Economy & Policy

What Can Dallas Do for Sustainable Land Use?

July 26th, 2017 by

One of America’s most populous cities, Dallas now ranks third in Texas and ninth in the US in terms of size. As the fourth largest metropolitan area and employment center in the nation, the D/FW metroplex provides more than three million non-farm jobs, and large corporations continue to relocate to the region on an annual basis….

What the Paris Climate Deal Really Means for the Private Sector

December 28th, 2015 by

Earlier this month in Paris, representatives from nearly 200 nations reached a landmark agreement that will commit their countries to lower greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit the rise in global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius — thus avoiding the most devastating consequences of climate change. The temperature already has risen by…

French-American Climate Talks in Texas

November 30th, 2015 by

As the world mourns the victims of the terrorist attacks that took place last Friday in Paris, plans for the upcoming United Nations COP21 climate talks have shifted into crisis mode. The disaster will not stop the event from going on, but the atrocity underscores the need for an alternative strategy for galvanizing consistent climate…

Transportation’s Vulnerability to Weather Extremes

November 4th, 2015 by

Traffic jams, road closings, airport delays, iced light rail power lines – we tolerate these inconveniences as inherent in a complex transportation system. But what if changing weather makes such disruptions more frequent and costly? How do we think about transportation planning in a context of weather extremes? Our vast network of roads, growing rail…

EPA Targets: Win or Loss in U.S. Biofuel Policy?

July 16th, 2015 by

Since the 2005 creation of the Renewable Fuel Standard, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—under the Clean Air Act (CAA)—is required to set annual biofuel volume standards for fuels produced or imported into the United States. Biofuels, or fuels produced from crops like corn and soybeans, don’t get much attention as an alternative fuel…

An Ocean of Trouble at NOAA and NASA

January 18th, 2015 by

Senator Ted Cruz, a vocal climate denier, is now the subcommittee chairman over the Space, Science and Competitiveness subcommittee. This new position brings a fresh wave of concern to science advocates who fear the effects of legislators with a historically anti-science stance taking budgetary and agenda-setting control of NASA. And this is only the beginning….

Red and Blue Make Green @ SXSW Eco 2014

October 25th, 2014 by

For the past five years I’ve regularly attended conferences on sustainability, clean technology, green building and energy engineering – most recently, SXSW Eco 2014. Others I have attended include Tech Connect World, the World Energy Engineering Congress, GreenBuild, and the New Cities Summit. Speakers such as Colin Powell, Sylvia Earle, Bill Clinton, Geoffrey West, R….

Throwing a Wrench in the Climate Denial Machine

July 3rd, 2014 by

The retina of any sighted person can detect a flicker of flame or the glow of a TV screen. But when light rises above 780 nanometers or falls below 380 nm along the electromagnetic spectrum, it becomes imperceptible to the naked eye — and potentially dangerous with enough intensity. Unfiltered infrared light creeping in through…

Certain Uncertainty: Living the New American Dream

May 10th, 2014 by

For the next few minutes, dispel any idealistic whole-hearted beliefs about what it means to be American. Imagine that it all boils down to money, because it does. Every American who’s just trying to make a half-decent living knows it. Even if you are lucky enough to have an education and expertise, you will have…

Grey to Green: Making Dallas a Really Cool City

May 7th, 2014 by

We’re in for another long hot summer. Our city is heating up, and long-range forecasts predict that the drought in North Texas will get worse before it gets better. Being hot is endemic in Dallasites, but it doesn’t have to be this way. A better balance between grey and green infrastructure will lessen the heat…