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News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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Bridge Out: Bombshell Study Finds Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Production Far Higher Than EPA Estimates

Bridge Out: Bombshell Study Finds Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Production Far Higher Than EPA Estimates | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
If, as now seems likely, natural gas production systems leak 2.7% (or more), then gas-fired power loses its near-term advantage over coal and becomes more of a gangplank than a bridge.
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Home Fuel Use and Heating | The Energy Collective

Home Fuel Use and Heating | The Energy Collective | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Heating bills vary greatly depending on house size, climate, insulation, fuel choice and fuel prices. But it is easy enough to find some averages.
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Understanding Electric Car Owners & Potential Electric Car Owners (14 Charts & Tables)

Understanding Electric Car Owners & Potential Electric Car Owners (14 Charts & Tables) | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
One of the presenters at EVS27* was Jack Broadbent of the Bay Area Quality Management District. I actually missed his presentation, but Jack indicated to me in a follow-up Q&A session that he could get me results from US EV owner surveys.
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Honda’s Solar Power Push

Honda’s Solar Power Push | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Honda will install 70,000 solar panels (yes, 70 thousand!) at a new test course it is building in the city of Sakura in Tochigi prefecture, Japan.
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Electric Suzuki Van Travels Over 800 Miles Per Charge

Electric Suzuki Van Travels Over 800 Miles Per Charge | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

On Friday, a Japanese team set a world record for the longest distance travelled by an electric vehicle on a single charge. It is a modified Suzuki Every van, and the Japanese team drove it an impressive 807 miles (1,300 km) on a single charge!

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Insight: After lost decades, hopes rise for Congo dam to power Africa

For decades, governments dreamed of harnessing the Congo river's enormous energy at the Inga rapids with an expansion of the dam large enough to power half of Africa. Years of conflict and misrule in Congo meant the project was never realized.

 

Instead, in the cavernous halls of Inga's two dams, water drips from the ceiling and rusted pipes sit above puddles. Five of the 14 turbines no longer spin at all, a sign of the decay.

 

Now a deal with South Africa to buy electricity from Inga has revived talk of the giant hydro project that could illuminate a continent whose economies are rapidly expanding but lack the power supply to sustain it.

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Phillips 66 plans to build San Luis Obispo County rail terminal

Phillips 66 plans to build San Luis Obispo County rail terminal | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Phillips 66, which operates refineries across California, is moving forward with a plan to build a rail terminal in San Luis Obispo County that would send trains with up to 80 tank cars of crude oil through Southern California and the Bay Area.
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'Wildlife at risk' from incoming ban on pesticide linked to bee deaths

'Wildlife at risk' from incoming ban on pesticide linked to bee deaths | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Farmers and beekeepers warn that crop growers may turn to older pesticides when EU ban on neonicotinoids begins
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Atlantic fishing nations fail to act to protect sharks, tuna

Atlantic fishing nations fail to act to protect sharks, tuna | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Nations whose fleets fish for bluefin tuna and sharks ended a meeting in South Africa without reaching agreement on action to protect critically endangered species, environmentalist groups said.
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Cleanup of fuel leaking from sunken boat continues

Cleanup of fuel leaking from sunken boat continues | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) â€" Officials were assessing the environmental damage Tuesday after a towboat carrying 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel and oil sank in the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa, closing the river to barge traffic.
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Coal Ships And Tribal Fishing Grounds

Coal Ships And Tribal Fishing Grounds | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

SSA Marine says Cherry Point is an excellent location to build a terminal because it’s surrounded by deep water with quick access to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean. If the company has its way, up to 48 million tons of coal could move through these waters each year aboard more than 450 large ships bound for the Asian market.

 

But if the Lummi and other tribes exercise their treaty fishing rights, there may not be any coal ships servicing American terminals in these waters.

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Toil for oil means industry sums do not add up - FT.com

Toil for oil means industry sums do not add up - FT.com | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The most interesting message in this year’s World Energy Outlook from theInternational Energy Agency is also its most disturbing.


Rising costs are being met only by ever smaller increases in supply


Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry’s upstream investments have registered an astronomical increase, but these ever higher levels of capital expenditure have yielded ever smaller increases in the global oil supply. Even these have only been made possible by record high oil prices. This should be a reality check for those now hyping a new age of global oil abundance.

 

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World's top carbon emitter China expands emissions trading

World's top carbon emitter China expands emissions trading | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

China's commercial hub Shanghai began carbon emissions trading on Tuesday, as the nation which is the world's biggest carbon emitter expands a pilot scheme.

 

Shanghai is the second Chinese city after Shenzhen to trade carbon to try to limit emissions, with the capital Beijing to follow later this week, state media said.

 

Under the scheme, companies which exceed their quota of carbon emissions can buy unused allocations from others -- providing a market incentive to control pollution.

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The Changing Carbon Map: How We Revised Our Interactive Look at Global Footprints

The Changing Carbon Map: How We Revised Our Interactive Look at Global Footprints | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

At climate change talks in Warsaw this week, just as in the previous 18 annual rounds of negotiations, delegates never were able to overcome the divide between rich and poor nations.

