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Category Archives:

Economy

What We’re Up Against, in Pictures

amazoncowsPopulation growth and overconsumption are two of the major factors driving environmental degradation and climate change. Growing populations enjoying ever more material comforts has been the hallmark of human progress for more than 100 years.

While we have a certain amount of control over some decisions, like how many children to have, how much stuff to buy and other personal decisions that have a lot of impact, a lot of the costs of consumption are hidden far away. How can we develop a better understanding of how our modern Western lifestyles, now spreading across the globe, affect the places that have to supply the resources that make those lifestyles possible?

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The Junk Food Backlash

junkfoodsFor those of us who grew up in the 20th century, food can mean something quite different that ever before in human history. By the 1950s, cooking (and most domestic tasks) was a chore to be dispensed with as soon as possible, and advertisements extolled the virtues of technological solutions to the problems and annoyances of human life.

And where there’s technology to exploit and problems to overcome, can big business be far behind?

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World’s Largest Indoor Vertical Farm Coming to Newark, NJ

newarkverticalfarmMany people may believe that New Jersey’s nickname, “the Garden State,” is nothing but a joke. Though the exact provenance of the nickname is unknown, New Jersey largely deserves it: The state boasts more than 700,000 acres of farmland, and is a big producer of cranberries, blueberries and of course, tomatoes.

Despite that, many neighborhoods in the states largest city, Newark, don’t get to share in that bounty. But now they may not have to.

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Tap Vs. Bottled: Can You Tell the Difference?

One of the simplest “green” lifestyle changes is to give up buying bottled water. Americans used 50 million single-use water bottles last year, and we have dismal national recycling rate of only 23%. Cutting them out of your life and budget makes good economic and environmental sense, and many bottled waters are actually tap water in a fancy package and nothing more. So is there really a difference between bottled and tap water- a difference you can actually taste?

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Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Energy Sector Stalled in 2014

pollutioninchinaGlobal emission of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014 for the first time in 40 years without being connected to a global economic slowdown.

This is a pretty big deal, since negative economic effects from cutting emissions has long been a favorite argument against climate action.

The world community has been trying to come to some kind of consensus on climate change since 1992, so why are we suddenly seeing progress now?

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Congestion Pricing Is Back, But Is It Better Than Ever?

bkbridgetrafficRemember the congestion pricing plan that was floated by the Bloomberg administration back in 2008? It had its critics and it had its flaws, and it ultimately died a death in the State Assembly, in no small part thanks to Sheldon Silver’s opposition. But it is a new day, a new administration, and Move NY has proposed a new congestion pricing plan (read the full plan here).

Things have changed a lot in the past seven years, obviously. But have they changed enough to transform our transportation system?

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