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Counting the hidden costs of energy

Counting the hidden costs of energy | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
By Martin Nicholson and Barry Brook. This article was first published on The Conversation. A response was then published on Business Spectator. It is worth reading both pieces, and the comments tha...
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Sustain Our Earth
News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind

Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Earth is a chemical battery where, over evolutionary time with a trickle-charge of photosynthesis using solar energy, billions of tons of living biomass were stored in forests and other ecosystems and in vast reserves of fossil fuels. In just the last few hundred years, humans extracted exploitable energy from these living and fossilized biomass fuels to build the modern industrial-technological-informational economy, to grow our population to more than 7 billion, and to transform the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity of the earth. This rapid discharge of the earth’s store of organic energy fuels the human domination of the biosphere, including conversion of natural habitats to agricultural fields and the resulting loss of native species, emission of carbon dioxide and the resulting climate and sea level change, and use of supplemental nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar energy sources. The laws of thermodynamics governing the trickle-charge and rapid discharge of the earth’s battery are universal and absolute; the earth is only temporarily poised a quantifiable distance from the thermodynamic equilibrium of outer space. Although this distance from equilibrium is comprised of all energy types, most critical for humans is the store of living biomass. With the rapid depletion of this chemical energy, the earth is shifting back toward the inhospitable equilibrium of outer space with fundamental ramifications for the biosphere and humanity. Because there is no substitute or replacement energy for living biomass, the remaining distance from equilibrium that will be required to support human life is unknown.

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What the climate movement can learn from the war on smoking

What the climate movement can learn from the war on smoking | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
If you want to change the culture, you have to get your message spread by "trusted advisers." Then get them to repeat themselves a lot.
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Monsanto's Bid To Become A Pesticide Giant Is, Thankfully, Dead

Monsanto's Bid To Become A Pesticide Giant Is, Thankfully, Dead | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A merger with rival Syngenta could have created a monster.
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Monsanto’s super-broccoli isn't scary, but its plans for global vegetable domination might be

Monsanto’s super-broccoli isn't scary, but its plans for global vegetable domination might be | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Why make broccoli, already an essentially perfect food, even better? Ambition, that's why.
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Former FEMA Director Who Oversaw Katrina Does Not Accept Sea Level Rise

Former FEMA Director Who Oversaw Katrina Does Not Accept Sea Level Rise | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
His reluctance to accept the existence of sea level rise comes as Louisiana is being swallowed by the sea.
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Mutant Super Lice May Be Coming to a School Near You

Mutant Super Lice May Be Coming to a School Near You | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In 25 states, lice are becoming genetically resistant to traditional forms of treatment.
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Maher Battles Santorum on Climate Change: How Am I on the Pope’s Side and You’re Not?

Maher Battles Santorum on Climate Change: How Am I on the Pope’s Side and You’re Not? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Bill Maher and Rick Santorum faced off on Maher's show tonight, and Maher confronted him about his moralizing views and disbelief in man-made climate change.
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Regulator in Canada's Alberta shuts in 95 Nexen pipelines over noncompliance

Alberta's energyregulator has shut in 95 Nexen Energy pipelines, over concernsthe company allegedly violated pipeline maintenance andmonitoring rules.The order, issued on Friday evening by the
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Organic farming caught in ‘quality vs. quantity’ debate

Organic farming caught in ‘quality vs. quantity’ debate | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Organic farming began finding momentum in Kerala since the unveiling of a policy in 2010 that set the goal of converting the entire agricultural production in the State to organic within 10 years. That policy announced
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Would warming stop after greenhouse gas emissions end? Not quite

Would warming stop after greenhouse gas emissions end? Not quite | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Study shows we might need to rein in carbon emissions even more.
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Waste into Waistcoats: 3 Ways We're Recycling Slaughterhouse Scraps - Modern Farmer

Waste into Waistcoats: 3 Ways We're Recycling Slaughterhouse Scraps - Modern Farmer | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
There’s a lot of waste that comes from the slaughter of livestock. Here are some innovative ways it's being reused.
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Consumer Anxiety in China Undermines Government’s Economic Plans

Consumer Anxiety in China Undermines Government’s Economic Plans | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Middle-class Chinese are reining in spending amid the economic slowdown, damaging the ruling party’s hopes to push consumer spending as a new engine of growth.
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Mercury-laden fog swirls over coastal California, scientists find

Mercury-laden fog swirls over coastal California, scientists find | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
What do the roof of a building in a West Coast redwood forest, a bluff in California chaparral, and a research vessel in Monterey Bay have in common?
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Comment: A 'pause' in global warming? Not on this evidence

Comment: A 'pause' in global warming? Not on this evidence | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Some have called it the “pause”, others the “hiatus”. Now it seems neither description is accurate, given that the three hottest years on record have all occurred in the last five years and that nine out of the ten hottest years have all been in this century.
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I support GMO labeling, but not for the most-cited reason

I support GMO labeling, but not for the most-cited reason | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The danger isn't to the U.S. consumer, but further up the chain.
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A Toxic Chemical Ruined The Lives Of These People — And It’s Probably In Your Blood

A Toxic Chemical Ruined The Lives Of These People — And It’s Probably In Your Blood | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The story of one of the most brazen, deadly corporate gambits in U.S. history.
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Federal scientist put on leave over Harperman protest song

Federal scientist put on leave over Harperman protest song | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
An Environment Canada scientist has been sent home on administrative leave and is being investigated after writing and performing an anti-Conservative protest song called Harperman. There are concerns that he has breached the department's ethics code.
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10 Years Later: Was Warming to Blame for Katrina?

10 Years Later: Was Warming to Blame for Katrina? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
What role climate change may have played in Hurricane Katrina and other storms is difficult to answer, even 10 years later.
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Urine Made Sparkling Clean with New Bio-Filter : DNews

Urine Made Sparkling Clean with New Bio-Filter : DNews | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
This biologically inspired filter could quench thirst for space travelers and drought-sufferers alike.
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More evidence of Roundup's link to kidney, liver damage — Environmental Health News

More evidence of Roundup's link to kidney, liver damage — Environmental Health News | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Long-term exposure to tiny amounts of Roundup—thousands of times lower than what is permitted in U.S. drinking water—may lead to serious problems in the liver and kidneys, according to a new study.

The study looked at the function of genes in these organs and bolsters a controversial 2012 study that found rats exposed to small amounts of the herbicide Roundup in their drinking water had liver and kidney damage. 

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As the need for power surges, are small - or big - dams the answer?

As the need for power surges, are small - or big - dams the answer? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
STOCKHOLM, Aug 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - To providemore clean energy, particularly in fast-growing Asia andsub-Saharan Africa, the world needs more hydropower dams, energyexperts say.But a surge in building of big dams is also
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This is climate change: Alaskan villagers struggle as island is chewed up by the sea

This is climate change: Alaskan villagers struggle as island is chewed up by the sea | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
This is what climate change looks like, up close and personal.
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The Green Rebuilding of Post-Katrina New Orleans

The Green Rebuilding of Post-Katrina New Orleans | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
'Green building means lower bills, fewer trips to the hospital for children with asthma'
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Why Utah is giving homes to the homeless – Susie Cagle – Aeon

Why Utah is giving homes to the homeless – Susie Cagle – Aeon | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
San Francisco’s homeless are harangued and despised while conservative Utah has a radically humane approach
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California cut water use by 31 percent in July amid drought

California cut water use by 31 percent in July amid drought | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
California cities cut water use by a combined 31 percent in July, exceeding the governor's statewide mandate to conserve, officials said Thursday.
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