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The perils of commoditizing nature is evident in the plight of the Rhino

Rhino Horn Economics: The Perils of Commoditizing Nature

A number of market based solutions have been advanced to address dwindling biological diversity and the loss of healthy eco-systems. Efforts to save the rhino serve as a model to explore some of these approaches. Rhinos are one of the largest living land mammals and they symbolize humans’ deleterious impacts on the natural world. Rhinos are being hunted to extinction…

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Garbage, especially plastic waste, chokes our oceans and alters marine habitats

Plastic Waste in Our Oceans: Problems and Solutions

One of the unexpected corollaries of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been the increase in public awareness about the tons of garbage that litter our oceans. In the first few weeks after the March 8 disappearance of the passenger jet, searchers scoured huge swaths of the Indian Ocean, and found nothing but garbage. In the process of looking for wreckage from the…

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Mudslides and climate change. Does the recent tragedy in Washington state portend to much such devastating mudslides in a changing climate?

The Relationship Between Landslides and Climate Change in North America

While the causal factors involved in landslides are complex, there is a strong body of research which supports the idea that climate change will increase the number of slides. The key factor connecting climate change to landslides is water. This linkage has been evinced in both geological and hydrological research. As University of Washington geologist Dave Montgomery explained in an…

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Managing the water-energy nexus in a climate change world

Synergistic Solutions to the Water Energy Nexus

March 22 was World Water Day and the theme for 2014 is Water and Energy. Water and energy can be perceived as almost synonymous. Water is required to generate energy and water is also a major draw on energy. The fifth edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2014) reiterates the point that water and energy are…

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Better policy and monitoring is key to managing global deforestation

Managing Deforestation Through Policy and Monitoring

When combined with the right policies, new monitoring capabilities may significantly enhance our capacity to manage forests. As an homage to the International Day of Forests on March 21, here is a review of forest management policy recommendations and new global monitoring solutions. After a United Nations General Assembly resolution in 2012, the International Day of Forests was observed for…

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Women must play a key role in climate justice and a sustainable future

Women’s Rights and Climate Justice: Impediments to Women in the Workforce Inhibit Action on Climate Change

Women could shift the balance of power and help us to move forward on a host of sustainability issues. Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8, so this is an opportune time to review the importance of women to the health of the planet. While women represent roughly half of the population, they have yet to assume their rightful role…

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Connectedness and happiness are two of the five key psychological elements to a new climate change narrative

Forging a New Climate Change Narrative: Addressing 5 Psychological Realities

A new narrative that is designed to encourage action to combat climate change must acknowledge the abstract nature of global warming. First and foremost we need to address the fact that people are not rational actors. Perhaps the most cogent approach to managing the Herculean task of communicating with an inherently irrational public is to focus on a narrative that…

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