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Brian Handwerk

Brian Handwerk is a freelance writer based in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Watch the Ig Nobels Live as Scientists Honor Bizarre and Funny Research

What do studies on smart slime mold, whale snot, tequila diamonds, fruit bat fellatio, and how cursing kills pain have in common? They’ve all been honored with past Ig Nobel prizes, given annually to real research “that first makes people laugh, and then makes them think.” (View our coverage of past winners.) This year’s raucous…

Rio+20 Aimed for “Sustainable Energy for All”

  The UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative aims to drive economic development, improve living conditions, and protect the planet by meeting growing energy demands with renewable, environmentally responsible sources. Will Rio+20 be someday seen as the launchpad for these accomplishments or simply another missed opportunity? UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon touted the new program at…

Nepal’s Mountain Villages Tap the Power of “Eternal Snows” With Micro-hydro

  Nepal’s soaring, snowy mountain peaks are a source of awe. They’re also a source of clean, life-altering power to the people who live in their shadows. The small Himalayan nation is promoting micro-hydro plants at the village level to produce renewable electricity, and green jobs, for citizens living far off the country’s limited power…

Is the Clock Ticking Towards U.S. Clean Tech Crash?

  The U.S. renewable energy industry may be heading towards a “clean tech cliff.” Three-quarters of the government incentive funds that have helped drive tremendous growth in industries like solar and wind are set to expire between now and 2014. For good or ill, the political decisions made between now and then will define a…

Uganda’s Household Farmers Become Organic Exporters

The market for organic food and drink is estimated at U.S.$50 billion and growing by IFOAM, the global organization of organic trade. While much of that product demand originates in wealthy developed nations, it creates opportunity for developing countries like Uganda to build a sustainable export business that protects natural resources while boosting the economy through the creation of long-term green jobs.

“Blue Jobs” Key to Future Fisheries

  There are a lot of fish in the sea. But their numbers are no match for growing human appetites and the ultra-efficient fisheries that have sprung up to feed our hunger. A shift towards “blue job” fisheries is urgently needed, experts say, if the oceans are to nourish future generations as they have in…

5 Biggest Challenges for Green Jobs

  We’ve written before about the benefits of green jobs, so you may be wondering, “How do I get one?” It’s true the green jobs sector is growing, but there are also a few challenges that need to be overcome to accelerate growth. These include: It’s the Economy In tough economic times there’s simply a…

Just What Is a Green Job Anyway?

  Green jobs are a hot topic in an era of high unemployment. But defining exactly what green jobs are, how they  can be created, and how they benefit the economy and environment presents quite a challenge. The Obama administration made green jobs an early focus and set a goal of creating some 5 million…

Women Workers Tap the Sun to Light Up Homes in Rural Bangladesh

  In the developing world green jobs can have a double-barreled impact; providing work and wages while tapping renewable energy technology to deliver “developed nation” services to people who desperately need them. These twin benefits are converging in Bangladesh, where female entrepreneurs are gaining economic independence as solar power contractors and providing life-changing electricity to…

5 Surprising Green Jobs

  At Growing Green Jobs, we recently looked at some of the hottest eco-friendly positions. Now, we take a look at some surprising green jobs that might not immediately come to mind, but can also help you do well by doing good. Green Financial Planners Financial professionals are often associated with a different type of…

5 Hot Green Jobs Available Today

  There’s been a lot of talk about green jobs over the past few years. Not all the hype has panned out, but there has also been real progress. The following are some of the hottest green jobs around: Solar Professionals The power of the sun is growing green jobs for installers, salespeople, and entrepreneurs…

Spy Satellites, Google Earth Now Guarding World’s Great Ancient Sites

Conservationists are using spy satellites, cutting-edge computer technology, and an expert human network to build an “early warning system” for some of the planet’s greatest—and most threatened—archaeological sites.

Changing Climate a Hot Topic Among Himalayan Villagers, Study Finds

Warmer temperatures, variable monsoons, and other signs of climate change are a hot topic of conversation among many Himalayan villagers, according to scientific sampling of climate change perception among local peoples.

Photographer Julie Larsen Maher: Behind the Scenes at a Zoo Near You, and in Wild Habitats Worldwide

Julie Larsen Maher is staff photographer for the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), where her images serve as a “visual voice” for five New York-area wildlife parks and the WCS’s conservation field work in more than 60 countries around the world. She spoke with National Geographic News about the fun and frustration of working…

Pacific Islanders Use Stars to Sail Canoes From New Zealand to California

  Pacific sailors concerned about the great ocean’s future recently charted a course towards future healing by reaching back to the incredible voyages of their ancestors. Sailors on the Pacific Voyagers project steered a fleet of traditional Polynesian sailing canoes or vaka from New Zealand to San Francisco—guided only by the stars that once helped…