Sustainability

By William Lynn | The ethics and politics of living on earth.

Why Big Projects Can Turn Into a Giant Gamble

YouTube

There’s a 1 in 20 chance humans will be wiped out this century

Humanity could be wiped out by “catastrophic” climate change within 100 years.<p>That’s the terrifying claim from a top scientist who believes there is …

Climate Change

Putting a price tag on the flood-reducing value o - Anthropocene

With every big coastal storm, attention turns to the role of wetlands in reducing their destructiveness. Quantifying that service, however, is a …

New Jersey

The great nutrient collapse

The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention.<p>Irakli Loladze is a mathematician by training, but he was in a biology lab when he encountered the puzzle that would change his life. It was in 1998, and Loladze was studying for his Ph.D. at …

Agriculture

The U.S. should go Dutch to avoid building another Houston

Build up, not out<p>Want to design a city to maximize flood damage? Start on very flat land — any kind of slope will help water flow out of town. Next you’d want to create incentives for people to build the city wide and low; by covering a large area with concrete and asphalt, you collect more water …

Cities

Uncontacted Tribe Allegedly Killed By Gold Miners In Brazil

The miners reportedly bragged about the slaughter.<p>At least 10 members of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil’s Amazon Basin were allegedly killed last month by illegal gold miners, according to Survival International.<p>The organization, which advocates for indigenous rights, said the massacre included …

Brazil

Land grab in Amazon jungle threatens dispossession, violence and murder

President Temer is courting the mining companies and their political backers by breaking into pristine rainforest<p>On 23 August it emerged that the president of Brazil, Michel Temer, had issued a decree abolishing the protected status of an immense area of the Amazon forest. The area is in the north …

Brazil

Winds, fire, floods and quakes: A nutty run of nature

WASHINGTON (AP) — With four big hurricanes, a powerful earthquake and wildfires, it seems that nature recently has just gone nuts.<p>Some of these disasters, like Friday's earthquake in Mexico, are natural. Others may end up having a mix of natural and man-made ingredients after scientists examine …

Weather

5 Ways Climate Change May Be Making Hurricanes Worse

Natural disasters were once entirely natural — and most still are. Hurricanes, however, may be a different matter. As Hurricane Irma roars toward …

Climate Change

After the storm: how should cities rebuild post hurricanes like Harvey and Irma?

The aftermath of a disaster is often focused on getting back to normal. But do cities need to think harder about how to withstand the next one?<p>Donald Trump visited a hurricane-stricken Houston and promised the “best ever” government response before pumping his fist from the steps of Air Force One …

Cities

The Science of Sustainability

SPONSORED<p>There is no single path to corporate sustainability. Two multinational companies, Mars and Pfizer, illustrate two very different approaches …

Sustainability

Nature Offers Solutions to Water Woes and Flood Risks

When the Aztecs founded Tenochtitlán in 1325, they built it on a large island on Lake Texcoco. Its eventual 200,000-plus inhabitants relied on …

Climate Change

Melting permafrost in the Arctic is unlocking diseases and warping the landscape

The consequences of climate change can be weird and apocalyptic.<p>You can find evidence of a changing climate everywhere on Earth. But nowhere are the changes more dramatic than in the Arctic.<p>Our world’s northern polar region is warming twice as fast as the global average. And the consequences are …

Climate Change

Our collective response to the Houston tragedy is proof that greed and capitalism aren’t the only ways to run society

Despite the cooperative response to Houston, we still face the absurdity of a winner-take-all capitalist system<p>In the worst moments of the tragedy in Houston, something remarkable about America burst into view, as government, business, military, and especially ordinary citizens put aside thoughts …

Capitalism

Did overdevelopment make flooding in Houston worse?

