Conceptual Issues in Designing a Policy to Phase Out Metal-Based Antifouling Paints on Recreational Boats
Journal of Environmental Management 90(8), June 2009
Maria Damon, Richard T. Carson, Leigh T. Johnson, and Jamie A. Miller
In marine areas throughout the world where recreational boats are densely located, concentrations of copper in the water are being found to be in excess of government standards, due to the hull coatings used on these boats. Copper-based hull coatings are intended to be antifouling in that they retard the growth of algae, barnacles and tubeworms; but alternatives exist that can eliminate the harm that copper contamination does to marine organisms. A variety of policy options are available to mandate or provide economic incentives to switch to these less harmful alternatives. This paper puts forth a conceptual framework for thinking about how to design and evaluate alternative policies to transition to nontoxic boat hulls, drawing from the authors' experience designing a policy for use in San Diego Bay. Many of the issues raised are broadly applicable to environmental problems where the solution involves a large-scale replacement of durable consumer goods.
Developing Meaningful Marine Ecosystem Indicators in the Face of a Changing Climate
Stanford Journal of Law, Science, and Policy, March 2010
Maria Damon, Phillip S. Levin, and Jameal F. Samhouri
Evidence that the earth’s climate is changing is overwhelming, and because climate affects temperature, patterns of circulation and chemistry of the ocean, marine ecosystems are changing as well. Effectively reducing climate-related threats requires management responses that move beyond disjointed efforts and that integrate diverse management actions with the goal of increasing adaptive capacity. The development of robust indicators—quantitative measurements that provide insight into the state of natural and socio-economic systems—is a necessary step toward these goals because indicators provide information that allows management strategies to be evaluated and refined. In this paper, we outline an approach to indicator selection that melds social and natural science. Our approach acknowledges that the value of specific indicators to policy makers and resource managers can diverge from the scientific value of these indicators. In addition, it is grounded in rigorous scientific analyses that meet widely accepted guidelines for ecosystem indicators. Our approach also recognizes that a suite of indicators is needed, and we argue that the optimal portfolio of indicators is one that ensures appropriate scientific information is captured while also maximizing the value of the indicators for policy makers. We contend that integrating natural and social science is crucial as we begin to recognize the potential consequences of climate change on marine ecosystems and seek ways to adapt existing management strategies to alternative futures.
Green Growth in the Post-Copenhagen Climate
Energy Policy 39(11)
Maria Damon and Thomas Sterner
Global climate change stands out from most environmental problems because it will span generations and force us to think in new ways about intergenerational fairness. It involves the delicate problem of complex coordination between countries on a truly global scale. As long as fossil fuels are too cheap, climate change policy will engage all major economies. The costs are high enough to make efficiency a priority, which means striving toward a single market for carbon—plus tackling the thorny issues of fairness.
Hopes for a grand deal were mercilessly shattered at Copenhagen in December 2009 and in other recent UNFCCC meetings, with the result that “green growth” is promoted as an alternative path. Indeed, green growth is clearly the goal, but it is no magic bullet. The world economy will require clear and rather tough policy instruments for growth to be green—and it is naïve to think otherwise. Growth, green or not, will boost demand for energy and coal is normally the cheapest source. The magnitude of the challenge is greater if we also consider the problems related to nuclear (fission) energy and, in some instances, to bioenergy (such as its competition for land that may be essential for the poor). This paper discusses some necessary ingredients for a long-term global climate strategy. As we wait for the final (and maybe elusive) worldwide treaty, we must find a policy that makes sense and is not only compatible with, but facilitates the development of such a treaty.
Capacity Building to Deal With Climate Challenges Today and in the Future
Journal of Environment and Development, March 2012
Maria Damon, Gunnar Köhlin, Thomas Sterner, and Martine Visser
Climate change represents a serious threat to the economic growth potential in low income countries. Instead of investing in growth, they may be drawn into strife and conflict. Climate change and the global politics to deal with it, could however also present a number of interesting opportunities for developing countries. Such opportunities may arise in sustainable forestry, new forms of solar, wind or bioenergy and related industries, agriculture or in the programs for abatement and mitigation that are likely to be created. It is an important priority for low-income countries to develop local knowledge and understanding concerning climate change in order to better prepare for both the costs and challenges posed by climate change, as well as to defend their national interests and participate in international negotiations. Creating academic capacity is however a long and painstaking process. We discuss a number of existing initiatives but conclude that more is needed, particularly at the higher level of PhD studies.
Policy Instruments for Sustainable Development at Rio +20
Journal of Environment and Development, June 2012
Maria Damon and Thomas Sterner
Twenty years ago, governments gathered for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The “Rio Declaration” laid out several principles of sustainable development, including the central role of policy instruments. In this article, we take stock of where we stand today in implementing sound and effective environmental policy instruments throughout the world, particularly in developing and transitional economies. We argue that, as our experience with market-based environmental policies has deepened over the past two decades, so has the ability to adapt instruments to complicated and heterogeneous contexts—but we are only just beginning, and the need to be further along is dire. One key factor may be that economists have not yet meaningfully accounted for the importance of political feasibility, which often hinges on risks to competitiveness and employment, or on the distribution of costs rather than on considerations of pure efficiency alone.
