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Global clean energy scorecard puts Australia 15th in the world

Global clean energy scorecard puts Australia 15th in the world | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Australia ranks equal 15th overall in a new World Bank scorecard on sustainable energy. We are tied with five other countries in the tail-end group of wealthy OECD countries – behind Canada and the United States and just one place ahead of China.

Called the Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE), the initiative provides benchmarks to evaluate clean energy progress, and insights and policy guidance for Australia and other countries.
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Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is about acting now with an awareness of the future.
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Want energy storage? Here are 22,000 sites for pumped hydro across Australia

Electricity storage is vital to the stability of a renewable energy grid. The world's favourite form of storage is pumped hydro – and researchers have located thousands of candidate sites.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Electricity storage is vital to the stability of a renewable energy grid. The world's favourite form of storage is pumped hydro – and researchers have located thousands of candidate sites.

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Investing in a cleaner way to feed a hungry world

Investing in a cleaner way to feed a hungry world | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Clean meat isn’t the only food system innovating and reinventing the way we feed the world. Plant-based proteins that taste as good if not better than meat are rapidly growing, so much so that the meat and dairy substitutes industry is predicted to be worth $40 billion by 2020.

Like clean meats, the adoption of plant-based proteins instead of conventional meats could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. What’s more, they could lower the cost of foods in developing countries, where food is scarce.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

"...meat and dairy substitutes industry is predicted to be worth $40 billion by 2020."

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Right Under Your Feet: Soil Health and the Climate Crisis

Right Under Your Feet: Soil Health and the Climate Crisis | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

We’re already beginning to see what a warmer future has in store for us – and it’s not a pleasant sight.

A major impact of the climate crisis that's often overlooked is its effect on soil health. While it’s unlikely to inspire a telethon, over time the toll of erosion, pollution, losses in organic matter, and other soil impacts of the climate crisis imperil a very basic human need – to eat.

A global challenge needs a global solution. Download our latest e-book, Right Under Your Feet: Soil Health and the Climate Crisis, to learn more about climate change's impact on soil health, as well as what you can do to support a world where we can provide our booming population with fresh, healthy food grown sustainably.

In the e-book, you'll learn:

  • The role of water in a healthy soil ecosystem.

  • The risks to global food supplies posed by climate change.

  • The basics behind carbon sequestration and "no-till farming."

  • The steps you can take to improve soil health.

  • And much more.

 

The climate changes, but these facts don’t. Download our free Soil Health and the Climate Crisis e-book now.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

We’re already beginning to see what a warmer future has in store for us – and it’s not a pleasant sight.

 

A major impact of the climate crisis that's often overlooked is its effect on soil health. While it’s unlikely to inspire a telethon, over time the toll of erosion, pollution, losses in organic matter, and other soil impacts of the climate crisis imperil a very basic human need – to eat.

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Scientist asked to remove ‘climate change’ from grant blames ‘the ongoing politicization of science’

Scientist asked to remove ‘climate change’ from grant blames ‘the ongoing politicization of science’ | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
A Northeastern University researcher who was asked to remove any reference to climate change from her Energy Department grant proposal said Monday that she had posted the letter publicly “because I found it to be a stark reminder of the ongoing politicization of science.”

Jennifer Bowen, an ecologist and associate professor at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center, had posted a letter Friday on her personal Facebook page from a DOE official that asked her to eliminate references to climate change in an application for federal funds. Bowen’s project aims to explore how environmental factors such as climate change affect the ecology of salt marshes, which serve as an important carbon sink.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Variant: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

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Hurricane Harvey and Climate Change: Here Are the Facts

Hurricane Harvey and Climate Change: Here Are the Facts | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

This week, our hearts are heavy and our thoughts are with everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. As climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann wrote, “[W]e can’t say that Hurricane Harvey was caused by climate change. But it was certainly worsened by it.”


A big thank you to NASA, NOAA, Climate Signals, and Years of Living Dangerously for providing the media and resources used for this blog.


