Julia Apland Hitz, Author at State of the Planet - Page 4 of 8

Julia is currently with the Findhorn Foundation ecovillage in Scotland. For two years she served as Communications Manager for the Columbia Water Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University. She has also worked as a planning consultant and development officer in environment, sustainable development, social services, and health, in Central America, the UK and the USA.

Recent Posts

The Water Conflict in Ecuador

Over the last year, the government has been working on passing a new water bill, the Hydraulic Resources Law, which would, as I understand it, allow the concessions to stand, codify privatization of water rights and centralize decision-making at the state level, possibly further excluding traditional local water-management structures from the process. In the last weeks an estimated 10,000 protesters have descended on the capitol city of Quito, trying to stop the bill as it comes before the national assembly.

by |May 14, 2010

Sea-kites harvest the energy of the ocean

A test site for a process called ‘Deep Green’ will be built off the coast of Northern Ireland in 2011, according to Minesto, a Saab spinoff. Sea kites will fly deep under water, using ocean currents to lift them, while an attached turbine harvests the the kinetic energy and turns it into electricity.

by |May 12, 2010

The Letter: Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

255 prominent scientists from all over the United States published an open letter in today’s Science Magazine, in defense of science, scientists and the scientific process in the face of vocal and aggressive climate change skeptics. In case you don’t subscribe to Science Magazine, it’s worthwhile reproducing the letter here.

by |May 7, 2010

Disney’s Oceans, the timely movie

On Earth Day, Disney Nature released the film ‘Oceans’. It’s a big-screen, high quality look into a part of the world that most of us can only imagine. Less nature documentary and more visual poem, the film is light on information and heavy on inspiration.

by |May 6, 2010

Seeing the Big Picture of Climate Change

L. Douglas James, a former Hydrologist for the National Science Foundation (retired), is a Big Picture guy. Concerned that scientific research and public policy are both too focused on isolated bits of the climate change issue, he had a go at inspiring attendees of a Columbia Water Center Seminar to branch out, make connections, and think bigger.

by |May 4, 2010

Environmental Regeneration in Haiti: the Water Problem

Columbia Water Center research scientist Lior Asaf is working in Haiti to understand the existing environmental conditions, and look for ways to improve people’s lives for the long term. One part of the project focuses on the Port Piment watershed basin on the southwestern end of the island.

by |April 30, 2010

Sustainable water systems in rural Brazil

One of Columbia Water Center’s major programs, funded by the PepsiCo Foundation, is to develop water infrastructure in rural Brazil, in areas that have had no public water service.  CWC’s local Director, Francisco de Assis de Souza Filho, was recently in New York, and on April 23 gave a talk about ‘Designing Sustainable Water Systems:… read more

by |April 27, 2010

The Desert Margins – vulnerable to desertification, but not hopeless

Most people are aware that vegetative cover, such as trees or other shade producing plants, helps to keep moisture in the soil, especially in the driest climates. Not all plants have the same effect, though.

by |April 26, 2010

The Bottled Water Risk: ‘Tapped’ Awareness Event (photos)

On April 21, the Tapped Truck visited the Columbia University campus, as part of an event organized by Teacher’s College Program in Social Studies and the Go Green Committee.  The truck pulled up on 120th Street and began exchanging plastic water bottles for Klean Kanteen eco-friendly aluminum ones. The line formed quickly, and the first… read more

by |April 23, 2010

T. Boone Pickens vs. Texas Water Conservation Board

T Boone Pickens, well known for his strong opinions on renewable energy, is hoping that selling water to thirsty cities will be as commercially profitable as he’s found oil to be, and has been investing heavily in purchasing water rights. He opposes a public groundwater management plan that interferes with that.

by |April 21, 2010