When a colleague asked me what exactly I meant by political ecology during a recent meeting, I was genuinely surprised.
A longstanding problem for solar farms has a surprisingly cute solution. “Sheep are the solar industry’s lawn mowers of choice,” writes Amrith Ramkumar in the Wall Street Journal. Farmers maintaining thousands of acres of panels need to contend with tall grasses, which, unabated, can obstruct sunlight. Enter the star of nursery rhymes and an unexpected hero of renewables. Hard-working flocks are now generating millions of dollars in annual revenue by helping to chomp on pesky weeds.
When I last sat down to write this column, the Supreme Court had just issued its 6-3 decision in West Virginia v. EPA. As I said at the time, it was disheartening, and many in the environmental law field were assessing how to bounce back from its potential effects limiting agency action. Fast-forward two months, and while the concerns raised by that case aren’t gone, we’ve spun in the other direction.
Alicia Mozian, recipient of the 2017 National Wetlands Community Leader Award, retired in October after 35 years of dedication to environmental sustainability in Connecticut. Mozian served over two decades as the Conservation Department Director of Westport, overseeing most aspects of Westport’s environment.
An environmental threat of very real proportions concerns celestial objects such as asteroids that hit the Earth—as everyone knows, one did in the dinosaurs. The same applies in a less dangerous but more frequent manner to unwanted “de-orbiting” of artificial satellites, and to the careless discarding of the boosters used to get them aloft.
Clean energy technologies require a variety of minerals of varying degrees of scarcity. As a result, decarbonizing the economy will entail expansion of mineral production—not only through imaginative reuse and recycling, but also through new mines and the permits required to build those mines. Some have called for a loosening of environmental standards to address this growing need.
Managed retreat is deemed by most as a viable adaptation option to climate-related extreme weather events. Yet, the practice is controversial due to the negative impacts it can have on marginalized communities.
Passed on August 16, 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act commits nearly $370 billion in direct investment to address climate change and energy production.