Strategies and Considerations for Investing in Sustainable City Infrastructure
Chapter 7 in The Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities: Strategies, Methods and Outlook, edited by D. Mazmanian and H. Blanco, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd.
Logical frameworks for impact monitoring and evaluation for natural resource management interventions
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Impact evaluation: the Ngoc Lac natural resource management and conservation project
CARE International, Vietnam.
A Complex(ity) Strategy for Breaking the Environmental Logjam (with David R. Johnson), in Breaking the LogJam: An Environmental Law for the 21st Century
NYU Environ. L. Rev. (Fall 2008)
Noveck, Beth (selected chapters)
In this essay, we explore how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) might use technology to improve the agency's level of scientific expertise and to obtain useful information sooner to inform EPA policymaking. By creating a self-reinforcing collaboration between government and networked publics, new web-based tools could help produce change within government and without - namely governmental decisions informed by better data obtained through citizen participation and civic action coordinated with governmental priorities. The agency has the opportunity to help break the logjam of environmental policymaking by developing transparent and participatory mechanisms for expert citizen participation. The key insight is not to throw open the floodgates to undifferentiated public input, but to design group-based processes that enable online communities to collaborate on finding and vetting information for agencies.
In Our Every Deliberation: An Introduction to Seventh Generation
Burlington, Vermont: Seventh Generation, 2009
How to make the world a better place: 116 ways you can make a difference
New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1995
Hollender, Jeffrey and Linda Catling.
Think of all the problems in the world, in the city or town where you live, on your own block: pollution, violence, children who can't read, housebound elderly people, litter in the street, the homeless. If only somebody would do something about these things. . . . Why not you? Why not now?
You don't need to be a high-profile social activist to effect positive social change. How to Make the World a Better Place, in this updated and expanded edition, shows how just one person can make a difference in solving global, national, and local problems. Whether you're interested in feeding the hungry, protecting the environment, helping the homeless, or making your community a safer place to live, you'll find the means to get started in this book. Each chapter alerts you to problems that require attention, explains the issues and what has to be done about them, tells you specifically what you can do to help, and lists the addresses and phone numbers of organizations that you can contact.
The twenty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day finds us all more socially and environmentally conscious than ever before. All it takes for you to make a difference is one first step-this book gives you the advice, the encouragement, the information, and the resources you need to take it. Then, instead of simply thinking about the world's problems, you'll be solving them.
Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning and Greening the World You Care About Most
New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2010. Print.
Hollender, Jeffrey, with Alexandra Zissu.
FROM THE COFOUNDER OF SEVENTH GENERATION, the most trusted brand in environmentally friendly household products, comes this indispensable guide to maintaining absolutely everything in the home in a natural, nontoxic way. Jeffrey Hollender leads you through each room of the house with straightforward advice, comprehensive checklists, quick tips, and unparalleled resources while revealing the hidden repercussions of daily routines that most of us take for granted. From improving air quality in your bedroom to avoiding mildew in the bathroom, from sourcing local or organic food to safely laundering your clothes, Planet Home offers invaluable information for making conscious decisions for your family, your neighbors, and our shared planet home.
With additional information on power, garbage and recycling, air quality, and community activism, this book goes a step further to describe how any household is part of a much larger system. Planet Home offers a unique, comprehensive, educational, and easy approach to helping you and your family lead healthier lives as we collectively protect and maintain our shared resources for many years to come.
Naturally Clean: The Seventh Generation Guide to Safe & Healthy, Non-Toxic Cleaning
Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2006. Print.
Hollender, Jeffrey and Geoff Davis, with Meika Hollender and Reed Doyle.
Compelling evidence links the chemicals in household products to cancer, asthma, allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome -- also known as environmental illness -- hormonal disruption, reproductive and developmental disorders, and other conditions. Yet cleaning products are exempt from the full ingredient disclosure on product labels as required for food and personal care products and enter the marketplace with little or no testing for potential health risks.
Naturally Clean explains the dangers of traditional cleaners and provides illuminating statistics that illustrate how the chemicals found in almost every home are known or likely to cause a host of serious health problems. The book's easy-to-understand introduction discusses basic household chemistry, concepts of toxicity and types of toxic exposure, and the difference between natural, organic, and synthetic chemicals.
What matters most: how a small group of pioneers is teaching social responsibility to big business, and why big business is listening
New York: Basic Books (a member of the Perseus Books Group), 2004.
Hollender, Jeffrey and Stephen Fenichell.
For more than sixteen years, Jeffrey Hollender has presided over Seventh Generation, a world leader in manufacturing environmentally friendly, nontoxic household products. What Matters Most illuminates the successful practices of Seventh Generation-and many other pioneering companies around the world-to demonstrate the pragmatic aspects of a corporate strategy that hardwires social and environmental concerns into the company's culture, operating systems, and business relationships. It shows business leaders how to assess their own company's performance, adopt a socially responsible approach to doing business, and embark on a path of long-term growth.
The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.
Hollender, Jeffrey and Bill Breen.
