Increasingly, systems thinking is embraced as a critical framework for approaching sustainability and resilience. Such an approach helps us look beyond an analytical, cause-and-effect mode of doing business that often only yields short-term solutions and unintended consequences.
EICES Guest Blogger
On July 1, single-use styrofoam products will cease to be in circulation in New York City due to a new regulation. The ban, which will be implemented in all five boroughs, will require that no manufacturer or business sell, give or use any single-use styrofoam product including coffee cups, foam trays and packing materials like packing peanuts.
According to the World Water Management Institute, over one-third of the human population is affected by water scarcity. Advances in physical understanding, its applications, and the study of our environment and bio-mimicry help us develop more effective ways to fight freshwater scarcity around the world.
Jeffery Potent writes about how corporations are thinking about their impact on ecosystems in terms of economic quantification in order to achieve more sustainable practices. His upcoming EICES certificate course will also explore how leading corporations are innovating to address environmental and social issues from a business perspective.
A recent study finds that West Antarctica’s ecosystem is highly correlated to its climate. As a result, climate change will have a negative impact on its ecological relationships, from plankton to penguins. Antarctica isn’t alone – climate change will also affect tropical ocean ecosystems by causing mass coral bleaching.
I learned about the coral reef ecology course in Bermuda offered through the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University after developing an interest in marine science over the past year. My background is in newspaper journalism, but I’m now a communications professional at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), devoted to promoting the great work of our scientists around the globe, including those in marine conservation. My supervisors and peers encouraged me to seize the opportunity to take the class since continuing education is something that’s valued at WCS.
On June 2, President Obama announced the most significant climate plan in history. The plan, if enacted as stands, seeks to cut carbon emissions on a state-by-state basis, while giving the states almost limitless freedom on how to do so, as long as they adhere to EPA guidelines. Historic it may be, but is it enough to have a real impact on our rapidly changing climate?
Google has introduced a brand new type of driverless car that runs on electricity: one without a steering wheel, brake, or accelerator pedal.
Should Ozgur Sahin, associate professor of biological sciences and physics of Columbia University, continue expanding upon his work in researching how the tiny movements of microbes can be harnessed to create electrical and mechanical energy, it may pave the way for a world fueled by bacterial spores.
Coral reefs, some of the planet’s most beautiful and biodiverse ecosystems, face many natural and anthropogenic threats. Tremendous effort has gone into protecting and rehabilitating these reefs worldwide, but the mounting problem of ocean acidification has the potential to obliterate all progress made by marine scientists, conservationists, and policy-makers thus far.