State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

10 Reasons to Make a Gift to the Earth Institute by Dec. 31

Thanks to the support and advocacy of our donors, partners, volunteers and students, the Earth Institute made great strides toward sustainable development in 2012. We wanted to share a list of ten accomplishments made possible through our combined efforts.

This year we:

  1. Delivered pay-as-you-go solar electricity to thousands of rural homes in sub-Saharan Africa using the innovative SharedSolar system developed by the Modi Lab.
  2. Demonstrated that experts from our Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory were ahead of the curve, having forecasted the exact nature of a storm such as Hurricane Sandy years in advance, and serving as the prime sources of scientific information for the media and public in the aftermath of the storm.
  3. Launched the Certificate of Professional Achievement in Sustainability Analytics program to train managers in nonprofits, governments and industry in the quantitative and technical skills essential to practicing sustainability.
  4. Promoted global awareness of sustainable development through the biannual State of the Planet Conference.
  5. Presented the first ever World Happiness Report at the United Nations Conference on Happiness to support a global dialogue around a new economic paradigm that takes human and natural well-being into account.
  6. Published a study in the journal Science demonstrating that, owing to CO2 concentrations, the world’s oceans are acidifying faster than at any time in the last 300 million years, which may have severe consequences for marine ecosystems and food chains.
  7. Mapped lead hotspots in Peru using handheld soil scanners—an activity that may protect children in mining towns against brain damage.
  8. At our International Research Institute for Climate and Society, piloted an early warning system for meningitis in the Sahel region of Africa with the World Health Organization and partners.
  9. Developed novel software that will significantly reduce the cost of carbon footprinting for both companies and consumers.
  10. Launched the global Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a new initiative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to engage scholars and experts worldwide in problem solving for sustainable development.

Give the gift of a sustainable planet this holiday season.

Please make your end-of-year gift to the Earth Institute today
so that we can continue these efforts to pioneer a global shift
to sustainable development in 2013.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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