Humayun, Liz and I headed to Khulna in SW Bangladesh a day after Chris and Dan. Along the way, we stopped at our sediment compaction meter for surveying and removing the GPS, and getting feasted by the family that hosts the system.
I’m back in Bangladesh with a small team after a year and a half away. One different is a police escort as a result of the attacks last year. We start by successfully sampling river sediments to correct the date of an earthquake that caused a river to shift over 3,500 years ago. We also will be fixing broken equipment, visiting the ever changing rivers and hopefully meeting with the public and government officials about the earthquake hazard.
The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, is accepting applications for internship positions for the spring 2017 semester as well as for summer 2017.
Across the nation, abandoned mine sites continue to pollute the environment for decades as acid mine drainage flows into rivers and streams. A 1980 law was supposed to fix that, but lack of funding and enforcement have left the public stuck with the bill.
The biggest barrier to installation or permeable pavement is funding. But the positive outcomes include reduced flooding, less stormwater runoff, and recharging of aquifers.
Oil palm is in everything from food to cosmetics to fuel and is consumed and used by most people without giving it a second thought. Yet oil palm cultivation is a large contributor to environmental and social problems, especially in places like Indonesia, where the business of oil palm cultivation has become the second largest export over the last decade.
Princess, a division of Carnival Cruise line, the largest passenger cruise company in the world, has pleaded guilty to seven felony charges and will pay $40 million after employees on a cruise ship were caught dumping oiled waste into the seas and lying to cover up their actions. This as an issue of management that is not limited to Princess or Carnival, but to whole areas of business practice that continue to ignore their responsibility to apply best management practices and the best available technology to operations such as waste disposal.
In November 2016, the Anchor Institutions Task Force held its annual conference in New York City. Over 150 representatives from a variety of anchor institutions and partner organizations came together to discuss how anchor institutions can make valuable contributions to community and economic development through local partnerships.
We do not know enough about our planet and the impact of human technology on its basic systems. It is beyond idiotic to think we can grow our population and consumption this much, this quickly, and have no impact. But it is also foolish to overstate what we know and ask policymakers to invest trillions of dollars on impacts we have not yet seen. Scientists need to be encouraged and funded to present facts, projections and options.
In an effort to curb sewage overflows, New York City has turned to green infrastructure: right-of-way bioswales, green roofs and rain gardens, among other practices. These measures help decrease stormwater runoff by increasing pervious areas and introducing water-loving plants that can absorb some of the water and encourage evaporation.