e2 - Eye on Earth
, a service of World Watch
Magazine in partnership with the Blue Moon Fund
, provides our community with a unique perspective on current events, newly released studies, and important global trends. This update service offers context to critical world events that are seemingly disparate yet often closely related, highlighting the connections between human consumption and the natural world, while telling the stories of individuals and organizations that are supporting new approaches to resource use, energy use and urban development. Eye on Earth presents the news of today with an eye towards tomorrow, illustrating how current events will shape our own future and that of generations to come.
In a July 25 memo to the Pentagon, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Richard Zilmer made a “Priority 1” request for solar—and wind-powered generators to help with the fight in Iraq. “Without this solution, personnel loss rates are likely to continue at their current rate,” Zilmer writes. “Continued casualty accumulation exhibits [the] potential to jeopardize mission success.”
A Beijing-based group, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), hopes to develop modular bamboo housing as part of its efforts to encourage greater use of the renewable plant resource.
Representatives from a variety of world faiths discussed the role of religion in addressing global warming and other pressing environmental challenges at a September 18–21 conference on climate stabilization in Washington, D.C. Sharing a panel on “Achieving Intergenerational and International Equity,” speakers from the Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical, Islamic, Jewish, Mormon, and Presbyterian faiths described the progress their communities are making in tackling climate change.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the most important thing consumers can do to respond to the current E. coli outbreak in the United States is to avoid eating spinach, the suspected source of the contamination. But Dr. David Acheson, chief medical officer with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, acknowledges that buying spinach that is locally-grown may be a safe alternative.
The Worldwatch Institute and the Center for American Progress (CAP) launched a report Monday detailing the progress and potential of renewable energy in the United States. According to the report, “American Energy: The Renewable Path to Energy Security,” technologies that harness renewable energy sources—including wind, solar, geothermal, and bio-power—are or soon will be cost-competitive with conventional fuels.
Within the next few decades, the east African nation of Uganda is likely to have the highest population growth in the world.
At a conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday , two U.S. fisheries experts discussed the threats to the world’s fish stocks as well as possible solutions to the impending marine life crisis.
Even as organic food sales continue to rise in the United States, organic farmers nationwide face a potential decline in profits. Recent reports have brought public attention to the meager wages and poor living conditions of workers on many organic farms, leading to calls for farmers to improve salaries and benefits.
On July 18, BP and GE announced plans to jointly develop up to 15 new hydrogen power plants for generating electricity over the coming decade. The hydrogen will be derived from fossil fuels, including coal and natural gas. While the plants will emit greenhouse gases, the companies will employ carbon capture technologies they claim will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 90 percent.
In an effort to stop illegal deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil’s government has announced that starting this month, it will begin using a new electronic registry for the transport and storage of all forestry products. The previous system was based on paper documents that were easy to falsify.