Most environmental experts would argue that any discussion of economic strategy is incomplete without consideration of its environmental impact; less often publicized, however, is the effect that environmental legislation has on a country's economic productivity. But according to Dr. Lint Barrage, economist and soon-to-be IBES Fellow, a thorough understanding of the economic ramifications of environmental policies (e.g., fossil fuel taxes) is vital to the both the country's fiscal and ecological health.
Dan Nepstad, Executive Director and founding President of Earth Innovation Institute, and Kekuhi Keali'Ikanaka'Oleohaililani, founder of the Edith Kanaka'Ole Foundation were the event's two keynote lecturers. Photos: Vanessa Janek, Cory Marsh.
On April 23rd and 24th, the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society convened a national and international group of scholars, policy-makers, and performance artists as participants in its inaugural signature event, Thinking the Earth. This interdisciplinary conference, conceived and organized by IBES Fellow and Visiting Distinguished Professor Lenore Manderson, included two keynote lectures, three panel discussions, a research poster session hosted by students and faculty, a dance performance, and post-performance dialogue, workshop, and community jam. Thinking the Earth fostered intellectually charged discourse across disciplines and stimulated leading thinkers and artists to approach pressing social and environmental challenges in novel and profound ways.
Dawn at Agua Verde: Unloading the catch. Sustainability is not just a matter of environmental preservation. More than 9,000 small-scale fishers make their living on the waters off Baja California Sur. Image: Heather Leslie/Brown University
The waters of Baja California Sur are both ecosystems and fisheries where human needs meet nature. In a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers assessed the capacity to achieve sustainability by applying a framework that accounts for both ecological and human dimensions of environmental stewardship.
J. Timmons Roberts is a faculty fellow of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies, and Professor of Sociology. Photo: Peter Goldberg J. Timmons Roberts, IBES fellow and frequent blogger for The Brookings Institution, was published in last week's April 22 edition of Newsweek. In his piece, Roberts calls for a broad refocusing of environmental efforts that goes above and beyond the advocacy for traditional, small-scale Earth Day neighborhood cleanups. He argues that, while these types of events are enjoyable and satisfying community-building exercises, wider funding to combat climate change both at home and in the most at-risk countries needs to mirror other national fiscal and social priorities, such as military spending and space expeditions.
"We need to build on local action to refocus our collective Earth Day responses to climate change and other global environmental issues. They simply have not been on the scale needed to address the issues," he writes. "We need to focus on systemic solutions that build toward longer-term progress. We need focused efforts to help the most marginal societies around the world reduce their vulnerability."
To read Roberts' full commentary, visit Newsweekhere.
Nations the world over are facing worsening environmental and economic consequences of climate change, due in part to emissions from states such as China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean (CELAC) States. Together, these nations produce almost 40% of the world's greenhouse gases.