Sunday, December 31, 2017

Top Ten Environmental Predictions for 2018

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In another end of the year On the Brink tradition, here are my top environmental predictions for 2018. Do you have any others? If so, add them to the comments on the blog. My crystal ball tells me that the year ahead will be an important one and that the environment will take a major role in national and world discourse.

1. Greater environmental activism. Given my top environmental news stories of 2017 which showed that it was a very bad year for U.S. environmental policy, I predict greater environmental activism in 2018 which will be expressed through protests, support for environmental groups, and the voting box.

2. Green segregation. While the U.S. government has moved away from environmental protection policies, many states and local governments have not. As a result, some places will continue to have very strong environmental protection and some places will not. The result of this will be that the very people who support the current administration will be the ones who are largely impacted by the decline in environmental protection.

3. Other nations gain competitive advantages in green technology. Many other parts of the world are moving much faster on green technology than the U.S. at the present moment. While we had a considerable advantage for a while, we are losing ground fast due to the pullback in support for alternative energy at the federal level.

4. Expanded electric car infrastructure funded by states, local governments, and the private sector. While the U.S. has its head in the sand on alternative energy, car manufacturers are moving rapidly to add plug in technology to cars. Expect to see much greater plug in infrastructure advance in some areas.

5.  More reckoning on nuclear energy. We have many old nuclear power plants and we store a tremendous amount of nuclear waste at those sites. Many will be closing in the next several years. Expect to see pressure ramped up to deal with nuclear waste and the costs of sunsetting old power plants.

6. More pipleline protests. There are a number of pipeline projects underway around the world. Expect to see more protests in the coming year as construction advances.

7. Indigenous rights and the environment. 2017 was not a good year for indigenous rights and the environment. From the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline project to the shrinking of national monuments that were created to protect indigenous religious sites, Native Americans had some major losses this year. Expect to see significant push back in the coming year.

8. Water crises. Many areas of the world are running out of water. Expect 2018 to be the year that we see some significant impacts in places like Yemen.

9. More evidence of climate change; greater isolation of climate change deniers. The evidence for climate change keeps piling up. Expect to see more evidence emerge in 2018 as climate change deniers start to feel the heat.

10. Green aviation technology advances. Airline manufacturers are working hard to green flying. Expect to see more green technology advance that will make flying less impactful on the environment.

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I have to say that I didn't do that well with last year's predictions. Check them out here. Will I do any better this year? Stay tuned! Thank you for visiting this site in 2017 and I look forward to interacting with you in 2018. Happy New Year!

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