Sustainable Development

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From Copenhagen to Paris: Getting Beyond Talk

The climate issue seems to generate a high level of ideologically based politics, emotional rhetoric and political symbolism. It is time to move past symbols to pragmatism and political reality.

by |November 12, 2015
The drillers insert the larger diameter 4" PVC pipe into the well.  Handling the 10 meter pipe is challenging.

Last Sample and Home

We finished our work at the river transect. Now we had one more sample to collect. Alamgir had arranged for drillers at this new site, but they were delayed because of a knife fight between two villages over some property.

by |October 20, 2015
Hammering the OSL sampler, which is at the end of many auger extension rods.  The sampler fits inside the 3" PVC pipe that had been installed.

OSL Samples at Last

The success of the tube wells for drilling and obtaining samples was a great boon to our field program. We drilled three additional tube wells to complete a five-well transect across the abandoned river valley. When we date the samples, we will find out if the river switched position suddenly, possibly from an earthquake.

by |October 20, 2015

Your Choices Matter

The Earth Institute and Emerald Brand recently co-hosted “Your Choices Matter,” a sustainability awareness event at Columbia University’s Alfred Lerner Hall.

by |October 19, 2015
Standing ankle deep in mud by the resistivity meter.  The smokestack of the brick factory can be seen in the distance.

Tubewells to the Rescue

The resistivity testing was hampered by bad roads and flooded fields. The augering was proving similarly difficult in the thick muds of the abandoned channel. It was time to change to our alternative plan: drilling with tube wells. That worked better and we had turned a corner.

by |October 17, 2015
The large abandoned channel we hoped to work in is completely flooded.

Pani, Pani Everywhere

Heading out to our field area, we discovered that the abandoned river valley we planned to study was completely flooded. There was pani—the Bangla word for water—everywhere.

by |October 14, 2015
The Taj Mahal. You can see its enormous size from the line of people waiting to get inside standing on the pedestal. The line completely circled the tomb on this holiday weekend.

Bangladesh and India, Too

Returning to Bangladesh for additional fieldwork, I stopped off in India for several meetings, but we found time for some sightseeing, too. We were able to see the Qutub Minar complex in Delhi as well as the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in Agra. Plus all the meetings in Delhi, Kolkata and Dhaka were very successful.

by |October 13, 2015

Cuomo’s Commitment to Addressing Climate Change

New York State has taken a progressive stand on climate change, pushing for renewable energy development and promising to curb greenhouse gas emissions. On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, joined by Vice President Al Gore at Columbia University, announced several new actions to increase New York State’s commitment to fighting climate change.

by |October 9, 2015
Somali children play in a child-friendly space supported by UNICEF and run by Save the Children US in the Kobe refugee camp in Ethiopia, in 2012. Some 27,000 refugees from drought and conflict were residing in the camp. Photo: UNICEF

Certificate Program to Focus on Environment and Security

A new professional certificate program at Columbia University will address the linkages between environment and security, aimed at practitioners with responsibility for providing assessments and warnings regarding environment-security risks or for designing programs to manage such risks.

by |October 5, 2015

Program Backs Start-up Competition at Dhaka University

The Sustainable Development program at the Earth Institute is helping to sponsor a start-up competition for students at Dhaka University in Bangladesh.

by |September 29, 2015