How to create a company that not only sustains, but surpasses-that moves beyond the imperative to be "less bad" and embrace an ethos to be "all good"
From the Inspired Protagonist and Chairman of Seventh Generation, the country's leading brand of household products and a pioneering "good company," comes a one-of-a-kind book for leaders, entrepreneurs, and change agents everywhere. The Responsibility Revolution reveals the smartest ways for companies to build a better future-and hold themselves accountable for the results. Thousands of companies have pledged to act responsibly; very few have proven that they know how. This book will guide them. The Responsibility Revolution presents fresh ideas and actionable strategies to commit your company to a genuine socially and environmentally responsible business and culture, one that not only competes but wins on values.
- Points the way for innovators and influencers to generate trust by becoming transparent, elicit people's passion and creativity, turn customers into collaborators, transform critics into allies, rewrite the rules and reinvent business
- Shows how to build a socially and environmentally responsible yet genuinely good company and an authentic brand
- Drawing on groundbreaking interviews with real-world change leaders, Hollender and Breen present lessons and insights from the "good company"' parts of big companies like IBM and eBay, trailblazers like Patagonia and Timberland, and emerging dynamos like Linden Lab and Etsy
The Responsibility Revolution equips people with the tactics, models, and mind-sets they need to compete in a world where consumers now demand that companies contribute to the greater good.
Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone
Penguin Press, 2012
Resetting our priorities in environmental health: An example from the south-north partnership in Lake Chapala, Mexico
Environ Res. 2011 Aug;111(6):877-80.
Cifuentes E, Lozano Kasten F, Trasande L, Goldman RH.
Lake Chapala is a major source of water for crop irrigation and subsistence fishing for a population of 300,000 people in central Mexico. Economic activities have created increasing pollution and pressure on the whole watershed resources. Previous reports of mercury concentrations detected in fish caught in Lake Chapala have raised concerns about health risks to local families who rely on fish for both their livelihood and traditional diet. Our own data has indicated that 27% of women of childbearing age have elevated hair mercury levels, and multivariable analysis indicated that frequent consumption of carp (i.e., once a week or more) was associated with significantly higher hair mercury concentrations. In this paper we describe a range of environmental health research projects. Our main priorities are to build the necessary capacities to identify sources of water pollution, enhance early detection of environmental hazardous exposures, and deliver feasible health protection measures targeting children and pregnant women. Our projects are led by the Children's Environmental Health Specialty Unit nested in the University of Guadalajara, in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Health of Harvard School of Public Health and Department of Pediatrics of the New York School of Medicine. Our partnership focuses on translation of knowledge, building capacity, advocacy and accountability. Communication will be enhanced among women's advocacy coalitions and the Ministries of Environment and Health. We see this initiative as an important pilot program with potential to be strengthened and replicated regionally and internationally.
Fine particulate matter pollution linked to respiratory illness in infants and increased hospital costs
Health Aff (Millwood). 2011 May;30(5):871-8.
Sheffield P, Roy A, Wong K, Trasande L.
There has been little research to date on the linkages between air pollution and infectious respiratory illness in children, and the resulting health care costs. In this study we used data on air pollutants and national hospitalizations to study the relationship between fine particulate air pollution and health care charges and costs for the treatment of bronchiolitis, an acute viral infection of the lungs. We found that as the average exposure to fine particulate matter over the lifetime of an infant increased, so did costs for the child's health care. If the United States were to reduce levels of fine particulate matter to 7 percent below the current annual standard, the nation could save $15 million annually in reduced health care costs from hospitalizations of children with bronchiolitis living in urban areas. These findings reinforce the need for ongoing efforts to reduce levels of air pollutants. They should trigger additional investigation to determine if the current standards for fine-particulate matter are sufficiently protective of children's health.
Economics of children's environmental health
Mt Sinai J Med. 2011 Jan-Feb;78(1):98-106
Economic analyses are increasingly appearing in the children's environmental-health literature. In this review, an illustrative selection of articles that represent cost analyses, cost-effectiveness analyses, and cost-benefit analyses is analyzed for the relative merits of each approach. Cost analyses remain the dominant approach due to lack of available data. Cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses in this area face challenges presented by estimation of costs of environmental interventions, whose costs are likely to decrease with further technological innovation. Benefits are also more difficult to quantify economically and can only be partially alleviated through willingness-to-pay approaches. Nevertheless, economic analyses in children's environmental health are highly informative and important informants to public-health and policy practice. Further attention and training in their appropriate use are needed.
How much should we invest in preventing childhood obesity?
Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Mar-Apr;29(3):372-8.
Policy makers generally agree that childhood obesity is a national problem. However, it is not always clear whether enough is being spent to combat it. This paper presents nine scenarios that assume three different degrees of reduction in obesity/overweight rates among children in three age groups. A mathematical model was then used to project lifetime health and economic gains. Spending $2 billion a year would be cost-effective if it reduced obesity among twelve-year-olds by one percentage point. The analysis also found that childhood obesity has more profound economic consequences than previously documented. Large investments to reduce this major contributor to adult disability may thus be cost-effective by widely accepted criteria.