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Showing posts from June, 2014

FIFA World Cup 2014: environmental friend or foe?

"One of the key objectives through the 2014 FIFA World Cup is to use the event as a platform to communicate the importance of the environment and ecology" said Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
While FIFA boast of the most environmentally friendly World Cup ever, with solar-powered stadia and carbon offsetting for every match, critics demand to know why more isn't being done to reduce the impact of such a huge event, both to Brazil's native habitats and to the world at large.

Fuleco the endangered armadillo 
Almost 28,000 people have signed a petition calling for FIFA to commit to the conservation of the Brazilian three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus), the inspiration for the 2014 World Cup mascot 'Fuleco'. Conservationists at the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) were initially thrilled that the armadillo, which is classified as "Vulnerable", would be the centre of the most environmentally friendly tournament so …

Public opinion: What is it really worth?

I recently attended a session at the House of Commons co-hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group (APPCCG) and the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED). The session tackled the topic of the UK’s “energy efficiency revolution”, and whether the UK is living up to the high standards expected by successive governments.
Energy efficiency is what is known as a demand-side measure in the language of energy policymakers. Making devices that use energy more efficient is one way of reducing demand for energy overall, and thus bringing the UK closer to its carbon reduction goals. Indeed, increasing energy efficiency is often regarded as one of the most cost-effective methods of carbon reduction.
An area of great interest to researchers in this field is human behaviour; how can people be induced to behave in a way that reduces their carbon emissions?
The ‘default’ reaction of governments when attempting to change the behaviour of their citizens is to provide financial ince…

Deep impact - the plastic on the seafloor; the carbon in the air

We live in a geological age defined by human activity.  We live during a time when the landscape of the earth has been transformed by men, its surface paved and cut, its vegetation manipulated, transported and ultimately replaced. A time when the chemical composition of the atmosphere, the rivers and the oceans has been changed – in some ways that are unique for the past million years and in other ways that are unprecedented in Earth history. In many ways, this time is defined not only by our impact on nature but by the redefinition of what it means to be human.



From a certain distance and perspective, the transformation of our planet can be considered beautiful. At night, the Earth viewed from space is a testament to the ubiquitous presence of the human species: cities across the planet glow with fierce intensity but so do villages in Africa and towns in the Midwest; the spotlights of Argentine fishing boats, drawing anchovies to the surface, illuminate the SW Atlantic Ocean; and th…