Ultimately, this is why climate change is a human issue – because the way we’re altering our climate has a real impact on our health, our livelihoods, and our homes. This video from Years of Living Dangerously explains what Hurricane Harvey has to do with climate change and what this means for our future:

Kim Flintoff's insight:
Ultimately, this is why climate change is a human issue – because the way we’re altering our climate has a real impact on our health, our livelihoods, and our homes. This video from Years of Living Dangerously explains what Hurricane Harvey has to do with climate change and what this means for our future:
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Four Radical Plans to Save Civilization From Climate Change

Four Radical Plans to Save Civilization From Climate Change | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Reducing emissions is not going to be enough to prevent catastrophic consequences of climate change. Enter geoengineering.
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Celebrate Enviroweek - ABC Splash

Celebrate Enviroweek - ABC Splash | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Celebrate Enviroweek

 

Starting Sunday, Enviroweek encourages Australian students to take action on waste, gardening and energy projects – to see the impact of positive everyday choices. You can help inspire students' ideas with these fabulous geography resources on sustainability and the environment, including loads of information to help you build a splendid school garden.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Starting Sunday, Enviroweek encourages Australian students to take action on waste, gardening and energy projects – to see the impact of positive everyday choices. You can help inspire students' ideas with these fabulous geography resources on sustainability and the environment, including loads of information to help you build a splendid school garden.

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The UN has a 17-step plan to save the world – World Economic Forum – Medium

The UN has a 17-step plan to save the world – World Economic Forum – Medium | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

If you have too many things you need to do, it’s best to write them down. Saving the world, it seems, follows the same principle.
In 2015, the UN announced a 17-point to-do list to transform the world for the better. Between them, these sustainable development goals (SDGs) aim to end all poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change within the next 15 years, in order to fulfil the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

If you have too many things you need to do, it’s best to write them down. Saving the world, it seems, follows the same principle.
In 2015, the UN announced a 17-point to-do list to transform the world for the better. Between them, these sustainable development goals (SDGs) aim to end all poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change within the next 15 years, in order to fulfil the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Australia’s Renewables Race: Who’s Leading the Charge?

Australia’s Renewables Race: Who’s Leading the Charge? | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
KEY FINDINGS:

In the absence of national energy and climate policy, all states and territories (except Western Australia) now have strong renewable energy targets and/or net zero emissions targets in place.
State and territory targets and announced coal closures are expected to deliver Australia's 2030 emissions reduction target of 26-28% reduction on 2005 levels.
TAS, SA and the ACT continue to lead on percentage renewable electricity, and have the most renewable energy capacity per capita (excluding large-hydro).
NSW and QLD are set for a dramatic increase in renewable energy with the greatest capacity and number (respectively) of projects under construction in 2017.
Households in QLD, SA and WA continue to lead in the proportion of homes with rooftop solar.
SA is building the world's largest lithium ion battery storage facility.
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China Just Exceeded its 2020 Target for Solar Installations

China Just Exceeded its 2020 Target for Solar Installations | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

IN BRIEF

China has already reached its solar energy installation target for 2020, reaffirming its position as the largest producer of solar power on earth.


China managed to add 10.52 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity to its national total over the course of July 2017, in addition to the 24.4 GW of capacity that was installed over the first six months of the year. The country is already the biggest producer of solar energy in the world, and that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.

In the last two months alone, China has added 24.02 GW of solar capacity. To put that into context, figures from earlier this year put Australia’s total capacity at around 6GW, a figure that’s projected to double by 2020. The US currently has a total capacity of 44.7 GW.

Meanwhile, China has already cleared its goal of reaching a capacity of 105 GW by the end of 2020. The country has now attained 112.34 GW, and as such has tweaked its forecast for 2017, now predicting that this year’s installations will total between 40 and 45 GW when all is said and done.

The use of fossil fuels is bad for the environment and downright deadly for human beings. Fortunately, things are changing all over the world, thanks to the fact that solar energy is getting cheaper and more efficient all the time.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

IN BRIEF

China has already reached its solar energy installation target for 2020, reaffirming its position as the largest producer of solar power on earth.

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Richard Florida Is Sorry

Richard Florida Is Sorry | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

For years, Richard Florida preached the gospel of the creative class. His new book is a mea culpa.

Richard Florida, one of the most influential thinkers about cities in postwar America, wants you to know that he got almost everything about cities wrong.

If you live in an urban center in North America, the United Kingdom, or Australia, you are living in Richard Florida’s world. Fifteen years ago, he argued that an influx of what he called the “creative classes” — artists, hipsters, tech workers — were sparking economic growth in places like the Bay Area. Their tolerance, flexibility, and eccentricity dissolved the rigid structures of industrial production and replaced them with the kinds of workplaces and neighborhoods that attracted more young people and, importantly, more investment.