As residents recover from Harvey, some experts wonder if the disastrous flooding could have been mitigated.<p>After six days of rainfall, parts of southeast Texas finally saw the sun Wednesday, but Tropical Storm Harvey isn’t done yet. The storm made its second landfall in southwest Louisiana and is …

National Flood Insurance Program

INTERVIEW-Next 50 years will determine humanity's outcome "for 10,000 years"

If temperatures rise 4 degrees Celsius, it will be the first time this has happened since before modern humans existed<p>By Alex Whiting<p>LONDON, March 27 …

Climate Change

Climate change spells extinction for pikas of Lake Tahoe

One of north Lake Tahoe’s cutest residents, the American pika, has disappeared. UC Santa Cruz researchers have discovered an extinction spanning from Tahoe City to Truckee, the largest pika die-off in the modern era.<p>A new study, published in PLOS One, shows how the effects of climate change are …

Lake Tahoe

After Harvey, it's clear the secret of Houston's success has also been its downfall

Houston feels like one of the last places where it’s still possible to attain theAmerican Dream. But is the city’s structure is as resilient as its character?<p>A symbol of Houston? Many would say the Astrodome, the indoor arena dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World when it opened in 1965. But I might …

Cities

Mumbai floods: what happens when cities sacrifice ecology for development

As the storm that was hurricane Harvey deluged the areas around Houston, Texas, large parts of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh also experienced …

Cities

As waters recede in Houston, attention turns to chemical facilities

<b>(CNN) —</b> What began as a story about flooding, environmentalist groups say, has become about preventable environmental disaster.<p>Coastal Houston is the site of a large concentration of chemical plants, refineries, superfund sites and fossil fuel operations. Some have suffered damage from Hurricane …

Environment

Millions consumed potentially unsafe water in the past 10 years

The EPA estimates local water systems will need to invest $384 billion in the coming decades to keep water clean.<p><i>This report is part of a project on drinking water contamination in the United States produced by the Carnegie-Knight News21 program.</i><p>WOLFFORTH, Texas — As many as 63 million people — …

Water

Disaster capitalism in action: Corporate greed made Harvey worse — now comes the cash grab

Neoliberal capitalism helped make the devastation in Houston possible, and now it will profit from the aftermath<p>Capitalism has been described as “creative destruction.” In the worst case scenario it is human beings who are destroyed. The market does not care. Profits over people is the true “golden …

Fascism

Turkey's 12,000-year-old Hasankeyf settlement faces obliteration

Work on clearing site for the controversial Ilisu dam on Tigris river threatens collapse of ancient monument famed for thousands of manmade caves<p>The destruction of Turkey’s 12,000-year-old Hasankeyf settlement and ancient citadel has moved a step closer as authorities have begun to collapse cliff …

Water

Patagonia joins forces with activists to protect public lands from Trump

Native Americans and environmental advocates get help from outdoor retailers as they battle proposal to change monuments’ boundaries<p>Environmental activists, Native American groups and a coalition of outdoor retailers have vowed to redouble their efforts to protect public lands, after the US …

Conservation

The human carnage from billionaires trying to carve up the planet to build their empires is astounding

From Yemen to Haiti and everywhere in between, the poorest citizens are punished for unknown crimes<p>Raoul Peck, the Haitian filmmaker, opens his new film — Der Junge Karl Marx (2017) — in the forests of Prussia. Peasants gather fallen wood. They look cold and hungry. We hear horses in the distance. …

Karl Marx

Trump’s lawyers sue Greenpeace over Dakota Pipeline, making jaw-dropping accusations

Greenpeace calls the suit "a pattern of harassment by corporate bullies, with Trump's attorneys leading the way."<p>Still reeling from a D.C. district court loss in June, Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), has sued Greenpeace and other environmental …

Environment

By farming fish in the ocean, the world could far surpass its seafood needs | Anthropocene

If we started farming fish in all the suitable offshore habitat available globally, we could technically produce 100 times our current seafood needs, …

Farming

Why is climate change's 2 degrees Celsius of warming limit so important?

If you read or listen to almost any article about climate change, it’s likely the story refers in some way to the “2 degrees Celsius limit.” The …

Climate Change