Landscape conservation: The opportunity for companies and supply chains

March 13, 2017 by  
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Sponsored: Aligning the interests of companies and communities to protect, restore and conserve land should be part of every company’s commodity supply-chain strategy.

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Landscape conservation: The opportunity for companies and supply chains

What rural Alaska can teach the world about renewable energy

March 13, 2017 by  
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With plenty of trickling streams and blowing wind, many remote Alaskan communities are doing away with fossil fuels altogether.

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What rural Alaska can teach the world about renewable energy

Obama creates two new western national monuments in last minute effort

December 29, 2016 by  
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The clock is ticking. Before the United States and the world is snapped by political whiplash on January 20, 2017, the Obama Administration is working quickly to secure its environmental legacy by creating new national monuments in environmentally sensitive areas of the Western United States: Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and Gold Butte National Monument. As usual, the land on which these new public resources have been created has been fiercely contested for their political and economic significance. President Obama has nonetheless pushed forward with the national monuments to cap off an ambitious and sometimes controversial environmental agenda that his successor will likely seek to dismantle. The establishment of Bears Ears National Monument in the Four Corners region of Utah , a state where two-thirds of the land is owned by the federal government, represents a victory for the American Indian tribes that have called the region home. In an historic first, an inter-tribal commission composed of members from the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah and Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute and Pueblo of Zuni will be established to provide management input of the national monument, which contains sacred sites, ancient petroglyphs, and remnants of Pueblo structures over 3,500 years old. Most elected officials in Utah are opposed to the site’s protection, though the state’s congressional delegation had supported a scaled-back plan. “The midnight move is a slap in the face to the people of Utah, attempting to silence the voices of those who will bear the heavy burden it imposes,” said Republican US Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Chaffetz intends to seek assistance from President-elect Trump in abolishing the national monument. Related: President Obama establishes controversial new National Park in Northern Maine The Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada is similarly packed with politics. Supported by retiring Democratic Senator Harry Reid but opposed by Nevada’s Republican Representatives, the national monument outside of Las Vegas will preserve 300,000 acres of ecologically sensitive, pristine land that contains important archaeological sites and rare fossils. Gold Butte carries special significance because of its proximity to the site of the armed standoff led by rancher Cliven Bundy in 2014. The establishment of these national monuments “protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archaeological sites, and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes,” said President Obama in a statement. “Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes.” Through authority granted under the 1906 Antiquities Act, President Obama has protected more land than any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His successor and his supporters seek to use the Act, which allows for the creation of national monuments without congressional approval, to unilaterally remove protections, a policy that has not been attempted in modern times. Via the Guardian  / Washington Post Images via Ron Reiring   (1)

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Obama creates two new western national monuments in last minute effort

Obama creates two new western national monuments in last minute effort

December 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

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The clock is ticking. Before the United States and the world is snapped by political whiplash on January 20, 2017, the Obama Administration is working quickly to secure its environmental legacy by creating new national monuments in environmentally sensitive areas of the Western United States: Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and Gold Butte National Monument. As usual, the land on which these new public resources have been created has been fiercely contested for their political and economic significance. President Obama has nonetheless pushed forward with the national monuments to cap off an ambitious and sometimes controversial environmental agenda that his successor will likely seek to dismantle. The establishment of Bears Ears National Monument in the Four Corners region of Utah , a state where two-thirds of the land is owned by the federal government, represents a victory for the American Indian tribes that have called the region home. In an historic first, an inter-tribal commission composed of members from the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah and Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute and Pueblo of Zuni will be established to provide management input of the national monument, which contains sacred sites, ancient petroglyphs, and remnants of Pueblo structures over 3,500 years old. Most elected officials in Utah are opposed to the site’s protection, though the state’s congressional delegation had supported a scaled-back plan. “The midnight move is a slap in the face to the people of Utah, attempting to silence the voices of those who will bear the heavy burden it imposes,” said Republican US Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Chaffetz intends to seek assistance from President-elect Trump in abolishing the national monument. Related: President Obama establishes controversial new National Park in Northern Maine The Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada is similarly packed with politics. Supported by retiring Democratic Senator Harry Reid but opposed by Nevada’s Republican Representatives, the national monument outside of Las Vegas will preserve 300,000 acres of ecologically sensitive, pristine land that contains important archaeological sites and rare fossils. Gold Butte carries special significance because of its proximity to the site of the armed standoff led by rancher Cliven Bundy in 2014. The establishment of these national monuments “protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archaeological sites, and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes,” said President Obama in a statement. “Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes.” Through authority granted under the 1906 Antiquities Act, President Obama has protected more land than any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His successor and his supporters seek to use the Act, which allows for the creation of national monuments without congressional approval, to unilaterally remove protections, a policy that has not been attempted in modern times. Via the Guardian  / Washington Post Images via Ron Reiring   (1)

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Obama creates two new western national monuments in last minute effort

