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
Environment and Climate Change
Latin America and the Caribbean will face steep challenges in coming decades to provide food security and guarantee a decent income for its rural population. Greater rainfall and increasingly devastating floods may threaten some parts of the region. Others, including northeastern Brazil and Central America, will face extended drought. Erosion and dwindling water resources could … [Read more...] about A Changing Climate Requires New Farming Habits: How Can Behavioral Economics Help?
We environmental economists have long advocated carbon taxes as the fastest and most efficient way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from cars and power plants and prevent catastrophic global warming later this century. But carbon taxes can be politically problematic. Witness recent events in France where efforts by the government to increase fuel taxes triggered weeks of … [Read more...] about Can We Reduce Emissions While We Wait for a Carbon Tax?
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?
When residents of the Caribbean think of hurricanes, like Irma and Maria that whipped through the region last fall, they think not only of the loss of hundreds of human lives and homes, but of the widespread destruction of tourism assets like hotels, yachts and coral reefs. And they fear that the devastation is just a preview of what is to come. Tourism is the lifeblood of the … [Read more...] about Facing Climate Change’s Threat to Caribbean Tourism