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Toxic floodwaters have serious health consequences. After Florence and Harvey, residents in North Carolina and Texas complained of headaches, burning eyes and throats, dizziness, and other health problems. Public health professionals raised concerns about floodwaters leaving a hazardous residue in homes, businesses, water systems, and more. Such health and environmental risks are amplified by social and legal factors. For example, communities that lack access to reliable transportation and temporary housing are more likely to face prolonged exposure to floodwaters and residual contamination. In this way, social vulnerability interacts with geography and climate to produce a health crisis.
This report analyzes challenges in the development and accessibility of natural resources such as energy, food, water, and materials for future populations. In order to meet global needs for natural resources, there needs to be both an increase in the supply of resources and a change in the productivity of how resources are extracted, converted, and used. In addition to identifying future challenges with natural resources, this report evaluates opportunities to expand supply and improve productivity to address the resource challenge.
The Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, of which Policy Matters Ohio is a member, has released case studies examining the impacts of shale oil and gas drilling on four active drilling communities — Carroll County, Ohio; Greene and Tioga counties, Pennsylvania; and Wetzel County, West Virginia.
This report analyzes how fossil fuel reserves relate to global financial markets. The report finds that there are more fossil fuels listed on the world\'s capital markets than we can afford to burn if we are to prevent dangerous climate change. The capital markets have financed future fossil fuel development based on the false assumption that what the corporate sector have asked investors to finance can actually be burnt. The report finds that this over-capitalization of fossil fuels poses a large and currently unappreciated risk for the capital markets. In addition to providing analysis of the problem, the report provides several recommendations for resolving the capital markets\' carbon bubble.
This report examines how a low-carbon world may impact the European oil industry. The International Energy Agency\'s World Energy Outlook (2012 edition) estimated that in order to have a 50% chance of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2\'C, only a third of current fossil fuel reserves can be burned before 2050. The balance of fossil fuels reserves would be regarded as \"unburnable.\" This report addresses the how a reduction in fossil fuel use and project development may impact fossil fuel prices and the market value of fossil fuel companies.
This policy brief addresses arguments facing university endowments on whether or not to divest from fossil fuel companies. From the advocates of divestment, endowments hear about the serious environmental damage already incurred, the frightening trajectory of the math and the benefit from taking a public stance on a critical ethical issue. From the skeptics they hear that screening will adversely affect risk and return and that the goal of any endowment should be to focus exclusively on returns. The math shown in Tables 1 and 2 does support the skeptics\' view that screening negatively affects a portfolio\'s risk and return, but it also shows that the impact may be far less significant than presumed. It\'s beyond the scope of this paper to judge whether endowments should implement or avoid screening, but anyone on an endowment board facing that decision should at least do the math, in this case the investment math.
Key elements of feed-in rates and CLEAN contracts include cost-based, standardized contracts that are long term, which allows developers to secure project financing. Incentives for local ownership, hiring of local workers, and use of locally made products can help ensure that these approaches help grow the local economy.
Ohio communities need a better approach, one that fosters economic growth while also protecting the environment and supporting local businesses and workers. This is why the City of Oberlin, in partnership with Oberlin College and the city’s municipal utility have launched “The Oberlin Project” to make Oberlin the greenest little city in the U.S., grow the local economy in the process, and become a national model for sustainable economic development. This report is a policy blueprint to help Oberlin, and all Ohio communities, drive demand for clean energy while leveraging green investments to secure maximum value to the community. The four key components of this comprehensive strategy are designed to balance the three E’s of sustainable economic development—environment, economy, and equity.
This chart allows users to compare the United States along a number of economic indicators related to income, employment, and economic security. By selecting between these measurements and offering a geographic view of these statistics, users are better able to visualize trends in economic factors and make comparisons between states.
This chart demonstrates the impact of union membership on income and wealth distribution. It allows users to select between a number of metrics related to unionization and income inequality in order to further illustrate this relationship. The chart illustrates a consistent theme that as union power has declined, so too has the share of national income going to wages and salaries, and to the bottom and middle of the income spectrum.