September 29, 2014

1:36 PM | Map Monday: Will Global Warming Drown Your Hometown?
You may recently have read about climate change and North Carolina for all the wrong reasons, entailing laws designed to forbid the mentioning of the term “climate change” as well as outright banning... -- Read more on

September 26, 2014

5:02 PM | MPA Alum Focuses on Marine Conservation
Olivia Kemp, a 2013 alumna of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, is using the skills she developed in the program to develop her career focusing on conservation, food security and sustainable development. Now with Blue Ventures, Kemp is working with local communities in Madagascar to create a focus on community-led marine conservation.

September 24, 2014

9:04 PM | Hatchets, Ratchets & Pivots: Book Talk by Ruth DeFries
As Professor Ruth DeFries aptly stated in her opening remarks at yesterday’s book launch for "The Big Ratchet," if you look at satellite pictures of the earth, you see the imprint of the human species everywhere. Humans have come to dominate the planet. But how did this come to be? This question, among others, is what DeFries hopes to answer in her new book, "The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis." How did humans acquire the capability to spread out over the […]

September 22, 2014

10:00 AM | From Sustainable IT to IT for Sustainability
Zhenhua Liu, HLF14 participant: Today it is recognized that data centers are a significant consumer of energy resources and a substantial source of greenhouse gas pollution. Statistics abound: Worldwide data centers consume as much electricity as the United Kingdom does. The Internet produces emissions comparable to the airline industry. An individual server has emissions nearly as large as a car. And IT companies such as Facebook spend millions each month on the electricity bills for […]

September 21, 2014

8:57 PM | Public Health in the News – September 21, 2014
Global Induced pluripotent stem cells, also known as iPS cells, are formed when researchers take adult cells and cause them to turn into stem cells. It has long been thought that iPS cells may be useful for new types of therapies, and now for the first time a Japanese group has used these cells in […]

September 18, 2014

8:52 PM | New Executive Program on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture
The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment will be addressing the challenges of sustainable agricultural investment in its inaugural Executive Training Program on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture, which will be held at Columbia University from March 8-13, 2015.
6:40 PM | The World's Population Is Unlikely To Stabilize This Century
Contrary to previous projections, it now appears that the world's population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There's at least an 80% chance that between 9.6 and 12.3 billion humans will inhabit the Earth by 2100 — and much of this increase will happen in Africa.Read more...

September 17, 2014

4:55 PM | Photo Essay: Open House at Lamont-Doherty
Bend a rock. Channel your historic 'birthquake.' Check out rocks, fossils, sediment cores and more at Lamont's Open House on Saturday, October 11.
3:34 PM | What Everyone Should Know About Climate Change
Climate scientist William D’Andrea of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory asked young scientists attending a symposium last October, "What do you wish everyone knew about climate change?" He turned the responses into this video, which covers the topic pretty well.

September 16, 2014

5:52 PM | Is the Highest Climb Sustainable, and Who Pays the Price?
The Khumbu Icefall on Mount Everest is perhaps the most well-known and notoriously dangerous glacial feature on the planet. In a fresh post on the Glacier Hub blog, the Earth Institute’s Ben Orlove, writing with anthropologist Pasang Yangjee Sherpa of Penn State, recounts a recent workshop held in Kathmandu to address the issues raised by the tragic deaths last spring of 16 Nepalese guides who were preparing the trail for this year’s climbing expeditions.

September 15, 2014

5:24 PM | Join the Earth Institute for Climate Week NYC
From heads of state to ordinary citizens, thousands of people will gather for more than 100 events during Climate Week NYC. They’ll be talking and debating the rights of nature, corporate leadership, the threat from rising seas, innovations for social good and innumerable other topics. The Earth Institute and its centers will be engaged in several events.

September 12, 2014

2:06 AM | Less is more with the Water Use Efficiency Initiative
Australia is not what you’d call over-burdened with water, and yet we grow vast amounts of wheat and other grains. To continue to do so, we need to use the water we have as efficiently as possible. To do more with less. Together with the Grains Research and Development Corporation, we started a multi-pronged project […]

September 11, 2014

6:28 PM | Selling snow to eskimos
… or talking about urban cycling in Oldenburg. Today I participated in a workshop on sustainable mobility which was held in the context of this year’s EnviroInfo conference. There I had the chance to present (slides here ) our research on bicycle safety as fundament of a comprihensive bicycle promotion strategy. Before I came to […]
4:30 PM | Larry Gibson and the Lobster Boat
There are many brave people who recognize the climate crisis and are beginning to stand up and take personal risks to try to stop expansion of the fossil fuel industry, across the United States, in Canada, and in other nations. Their courage is remarkable and I hope it has an awakening effect.
3:26 PM | Next big idea in forest conservation? Harness the power of marketing
As a whole, conservationists have been slow to adapt the strategies of marketing or to market conservation at all. Dr. Diogo Veríssimo, a researcher who works at the interface between social and natural sciences, with a focus on behavior change and evidence-based conservation, thinks this needs to change.

September 10, 2014

2:00 PM | PARIS III: EPA’s Solvent Substitution Software Tool
By Paul Harten, Ph.D. For decades, companies have used chemicals or solvents to improve the performance of their industrial processes.  Unfortunately, many of these solvents are released as harmful wastes into our environment.  EPA researchers are helping reduce that practice. Recently, my colleagues and I developed a software tool, called PARIS III, that helps companies […]

September 09, 2014

7:19 PM | How Can Federal and City Governments Cooperate? The Case of Green Infrastructure
With support from the Earth Institute, writers Caswell Holloway, Carter Strickland, Michael Gerrard, and Daniel Firger recently published "Solving the CSO Conundrum: Green Infrastructure and the Unfulfilled Promise of Federal-Municipal Cooperation" in Harvard Environmental Law Review. The authors propose regulatory and policy reform to develop comprehensive, locally led infrastructure and sustainability initiatives that improve public health and the environment. They look specifically at the […]

September 08, 2014

9:31 PM | EuroTrash: How Sweden Turns Gunk to Gold
Importing garbage for energy is good business for Sweden from Sweden on Vimeo.
7:42 PM | The Big Ratchet
Environmental geographer Ruth DeFries, a pioneer in studying how humans have transformed earth’s surface, is author of the new book The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. She argues that we have  continually created new technologies that allow our numbers to grow. But  each new invention creates a new problem—which [...]

September 04, 2014

7:20 PM | A Business Case for Restoring and Protecting Ecosystems
Jeffery Potent writes about how corporations are thinking about their impact on ecosystems in terms of economic quantification in order to achieve more sustainable practices. His upcoming EICES certificate course will also explore how leading corporations are innovating to address environmental and social issues from a business perspective.

September 03, 2014

3:25 PM | West Coast Fish Upgraded to Sustainable Seafood Choice
One of the key fisheries on the West Coast is coming back after years of decline.
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