Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development Welcome to Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development! Check out our latest issue online at www.consiliencejournal.org.

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development is an online journal dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary dialogue on sustainable development. This journal aims to bring students, researchers, professors, and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and geographical regions in direct conversation with each other through an online, academically rigorous medium. Consilience publishes scholarly articles, opinion pieces, field notes, editorial columns and photo essays. By providing a public platform for discussion, we hope to encourage a global community to think more broadly, thoroughly, and analytically about sustainable development. The journal is run by a team of undergraduate and graduate students, under the guidance of faculty from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Mission: This publication aims to bring students, researchers, professors, and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and geographical regions in direct conversation with each other through an online, academically rigorous medium. We aim to encourage students to become involved in research: an invaluable problem-solving tool that has the power to transform unfocused passion into focused solutions. Consilience is designed to allow different disciplines to converse with each other in the hopes that this cross-pollination of methodologies will spark ideas that ultimately lead to a higher quality of life for all people.

Juliana v. United States is an unprecedented lawsuit filed by 21 youth plaintiffs arguing that US inaction on climate ch...
07/08/2019
Juliana v. United States: an Overview – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Juliana v. United States is an unprecedented lawsuit filed by 21 youth plaintiffs arguing that US inaction on climate change infringes on their constitutional rights. As the case rises through the US court system, Briefings Writer John Richardson provides a breakdown of this ambitious suit.

Juliana v. United States: an Overview John Richardson   In the latter half of 2018, one of the most important environmental law cases to reach the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in over a decade overcame another major hurdle thrown against it by the United States government. Amid natio...

Hawaii has set a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. Over the past few years, the state has built up impressive momen...
06/28/2019
Planning for Planet Saving: Hawaii Lays Groundwork for a 100% Renewables Grid – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Hawaii has set a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. Over the past few years, the state has built up impressive momentum towards this ambition through initiatives at the legislative and market levels. Briefings Writer Mairead Milán examines the details and challenges of Hawaii's push to 100% renewables.

Planning for Planet Saving: Hawaii Lays Groundwork for a 100% Renewables Grid Mairead Milán   In 2015 approximately 70% of Hawaii’s electricity was generated by petroleum, a practice both economically and environmentally profligate. That same year the state passed HB 623, codifying renewable ele...

With President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency earlier this year regarding the US Southern Border, the pro...
06/19/2019
Could a National Emergency be Declared Over Climate Change in the United States? – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

With President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency earlier this year regarding the US Southern Border, the prospect of a president declaring a national emergency on climate change may come to mind. Briefings Writer John Richardson investigates the legal viability and potential effectiveness of such an action.

Could a National Emergency be Declared Over Climate Change in the United States? John Richardson   President Trump’s “National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States” has rekindled discussion surrounding the potential for a U.S. President to declare a national emergency...

To the continued frustration of climate activists, facts and figures about the urgency of climate change have fallen sho...
06/10/2019
Ecological Empathy: The Role of Art in Environmental Activism – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

To the continued frustration of climate activists, facts and figures about the urgency of climate change have fallen short of inspiring collective action. Briefings Writer Mitali Sharma argues that we must develop ‘ecological empathy’ to precipitate impassioned action on climate change. To do this, we need to perceive a more intimate connection between sustainable development and human art and culture.

Ecological Empathy: The Role of Art in Environmental Activism Mitali Sharma   On March 27, I found myself torn from the confines of my dorm room and taken on a gut-wrenching, shamanic journey that forced me to meditate on the apocalyptic reality that faces our planet. The catalyst of this experienc...

Environmentalist 'fads' can place too much emphasis on the individual to solve climate change, and neglect the need to o...
05/31/2019
Environmentalism in Vogue – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Environmentalist 'fads' can place too much emphasis on the individual to solve climate change, and neglect the need to overhaul entire systems. Briefings writer Alena Zhang explains:

Environmentalism in Vogue Alena Zhang   Reduce, reuse, recycle is no longer just a mantra. For the new wave of American environmentalists, it’s a fad. It’s banners touting vegetarianism, electric cars, and Everlane jackets spun from thirty-two water bottles. In the social dimension, it’s a ba...

