Environmental Policy

Envisioning the future of metal and mineral production
May 29, 2017 11:33 AM - Suzanne Greene via Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Metals and minerals form the base of our society, with diverse applications infiltrating all corners of our lives, including agriculture, infrastructure, transportation and information technology. As populations grow, and demand for metals and minerals rises, enhancing the sustainability of the sector is a goal for many companies, communities and policymakers.

To contribute to this, on May 11-12, MIT launched the Metals and Minerals for the Environment (MME) initiative with its first public symposium. MIT has long been home to research on myriad aspects of metals and minerals, and the MME Symposium serves to crystallize these efforts around the unique environmental and social challenges the sector faces.

Envisioning the future of metal and mineral production
May 29, 2017 11:33 AM - Suzanne Greene via Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Metals and minerals form the base of our society, with diverse applications infiltrating all corners of our lives, including agriculture, infrastructure, transportation and information technology. As populations grow, and demand for metals and minerals rises, enhancing the sustainability of the sector is a goal for many companies, communities and policymakers.

To contribute to this, on May 11-12, MIT launched the Metals and Minerals for the Environment (MME) initiative with its first public symposium. MIT has long been home to research on myriad aspects of metals and minerals, and the MME Symposium serves to crystallize these efforts around the unique environmental and social challenges the sector faces.

Tackling climate change: New options for BC's forest sector
May 29, 2017 10:20 AM - University of Victoria

British Columbia’s forestry sector can potentially make a major contribution to meeting the province’s climate targets through using a mix of regionally-specific harvest and stand management techniques, bioenergy investments and creating more long-lived wood products.

That’s a key message from a public presentation held this morning by the Forest Carbon Management Project, a multi-year collaborative effort created by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), involving scientists from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the University of British Columbia (UBC) and other agencies.

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.

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