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Clearer Skies Over China

Reconciling Air Quality, Climate, and Economic Goals

Chris P. Nielsen

China's carbon dioxide emissions now outstrip those of other countries and its domestic air quality is severely degraded, especially in urban areas. Its sheer size and its growing, fossil-fuel-powered economy mean that China's economic and environmental policy choices will have an outsized effect on the global environmental future. Over the last decade, China has pursued policies that target both fossil fuel use and atmospheric emissions, but these efforts have been substantially overwhelmed by the country's increasing energy demands. With a billion citizens still living on less than $4,000 per year, China's energy and environmental policies must be reconciled with the goals of maintaining economic growth and raising living standards. This book, a U.S.--Chinese collaboration of experts from Harvard and Tsinghua University, offers a groundbreaking integrated analysis of China's economy, emissions, air quality, public health, and agriculture. It first offers essential scientific context and accessible summaries of the book's policy findings; it then provides the underlying scientific and economic research. These studies suggest that China's recent sulfur controls achieved enormous environmental health benefits at unexpectedly low costs. They also indicate that judicious implementation of carbon taxes could reduce not only China's carbon emissions but also its air pollution more comprehensively than current single-pollutant policies, all at little cost to economic growth.

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Climate Change

What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren

Joseph F.C. DiMento

Most of us are familiar with the term <I>climate change</I> but few of us understand the science behind it. We don't fully comprehend how climate change will affect us, and for that reason we might not consider it as pressing a concern as, say, housing prices or unemployment. This book explains the scientific knowledge about global climate change clearly and concisely in engaging, nontechnical language, describes how it will affect all of us, and suggests how government, business, and citizens can take action against it. This completely revised and updated edition incorporates the latest scientific research and policy initiatives on climate change. It describes recent major legislative actions, analyzes alternative regulatory tools including new uses of taxes and markets, offers increased coverage of China and other developing nations, discusses the role of social media in communicating about climate change, and provides updated assessments of the effects of climate change. The book first explains the basic scientific facts about climate change and its global impact. It discusses the nature of scientific consensus and the strong consensus of mainstream science on climate change. It then explores policy responses and corporate actions in the United States and the rest of the world, discusses how the communication of climate change information by journalists and others can be improved, and addresses issues of environmental justice -- how climate change affects the most vulnerable populations and regions. We can better tackle climate change, this book shows us, if we understand it.

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Climate of Capitulation

An Insider's Account of State Power in a Coal Nation

Vivian E. Thomson

The United States has pledged to the world community a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 26--28 percent below 2005 levels in 2025. Because much of this reduction must come from electric utilities, especially coal-fired power plants, coal states will make or break the U.S. commitment to emissions reduction. In Climate of Capitulation, Vivian Thomson offers an insider's account of how power is wielded in environmental policy making at the state level. Thomson, a former member of Virginia's State Air Pollution Control Board, identifies a "climate of capitulation" in state government -- a deeply rooted favoritism toward coal and electric utilities in states' air pollution policies.Thomson narrates three cases involving coal and air pollution from her time on the Air Board. She illuminates the overt and covert power struggles surrounding air pollution limits for a coal-fired power plant just across the Potomac from Washington, for a controversial new coal-fired electrical generation plant in coal country, and for coal dust pollution from truck traffic in a country hollow. Thomson links Virginia's climate of capitulation with campaign donations that make legislators politically indebted to coal and electric utility interests, a traditionalistic political culture tending to inertia, and a part-time legislature that depended on outside groups for information and bill drafting. Extending her analysis to fifteen other coal-dependent states, Thomson offers policy reforms aimed at mitigating the ingrained biases toward coal and electric utilities in states' air pollution policy making.

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Climate Policy and Nonrenewable Resources

The Green Paradox and Beyond

Karen Pittel

Recent developments suggest that well-intended climate policies--including carbon taxes and subsidies for renewable energy -- might not accomplish what policy makers intend. Hans-Werner Sinn has described a "green paradox," arguing that these policies could hasten global warming by encouraging owners of fossil fuel reserves to increase their extraction rates for fear that their reserves will become worthless. In this volume, economists investigate the empirical and theoretical support for the green paradox. Offering detailed and rigorous analyses of the forces and assumptions driving Sinn's argument, the contributors consider whether rising carbon tax rates inevitably speed up climate change; the effects of the design of resource markets, the availability of clean substitutes, and the development of new technologies; and the empirical evidence (or lack thereof) for the green paradox result. They consider extraction costs; sustainability and innovation; timing, announcement effects, and time consistency in relation to policy measures; and empirical results for the green paradox phenomena under several alternative policy measures. ContributorsJulien Daubanes, Corrado Di Maria, Carolyn Fischer, Florian Habermacher, Michael Hoel, Darko Jus, Gebhard Kirchgassner, Ian Lange, Pierre Lasserre, Volker Meier, Karen Pittel, Stephen Salant, Frank Stähler, Gerard van der Meijden, Frederick van der Ploeg, Edwin van der Werf, Ngo Van Long, Ralph A. Winter, Cees Withagen

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Coding Places

Software Practice in a South American City

Yuri Takhteyev

An examination of software practice in Brazil that reveals both the globalization and the localization of software development.

