Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Posts Coming Soon

Just as a note, November has been quite the hectic month of moving, meetings, and travel - thus the lower number of non-news posts that I've been able to get up.

Stay tuned, as I have at least 4 on the way (including one about an encounter with a couple of Global Warming deniers in Virginia). After a packed Wednesday and Thursday, I hope to be able to get at least one up by Friday.

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season and a reminder to get outside, refresh your connection to the natural world, and empty your cup.

- Jon

Sustainability News Headlines - 11/27/2007

News of Sustainability Benefiting People TodayAbout CV Notes' Sustainability News Headlines

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Cost of New 109,000 Acre Wilderness Area: 1 Hour and 44 Minutes of the Iraq War

The title says it all. In an outstandingly concrete and appropriately shocking op-ed piece in the Seattle Times, freelance writer Cameron Castle describes his calculation comparing the cost of a new wilderness area in Washington state to the Iraq war...

The 109,000 acre wilderness area would cost taxpayers the same amount of money currently being spent in Iraq in 1 hour and 44 minutes!

Given our increasing body of knowledge on the value of wilderness for the ecosystem services it provides, the wilderness bill is an unbelievable bargain that will benefit America's ecosystems and people alike.

Sustainability News Headlines - 11/14/2007

News of Sustainability Benefiting People TodayAbout CV Notes' Sustainability News Headlines

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Program: Sustainable Land Use

CVI’s goal is to champion sustainable land use solutions that make conservation both possible and profitable, protecting the health of our biosphere and human well-being.

The Need: The impacts of humanity’s unsustainable land use include devastating levels of habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution (soil, water and air), and toxin-induced diseases.  To protect and restore the health of both humans and the biosphere, we need solutions that dramatically improve the efficiency with which we use land, water and other natural resources.

Top scientific societies emphasize that in order to advance these solutions, experts need to help improve communication of the relevance of our knowledge to citizens and decision-makers.

CVI’s rare combination of scientific and communication expertise makes us uniquely qualified to answer the above call by carrying out this program.  Across our research and educational projects, we champion strategies that enable citizens, businesses and government agencies to simultaneously sustain ecosystem services and human well-being.

This program is managed by CVI’s Founding Fellow, Dr. Jonathan Gelbard, whose past projects in environmental problem-solving include over 15 years of academic research, writing and speaking in the fields of conservation biology and management, invasive species biology and management, and conservation communication.

Dr. Gelbard has completed projects with The Nature Conservancy and ranchers in New Mexico and Arizona, with agencies and environmental groups in Colorado, with academics, ranchers, and agencies in California, with consulting firms and environmental groups in Oregon, and has been an instructor at WWF’s first two Climate Camp workshops.

Program: Advancing the Green Economy

CVI's goal is to educate citizens, businesses and decision-makers about how Green Economy solutions are immediately relevant to their daily lives.

The Need: Scientists are doing an outstanding job uncovering the challenges civilization faces due to climate change, unsustainable land use practices, and other threats to both our biosphere and human well-being. Our best experts recommend bold solutions – including a rapid transition to a clean energy economy – that are gradually gaining public support.

However, many citizens and decision-makers still aren’t convinced of the threats posed by climate change, or of the brighter future offered by the Green Economy. Citizens and businesses need a simplified understanding of what’s really in it for them in the Green Economy to make their lives better, and how, specifically, they can get involved.

CVI’s rare combination of scientific and communication expertise makes us uniquely qualified to carry out this program. Through our research and education projects, we closely follow hot topics in sustainability, and serve as a bridge by educating citizens and decision-makers in the ways that Green Economy solutions are immediately relevant to their daily lives.

We convey our message via multiple communication channels: via our blog, Conservation Value Notes, and our Online Sustainability Library; via contributions to the top green business blog, The Triple Pundit; by speaking at, moderating and producing educational events; by publishing book chapters, policy briefs, technical reports, and non-scientific articles and opinion pieces; and via media appearances.

Program: Entertainment Industry Partnerships

CVI partners with musicians and events to actively involve fans in the Green Economy.

The Need: In spite of the massive and growing green marketplace, most people still need guidance to understand how they can get involved in – and benefit from – the emerging Green Economy.

To make this possible, citizens and businesses need a simplified understanding of what’s really green, what’s really in it for them to make their daily lives better, and how, specifically, they can get involved.  

To help meet this need, musicians and events are working to inspire fans to get involved in Green Economy solutions.  However, most need help from experts to identify the best solutions to recommend, and lack the time and resources needed to measure whether their messaging is effectively motivating fans to action, a key for assuring their time and resources pay off and make a difference.

If they are to achieve their potential of having a game-changing measurable impact on advancing Green Economy solutions, musicians and promoters need to engage in innovative partnerships with respected science, policy and communication experts, as well as with sponsors and other major funders.

CVI’s rare combination of scientific and communication expertise, which includes a successful track record at producing educational events, uniquely positions us to address this need via our Entertainment Industry Partnerships Program.  Since 2006, we have worked with major local and national events and artists to connect their audiences with green solutions, sell green booth space and sponsorships, and produce and participate in educational programming.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sustainability News Headlines - 11/9/2007

News of Sustainability Benefiting People TodayAbout CV Notes' Sustainability News Headlines

Moving Green - Saving Money & Reducing Waste By Freecycling

Over the past week or so, the sub-prime mortgage mess hit Suzanne and I, as our landlord - on the verge of foreclosure - put our rental home on the market. This forced us to quickly scramble to find a new place (no easy task for a dog owner). We are both happy and grateful to report that we not only found a nicer house, but that it is in a much more peaceful, greener location than our previous one. It is within walking and biking distance of the BART, some nice cafe's, an organic grocer, and just about anything we need. Now that we are settled in, I finally have a chance to get back to posting more than just daily news headlines.

The thing that felt best about moving is that we freecycled a whole lot of stuff that we really just didn't need anymore. Chairs, Couches, Lighting fixtures, tapes, skis, TV, computer screen - we put it all outside with a "FREE" sign, and it was gone with wonderful rapidity. A lot of other stuff - mainly clothing, some small appliances, and a bunch of books - we dropped off at Goodwill, who was more than happy to take it. It sure feels good to have lightened our load of belongings considerably - and both raised money for charity (for which we will receive a nice tax deduction) and made other people very happy in the process!

The one unfortunate thing about all this was that our landlord thought our freecycle set-up in front of the house was messy-looking and just wanted to just take it to the dump. We objected and asked him to please give us just a little time - that there was no reason to let all this perfectly good stuff take up landfill space for the next fifteen thousand years. In the end, his patience paid off, as our greener approach saved him a good $200 in dumping fees!

It seems that a lot of people just love the dump. Something in the house they don't want? First thought: bring it to the dump. What will it take to get the message ingrained into the public consciousness that people can save themselves money, save landfill space, conserve resources, reduce waste, and make other people happy by freecycling and dropping off unwanted belongings at the thrift shop? The good news - it seems that we are headed in the right direction...