August 29, 2014

3:48 AM | A Map to Build Roads to a Better Future
When I learned that the pesticide DDT–widely toxic and now widely banned–has snaked its way into polar bears and beluga whales, I questioned if any environment remains pristine on terrestrial Earth. Perhaps, the thick, hostile and unyielding rainforests of Borneo might prove a bastion? Then in 2013, satellite images showed roads penetrating deep into Borneo. […]

Laurance, W., Clements, G., Sloan, S., O’Connell, C., Mueller, N., Goosem, M., Venter, O., Edwards, D., Phalan, B., Balmford, A. & Van Der Ree, R. (2014). A global strategy for road building, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13717


August 27, 2014

5:14 PM | Food, Politics and Sustainability: An Introduction to the Native American Food Sovereignty Movement
Throughout the United States a movement for food sovereignty has emerged among a number of Tribal Nations and communities. ‘Food sovereignty’ was first coined by members of La Via Campesina in […]

August 26, 2014

8:18 PM | How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests?
There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests—also known as old-growth forests—are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it.
1:41 AM | A Hangout with Google Science Fair in Swaziland
You know what’s awesome? Seeing a bunch of young people at work on changing the world to make it a better place for all. Today, I hosted a Google Science Fair Hangout On Air on Sustainability... -- Read more on

August 25, 2014

7:04 PM | The Energy to Fight Injustice
The enormity of these anti-nuclear policy decisions is difficult to exaggerate. Energy consumption is an inescapable requirement of development, and renewable energy sources alone cannot satisfy the energy demands of China and other developing nations. They now have no choice but to burn massive amounts of coal if they wish to raise their living standards.

August 22, 2014

1:13 PM | Did Congestion Charging Just Go Viral?
What is congestion charging? Congestion charging or pricing is the practice of setting up cordon tolls around the city on a large-scale to charge entrants for entering during peak hours. Ideally,... -- Read more on

August 21, 2014

2:56 PM | Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging
As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things would be pretty good, but unfortunately, that is where things fall apart in many tropical countries,' Cannon said.

August 19, 2014

6:00 PM | The Importance of Debating Energy Policies—Not Technologies
As a researcher working in the area of energy technology and policy, I often find myself drawn into debates surrounding certain energy technologies, and what role they should play in the future... -- Read more on

August 18, 2014

12:00 PM | The 3 Dumbest Products Sold By Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods "Whole Body" products.I have a love-hate relationship with Whole Foods Market. On the one hand, I love their fresh produce, their baked goods, and many other food choices there. On the other hand, they seem to have embraced anti-science positions in the interest of keeping everything “natural.”Before describing what they do wrong, let’s start with some things they get right. Their seafood sustainability policy supports fishing practices that allow wild […]

August 15, 2014

6:00 PM | Nothing else left to log: are eco-certified timber companies stripping Russia off its last old growth forests?
Among Russia’s forested lands lie intact forest landscapes (or IFLs). These IFLs are large swaths of unbroken, old growth forests that encompass at least 50,000 hectares, harbor high biodiversity, and have remained mostly undisturbed by development. However, less than 10 percent of the world’s IFLs are currently protected. Now, a new report reveals Russia's IFLs may be threatened by certified sustainable logging companies.
4:00 PM | Will de Blasio and Cuomo Make Sustainability a Higher Priority?
The Earth Institute's Executive Director Steve Cohen discusses the future of sustainability in New York City and the New York state under the administrations of de Blasio and Cuomo.

August 13, 2014

7:57 PM | Searching for Sustainabile Clothing in India
Andrew Flachs researchers the trials of Indian farmers and their rush toward modern farming practices, such as GMO crops and new pesticides. With time to reflect on his journey, he explains why these farmers do what they do, and why the question of how to approach farming is a complex one.

August 08, 2014

4:26 AM | Fin-Body Ratios for Smooth Dogfish – Depends on How You Slice It
The 2010 Shark Conservation Act prohibits removal of fins at sea for all sharks landed in U.S. Waters, with a glaring exception for smooth dogfish, or smoothhound sharks.  In an effort to ensure that fishermen aren’t performing the cruel practice of throwing a still-living but finless shark overboard, a fin:body ratio of 12% for smooth […]
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