December 21, 2014

7:15 PM | What can Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs teach us about ecology, sustainability and conservation?
My family loves to watch movies, which presents a problem during the few times we’re all together: there are very few good movies that none of us have already seen. This past Thanksgiving, we resolved that dilemma by watching some “based on a true story” garbage starring Nicholas Cage and the star of High School […]
4:39 PM | Forget the Damned Motor Car
Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends. —Lewis Mumford, My Works and Days (1979) Humanity managed for the better part of 400,000 years without cars and did just fine. Julius Caesar, Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, Adam … Continue reading →

December 17, 2014

5:57 PM | Paths to Decarbonization: A Live Twitter Q&A
@UNSDSN is hosting a live Twitter Q&A on Friday, Dec. 19, from 1-2 p.m. EST with Jim Williams, chief scientist at Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. and lead author on the U.S. Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project report. You can send in your questions before and during the live chat on Twitter or Facebook by using #USDDPP.
1:44 PM | Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room Join Forces
Today Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), brain-child of famed energy thinker Amory Lovins, and Carbon War Room (CWR), the five-year old climate change outfit of Sir Richard Branson, merged to create a... -- Read more on

December 16, 2014

6:43 AM | No Endangered Listing for Dusky Sharks (and That’s a Good Thing)
Though the fisheries news cycle has mostly been taken up by the 15-year anniversary of the Sea Around Us project (and some choice words between researchers), today also marked the official announcement of the 12-month finding on the petition to list dusky sharks on the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  Long story short, the National Marine […]

December 15, 2014

9:51 PM | 2015 Internships at Center for Sustainable Investment
The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment is accepting applications for internship positions for the spring 2015 and summer 2015 semesters. Interns are staffed to one or more specific research projects depending on the background and interests of the particular applicant. Internships are generally unpaid, though some paid opportunities are available. Select work-study administrative positions are also available, and course credit can be granted in some cases.

December 11, 2014

4:03 AM | Sustainable Development Fall 2014 Workshop Briefings
This fall, students in the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development unveiled innovative solutions for sustainability issues as part of their Capstone Workshop. Under the guidance of professors Stuart Gaffin and Radley Horton, students worked as consultants for organizations such as the United States Military Academy at West Point, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and New York City's Office of Recovery and Resiliency. On December 5th, students gathered to present their final briefing […]

December 09, 2014

11:45 AM | One stop shop for information on internationally restricted chemicals
Contributed by Melanie Bateman, CABI Switzerland Together, the three conventions that govern chemicals and hazardous waste safety at the global level (the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions) have launched an online search tool for finding technical and scientific publications to support sound management of chemicals and waste: In particular, the member […]

December 08, 2014

7:40 PM | Toxic Chemicals All Around Us: Is Green Chemistry the Answer?
We live in a world filled with synthetic chemicals, many with known or suspected health hazards. Can green chemistry, the design of chemical products without hazardous substances, provide a solution?
4:53 PM | Rising Star Shows Passion for Sustainable Development Abroad
Alyssa Menz’ upbringing and interests have shaped her enthusiasm and fascination for environmental policy and human-environment interactions. Her studies in sustainable development and learning experiences abroad in Jordan, the Middle East and Kenya have further fueled her passion for international environmental policy and conflict resolution. After graduating from the program, Alyssa hopes to continue her sustainable development senior thesis research on sustainable bushmeat farming in
1:22 PM | #MapMonday: Biodiversity Map Shows Hemorrhaging of Species
For this #MapMonday we return to Yale’s Environmental Performance group, featured previously here on #MapMonday. The newly released biodiversity map brings together a whopping amount of data to... -- Read more on

December 04, 2014

6:43 PM | A Who’s Who of Sustainability Practitioners Headed to Campus
Sustainability is often about changing how organizations work. The Practicum in Innovative Sustainability Leadership course, added to the M.S. in Sustainability Management curriculum this spring, provides a forum where some of the world’s leading practitioners teach students how to make these changes.

December 03, 2014

7:30 PM | Steps Toward a Resilient and Sustainable Future
By Alan Hecht, Ph.D. The connection between sustainability and resilience—defined as the capacity to survive, adapt, and flourish in the face of turbulent change—is an emerging theme among a host of environmental organizations. I was happy to explore that important connection further with thought leaders from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Council for Science and […]
4:47 PM | Spring 2015 Undergraduate Research Assistant Opportunities
The Earth Institute will offer six research assistant opportunities for undergraduate students during the spring 2015 semester. Undergraduates from Columbia and Barnard will be able to serve as research assistants on research projects related to sustainable development and the environment with distinguished faculty and researchers at the cutting edge of this burgeoning field. While research assistant positions at Columbia are generally awarded to graduate students, this program instead aims […]
4:44 PM | Earth Institute Spring 2015 Internships
This spring, the Earth Institute is offering Columbia students opportunities to intern within various departments and research centers at the institute. All full-time Columbia and Barnard students are eligible to apply. These internships are funded at a rate of $15 an hour for 10 hours per week and up to a maximum of 120 hours for the spring 2015 semester. The
3:42 PM | Matching Funds Boost Contributions Made through Dec. 31
The Earth Institute will benefit this holiday season from matching gift funds from a dedicated Earth Institute donor, making your contribution all the more valuable. Thanks to the generosity of Betsee Parker, all contributions will be matched dollar for dollar up to $300,000 for contributions to the Earth Institute this holiday season. There’s no better time [...]

November 25, 2014

2:35 AM | Agriculture Requires Fertilizer Inputs, and That’s Good
Harvest time by joinash via Flickr. On a brown, August-dry field in Eastern Washington, a farmer in a combine cuts a 24-foot swath across a field of wheat. The harvested grain then begins a journey, first to the storage bin, then to the local elevator, on rail to a flour mill, by truck to a bakery, by oven to bread, and by car to a home where it is eaten. This is good; our foremost mandate to agriculture is to produce food. However, with this successful export of food from farm fields to nearby […]
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