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Features

Your source for incisive, peer-reviewed articles that bring the insight and authority of our panel of experts and authors to bear on the most important ideas for creating a sustainable future.

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Whenever a disaster strikes, such as the 2011 Fukushima meltdown or the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, our instinctive response is to overcome the shock, assist the victims, and return to normal as quickly as possible. But perhaps returning to normal is the wrong strategy. Perhaps, instead, we should try to understand the changing conditions that triggered the disaster, and adapt to the new normal.

In today’s tightly connected global economy, a business-as-usual mindset will be challenged by chaotic external pressures and turbulent change. There has been a sharp increase in the number of natural catastrophes during the past 32 years—a trend that has been linked to climate change.1 Other destabilizing pressures include rapid urbanization, resource depletion, and...

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Each year, billions of dollars in energy infrastructure are damaged or destroyed as a result of natural disasters, causing significant social and economic disruptions. Climate change and urbanization, especially the growth of megacities, are amplifying these threats, and the frequency and costs of disasters are rising. However, simply restoring infrastructure systems of the past may be ill-advised. Investing in resilient energy systems would enable local economies to better adapt to sudden shocks such as earthquakes and extreme weather events. An increasingly pressing question facing policy makers and users of critical infrastructure services: How should the need for more resilient energy systems be factored into energy policy and aligned with other goals, such as sustainability and...

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More Features

The archaeological record reveals diverse societies that flourished in their time and place and succeeded in achieving impressive works of architecture, novel technological advancement, complex...
Agriculture is both critical for human well-being1 and a major driver of environmental decline2. Agricultural development is rightly perceived as being a significant component of efforts to meet the...
As terrorist attacks and natural disasters become more frequent and costly, the U.S. Office of the President is initiating a national push to create a more resilient society1-3 that can recover from...

In Focus

Environmental security has taken on new meaning in the twenty-first century as sustainability and natural resource...
The pathway for conversion to a renewable energy future has been pioneered by Denmark and a few other visionary nations. But...
If the United States intends to meet the Department of Energy’s goal of producing 20 percent of the nation’s electricity...
I fully agree with the idea that world population growth can—and should—be reversed through fertility rates that fall below...
The Guttmacher Institute provides estimates, covering various years in the last decade, of the proportions of all...