Aubrey Cohen

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The search for water: How Bengaluru households cope with water insecurity

Just as households use portfolios – a range of investments – to manage their finances, Indian households use porfolios to manage household water supply. In both cases, diversification is a key tool in balancing risks and returns.

Households cope with water insecurity imposed by inadequate public water supply by investing in a diversity of water supply and demand management options. In this article, we share the first results from the country’s first statistically sound city-level survey, which is part of the Bangalore Urban Metabolism Project. This information will be key for proper water planning.

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Written by aubreycohen

August 26, 2016 at 10:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Creating a shared understanding of ‘sustainability’ among California water users

Sustainability is an often used term, but its meaning can be elusive. In natural resource planning, deciding what’s sustainable is context-specific and requires stakeholders with often conflicting objectives to come together and develop a shared understanding of sustainability.

SEI’s work in California water resources management provides many examples of how researchers and decision makers can work together to articulate the abstract notion of sustainability into its locally-specific, multi-dimensional components. One such effort, “Implementing California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: Farmer Perceptions And The Balance Of Groundwater And Economic Sustainability”, has been supported by a recent $484,764 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An interdisciplinary team of researchers led by SEI will work with water users in Yolo County, California, to help form their groundwater sustainability agency and to draft a groundwater management plan.

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Written by aubreycohen

August 25, 2016 at 10:32 pm

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Can a rugged Latin American palm become a major sustainable biofuel source?

A huge demand has developed for oil for biodiesel and now also for aviation biofuel, but finding a sustainable source has been hard.

Oil palm is sturdy and highly productive, but grows best in wet tropical areas, and vast swaths of rainforest have been razed to make way for it. Jatropha also raised hopes, because it can grow in poor soil with minimal inputs, but it turned out not to be as hardy and self-sufficient as initially thought.

Now, Acrocomia aculeata, also called macaúba or macaw palm, is gaining attention as a potential sustainable biomass feedstock, particularly for biofuel. A newly published paper says the tree has promise, but also faces significant risks, and more study must be done before attempting commercial cultivation.

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Written by aubreycohen

June 24, 2016 at 1:45 pm

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SEI’s Science Forum 2016: Implementing Agenda 2030

At the fifth annual SEI Science Forum on Thursday, questions of sustainability got personal.

“Please meet my uncle’s family,” Evelin Piirsalu, a senior expert in SEI’s Tallinn Centre, told the audience. “They’re not super rich, but they get by quite well in Estonian terms.”

Piirsalu’s niece recently became a vegetarian to reduce her ecological footprint. “The problem was that the school canteen doesn’t really have vegetarian food.”

Her parents went to talk to school officials, who said their chef didn’t know how to make vegetarian dishes. Indeed, Estonians’ diets are heavy in meat – and even more troubling, food waste is a growing problem.

Piirsalu was part of a session on interlinkages in the 2030 Agenda at the Science Forum, which focused on challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Along with SEI researchers, the programme included top Swedish policy-makers and business leaders.

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Written by aubreycohen

May 21, 2016 at 9:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Ways to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance Possible

Most of us need car insurance, yet few of us fully understand it.

Dozens of car insurance companies may be vying for business in your area, including nationwide players and local insurers. Each offers an eye-glazing assortment of policy options, making it hard to compare policies and figure out what is the best and cheapest car insurance.

If you are looking for the lowest prices, there are some guidelines worth following as you do your research. Here are eight things you can do to ensure that you’re getting the best coverage at the best possible rate.

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Written by aubreycohen

January 20, 2016 at 4:48 pm

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State Farm Car Insurance Rate Hikes Draw Fire in Maryland

Maryland drivers have filed an unprecedented number of complaints against State Farm over the past year, after the insurer boosted car insurance rates for accidents that weren’t their fault or for a single emergency road service claim.

Maryland regulators found fault with some of the increases, which at times resulted from just one incident within the previous three years. State Farm has reversed some of the increases, showing the potential power of consumer complaints to the state insurance departments that regulate insurance companies.

The Maryland Insurance Administration is still investigating many of the complaints. State Farm is the No. 2 private passenger auto insurer in Maryland, with about 20% of market share in the state, according to A.M. Best. (Geico is No. 1 with about 23%.)

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Written by aubreycohen

November 5, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Retirement: How not to go broke before you die

You’ve spent a lifetime saving for and dreaming about a retirement perhaps filled with travel, volunteering or spending more time with family.

But as you consider your next chapter, you also have to make sure your nest egg lasts for the rest of your life.

By considering some basic investment rules and creating a detailed plan to handle everyday expenses and emergencies, you can make your retirement more comfortable and secure.

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Written by aubreycohen

May 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Rising Flood Insurance Costs May Bog Down Home Buyers

When Nicholas Pinter and his wife were shopping for a home, they avoided high-risk flood zones “at all costs.”

As Pinter puts it: “Why pick a potential disaster if you have a choice?”

Pinter would know, given that he’s a geology professor who studies flooding at Southern Illinois University.

“We’ve gone in and dealt with communities where the water’s been up to the third floor,” he says.

Flood insurance is essential protection in high-risk areas, but the price is going up, despite recent congressional action to ease the increases.

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Written by aubreycohen

May 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm

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Cash Value Life Insurance Is Useful … for Some

Stocks burned you in the recession. Now low interest rates are keeping you from making money on safer investments. Could cash value life insurance be a solution?

The short answer is: Maybe. Here’s the long answer.

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Written by aubreycohen

May 6, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Ways high schoolers can start managing their money

Corbin Atack sees some classmates putting little thought into managing money.

“A lot of them like to go out and buy lunch, because it’s a new thing you get to do in high school,” the Seattle ninth-grader says. They also spend on goodies like video games and basketball shoes.

But Atack and other teens have started setting money aside for pricier purchases and even as investments for the future.

Financial habits — good or bad — are established early. Financial experts and educators recommend five ways teens can start building good ones.

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Written by aubreycohen

April 29, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized