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Are shared e-scooters good for the planet? Only if they replace car trips

Jeremiah Johnson, North Carolina State University Shared dockless electric scooters, or e-scooters, transport riders over short distances in cities. Ride share companies promote them as an environmentally friendly choice that reduces dependence on cars. To properly assess these claims, it’s important to consider all relevant environmental factors, including the materials and energy required to manufacture Read more about Are shared e-scooters good for the planet? Only if they replace car trips[…]

40 years ago, scientists predicted climate change. And hey, they were right

Neville Nicholls, Monash University This month the world has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon. But this week sees another scientific anniversary, perhaps just as important for the future of civilisation. Forty years ago, a group of climate scientists sat down at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts Read more about 40 years ago, scientists predicted climate change. And hey, they were right[…]

Resource depletion is a serious problem, but ‘footprint’ estimates don’t tell us much about it

Robert B. Richardson, Michigan State University Experts widely agree that human activities are harming the global environment. Since the Industrial Revolution, the world economy has grown dramatically. Overall this is a success story, since rising incomes have lifted millions of people out of poverty. But it has been fueled by population growth and increasing consumption Read more about Resource depletion is a serious problem, but ‘footprint’ estimates don’t tell us much about it[…]

Can protecting land promote employment? In New England, the answer is yes

Katharine Sims, Amherst College; Jonathan Thompson, Harvard University, and Spencer Meyer, Harvard University Protecting land from development provides numerous ecological and social benefits, but many people debate whether it hurts or helps local economies. Some worry that land protection will inhibit economic growth by restricting local resource use or building opportunities. Others counter that land Read more about Can protecting land promote employment? In New England, the answer is yes[…]

Listening to nature: How sound can help us understand environmental change

Garth Paine, Arizona State University Our hearing tells us of a car approaching from behind, unseen, or a bird in a distant forest. Everything vibrates, and sound passes through and around us all the time. Sound is a critical environmental signifier. Increasingly, we are learning that humans and animals are not the only organisms that Read more about Listening to nature: How sound can help us understand environmental change[…]

Retired oil rigs off the California coast could find new lives as artificial reefs

Ann Scarborough Bull, University of California, Santa Barbara and Milton Love, University of California, Santa Barbara Offshore oil and gas drilling has been a contentious issue in California for 50 years, ever since a rig ruptured and spilled 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of crude oil off Santa Barbara in 1969. Today it’s spurring a new Read more about Retired oil rigs off the California coast could find new lives as artificial reefs[…]

As more developing countries reject plastic waste exports, wealthy nations seek solutions at home

Kate O’Neill, University of California, Berkeley Less than two years after China banned most imports of scrap material from abroad, many of its neighbors are following suit. On May 28, 2019, Malaysia’s environment minister announced that the country was sending 3,000 metric tons of contaminated plastic wastes back to their countries of origin, including the Read more about As more developing countries reject plastic waste exports, wealthy nations seek solutions at home[…]

To solve climate change and biodiversity loss, we need a Global Deal for Nature

Greg Asner, Arizona State University Earth’s cornucopia of life has evolved over 550 million years. Along the way, five mass extinction events have caused serious setbacks to life on our planet. The fifth, which was caused by a gargantuan meteorite impact along Mexico’s Yucatan coast, changed Earth’s climate, took out the dinosaurs and altered the Read more about To solve climate change and biodiversity loss, we need a Global Deal for Nature[…]