Sustainability Reads: October 14- October 20

“Should newspapers ban letters from climate science deniers?”

The Los Angeles Times has decided that it will not print anymore letters from readers denying climate change, which has sparked discussion among editors of other newspapers whether or not they should do the same. Letters to the Editor pages or often called “Letters”  and in printed newspapers take up a valuable space; often the most frequently read portion is the Letters section. Piece by Graham Readfearn on Planet Oz hosted by the Guardian.

“Apple’s new environmental chief Lisa Jackson to grow Apple’s energy efficiency, clean power”
Lisa Jackson,  former EPA administrator, and now VP of Environmental Initiatives at Apple, Inc., spoke about her new position and the company’s sustainability initiatives at Verge’s sustainability conference in San Francisco this past week. This article briefly outlines Jackson’s position. Apple’s efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, and bringing energy efficiency and renewable energy to the company’s various offices and centers.  Industry leaders like Apple play a large role in setting industry standards, and Jackson, in this new position, will be able to determine the industry’s direction in terms of sustainability. It is exciting to see such a strong, intelligent woman with impressive experience in the public sector as environmental director of a highly publicized multinational corporation like Apple, and I look forward to seeing what she does for the company. Article by Ucilia Wang on Gigaom.

“Smart Urban Design for India’s Sustainable Future”
As India provides more bus systems to its growing population, the authors of this piece acknowledge that India has two options: to “either continue to build increasingly sprawling and inefficient cities or embrace well-designed and people-focused models.” The article puts forward three steps to a better city, which although is targeted at India, it can be projected to any growing city in the world. These three steps include 1.) Planning: Designing transport and land use together; 2.) Partnerships: Attracting and leveraging private investment; and 3.)Politics: Keeping a long term vision and keeping it. Article by Manish Bapna and Madhav Pai found at World Resource Institute (WRI) site, originally posted on

Also, speaking of the Verge’s sustainability conference, check out this year’s recipients of the Verge 25 Awards, which is presented to various people taking an initiative to changing and improving the way we see sustainability. Some cool initiatives that were recognized are:

  • Melissa O’Mara of Schneider Electric: “Launching smart city innovations through tech and accelerating the evolution to efficient, liveable, sustainable, and resilient cities”

  • John Teeter of People Power: “Promoting a vision of how “full-spectrum sustainability” can align with the security and well-being of cities and nations”

  • Nick Whitmam of FEED Resource Recovery: “Creating closed loop systems for grocers by turning food waste into warehouse-powering energy”

  • Elizabeth Fretheim of Walmart: “Delivering more while driving less — leveraging new technologies to revamp fleets and supply chain logistics”

  • Will Sarni of Deloitte: “Making water use a strategic issue for companies around the world”

  • Mary Fischer of Stonyfield Farm: “Leading the way in carbon footprinting to drive transparency in the food industry”

Climate Watcher Says He’s Done With Flying” (NPR)
Quote from Meteorologist Eric Holthaus:
“It struck me that morning, the morning the report came out (the most recent IPCC climate change report). If I’m talking about the weather and I’m writing about the weather every day, I need to kind of put my money where my mouth is. Scientists are now more confident about the fact that humans are changing the climate than they are that smoking causes cancer. So I brought that down to my level, the human level, and say, what does that mean for me?”

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