The Environmental Forum

Volume 34 Issue 2

March-April 2017

This issue's articles are available below.

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Big Data's Big Handprint

LEAD FEATURE ❧ The constellation of computer services is a huge consumer of energy, but its climate impact has been stable even as total use multiplies. At the same time, the collection and processing of information will yield huge environmental improvements in other sectors.

By Stephen Harper
Intel Corporation

With a SIDEBAR by William Sarni of Water Foundry LLC.

Apocalypse or Epiphany

CENTERPIECE ❧ It all depends on political leadership, as Florida girds for sea-level rise, a threat that is already underway and set to inundate whole neighborhoods. Billions of dollars of homes, businesses, infrastructure, and habitat will be wiped out without emissions cuts.

By Barry E. Hill
ELI Visiting Scholar
In the Dark

COVER STORY ❧ A review of how the U.S. government deals with unlikely scenarios that nonetheless could cause significant disruption to American society — and an argument that climate change effects deserve the same kind of emphasis and appropriate policy response.

By Peter Behr
E&E News EnergyWire

With a SIDEBAR by Letha Tawney of the World Resources Institute.

Reaching Into Mud Puddles

PROFILE ❧ Dan Guttman has spent decades using discovery and dogged research to peer into government and industry secrets. He has found out how the U.S. environmental operating system really works, and achieved real improvements. Now he is helping students in China and the United States learn how to translate between — and improve — their respective OSs.

By Stephen R. Dujack
Environmental Law Institute
The Debate: Population and the Environment — How Will Law and Policy Respond?

HEADNOTE ❧ When the modern environmental movement emerged in the West fifty years ago, global overpopulation was a central international concern. Yet, a variety of forces slowly but surely distanced population issues from the mainstream environmental agenda. Sustainable development became an international goal. The specter of forced sterilization in India and the excesses of China’s one-child policy were alarming. And others argued that a demographic transition would automatically follow in countries who move from low- to middle- income dynamics. What laws and policies are needed to address a growing population’s growing environmental impact?

By Joe Bish, Paul R. Ehrlich, Wanjira Mathai, Jaime Nadal Roig, Lucia A. Silecchia and Alon Tal
Population Media Center, Stanford University, wPOWER Hub, United Nations Population Fund, Catholic University of America, Tel Aviv University
By: David P. Clarke

Will Trump really defend Federal lands? Will states sell them off?

By: Robert N. Stavins

California steps forward on climate but emphasizes a poor policy choice.

By: Linda K. Breggin

With new computer standards, California again takes the lead.

By: Kathleen Barrón

ISO 14001 proving real value as our company improves its EMS.

By: Richard Lazarus

A District Court Admonishes EPA; Will the White House Now Pile On?

By: Craig M. Pease

Waste-to-energy plants are not the elixir to solve power problem.

By: Gabrielle H. Williamson

Reducing disposable plastic bags in food stores and other outlets.

By: G. Tracy Mehan III

On rationality in decisionmaking.

By: Laura Frederick

Workshop grapples with scientific uncertainty.

By: Brett Korte

Growing Liberia's forest regulations.

By: Scott Fulton

On transition and reform.