Author: Lakis Polycarpou

Lakis Polycarpou

Lakis Polycarpou is a writer, ecological designer and sustainable development consultant. His posts on State of the Planet have covered diverse issues including water scarcity, climate change, drought, flood, food security, supply chains and geopolitics. From 2010 to 2012, Lakis worked with the Columbia Water Center to articulate and communicate innovative solutions to global water and climate challenges. Lakis currently works with environmental organizations in Westchester County, New York to organize programming and lead sustainable development initiatives.

For a Wind-Powered City, Heat Pumps Are Key

by | 6.27.2014 at 2:00am
wind-power-10157_640

Replacing conventional building boilers with electric heat pumps in New York City buildings could substantially increase the viability of renewable energy use in the city, according to a recent study from researchers from the Earth Institute’s Sustainable Engineering Lab.

Study: Reforming the Port Authority and the MTA

by | 6.23.2014 at 11:17am
columbia

Earth Institute students took a hard look into financial and administrative problems plaguing the MTA and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and came up with suggestions for more sustainable financing and more efficient operations.

Beyond Coal: Economic Alternatives for Kentucky

by | 6.6.2014 at 9:28am
coal

Earth Institute students evaluated Kentucky’s physical, economic and cultural resources to identify ways to move the economy toward a more sustainable future—and to make recommendations for how the state’s community and technical college system could help.

Capstone Projects Address Real Sustainability Challenges

by | 5.14.2014 at 1:22pm
Storm_Drain

Students from the Earth Institute’s Sustainability Management and Environmental Science and Policy master’s programs once again demonstrated the broad range of applications for interdisciplinary approaches to sustainable development in their Spring 2014 team capstone projects. The projects provided analysis and recommendations to a range of clients on diverse, real-world sustainability challenges.

US Groundwater Declines More Widespread Than Commonly Thought

by | 3.17.2014 at 9:00pm | 2 Comments
groundwatermap

Groundwater levels are dropping across a much wider swath of the United States than is generally discussed, according to a new report, suggesting that the nation’s long-term pattern of groundwater use is broadly unsustainable.

The End of Cheap Water?

by | 10.15.2013 at 11:34am | 4 Comments
tampabaydesal

Americans are paying more for water than they did a decade ago, even as water utilities fall into debt and water infrastructure deteriorates, according to a Columbia Water Center report.

Resource Consumption — the Ultimate Bubble?

by | 10.4.2013 at 10:09am
Oil pump. By rocor, via Flickr.

“Basically, the instinct of civilizations in the past has been to run off a cliff. This time it’s different. We have one global civilization, so we have to be very careful not to run off a cliff.”

Charting the Course to a Renewable Energy Future

by | 7.30.2013 at 10:18am
The largest photovoltaic power plant in the United States at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The plant occupies 170 acres and has a 15 megawatt capacity.

As environmentalists have pushed for greater investment in wind and solar energy, critics have insisted that renewable sources of power could never provide more than a fraction of world energy demand. Evidence is mounting, however, that the critics are wrong.

Climate Effects on NYC May Move Faster Than Previously Forecast

by | 6.12.2013 at 4:30pm
NYC 100yr flood zones NYU

The impact of climate change on New York City could be even more severe than previously thought, putting more people at risk from increasingly frequent floods and heat waves, according to a report by the New York City Panel on Climate Change that was released Monday.

Water Risk in Unexpected Places

by | 5.20.2013 at 6:54pm | 2 Comments
An infographic by Veolia water based on the Columbia Water Center report shows areas in the United States with the greatest water risk.

A new report by the Columbia Water Center, produced with Veolia Water and Growing Blue, could help expose the real nature of water risk–even in places that most people think of as having plenty of water.