• Mount Merapi!

    Mount Merapi(literally Mountain of Fire in Indonesian/Javanese), is an active stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. It has erupted repeatedly this fall. The most recent eruption saw almost 200 killed and more than 360,000 people flee their homes. The Decade Volcanoes refer to the 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. Now why do people live near such devastating potential natural disasters? >> Read the Full Article
  • Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo Outlines Environmental Agenda for New York

    Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo released a 160-page environmental agenda for New York on Saturday, October 30, three days before he was elected to be New York's next Governor on January 1st, 2011. The document allows some insight into the vision and priorities of the next administration with regard to the environment. >> Read the Full Article
  • New Era of Taxis

    For those familiar with big cities, they are well aware of the ever present taxi sluggishly moving through the streets and making frequent stops. Obviously they emit plenty if air emissions. Better Place, who are a leading electric vehicles service provider with the support of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is planning on bringing a switchable battery, electric taxi program to the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco became in 2005 one of the first cities to introduce hybrids vehicles for taxi service, with a fleet of 15 Ford Escape Hybrids; the original Escape Hybrids were retired after 300,000 miles per vehicle. Meanwhile two electric taxi prototypes have recently debuted in London. They are based on vehicles from Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, two of Europe’s largest producers of taxi cabs. A third demonstration project is in Tokyo, a city that has some 60,000 taxis – more than London, Paris, and New York combined. >> Read the Full Article
  • War-torn Vietnam Attempts to Replant its Forests

    There are few regions around the world that have seen less battle in the last 50 years than Vietnam. The conflict during the 1960s and early 1970s left a huge impact of the country's natural ecosystems. Then after the war, agriculture and the logging industry destroyed even larger areas. Now, a consensus on how to replant the forests remains elusive. >> Read the Full Article
  • Gov. Paterson Proposes Eliminating New York Participation in Federal Superfund Program

    In a radio interview last week, outgoing New York Governor David Paterson announced his plans to eliminate the state's participation in the federal Superfund cleanup program. The proposal is one of several cuts designed to reduce the state's budget deficit and accommodate the proposed layoffs of an additional 898 state employees by the year's end, including 150 in the Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC"). >> Read the Full Article
  • Oil and ice: a potentially horrible combination

    When writer Anton Chekhov arrived on the Russian island of Sakhalin in 1890, he was overwhelmed by the harsh conditions at the Tsarist penal colony. More than a century on, Sakhalin's prisoners have been replaced by oil and gas workers, most of whom seem to agree that Chekhov's description still fits. The sparsely populated island -- which is the length of Britain -- has some of the most extreme weather on earth. Marine cyclones and violent snowstorms rip through its forested hills, and the ocean waters off its northern coast freeze solid for a good part of the year. In winter, temperatures drop to minus 40 Celsius and snow can pile three meters high. >> Read the Full Article
  • Cool The Earth With Geoengineering? Maybe too risky to try...What could possibly go wrong?

    At a recent meeting in Japan of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, diplomats tried to set some rules for future geoengineers. They issued what some are calling a moratorium on all geoengineering activities until the science is clear and there are global regulations in place. If you want to see what geoengineering might look like, go back to 1991, to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, in the Philippines. The volcano spewed almost 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. Those particles can reflect sunlight back into space, and for a while, that's exactly what happened. Temperatures around the world dropped by an average of half a degree. It turns out you don't need a volcano to get the same effect. Scientists could use airplanes to inject sulfur dioxide directly into the stratosphere and bring down global temperatures. What's more, says David Keith who directs the University of Calgary's Energy and Environmental Systems Group, it would be pretty easy to do. >> Read the Full Article
  • Two degree Celsius climate target may need to be adjusted

    A widely agreed international target to avoid dangerous global warming must take account of local impacts and may need to change, said the chief scientist at the MetOffice Hadley Center, Britain's biggest climate research center. Julia Slingo said the target of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (2C) may need adjusting to take into account research into local and regional effects, particularly on rainfall patterns, as climate science advances. More than 120 nations agreed to the U.N.'s Copenhagen Accord last December which aimed to limit average global warming to less than 2C, in one of the main outcomes of a fractious summit. >> Read the Full Article
  • Locals fighting an Alaskan wilderness mine

    Anglo American promised it would not touch the pristine habitat of Bristol Bay without our blessing. It must honor its word. Among our Alaskan native tribes, a promise made is a promise kept. Such promises over the generations have kept our populations of wild sockeye salmon, which sustain our culture and feed our families, plentiful and healthy. And last year, Cynthia Carroll, chief executive of London-based mining giant Anglo American PLC, made a promise. In a private meeting with Alaskans in London (including one of this piece's authors), Carroll promised her company would not build its proposed Pebble mine if local residents didn't support it. >> Read the Full Article
  • Organic farms better at potato beetle control

    A study suggesting that organic agriculture gives better pest control and larger plants than conventional farming is sure to reignite longstanding debates about the merits of organic versus conventional agriculture. It also highlights an often-neglected aspect of biodiversity. "Organic agriculture promotes more balanced communities of predators," says David Crowder, author of the new study published today in Nature. >> Read the Full Article