It’s Time to Go Back to School—Is It Also Time to Go Electric?

Opportunities to Advance Electric School Bus Technology
Some 50 million children in communities across the United States are heading back to school over the next couple of weeks. About half of these students will get to school on one of 480,000 yellow school buses, more than 90 percent of which are … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Saikou’s Day Aboard the Tigerfish Floating School

Education in 2040What might education look like in 2040 if it were to be truly Earth-centric? That is to say, teaching a deep connection to—and obligation to care for—the planet that sustains us? Over the course of the summer, as I work on the upcoming … Continue Reading ››

Moving Beyond the Generation Fixation: Grid Transformation Key to Delivering on Paris

Attending the annual BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 launch event in June, I watched BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale invoke lessons from history. “Even if renewables continue to grow faster than any other energy technology in history,” he said, “we are unlikely to meet carbon emissions reductions targets set in Paris last … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Rima’s Day at École Gardiens de la Forêt (Montreal, Canada)

Education in 2040What might education look like in 2040 if it were to be truly Earth-centric? That is to say, teaching a deep connection to—and obligation to care for—the planet that sustains us? Over the course of the summer, as I work on the upcoming … Continue Reading ››

Faith Communities as Sowers of Sustainability? 

The seeds of sustainable economies may be sown in surprising places, I thought as I toured a church-run project in East Palo Alto, California that is designed to promote home gardens. That project, and other religious activism on sustainability issues, made me wonder: Could religious congregations be important catalysts of sustainability practices? Maybe. But let’s start … Continue Reading ››

Four Important Lessons from Cuba’s Urban Food Survival Strategy

Cuba has come a long way since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the loss of imports crucial for the island nation’s industrial agriculture system—such as chemical pesticides and fertilizers—left Cuba with a severe food crisis in the 1990s. Today, Cuba has become a regional leader in sustainable agricultural research. Within its practices and … Continue Reading ››

How Urban Dwellers Drive Massive Deforestation

This post is an excerpt from Worldwatch Institute's Can a City Be Sustainable? (State of the World). Urban centers lie at the root of an important—and often neglected—source of emissions: deforestation. According to Senior Researcher Tom Prugh in Can a City Be Sustainable? (State … Continue Reading ››

Whether or Not Cheering Is Warranted, There Are Ways to Celebrate World Population Day

As we advance well into the 21st century, what are we to make of World Population Day, which falls—thanks to a 1989 declaration of the United Nations—every year on July 11?

World Population Day was first informally celebrated in 1987, with the date chosen as the UN’s best guess as to when the world’s population … Continue Reading ››

China’s Wind Power: Renewable Revolution or Just Hot Air?

All too common a sight in China, 20,000 MW of wind turbines stand idle despite persistent 35 mph winds. Installations at Jiu Quan, one of six Chinese wind power megaprojects, are estimated to have cost US$17.5 billion alone. Yet despite these massive financial outlays, technology, infrastructure, and planning roadblocks are hamstringing China’s renewables revolution. As … Continue Reading ››

Is There a Place for Family Planning Advocacy in Environmental Work?

Ask environmental leaders where voluntary family planning fits into their organizations’ missions and goals, and most will draw a blank. Their tasks are hard and often controversial enough without promoting expanded access to contraception, some might respond. Others might dismiss the importance of family planning with statements along the lines of “it’s not our numbers, but … Continue Reading ››

Vision for a Sustainable World