“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.”
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.
The Obama administration will propose new rules to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. But is “clean coal” technology up to the job?
Experts discuss the rise and boom of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction in the final Sustainable Development Seminar Series of the 2012-2013 academic year.
The Earth Institute is pleased to welcome National Grid into the Corporate Circle, a collective partnership of leading corporations from across the globe committed to pursuing sustainable development objectives. Through a generous gift, National Grid will support sustainable energy research at the Earth Institute.
When the Environmental Defense Fund asked me to measure how biogas cook stoves were changing the lives of farmers in rural India, there wasn’t a word in that question with which I was comfortable. Having just graduated from the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development, I had never done fieldwork; and the concept of a biogas digester, which turns cow dung into natural gas through anaerobic digestion, was itself a mystery. I had no idea that this was the beginning of a steep learning curve into low-carbon development at a large scale. But even more, that it would provide a window into the lives of families whose existences have permanently improved thanks to the clean cooking stoves.
Interested in Human geography, undersea volcanoes, microgrids, climate change and melting ice sheets, technology and sustainability? The coming week’s lineup of Earth Institute events has you covered.
The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University provides executive training in environmental sustainability through courses in science, economics and policy. We invite you to join our leading experts and practitioners, strengthen your understanding of human-ecosystem interactions, and become an effective environmental leader and decision-maker.
Watch a video about the Columbia Water Center’s project to address a looming water crisis in north Gujarat, India.
Actions by individuals and households to reduce carbon-based energy consumption have the potential to change the picture of U.S. energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in the near term by integrating insights from the behavioral and social sciences.