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Phoenix takes a bow

Blogging on EARTH

One of the NASA’s most successful and widely publicized missions has ended.

On Monday, NASA scientists declared that the Phoenix Lander, a solar-powered, stationary robot laboratory designed to explore the habitability of the Red Planet, had stopped communications with Earth.

11 Nov 2008

Maldives' residents looking for a new patch of land

Blogging on EARTH

The highest land point in the Maldives, a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, is only about 2.4 meters above sea level. With the IPCC predicting a sea level rise of 20 to 58 centimeters by the year 2100, the Maldives' 300,000 residents are therefore among the most threatened in the world by climate change.

11 Nov 2008

Raising bees and capturing rainwater: U.S. prisons go green

Blogging on EARTH

The flagging economy may complicate federal aspirations for a green revolution, but at least one government entity has adopted the movement in stride: state prisons.

According to a recent report by the Associated Press, prisons across America now host the likes of compost heaps, organic gardens and solar panels in an attempt to save precious state budget money.

04 Nov 2008

Geologic Column: Saving the World? Or Just Saving Money?

It all started with a reporter.

I had just signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which pledges that my university will try to decrease its carbon footprint and develop a plan to become carbon neutral, when a reporter from the local newspaper challenged my personal credentials, my knowledge of and commitment to the environment. Forget my background as an earth scientist, the many years I taught environmental geology, the summers I worked at a conservation-education camp. He wanted to know what kind of car I drove.

31 Oct 2008

With falling oil prices, short-sellers may win big

Blogging on EARTH

We all heard it this summer: national politicians blasting speculators for driving up oil prices. Journalists and academics may never sort out the actual significance of speculators in this regard. But those same speculators have likely lost big time the last several weeks, says James Hamilton, an economist at the University of San Diego.

30 Oct 2008

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