Top Ten Green Building Trends for 2010

Green building is one of the keys to economic recovery. Not only is it a better way to do business, it drives innovation, improves efficiency standards, makes for happier and healthier people and creates new "green collar" jobs. The trend topics on this list will be no surprise to others who are experts in this area; they are products, systems and concepts that have been quietly percolating. The purpose of this list is to identify those "big picture" trends that we see becoming more mainstream in 2010.

Focus on Carbon Sequestration

Carbon sequestration is a family of methods for capturing and permanently isolating gases that otherwise could contribute to global climate change. Affordable and environmentally safe sequestration approaches could offer a way to stabilize atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

Educational Resources

The U.S. National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) answers FAQs about carbon sequestration.

Demonstrating Carbon Sequestration – This Geotimes feature reports on two projects that have been burying 2 million metric tons per year of man-made carbon dioxide instead of sending it into the atmosphere.

Climate Status Investigations (CSI) – NETL has developed a 10-day interdisciplinary curriculum module for middle-level students on the topic of Global Climate Change. The curriculum explores the science of Global Climate Change, the primary sources of greenhouse gases, and potential solutions, such as sequestration, through hands-on inquiry.

Carbon Sinks and Sources – Through questioning and partnering, students gain an understanding of the complex system of carbon cycling that works to balance the levels of carbon in our atmosphere.

Climate Discovery Teacher’s Guide from NCAR This teacher’s guide was produced by the National Center for Atmospheric Research as a companion to the Climate Discovery exhibit at their Boulder, Colorado laboratory. View the unit on carbon cycles.

EPA’s FAQs – These FAQs address carbon sequestration in Agriculture and Forestry.

The Center for Carbon Management at Columbia University – is working to control atmospheric carbon dioxide and to prevent its disruptive effects on global climate.

Access to Information

One of our key priorities at EarthTrends is ensuring that the public have access to the type of information that can be used to understand trends, shape ideas and inform change.

Information is crucial to both development and good governance. Successful decision making can only occur if both leaders and the wider public have a complete picture of the key trends and issues impacting their nation and communities. This is particularly important when it comes to sustainably managing a country's natural resources.

However for many, particularly in low income countries, easy access is not always a given. Limited investment, poor infrastructure and the socio-economic landscape all contribute to significant segments of the population having inadequate access to information resources.

read more

Access to Information

One of our key priorities at EarthTrends is ensuring that the public have access to the type of information that can be used to understand trends, shape ideas and inform change.

Information is crucial to both development and good governance. Successful decision making can only occur if both leaders and the wider public have a complete picture of the key trends and issues impacting their nation and communities. This is particularly important when it comes to sustainably managing a country's natural resources.

However for many, particularly in low income countries, easy access is not always a given. Limited investment, poor infrastructure and the socio-economic landscape all contribute to significant segments of the population having inadequate access to information resources.

read more

Population and Consumption

The air is full of carbon dioxide and other pollutants;
The ocean is emptying;
We have observed record setting harvests over the last few years, and yet chronic hunger persists and has recently been increasing;
The planet is experiencing the 6th great extinction;

All of these are the result of human activity.

This evidence illustrates that we have not responsibly managed, neither through governance nor technology, our environmental resources. In the absence of finding a sustainable relationship with our ecosystem, we might conclude that we have reached Earth's carrying capacity.read more

Population and Consumption

The air is full of carbon dioxide and other pollutants;
The ocean is emptying;
We have observed record setting harvests over the last few years, and yet chronic hunger persists and has recently been increasing;
The planet is experiencing the 6th great extinction;

All of these are the result of human activity.

This evidence illustrates that we have not responsibly managed, neither through governance nor technology, our environmental resources. In the absence of finding a sustainable relationship with our ecosystem, we might conclude that we have reached Earth's carrying capacity.read more

Sanitation: Access and Health

Human waste may be a topic that people generally do not or prefer not to think about. However, its capture and disposal (often referred to in terms of sanitation) play a vital role in human health and development. The importance of sanitation as a basic human need has made it an international development priority and a key target in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Even though since 1990 the percent of the global population with access to improved sanitation has increased (see Figure 1.), lack of improved sanitation still threatens human health and development particularly in developing regions of the world.

read more

Sanitation: Access and Health

Human waste may be a topic that people generally do not or prefer not to think about. However, its capture and disposal (often referred to in terms of sanitation) play a vital role in human health and development. The importance of sanitation as a basic human need has made it an international development priority and a key target in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Even though since 1990 the percent of the global population with access to improved sanitation has increased (see Figure 1.), lack of improved sanitation still threatens human health and development particularly in developing regions of the world.

read more

Piracy and Governance in the Gulf of Aden

The number of piracy attacks reported this year have already far exceeded those of last year. According to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), as of September 23, 2009, 294 piratical incidents have been reported, with 97 occurring in the Gulf of Aden and 47 off of the remaining coasts of Somalia. Figure 1 shows the placements of pirate attacks within the Gulf of Aden from July to September, 2009.read more

Piracy and Governance in the Gulf of Aden

The number of piracy attacks reported this year have already far exceeded those of last year. According to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), as of September 23, 2009, 294 piratical incidents have been reported, with 97 occurring in the Gulf of Aden and 47 off of the remaining coasts of Somalia. Figure 1 shows the placements of pirate attacks within the Gulf of Aden from July to September, 2009.read more