Friday, February 8, 2013

Top Ten Links of the Week: Feb. 4-8

  • Mongabay: Indonesian pulp and paper giant, APP, announced a "zero deforestation policy;" a huge win for forests in the country. Much credit goes to Greenpeace, whose campaign against APP has cost the company tens of millions of dollars. However, some are skeptical: "The Rainforest Action Network welcomes APP’s latest rainforest commitment, but we continue to have major concerns about its implementation given the company’s history of reneging on past commitments of this kind."
  • Grist: David Roberts writes a compelling argument, debunking three common claims of those in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline. "Giving up Keystone is giving up Keystone. That’s it. There is no “credibility with conservatives” or grand bargain waiting at the end of the rainbow."
  • Energy Economics Exchange: I don't agree with it, but the case for Keystone XL: "Ultimately, we are going to need to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not just make incremental progress by playing whac-a-mole on new fossil energy technology and sources. And greatly reducing our consumption of crude oil, not just by a few percent, is going to put severe downward pressure on the world price of crude."
  • TEEB: TEEB releases a report on the value of wetlands. "Wetlands are crucial in maintaining the water cycle which, in turn, underpins all ecosystem services and therefore sustainable development."
  • Wonkblog: A great interview in Wonkblog with Representative Waxman. It's a pretty sobering read as it shows just how far Congress is from any climate change legislation. "I think that many lawmakers still don’t realize that there’s a shrinking window for action. They think we can put this issue off indefinitely, and that’s not scientifically accurate. But yes, a lot of members are engaged in willful ignorance — and I’m talking about the committee that has jurisdiction over this issue."
  • The New York Times: Japanese subsidy for whaling challenged by NGOs. "'Whaling is unprofitable, and survives only with substantial subsidies, something cultural and nationalist arguments for whaling obscure,' said Patrick Ramage, the director of the animal welfare fund’s whale program."
  • Friends of the Earth: Popular support for carbon tax? "In a December 2012 national poll, American voters said they prefer taxing carbon pollution to cutting social spending as a way to deal with the national deficit by more than a 4‐to‐1 margin."
  • The Munden Project: And for the super nerdy, a Munden Project Report discusses the costs of widespread land tenure insecurity in the developing world. "The financial risks posed are multiple, ranging from slippage in construction times and unexpected cash flow loss due to suspensions to expropriation of assets following the loss of insurance coverage. The escalation of risk can be extremely rapid and irreversible, implying that conventional approaches to understanding and mitigating risk need to be augmented to manage the issue."

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