Mayors from across the Great Lakes region met this fall to discuss a response to this summer’s Lake Erie toxic algae outbreak that shut down the water supply for almost half a million people in Toledo and the surrounding suburbs. Bottled water ran out in stores across the area, and residents fled the city in search of clean water – an option not available to Lake Erie’s diverse and fascinating array of wildlife.
Oil prices have fallen in recent months, and Politico asked a group of energy experts what this latest market gyration might imply for U.S. policymakers. UMEI's John DeCicco was one of the experts queried; here's what he had to say:
Global trade is, by and large, a good thing. Trade helps optimize the allocation of resources (materials, capital, labor, etc.) at the global scale. Today about one third of the global GDP comes from international trade. The value of traded goods and services today is about 50 times that of 1970, while the global GDP is only about four times that of 1970.
Is nuclear energy “sustainable”? Certainly it’s not categorized as such in any federal definition of the term. Nuclear power is not ballyhooed in pro-renewable montages of solar panels and wind turbines. The nuclear industry receives none of the tax incentives renewables do. But the argument for nuclear energy as an important part of any large-scale sustainable energy plan is a powerful one, and an urgent one to explore as climate change becomes an ever more pressing reality.
Electricity for rainforest villages in Gabon. Tent fabric that harvests solar energy for nomadic people in Kazakhstan. A modular greenhouse and fish farm in an unused industrial building in Highland Park, Michigan.
These are some of the goals and possibilities a team of 17 researchers will pursue with a new $3 million Third Century Initiative Global Challenges grant from the University of Michigan.