• Impacts of Bottom Trawling on Fisheries, Tourism, and the Marine Environment

    Fishing is one of the most important employers and sources of protein for coastal communities in Belize. Yet bottom trawls and other kinds of unselective fishing gear cause harm to other fisheries and to the marine environment by catching juvenile fish, damaging the seafloor, and leading to overfishing. >> Read the Full Article
  • Renewable Energy Incentives Future in Danger

    Political rancor seems likely to derail a vitally important piece of legislation affecting the renewable energy sector. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) grant scheme was introduced as part of the 2009 U.S. stimulus package, and it was considered a key piece of legislation by the green sector because it supported the industry during an economic recession when venture capital all but dried up. >> Read the Full Article
  • Supreme Court Grants Review in Key Climate Change Lawsuit

    On December 6, the Supreme Court granted review of the climate change climate tort suit Connecticut v. American Electric Power ("AEP"), setting the stage for a major decision on the availability of common law remedies for climate-related harms. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who presided over oral arguments in the case while a judge on the Second Circuit, did not participate in the Supreme Court's consideration of the petition for review. Justice Sotomayor is expected to recuse herself when the case comes before the Court. >> Read the Full Article
  • New Google Earth Technology Allows Tracking of Environmental Changes

    Google has unveiled an online technology that allows scientists and researchers to track and measure changes to the environment using 25 years worth of satellite data. Google Earth Engine, introduced during climate talks in Cancun, utilizes "trillions of scientific measurements" collected by NASA's LANDSAT satellite, the company said. Google is already working on applications for tracking deforestation and mapping land use trends, including the creation of the most comprehensive scale map of Mexico's forest and water resources ever made. >> Read the Full Article
  • Peak Oil, Then Coal

    When will production of oil and coal peak? After the peak, production will decline because supplies are being depleted and no new sources are to be found. Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. Optimistic estimations of peak production forecast the global decline will begin by 2020 or later, and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis, without requiring major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used. Pessimistic predictions of future oil production operate on the thesis that either the peak has already occurred, that oil production is on the cusp of the peak, or that it will occur shortly. The most recent edition of the respected science journal Nature contemplates the end of cheap coal with an analysis of the decline of global coal supplies by Post Carbon Institute Fellows David Fridley and Richard Heinberg. The estimates for global peak coal production vary wildly. Many coal associations suggest the peak could occur in 200 years or more, while scholarly estimates predict the peak to occur as early as 2010. Research in 2009 by the University of Newcastle in Australia concluded that global coal production could peak sometime between 2010 and 2048. >> Read the Full Article
  • Governments around the World are Acting to Reduce their Footprints

    The sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP16) in Cancun is the latest UN effort to get the international community to act on climate change. Although COP16 is not expected to produce a binding agreement, many governments have adopted initiatives to diminish their environmental impacts and carbon footprint. >> Read the Full Article
  • Polluted Holidays in Iran

    A holiday is supposed to be a fun off day to enjoy life in some fashion. For the second time in a month, heavy air pollution in Iran's smog-filled capital has forced authorities to close government offices and schools and declare a two-day public holiday because of the health dangers of being outdoors. Yet this happened in July 2009 too when Iranian authorities declared public holiday in the capital Tehran after a sandstorm blotted out the already heavily polluted city. All of this is caused by several factors, some man made and some due to local climate and geological conditions. It is also not unique for Tehran though that city is suffering in the extreme. >> Read the Full Article
  • Seoul: on course to be one of the world's greenest cities?

    Seoul, host of this year's G20, is well on the way to achieving its goal of becoming one of the world's most eco-friendly cities. But, as Anna Sheldrick reports, there may be room for improvement elsewhere in South Korea. >> Read the Full Article
  • International Tiger Conservation Forum is over, now the hard work begins

    The International Tiger Conservation Forum concluded in St Petersburg this week, with the heads of governments of the 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRC) adopting a declaration designed to help save the wild cats from extinction. The prime ministers declared that they will "strive to double the number of wild tigers by 2022." The worldwide tiger population has declined from 100,000 to just over 3,000 over the past century. The International Tiger Summit, hosted by the northwestern Russian city of St. Petersburg which ran from November 21-24 had heads of governments discussing a plan to double the animal's population in 12 years. The plan will require up to $350 million in funding from the international community. >> Read the Full Article
  • Offshore Wind Power to Take Flight Off Atlantic Coast

    On the heels of yesterday’s good news about progress for offshore wind energy in Massachusetts, today the Obama Administration announced a major new initiative to accelerate the development of clean, offshore wind power along the Atlantic Coast. The Interior Department, (DOI), Governor O’Malley of Maryland and the President of the Offshore Wind Development Coalition, Jim Lanard, made this encouraging announcement for renewable energy in America today. The primary announcement - over the next 60 days the administration will identify wind energy areas, (WEA), that are most promising for potential offshore wind development. They have been working with many eastern states, state-based task forces and stakeholders to determine these areas and identify what they believe will be the best places for siting this renewable energy source. >> Read the Full Article