In working to change the world, there’s always a need to keep asking ourselves whether we’re focusing on what’s most important. This certainly applies to the effort to end tropical deforestation, which is why I and my UCS colleagues have put a lot of emphasis on figuring out what causes—and in particular, which businesses—are the main drivers of deforestation. Unfortunately, a recent study indicates that that global corporations that have committed to ending the deforestation they cause, have got their priorities backwards. And it suggests that the NGO community—and that definitely includes me—may have had our priorities wrong too.
December 14, 2016 4:30 PM EDT
October 11, 2016 4:23 PM EDT
I recently returned to the United States from Cali, Colombia where I worked for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (or CIAT, its Spanish-language abbreviation) for a couple years. CIAT is part of a global network of 15 agricultural research centers in the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), which have traditionally focused on crop breeding to raise yields of staple crops around the world. Read more >
August 23, 2016 10:46 AM EDT
Recent data related to our global emissions of heat-trapping gases suggest that humanity may have reached a turning point, or even several. We may be moving from increasing emissions, to peaking and starting to decline. We could be close to such peaks, or even have passed it, for several of the main sources of greenhouse gases, including coal and deforestation—perhaps even for humanity’s total emissions.
If so, this would be a momentous occasion, reversing centuries of growing global warming pollution. But before we start celebrating, we should realize that peaking is not nearly enough.
August 10, 2016 9:54 AM EDT
One might expect a state like New Mexico, where water is such a precious resource, to pay close attention to climate projections and to plan carefully for its future water security. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case. Read more >
May 18, 2016 3:48 PM EDT
Spoiler alert: It’s more than just packing an umbrella.
As a kid I remember repeating the phrase in the spring “April showers bring May flowers.” Now, in my adult life as a weather-conscious agricultural scientist, I cannot help but think about how spring rain brings with it not just the promise of pretty flowers, but also the damage of floods. Read more >