Tag Archives: environment

Beyond Food and Exercise: the Other Factors in the Obesity Epidemic

Everything you come in contact with, every second of every day, makes an impact on your health. It’s known as the exposome. It’s a relatively new concept, first defined in 2005. The exposome includes the food you eat, the beauty products you use, the air you breathe, your friends and family, and everything in between. Studying it, could be the key to understanding the obesity epidemic.

That was the focus of the 12th Annual Sugar, Stress, Environment & Weight Symposium put on by The Consortium for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment at UCSF. Popular opinion would have you believe that obesity is a simple equation of too much food and not enough exercise. But, researchers say the problem is far more complex. In this eye-opening lecture series, you will hear how polluted air has been linked to obesity in children living in California’s Central Valley. You will learn about obesogens – chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system. And, you will understand how stress can create a vicious cycle of weight gain.

The final talk focuses on how you can remove toxins from your personal exposome and the progress being made around the world. New labeling in the food and beauty industries allows you to make smarter decisions. LEED buildings are becoming more common in the United States. And, monitoring systems for exposome pollutants are getting better. There is plenty being done, and plenty you can do, to make an impact.

Browse more programs in UCSF Consortium for Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment

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Creating a World Resilient to Climate Change

Climate change is creating increasingly uncertain futures for people all over the globe. From melting ice caps, to rising sea levels, to wildfires and drought, every community is feeling the impact. We can react to disasters by providing aid and rebuilding, but how can we get out in front of them? Jacqueline McGlade has spent years studying climate change, worked with the United Nations Environment Programme, and is currently a Professor of Resilience and Sustainable Development at the University College London. She discusses how new technology and a growing understanding of the world’s ecosystems can help us adapt. She shares lessons she learned while studying the Inuit of Greenland and living with the Maasai in East Africa and explains how cultures focused on community can thrive in regions most-susceptible to climate change. McGlade argues there are at least seven principles, which if followed, can help build a resilient world.

Watch (Re)active Resilience: How to Thrive in a Changing Climate.

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LA’s Climate Future

When we hear about polar ice caps melting, it sounds dangerous but also distant. The damage to our planet’s ecosystem caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide is real, but we don’t see it.

It’s hard for people to take climate change seriously because it’s not immediately and directly affecting our lives, YET.

In order to give people a taste of what might happen when the consequences of global warming hit home, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability presents an in depth analysis of what LA’s climate could look like, if global warming continues in the direction it is going.

With sea levels rising, and temperatures increasing as well, what will the 3.82 million residents of Los Angeles have to look forward to?

Find out in “LA’s Climate Future: What’s Coming and What Choices We Face” as UCLA professor Alex Hall presents his high resolution predictions of what happens when the effects of climate change hit LA.

Check out other videos from UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability!

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Earth’s Most “Official” of Days

Climate Change on UCTVIt gives to us every hour of every day, but today – Earth Day – is the day we set aside to give back.

While it’s true that the home base for human beings has its share of challenges, many of its citizens — including researchers at the University of California — are working to preserve and conserve it for future generations.

Discover some of what these UC folk are up to at UCTV’s Climate video library. From the atmosphere up above, to the deepest parts of the sea – and everything that exists in between — you’ll discover something new about your planet on its “official” day.

Why not start out with one of these new UCTV programs?

Restoring the Gulf Marshes
UC Berkeley graduate student Thomas Azwell is helping to restore the Gulf of Mexico’s marshes after they were severely damaged by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from April to July of 2010. Partnering with researchers and agencies in the Gulf, the Environmental Science student is staking tubes of cotton netting stuffed with pre-composted sugar cane fiber into the dying marshes of Louisiana, testing whether the environmentally sustainable waste material can give a larger variety of plants a better chance at healing the oil-damaged wetlands.

Silent Spring + 50: Lessons from San Diego’s Bees and Bays
San Diego Coastkeeper’s Jill Witkowski and Dr. James Nieh of UC San Diego address two major environmental problems in the region – water pollution and the devastating effect of parasites and pesticides (research conducted by former UCSD graduate student, Daren Eiri) on the honey bee population. Both presentations shed light on how members of the public can work with San Diego researchers to protect our natural resources and create a more sustainable community.

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Climate Change: Scientific Authority Meets Moral Authority

Thanks to Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a “second front” of climate change mitigation has emerged, reviving hopes that the most dangerous consequences of climate change can at least be delayed for several decades. (If you haven’t already, you can follow his remarkable journey and landmark discoveries in the first three episodes of UCTV Prime’s series Lifting the Blanket: The Pursuit of a Climate Solution.”)

But when an African teenager attending a United Nations event for high schoolers asked him what he is doing personally about climate change, Ramanathan realized that his recognized authority within the climate science community could only get him so far in affecting change. That encounter set Ramanathan off on the next phase of his career, forming meaningful alliances with religious and spiritual leaders who offer the moral authority to help make the matter of global warming — and the simple steps he’s helped develop to effectively reduce it — resonate on a personal level with today’s global citizens.

With enough involvement from policymakers and individuals around the world, Ramanathan projects that society can reduce the rate of global warming by as much as 50% during our lifetimes, which could help slow down the melting of the Himalayan glaciers, arctic sea ice, and sea level rise, while possibly saving as many as 4 million lives per year among those living under the blanket of pollutants that contribute to 40% of the current global warming problem.

Find out where Ramanathan’s journey has taken him — and us — in the fourth and final episode of the series, “Scientific Authority Meets Moral Authority.”

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