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Cognitive Pluralism

Steven Horst

Philosophers have traditionally assumed that the basic units of knowledge and understanding are concepts, beliefs, and argumentative inferences. In Cognitive Pluralism, Steven Horst proposes that another sort of unit -- a mental model of a content domain -- is the fundamental unit of understanding. He argues that understanding comes not in word-sized concepts, sentence-sized beliefs, or argument-sized reasoning but in the form of idealized models and in domain-sized chunks. He argues further that this idea of "cognitive pluralism" -- the claim that we understand the world through many such models of a variety of content domains -- sheds light on a number of problems in philosophy.Horst first presents the "standard view" of cognitive architecture assumed in mainstream epistemology, semantics, truth theory, and theory of reasoning. He then explains the notion of a mental model as an internal surrogate that mirrors features of its target domain, and puts it in the context of ideas in psychology, philosophy of science, artificial intelligence, and theoretical cognitive science. Finally, he argues that the cognitive pluralist view not only helps to explain puzzling disunities of knowledge but also raises doubts about the feasibility of attempts to "unify" the sciences; presents a model-based account of intuitive judgments; and contends that cognitive pluralism favors a reliabilist epistemology and a "molecularist" semantics. Horst suggests that cognitive pluralism allows us to view rival epistemological and semantic theories not as direct competitors but as complementary accounts, each an idealized model of different dimensions of evaluation.

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Color Ontology and Color Science

Edited by Jonathan Cohen and Mohan Matthen

Leading philosophers and scientists consider what conclusions about color can be drawn when the latest analytic tools are applied to the most sophisticated color science.

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Coming Clean

Information Disclosure and Environmental Performance

Michael E. Kraft, Mark Stephan, and Troy D. Abel

Coming Clean is the first book to investigate the process of information disclosure as a policy strategy for environmental protection.

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The Commons in History

Culture, Conflict, and Ecology

Derek Wall

The history of the commons -- jointly owned land or other resources such as fisheries or forests set aside for public use -- provides a useful context for current debates over sustainability and how we can act as "good ancestors." In this book, Derek Wall considers the commons from antiquity to the present day, as an idea, an ecological space, an economic abstraction, and a management practice. He argues that the commons should be viewed neither as a "tragedy" of mismanagement (as the biologist Garrett Hardin wrote in 1968) nor as a panacea for solving environmental problems. Instead, Walls sees the commons as a particular form of property ownership, arguing that property rights are essential to understanding sustainability. How we use the land and its resources offers insights into how we value the environment. After defining the commons and describing the arguments of Hardin's influential article and Elinor Ostrom's more recent work on the commons, Wall offers historical case studies from the United States, England, India, and Mongolia. He examines the power of cultural norms to maintain the commons; political conflicts over the commons; and how commons have protected, or failed to protect ecosystems. Combining intellectual and material histories with an eye on contemporary debates, Wall offers an applied history that will interest academics, activists, and policy makers.

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Communism for Kids

Bini Adamczak

Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true? This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism. Offering relief for many who have been numbed by Marxist exegesis and given headaches by the earnest pompousness of socialist politics, it presents political theory in the simple terms of a children's story, accompanied by illustrations of lovable little revolutionaries experiencing their political awakening.It all unfolds like a story, with jealous princesses, fancy swords, displaced peasants, mean bosses, and tired workers--not to mention a Ouija board, a talking chair, and a big pot called "the state." Before they know it, readers are learning about the economic history of feudalism, class struggles in capitalism, different ideas of communism, and more. Finally, competition between two factories leads to a crisis that the workers attempt to solve in six different ways (most of them borrowed from historic models of communist or socialist change). Each attempt fails, since true communism is not so easy after all. But it's also not that hard. At last, the people take everything into their own hands and decide for themselves how to continue. Happy ending? Only the future will tell. With an epilogue that goes deeper into the theoretical issues behind the story, this book is perfect for all ages and all who desire a better world.

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