If environmental injustice is the issue, then environmental justice must be the goal—and it cannot be achieved without positioning Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as principal authorities on environmental impacts. Through legal frameworks like climate dominance and social science methods like feminist critical participatory action research (CPAR), communities most impacted by systemic environmental injustices are given credence and power as experts to subvert afterlives of colonialism and advocate for environmental justice.
Urban ecology is a relatively new field that envisions cities as ecosystems. Dr. Timon McPhearson, a Professor in Urban Ecology at The New School, shares his research and experiences as Director of the Urban Systems Lab, a research institute focused on urban adaptation.
Countries and companies have set ambitious renewable energy targets, with demand for critical minerals in the energy sector projected to increase six-fold by 2040. To avoid over-dependency on a handful of supplier countries and to achieve ambitious climate targets, there is a need for individual countries to revisit their mining policies and for global organizations to create binding international agreements to manage critical minerals.
Pollution from coal-fired power plants harms human health. Low-income neighborhoods are often the most exposed to coal impacts. New research highlights closing power plants can improve children’s health and performance in school.
How do trees die from drought? Plant ecophysiologists are studying air bubbles in tree water columns to understand hydraulic failure: in other words, when tree water columns stop working. Their goal is to improve forecasts for tree responses in a changing climate future. Here is a brief summary of how hydraulic failure works and an introduction to three recent papers on the topic.
While many toys still offer benefits after normal wear and tear, 80 percent end up in landfills. Often controversial for the direct risks posed to humans, toys also pose a risk to the environment in their design, production, and life cycle.
Bison expert Jeff Martin wears many hats: geologist, rancher, paleontologist, ecologist, and research director. Using his impressive background, he’s taking a “hooves on the ground” approach to bison conservation to restore herds throughout North America.
Distributed energy resources (DERs) are important pathways in the clean energy transition. However, valuing these pathways is challenging. New research examines what value these technologies bring to the grid and how utilities should structure payments for them in the distributed energy system of tomorrow.
The emerging offshore wind industry presentsa significant opportunity for the United States to achieve its decarbonization goals.However, the nation lags considerably in offshore installations compared to the rest of the world. A recent study explains how connection to the electricity grid, technology, and policy have hindered offshore wind development.
Biofuels have been a cornerstone of U.S. climate mitigation policy, but new research on outcomes of the Renewable Fuel Standard—the country’s flagship biofuels policy—suggests that its costs may outweigh its benefits. Land-use impacts of growing more crops for fuel have likely resulted in higher greenhouse gas emissions, water contamination, and soil degradation.
A long-term study of bison grazing in tallgrass prairie shows that bison create richer, more resilient grasslands. Bison enhance biodiversity, support native plants and help prairies withstand severe drought.
Nearly 2.4 billion people (about 40 percent of the world’s population) live within 100 kilometers of the coast. As coastal cities continue to grow, so too will their influence as actors in shaping sustainable development. A new paper highlights the largely overlooked role of ocean cities in international legal frameworks to address environmental degradation in marine and coastal environments.
A cultural shift away from animal consumption has been met with a counter-cultural glorification of meat. These two societal trends reflect a redrawing of moral boundaries – the linespeople draw to assert moral status. An interdisciplinary approach threading philosophical, psychological, and sociological perspectives offers unique insight to understand the formation and evolution of moral boundaries in meat consumption.
How much do U.S. fossil fuel companies benefit from the absence of appropriate regulation?What is the most appropriate level of carbon taxation? Yale professor and YER advisor Dr. Matthew J. Kotchen sheds light on the impact of lenient government policies on the fossil fuel industry.
Achieving more equitable and sustainable food systems is not just realized by larger systems transformation. Women practice everyday provisioning activities that empower communities and free them from dependencies on market economies.
Seagrass meadows are dynamic and critical ecosystems that provide numerous benefits to humans living in coastal areas. They are also at the center of exciting new research into the potential of “blue carbon” sequestration to help combat climate change.
When discussing climate change, media and news outlets often focus on its negative impacts and the threats it poses. Current research reveals that this approach not only fails to promote more pro-environmental behavior, but it may also heighten racist attitudes. These findings highlight the importance of discussing global warming in a way that does not solely focus on its negative consequences, but also provides actionable suggestions on how to tackle climate change.
Public land management often neglects to consider intertwined ecological and human histories. Assessing both ecological data and Indigenous history, new research suggests that co-management offers a pathway towards better honoring traditional practices and increasing forest resiliency.
Storage capacity is a major obstacle in the world’s shift to low-carbon energy. Norway’s reuse of car batteries may help us understand how to make this switch, both reducing environmental impacts and creating business opportunities.
U.S. territories face many environmental challenges, but research on environmental injustice often neglects these locations.A new study shows that the burdens of environmental crimesinequitably fall on these islands and the vulnerable people that live there.
Affectionately dubbed the “panda of the sea” for its distinctive eye markings, the vaquita is the world’s most critically endangered marine mammal. Saving the vaquita requires an integrated approach that looks beyond the immediate cause of the species’ near extinction —fishing net entanglement — to address the social, political, and economic challenges faced by coastal communitiesofthe Upper Gulf of California.
The socio-cultural harm of manmade environmental disasters on Native American communities is difficult to quantify. However, recent Native-led research demonstrates that quantifying this harm is crucial.
Solar geoengineering– a technology that reflects incoming sunlight back into space –has gainedattention as a potentialsolution for preventingglobal temperature rise and reducingthe risk of the worst global warming impacts. Recent research shows thatsolar geoengineering has the capacity to immediately cool the atmosphere, but also calls attention to the fact that it can beextremely controversial and excessively risky.
Following the success of aprogram in New Mexico, researchers have developed an adaptable educational model that can significantly enhance academic and career outcomes for students of color in the environmental field. This novel research provides hope that community colleges and universities canimprove educational equity by supporting marginalized students.
Climate change is one of the gravest threats to global agriculture. New research reveals that historical climate change has already made its mark on the productivity of our food system, eliminating 20 percent of potential productivity growth.
The safer people feel, the less careful they tend to be. Some policymakers worry that this relationship also holds true in the realm of global warming, and that preparing for the damages caused by climate change could undermine efforts to reducegreenhouse gas emissions. Recent research provides evidence that this is not the case–rather, combining theseadaptation and mitigation strategies canhelp minimize the negative impact of climate change on environment, health, and economy.
Small, isolated protected areas fail to sustain healthy jaguar populations in the Cerradobiomein Brazil. Scientists find that building wildlife pathways and introducing new individuals are crucial to the long-term survival of large carnivores.