Nick Engelfried

Nick Engelfried

Posts by This Writer

11 years 5 months ago

What if the United States could reduce global disease, mitigate the impacts of climate change, help working families and children at home, and prevent risky Wall Street speculation all with one simple policy? A bill recently introduced by US Representative Pete Stark (D-CA) could accomplish just that if passed into law. Stark’s Investing in Our Future Act would place a minuscule fee on certain Wall Street transactions that increase the risk of financial meltdown, and use revenue generated to address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems.

As written by Rep Stark, the Investing in Our Future Act would place a 0.005 percent tax...


11 years 5 months ago

Today Governor Jack A. Markell of Delaware signed four important clean energy bills into state law. At a time when the US Senate has failed miserably to reduce carbon emissions and invest in clean energy incentives like a renewable energy portfolio standard, leadership in Delaware comes as a breath of fresh air. The four-part “Delaware Clean Energy Jobs Package” is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the state, while ensuring Delaware a leading spot in the clean energy economy and reducing carbon emissions.

The Clean Energy Jobs Package will help channel much-needed funds to clean energy projects in Delaware, reduce barriers to installing solar...


11 years 5 months ago

Partly to slow the growth of its carbon emissions and reduce the chances of catastrophic climate change, China is considering implementation of a ceiling on national coal production by the year 2015. Breaking China’s dependence on coal, the dirtiest of all fossil fuel energy sources, is going to be a monumental challenge that will take many years. But this latest announcement is another encouraging sign that the world’s largest annual producer of carbon emissions may be getting serious about minimizing its contribution to climate change.

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11 years 5 months ago

Last month I wrote about environmental concerns surrounding one of the fastest-growing sources of carbon emissions in North America: Canadian tar sands oil extraction. Though the decision to invest in this particularly dirty form of oil was made largely by the Canadian government, there’s never been any doubt where the market forces creating demand for it lie: in the United States. Environmental groups have thus been busy in both the US and Canada, trying to convince governments and major companies to shift their resources from the...


11 years 5 months ago

Online social media is being employed more and more by people doing the good work of fighting climate change. Of all online social media tools available to climate advocates, one that stands out for its obvious importance is Facebook, with its 400 million users worldwide. Nonprofits focused on climate change have integrated Facebook into campaigns to replace fossil fuel dependence with clean energy, keep tabs on policy decisions from Washington, DC, and even speak out against construction of a coal plant in the Malaysian rainforest.

One of the...


11 years 6 months ago

While the US Senate was busy confirming this week that it has no intentionof acting to reduce the causes of climate change soon, the US Department of Energy at least continued making strides toward reduced fossil fuel consumption in the United States—albeit one small step at a time. Over the week, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu made the announcement that all new roofs on his department’s buildings will come with white or some other reflective color, designed to reduce energy consumption and save money.

Reflective roofs are a cheap and...


11 years 6 months ago

Much as entrepreneurs like to believe that innovation always pays off, the reality of today’s international energy arena is that the success of large projects often depends less on a good idea than on how many loans from international financial institutions the project can attract. In an age of increased concern over the effects of dirty energy and emissions produced by burning fossil fuels, major lenders need to be using their influence to encourage sustainable business, not polluting projects. Unfortunately decision makers at...


11 years 6 months ago

Comparatively speaking, they may not be a huge contributor to climate change. But every kilogram of plastic that goes into making disposable plastic shopping bags results in a kilogram of carbon emissions that enter the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. Add to this the many other negative environmental impacts of plastic bags and the ready availability of alternatives, and it’s easy to see why some policymakers have zeroed in on eliminating plastic bags as a simple and economically affective way to combat climate change and other pollution issues.

Several major cities in the US have experimented with plastic bag bans or other policies designed...


11 years 6 months ago

While policymakers in the US continue to stall aggressive action on climate change, a coalition of countries is attempting to move forward the dialogue that might lead to a productive global climate change agreement. The Cartagena Group, a coalition of governments that want a strong treaty to prevent the effects of climate change, held its second round of meetings this weekend in the Maldives—a low-lying archipelago nation put in imminent danger by the effects of climate change. Though the largest polluting nations were mostly absent, the meeting was an...


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