Archive: Sustainability

03 Nov 2015

A Tale of Two Northern European Cities: Meeting the Challenges of Sea Level Rise

For centuries, Rotterdam and Hamburg have had to contend with the threat of storm surges and floods. Now, as sea levels rise, planners are looking at innovative ways to make these cities more resilient, with new approaches that could hold lessons for vulnerable urban areas around the world. READ MORE

28 Sep 2015

For U.S. Tribes, a Movement to Revive Native Foods and Lands

On ancestral lands, the Fond du Lac band in Minnesota is planting wild rice and restoring wetlands damaged by dams, industry, and logging. Their efforts are part of a growing trend by Native Americans to bring back traditional food sources and heal scarred landscapes. READ MORE

24 Sep 2015

How One African Village Learned To Live with Its Wildlife and Prosper

The second runner-up in the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest tells the story of the residents of a forest village in central Mozambique who have helped create a tourist destination centered on an elephant population that once wreaked havoc in their community. READ MORE

23 Sep 2015

One Scientist’s Hopeful View On How to Repair the Planet

Ecological crises may be piling up in a seemingly hopeless cascade, but Swedish scientist Johan Rockström says the next few decades offer an unparalleled opportunity to undo the damage. READ MORE

17 Sep 2015

An Up-Close View of Bristol Bay’s Astonishing Sockeye Salmon Runs

The first runner-up in the 2015 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest captures stunning images of the abundant sockeye salmon runs in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and tells the story of a 70-year-old project that has been studying the millions of salmon that annually pour into the region’s rivers to spawn. READ MORE

15 Sep 2015

What Pope Francis Should Say In His Upcoming UN Address

Pope Francis will speak to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25 about poverty, the environment, and sustainable development. In a Yale Environment 360 forum, seven leading thinkers on the environment and religion describe what they would like to hear the pope say. READ MORE

23 Jul 2015

With Camera Drones, New Tool For Viewing and Saving Nature

Filmmaker Thomas Lennon says camera drones have opened up dramatic new possibilities for seeing the natural world and inspiring the public to protect it. In an e360 interview, he talks about how his drone video from the Delaware River illustrates the potential of this new technology. READ MORE

18 Jun 2015

A Little Fish with Big Impact In Trouble on U.S. West Coast

Scientists are concerned that officials waited too long to order a ban on U.S. Pacific sardine fishing that goes into effect July 1. The dire state of the sardine population is a cautionary tale about overharvesting these and other forage fish that are a critical part of the marine food web. READ MORE

03 Jun 2015

A New Face at the Helm of The Oldest U.S. Green Group

The Sierra Club has chosen Aaron Mair as its president, the first African-American to lead the largest U.S. environmental organization. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about the lack of diversity in the environmental movement and what can be done to change that. READ MORE

20 May 2015

In South Korea, An Innovative Push to Cut Back on Food Waste


18 May 2015

The Big Waste: Why Do We Throw Away So Much Food?

An e360 video looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. Filmmaker Karim Chrobog focuses on efforts in Washington, D.C., to see that food ends up with those who need it rather than dumped in landfills. First in a series.
Watch the video. READ MORE

16 Apr 2015

For Buddhist Leader, Religion And the Environment Are One

As a Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Karmapa is promoting green practices in monasteries in the Himalayan region. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about how the world needs both religion and science in tackling the “environmental emergency” of climate change. READ MORE

05 Mar 2015

Perennial Rice: In Search of a Greener, Hardier Staple Crop

Scientists have long sought to create a perennial rice that would avoid the damage to the land caused by the necessity of planting annually. Now, Chinese researchers appear close to developing this new breed of rice, an achievement that could have major environmental benefits. READ MORE

05 Feb 2015

Agricultural Movement Tackles Challenges of a Warming World

With temperatures rising and extreme weather becoming more frequent, the “climate-smart agriculture” campaign is using a host of measures — from new planting practices to improved water management — to keep farmers ahead of the disruptive impacts of climate change. READ MORE

