Plastic Bag Bans Spreading in the United States

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Health & Disease, News, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

by Janet Larsen and Savina Venkova, Earth Policy Institute Los Angeles rang in the 2014 New Year with a ban on the distribution of plastic bags at the checkout counter of big retailers, making it the largest of the 132 cities and counties around the United States with anti-plastic bag legislation. And a movement that… Read more »

Can the World Feed China?

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Food Shortages.

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute Slim, healthy, happy bovines promote a ‘hip’ new McDonald’s meat based diet to Chinese consumers from billboards across the country Overnight, China has become a leading world grain importer, set to buy a staggering 22 million tons in the 2013–14 trade year, according to the latest U.S. Department… Read more »

As Sea Ice Shrinks, Arctic Shipping Options Expand

Posted by & filed under Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change.

by Janet Larsen and Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute Photo: Rosatomflot On October 7, 2013, the Nordic Orion bulk carrier ship completed its journey from Vancouver, Canada, to Pori, Finland, having traveled northward around Alaska and through the Northwest Passage. It was the first large commercial freighter ever to make the voyage through these… Read more »

2013 Marked the Thirty-seventh Consecutive Year of Above-Average Temperature

Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change.

by Janet Larson, Earth Policy Institute Last year was the thirty-seventh consecutive year of above-normal global temperature. According to data from NASA, the global temperature in 2013 averaged 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit (14.6 degrees Celsius), roughly a degree warmer than the twentieth-century average. Since the dawn of agriculture 11,000 years ago, civilization has enjoyed a relatively… Read more »

Arctic Sea Ice Freefall is Mirror Image of Carbon Dioxide Ascent

Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change.

by Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute The amount of Arctic sea ice has plummeted in recent decades — a bold manifestation of the rise in temperature resulting from the rapid increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. After staying below 300 parts per million (ppm) for some 800,000 years, the concentration of CO2… Read more »

Less Than 3 Percent of Oceans in Marine Parks Despite Recent Growth

Posted by & filed under Fish, Food Shortages.

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute Photo credit: Dr. James P. McVey, NOAA Sea Grant Program In May 1975, rising concerns about overfishing and deteriorating ocean health prompted scientists and officials from 33 countries to meet in Tokyo for the first global conference on marine parks and reserves. Noting the need for swift action… Read more »

India’s Dangerous ‘Food Bubble’

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Desertification, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Editor’s Note: As is often the case with the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), crucial solutions are largely missing from the article below. I personally believe India’s population is not the problem, but land mismanagement and the prioritising of extractive short-term economic policies. The author, Lester Brown, only touches on solutions (a surface-level mention of water… Read more »

Moving Up the Food Chain

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Health & Disease, Society.

by Lester R. Brown For most of the time that human beings have walked the earth, we lived as hunter-gatherers. The share of the human diet that came from hunting versus gathering varied with geographic location, hunting skills, and the season of the year. During the northern hemisphere winter, for instance, when there was little… Read more »