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Flexible, high-strength polymer aerogels deliver "super-insulation" properties

Flexible, high-strength polymer aerogels deliver "super-insulation" properties | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
New polymer aerogels from NASA Glenn Research Center are flexible and 500 times stronger than traditional aerogels.
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Jesse's Café Américain: The Scandal in America That Is Hidden In Plain Sight - Privilege Blindness

Jesse's Café Américain: The Scandal in America That Is Hidden In Plain Sight - Privilege Blindness | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

One of the great marvels of the time is how effectively well-funded propaganda campaigns and a captive mainstream media have distorted the peoples' view of reality so that they act as if they are sleep-walking.

An ongoing trend in the US has been a tax code that favors large multinational corporations with loopholes and subsidies that far too often result in an effective tax rate of close to zero, despite booming corporate profits in the face of a long stagnation in median family income and wages.  

The real unemployment numbers are shockingly high, and those jobs that are available are often part time and poorly paid.   Justice is openly administered in ways that give the powerful a free pass on grossly criminal activity, from laundering drug money to financial racketeering. The rigging of prices and markets by powerful interests, and the lack of effective prosecution of such grave abuses of power, is something that seems to be de facto government policy.


This places small private businesses and individuals at a distinct disadvantage with regard to economic viability in the marketplace.  It fosters consolidation and monopoly.  It lends itself to a cynicism that is undermining the conscience of many of those who have sworn oaths of office.  It isolates dissent to corrals and 'free speech zones.'  It breaks up peaceful gatherings of protest with pepper spray, bullets, and clubs.  It pollutes the internet with campaigns of disinformation, and silences the voices of journalists.

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Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores, due to a shutdown of all power at the station—that caused most of the harm.
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Deadly Environment

Deadly Environment | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The dramatic rise in killings of environmental and land defenders.

 

This report looks at known killings of people defending environmental and land rights. It identifies a clear rise in such deaths from 2002 and 2013 as competition for natural resources intensifies. In the most comprehensive global analysis of the problem on record, we have found that at least 908 people have died in this time. Disputes over industrial logging, mining and land rights are the key drivers, and Latin America and Asia-Pacific particularly hard hit.

 

Deadly Environment also highlights a severe shortage of information or monitoring of this problem, meaning the total is likely to be higher than the report documents. This lack of attention is feeding endemic levels of impunity, with just over one per cent of the perpetrators known to have been convicted.

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California’s Net Zero Energy Building To Reshape US Construction Industry

California’s Net Zero Energy Building To Reshape US Construction Industry | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Originally published on SEFAIRA.
By Carl Sterner

California’s recent revisions to Title 24 put in place ambitious performance goals: all residential buildings must be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020, and all commercial buildings must follow suit by 2030. The code also applies to retrofit projects that pass certain thresholds. (A ZNE building produces as much energy
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Solar’s Insane Cost Drop

Solar’s Insane Cost Drop | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Originally published on Renew Economy.
We’ve seen and published many dramatic graphs about the fall in solar, such as this one tracing the fall over the past 30 years and this from Citigroup, but the following graph from investment bank Sanford Bernstein is quite stunning – not just for its simplicity but because it draws attention to the potential
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PlanetSolar: 2014 Campaign Programme Introduced By Solar Ship

PlanetSolar: 2014 Campaign Programme Introduced By Solar Ship | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Originally published on 1Sun4All.
After more than six months in Lorient, France, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar sailed to Boulogne-sur-Mer, located south of Calais, for the first stop in her 2014 campaign. Invited as the guest of honour at the 23rd Festival des Images de Mer (Festival of Sea Images), the largest solar boat in the world will remain moored at the Gambetta
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The Tax Breaks That Are Killing the Planet

The Tax Breaks That Are Killing the Planet | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In the face of a changing climate and a constrained domestic budget, the lunacy of fossil fuel subsidies is hard to overstate.
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Smog in India, China is changing weather patterns in US, finds study | Al Jazeera America

Smog in India, China is changing weather patterns in US, finds study | Al Jazeera America | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Man-made air pollution in Asia is exacerbating climate change and linked to extreme storm conditions across the Pacific
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Could Geo-Engineering Cool Our Warming Planet? | KQED

Could Geo-Engineering Cool Our Warming Planet? | KQED | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In a report released this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it will take very ambitious efforts -- a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent by 2050 -- to keep climate change at acceptable levels. The dire predictions have some asking whether it's time to think about geo-engineering: an attempt to use large-scale, high-tech methods to cool the planet. These ideas have included launching giant mirrors into space or fertilizing the oceans with iron to stimulate phytoplankton growth.
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BUILDINGS: CO2, climate and the case for wooden skyscrapers -- Tuesday, April 15, 2014 -- www.eenews.net

