It’s been a few weeks since the announcement of the “historic” COP21 agreement, wherein a majority of the world settled on goals for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Since then, I’ve been asked by countless family members at holiday gatherings how my experience in Paris was and what I think of the agreement that came out of the conference. I’ve struggled to convey my feelings to them, unsure of how to put into words the mixed feelings I have about COP21. This article is my way of articulating what I couldn’t quite convey to all my relatives.

While I was in Paris, I saw... Read More

Just ten years ago, very few companies had a sustainability page on their website. Now, it is ubiquitous. The word "sustainability" has woven itself into marketing and branding strategy such that companies use it to market themselves. This is a matter of pride. While there are multiple meanings for the word "sustainability," the focus here is environmental consciousness.

I find myself questioning whether these companies practice what they preach on their sustainability pages. Do they stand by what they say or is it simply a buzzword they use because their competitors are using it?... Read More

“Just keep it up. You’re doing the Lord’s work, and we’re going to win this thing together,” proclaimed a U.S. Senator in Paris during COP21. Ironic as it may be, these words were not those of a delegate in the COP21 negotiations nor those of a protestor in the streets of the French capitol. They were the words of Oklahoman Senator Jim Inhofe at a "counter-conference" for climate change deniers.

Organized by the vociferous Heartland Institute of Chicago, the not-so-popular event (touting around 30 attendees) took place merely a couple of kilometers away from the official... Read More

Contemporary American culture idolizes the wilderness, but how exactly do we protect this Eden-like places? As public sentiment shifted to the protection and conservation of these Eden-like refuges against human contamination, a vast array of different (and often conflicting) conservation development approaches began to emerge. Currently, there is a global trend towards conservation development and a variety of different approaches have emerged. In the past century, protected areas have become increasingly employed as the venue in which people visualize and experience the... Read More

In the aftermath of COP21, the conversation is dominated by talk of INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions), emissions reductions, and energy transitions, and while these are some of the most important steps to achieving the goals laid out by the Paris Agreement, they definitely don’t tell the full story. While there are other international bodies assigned specifically to conservation, it is an extremely important topic for COP conferences as well because our planet’s ecosystems are a huge factor in the global carbon budget and climate change.

The biggest victory for... Read More