Sustainability

Smokey Robinson Launches Smoke Alarm site to Fight Water-Borne Diseases
September 29, 2012 09:24 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit

Legendary R&B singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson has launched a social media site called Smoke Alarm as a way of getting the word out on important issues of the day. What makes Smoke Alarm so powerful is the number of celebrity participants he has on board, including Elton John, Hillary Duff, Daryl Hall, Eva Longoria and James Franco, among others who pass these messages along to their Facebook fans and Twitter followers. The site currently has over 44 million subscribers. The first issue that Smokey is tackling is a great one, the challenge of providing clean drinking water to millions of people around the world who do not have it.

Community Sharing: Saving Resources and Saving Money
September 28, 2012 09:15 AM - Samir Jeraj, The Ecologist

It started with Sam going around to his neighbour to borrow some milk. Things took a further step when one of them borrowed some chairs for a barbecue. Finally, the two neighbours decided the time had come to take down the fence between their gardens, to better enjoy the shared space. This is how StreetBank - an online tool sharing website - started. On a street in West London, two neighbours started to share what they each owned, replacing the idea of possessions with the more collaborative concept of shared tools.

Go Slowly to tap Namibia's groundwater
September 28, 2012 05:46 AM - Servaas van den Bosch, SciDevNet

The extraction of the much needed water from a large underground aquifer in northern Namibia may need to wait for further studies, officials have warned at a water investment conference. The aquifer, discovered in July, may contain enough water to sustain about one million people living in the area for 400 years at the current consumption rate, as well as boost development through irrigation in this poor, heavily overgrazed area where women and children walk for hours to get fresh water from boreholes. But officials and scientists have cautioned against too much optimism until further studies have been conducted. One reason is that the aquifer is under a smaller, polluted water resource, so it is still unclea

The Kathmandu Valley Needs Help!
September 27, 2012 05:56 AM - Joseph Mayton, The Ecologist

The once bustling Bagmati river has become the focal point of Nepal's struggle to bring modernity to this once isolated region. And the environment is struggling to survive, writes Joseph Mayton. It is "clean-up" day on Nepal’s major river, the Bagmati. Uniformed military personnel troll the banks of the river, picking up plastic bags and rubbish that has found its way onto the sides what once was the main thoroughfare for the Kathmandu Valley. Turning, with pieces in his hand, one officer lightly tosses the rubbish into the already polluted water.

Update - High Altitude Wind Energy Potential
September 26, 2012 05:35 AM - Dave Levitan, Yale Environment360

A host of start-up companies are exploring ways to harness the enormous amount of wind energy flowing around the earth, especially at high altitudes. But as these innovators are discovering, the engineering and regulatory challenges of what is known as airborne wind power are daunting. The wind turbines that increasingly dot the landscape peak at around 300 feet above ground, with the massive blades spinning a bit higher. The wind, however, does not peak at 300 feet. Winds are faster and more consistent the higher one climbs, maxing out in the jet streams at five miles and above.

New study analyzes challenges with international water-related projects
September 25, 2012 09:35 AM - Allison Winter, ENN

Large-scale water-related projects are a model global environmental issue. From dams controlling and rerouting water flow to providing access to clean drinking water and monitoring the nutrient quality of water resources, local, national, and international players often have to work together to manage these water resources. As trans-boundary issues are bound to arise, efforts need to be addressed in order to manage concerns. A new study of nearly 200 major international water-related projects over the past 20 years has identified existing and emerging challenges and how science can offer solutions.

World Rhino Day was this weekend
September 24, 2012 05:53 AM - NPR

If you had a sudden urge to put a horn on your head, not use your knees and chew on some leaves, you may be catching the spirit of World Rhino Day. It was celebrated all over the world this weekend with art shows, auctions, walk-a-thons and lectures with the theme of "Five Rhino Species Forever." It's not too late to keep Rhinoceros conservation in your thoughts and to make an effort to help them in your own way. The effort is to raise awareness for the threats posed to the rhinoceroses who are hunted for their horns, which are believed to have medicinal properties. The commemorative day is only in its second year, but it's caught on in zoos and conservation parks around the world.

The Problem with Tree Plantations
September 22, 2012 08:08 AM - Isaac Rojas, MONGABAY.COM

Today, September 21, is the "International Day of Struggle against Monoculture Tree Plantations", an annual event organized by a coalition of social and environmental groups. Here, Isaac Rojas, a Costa Rican who is Friends of the Earth International coordinator of its Forest and Biodiversity Program, expresses his view point on industrial plantations. Public environmental awareness has come a long way since September 1962, when Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring' was published, stimulating the birth of the environmental movement. This movement may be fifty years old, but nowadays you can feel 'green' by helping destroy forests instead of protecting them, for instance by clicking online a 'plant a tree' button on a seemingly well-meaning website.

Floating plastic, papyrus islands may help restore Lake Naivasha
September 21, 2012 11:20 AM - Allison Winter, ENN

Besides being known as the material for the first paper of ancient Egypt, papyrus is also very valuable in filtering water as it has the ability to recycle nutrients. In fact, plans are being implemented to plant papyrus on floating plastic islands which will help protect the ecosystem of a prominent water source known as Lake Naivasha in Kenya. Lake Naivasha is a large freshwater lake that has been ecologically suffering for the past 30 years. Dr Harper, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Leicester, who is in part responsible for the restoration attributes this decline to the population growth in the surrounding town due to the floriculture industry as cut flowers have become one of Kenya’s top grossers of foreign exchange.

Using Information and Communications Technology Promotes Sustainability in Cities
September 19, 2012 12:30 PM - Cameron Scherer, Worldwatch Institute

More than half of the world's population lives in urban areas, and countries such as India and China are in need of hundreds of additional cities to accommodate growing populations. People in many cities suffer from inadequate transportation, sub-standard buildings, lack of sanitation, and poor public safety, highlighting the need for sustainable and livable urban planning. Information and communication technology (ICT) can be a useful tool in helping cities improve their safety, cleanliness, and sustainability, according to Diana Lind, contributing author to Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity.

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