Monthly Archives: December 2014

Collapse of Avian Biodiversity in the Pacific

12345Paul and Anne Ehrlich

We arrived off Ducie Island at dawn on October 12. The rough seas and the air above the low atoll in the Pitcairn group of the South Pacific were alive with birds. Most abundant were Murphy’s petrels – not surprisingly since some 95 percent of the world’s population of that species breeds on Ducie. But there were also Kermadec, Herald, and Cook’s petrels, a lonely Christmas shearwater, mobs of white terns, and many masked boobies. It was a splendid sight but also a depressing reminder of what might have been. Read the rest of this entry

Taking a Ride in the Time Machine

Image by thethreesisters via Flickr

Image by thethreesisters via Flickr

Erik Assadourian 

This post originally appeared on the Worldwatch Institute’s blog: Is Sustainability Still Possible?

This week I’ve been reading Global Environmental Politics: From Person to Planet, by State of the World 2013 contributor Simon Nicholson and Paul Wapner and it has proved an excellent read—with classic articles from a score of environmental experts, many of which have been on my ‘To Read’ list for a long time. But the hidden gem of the book resides on page 33. This being a college reader, each section ends with a thought exercise, with “The Time Machine,” wrapping up Section 1:

Imagine you are sitting in a time machine. You are required to make a choice. You can go back 300 years or forward 300 years. You can’t stay in the present, and once you have made your decision, you’re not coming back…. Which would you choose? To go forward or back?” Read the rest of this entry

A Holiday Wish. Probably a dream, maybe a hallucination…

capJoan M. Diamond

The numbers aren’t in for the 2014 holiday shopping year; in fact, one of the challenges is that experts can’t really tell when holiday shopping began this year—there were so many pre-Black Friday (BF) sales. However, the news is full of articles about the discouraging 11% downturn in Black Friday sales and some doubts about the performance of Cyber Monday. Read the rest of this entry

Turning Around to See My Footprint

1111111111Erika Gavenus

Have you used the Global Footprint Network’s Calculator to estimate the amount of biologically productive area needed to support your lifestyle?

My curiosity was piqued by the video GFN released for its crowdfunding campaign to build a Footprint calculator mobile application. (The campaign ends December 5th, so definitely check it out!)

The Global Footprint Calculator provides an interactive way for you to answer questions about various aspects of your lifestyle that affect your Ecological Footprint. If you live in the United States individual-specific questions are asked about type of diet, local food, waste/recycling habits, electricity usage, type of house, personal transportation, public transportation, and airplane travel. For each topic, you have the option to give a quick, cruder, response or to use the calculator to give a more detailed evaluation. In the end, your responses to these lifestyle questions are combined with your nation’s societal burden from services such as health care or military operations. The Calculator presents the final output as the number of Earths that would be needed if everyone in the world lived like you. All 7.1 billion of us. Read the rest of this entry


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