 

We map the starkly different views of the climate crisis that have led to stalemate in our newly revised interactive, Four Ways to Look at Global Carbon Footrpints.  (See related “Quiz: What You Don’t Know About Climate Change Science.”)

 

Our map zeroes in on just a small number of nations–14–but they happen to be responsible for 80 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. The numbers come from the World Resources Institute’s excellent climate data navigator, CAIT 2.0, one of the few data sources that enables apples-to-apples comparisons of emissions from around the world.

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Germans Living In Small Cities Would Most Benefit From Electric Cars

Germans Living In Small Cities Would Most Benefit From Electric Cars | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
One of the studies presented at EVS27* in Barcelona last week was a study regarding the segments of the German population that would most benefit (economically) from switching to an electric car.
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Wind Farm Bird Deaths vs Fossil Fuel & Nuclear Power Bird Deaths

Wind Farm Bird Deaths vs Fossil Fuel & Nuclear Power Bird Deaths | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

It’s a shame when a beautiful (or even an ugly) animal dies. It’s a shame that wind turbines do indeed kill birds. However, every source of electricity we have kills some number of birds. And while solar panels may fare better than anything else, it’s actually clear (and uplifting) that wind turbines fare better than nuclear or fossil-fueled power plants on this front..

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Charting A Cheaper Pathway To Solar Adoption

Charting A Cheaper Pathway To Solar Adoption | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
After RMI launched our Roadmap to 2020 on soft cost reductions with NREL, we realized the U.S. solar industry needed to double down on the most challenging areas identified in the roadmap. 
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Health alert as season for bean sprouts approaches | Shanghai Daily

Health alert as season for bean sprouts approaches | Shanghai Daily | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

As winter approaches, so does the high season for bean sprouts in many parts of China. But it also heralds a fresh round of safety scares.

 

Using cancer-inducing additives to increase bean sprouts’ appeal to buyers has become an unwritten rule for processors, a Xinhua news agency investigative report said yesterday.

 

A raid on three underground workshops in the northern city of Tianjin earlier this month uncovered banned chemicals including growth stimulants, antibiotics, bleaching powder and preservatives used to whiten bean sprouts and keep them looking fresh.

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How Chevron Could Still Lose Its Epic Pollution Case

How Chevron Could Still Lose Its Epic Pollution Case | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A ruling in Chevron's favor is expected, but the company's RICO attack on lawyer Steven Donziger could break down on appeal
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‘A Terrible Irony’ - Affordable Housing, Unaffordable Energy - New America Media

‘A Terrible Irony’ - Affordable Housing, Unaffordable Energy - New America Media | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

OAKLAND, Calif. –Tassafaronga Village, a mixed-use housing development in East Oakland, isn’t your average affordable housing project. 

During a site visit, assistant manager Wendy Ruiz and maintenance worker Edgar Valencia proudly show off the building’s roof: Rows and rows of solar panels – 145 in all -- efficiently harness energy from the sun.

So far, the solar investment is reaping big energy cost savings. The monthly electricity costs to light common areas such as hallways for the entire housing project, Ruiz says, is about $25 for 137 affordable housing units and $12 for 20 market-rate townhouses. The panels require “very low maintenance,” Valencia adds. Although residents pay for individual utility use, the bills are very low, about $10-$15 monthly, Ruiz says.

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Cheese maker comes up with an unusual way to give her factory an edge

Cheese maker comes up with an unusual way to give her factory an edge | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Cheese maker Ruth Klahsen wants to clean the waste water from her dairy in a sustainable way, but doing so would require spending a lot of money on a project that wouldn’t pay for itself
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Half of Minnesota stream miles changed by humans

Half of Minnesota stream miles changed by humans | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Nearly half of the more than 80,000 miles of streams in Minnesota have been changed by human activity, according to the results of a two-year study released Monday.
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Railway workers exposed to asbestos in Chinese-made trains

Railway workers exposed to asbestos in Chinese-made trains | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Rail workers have been exposed to asbestos after it was found in trains brought into Australia from China.
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Genetically Modified Food (GMO) - Pros and Cons

Genetically Modified Food (GMO) - Pros and Cons | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The debate continues whether genetically modified food aka GMO's are out to save the world or destroy it. But the argument from either side is far from cut-an-dry. Lear the backstory on a few of the most pressing issues.
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Microbiologists reveal unexpected properties of methane-producing microbe

Microbiologists reveal unexpected properties of methane-producing microbe | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Lovley and colleagues, including former postdoctoral researcher and first author Amelia-Elena Rotaru, describe the newly discovered properties of the methane-producing bacterium Methanosaeta in the current issue of the British Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Energy and Environmental Science.

 

"We discovered that Methanosaeta have the ability to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) to methane," Lovley explains. "They do this by a remarkable mechanism in which they make electrical connections with other microorganisms, something methanogens have never been known to do before."

 

Methanosaeta species are important for a couple of reasons, Lovley and his co-authors point out. They are so active in methanogenic wetlands that they are considered the most prodigious methane producers on the planet. This is a concern because atmospheric methane is 20 times more effective at retaining heat than CO2, and as tundra soils warm due to climate change even greater methane releases are expected.

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