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  • Will Chicago Stay on its Green Path under Mayor Rahm Emanuel?

    It wasn’t that long ago that you immediately looked to coastal cities in the US for green innovation: if it wasn’t happening in green cities like New York, Portland, OR, or San Francisco, it probably wasn’t happening at all in the US… Austin, TX seemed the only exception to this rule. Then, a few years […] More

  • By the Numbers – Data Highlights from World on the Edge

    The hundreds of data sets that accompany Lester Brown’s latest book, World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, illustrate the world’s current predicament and give a sense of where we might go from here. Here are some highlights from the collection. More

  • World One Poor Harvest Away From Chaos

    By Lester R. Brown In early January, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that its Food Price Index had reached an all-time high in December, exceeding the previous record set during the 2007-08 price surge. Even more alarming, on February 3rd, the FAO announced that the December record had been broken in January […] More

  • Energy Executives Support a Greener National Energy Policy

    There’s more support than ever before from consumers for environmentally-friendly policy. This can be seen simply from the ever-growing number of news articles about global warming to the amount of advertising promoting green products. From this, one would think that the market itself would be enough to change the current standards to ones with higher-efficiency. […] More

  • Rising Global Food Prices – Why You Should Care

    The chart above shows that global food prices, as measured by the FAO indicies, are spiking, much as they did in 2008.  At the end of January,  the overall food price index had just surpassed the 2008/9 peak, while the indicies for dairy, cereals and oils were closing in on the previous maximum.  The meat […] More

  • Environmental and Demographic Forces Threaten State Failure

    By Lester R. Brown Uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and across the Middle East at the start of 2011 have reminded the world just how politically fragile some countries are. But the focus of international politics has been shifting for some time now. After a half-century of forming new states from former colonies and from the […] More

  • Restoring Food Security for All Takes Action on Many Fronts

    By Lester R. Brown Today there are three sources of growing demand for food: population growth; rising affluence and the associated jump in meat, milk, and egg consumption; and the use of grain to produce fuel for cars. Population growth is as old as agriculture itself. But the world is now adding close to 80 […] More

  • Solar Power Uptake in Australia Boosted by Electricity Price Hikes

    Australia’s solar power industry is experiencing a boom in customer demand thanks in part to a significant increase in current electricity prices, and a forecast of more price hikes to come. When combined with the generous government rebates and feed in tariffs on offer, the expected price hikes are contributing to a surge in residential […] More

  • Free Burma Alliance Petitions for US Rejection of Myanmar Elections

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hgy0z9XstOA[/youtube] If you’ve been by the product comparison engine over the last few days, you probably noticed that we have a new ad campaign running for the Free Burma Alliance. If they struck you as a bit outside of our normal scope, no problem… that was my first thought when first presented with the request […] More

  • What Asparagus Tells Us About Our Food Future

    I’d like to make the case that asparagus, as a crop, is a prophetic vegetable.  How the global asparagus industry has changed gives us a window on how the rest of the US fresh produce market is likely to change over time. We Americans Love Asparagus, but… As you can see in the graph above, […] More

  • Green Technology Leads to More Jobs

    The global demand for batteries is expected to grow exponentially over the next 20 years. We cannot make the conversion to clean energy without first acknowledging the need for energy storage and transfer (better batteries and a smarter grid). Despite the important role these parts play in green energy, the economic impact of this domestic […] More

  • Landfill Gas vs. Composting: is this Really the Way to Grow Renewable Energy?

    Yep, we’ve had this conversation before… do landfills produce more methane than composting? Is keeping yard waste separate from other trash a smart move, or should we throw it all in together to take advantage of methane capture at landfill sites? That question became relevant again this week as the Florida legislature, in its veto […] More

  • Are You For Better Biking Infrastructure?

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEhpUov-adU[/youtube] You Can Help the Future of Biking: Sign the People for Bikes Petition By signing the petition at People For Bikes, you will add your voice to that of a million others to influence leaders in Congress as well as state and local governments to invest in biking infrastructure and programs. Making the world […] More

  • Farmed Animals Are "Animals" Too

    Ask nearly any school-aged child if cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and other common farm critters are “animals,” and that child almost surely will tell you, “Yes!” Then she probably will giggle at your silliness or utter a bemused “Duh!!!” to mock your simplicity. Really, this question is a no-brainer… Except, that is, for the United […] More

  • Envisioning Chicago’s Waterway System for the 21st Century

    There is finally a concerted effort in the Great Lakes region to deal with the problem of Asian carp and other invasive threats to the ecosystem. After a series of unsuccessful lawsuits by Michigan and others to get the state of Illinois to close the Chicago River lock system and the subsequent confirmation of large […] More

  • President Obama: Lead America to Clean Energy Now

    As far back as Richard Nixon, every American president has called for energy reform and action to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. And for 40 years, not a single one followed through to create real change. President Obama has expressed his public commitment to passing strong climate and energy reform in 2010. But, with the legislative […] More

  • The Emerging Politics of Food Scarcity

    By Lester R. Brown A dangerous geopolitics of food scarcity is emerging in which individual countries, acting in their narrowly defined self-interest, reinforce the trends causing global food security to deteriorate. This began in late 2007 when wheat-exporting countries, like Russia and Argentina, attempted to counter domestic food price rises by limiting or banning exports. […] More

  • The Population-Poverty Connection

    By Lester R. Brown The 21st century began on an inspiring note: the United Nations set a goal of reducing the share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty by half by 2015. By early 2007 the world looked to be on track to meet this goal, but as the economic crisis unfolds and […] More

  • EDF Launches New Campaign: Tell Congress "I Am Not a Guinea Pig"

    We’re all guinea pigs whether we know it or not. Everyday, American families use an array of products that contain synthetic chemicals, some of them toxic: children’s toys, carpeting, cookware, cosmetics and countless other household items. Even the water you drink or your favorite fish may contain toxic chemicals. But our nation’s decades-old toxic chemical […] More

  • Atlantic States Move to Develop Their 330 GW Off-Shore Wind Potential

    Interior Secretary Salazar has joined with the governors of ten states to develop the staggering potential for offshore wind on the US Outer Continental Shelf, through a new Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium. Last year, thorough polling of residents in five Atlantic states revealed a tremendous groundswell of support for clean offshore wind energy development […] More

  • "Making It Right" for Real: Responding to the BP Gulf Oil Spill

    It has been just under two months now since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and oil, with natural gas and other chemicals, started spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. I need not recount the ensuing debacle, as I am sure almost everyone is far too familiar with the dire results. Considering that there has […] More

  • Personal Car Sharing: Save the Environment without Moving a Muscle with AB 1871

    This was originally posted by Carrie Denning on Environmental Defense Fund’s transportation blog, Way2Go. Across the country, car sharing has taken off. Programs like Zipcar, PhillyCarShare, Car2Go in Austin, Texas, City CarShare in San Francisco, as well as big name rental companies like Hertz and Enterprise, are helping people get around without owning a car. […] More

  • PG&E, Prop 16, and Truth in Advertising

    “But I swear it was in self defense” Bob Marley exclaims in “I Shot The Sheriff”: “Sheriff John Brown… says kill the seeds before they grow.” With Prop 16, PG&E is trying to kill the seeds of a clean energy future before they have a chance to grow. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico […] More

  • Offshore Drilling Moratorium Only Verbal, Permits Continue

    We’re now witnessing one of the worst marine environmental disasters ever, and yet the political posturing coming from Washington D.C. continues to be based on lip service and empty promises. The Secretary of the Department of Interior, Ken Salazar, announced a moratorium on the issuance of final permits for “any new offshore drilling activity” on […] More

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