05 Jan 2015

For California Salmon, Drought And Warm Water Mean Trouble

With record drought and warming waters due to climate change, scientists are concerned that the future for Chinook salmon — a critical part of the state’s fishing industry — is in jeopardy in California. READ MORE

13 Nov 2014

A Scientist's Call for Civility And Diversity in Conservation

The ongoing debate over how to value the natural world has become rancorous and counterproductive, says marine biologist Jane Lubchenco. It is time, she tells Yale Environment 360, for the dispute to end and for conservation efforts to become more diverse. READ MORE

11 Nov 2014

A Scourge for Coal Miners Stages a Brutal Comeback

Black lung — a debilitating disease caused by inhaling coal dust — was supposed to be wiped out by a landmark 1969 U.S. mine safety law. But a recent study shows that the worst form of the disease now affects a larger share of Appalachian coal miners than at any time since the early 1970s. READ MORE

04 Nov 2014

Fostering Community Strategies For Saving the World's Oceans

To conservationist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, getting coastal communities involved in plans to protect their waters is critical for protecting the planet's oceans. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talks about her work in one Caribbean island and how it shows how such a strategy can get results. READ MORE

30 Oct 2014

A Conservationist Sees Signs of Hope for the World’s Rainforests

After decades of sobering news, a prominent conservationist says he is finally finding reason to be optimistic about the future of tropical forests. Consumer pressure on international corporations and new monitoring technology, he says, are helping turn the tide in efforts to save forests from Brazil to Indonesia. READ MORE

09 Oct 2014

True Altruism: Can Humans Change To Save Other Species?

A grim new census of the world’s dwindling wildlife populations should force us to confront a troubling question: Are humans capable of acting in ways that help other species at a cost to themselves? READ MORE

18 Sep 2014

How Norway and Russia Made A Cod Fishery Live and Thrive

The prime cod fishing grounds of North America have been depleted or wiped out by overfishing and poor management. But in Arctic waters, Norway and Russia are working cooperatively to sustain a highly productive — and profitable — cod fishery. READ MORE

15 Sep 2014

How to Make Farm-to-Table A Truly Sustainable Movement

Chef Dan Barber says the farm-to-table movement that he helped build has failed to support sustainable agriculture on a large scale. To do that, he says in a Yale Environment 360 interview, we need a new way of looking at diverse crops and the foods we eat. READ MORE

26 Jun 2014

On Front Lines of Recycling, Turning Food Waste into Biogas

An increasing number of sewage treatment plants in the U.S. and Europe are processing food waste in anaerobic biodigesters, keeping more garbage out of landfills, reducing methane emissions, and producing energy to defray their operating costs. READ MORE

24 Jun 2014

Life on the Mississippi: Tale of the Lost River Shrimp

The 20th-century re-engineering of the Mississippi River wreaked havoc on natural systems and devastated once-abundant populations of native river shrimp. Biologist Paul Hartfield has focused his work on studying these creatures, which were known for making one of the world’s great migrations. READ MORE

22 Apr 2014

Unsustainable Seafood: A New Crackdown on Illegal Fishing

A recent study shows that a surprisingly large amount of the seafood sold in U.S. markets is caught illegally. In a series of actions over the last few months, governments and international regulators have started taking aim at stopping this illicit trade in contraband fish. READ MORE

17 Apr 2014

UN Panel Looks to Renewables As the Key to Stabilizing Climate

In its latest report, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes a strong case for a sharp increase in low-carbon energy production, especially solar and wind, and provides hope that this transformation can occur in time to hold off the worst impacts of global warming. READ MORE

10 Apr 2014

Will Increased Food Production Devour Tropical Forest Lands?

