“The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 and the hope is that this gathering will refocus on the original goals of the first Rio convention held in 1992. UNESCO hopes that Rio+20 will “underpin a broader, longer-term process of redressing imbalances, a rethinking of priorities, and the necessary institutional reforms to bring about coherence in economic, environmental and social policies, which benefits all members of society.” On this site, visitors can learn about UNESCO’s “messages” for those participating in Rio+20, which cover “Education for a Sustainable Future” and “Building Awareness for Green Policies”. Moving along, the “Resources” area contains timely research documents like “From Green Economics to Green Societies” and “Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability”. Also, visitors shouldn’t miss the “Video” area, which includes information about UNESCO’s outreach efforts in addressing the digital divide and incorporating media partners into educating the public about sustainable development.”
Source: Scout Report, Univ. of Wisconsin, Jan. 20.
“Plan for U.S. Global Change Research Program Reviewed The draft 10-year strategic plan for the U.S. Global Change Research Program is “evolving in the right direction,” but several key issues could strengthen these planning efforts, says a new report from the National Research Council.”
Source: What’s New at the National Academies, Jan. 9, 2012
Worldwatch Institute Mourns an Environmental Heroine
“It is with great sadness that Worldwatch Institute says goodbye to Kenya’s Wangari Muta Maathai, an environmental activist and women’s rights advocate and the founder of Kenya’s influential Green Belt movement. Maathai was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, for promoting conservation, women’s rights, and a transparent government. In 2003, Worldwatch had the honor of interviewing Maathai and being in her presence in Kenya. She was an inspiration to our work and will be dearly missed.”
“Report Offers Framework To Guide EPA On Incorporating Sustainability In Its Decision Making
WASHINGTON – A new report from the National Research Council presents a framework for incorporating sustainability into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s principles and decision making. The framework, which was requested by EPA, is intended to help the agency better assess the social, environmental, and economic impacts of various options as it makes decisions.
The committee that developed the framework used the definition of sustainability based on a declaration of federal policy in the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act and included in a 2009 Executive Order: “to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.”
Source: What’s New @ the National Academies, Aug. 8, 2011
On Tuesday, July 26th at 9 PM/ET, the Weather Channel will air another “Changing Planet” town hall produced by NBC Learn and moderated by NBC News Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson. Changing Planet: Clean Energy, Green Jobs, and Global Competition was filmed at George Washington University. It’s the second in a three-part series produced with the National Science Foundation and Discover magazine. The town hall will also be available after the broadcasts on nbclearn.com/changingplanet.
The Environmental Protection Agency has been cleaning up the nation’s land, water and air for four decades, and there’s still much work to be done. This homepage provides information about cleanups around the country, what citizens can do to help, and the EPA’s long-term stewardship programs. On the homepage, visitors can use a clickable map to learn about cleanup information by EPA region or program. Moving on, visitors can also read about available cleanup grants and funding opportunities in different communities. The site also contains a glossary of EPA terms, and helpful cleanup publications, such as newsletters, “FedFacs” newsletters, and waste management documents that cover Native American reservations. The site is rounded out by an “Other Publications” area that covers brownfields and the latest work on Superfund sites.”
We highlight three cognitive barriers that impede sound individual decision making that have particular relevance to behaviors impacting the environment. First, despite claiming that they want to leave the world in good condition for future generations, people intuitively discount the future to a greater degree than can be rationally defended. Second, positive illusions lead us to conclude that energy problems do not exist or are not severe enough to merit action. Third, we interpret events in a self-serving manner, a tendency that causes us to expect others to do more than we do to solve energy problems. We then propose ways in which these biases could actually be used to our advantage in steering ourselves toward better judgment. Finally, we outline the key questions on the research frontier from the behavioral decision-making perspective and debunk the myth that behavioral and neoclassical economic perspectives need be in conflict.
“Statistical reports on alternative power sources including wind, hydro, solar, geothermal, bio, ocean, transportation biofuels, fuel cells along with energy storage, efficiency, and infrastructure; and carbon. Also includes electricity power prices.”