Teaching Sustainability; How’d it Go?

In 2014 Dr Erin Redman and I taught a Sustainability course, Socio-Ecological Systems for Sustainability. We designed an original structured approach based on current research, implemented it at a Mexican University and collected some data to assess the effectiveness of this approach in achieving the stated objectives. Here I share some of our preliminary analysis … Read more…

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Word! Anthropocene on the rise

Anthropocene has made the leap out of the Ivory Tower and continues to rapidly gain popularity both in the public and academia. The term ‘Anthropocene’ is credited to Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer who proposed that it was necessary to distinguish a new geological epoch of human domination of the planet (PDF).1)Crutzen, P. J., and … Read more…

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When will we be LED to Sustainable Lighting?

There are plenty of worrisome trends when it comes to Achieving Sustainability but when it comes to lighting the trend is stunningly good–electricity use is falling precipitously. As we explored previously, this trend has been driven entirely by improved technology and not changed household behavior. But what is really exciting is that further technological advances … Read more…

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Word! Foundational Sustainability Works

As I have mentioned before Google has created two neat tools Ngram and Trends for analyzing the popularity of words in books and web searches respectively. Searching for different Sustainability related words produces some interesting results. I won’t be so bold as to call them insights but I intend to share some of the most … Read more…

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Achieving Sustainability with Technology: the Exceptional Case of Lighting

The electricity needed for lighting is in free fall and the reason is technology. As we discussed in the previous post, electricity used for residential lighting has (somewhat) unexpectedly begun to fall and is expected to continue to do so for the ensuing decades. Tentatively, we can conclude that neither changing consumer behavior nor saturated … Read more…

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For Lighting, Sustainability is within Reach: But is demand saturated?

In 2006 when the first Annual Energy Outlook was released by the Department of Energy, electricity dedicated to residential lighting was expected to continue growing at a consistent (if slow 0.3% per household annually) rate (red line below). Instead the electricity the average household is using for lighting has fallen by 18%!1)The AEO’s most recent … Read more…

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The World Leaders in Bike Sharing Programs are really all in China

I must admit that I generally greet the regular semi-sensational internet titles about how China is Achieving Sustainability such as “China has just built 20 million miles of high speed rail when the USA can’t build any” with a large degree of skepticism. For this I have three main justifications: Authoritarian governments can make absolute … Read more…

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What is Sustainability research?

Today we have a guest post from Dr. Erin Redman on our current research in Mexico and what makes Sustainability research unique. Many people know what ecologists or cell biologists study but what do Sustainability scientists research? First, since I believe that Sustainability is ultimately a human endeavor, 100% of our research includes interacting with … Read more…

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For Sustainability, Spanish sees Double

La version en espaƱol. When I first arrived in Mexico I was surprised to discover that there were actually two different translations for Sustainability in Spanish-Sostenibilidad and Sustentabilidad. Since my colleagues at UNAM’s Institute of Ecology used Sostenibilidad I decided to stick to that version for all my work here. Inevitably when I present about … Read more…

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