As global population soars, efforts to boost food production will inevitably be focused on the world’s tropical regions. Can this agricultural transformation be achieved without destroying the remaining tropical forests of Africa, South America, and Asia? READ MORE

13 Mar 2014

In the Pastures of Colombia, Cows, Crops and Timber Coexist

As an ambitious program in Colombia demonstrates, combining grazing and agriculture with tree cultivation can coax more food from each acre, boost farmers’ incomes, restore degraded landscapes, and make farmland more resilient to climate change. READ MORE

10 Mar 2014

A New Leaf in the Rainforest: Longtime Villain Vows Reform

Few companies have done as much damage to the world’s tropical forests as Asia Pulp & Paper. But under intense pressure from its customers and conservation groups, APP has embarked on a series of changes that could significantly reduce deforestation in Indonesia and serve as a model for forestry reform. READ MORE

06 Mar 2014

Wendell Berry: A Strong Voice For Local Farming and the Land

For six decades, writer Wendell Berry has spoken out in defense of local agriculture, rural communities, and the importance of caring for the land. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about his Kentucky farm, his activism, and why he remains hopeful for the future. READ MORE

04 Mar 2014

Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight?

The degradation of soils from unsustainable agriculture and other development has released billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. But new research shows how effective land restoration could play a major role in sequestering CO2 and slowing climate change. READ MORE

10 Feb 2014

In Flood-Prone New Orleans, an Architect Makes Water His Ally

As these photographs and illustrations show, architect David Waggonner has decided that the best way to protect low-lying New Orleans is to think about water in an entirely different way. READ MORE

06 Feb 2014

In Developing World, A Push to Bring E-Waste Out of Shadows

For decades, hazardous electronic waste from around the world has been processed in unsafe backyard recycling operations in Asia and Africa. Now, a small but growing movement is seeking to provide these informal collectors with incentives to sell e-waste to advanced recycling facilities. READ MORE

03 Feb 2014

Growing Insects: Farmers Can Help to Bring Back Pollinators

With a sharp decline in pollinating insects, farmers are being encouraged to grow flowering plants that can support these important insects. It’s a fledgling movement that could help restore the pollinators that are essential for world food production. READ MORE

27 Jan 2014

Monitoring Corporate Behavior: Greening or Merely Greenwash?

Companies with bad environmental records are increasingly turning to a little-known nonprofit called TFT to make sure they meet commitments to improve their practices. It remains to be seen if this is just a PR move or a turning point for corporate conduct. READ MORE

16 Dec 2013

Singapore Takes the Lead In Green Building in Asia

By encouraging the adoption of innovative architectural design and energy-saving technologies, Singapore has emerged as a model of green building in Asia — an important development in a region that is urbanizing more rapidly than any other in the world. READ MORE

03 Dec 2013

Out of India’s Trash Heaps, A Controversy on Incineration

India is planning to burn more of its trash to generate badly needed electricity. But as the case of a waste-to-energy plant in New Delhi shows, critics are worried about lax air pollution controls and the impact of incineration on people who eke out a living picking through waste dumps. READ MORE

19 Nov 2013

How Industrial Agriculture Has Thwarted Factory Farm Reforms

In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Robert Martin, co-author of a recent study on industrial farm animal production, explains how a powerful and intransigent agriculture lobby has successfully fought off attempts to reduce the harmful environmental and health impacts of mass livestock production. READ MORE

12 Nov 2013

Canada’s Great Inland Delta: A Precarious Future Looms

The Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the world’s largest freshwater deltas, is facing major change as rising temperatures, a prolonged drought, and water withdrawals for Alberta’s tar sands industry threaten to increasingly dry out this vast expanse of waterways and wetlands. READ MORE

04 Nov 2013

China’s Great Dam Boom: A Major Assault on Its Rivers

China is engaged in a push to build hydroelectric dams on a scale unprecedented in human history. While being touted for producing lower-emission electricity, these massive dam projects are wreaking havoc on river systems across China and Southeast Asia. READ MORE

17 Oct 2013

Focusing a Lens on China's Environmental Challenges

Traveling throughout China, from the Tibetan Plateau to the lush subtropical forests in the south, a photojournalist documents the vast scope of the country's environmental challenges. READ MORE

10 Oct 2013

In Japan, Captive Breeding May Help Save the Wild Eel

As eel populations plummet worldwide, Japanese scientists are racing to solve a major challenge for aquaculture — how to replicate the life cycle of eels in captivity and commercially produce a fish that is a prized delicacy on Asian dinner tables. READ MORE

