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Features

Your source for incisive, peer-reviewed articles that bring the insight and authority of our panel of experts and authors to bear on the most important ideas for creating a sustainable future.

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A series of high-profile environmental disasters in 2013, including northern China’s winter “airpocalypse” and the discovery of thousands of dead pigs littering Shanghai’s main water source, have indelibly illustrated the stakes of not enacting stronger environmental policies. In recent years, the Chinese government’s policies have started to reflect the need to balance economic growth with environmental sustainability. As part of this policy shift, in 2008, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) issued a set of measures that require government agencies to disclose a wide range of environmental information, in response to the State Council’s Open Government Information Regulations.

Despite the gradual progress made in government disclosure, environmental information...

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Amazon deforestation is a consequence of global demand for food.1 Forests get cleared mostly to graze livestock, but some get cleared to grow soybeans, as soy is a more profitable crop. Brazilian soybean production increased from 1 million tons in 1969 to 63 million tons in 2009 to about 90 million tons today, which would make it the world's largest soy producer, much of which is exported to China as feedstock for pork production2. China began looking overseas for soy in the mid-1990s when it became clear that its domestic production capacity was insufficient to meet rising demand for this water-hungry crop, so it now imports most of the soybeans it needs and thereby imports 14 percent of its annual water needs.3 This trend is expected to continue....

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There is a widespread belief that as countries become richer, their citizens benefit from a better quality of life. However, the evidence shows that once countries attain a certain standard of...
It is the summer of 2002 in the Southern Ocean. The seas are rough and a ship is hauling in a longline that was set at a depth of more than a thousand meters. The catch is illegally caught Patagonian...
Whenever a disaster strikes, such as the 2011 Fukushima meltdown or the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, our instinctive response is to overcome the shock, assist the victims, and return to normal as...

In Focus

Environmental security has taken on new meaning in the twenty-first century as sustainability and natural resource...
The pathway for conversion to a renewable energy future has been pioneered by Denmark and a few other visionary nations. But...
If the United States intends to meet the Department of Energy’s goal of producing 20 percent of the nation’s electricity...
I fully agree with the idea that world population growth can—and should—be reversed through fertility rates that fall below...
The Guttmacher Institute provides estimates, covering various years in the last decade, of the proportions of all...