• Meeting Sustainable Business Goals

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Rivers May Control Dust and Sand Deposits in Northern China

    New research has found the first evidence that large rivers control desert sands and dust. But how exactly? First we need to know a little bit about loess. Loess is a silt-sized sediment which is formed by the accumulation of wind-blown dust. Loess deposits may be very thick and often blankets areas. One of the largest deposits of loess is in an area right-fully named the Loess Plateau, a 640,00 square kilometer area in the upper and middle China's Yellow River and China proper. However, there are also large loess deposits in the central United States and central Europe. >> Read the Full Article
  • Re-Inventing Small Manufacturing Towns in the 21st Century

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Freeing the Elwha!

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Sea and storm: coastal habitats offer strongest defense

    Surging storms and rising seas threaten millions of U.S. residents and billions of dollars in property along coastlines. The nation's strongest defense, according to a new study by scientists with the Natural Capital Project at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, comes from natural coastal habitats. Of the 25 most densely populated counties in the United States, 23 of them are along the coastline. The study, "Coastal habitats shield people and property from sea-level rise and storms" published in Nature Climate Change, mapped the entire U.S. coastline and reports that habitats such as sea grasses, mangroves, sand dunes, and coral reefs currently protect two-thirds of the U.S. coastline, including at-risk areas such as New York and Florida. >> Read the Full Article
  • OSHA potentially lets West Fertilizer off cheap

    On April 17, 2013 explosions rocked the small town of West, Texas. Fire fighters initially responded to a fire at West Fertilizer Company owned by Adair Grain, Inc. but as water was used to put the fire out, an explosion incurred taking with it a neighboring 50-unit apartment building and parts of a nearby middle school, as well as heavily damaging a nearby nursing home. With many lawsuits pending, OSHA has made its initial determination with regard to the West Fertilizer Company leading federal workplace safety regulators to propose initial fines in the amount of $118,300 against the company. This number, given the magnitude of the occurrence is thought to be extremely low. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Rise of Indoor Cropping

    It's commonly accepted that record food prices were one of the key triggers for the Arab Spring. This year in Zimbabwe, critical levels of crop failure put over two million people at risk of chronic malnutrition. Even a prosperous state like Singapore, which imports over 90 percent of its produce, is starkly aware of its food security risks. Water scarcity, erratic weather conditions and a burgeoning global population, with rising expectations of living standards and an increasingly carnivorous diet, is driving pressure across the food chain. As food producers look for ways to boost productivity and safeguard their crops from an unpredictable climate, has the time come to take agriculture indoors? >> Read the Full Article
  • A Comprehensive Energy Productivity Portfolio

    Like a good financial portfolio, it appears that diversification is a successful strategy for America’s Energy Productivity according to the environmental action group, Natural Resources Defense Council. But, the NRDC notes that while the portfolio clearly should include a combination of all energies, the single most effective tool in maximizing our energy economy is to reduce consumption and extract the most out of every energy dollar spent. >> Read the Full Article
  • Respect the Wolves

    Wolves play an integral role in maintaining the health of wildlife and ecosystems, and indirectly, livestock and public health. Recognition of this role and its ecological ramifications calls for greater respect, protection and increased numbers of wolves in appropriate habitats across North America. Current federal and state government initiatives, backed by diverse vested interests, are poised to reduce the nation's existing wolf population, which is contrary to the directives of sound science, reason and the public interest. >> Read the Full Article
  • Government Shutdown leaves Antarctic Research Operations in the cold

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced the suspension of all operations "not essential to the human safety and preservation of the property". This means that field and research activities will be wrapped up as the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) shifts into caretaker status. Funds for the program will dry up on or about October 14, 2013 as a result of the absence of appropriation and the Antideficiency Act just as the 2013-2014 summer austral program would have begun. Because much of the USAP work is dependent upon seasonal windows of opportunity, it will not be possible to restart many science activities for the remainder of the season. Researchers typically study birds, climate, weather and more in the remote and harsh climate. >> Read the Full Article