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What IS the Green Economy? And How Do We Get One?

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02-00-Polasky.jpgWhen you think of the economy, chances are the "green" that comes to mind is money, not nature. But what if there wre truly a green economy - one that accounts for the value of the environment in economic decision-making?

That was the topic of last week's Frontiers in the Environment lecture presented by Steve Polasky, an IonE resident fellow and Regents professor of applied economics in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Polasky delivered his speech, "What IS the Green Economy? And How Do We Get One?" Feb. 12 at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.

New Life Cycle Assessment Tool Aims to Clean Up Supply Chain

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Thumbnail image for flash_largeimagecrop_sponge2.jpg
There you are, hunkered over your sink, hands wrist-deep in hot water, swiping suds over food-crusted dinner plates. That squishy, soapy thing that's helping you do so many daily chores . . . ever wonder where its life began and where it will end?

That sponge, like everything on the planet, has a life cycle, composed of all the materials and energy that brought it to your sink and all the tasks it will help you complete until you've squeezed the last bit of work from it and tossed it into the trash. 

Divestment - or Sustainable Investment?

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11-06-matthew fitzmaurice.jpgUniversities, religious institutions, and even local governments around the globe are weighing the pros and cons of divestment - a climate change mitigation strategy that focuses on phasing out endowment investments in fossil fuel companies.

Matthew Fitzmaurice, founder and managing partner of AWJ Capital Partners LLC, explained the opportunities and shortcomings of divestment in his Frontiers in the Environment presentation Nov. 6.

Ecosystem Services for River Basin Management: Ideas and Lessons from Europe

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coolmonfrere.jpgBY KATE BRAUMAN

Do you know about the Water Framework Directive? It calls for all waters in the European Union to be managed as river basins and for those river basins to be brought up to "good status." That's tremendous - a really forward-looking way to think about managing water. But as you can surely imagine, it's also quite a task to implement!


I was lucky enough to work with the RISKBASE group during 2009-2010 to help develop risk-based approaches for managers to guide river basins to good status. I'm not an expert in risk, nor an expert about European river basins, but I was really excited to get involved. This had the potential to bring biophysical science together with new management approaches to actually solve problems.

Investing in Natural Capital

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USFWS.jpgNatural Capital Project director Mary Ruckelshaus, former lead scientist Heather Tallis, and software head Rich Sharp got a chance to share the NatCap message with a global audience last week through a presentation to the Commonwealth Club of California, the nation's premier public affairs forum.

Happy New Year! (With Fish)

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German tradition says eating herring at midnight on Dec. 31 brings good fortune for the year to come. Is herring part of your New Year's celebration? If not, here's your big chance!

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and not necessarily of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.

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