News

Assessing New Technology

Green Talk

April 12, 2008

by Brad Allenby
for the Arizona Republic

Photo of Braden Allenby, Professor at Arizona State UniversityIt is hard to remember, but 10 years ago we were all madly in love. The object of our affection – biofuel – was beautiful; the promise was less climate change, support for agriculture, a shift to renewables, better national energy security. But love is blind, and so were we.

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Attaining Sustainability Requires Economic Scorecard

Green Talk

April 11, 2008

V. Kerry Smith
Special for The Republic

Photo of V. Kerry Smith, Professor at Arizona State UniversityEveryone loves to keep score. Most aspects of our lives get rated in some way. Sports, computer games, university-degree programs, local school systems and many other factors of daily living are routinely scored.

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School of Sustainability Featured on NBC Nightly News

Video

March 28, 2008

NBC visited Arizona State University in February 2008 to explore in depth the nation's first School of Sustainability. Their report aired nationally March 24, 2008, on NBC Nightly News. Interviews with students, professors, and administrators shed light on challenges facing this generation of students, opportunities that await graduates, and how ASU's School of Sustainability prepares students for the future.

> Watch the NBC Nightly News video
> Watch NBC interview of ASU students
> Watch NBC interview of President Michael Crow

Earth Hour Spotlights Sustainability: Phoenix to Join Far-Reaching Blackout

Green Talk

March 28, 2008

by Jonathan Fink
Special for The Republic

Photo of Jonathan Fink, Director of the Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State UniversityOn Saturday evening, Arizona State University's University Center building at the downtown Phoenix campus will go completely dark for one hour. The voluntary blackout is a symbol of ASU's commitment to Earth Hour 2008 – a global effort to build awareness around the need for action on climate change.

ASU's University Center and the entire downtown Phoenix area will join Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and a host of other cities around the globe in turning off all non-essential lighting from 8 to 9 p.m. local time.

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Deciding to Deal with Climate

Green Talk

February 22, 2008

by Anthony Brazel for the Arizona Republic

Photo of Anthony Brazel, Professor at Arizona State UniversityDuring the 1960s, I had the good fortune of spending several summers on some ice- and snowfields in Alaska, at a time when it was commonly thought that global cooling was a climate trend and that we were returning to an ice age. A few decades later, I returned to Alaska to map and analyze glaciers, and found many dramatically retreated up their valleys by one-quarter of a mile or more.

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Special on the Ramifications of the Urban Transformation

February 8, 2008

Science Magazine
"News articles offer an on-the-ground look at how cities are tackling specific problems from poverty and sanitation to traffic jams. Reviews and Perspectives examine how cities take shape and the impacts of urbanization on the environment, human health, economic growth, and the demographics of the developing world."

Be sure to check out the video presentation including GIOS researcher Nancy Grimm.

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We Must Invest to be Sustainable

Green Talk

February 2, 2008

by Jim Holway for the Arizona Republic

Photo of Jim Holway, Professor of Practice at Arizona State UniversityI am often asked: Are our current growth and water use “sustainable?” This simple question does not have a simple answer.

First, we have many options on how we choose to use our water. Second, the backdrop against which we view our water supply and use is constantly changing-our population continues to expand, our economy grows, our desires and expectations evolve, and we respond to any number of external events, including new technologies, global climate, and energy availability. Third, sustainability can be defined and measured in different ways with differing results.

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ASU Event to Open up Climate Talks

January 28, 2008

Arizona Republic
From a young age, small environmental efforts like this were embedded in my thought process. I saw how being environmentally savvy was a social event because I got to do it with my favorite person; an environmental event because cans were not being put in the garbage; and an economic event, because I earned a small dividend! Although these realizations came much later, the founding principles were there.

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ASU to Join "Focus the Nation" Effort

January 28, 2008

Arizona Republic
To help create solutions to global warming, more than 1,200 colleges, universities and high schools in Arizona and across the United States this week will participate in Focus the Nation, a teach-in to educate and energize about 1 million young adults.