His observations quickly formed the basis of a set of breezy technical solutions. If decaying cities wanted to survive, they had to open cool bars, shabby-chic coffee shops, and art venues that attract young, educated, and tolerant residents. Eventually, the mysterious alchemy of the creative economy would build a new and prosperous urban core.

Today, even Florida recognizes that he was wrong. The rise of the creative class in places like New York, London, and San Francisco created economic growth only for the already rich, displacing the poor and working classes. The problems that once plagued inner cities have moved to the suburbs.

Kim Flintoff's insight:
For years, Richard Florida preached the gospel of the creative class. His new book is a mea culpa.

Richard Florida, one of the most influential thinkers about cities in postwar America, wants you to know that he got almost everything about cities wrong.
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Matt Damon: We need to talk about toilets – World Economic Forum – Medium

Matt Damon: We need to talk about toilets – World Economic Forum – Medium | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Hollywood star Matt Damon is trying to improve sanitation in developing countries, one toilet at a time.
Perhaps more commonly heard discussing his latest blockbuster movie than the perils of open defecation, Damon’s A-list status is helping shine some light on an issue that affects 2.4 billion people worldwide.
As co-founder of Water.org, a non-profit organization that promotes access to safe water and sanitation, the actor is providing funding to some of the world’s poorest people so they can build toilets.
Not only that, he’s also prepared to enroll the services of some of his celebrity friends to promote a cause that’s close to his heart.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

Hollywood star Matt Damon is trying to improve sanitation in developing countries, one toilet at a time.

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The Madhouse Effect: this is how climate denial in Australia and the US compares

The Madhouse Effect: this is how climate denial in Australia and the US compares | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
While climate denialism impedes policymaking in both the US and Australia, there are key differences in their political and public cultures.
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Sustainable cities? Australia's building and planning rules stand in the way of getting there

Sustainable cities? Australia's building and planning rules stand in the way of getting there | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
New South Wales is the only state that has made meaningful progress on legislation and enforcement of standards capable of creating a sustainable built environment.
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Future Consequences

Future Consequences | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

From data collection to gene editing to AI, what we once considered science fiction is now becoming reality. This hour, TED speakers explore the future consequences of our present actions.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Data comes from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Each red dot represents 17 refugees arriving in a country, while yellow dots represent refugees leaving their home country behind.

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Offshore wind to power £17.5bn investment boom as costs halve

Offshore wind to power £17.5bn investment boom as costs halve | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

he UK’s offshore wind sector could power a £17.5bn investment inthe UK economy over the next four years after faster than expected cost-cutting slashed subsidies for the technology by half.

The Government’s latest auction for support contracts, released on Monday, shows that offshore wind costs have halved in recent years to under £58 for every megawatt-hour of electricity produced, even lower than the estimates given by experts in the run-up to the results.

The lower costs mean more wind farms will be able to apply for the £294m funding pot, bringing an investment surge of £17.5bn into the UK. The boom is even greater than the £11bn predicted by Renewable UK as recently as last week.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

"offshore wind costs have halved in recent years to under £58 for every megawatt-hour"

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The first American settlers cut down millions of trees to deliberately engineer climate change

The first American settlers cut down millions of trees to deliberately engineer climate change | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

The logic was flawed. Not only did America’s first colonists encounter dense, dark wilderness in the Northeast, their winters were freezing and summers dripped with humidity. Frequent, strong storms rolled in at a moment’s notice. They were shocked, disappointed, and dangerously unprepared.


Rather than adapt, a collection of scientists, doctors, and writers campaigned to deforest the land. In their minds, cutting down thousands of acres at a time would improve the weather. Whether they were “successful” or not really isn’t the point. The fact that American colonists and preeminent thinkers actually advocated climate change by mass deforestation is a stormy stain in scientific history.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

"Rather than adapt, a collection of scientists, doctors, and writers campaigned to deforest the land. In their minds, cutting down thousands of acres at a time would improve the weather. Whether they were “successful” or not really isn’t the point. The fact that American colonists and preeminent thinkers actually advocated climate change by mass deforestation is a stormy stain in scientific history."

