TAG: Environmental policy

Model Laws For All

environmental-laws

In matters of common interest in the international community, there exists a practice wherein model laws are drafted for sovereign states to use as a blueprint for national legislation. Environmental model laws also exist, this article seeks to expose the disadvantages of using such instruments in the developing world. In principle, there is nothing wrong with using a model law as a foundation for drafting national legislation. However in a time when there is mounting pressure on all nations of the world to enact relevant environmental legislation and formulate sound environmental policies, there may be danger in using model law… read more

Talk It. Live It. Love It…Please

Is this sustainable Development??

Enough of the talk already. Isn’t it time to do something? Or maybe it’s time to rethink what we say so we can talk differently about what we need to do. Jeez…more talk, is that what this is about? Or maybe it’s about the right talk, meaningful talk, the kind of talk that actually leads to change? For more than thirty years our international leaders have been talking their way into supposedly global agreements on the need for action. Across the world, various models of sustainable development have been proposed as the panacea to our ills. Some twenty-five years ago,… read more

Religion vs Environment

Religion V Environment

The right to religious freedom, thought and belief is a fundamental right recognised by the United Nations through Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations also recognises the need for humans to preserve our natural environment, and refrain from activity that unnecessarily depletes natural resources. It becomes problematic when the two compete for precedence. In Swaziland we have many Christian denominations which hold just as many different beliefs. There are denominations that hold the belief that a valid baptism is one performed in a natural river, as opposed to water in a pool. There are… read more

The President’s Challenge

President's Eco Challenge

In his inauguration speech, President Obama made a few comments on climate change. Environmentalists excitedly thought the time had finally arrived when climate change would be addressed in a meaningful way. President Obama has made comments about the climate and environment since his inauguration speech, but the result is the same. Three weeks after President Obama pledged to focus on the climate but offered no specific second-term plans, also noting political hurdles to legislation, Former Vice President Al Gore called on President Obama to make climate change a higher priority in his second term. An easy scapegoat for the Obama administration… read more

Simplifying Modern Life

technology_stockxpertcom_id1218361_size1

Technology makes life easier and more convenient. With the advancements in software and micro chip design, technology has enabled consumers to reduce their carbon footprint by consolidating many devices into one. For instance, it is no longer necessary to carry a camera, or an mp3 player, or a GPS or a laptop or a gaming console or an eBook. Instead a compact Smartphone can do the work of all the above mentioned devices and proves the proverb that “good things come in small packages”. Due to the personal nature of this mobile technology, we as consumers can modify our behaviour… read more

Going Back for More

Oil drilling problems

Amidst the outrage from environmental advocacy groups after Shell Oil grounded its oil rig off of the Alaskan Coast, the company still has full intentions of returning to the waters to drill for oil in 2013. Shell is going back for more, even after proving to themselves and the country that the company simply cannot compete with the natural weather and climate of the region. The company was unable to protect its equipment during a winter storm, which is understandable, but certainly says something about the area they are in and the dangers of operating there. Further, the area in… read more

Fiscal Cliff & Climate Cliff

The fiscal cliff

In what can only be described as asinine and embarrassing for how long it took, the United States Congress has finally produced a plan to avert the Congress-created “fiscal cliff.” If doing the bare minimum of their job, i.e. paying the country’s bills, is too difficult and too much of a burden for the elected representatives of the American citizenry, then what can be expected of them when an issue which requires more than the minimum effort comes up? The cynical answer is “nothing,” or “no expectations,” but that is letting the Congress, the people that were chosen by their… read more

Silence Finally Broken

Climate change issues

Despite climate change getting little attention during last year’s Presidential campaign, President Obama finally addressed the issue in a press conference a week after the election. According to MediaMatters, from August 1st to November 6th, television news coverage outside of MSNBC of climate change totaled 51 minutes. To give further perspective on the miniscule amount of time given to climate change, after the vice presidential debate, 91 minutes of television news coverage, again outside of MSNBC, were allotted to Joe Biden’s smiles and other aspects of body language toward Paul Ryan. A piece of “news” which had the lifespan of… read more

Executive Power

Executive Powers

It has become abundantly clear there is a dire necessity for action on combatting climate change. Whether that action is in the form of environmental policy reform and regulation, or energy policy reform, one thing is clear: maintaining the status quo is a recipe for disaster. However, the president is not a miracle worker, and is also not a solitary worker. The Constitution requires a balance of power, thus inter-dependency between the three branches, which is a double-edged blade, to say the least. The checks-and-balances system allows for moderation in the government, which is responsible, but it also allows for lack of… read more

A Change In The Wind

A Change in the Wind

A couple of days before Thanksgiving last year, the Red State Renewable Alliance (RSRA) gave wind power supporters something for which to be thankful. Led by John Feehery, a Republican Washington insider, the RSRA backed wind power as it fights for a wind power production tax credit extension, despite the Republican Party talking points promoting the contrary. Feehery has had stints as the communications director for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, along with former Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Individual elected Republicans have stood up in support of the wind energy tax credit, and have found themselves aligned with groups such… read more