Environmental Policy

Factories that forage
May 26, 2017 11:48 AM - University of Cambridge

Professor Steve Evans calls himself "an angry environmental optimist". Angry because he feels we are borrowing from the future, but optimistic because many of the problems with regard to the environment are perfectly solvable.

"We have reached clean energy parity," he says. "Renewable energy is not just cleaner than other forms; it is now cheaper."

Research suggests eating beans instead of beef would sharply reduce greenhouse gasses
May 22, 2017 03:49 PM - Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center

A team of researchers from four American universities says the key to reducing harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) in the short term is more likely to be found on the dinner plate than at the gas pump.

The team, headed by Loma Linda University (LLU) researcher Helen Harwatt, PhD, suggests that one simple change in American eating habits would have a large impact on the environment: if Americans would eat beans instead of beef, the United States would immediately realize approximately 50 to 75 percent of its GHG reduction targets for the year 2020.

Research suggests eating beans instead of beef would sharply reduce greenhouse gasses
May 22, 2017 03:49 PM - Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center

A team of researchers from four American universities says the key to reducing harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) in the short term is more likely to be found on the dinner plate than at the gas pump.

The team, headed by Loma Linda University (LLU) researcher Helen Harwatt, PhD, suggests that one simple change in American eating habits would have a large impact on the environment: if Americans would eat beans instead of beef, the United States would immediately realize approximately 50 to 75 percent of its GHG reduction targets for the year 2020.

Researchers find computer code that Volkswagen used to cheat emissions tests
May 22, 2017 02:02 PM - University of California - San Diego

An international team of researchers has uncovered the mechanism that allowed Volkswagen to circumvent U.S. and European emission tests over at least six years before the Environmental Protection Agency put the company on notice in 2015 for violating the Clean Air Act. During a year-long investigation, researchers found code that allowed a car’s onboard computer to determine that the vehicle was undergoing an emissions test. The computer then activated the car’s emission-curbing systems, reducing the amount of pollutants emitted. Once the computer determined that the test was over, these systems were deactivated.

Vanishing Borneo: Saving One of the World's Last Great Places
May 19, 2017 02:13 PM - Alex Shoumatoff via Yale Environment 360

Palm oil is the second-most important oil in the modern consumer society, after petroleum. Producing it is a $50-billion-a-year business. It’s in a multitude of the household products in North America, Europe, and Australia: margarine, toothpaste, shampoo, lipstick, cookies, Nutella, you name it. Doritos are saturated with palm oil. It’s what gives chocolate bars their appetizing sheen – otherwise, they would look like mud. Palm oil has replaced artery-clogging ghee as India’s main cooking oil. India is now the major consumer of this clear, tasteless oil squeezed from the nuts of the oil-palm tree, Elais guyanensis, originally from West Africa, but now grown pantropically, mainly within ten degrees north and south of the Equator.

Vanishing Borneo: Saving One of the World's Last Great Places
May 19, 2017 02:13 PM - Alex Shoumatoff via Yale Environment 360

Palm oil is the second-most important oil in the modern consumer society, after petroleum. Producing it is a $50-billion-a-year business. It’s in a multitude of the household products in North America, Europe, and Australia: margarine, toothpaste, shampoo, lipstick, cookies, Nutella, you name it. Doritos are saturated with palm oil. It’s what gives chocolate bars their appetizing sheen – otherwise, they would look like mud. Palm oil has replaced artery-clogging ghee as India’s main cooking oil. India is now the major consumer of this clear, tasteless oil squeezed from the nuts of the oil-palm tree, Elais guyanensis, originally from West Africa, but now grown pantropically, mainly within ten degrees north and south of the Equator.

When nature meets the urban jungle
May 11, 2017 08:19 AM - Ryerson University

Can nature thrive (or even survive) in an urban jungle? Can ecology and architecture be successfully integrated? Ryerson students are taking a critical and creative look at nature and infrastructure with Ecological Urbanism, a new exhibit at Urbanspace Gallery.

Policies to Curb Short-Lived Climate Pollutants Could Yield Major Health Benefits
May 4, 2017 04:21 PM - Duke University

A commitment to reducing global emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as methane and black carbon could slow global warming while boosting public health and agricultural yields, aligning the Paris Climate Agreement with global sustainable development goals, a new analysis by an international research panel shows.

Methane and black carbon – or soot – are the second and third most powerful climate-warming agents after carbon dioxide. They also contribute to air pollution that harms the health of billions of people worldwide and reduces agricultural yields.

Policies to Curb Short-Lived Climate Pollutants Could Yield Major Health Benefits
May 4, 2017 04:21 PM - Duke University

A commitment to reducing global emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as methane and black carbon could slow global warming while boosting public health and agricultural yields, aligning the Paris Climate Agreement with global sustainable development goals, a new analysis by an international research panel shows.

Methane and black carbon – or soot – are the second and third most powerful climate-warming agents after carbon dioxide. They also contribute to air pollution that harms the health of billions of people worldwide and reduces agricultural yields.

Modified soybeans yield more in future climate conditions
May 3, 2017 02:29 PM - Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

By 2050, we will need to feed 2 billion more people on less land. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide levels are predicted to hit 600 parts per million—a 50% increase over today’s levels—and 2050 temperatures are expected to frequently match the top 5% hottest days from 1950-1979. In a three-year field study, researchers proved engineered soybeans yield more than conventional soybeans in 2050’s predicted climatic conditions.

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