28 Aug 2013

Incineration Versus Recycling: In Europe, A Debate Over Trash

Increasingly common in Europe, municipal “waste-to-energy” incinerators are being touted as a green trash-disposal alternative. But critics contend that these large-scale incinerators tend to discourage recycling and lead to greater waste. READ MORE

15 Jul 2013

New Green Vision: Technology As Our Planet’s Last Best Hope

The concept of ecological modernism, which sees technology as the key to solving big environmental problems, is gaining adherents and getting a lot of buzz these days. While mainstream conservationists may be put off by some of the new movement’s tenets, they cannot afford to ignore the issues it is raising. READ MORE

27 Jun 2013

Marines Push to Front Lines in Renewable Energy Innovation

A backpack that generates electricity? A vest that cools you in a hot tent? As the U.S. military looks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, the Marine Corps is leading the way with cutting-edge technology and innovative devices. READ MORE

24 Jun 2013

Our Overcrowded Planet: A Failure of Family Planning

New UN projections forecast that world population will hit nearly 11 billion people by 2100, an unsettling prospect that reflects a collective failure to provide women around the world with safe, effective ways to avoid pregnancies they don't intend or want. READ MORE

28 May 2013

Michael Pollan on the Links Between Biodiversity and Health

Author Michael Pollan has often written about people’s relationship to the natural world. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, he talks about researching his latest book and what he learned about the connections between ecology and human health. READ MORE

04 Apr 2013

Blocked Migration: Fish Ladders On U.S. Dams Are Not Effective

Fishways on rivers in the U.S. Northeast are failing, with less than 3 percent of one key species making it upriver to their spawning grounds, according to a new study. The researchers’ findings provide a cautionary tale for other nations now planning big dam projects. READ MORE

18 Mar 2013

Can a Divestment Campaign Move the Fossil Fuel Industry?

U.S. climate activists have launched a movement to persuade universities, cities, and other groups to sell off their investments in fossil fuel companies. But while the financial impact of such divestment may be limited, the campaign could harm the companies in a critical sphere — public opinion. READ MORE

07 Mar 2013

Biodiversity in Logged Forests Far Higher Than Once Believed

New research shows that scientists have significantly overestimated the damage that logging in tropical forests has done to biodiversity, a finding that could change the way conservationists think about how best to preserve species in areas disturbed by humans. READ MORE

28 Jan 2013

Boom in Mining Rare Earths Poses Mounting Toxic Risks

The mining of rare earth metals, used in everything from smart phones to wind turbines, has long been dominated by China. But as mining of these key elements spreads to countries like Malaysia and Brazil, scientists warn of the dangers of the toxic and radioactive waste generated by the mines and processing plants. READ MORE

06 Dec 2012

Should Environmentalists Just Say No to Eating Beef?

Conservation organizations are working with industry to try to make beef production more sustainable. But some are questioning whether green groups should be accepting funds from the beef industry or whether they should instead be urging consumers to stop eating beef. READ MORE

19 Nov 2012

A Global Treaty on Rivers: Key to True Water Security

No broad-based international agreement on sharing rivers currently exists, even though much of the world depends on water from rivers that flow through more than one nation. But that may be about to change, as two separate global river treaties are close to being approved. READ MORE

18 Oct 2012

What’s Wrong with Putting a Price on Nature?

The concept of pricing ecosystem services and allowing them to be bought and sold has gained wide acceptance among conservationists in recent years. But does this approach merely obscure nature’s true value and put the natural world at even greater risk? READ MORE

13 Sep 2012

Beyond Big Dams: Turning to Grass Roots Solutions on Water

Mega-dams and massive government-run irrigation projects are not the key to meeting world’s water needs, a growing number of experts now say. For developing nations, the answer may lie in small-scale measures such as inexpensive water pumps and other readily available equipment. READ MORE

