Environment and Energy2017-05-31T20:09:57-04:00

environment & energy

World Government Summit

February 12th, 2017|Tags: |

This February 2017, Thomas Homer-Dixon spoke at the World Government Summit on "Climate Change and Food Supply."

No Trains, No Keystone XL?

July 11th, 2013|Tags: |

On hearing of the catastrophe in Lac-Mégantic, our first thoughts were with the city’s residents who had lost loved ones, friends, homes, and businesses. The accident was one of those jaw-dropping events that we all have trouble fully comprehending.

Ice, Please – Climate on the Rocks

September 17th, 2012|Tags: |

Any day now, the expanse of sea ice in the Arctic will reach its lowest extent for the year. The round-the-clock summer days have gone, and the weather is turning sharply colder as the sun sinks below the horizon for longer periods each day.

Climate Change’s Costs Hit the Plate

July 24th, 2012|Tags: |

In the mid-1980s, when I was a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and beginning to study climate change, I attended a lecture by a specialist in plant physiology at nearby Harvard University. He spoke about global warming’s impact on crop productivity. He was quite optimistic. More carbon dioxide in the air, he explained, causes certain kinds of plants to grow faster. So, on balance, food output should rise in a warmer and CO2-rich world.

Our Peak Oil Premium

February 1st, 2012|Tags: |

Humankind will have to invest staggering resources to find and produce new oil if global output is to grow steadily. We’re likely much closer to the tipping point than optimists think

Climate Summit Was a Pathetic Exercise in Deceit

December 12th, 2011|Tags: |

There’s really only one label for the pathetic exercise we’ve just witnessed in South Africa: deceit. The whole climate-change negotiation process and the larger political discourse surrounding this horrible problem is a drawn-out and elaborate exercise in lying—to each other, to ourselves, and especially to our children. And the lies are starting to corrupt our civilization from inside out.

Tipping Toward Sustainability: Emerging Pathways of Transformation

October 6th, 2011|Tags: |

Frances Westley, Thomas Homer-Dixon, et al. | This article explores the links between agency, institutions, and innovation in navigating shifts and largescale transformations toward global sustainability. Our central question is whether social and technical innovations can reverse the trends that are challenging critical thresholds and creating tipping points in the earth system, and if not, what conditions are necessary to escape the current lock-in.

Our Fukushima Moment

March 18th, 2011|Tags: |

A quarter of a century after we first heard it, the word “Chernobyl” stands in our minds for technological calamity borne of incompetence. Environmentalists used the label to deliver a near-fatal blow to the nuclear power industry. What will Fukushima mean to us in 2036, and how will we have used the label to change our world?

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