The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment is accepting applications for internship positions for the spring 2015 and summer 2015 semesters. Interns are staffed to one or more specific research projects depending on the background and interests of the particular applicant. Internships are generally unpaid, though some paid opportunities are available. Select work-study administrative positions are also available, and course credit can be granted in some cases.
Sustainability is often about changing how organizations work. The Practicum in Innovative Sustainability Leadership course, added to the M.S. in Sustainability Management curriculum this spring, provides a forum where some of the world’s leading practitioners teach students how to make these changes.
New York State will acquire a conservation easement for the Black Rock Forest, protecting the 3,800-acre preserve 50 miles north of New York City for both public use and scientific research.
An Evening with the Writers of the Clean Air Act: Insight into the ‘Golden Age’ of Environmental Law
At a panel discussion this week, Leon Billings and Thomas Jorling, two senior staff members who helped craft the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and other major environmental legislation in the 1970s, spoke about the bipartisan effort to pass that legislation, and the partisan divide that stymies Congress today.
While public opinion is fairly skewed against the fracking process, policy actors in New York State can best be described as polarized. Predictably, the pro-fracking group generally disagrees with environmental groups while the anti-fracking group generally disagrees with the oil industry. Policy actors in New York had stark differences in answers on a wide variety of questions.
As Professor Ruth DeFries aptly stated in her opening remarks at yesterday’s book launch for “The Big Ratchet,” if you look at satellite pictures of the earth, you see the imprint of the human species everywhere. Humans have come to dominate the planet. But how did this come to be? This question, among others, is what DeFries hopes to answer in her new book, “The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis.” How did humans acquire the capability to spread out over the entire earth and control other species?
In my early years I didn’t talk about the politics of global warming much. I didn’t bring it up with friends or family, let alone engage in any public way. It seemed to me unseemly for a scientist to be vocal on a political issue related, even indirectly, to his own research. Wouldn’t that be an indication of bias, of a lack of scientific impartiality? But I have changed my mind.
The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment will be addressing the challenges of sustainable agricultural investment in its inaugural Executive Training Program on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture, which will be held at Columbia University from March 8-13, 2015.
With support from the Earth Institute, writers Caswell Holloway, Carter Strickland, Michael Gerrard, and Daniel Firger recently published “Solving the CSO Conundrum: Green Infrastructure and the Unfulfilled Promise of Federal-Municipal Cooperation” in Harvard Environmental Law Review. The authors propose regulatory and policy reform to develop comprehensive, locally led infrastructure and sustainability initiatives that improve public health and the environment. They look specifically at the case of water management as an opportunity for federal and local governments to work cooperatively, specifically through the implementation of green infrastructure systems.
In her new book, Ruth DeFries argues that we have continually created new technologies that allow our numbers to grow. But each new invention creates a new problem—which we solve with yet another innovation that creates the next problem. Will we be able to sustain this so-far successful cycle past the great leap in technology and population of the last century?