The Risky Business Project

by Chloe Rodman

Writing in the New York Times, Burt Helm (2015) discusses the roles of Tom Steyer, Henry Paulson Jr., and Michael Bloomberg in leading the new Risky Business Project. The Risky Business Project originated as a study called Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States, which was created to determine how American business will be affected by climate change and to determine the cost of carbon emission mitigation now, as opposed to the cost of waiting. While Risky Business comprises a wide variety of members who don’t agree on much—democrats and republicans, billionaires, senators, and mayors—they do have one common goal: to show both Congress and corporations across America the impact climate change will have on the economy, a cost estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars. Continue reading

Farmers Think Hard Before Planting Biofuel Crops

by Christina Whalen

Using Kansas as an example, White et al. (2012) examine the various factors that influence farmer decision-making during this controversial era of climate change and energy conservation. A conceptual model for understanding farmer’s decisions was developed from interviews conducted with a diversity of farmers and key informants. Interestingly enough, results demonstrate that most farmers hold a positive perception of the natural environment and don’t have a strong concern about climate change issues. The guiding factors of farmer’s decisions about whether or not to cultivate biofuel crops are the relative advantages of the practice and the ability to discuss the practice with a social network. There is a strong need to create a renewable energy market in the U.S. because of its potential to reduce greenhouse gases and increase production benefits; biofuel crops pose one plausible solution. The paper addresses the following question: considering global climate and energy concerns, what are the main influences on farmer’s decisions regarding land use, specifically the decision to cultivate biofuel crops? Continue reading