The effects of climate change may force 143 million people from their homes by 2050, concentrating them increasingly in ...
05/23/2019
Urbanizing Climate Migration – The Future of our Cities in a Warming World – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

The effects of climate change may force 143 million people from their homes by 2050, concentrating them increasingly in urban areas.

Consilience Briefings writer Mitchell Thomas sat down with Columbia University Professor Saskia Sassen, a leading scholar on climate migration, to find out what this crisis will mean for the world's cities.

Urbanizing Climate Migration – The Future of our Cities in a Warming World Mitchell Thomas   Earlier this year, a groundbreaking World Bank Report titled Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration painted a dramatic picture of climate migration in a warming world. The report projects 1...

Model United Nations (MUN) allows students worldwide to simulate being delegates in UN negotiations, and many participan...
05/15/2019
The Problem with Model United Nations – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Model United Nations (MUN) allows students worldwide to simulate being delegates in UN negotiations, and many participants may go on to positions of power. But is this program sending potential future leaders a responsible and effective message? Briefings Writer Griffin Deans sees room for improvement:

The Problem with Model United Nations Griffin Deans   For those who may not know, Model United Nations (MUN) is an inter-scholastic gathering of students that aims to simulate U.N. proceedings. Representing countries in various committees like the U.N. Security Counsel or World Health Organization,...

Of course, every charity intends to have maximum impact for good, but this is not always the case. Briefings Writer Etha...
05/03/2019
Making Charities Efficient – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Of course, every charity intends to have maximum impact for good, but this is not always the case. Briefings Writer Ethan Turner examines what individuals and charities can do to ensure charities operate at their full potential.

Making Charities Efficient Ethan Turner   It is unreasonable to assume that charities alone can address the vast majority of our societal issues. After all, that would be inefficient; there are governments, for-profit companies, and other institutions who can solve large portions of our problems. T...

Climate change deniers in American politics have been wielding a surprisingly effective weapon against climate action: s...
04/26/2019
Climate Change and Politics of the American Language: The Act of Omission – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Climate change deniers in American politics have been wielding a surprisingly effective weapon against climate action: simply not talking about it.

From the archives:

Climate Change and Politics of the American Language: The Act of Omission Jakob Brounstein For many Americans, popular politics seems to have acquired an Orwellian air in the past weeks. Between the series of mutations that rapidly depleted the phrase “fake news” of any substantive meaning and P...

While sustainable development is often viewed as a product of Western countries, Africa's Great Green Wall Initiative is...
04/24/2019
The Triumphs and Challenges of Africa’s Great Green Wall Initiative – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

While sustainable development is often viewed as a product of Western countries, Africa's Great Green Wall Initiative is a major counterexample. Briefings Writer Sydney Proffitt explores the evolution and impact of this continent-spanning project:

The Triumphs and Challenges of Africa’s Great Green Wall Initiative Sydney Proffitt   It is hard to deny the fact that the field of sustainable development has largely grown out of the Western world. Fortunately, little by little, this dominance is diminishing; the international nature of the fie...

Briefings Writer Elizabeth Jackson takes a deep dive into the notoriously complex world of plastics recycling:
04/16/2019
Know What You Throw: Demystifying the Nuances of Plastics Recycling – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Briefings Writer Elizabeth Jackson takes a deep dive into the notoriously complex world of plastics recycling:

Know What You Throw: Demystifying the Nuances of Plastics Recycling Elizabeth Jackson   The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that seventy five percent of the waste produced by the US could be recycled, yet current numbers for waste recycling revolve around thirty four percent. Th...

In the aftermath of Amazon's last-minute decision to back out of a deal for a headquarters in Long Island City, Briefing...
04/05/2019
A Bad Breakup for Sustainable Development – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

In the aftermath of Amazon's last-minute decision to back out of a deal for a headquarters in Long Island City, Briefings writer Alena Zhang reflects on what the cancelled plans will mean for New York City's sustainable development.

A Bad Breakup for Sustainable Development Alena Zhang   On Valentine’s day this year, New York City lost the hand of its richest suitor yet. We all know the deal – a sordid love story between Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, and Jeff Bezos worth three billion dollars, and the ensuing tumult tha...

