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Dickinson to Durban » Summer Reading Responses

The Stern Review: Economics gets a heart

By Dani Thompson ’12 The Stern Review on the economics of climate change is a 600+ page document published in 2006 by British economist, Sir Nicholas Stern. In an article published by The First Post in 2006, Stern admitted that up until 2005, less a year before the report was published, “[I] had an idea what the green house effect was but wasn’t really sure.” although shortly after beginning to compile the report he was, “convinced that this was a really big and fundamental issue.” (Full article here). Of course, I will not disagree with the latter statement, but I am always weary to read reports on climate change issues which are drawn up by non-scientists or environmentally concerned persons. This concern is based on personal experience, having read report after … Read entire article »

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Something we can all learn from college students…

In 2007, Dickinson College’s President William G. Durden signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).  Over 670 colleges and universities throughout the nation have committed to significantly reducing their greenhouse gas emissions; Dickinson College’s agreement entails climate neutrality by the year 2020.  In an attempt to reach this goal, Dickinson College produced a detailed climate action plan (CAP) for exactly how to implement sustainable changes to Dickinson’s daily functioning.  By following the implementations of this CAP, Dickinson hopes to reach net zero emissions by 2020.  Sawin and Moomaw (2009) have a similar idea for international climate negotiations.  What if a custom global climate action plan was assembled and implemented by instigating CAPs for individual country emissions? Sawin and Moomaw compiled a promise for energy efficiency based on sectors of … Read entire article »

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How Do You Regulate Carbon Emissions?

The regulating of carbon emissions is not a straight-cut or one-magic-solution issue for the release of the billions of tons of GHGs we as a global community put up into the atmosphere each year. Indeed many possible solutions working in tandem can produce the desired effect of feasible reduction in GHG emissions! So what are these ideas? I will present three of the policies that I see working most effectively and which answer the original question best from three selected readings. These readings act to PARTIALLY aid in the answering of the question of regulating GHG emissions. 1) “Put a price on carbon that increases over time.” Sawin-Moomaw propose that this can be done by, “… to apply a “bottom tax” that sets a floor under fossil fuel prices, and that increases … Read entire article »

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Renewable Responsibility

by Emily Bowie ’14   The World Watch Report, “Renewable Revolution: Low-Carbon Energy by 2030,” develops important aspects of a transition to a low-carbon economy as well as illustrates potential scenarios for this transition. Carbon efficiency and renewable energy are the celebrated strategies for this transition. Explanations of the potential for certain renewable energy sources are provided and analyzed, as well as useful strategies for increasing current and future efficiencies (1). First, I found it interesting how often the report praised the accomplishments and potential of energy intensive renewables, mainly solar power. Graphs are presented that show solar as the fastest emerging renewable as well as the renewable with the most potential (see below). The facts that solar power does not require transmission and is well suited for distribution are repeated several times (1).                    … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change, Key COP17 Issues, Summer Reading Responses