Blog Archives

Bumper 2011 grain harvest fails to rebuild global stocks

The world’s farmers produced more grain in 2011 than ever before. Estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the global grain harvest coming in at 2,295 million tons, up 53 million tons from the previous record in 2009. Consumption grew by 90 million tons over the same period to 2,280 million tons. Yet with […] … learn more→

Solar power off the grid: Energy access for world’s poor

More than a billion people worldwide lack access to electricity. The best way to bring it to them — while reducing greenhouse gas emissions — is to launch a global initiative to provide solar panels and other forms of distributed renewable power to poor villages and neighborhoods. After the Durban talks last month, climate realists […] … learn more→

The Common Good Enterprise: An alternative name for an emerging sector

As an investment manager and a member of the Gamble family that founded Procter & Gamble, I (Jim) am often asked to sit on nonprofit boards. Increasingly, I’ve grown more uncomfortable with the term not-for-profit to describe these organizations, some of which embrace business principles in their operations and outlook. One such operation is Dance […] … learn more→

Can ‘climate-smart’ agriculture help both Africa and the planet?

The glacial pace of international efforts to curb climate change continued at the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa last week. Governments concluded that by 2015 they should agree on legally binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions that involve all major nations — including China, India and the United States. But they also agreed […] … learn more→

A ladder out of poverty

Rural farmers in sub-Saharan Africa live under risky conditions. Many grow low-value cereal crops that depend on a short rainy season, a practice that traps them in poverty and hunger. But reliable access to water could change the farmers\’ perilous situation. Stanford scientists are calling for investments in small-scale irrigation projects and hydrologic mapping to […] … learn more→

How and when did humans colonise the globe?

How and when did humans colonise the globe? This question has become one of the key concerns of archaeologists, geneticists and human biologists. And now the latest archaeological discovery in Oman in the Arabian Peninsula – distinctive Nubian stone tools – offers a new twist in the emerging story. In the 19th century, Charles Darwin […] … learn more→

Banned Books Awareness: “A Wrinkle in Time”

Upon its publication in 1962, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time became an instant classic, selling more than 10 million copies in the years since. L\’Engle\’s book takes place in a vibrant fantasy world that stimulates the imagination and captivates readers both young and old. A writer for the Saturday Review said, “[it is] original, […] … learn more→

Living with the Inugguit

In 2010, researcher Stephen Leonard began a 12-month research project, documenting the disappearing oral traditions of the northernmost settled people on Earth. Now a short film about his experiences living with the Inugguit, whose way of life is threatened by climate change, is being released online. … learn more→

On the side of the angels

Steven Pinker wants you to know that violence has declined. Despite civil wars in Africa and the Mideast, ongoing strife in Afghanistan, and the barrage of local and national crimes reported on the nightly news, people are living in a much more peaceful era than they might think. “During the thousands of years humans spent […] … learn more→