06 Aug 2012

Shrimp Farms’ Tainted Legacy Is Target of Certification Drive

As shrimp aquaculture has boomed globally to keep pace with surging demand, the environmental toll on mangroves and other coastal ecosystems has been severe. Now, conservation groups and some shrimp farmers are creating a certification scheme designed to clean up the industry and reward sustainable producers. READ MORE

26 Jul 2012

Melting Glaciers May Worsen Northwest China’s Water Woes

In China’s sprawling Xinjiang region, where the population is growing and cotton farming is booming, a key river has been running dry in summer. Now a team of international scientists is grappling with a problem facing the Tarim River basin and other mountainous regions — how to secure water supplies as demands increase and glaciers melt. READ MORE

19 Jul 2012

Will Fish-Loving Japan Embrace Sustainable Seafood?

In fish-crazed Japan, where eating seafood is a vital part of the nation's culture, conservation groups are working with companies to persuade more Japanese to eat certified, sustainably caught seafood. It's an uphill struggle, but one that could have significant impact on the world's fisheries. READ MORE

12 Jul 2012

The Dead Sea is Dying: Can A Controversial Plan Save It?

The Dead Sea — the lowest terrestrial point on the planet — is dropping at an alarming rate, falling more than 1 meter a year. A $10 billion proposal to pipe water from the Red Sea is being opposed by conservationists, who point to alternatives that could help save one of the world’s great natural places. READ MORE

05 Jul 2012

Helping U.S. Farmers Increase Production and Protect the Land

American agriculture is steeped in a chemical-intensive system that wastes money and pollutes the environment. But by making use of new technology and innovative approaches, farmers can boost production and profits — while at the same time improving soil quality, enhancing biodiversity, and protecting habitat. READ MORE

23 May 2012

Global Scarcity: Scramble for Dwindling Natural Resources

National security expert Michael Klare believes the struggle for the world’s resources will be one of the defining political and environmental realities of the 21st century. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he discusses the threat this scramble poses to the natural world and what can be done to sustainably meet the resource challenge. READ MORE

09 Apr 2012

The Folly of Big Agriculture: Why Nature Always Wins

Large-scale industrial agriculture depends on engineering the land to ensure the absence of natural diversity. But as the recent emergence of herbicide-tolerant weeds on U.S. farms has shown, nature ultimately finds a way to subvert uniformity and assert itself. READ MORE

15 Mar 2012

Digital Defenders: Tribal People Use GPS to Protect Their Lands

From the rainforests of central Africa to the Australian outback, indigenous people armed with GPS devices are surveying their territories and producing maps they can use to protect them from logging and other outside development. READ MORE

20 Feb 2012

Amory Lovins Lays Out His Clean Energy Plan

For four decades, Amory Lovins has been a leading proponent of a renewable power revolution that would wean the U.S. off fossil fuels and usher in an era of energy independence. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about his latest book, which describes his vision of how the world can attain a green energy future by 2050. READ MORE

16 Feb 2012

Busting the Forest Myths: People as Part of the Solution

The long-held contention that rural forest communities are the prime culprits in tropical forest destruction is increasingly being discredited, as evidence mounts that the best way to protect rainforests is to involve local residents in sustainable management. READ MORE

24 Jan 2012

Building a Better Bulb: Lighting Revolution Advances

With the industry’s support and despite political opposition, new U.S. lighting efficiency standards went into effect this month. This move, along with similar actions in Europe and China, is helping spur new technologies that will change the way the world's homes and businesses are illuminated. READ MORE

05 Jan 2012

Putting a Price on The Real Value of Nature

Indian banker Pavan Sukhdev has been grappling with the question of how to place a monetary value on nature. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he discusses the ways natural ecosystems benefit people and why policymakers and businesses must rethink how they assess environmental costs and benefits. READ MORE

15 Dec 2011

Can ‘Climate-Smart’ Agriculture Help Both Africa and the Planet?

