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The limits to Limits

By Neil McRoberts - Posted on 07 January 2015

Do milestone events (like the publication of Earthrise, December 24 1968, or The Limits to Growth (1972)) have a lasting impact on global econmic and environmental policy?  What's "gestation period" for a work such as Limits to Growth, that has profound implications for sustainable management of global resources, before it's message begins to influence policy formulation?  Why doesn't growth make us happy? I've been trying to grapple with these and other connected questions.  Read more at: http://1680kcal.org/?p=184. 

Governing Everest: Tragedy of the Commons at the Top of the World

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 19 June 2013

Lines up to four hours. Piles of garbage and human waste. Dead bodies by the side of the route. Fights between climbing groups. Welcome to Mt. Everest in 2013, and a tragedy of the commons at the top of the world.

A recent article by National Geographic highlights the increasing crowds and environmental problems on Everest. I've never climbed Everest(and don't plan to...), and I'm betting that Elinor Ostrom and Garret Hardin have not climbed there either. But Everest highlights core issues in environmental governance that they would surely recognize.

Four Anecdotes about Sustainable Viticulture in Napa Valley

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 05 December 2011

The sustainable viticulture team visited Napa Valley last week to seek wisdom from our advisory council about the design of our study, and present some initial findings at the Green Wine Summit. During the course of the day, I heard some of the most interesting anecdotes about social networks and sustainable agriculture that I've yet encountered:

Congratulations Matthew Hoffman!

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 16 February 2011

Congratulations to Matthew Hoffman on being awarded a SAREP grant to study wineries in Lodi as an extension of the sustainable viticulture program. He is already trying to expand this to a statewide study. Here is the info on the grant:

SAREP: http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/

Dispatch: Lead 2010- Childhood exposure to lead

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 16 November 2010

Like many other environmental health issues, understanding childhood lead exposure involves land use history, politics, and the global economy. In a panel on childhood lead poisoning, we aim to synthesize the science behind lead’s distribution in the environment, the individual and societal implications of lead exposure in childhood, and barriers and opportunities to reducing lead exposure rates in the future. The panel is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday April 6th at 4 pm at the UC Center Sacramento-1130 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Lead poisoning continues to be a health threat despite efforts by the public health community to eliminate childhood lead poisoning by the year 2010. The removal of lead from consumer products, such as paint and gasoline, resulted in dramatic declines in the average blood lead levels of children. However, lead persists in the environment and is present in older homes and the surrounding soils. In addition, the burden of elevated blood lead levels is not equally distributed. Some urban communities demonstrate lead poisoning levels of 15-20% while the national average is below 2%.

Four panelists, representing public health science, urban ecology, policy makers, and grassroots organization active in California, will to discuss policy, science and community action on lead poisoning. The panel is open to the public and will include lots of opportunities for audience participation.

Research Brief: Sustainable Viticulture Practices

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 22 September 2010

We have just released our first "policy brief" from the sustainable viticulture project. The brief focuses on the perceived costs and benefits of sustainable viticulture practices and how uncertainty affects these evaluations. The report was widely distributed to study participants and other sustainable viticulture stakeholders. Click on the attachment below to download the report.

Scratching Below the Surface of Napa Valley

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 13 August 2010

I'm currently engaged in one of the most enjoyable activities of my job: interviewing real people engaged in real environmental and agricultural decision-making situations. In this case, I'm talking about winegrape growers and winemakers in Napa Valley, who I am interviewing as part of the sustainable viticulture project. I've interviewed 6 people so far, and all of them have been interesting for different reasons.

One of the cool things about the Napa growers is that it gives me a chance to scratch beneath the surface of the country's premium wine region. The grape prices, land prices, and wine prices are the highest in the country. Napa growers feel they provide some of the best wine in the world (and most people agree), and also are leaders in sustainability.

Here are some of the interesting stories I've heard; these may or may not ever end up in a scientific publication but I can vouch for their authenticity:

Sustainable Viticulture in Australia

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 21 July 2010

As detailed on our projects page, our National Science Foundation study of sustainable viticulture is in full swing. But sustainable viticulture is not only a California phenomena. It is also occuring in countries like Australia, as illustrated by an interview about the Yalumba Wine Company.

Sustainable Cities in the Central Valley

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 17 June 2010

DAVIS, Calif. -- The population of California's Central Valley is expected to balloon from 7 million to 12 million people in the next 30 years, making it the fastest growing region anywhere in the United States or Mexico. Can the valley's communities be that big and green as well?

"I am actually pretty pessimistic about the possibility," says the lead author of a new UC Davis review of 100 Central Valley cities' growth policies.

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