Cold War-Era Satellite Images Reveal Effects of Climate Change

“These spy images are a gold mine as a scientific reference point,”

Howie Epstein – Environmental Sciences Professor

During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union routinely spied on each other using high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft and space satellites. Looking for USSR military installations, the U.S. found mostly undeveloped, wild terrain.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the U.S. declassified tens of thousands of images. It occurred to University of Virginia environmental scientists that the imagery is a storehouse of information for better understanding how tundra regions are altering as a result of climate change.

Click Here for the full article.

Green Bonds Are Sustainable (In Every Way!)

Money and plant with hand with filter effect retro vintage style

Between 2015 and 2016, the total value of Green Bonds issued has doubled to $81 Billion! Given the fact that this value is expected to double yet again by the end of 2017, this marks what some are considering the beginning of a flourishing new asset class.

With the widespread adoption of environmental policies from countries worldwide, there is a mass amount of green infrastructure to be built in the coming years. Experts think that Green Bonds will be a pivotal tool for pushing this development through to completion. To read more about the Green Bond’s opportunity for social impact AND market yield, click here!

Minimalism: Reduce Before You Reuse

Most often when we discuss our ecological footprint, we like to talk about turning off lights before we leave the house, taking shorter showers, and washing clothes on a cold cycle. The fact is, there is an even greater conversation to be had. It’s not about how we USE the products and services around us, but our approach to ownership.

Enter Minimalism. A new lifestyle approach which focusses on REDUCING before we even have to reuse or recycle. People are buying 4 times as much clothing than they did 20 years ago. Whether fuelled by the fast fashion industry, or the ‘Apple consumer’ mindset of buying immediate device upgrades, Minimalism offers a lifestyle alternative which is known to increase personal happiness and our positive effect on the environment. You can read more about the relationship between Minimalism and the environment here!

Can Power Plants Reverse Air Pollution?

We’ve done it! The world finally has its first negative emissions power plant. This might seem like an oxymoron, but to the environmentally passionate team at Climeworks, it’s their job.

They’ve managed to modify a geothermal plant in Iceland, to not only generate power, but to remove carbon dioxide from the air around it. What’s more? They power their carbon capture technology through residual waste heat generated by the plant. You can read more here.

Coca-Cola Leads the Way In Renewable Packaged Goods

In Coca-Cola’s attempt to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, we can all look forward to the implementation of their PlantBottle. The product is made entirely of sugar-cane derived plastic, with the goal of using exclusively green packaging by 2020. Coca-Cola hopes to lead the packaged goods industry away from its dependence on non-renewably sourced plastic.

Their comments: “It hasn’t been an easy task, but it shows our commitment to doing the right thing int he right way.”

You can read more here.

Fisheries On Demand: The Future of Aquaculture

Last year the United States of America consumed 4.8 billion pounds of seafood, 50% of which is supported by fish farms. A method of fishing consisting of isolating a ‘pen’ of water to securely harvest fish from. What’s the problem with this? In addition to the societal overconsumption of fish, fish farms are stationary. This means that the pens are trapped within the produced waste of millions of fish. This often leads to disease, and the complete desertification and destruction of nearby ecosystems from increased toxicity.

Cue an innovative solution: InnovaSea is attempting to create free-floating domes which will seemingly solve the problem. What’s more? Not only will these pods ensure that the produced waste is distributed across the ocean safely and effectively, but these pods will actually utilize ocean currents to DELIVER matured fish to shipping ports across the world.

To see the effects of a collaboration between innovation, business and nature the following video goes into amazing details about the Aquapod A3600.  And as always, feel free to read more at this link. 

 

How Can Algae Replace Water Bottles

Did you know that traditional plastic water bottles can take from 450 – 1000 years to fully decompose. Icelandic inventor, Ari Jónsson developed a creative solution to our problem of plastic overconsumption: biodegradable algae-based water bottles. He is part of a growing group of product developers who look to nature to solve for inspiration. Who knows, in future years we may be seeing a growth of algae-based plastics in the consumer market?

Project Mose -Venice’s Creative Solution to Holding Back the Tide

MOSE Barrier, overview and details

In Venice, Italy- a tourist destination known for their intricate and iconic canal systems, they are already experiencing the worst effects of our rising sea levels. When the tide is in, water from the ocean floods into the lowest parts of their city – affecting people’s homes and their livelihood.  Click here to learn about the gargantuan, world-defining solution that engineers and businessmen from around the world are contributing to. You can also click here to see Project Mose’s first successful test of their flood gates.

 

 

Uber Drivers In London Make the Switch to Electric Cars

 

As local and global communities around the world begin to acknowledge both the necessity and merit of electric vehicles, we can expect to see policy changes reflecting this shift. Just recently, Uber chose to make a bold stance on this topic through their London, UK, headquarters. They committed themselves to ensuring that all ride-sharing and ride-hailing vehicles in their fleet  are run by electric motors by as early as 2020. Read more here to keep up to date on the impactful social and business decision made by Uber.

Introducing the New Executive Blog

Climate action discussions often make us feel hopeless and disinterested – it’s even more difficult to understand the actions we can take as students. Contrary to popular belief, the notion that to have a sustainable future, we must make massive sacrifices is false. It’s time to shift the general mindset, and get excited about the opportunities to improve ourselves and our planet. CEEC has decided to start highlighting the ways we think and act as environmental ambassadors through a series of blog posts written by our very own exec. We hope that you will feel inspired by deep diving into the challenges we face, the insights we discover and the ideas we create, and leave with tangible tools you can use to bring environmentally responsible efforts into your own life. Buckle up, and get ready for our new executive member blog! We look forward to sharing our adventures with you.

Andrei Flueraru & Rachel Vander Veen

CEEC Co-Chairs 2018

Want to Learn More?