One idea promoted at the Durban talks was “climate-smart agriculture," which could make crops less vulnerable to heat and drought and turn depleted soils into carbon sinks. The World Bank and African leaders are backing this new approach, but some critics are skeptical that it will benefit small-scale African farmers. READ MORE

01 Dec 2011

Sweden’s Green Veneer Hides Unsustainable Logging Practices

Sweden has a reputation as being one of the world’s most environmentally progressive nations. But its surprisingly lax forestry laws often leave decisions about logging to the timber companies — and as a result, large swaths of biologically-rich boreal forest are being lost. READ MORE

28 Nov 2011

The New Story of Stuff: Can We Consume Less?

A new study finds that Britons are consuming less than they did a decade ago, with similar patterns being seen across Europe. Could this be the beginning of a trend in developed countries? Might we be reaching “peak stuff”? READ MORE

17 Nov 2011

China’s Appetite for Wood Takes a Heavy Toll on Forests

More than half of the timber now shipped globally is destined for China. But unscrupulous Chinese companies are importing huge amounts of illegally harvested wood, prompting conservation groups to step up boycotts against rapacious timber interests. READ MORE

09 Nov 2011

A Power Company President Ties His Future to Green Energy

David Crane, the CEO of one of the nation’s largest electric companies, has become a leading proponent of renewable energy. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he explains how, in the face of government paralysis, the private sector can help lead the shift away from fossil fuels. READ MORE

07 Nov 2011

Building Retrofits: Tapping The Energy-Saving Potential

No more cost-effective way to make major cuts in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions exists than retrofitting buildings. Now, from New York to Mumbai to Melbourne, a push is on to overhaul older buildings to make them more energy efficient. READ MORE

19 Sep 2011

What If Experts Are Wrong On World Population Growth?

A central tenet of demography is that global population will peak at 9 to 10 billion this century and then gradually decline as poorer countries develop. But that assumption may be overly optimistic — and if it is, population will continue to rise, placing enormous strains on the environment. READ MORE

18 Jul 2011

The World at 7 Billion: Can We Stop Growing Now?

With global population expected to surpass 7 billion people this year, the staggering impact on an overtaxed planet is becoming more and more evident. A two-pronged response is imperative: empower women to make their own decisions on childbearing and rein in our excessive consumption of resources. READ MORE

14 Jun 2011

In Brazil, Palm Oil Plantations Could Help Preserve the Amazon

In recent years, palm oil development in Malaysia and Indonesia has devastated tropical forests there. With Brazil on the verge of its own palm oil boom, can sustainable cultivation of the crop actually help save the rainforest, rather than hastening its destruction? READ MORE

31 May 2011

Off the Pedestal: Creating a New Vision of Economic Growth

The idea of economic growth as an unquestioned force for good is ingrained in the American psyche. But a longtime environmental leader argues it’s time for the U.S. to reinvent its economy into one that focuses on sustaining communities, family life, and the natural world. READ MORE

26 May 2011

Green Failure: What’s Wrong With Environmental Education?

Marine conservationist Charles Saylan believes the U.S. educational system is failing to create responsible citizens who consider themselves stewards of the environment. To do that, he says in a Yale Environment 360 interview, educators need to go beyond rhetoric and make environmental values a central part of a public education. READ MORE

03 Feb 2011

Africa’s Flourishing Niger Delta Threatened by Libya Water Plan

The inland Niger delta of Mali is a unique wetland ecosystem that supports a million farmers, fishermen, and herders and a rich diversity of wildlife. But now, the country’s president and Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi have begun a major agricultural project that will divert much of the river’s water and put the delta’s future at risk. READ MORE

11 Nov 2010

China Turns to Biogas to Ease Impact of Factory Farms

In China, millions of tons of waste from livestock farms are causing severe water pollution and massive emissions of methane. Now, some large livestock operators are turning to biogas fuel production in hopes of creating “ecological” factory farms. READ MORE

07 Sep 2010

A Symbolic Solar Road Trip To Reignite a Climate Movement

An activist caravan to bring one of Jimmy Carter’s solar panels back to the White House symbolizes the time that the U.S. has lost in developing new energy technologies – and the urgent need for taking action on climate. READ MORE

27 May 2010

Will REDD Preserve Forests Or Merely Provide a Fig Leaf?

