Sustainability

Unconventional swine: how invasive pigs are helping preserve biodiversity in the Pantanal
May 6, 2013 12:38 PM - Erica Santana , MONGABAY.COM

Ordinarily, invasive and exotic species are a grave threat to native wildlife: outcompeting local species, introducing parasites and disease, and disturbing local ecological regimes. A unique case in the Brazilian Pantanal, however, has turned the tables; here, an introduced mammal has actually aided the conservation of native wildlife. The impact of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) is a serious threat to biodiversity in many ecosystems around the globe. Their destructive rooting behavior and voracious appetite are often severely damaging to populations of plants and small animals, not to mention they serve as a reservoir for a host of zoonotic diseases. In the Pantanal, however, introduced feral pigs have had a positive impact on wildlife communities and the local culture. The Pantanal region of South America, which extends beyond Brazil into Bolivia and Paraguay, is one of the largest freshwater wetlands on the planet and boasts a diversity of unique wildlife- but this hasn't always been the case.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles May Get Protected Habitat
May 4, 2013 07:33 AM - Center for Biological Diversity

Endangered loggerhead sea turtles won a federal commitment to protect critical nesting-beach and ocean habitat in a legal settlement filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court between conservation groups Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana and Turtle Island Restoration Network and the U.S. government. By July 1, 2013, the government must identify and propose protection of loggerhead sea turtle feeding, breeding and migratory habitat in ocean waters in the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific oceans and in the Gulf of Mexico. Final critical habitat protection for marine habitat and nesting beaches must be completed by July 1, 2014. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently proposed critical habitat protection for loggerhead nesting beaches along Atlantic and Gulf coasts and will accept public comment until May 24. Protecting critical habitat for loggerheads is essential for their recovery. Studies show that endangered and threatened species with protected habitat are twice as likely to be recovering as those without.

Atlantic Cup Race Now Carbon-Neutral
May 2, 2013 01:18 PM - Guest Contributor Andrea Oki

The 2013 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing has announced its final plans and competition field for the third annual running of the premier Class 40 sailing event in the country. The event will feature seven boats; six from the USA and one from Great Britain, with race organizers once again making a strong commitment to eco-friendly sailing. Last year, in partnership with 11th Hour Racing and Green Mountain Energy Company, the Atlantic Cup became the first carbon-neutral sailing race in the USA by offsetting an estimated 23,030 pounds (10.45 metric tons) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Sailors for the Sea (SfS) certified the event Gold in 2012, with SfS unveiling a new Platinum level certification in 2013 that the Atlantic Cup will strive for. Teams will set sail from Charleston, S.C. on Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. EDT on a 648 nautical mile race to New York Harbor for the second leg of the competition (May 14-17), before departing on May 18 on a 231 nautical mile final leg of competition. The annual event culminates in Newport, R.I. with two days of Inshore racing (May 25 — 26). The field includes the USA’s Pleiad Racing, Dragon, Gryphon Solo 2, Icarus Racing, Bodacious Dream and Lecoq Cuisine, along with Great Britain’s 40 Degrees.

Economic development 'can restore lost biodiversity'
May 2, 2013 06:26 AM - Bernard Appiah, SciDevNet

Economic development can lead to increased biodiversity restoration in Sub-Saharan Africa, on a similar scale to its loss due to development, according to a study. Biodiversity loss is one of the important environmental threats that humanity faces, the study says, and it disproportionately harms the world's poorest people, who are less able to adjust to it, as they have limited access to alternatives then using natural resources for livelihoods.

The $40 Billion in US Buildings
April 30, 2013 04:31 PM - Elisa Wood, Clean Techies

A pretty big wad of money — $40 billion — is hiding somewhere inside the lights, AC, thermostats, furnaces and fans of our offices, stores, hospitals and schools. That's the amount of money the federal government estimates we can save annually by reducing energy use in commercial buildings 20 percent by 2020. To achieve the goal, the Obama administration in 2011 initiated the Better Buildings Challenge, a way to encourage investment, share information and create demonstration projects that save energy.

Extended Range Electric & Hybrid Cars that Reduce Environmental Impacts
April 30, 2013 06:10 AM - Maria Ortega, Global Warming is Real

According to National Geographic, more than half the air pollution in the United States is caused by mobile devices, primarily by automobiles. These greenhouse gases that vehicles emit, such as carbon dioxide, are wreaking havoc on the ozone layer as well as polluting the soil and surface water in many cases. Bottom line— while cars are an everyday necessity and convenience, they're not doing the environment any favors. That's part of the reason why the federal government is offering tax incentives to those who purchase hybrid or electric vehicles, as well as challenging automakers to develop vehicles by 2025 that are able to achieve 55 mpg on the highway. It’s a bold goal but, as you can see from how much cars are responsible for pollution, it’s a necessary one that’s becoming more important.

Supermarket delivery services are greener than driving to shop
April 29, 2013 01:05 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

A new academic research study has revealed it is better for the environment to order the weekly supermarket shop to be delivered to your doorstep with carbon emission savings of up to 75%. University of Washington engineers have found that using a supermarket delivery service can cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least half when compared with individual household trips to the store. Trucks filled to capacity that deliver to customers clustered in neighborhoods produced the most savings in carbon dioxide emissions.

Los Angeles Celebrates Launch of Largest Municipal Solar Program in U.S.
April 29, 2013 08:44 AM - Bonnie Hulkower, Triple Pundit

Los Angeles, a city more often known for its celebrity sightings and Hollywood stars, also shines bright in the solar arena. The City of Angels has dazzled in the last decade with a strong record of sustainability. So much so that on April 19th, local and national government representatives as well as business leaders gathered to celebrate the launch of the city's solar Feed in Tariff (FIT) program (Clean L.A. Solar Program) at the Los Angeles Business Council's (LABC) Sustainability Summit. The program focused on how to harness sustainability programs and regulatory initiatives for job growth.

EV's will help balance the electric grid
April 29, 2013 06:19 AM - EurActiv

A technology developed with the University of Delaware has sold power from electric vehicles to the power grid for the first time, the power company NRG Energy Inc said on Friday (26 April). In a joint statement, the university and NRG said that they began work on the so-called eV2g program in September 2011 to provide a two-way interface between electric vehicles and the power grid, enabling vehicle-owners to sell electricity back to the grid while they are charging their cars. NRG said the project became an official participant in the PJM frequency regulation market on February 27. The system, which is still in development, is not yet commercially-available.

Which emits more CO2, corn fields or home lawns?
April 28, 2013 08:46 AM - ScienceDaily

More carbon dioxide is released from residential lawns than corn fields according to a new study. And much of the difference can likely be attributed to soil temperature. The data, from researchers at Elizabethtown College, suggest that urban heat islands may be working at smaller scales than previously thought. These findings provide a better understanding of the changes that occur when agricultural lands undergo development and urbanization to support growing urban populations.

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