Consilience announces the return of its Briefings page, which will regularly publish short-form articles representing di...
03/27/2019
Carbon Sequestration: A Necessary Innovation – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Consilience announces the return of its Briefings page, which will regularly publish short-form articles representing discourse on current events and ideas in sustainable development. Articles can be found here: https://consiliencejournal.org/category/briefings/

In our first article, staff writer Elisha Zhao explores the urgency and prospects of carbon sequestration:

Carbon Sequestration: A Necessary Innovation Elisha Zhao The report, published in early October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a branch spearheaded by the United Nations, says it all: Earth is hard set on a trajectory towards climate disaster, and it is all due to greenhous...

APPLICATIONS DUE TOMORROW!APPLY HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/5L8zyqq0CVLbXVYx2
01/31/2019

APPLICATIONS DUE TOMORROW!

APPLY HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/5L8zyqq0CVLbXVYx2

DEADLINE EXTENDED!

APPLY HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/5L8zyqq0CVLbXVYx2

Applications to be a Writer for Consilience Briefings are now due Friday, February 1. Writers will produce articles regularly on diverse topics of sustainable development to be published in the Consilience Briefings page. It’s a great way to get published throughout the school year!

DEADLINE EXTENDED!APPLY HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/5L8zyqq0CVLbXVYx2Applications to be a Writer for Consilience Briefing...
01/28/2019

DEADLINE EXTENDED!

APPLY HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/5L8zyqq0CVLbXVYx2

Applications to be a Writer for Consilience Briefings are now due Friday, February 1. Writers will produce articles regularly on diverse topics of sustainable development to be published in the Consilience Briefings page. It’s a great way to get published throughout the school year!

APPLICATIONS OPEN to be a writer for Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development!Writers will produce articles r...
01/15/2019

APPLICATIONS OPEN to be a writer for Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development!

Writers will produce articles regularly on diverse topics of sustainable development to be published in the Consilience Briefings page. It’s a great way to get published throughout the school year!
APPLY HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/5L8zyqq0CVLbXVYx2
Applications are due January 27th. Feel free to contact Amar Bhardwaj at [email protected] with any questions!

As Thanksgiving approaches, it's important to remind ourselves of those who don't have access to the same food security ...
11/15/2018
Breaking the links between conflict and hunger in Africa | IFPRI

As Thanksgiving approaches, it's important to remind ourselves of those who don't have access to the same food security we enjoy at Columbia, at home and abroad. Hunger remains a significant challenge for civilization, as a starving society can quickly disintegrate and descend into war. The studies below illustrate such causation between armed conflict and food insecurity in Africa.
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http://www.ifpri.org/publication/breaking-links-between-conflict-and-hunger-africa
https://africacenter.org/spotlight/africas-unresolved-conflicts-a-key-driver-of-food-insecurity/

"Armed conflicts frequently lead to the destruction of food systems. Often, warring parties manipulate starvation as a deliberate tactic, using their control over access to food to attract and reward friends and humble and punish enemies.

10/31/2018
What To Recycle In NYC 2018

Ever wonder what should and shouldn't be recycled in NYC? Take 60 seconds to watch this video and refresh your recycling knowledge!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUyVELb5PzY

Recycling is the law in New York City for all residents, agencies, and institutions that receive DSNY sanitation collection. It is also one of the simplest a...

The Chinese solar industry, once touted as the fastest growing alternative energy sector in the world, now struggles to ...
10/25/2018
Chinese solar projects facing closure amid subsidy backlog:...

The Chinese solar industry, once touted as the fastest growing alternative energy sector in the world, now struggles to stay afloat as subsidies fall behind the new capacity created. Read the article by Reuters to learn how the sector's own growth threatens to become its undoing.
.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-solar-subsidies/chinese-solar-projects-facing-closure-amid-subsidy-backlog-government-report-idUSKCN1MM0F2

Solar power projects in the northwest Chinese region of Ningxia are struggling t...

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 25th!APPLICATIONS OPEN to be a writer for Consilience: The Journal of Sust...
09/19/2018
Consilience Writer Application

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 25th!

APPLICATIONS OPEN to be a writer for Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development! Writers will produce articles regularly on diverse topics of sustainable development to be published in the Consilience Briefings. It’s a great way to get published throughout the school year! Apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/5L8zyqq0CVLbXVYx2

Applications are due September 25th. Feel free to contact Sophia Ahmed at [email protected] or Amar Bhardwaj at [email protected] with any questions!

