Sustainability

Greece Considers Sacrificing Environment to Save Economy
October 17, 2013 10:37 AM - KATERINA BATZAKI, Worldwatch Institute

In crisis-hit Greece, government decisions taken in haste and despair to save the country from default, risk having a serious impact on the environment. A new bill seeks to relax restrictions on construction of public and private forestland even for those areas, which are considered protected.

Freshwater biodiversity
October 17, 2013 06:16 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The biodiversity of our rivers, lakes, and ponds has gone largely un-addressed in our efforts to predict the impacts of land development. Planners look at increased runoff and the potential for downstream flooding, and on pollutant discharges and contamination issues. The biodiversity of freshwater bodies is also impacted buy development and agricultural activities, but until now, there was no good way to predict what the impacts might be of land use changes. A team of UW-Madison researchers is hoping to help change that narrative and add a little ecology to economic decision making by forecasting how future policies regarding urban development and agricultural cultivation may impact aquatic ecosystems, which harbor astounding amounts of biodiversity and provide humans with vital goods and services. "The idea is to see what future land use changes may look like under different policies, and think about where potential threats to freshwater would be most severe," says Sebastián Martinuzzi, a post-doctoral researcher. "We are not trying to predict the 'true' future, but rather to visualize potential economic trends and their environmental consequences."

Dire warning about the health of the world's oceans
October 16, 2013 03:01 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The world's oceans are vast, containing massive amounts of water. Oceanic water is thought by some to be so vast that it can't be seriously impacted by man or by climate change. But a new study looking at the impacts of climate change on the world’s ocean systems concludes that by the year 2100, about 98 percent of the oceans will be affected by acidification, warming temperatures, low oxygen, or lack of biological productivity — and most areas will be stricken by a multitude of these stressors. These biogeochemical changes triggered by human-generated greenhouse gas emissions will not only affect marine habitats and organisms, the researchers say, but will often co-occur in areas that are heavily used by humans.

Air quality still not good in European cities
October 16, 2013 06:24 AM - EurActiv

More than 90% of Europeans living in cities are exposed to unsafe levels one of the most health damaging air pollutants, with Bulgaria having the dirtiest air among EU countries, says a new study by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Despite falling emission levels and reductions of some air pollutant concentrations over the past decades, EU air pollution is still far from being solved, according to the report, 'Air quality in Europe — 2013'.

Breaking Urban Ground for Community Gardens
October 15, 2013 05:15 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Community Gardens bring people together, builds relationships, improves quality of life and activates communities through its bounty, exercise, therapy, education, family budget augmentation, social interaction and neighborhood beautification. A community garden can be used for food, ornamental gardening, urban forestry, preservation and management of open space, memorial gardening and any other types of gardening that a community collectively values. But much goes into creating one especially if it's an urban garden.

"Collegiate Corner", COMING SOON!
October 15, 2013 11:12 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

ENN is launching a new section called the "Collegiate Corner" for college and university students at ALL levels (undergrad, grad and PhD) to submit original work for publication. We are looking for environmental writing and scientific studies. This is an opportunity for students to become recognized in their field utilizing their own writing and work. Items considered appropriate include research papers, posters, or studies to include any of the following subjects: toxicology, land use, biology, regulatory, social, economic, health, etc. Preferred works include those that are either global in appeal or their lessons can be applied globally.

Meeting Sustainable Business Goals
October 15, 2013 10:31 AM - Mike Hower, Triple Pundit

More than two thirds of CEOs (67 percent) believe that business is not doing enough to address global sustainability challenges, while the same percentage report that the private sector is not making sufficient efforts to address global sustainability challenges, according to a survey by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture.

Re-Inventing Small Manufacturing Towns in the 21st Century
October 14, 2013 02:27 PM - Skeo Solutions, Triple Pundit

Our company has seen firsthand the disastrous consequences that occur when financial gain is divorced from environmental and social considerations. Nowhere are these consequences more tragic than in former company towns that have gone bust — places created to concentrate workers on a singular economic enterprise, but are now landscapes of abandoned assets, economic atrophy and poisoned land and water. They include mining towns in the West and Appalachia, lumber towns in the Northwest, textile villages in New England and the Southeast, steel towns in the Rust Belt, and motor cities in the Midwest. These places struggle with the aftermath of environmental contamination, economic disinvestment and frayed social fabrics. More than anything, these communities are looking for new ways to build a secure and sustainable future.

Freeing the Elwha!
October 14, 2013 12:01 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Exciting and dramatic changes have taken place in the Elwha River in the last two years with the removal of two dams. The Glines Canyon Dam (1927) and the Elwha Dam (1910) were removed to restore the watershed’s ecology unblocking passage for migratory salmon. Salmon have already begun to find their way up the newly freed river. Since the time of their building many things have changed about our understanding of river system ecology causing an ever-increasing movement to remove them. The Elwha River dam removal project is currently the largest one in history.

Solar-powered car competition winner
October 14, 2013 06:22 AM - Tafline Laylin, Green Prophet

Stella, a solar-powered family car designed by students from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in has won the World Solar Challenge 2013, ushering in a new era of efficient, practical cruisers that get all of their juice from the sun. Solar Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands spent over a year developing their family car, which features photovoltaic solar panels on both the roof and rear, according to Dezeen. The latter are flipped up to optimize solar absorption and generate energy while the car is not in use.

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