28 Jun 2013

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire: World Bank Phasing out of Coal, Ramping up Support for ‘Fracked’ Gas

Climate activists cheered President Barack Obama in a speech on Tuesday when he announced his plans to tackle carbon-intensive coal-fired power plants, both at home, via stronger EPA restrictions on CO2 emissions, and abroad, by ending public finance for coal. A new document leaked from within the World Bank reveals

07 Nov 2012

How Sandy Reveals the GDP’s Twisted Logic

By John Talberth and Daphne Wysham Extreme weather doesn’t boost the economy. As he waded knee-deep in an Atlantic City street, pummeled by Superstorm Sandy’s winds, CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi declared that it was too early to tell whether Sandy would be a plus or a minus for

29 Oct 2012

On Not Scaring Ourselves to Death: Moving Beyond the Adrenalin Rush of “Frankenstorm” to Real Energy Independence

There’s nothing quite like the adrenalin high of a good storm.  It’s like a horror film we can’t stop watching: And this “Frankenstorm,” coming right on Halloween, is giving us the best of the worst of storms.  As the waters rise, the weathercasters feed our high, red circles and arrows

03 Sep 2012

The Six Stages of Climate Grief

Now that the hottest summer on record is drawing to a close, are we any closer to admitting that climate change is upon us? If not, why not? It might have something to do with the five stages of grief. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified these stages as denial, then anger, followed

17 Aug 2012

Greenhouse Gas Emissions are Down to Record Lows in the U.S… Or are they?

First the good news: According to government sources, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have dropped to a 20-year low. Recent data released by the Energy Information Administration suggests that U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions–roughly 98% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions–have dropped from a high of 6 billion tons in 2007

01 Aug 2012

One Reason Behind India’s Blackout: World Bank Policies and Neoliberalism

One-tenth of the planet’s people—one-half of India’s population– lost power completely this week, with a blackout covering most of north India’s highly populated states. What was the reason for the blackout? While pundits and politicians postulate on the reasons for the power failure, one answer is clear: an ideology of

09 Jul 2012

A Perfect and Hot Storm: It’s time to save ourselves from a climate nightmare of our own making.

It was the stuff of nightmares: I was driving home down Route 66 when I first saw the wind, blowing debris horizontally in front of me at up to 80 miles an hour.  Then lightning began forking all around. The night sky was ablaze. Large trees sprawled across several lanes

21 Feb 2012

Coal Smoke and Planetary Fever: As the climate changes, a deadly disease is on the rise.

I recently returned to my childhood home in India with my siblings for a final walk down memory lane with my elderly mother. As expected, it was a powerfully emotional experience. But in ways unexpected, it brought home to me how our planetary fever — climate change — is inflicting

03 Nov 2011

Ditching GDP for a “Genuine Progress Indicator”?

Tent cities and shacks sprung up on empty lots across the country. Food lines at soup kitchens wrapped around city blocks. Unemployment soared to 25 percent. Farmers watched helplessly as crop prices plummeted, then lost their land. The evidence was clear, yet at the height of the Great Depression, Congress

26 Oct 2011

A Lesson Our Kids Understand, but Congress Doesn’t

A few days ago, I took my son and one of his friends to a birthday party. As we made our way there, I listened in on their conversation – something I like to do if they are truly unaware that I am doing it. They were comparing soccer skills, and why