BUILDINGS: CO2, climate and the case for wooden skyscrapers -- Tuesday, April 15, 2014 -- www.eenews.net | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
It's been nearly a century and a half since steel replaced wood as the primary material of ships, bridges and other large infrastructure manufactured by the developed world. But progress is not always linear, and today a small but committed cadre of architects, firms and government agencies are re-examining the case for wood as a building material and finding it not just feasible, but perhaps more sustainable than conventional materials.
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U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fall 10 pct since 2005: EPA | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell nearly 10 percent from 2005 to 2012, more than halfway toward the United States' 2020 target pledged at United Nations climate talks, according
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The Risky Business of Fossil Fuels

The Risky Business of Fossil Fuels | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Above, more from Jim Byrne's interview with Lord Nicholas Stern, on the risks inherent in fossil fuel investments. BBC: A number of studies in recent years have warned that stock markets around the...
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The fuel of the future, unfortunately

The fuel of the future, unfortunately | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
WHAT more could one want? It is cheap and simple to extract, ship and burn. It is abundant: proven reserves amount to 109 years of current consumption, reckons BP, a...
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Power from the oceans: Blue energy

Power from the oceans: Blue energy | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
After years in the doldrums, the quest to harvest energy from the oceans is gathering speed.
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The Highly Compelling Case For Wealth Redistribution Made By The Exact Right Person

The Highly Compelling Case For Wealth Redistribution Made By The Exact Right Person | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Things that matter. Pass 'em on.
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Safe Drinking Water When & Where It’s Needed Most

Safe Drinking Water When & Where It’s Needed Most | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Water purification plants around the globe typically are built near a power plant and population centers because of high energy needs for reverse osmosis filtration and associated pumping to residents and businesses. Desalination projects are even more energy intensive. These plants mostly run on fossil fuels (coal or oil), creating GHG emissions that contribute to
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2014 Saab 9-3 Aero Electric — Production Of First Electric Saab Begins In Sweden

2014 Saab 9-3 Aero Electric — Production Of First Electric Saab Begins In Sweden | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Production has now begun on the first electric Saab model -- the 9-3 Aero electric sedan -- according to recent reports.

The Chinese-Swedish company that owns Saab -- National Electric Vehicles Sweden -- is currently in the process of building 200 electric 9-3s to be tested in the Chinese state of Qingdao during the spring or
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“Green Building Premium” Is Often A Myth

“Green Building Premium” Is Often A Myth | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Originally published on Sefaira. 
By Carl Sterner

The Myth of the Green Premium
Conventional wisdom holds that high-performance buildings cost more than their inefficient counterparts — therefore only green-minded clients, or those with a long-term stake in a building, would be interested in pursuing performance goals.
But what if the “green premium” is a myth? What if high performance
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Save the world, work less | SF Bay Guardian

Save the world, work less | SF Bay Guardian | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Save the world, work less. That dual proposition should have universal appeal in any sane society. And those two ideas are inextricably linked by the realities of global climate change because there is a direct connection between economic activity and greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Simply put, every hour of work we do cooks the planet and its sensitive ecosystems a little bit more, and going home to relax and enjoy some leisure time is like taking this boiling pot of water off the burner.

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Coal Returns to German Utilities Replacing Lost Nuclear

Coal Returns to German Utilities Replacing Lost Nuclear | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
What’s a beleaguered utility to do when forced by the government to close its profitable nuclear power plants?
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Masses of Mercedes Thicken Hong Kong Air-Pollution Mess

Masses of Mercedes Thicken Hong Kong Air-Pollution Mess | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Hong Kong is one of the best places
in the world to do business. As long as you don’t breathe.
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Crowdsourcing climate change, one contest at a time

Crowdsourcing climate change, one contest at a time | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
At MIT's Climate CoLab, competitors battle for the ultimate prize: a sustainable future
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Climate costs 'may prove much higher' – report — The Daily Climate

Climate costs 'may prove much higher' – report — The Daily Climate | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
There may be a higher price for our descendants to pay for the greenhouse gas build-up, researchers say, as the real costs are updated.
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EPA scores big win to limit mercury in power plants

EPA scores big win to limit mercury in power plants | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The Environmental Protection Agency took home a sweeping victory Tuesday when an appeals court upheld the agency’s pollution limits for mercury and air toxics from power plants. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld EPA’s rule, known as MATS, denying challenges from states, utilities and industry...
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Conservative Senator Calls out Hypocrisy of Fossil Fuel Incentives

Conservative Senator Calls out Hypocrisy of Fossil Fuel Incentives | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Senator Charles Grassley is known to be a long time fiscal conservative Republican Senator from Iowa. Obviously, the size and scope of the Iowa wind industry belies the anti-renewable propaganda of...
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The Genius Entrepreneurs Who Turn E-Waste Into Usable Products

The Genius Entrepreneurs Who Turn E-Waste Into Usable Products | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Young men sitting in the wreckage of a toxic wasteland, children picking through piles of high-tech rubble, women hunched over coils of tangled copper wiring: These are the faces of e-waste, as we know it. A few years ago I started visiting tech dumps around the world, because I wanted...
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