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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Durban Climate Deal: What a Great Result This Would Have Been Some Ten Years Ago!

The Durban climate conference concluded last weekend with a successful last-ditch effort to salvage some notion of cooperation.  The outcome would be quite nice if there were no particular urgency about taking action.  As is, it seems to me we are making some progress, but there is no more denying that as a world community, we are letting slip the option to limit the risk of dangerous climate change to the levels previously deemed acceptable.  We are, effectively, taking a bet that impacts will turn out to be at the low end of the predicted range.  This is certainly a possible outcome

Earth Goals for the Earth Summit?

A while ago, I blogged about the government of Colombia’s proposal for next year’s Rio + 20 Summit –that it should agree a set of “Sustainable Development Goals,” or SDGs for short.  That blog raised the concern that having a set of SDGs agreed only three years before a new round of MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) might be a little confusing to… well... everyone. 

Hand-wringing Our Way to Durban

In the latest in a surge of extreme weather events, a mid-November storm twice the size of Texas hammered the west coast of Alaska with hurricane-force winds. The storm pushed further north than low-pressure systems typically do this time of year, gaining energy as it passed over unusually warm water. Loss of coastal ice in recent decades left coastal villages exposed to the brunt of the waves. In Nome, tides rose to seven feet above normal bringing water to the base of some buildings.

Obama Set to Lob Canadian Carbon Bomb at India

President Obama is widely expected to approve this year the construction of a massive new oil pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting boost in the emissions of heat-trapping gases has been called the world’s biggest carbon bomb. India would be among its primary victims.

The Revelation of Paul: A Perspective on The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding

As a child of the American South and Midwest, I have more than a passing acquaintance with fundamentalist Christian apocalyptics.  So I was immediately struck by the resemblance when I read The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding.  His book has stirred considerable excitement in the environmental community, and has recently been lauded by Tom Friedman in a New York Times column.  Its description of an imminent apocalypse is eerily similar to the Biblical

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