Sink or Swim: In Search of a Model for Coastal City Climate Resilience

By: Sarah J. Adams-Schoen Although the threats of global climate change are by no means limited to coastal areas, coastal cities face extreme and unique challenges. Global temperatures are increasing and the rate of increase is accelerating-with corresponding increases in sea levels, acidification of oceans, and losses of flood-mitigating wetlands. Storms and other extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and severity. As a result, coastal communities are already experiencing rising sea levels, eroding shores, more massive storm surges, more severe storms, salt water intrusion, loss of land and changes in marine resources -and all cities can expect increased incidences of, and more extreme, storms, heat waves, droughts, and other extreme weather conditions.  … New York City is on a short list of U.S. cities that began proactively planning for future climate-change related risks in the early 2000s. Since then, the city has assessed its vulnerabilities, planned for, and, significantly, […]

Regulating Pot to Save the Polar Bear: Energy and Climate Impacts of the Marijuana Industry

By: Gina S. Warren It goes by many names:  cannabis, marijuana, pot, chronic, grass, reefer, shwag, Mary Jane.[1]  Whatever the name, the trend is clear:  the weed is legal but the herb ain’t green.  Nearly half of all U.S. states have enacted-or have pending-legislation to legalize, decriminalize, or in some way permit the use and cultivation of marijuana.  As a result, marijuana has become a significant topic of conversation in the U.S.-especially in the areas of social policy and criminal law.  One conversation yet to reach fruition, however, is the industry’s projected impacts on energy demand and the climate.  As the industry grows, so will its negative externalities.  Indoor cannabis cultivation is one of the most energy-intensive industries in the U.S., requiring electricity to power lamps, to maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels, and to power fans for ventilation, among other things.  This energy consumption, unless otherwise mitigated, results in […]