Archive for James Dontje

Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation


Nobel Conference 48 Profile of Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

If whales are the iconic species for ocean conservation, then coral reefs are the iconic ecosystem. Coral reefs are centers of ocean biodiversity, occupying less than 0.1 percent of the ocean surface while supporting 25 percent of the world’s marine species. With the riot of color and panoply of creatures adapted to these unique environments, […]

Biomass and biogas information

During the question and answer session following Bina Agarwal’s talk at Noble Conference 46, several audience questions asked for more resources about biomass stoves in mentioned during her talk. As promised by the moderator, here are several links to websites that will serve as a good introduction to these topics. First, a good primer on […]

Cary Fowler honored with Heinz Family Foundation award

The Heinz Family Foundation has honored Cary Fowler, one of this year’s Nobel Speakers, with a Heinz Award. Established by Teresa Heinz to honor her late husband, US Senator John Heinz, the annual awards recognize individuals who have made contributions to areas of importance to John Heinz. This year’s awards, including a cash prize of […]

“Push-pull” agriculture in Kenya links to Nobel discussions

Some news on the international ag production front. As background on the article, stem borer is obviously a kind of pest we are familiar with, but the Striga pest mentioned in the article is a parasitic weed with varied species that use their roots to steal nutrients from corn, sorghum, millet, and cowpeas (aka black-eyed […]

GM crops in the wild

Researchers in North Dakota have found genetically modified canola plants thriving in the roadside ditches. Besides the conclusive demonstration of a widespread “escape” into the wild, the research shows that some plants have a mixture of genetic material from two different strains of GM canola–clear evidence of genetic mixing that might produce unexpected plant characteristics.  […]

Nature magazine series on the role of science in meeting world food demand

The Nature magazine article series available at this link ( ) takes a look at the role of science in meeting world food demand in the future. There seems to be an honest effort to look critically at what scientific research can and cannot do in meeting growing food demand while protecting the environment. One […]

Coal-Fired Utilities Ponder Carbon Risk and Future Plans

As governments wrestle with the implications of carbon emissions and global warming, electric utilities dependent on coal-fired power plants are pondering their response to the situation and probable future carbon regulation. With 50-60% percent of the nation’s electricity coming from coal, the question is a huge one for utilities. The cheapest plants to operate are […]

OECD Warns Biofuel “Medicine” No Cure

Just in time for the Nobel Conference, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has fired a warning shot across the bows of the growing biofuels flotilla. The OECD, a consortium of market-based democratic governments, noted that biofuel development has been driven by a desire to develop markets for surplus agriculture production without proper […]