public policy Archives - State of the Planet

George washington bridge in New York

New York Needs the Environmental Bond Act

The bond will provide funding for capital projects to protect our homes and ecosystems in an era of extreme weather and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. It is a necessary step, but it is far from sufficient.

by |October 31, 2022

Why We Will Meet the Challenge of the Climate Crisis

Technology solves problems and creates problems, and then new technology is needed to solve the problems created by earlier technologies. It’s an endless cycle.

by |June 14, 2021

Sustainability Culture and Rebuilding Consensus on Environmental Policy

The only way out is by learning to listen to each other and forging compromises. The alternative is too dire to contemplate.

by |October 12, 2020
sustainability management program 10 year anniversary logo

Building the Profession of Sustainability Management

Today, most of those running sustainability units are trained in other fields. As they retire they will be replaced by well-trained sustainability professionals.

by |September 21, 2020
Park Williams explains to policy students how tree rings can shed light on climate history.

Where Science Meets Policy: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Hosts Environmental Policy Students

As part of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy, students undertake science courses that will serve as a foundational basis for tackling policy issues. Who better to learn from than the individuals who dominate earth science research?

by |July 26, 2019
urban density

California’s Misguided Attempt to Force Urban Density

Government should encourage urban living by making it more affordable and attractive, and provide incentives for density; it should not try to mandate it.

by |March 19, 2018
homes destroyed by hurricane

The Disaster of Disaster Reconstruction

First responders have learned how to reduce the death toll from natural disasters, but America’s long-term response and approach to reconstruction suffers from uncertainty, bureaucracy and inadequate resources of every kind. Until we understand that disaster reconstruction is not part of emergency response, it will remain a disaster.

by |November 1, 2017

Students Compete in Food Security Simulation

How do multiple stakeholders compromise their competing needs and develop a global coordinated strategy that is politically palatable, possible and comprehensive enough to have an impact? Students from universities all over the U.S. Northeast gathered at Columbia for the 2017 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition that challenged students to do just this.

by |March 6, 2017

Environmental Science and Speaking Truth to Power

Denying the science of global warming is absurd, but accepting the science of climate change does not require decision-makers to accept the policy prescriptions of climate scientists.

by |January 4, 2017

Paying for Infrastructure

Privatization is seen by some as a way of rebuilding America’s infrastructure more efficiently than public sector reconstruction, but experience with privatization is mixed. Sometimes it works well; sometimes it doesn’t.

by |December 28, 2016