When a whale washed up on the shores of the Philippines in March with 88 pounds of plastic inside its stomach, people recoiled with horror. Plastic litter on the beaches and in the oceans is unseemly enough. But the idea of innocent animals dying with shopping bags, rice sacks and other plastic litter inside them seemed altogether too much to bear. Each year an estimated … [Read more...] about Stemming the Tide of Plastic Pollution
Latin Americans enthusiastically backed Pope Francis when in June 2015 he published Laudato Si, his encyclical warning that global warming was "one of the principal challenges facing humanity." Governments in the region at the time were preparing to play a leading role in the United Nations climate summit later that year in Paris. Ordinary citizens meanwhile were becoming … [Read more...] about Can Latin American Citizens Change Climate Policy?
Areas of Latin America, like Mexico and Chile, have some of the world's greatest solar potential. But a new technological development in solar cells could allow them to harness more of the sun's energy and speed the growth of solar in the region. The new solar cells are known as perovskites. They are made of a crystalline structure and can be printed on sheets of plastic or … [Read more...] about Pushing the Frontier of Solar Cells
When researchers consider the economic costs of climate change, they often estimate models based on historical temperature and economic data. But it can be difficult to account for adaptation. Typically, these models estimate an upper bound of the economic costs of climate change. Future adaptation, it is assumed, will reduce those costs. But adaptation could play a more … [Read more...] about Can Small Farmers Adapt to Climate Change Shocks?
The word out of Bonn, where the latest United Nations Climate summit came to an end Nov. 18, is hardly encouraging. Assuming that countries honor their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions made to date, the globe's temperature will still rise at least 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) this century, 1 degree Celsius above the agreement established at the Paris … [Read more...] about Stepping Up the Struggle Against Climate Change