The tropical forest conservation plan, known as REDD, has the potential to significantly reduce deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. But unless projects are carefully designed and monitored, the program could be undercut by shady dealings at all levels, from the forests to global carbon markets. READ MORE

25 May 2010

Eyeing the Difficult Path To a Sustainable Future

Environmentalist David Orr says the easy part of helping the United States live within its ecological limits may be passing laws, such as one that puts a price on carbon. The hard part, he maintains in an interview with Yale Environment 360, is changing a culture of consumption that causes extensive environmental damage — and unhappiness. READ MORE

17 May 2010

The Anthropocene Debate: Marking Humanity’s Impact

Is human activity altering the planet on a scale comparable to major geological events of the past? Scientists are now considering whether to officially designate a new geological epoch to reflect the changes that homo sapiens have wrought: the Anthropocene. READ MORE

05 Apr 2010

Out of the Demographic Trap: Hope for Feeding the World

In Africa and elsewhere, burgeoning population growth threatens to overwhelm already over-stretched food supply systems. But the next agricultural revolution needs to get local — and must start to see rising populations as potentially part of the solution. READ MORE

22 Dec 2009

Stewart Brand’s Strange Trip: Whole Earth to Nuclear Power

When the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog embraces nuclear power, genetically engineered crops, and geoengineering schemes to cool the planet, you know things have changed in the environmental movement. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Stewart Brand explains how the passage of four decades — and the advent of global warming — have shifted his thinking about what it means to be green. READ MORE

26 Oct 2009

The Greenest Place in the U.S. May Not Be Where You Think

Green rankings in the U.S. don’t tell the full story about the places where the human footprint is lightest. If you really want the best environmental model, you need to look at the nation’s biggest — and greenest — metropolis: New York City. READ MORE

05 Oct 2009

The Other Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis in Global Land Use

As the international community focuses on climate change as the great challenge of our era, it is ignoring another looming problem — the global crisis in land use. With agricultural practices already causing massive ecological impact, the world must now find new ways to feed its burgeoning population and launch a "Greener" Revolution. READ MORE

28 Sep 2009

What Makes Europe Greener than the U.S.?

The average American produces three times the amount of CO2 emissions as a person in France. A U.S. journalist now living in Europe explains how she learned to love her clothesline and sweating in summer. READ MORE

15 Sep 2009

Green Intelligence: Toward True Ecological Transparency

Wal-Mart’s push to develop a sustainability index for the products it carries could prove to be a pivotal moment in the effort to make consumers aware of the environmental impacts of what they buy. READ MORE

03 Sep 2009

Reconnecting with Nature Through Green Architecture

Stephen Kellert, a social ecologist, is a passionate advocate for the need to incorporate aspects of the natural world into our built environment. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he explains what we can learn from cathedrals, why flowers in a hospital can heal, and how green design can boost a business’s bottom READ MORE

26 May 2009

Adaptation Emerges as Key Part of Any Climate Change Plan

After years of reluctance, scientists and governments are now looking to adaptation measures as critical for confronting the consequences of climate change. And increasingly, plans are being developed to deal with rising seas, water shortages, spreading diseases, and other realities of a warming world. READ MORE

27 Apr 2009

A Potential Breakthrough in Harnessing the Sun’s Energy

New solar thermal technology overcomes a major challenge facing solar power – how to store the sun’s heat for use at night or on a rainy day. As researchers tout its promise, solar thermal plants are under construction or planned from Spain to Australia to the American Southwest. READ MORE

16 Apr 2009

Using Peer Pressure as a Tool to Promote Greener Choices

Environmentalists, utilities, and green businesses are turning to behavioral economics to find innovative ways of influencing people to do the right thing when it comes to the environment. Is this approach really good for the planet or just a fad? READ MORE

13 Apr 2009

Consumption Dwarfs Population as Main Environmental Threat

It's overconsumption, not population growth, that is the fundamental problem: By almost any measure, a small portion of the world's people — those in the affluent, developed world — use up most of the Earth's resources and produce most of its greenhouse gas emissions. READ MORE