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Tidal turbines in firth 'set world record' for production - BBC News

Tidal turbines in firth 'set world record' for production - BBC News | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Two turbines in the Pentland Firth set a world record for monthly production from a tidal stream power station, according to the project's developer.
Atlantis said its MeyGen scheme in the Inner Sound of the firth off the Caithness coast produced 700 MWh of electricity.
The company said this was enough power for 2,000 homes.
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The Global Search for Education: Jobsolescence – A Conversation with USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson

The Global Search for Education: Jobsolescence – A Conversation with USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
A recent OECD report finds that low and middle income earners have seen their wages stagnate and that the income share of middle-skilled jobs has fallen. Rising inequality has led to concerns that top earners are getting a disproportionate share of the gains from global “openness and interconnection”. This summer, the OECD Employment Outlook 2017 revealed that job polarization has been “driven by pervasive and skill-biased technological changes.”
Kim Flintoff's insight:

“I think the guiding principle for government should be to protect and enable/retrain the worker, not protect the job. Policy makers and educators should focus on making sure that workers are as equipped as possible to transition to new opportunities…” — Peter Robinson

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The Tricky Future of Capturing the World’s Carbon Emissions

The Tricky Future of Capturing the World’s Carbon Emissions | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Some types of pollution don’t hang around in the atmosphere very long; they break down through chemical reactions or wash out with the rain in a matter of weeks or years. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, takes a very, very long time to naturally scrub away.
Even if we stop emitting more of it today, the concentration of carbon dioxide will stay high for centuries.


In a previous story, we looked at ways to intentionally cool the climate by doing things like injecting sunlight-reflecting particles into the upper atmosphere. That could potentially ease the effects of climate change.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

"Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, takes a very, very long time to naturally scrub away. Even if we stop emitting more of it today, the concentration of carbon dioxide will stay high for centuries."

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This September, we will #ExposeTheTies

This September, we will #ExposeTheTies | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Why are our universities still investing in the fossil fuel industry?
During our research to answer that question, we have found unsettling ties between our universities and the industry willingly risking our collective future for their corporate profits. Ties that can give this industry access to our university administration's ears while majority of students and staff are calling for fossil fuel divestment.

That is unacceptable.

Right now, we are giving our university administration one last chance: don't let the fossil fuel industry dictate our university from behind the curtain and disclose the ties now.

But if they don't, we'll do it for them.

Together we'll shine a spotlight on the fossil fuel industry and the toxic impact they have on our education, our environment and our future.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Together we'll shine a spotlight on the fossil fuel industry and the toxic impact they have on our education, our environment and our future.

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CLIMATE 101 with BILL NYE

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Take Climate 101 with Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and you'll be schooled in the scientific fundamentals of climate change in under 5 minutes. Separate fact from fiction, and we can end the debate and denial and move on to solutions, together.

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Sea the possibilities: to fight climate change, put seaweed in the mix

Sea the possibilities: to fight climate change, put seaweed in the mix | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
The next stage of humanity’s fight to reduce greenhouse emissions may revolve around seaweed, according to tonight’s episode of ABC’s Catalyst, presented by Professor Tim Flannery, which asks the question “can seaweed save the world?”

With the help of me and colleagues around the world, the documentary explores seaweed’s enormous potential to reduce greenhouse gases and draw CO₂ out of the atmosphere. In the case of seaweed, that could include giant kelp farms that de-acidify oceans, or feeding algae to cattle and sheep to dramatically reduce their methane emissions.
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What if jobs are not the solution but the problem? – James Livingston | Aeon Essays

What if jobs are not the solution but the problem? – James Livingston | Aeon Essays | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Work means everything to us Americans. For centuries – since, say, 1650 – we’ve believed that it builds character (punctuality, initiative, honesty, self-discipline, and so forth). We’ve also believed that the market in labour, where we go to find work, has been relatively efficient in allocating opportunities and incomes. And we’ve believed that, even if it sucks, a job gives meaning, purpose and structure to our everyday lives – at any rate, we’re pretty sure that it gets us out of bed, pays the bills, makes us feel responsible, and keeps us away from daytime TV.

These beliefs are no longer plausible. In fact, they’ve become ridiculous, because there’s not enough work to go around, and what there is of it won’t pay the bills – unless of course you’ve landed a job as a drug dealer or a Wall Street banker, becoming a gangster either way.
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How Scotland is pioneering a new way to fight climate change

How Scotland is pioneering a new way to fight climate change | Futures Thinking and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
The world’s first full-scale floating wind farm is being moved into position 15 miles off the north-east coast of Scotland.
Wind power has been embraced by the Celtic country, and once complete the new Hywind turbines will provide power for 20,000 homes.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

The world’s first full-scale floating wind farm is being moved into position 15 miles off the north-east coast of Scotland.

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