Environment Forum

Green Obama Dreams: Environment Bloggers Weigh in on The Historic Day

November 10, 2008

Kenyan blogger Juliana Rotich is the editor of Green Global Voices, which monitors citizen media in the developing world, and is a regular contributor to this page. Thomson Reuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone. 

Coke sets targets for cuts in water, emissions

October 30, 2008

Coca-Cola is the latest American brand working to improve its environmental credentials with a sweeping new program that pledges to improve water efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions throughout its massive global system.

Another reason for bats to like Halloween

October 14, 2008

bat1.JPGHalloween is just around the corner, and it may be better than most years for one of Earth’s most unpopular species: the bat. 

Save money, cut CO2 and lose weight cycling to work

October 1, 2008

Peter Jebautzke cycles to workBy Peter Jebautzke

Getting caught speeding changed my life — for the better.

It inadvertently turned me into a devoted bike commuter, has saved me lots of money, aggravation — and even saved the world a little bit of carbon dioxide to boot. Since giving up the car for my daily commutes by bike to work in August, I’ve also lost about 2 kilos and now look forward to my daily 16 km journeys each way to and from the office.

Life greener in cities than in the countryside?

September 26, 2008

A man wearing a bowler hat cycles during the morning rush-hour in central London July 17, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)City-dwelling, bike-riding recyclers are finally getting the recognition they deserve for their environmentally friendly lifestyles.
 
A researcher at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development argues in a journal article published on Friday that many city residents actually pollute less than families in rural areas.
 
“People who live in the suburbs or commute actually have much higher greenhouse gas emissions per person than people living in (the London district of) Chelsea for the same income level,” David Satterthwaite told Reuters.
 
That’s because country-dwellers tend to have larger homes that need to be heated or cooled and higher car use per household.
 
The study in the journal  Environment and Urbanization says cities are often blamed for producing most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions but actually generate just two-fifths or less.
 
Satterthwaite argues that cities in wealthy nations can set an example for low carbon living by providing good public transport and energy-efficient buildings. He singles out Barcelona – which has a third of Spain’s average emissions per person – and other historic compact cities like Amsterdam which are easy to walk around. 
 
Culture is also an ally in the fight against climate change. “There’s so much in London or Paris that isn’t high greenhouse gas-emitting: the culture, the art, the buildings, the theatre, the music, the museums, the libraries,” Satterthwaite said.
 
But while cities are often unfairly blamed for producing 75 to 80 percent of the world’s greenhous gas emissions, their responsibility creeps back up when you look at it from a consumption perspective.  Vehicles drive past Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum area in Mumbai April 9, 2008. With one of Asia’s largest slums, congested streets and sometimes startling whiffs of human waste, Mumbai may not be everyone’s first choice for a world-class financial centre. Yet that is exactly what India hopes it will become in the next decade as it rises to the challenge of financing one of the world’s fastest growing major economies after China. To match feature INDIA-MUMBAI/ REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe (INDIA)
 
Satterthwaite believes it would be fairer to allocate greenhouse gas emissions according to the location of the people who consume the goods and services responsible for the emissions rather than to the place they are produced. 

Will the world be a cleaner place by Monday?

September 19, 2008

A boy salvages plastic materials washed ashore by waves in Manila bay November 26, 2007. Typhoon Mitag swirled out to sea on Monday after killing 8 people, destroying homes and flooding rice paddies in the Philippines. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)Will the world be a slightly less messy place by Monday?

Organisers of an annual “Clean up the World” campaign say that up to 35 million volunteers in more than 110 countries will be cleaning up trash, planting trees, working out better ways of recycling and taking part in other ways to stop pollution.