Brazilian Lessons for Industrial Policy

Few economic ideas are more lauded and reviled than that of industrial policy. Proponents, such as those who studied the rise of the East Asian economies, swear by it. Opponents see red at its very mention. The former point to economic development; the latter maintain that tens, even hundreds, of billions of dollars have been squandered.

Emissions-based climate deal ‘not possible’

Current climate policy of emissions targets and trading will not suceed and should be replaced by a 'politically attractive' one based on providing cheap, non-carbon energy, says new paper An international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is doomed to failure and must be replaced by a drive towards low-cost green energy, says a group of academics and lobbyists.

North Sea Oil Well Evacuated

Norwegian oil and gas producer Statoil said on Friday it had evacuated the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea after changes in well pressure led to a fault on one of two valves designed to prevent a blowout. Environmental group Bellona said the situation was "very critical" and highlighted continued risks of offshore oil and gas exploration in the wake of BP's well blowout and environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. "There are no leaks and no injuries," Statoil spokesman Gisle Johanson said. "The situation on the platform is stable and we are planning for further operations to normalize the situation."

The Warm Ocean

Often when going to the beach the common complaint is that the ocean is too cold. They appear to be warming up a bit. The upper layer of Earth's ocean has warmed since 1993, indicating a strong climate change signal, according to a new international study co-authored by oceanographer Josh Willis of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The energy stored is enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs for each of the roughly 6.7 billion people on the planet.

Tax Fraud Plagues Carbon Trading Program

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, tax fraud is the carbon trading market’s most egregious form of cheating, affecting about seven percent of this $125 billion market in 2009. In August 2009, seven people were arrested near London for not paying tax on the sale of carbon permits, for a total of £38 million (about U.S. $63 million). The taxes were levied as part of the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System, created in January 2005 and based on Directive 2003/87/EC, which was enforced beginning Oct. 25, 2003.

Geoengineering Doesn’t Work as Well as Natural Processes

Blooms of algae created by pumping nutrients into the ocean can suck up at least ten times more carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere than was previously thought. But the findings lend no support to controversial schemes to encourage such blooms in order to reduce global warming, the authors warn.

Heavy oil from spill reaches Louisiana marshes

Heavy oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill threatened Louisiana marshlands on Thursday after washing ashore for the first time since a BP-operated rig exploded a month ago, sparking ecological disaster. Calling it a "day that we have all been fearing," Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said on Wednesday that heavy oil -- not simply tar balls or sheen -- had entered the state's prized wetlands. "It's already here but we know more is coming," he said. The marshes are the nurseries for shrimp, oysters, crabs and fish that make Louisiana the leading producer of commercial seafood in the continental United States. A large no-fishing zone in Gulf waters seen as affected by the spill has been imposed.

The Great No Fishing Area

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has extended the boundaries of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico into the northern portion of the loop current as a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers. Though the latest analysis shows that the bulk of the oil remains dozens of miles from the loop current, the new boundaries address the possibility that a tendril of light oil has entered or will enter the loop current. Part of the Gulf Stream, the Loop Current is a warm ocean current in the Gulf of Mexico that flows northward between Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula, moves north into the Gulf of Mexico, loops west and south before exiting to the east through the Florida Straits.

Long-Lasting Sensory Loss in World Trade Center Workers from Airborne Toxins After 9/11 Attacks

New research from the Monell Center and collaborating institutions reports that workers exposed to the complex mixture of toxic airborne chemicals following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City had a decreased ability to detect odors and irritants two years after the exposure.

Marine Preserves to Save Ocean Life

Marine biologist Enric Sala relays some of the surprising science of pristine coral reefs. Sala also explores the economics of marine preserves, finding that the gains made from ecotourism and fisheries productivity far outweigh any losses related to rezoning.