Editorial

  • Waste has become a lot more valuable to the largest processor of fresh-cut onions in the United States. California-based onion processor Gills Onions used to discard roughly 300,000 pounds of onion waste—inedible skins, tops, and tails—each day, but now this waste is being converted into a biogas that helps power the plant. The owners of […]

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  • The Optimum Population Trust, based in the UK, has proposed a radical method to tackle climate change. The trust recently compared the costs of six carbon-reducing measures. To save a ton of CO2 requires an investment of $131 in electric-vehicle technology, $51 in solar energy, and $18 in wind. It takes $57 to capture and […]

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  • Playpower.org aims to introduce the world’s cheapest computer programs to the poor by utilizing the technology of old 8 bit computers. The Apple II computer, which had its heyday in the 1970s in the West, has lived on in the developing world, where its technology is now open source and easy to manufacture. As a […]

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  • WildlifeDirect, a nonprofit led by Richard Leakey, is using the internet to create a global, conservation-driven community. Using a similar approach to Kiva.org, a popular micro-financing website, WildlifeDirect allows individual donors to learn about conservation projects taking place around the world, to communicate directly with …

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  • Is algaculture—the growing of algae to produce biofuel—set to make a breakthrough in 2010? Last year saw the first algae-powered flight, when a Continental Boeing 737-800 flew over the Gulf of Mexico with one engine running partly on algae oil. The certification process in the U.S. for a 50% algae derived aviation fuel is due […]

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  • The countries of northern Europe have agreed to build a huge network of renewables that will connect offshore wind farms in northern Scotland to solar panels in Germany to wave power and hydroelectricity in Scandinavia. Offshore wind projects in Europe are expected to generate more than 100 gigawatts of energy, about ten percent of the […]

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  • A Copernican shift is underway in fields as diverse as agriculture, materials science, architecture, engineering, business, economics, urban planning, waste management, national security, and many others. In every case, it is driven by the need to discover patterns and larger systems essential to reaching higher levels of efficiency and lower …

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Feature

Perspectives

On the Ground

  • Costa Rica recently topped the New Economic Foundation’s Happy Planet Index, confirming what the country’s enlightened leadership has been propounding to its neighbors for years: countries with the greenest policies are usually the best places to live. Costa Rica generates 90% of its energy from renewables, and Costa Rican law requires …

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Solutions in History

Envision the Future

Interview

  • China has announced its first carbon intensity target, which aims to slow the increase of emissions relative to economic growth by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020. Carbon intensity is a phrase much derided by some environmentalists who say it fails to address underlying trends in carbon emissions growth. In China’s case, this measure will […]

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Media Review

  • Who cannot appreciate the intensity of Frances Moore Lappé’s vision “that ideas have enormous power and that humans are capable of changing failing ideas in order to turn our planet toward life”? Starting with Diet for a Small Planet (1971), she has written ten books describing democratic, humane, and enlightened solutions to hunger and social …

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  • Envisioning a positive future is a fundamental prerequisite for getting there. The Great Transition Initiative is a large and growing international network that has been creating and analyzing alternative future scenarios for decades. They now have a fantastic website that lays out these alternative futures and describes their characteristics …

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  • On the Google Earth Heroes webpage, short videos document how people and organizations are using Google Earth to, for example, coordinate firefighting efforts in California, help the Mars Rovers navigate Mars’ treacherous terrain, map Borneo’s deforestation and promote conservation, and educate the public and government on the …

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