NRES 439 Environment and Sustainable Development

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  • Continued - The Grid Capacity Challege

    The Orkney Islands case now with a video explaining how too much renewable energy is causing problems. How the US is experiencing the same issues and what we should expect the future of renewable energy to be.

  • Picture of hands holding the Earth

    LA Grand Challenge: Making a sustainable megacity

    University of California, Los Angeles, is working on making the city of LA sustainable. They are doing this by, "developing the technologies, policies, and strategies to transition L.A. County to 100% renewable energy, 100% local water, and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050." Studies showed that the communities whom were most effected by climate change, were low income. The Grand Challenge aims to make LA sustainable so it is safe for all people to live there, not just the wealthy. 

  • A vintage LEGO set of a Shell gas station

    The Links Between Toys and Unsustainable Norms

    Authors Nils Stockmann and Antonia Graf studied the connections between the subject matter of LEGO sets and the normative ideas they convey with regard to transportation. Their findings show that this creates early familiarity amongst children with unsustainable forms of transportation, namely automobiles. These connections, taken more broadly, could suggest that the toys we provide for children could have big impacts on the world for generations to come.

  • Is Plastic Recycling Based on a Scam?

    Rollie Williams / Climate Town dissects the history, perceptions and realities of plastic recycling in a video titled "Plastic Recycling is an Actual Scam". What do these problems mean for global plastic pollution, and is there anything that can be done about it?

  • The Global Goals

    As I was researching the Sustainable Development Goals that we have discussed in class, I came across a great interactive website about each of the goals, the current campaigns, daily news about the goals, and extra resources for additional information. The website is very easy to read and navigate; once you click on a goal, you can find the specific targets for the goal and "the goal in action." The website even has free resources for teachers who are interested in educating their students on the SDGs, which I think could be really beneficial for anyone interested in an education career/profession.

  • Three Horizons Framework by Bill Sharpe

    Three Horizons Framework

    Three Horizons Framework as introduced by Bill Sharpe in "Three Horizons, the Patterning of Hope" in 2013. Presented by Kate Raworth of Doughnut Eonomics Action Lab. A helpful framework in discussing what is, what can be, and how to get there.

  • Peter Rockstrom at COP26

    Peter Rockstrom and others discuss our current predicament regarding several of the planetary boundaries discussed in his framework set forth in ( ARTICLE) Followed by several TED Talk presentations on related topics.

  • A look back and advice for the next generation

    On October 19, 2021, the Environmental Law Institute gave Carol Browner the 2021 Environmental Achievement Award. Browner served as EPA Administrator (1993-2001) and director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy (2009-2011). The ceremony included an 18-minute conversation between Jordan Diamond, the incoming president of the Environmental Law Institute, and Browner that looks back about the challenges and accomplishments in U.S. environmental policy during Browner's tenure and ends with advice for the next generation. The video is at The coversation occurs from 1:19:30 to 1:37:30. If you want to hear the tributes to Carol Browner, you will find those between 57:30 and 1:17:20.

  • Website about Sustainability in Aviation Industry

    As I was performing research for my second essay of the semester about sustainability issues in Aviation, I came across a super interesting website/database about environmental issues in Aviation! The website is really interactive and easy to read. I found key information about some of the main sustainability issues that I discussed in my essay. The website has goals, progress reports, and news all about environmental issues in sustainability. I highly recommend checking out the website if you're interested in aviation at all!

  • Cryptocurrency, Electricity, and Sustainability

    Cryptocurrencies are still living on their hype while some countries try to ban them. Ethereum? More like ethereal. They should not be a part of a sustainable society.

  • Systems Thinking

    A video and writing discussing systems thinking as it relates to continual improvement processes and their ultimate goal.

  • Plastics Today Article

    Bioplastics: Are They Actually Ecologically Sound?

    After receiving a message on LinkedIn from a coffee company requesting me to write an article clearing up some consumer confusion regarding “sustainable” coffee pod alternatives, I began to delve into research on bioplastics and barriers preventing them from being a successful alternative to traditional plastics. Through the process of conducting this research on potential pitfalls for bioplastics, I was reminded of several NRES 439 class concepts, including the idea of “wicked problems” and “stakeholder engagement.”

  • Reverse Auctions: An Unusual Way to Provide Habitat

    "Saving Birds with Economics" is a podcast episode of The Indicator from Planet Money ( posted July 22, 2021. Darian Woods and Stacey Vanek Smith interview Eric Hallstein, an economist with The Nature Conservancy, about a way to provide wetland habitat for bird habitat during migration without purchasing land.