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Safe Recycling of E-Waste Is a Priority

Green Talk

January 25, 2008

by Eric Williams for the Arizona Republic

Photo of Eric Williams, Professor at Arizona State UniversityFinally, it has arrived: your new desktop computer with a 3Ghz processor and a screaming-fast video card that will realistically render the digital sweat on virtual enemies in your favorite video game.

Now, what happens with your old computer?

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Professors See Solutions in Slime

January 25, 2008

ASU News

You know algae. It’s the gunk that collects on the sides of a fish tank when you forget to clean it. It’s the slime that makes you slip on rocks while crossing a stream. You probably think of algae as a nuisance, if you even bother to think of it at all.

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Water Consortium Promotes Innovation

Green Talk

January 11, 2008

by Kathy Jacobs for the Arizona Republic

Photo of Kathy Jacobs, Executive Director of the Arizona Water InstituteThe Arizona Water Institute (AWI) is a consortium of Arizona's universities – Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona – focused on water sustainability through research, education, capacity building and technology development.

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A Threat So Big, Academics Try Collaboration: Disciplines Cross Lines to Fight Global Warming

December 25, 2007

New York Times
The threat of Global Warming is sparking new collaboration between academic disciplines. "'We want all the departments to contribute without thinking they own the initiative themselves,' Dr. Fink said. Already, experts in biogeochemistry — the study of the scientific underpinnings of earth’s origins and existing biosystems — are working with social scientists to study the impact of rapid urbanization on plants and animals."

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Help Water Supply with Better Softening Solutions

Green Talk

December 21, 2007

by Peter Fox for the Arizona Republic

Photo of Professor Peter Fox, Arizona State UniversityAs a child growing up on the outskirts of Chicago, I recall trips to the country where drinking water from wells always tasted odd. My relatives would try to convince me that drinking well water was good for me and that I should learn to enjoy the taste. Why did the water taste funny? The well waters were rich in calcium and magnesium. As it turns out, the definition of water hardness is primarily based on levels of these two minerals and those well waters were very hard. It was also quite logically good for me because hard water helps people get their daily recommended intake of calcium and magnesium, and studies have confirmed this fact.

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Building Biking System Creates Healthy Option

Green Talk

December 15, 2007

by Brad Allenby for the Arizona Republic

Photo of Professor Brad Allenby, Arizona State UniversityI always enjoy visiting the Netherlands. It's a small country, prosperous and nicely designed, with a cultural friskiness that enabled them to become the first major European trading empire. This time, I was visiting the Technical University in Delft, and I couldn't help noticing two related things. The first was the continuing popularity of bicycles, supported by a sophisticated network of bike paths that let you get anywhere you wanted. The second was most people in Delft were in noticeably better shape than many Phoenix residents.

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Agricultural Past A Key to Arizona's Future

Green Talk

December 8, 2007

by Michael Barton for the Arizona Republic

Photo of Professor Michael Barton, Arizona State UniversityIn H.G. Well's famous book, The Time Machine, the central character travels into the future to witness the long-term consequences of the actions of human civilization. Alas, we have no time machine to aid us in trying to make wise decisions and sound public policies that will shape the world we live in. But my colleagues and I in the School of Human Evolution & Social Change at Arizona State University are seeking new ways to learn from the long record of decisions and actions from the past, and from their consequences, to help us better anticipate the outcomes of the complex ways in which our actions may impact the world around us. Many times, both the desirable and the undesirable (from a human point of view) consequences in our past were the result of well-intentioned decisions. But whether the results of those decisions were positive or negative became apparent only over the course of decades and centuries. This is all the more reason to wish for a time machine to allow us to glimpse the future. Fortunately, emerging computer technology, combined with scientific study of past societies (archaeology) and ecosystems (paleoecology), offers an exciting new opportunity to study the interactions between human activities and environmental consequences.

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