoughts on Engineering Peaceful and Inclusive Societies

| November 3, 2016

"The rise of nations such as South Korea, Singapore and China as global economic players illustrated the importance of expanding and deepening human competence. A key starting point in the growth process is recognising that building engineering capabilities offered the best opportunity for technological leapfrogging and catch-up in a variety of industries."

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

Daniel Schrag to Direct Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

| September 16, 2015

Cambridge, MA – The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named Daniel Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and Director of the Center for the Environment at Harvard University, to lead its Science, Technology, and Public Policy program. STPP, one of Harvard's most collaborative and cross-disciplinary programs, is renowned world-wide for its cutting-edge research on technology innovation, nuclear non-proliferation and safety, climate science and policy, cybersecurity, and globalization and development.

Book - Oxford University Press

The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa

| September 2015

The New Harvest argues that Africa can feed itself in a generation and help contribute to global food security despite its history of persistent food shortages and the rising threat of climate change. This new edition provides ideas on how to place agriculture at the center of the continent's long-term economic transformation. It demonstrates how policy coordination can help realize agriculture's full potential as a motherboard for other economic activities.

The full text of The New Harvest is available here.

A 2014 meeting between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Netherlands

US Embassy, The Hague

Analysis & Opinions

Shunning Beijing's infrastructure bank was a mistake for the US

| June 7, 2015

The Obama administration’s negative response to China’s proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was a strategic mistake. Though some Chinese moves might be destabilising and require US resistance, this initiative should have been welcomed.

The US should be careful about opposing ventures that are popular and likely to proceed. Losing fights does not build confidence. Moreover, the new bank’s purpose — to develop infrastructure in Asia — is a good goal. The world economy needs more growth. Many emerging markets are eager to boost productivity and growth by lowering costs of transportation, improving energy availability, enhancing communications networks, and distributing clean water.

The AIIB offers an opportunity to strengthen the very international economic system that the US created and sustained. The AIIB’s designated leader, Jin Liqun, a former vice-president of the Asian Development Bank, sought advice in Washington. He engaged an American lawyer who was the World Bank’s leading specialist on governance. He also reached out to another American who had served as World Bank country director for China and then worked with the US embassy.

If the AIIB was indeed threatening the American-led multilateral economic order, as its opponents seemed to believe, then its Chinese founders chose a curiously open and co-operative way of doing so.

David Keith, on The Colbert Report, discusses climate engineering with a skeptical Stephen Colbert (December 2013).

Comedy Central

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

Spotlight: David Keith

| Summer 2015

David Keith is the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, housed at the Belfer Center. He has worked at the interface between climate science, energy technology, and public policy for 20 years and has received numerous honors for his work, including the MIT prize for excellence in experimental physics and TIME magazine’s selection as one of its Heroes of the Environment.