Snow-free images of Arctic polar bears show the harsh reality of climate change

December 29, 2016 by  
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When Patty Waymire headed to Barter Island, Alaska a few months ago, she expected to take lots of photographs of polar bears frolicking in freshly fallen snow. However, once the photographer arrived at her destination, a stark reality became evident. Not only was there no snow for frolicking, but there was no ice to be seen either. The typically snow-covered island was warm and dry, and the water’s edge was met with sandy beaches rather than icy ground. Waymire took photos anyway, capturing still frames of the ever-unfolding saga that pits climate change against the survival of one of the Earth’s most majestic creatures. One of Waymire ’s images—aptly entitled “No Snow, No Ice” (above)—shows a lone polar bear perched at the edge of a brown, sandy shoal which should have been white with snow at that time of the year. That startling photograph won an honorable mention in the 2016 National Geographic Photographer of the Year contest in the Environmental Issues category. Monica Corcoran, director of the photography contest, noted that the polar bear appears to be “in a meditative Buddha stance” which contributes to the image’s impact. Related: Photo of frail polar bear illuminates the tragedy unfolding in the Arctic Alaska’s Barter Island is situated off the state’s northern coast in the Arctic. The relatively small island has served as a major trading hub and was also home to a large whaling village prior to 1900. All the while, polar bears have roamed the island’s icy shores doing what polar bears do: hunting prey, raising young, and just living. In early October, at the time of Waymire’s visit, the island would normally have been covered in snow, according to locals. However, unusually warm weather all year has ushered in a less-than-impressive autumn and winter, and the resulting scene of fluffy white polar bears cast against drab brown dirt inspired the California-based photographer to show the world what climate change really looks like. In a series of 33 images , Waymire documented several Barter Island polar bears, including some young cubs, both on land and in the water. Without a date stamp, one might think the photographs were captured in the midst of the warmest summer months, because there is not a single snowflake or ice crystal visible in any of the images. But, since we know the photos are from October, we must accept the sad reality that they represent: an ever-changing climate in which even the coldest climes are not exempt from global warming. For now, the Barter Island polar bears are surviving, but with the growing impact of climate change on their habitat and food sources, it’s only a matter of time before they disappear just like the snow. + Patty Waymire Photography Images via Patty Waymire

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Snow-free images of Arctic polar bears show the harsh reality of climate change

Brilliant graphic shows surface area required to power California with 100% renewables

September 22, 2016 by  
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Cold hard science in the clean energy space has a wonderful way of debunking misinformation fueled by politics and corporate greed, and nobody does that better than the husband and wife team behind the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). Elizabeth and Monoian and Robert Ferry have dished up an illuminating new infographic which demonstrates how much surface area is required to transition California away from energy sources that jeopardize planetary health to 100 percent renewables; take a closer look after the jump. LAGI writes: “Starting in 2009 with the Surface Area Required to Power the World with Solar , we have been making the case that the renewable energy transition, while a huge undertaking, is not any more ambitious in scale than previous human endeavors, and that the footprint on our environment can be designed to be in harmony with nature and provide a unique benefit to human culture.” The graphic depicts a mix of renewable energy technologies and how much land would be required to implement them – based on how much power each county currently consumes. “Much of the infrastructure can be located within our cities—on rooftops and through creative and community-owned applications in public spaces,” they write on their blog . “The rest could easily be located in the places that have already been disturbed by oil and gas extraction—the dark dots on the map.” In other words, the transition need not absorb more land than has already been appropriated to provide California residents with energy, and it is realistic for the State to attain a 100 percent renewable energy economy by 2050. Related: Elon Musk’s idea for powering the entire US with solar energy holds a lot of water In their study The Future of Solar Energy , MIT demonstrates that the same land use principle in California essentially applies to the entire country. LAGI wrote, “We were fascinated to learn across the entire US, the land area required to satisfy 100% of U.S. 2050 energy demand with PV would be no larger than the surface area that has already been ‘disturbed by surface mining for coal’.” They added that given the unprecedented threat of human-induced climate change , the global community can’t afford to pursue a less rigorous stance on climate change than California has done. Indeed, they question whether even that will be enough to avert the worst effects of warming temperatures and its cascade of consequences. “Don’t ask how much it will cost because that is the wrong question,” they said. “What will be the cost to the children born in 2016 if we do not act now? The technology exists to begin today, and the economic stimulus effect of a WPA-scale regenerative infrastructure project for the 21st century will bestow positive benefits for generations.” + Land Art Generator Initiative

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Brilliant graphic shows surface area required to power California with 100% renewables

Greenbuild 2013: Focus sharpens on health and transparency

November 19, 2013 by  
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Before the blockbuster green building event kicks off this week in the "workshop of the world," these unique themes are already emerging.

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Greenbuild 2013: Focus sharpens on health and transparency

Can cattle be part of the climate change solution?

March 14, 2013 by  
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Some say animals emit less methane than we've been told  —  and that herds can be managed to restore the environment.

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Can cattle be part of the climate change solution?

Patagonia seeks more sustainable wool in Patagonia

February 11, 2013 by  
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The outdoor gear and clothing giant shows how a company that sells stuff can do less harm to the earth.  

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Patagonia seeks more sustainable wool in Patagonia

10 tips for better energy management

February 11, 2013 by  
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Here's a blueprint of sorts for reducing waste.

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10 tips for better energy management

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