Ways Society can avoid a Catastrophic Drought

As the world’s climate patterns continue to shift unpredictably, places where drinking water was once abundant may soon find reservoirs dry and groundwater aquifers depleted. In this talk, civil and environmental engineer David Sedlak shares four practical solutions to the ongoing urban water crisis. His goal: to shift our water supply towards new, local sources of water and create a system that is capable of withstanding any of the challenges climate change may throw at us in the coming years.

Easy Actions to Reduce Plastic’s Affect on Earth

Plastics are overwhelming our oceans and landfills. Every year, an estimated 19 billion pounds of plastic garbage end up in the sea. In the U.S. alone, approximately 56 billion pounds of plastic are dumped annually in landfills.

But here’s a heartening truth: We can all do something to mitigate this growing plastics crisis. Yes, all. From entrepreneurs and corporations who need to rethink the way plastic products are designed and manufactured; to lawmakers who can push for the protection of fragile environments from plastic pollution; to individuals (that means you) whose seemingly small daily actions can add up to something huge, we all have a role to play. 

In general, less than 7 percent of all the plastic that Americans throw away each year are recycled, and about 8 percent are combusted in waste-to-energy facilities. The rest end up in landfills.

An average American family of four uses more than 1,500 plastic bags every year, according to the NRDC. Each bag is typically only used for about 12 minutes; yet since plastic bags are very rarely recycled, most of them end up in landfills, where they can languish for hundreds of years.

Explore the World through Google Earth without ever Leaving Home

With the revamped Google Earth, now available online and soon to be rolled out on smartphone apps, users can explore the world in 3-D while learning new information about destinations both familiar and unknown.

The goal of the project is to “infuse the globe with everything we know about the world,” Askay said.