Consilience is an online journal dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary dialogue on sustainable development. Among other material, Consilience publishes a Briefings column, where short articles (~1300 words) relating to sustainable development issues and current events are published regularly. Con...

APPLICATIONS OPEN to be a writer for Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development! Writers will produce articles ...
09/06/2018
Google Forms – create and analyse surveys, for free.

APPLICATIONS OPEN to be a writer for Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development! Writers will produce articles regularly on diverse topics of sustainable development to be published in the Consilience Briefings. It’s a great way to get published throughout the school year! Apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/5L8zyqq0CVLbXVYx2

Applications are due September 20th. Feel free to contact Sophia Ahmed at [email protected] or Amar Bhardwaj at [email protected] with any questions!

Create a new survey on your own or with others at the same time. Choose from a variety of survey types and analyse results in Google Forms. Free from Google.

In March, Portugal was able to produce more renewable energy than it could consume in a month. That renewables could ful...
04/15/2018
Renewable Energy Meets 100% Of Portugal's March Electricity Needs

In March, Portugal was able to produce more renewable energy than it could consume in a month. That renewables could fulfill 100% of a modern nation's electrical needs in this time period is a major milestone in the progress toward a cleaner, more sustainable future! Read CleanTechnica's article about this achievement to see progress by the numbers.
https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/12/renewable-energy-meets-100-of-portugals-march-electricity-needs/

According to new numbers published earlier this month, Portugal's renewable energy production in March exceeded the country's electricity consumption for the month, a record not seen in forty years.

A Photo Essay on Senegal: Advancing Development and a Pull Backwards by Tradition by Caitlin Hoeberlein Issue IX
04/04/2018

A Photo Essay on Senegal: Advancing Development and a Pull Backwards by Tradition
by Caitlin Hoeberlein
Issue IX

In recognition of World Water Day, the United Nations Environment Programme released a press release to give a wake up c...
03/22/2018
World looks to nature-based solutions for urgent water challenges

In recognition of World Water Day, the United Nations Environment Programme released a press release to give a wake up call about the inevitable crisis of water scarcity. Read its UN World Water Development Report to learn what can be done toward water management, from your own home to the wider landscape of New York City and beyond.
https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/world-looks-nature-based-solutions-urgent-water-challenges

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “Nature for Water”, focusing on nature-based solutions to the water challenges in the 21st century. More than 2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and more than double that number lack access to safe sanitation 21 March 2018 – As mor...

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development's cover photo
03/20/2018

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development's cover photo

Whether you are staying home for spring break or travelling abroad, keep an eye out for different view points on what su...
03/08/2018
The Good Life – Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

Whether you are staying home for spring break or travelling abroad, keep an eye out for different view points on what sustainability and the "good life" are! Check out this post on the concept of Buen Vivir or Sumak Kawsay:

https://consiliencejournal.org/2014/11/05/the-good-life-as-a-political-concept-between-economic-transformation-and-de-growth/

The Good Life Phillip Altmann In 2008, the Ecuadorian Constitution defined the concept of Buen Vivir or Sumak Kawsay as a central principle of the state. In 2009, the Bolivian Constitution did the same with the similar idea of Vivir Bien or Suma Qamaña. With this, the notion of Good Life (also tran...

02/26/2018

The deadline for submissions to Consilience's 20th issue has been extended to March 1st!

Call for Submissions!Every day, people are shaping the world to be greener, more efficient, more sustainable. The next i...
02/15/2018
[Consilience Journal] Call for Submissions: Issue XX

Call for Submissions!

Every day, people are shaping the world to be greener, more efficient, more sustainable. The next innovation could be happening in your hometown. Let us know! Only 10 days left to submit an article to Consilience for the 20th edition!

http://www.icontact-archive.com/TZuEokG4vNnYn23hkI7xVrKSFnlMD0jF?w=3

My name is Ambria Benesch and I am the Editor-in-Chief of Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development. As you may be aware, we are an online, open-access, solutions-oriented platform dedicated to advancing dialogue on sustainable development. Our global scope allows us to provide an inte...

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