08 Apr 2009

Food Industry Pursues the Strategy of Big Tobacco

Kelly Brownell has long studied the relationship between rising levels of obesity in the U.S. and the way our food is grown, processed, packaged, and sold. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he discusses the common marketing and lobbying tactics employed by the food and tobacco READ MORE

06 Apr 2009

China’s Grand Plans for Eco-Cities Now Lie Abandoned

Mostly conceived by international architects, China’s eco-cities were intended to be models of green urban design. But the planning was done with little awareness of how local people lived, and the much-touted projects have largely been scrapped. READ MORE

03 Mar 2009

Pursuing the Elusive Goal of a Carbon-Neutral Building

Yale University’s recently opened Kroon Hall is a state-of-the-art model of where the green building movement is headed. Yet even this showcase for renewable energy highlights the difficulties of creating a building that is 100 percent carbon neutral. READ MORE

05 Feb 2009

The New Urbanists: Tackling Europe’s Sprawl

In the last few decades, urban sprawl, once regarded as largely a U.S. phenomenon, has spread across Europe. Now an emerging group of planners is promoting a new kind of development — mixed-use, low-carbon communities that are pedestrian-friendly and mass-transit-oriented. READ MORE

20 Oct 2008

Environmental Failure: A Case for a New Green Politics

The U.S. environmental movement is failing – by any measure, the state of the earth has never been more dire. What’s needed, a leading environmentalist writes, is a new, inclusive green politics that challenges basic assumptions about consumerism and unlimited growth. READ MORE

13 Oct 2008

Green Strategies Spur Rebirth of American Cities

U.S. cities have been using green planning to spark economic development, helping create a real urban renaissance in America. With a new administration soon to arrive in Washington, these same approaches may finally start being used on a national scale. READ MORE

09 Oct 2008

Thomas Friedman: Hope in a Hot, Flat and Crowded World

In an exclusive interview with Yale Environment 360, best-selling author Thomas Friedman talks with Elizabeth Kolbert about his new book and about why he’s optimistic that an energy-technology revolution can revitalize the United States and set the world on a new, greener path. audio READ MORE

22 Sep 2008

Saving the Seeds of the Next Green Revolution

With food prices skyrocketing and climate change looming, the world needs a green revolution like the one a generation ago. But many valuable seed varieties have been lost – and scientists now are scrambling to protect those that remain before they vanish down the genetic drain. READ MORE

11 Aug 2008

Has the Population Bomb Been Defused?

Paul Ehrlich still believes that overpopulation imperils the Earth’s future. But the good news is we are approaching a demographic turning point: Birth rates have been falling dramatically, and population is expected to peak later this century — after that, for the first time in modern history, the world's population should actually start to decline. READ MORE

04 Aug 2008

Too Many People, Too Much Consumption

Four decades after his controversial book, The Population Bomb, scientist Paul Ehrlich still believes that overpopulation — now along with overconsumption — is the central environmental crisis facing the world. And, he insists, technological fixes will not save the day. READ MORE

26 Jun 2008

Michael Pollan on What’s Wrong with Environmentalism

In an interview with Yale Environment 360, best-selling author Michael Pollan talks about biofuels and the food crisis, the glories of grass-fed beef, and why environmentalists must look beyond wilderness to READ MORE

19 Jun 2008

Global Commodities Boom Fuels New Assault on Amazon

With soaring prices for agricultural goods and new demand for biofuels, the clearing of the world's largest rain forest has accelerated dramatically. Unless forceful measures are taken, half of the Brazilian Amazon could be cut, burned or dried out within 20 years. READ MORE

03 Jun 2008

The Tipping Point

New evidence suggests that we have already passed a dangerous threshold for the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – and that the time for taking strong action is slipping away. READ MORE

03 Jun 2008

Water Scarcity: The Real Food Crisis

In the discussion of the global food emergency, one underlying factor is barely mentioned: The world is running out of water. A British science writer, who authored a major book on water resources, here explores the nexus between water overconsumption and current food shortages. READ MORE


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