Energy & Environment

The Unintended Consequences of Subsidized Irrigation Conservation

Government-led, cost share programs enabling US farmers to adopt water-saving irrigation systems may actually be increasing water use. Changing the way water rights are defined might help.

All Dried Up: Drought Variability Modeling and the Megadroughts to Come

A study of past megadroughts and predicted climate change indicate that the Southwest and Central Plains could face decades-long droughts in the coming century.

Are genetically modified crops a health risk?

Public debate about genetically modified crops misses the fact that a preponderance of scientific studies show GM foods to be safe to consume. Where risks do exist, they are no different than those found in non-GM crops.

Tick Tock: Three Minutes to Midnight, and Time to Act on Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons

An interview with Dr. Kennette Benedict of the Atomic Bulletin of Scientists about the recent Doomsday Clock announcement, nuclear weapons, climate change, and why now is the time for real leadership and action.

Conservation Development: Residential planning with an environmentalist’s eye

While conservation development schemes hold promise as a method of protecting sensitive lands within residential development, the ordinances that promote them should be improved.

Evaluating the entire cost of renewable energy sources

New evidence of a “not in my backyard” attitude, illustrated in a recent study, conflicts with the conception of the inevitability of renewable energy sources as most important future sources of energy.

The Uphill Battle to Reduce CO2 Emissions May Be Twice as Steep as Previously Thought

A new study examines the role of uncertainty in modeling the social cost of carbon use. Its conclusions indicate that the optimal carbon dioxide tax and abatement level may be double the estimates of a widely used model.

American Skeptics: How Special Interests Create Ambiguity on Climate Change

Much of the controversy over environmental issues in the US can be attributed to interest groups campaigning in the media. A new model strives to show the ways in which these efforts might inform or misinform audiences and their effects on environmental issues.

Food for Thought: Quantifying agricultural intensification using indicator crops

Researchers look at the worldwide production efficiency of agriculture’s four most important indicator crops and use the information to interpret global sustainability trends.

Are Water Markets Effective? Despite implementation challenges, water markets hold promise

An analysis of water markets around the world indicates significant challenges of implementation. In spite of the difficulties, water markets may be a promising means of improving water sustainability.

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