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News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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Jumping snails leap over global warming

Jumping snails leap over global warming | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
London, UK (SPX) Jul 08, 2013 -
Snails in the Great Barrier Reef literally jump for their life to avoid predators. But will they be able to maintain these life-saving jumps, with rising sea temperatures?
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A route for steeper, cheaper, and deeper roots

A route for steeper, cheaper, and deeper roots | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
London, UK (SPX) Jul 08, 2013 -
Plants with thinner roots can grow deeper, a trait which could be exploited in lands affected by drought and nutrient deprivation.
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The billionaire fighting to stop Keystone XL

The billionaire fighting to stop Keystone XL | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Tom Steyer has been dubbed the liberal version of the Koch brothers.
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Obama's Climate Action Plan Will Create Jobs: Study

Obama's Climate Action Plan Will Create Jobs: Study | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

A new study challenges the popular notion that President Barack Obama's Climate plan will be a job killer.    

   

The US Chamber of Commerce was quick to denounce President Barack Obama'sClimate Action Plan as "punishing Americans with higher energy bills [and] fewer jobs." But a new study finds the opposite: It said the policy will bring more jobs and lower electricity bills.

 

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Crude Oil-Carrying Train Derails And Explodes, Destroying The Center Of A Quebec Town

“When you see the center of your town almost destroyed, you’ll understand that we’re asking ourselves how we are going to get through this event.” — Lac-Megantic Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche Early Saturday morning a train carrying crude oil that was ...
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The Triggers of Economic Inequality: What purposeful political acts created and sustained the huge gap between the super-rich and the rest of America?

The Triggers of Economic Inequality: What purposeful political acts created and sustained the huge gap between the super-rich and the rest of America? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

What purposeful political acts created and sustained the huge gap between the super-rich and the rest of America?

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ExxonMobil’s CEO Asks: ‘What Good Is It to Save the Planet?’

ExxonMobil’s CEO Asks: ‘What Good Is It to Save the Planet?’ | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Here’s a not-very-surprising development: At the ExxonMobil annual shareholder meeting in Dallas on May 29, the corporation’s CEO, Rex Tillerson, told those in attendance that an economy that runs on oil is here to stay and that cutting carbon emissions would do no good.

 

A rather more surprising development was that he also asked a rhetorical question: “What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?”

We assume he wasn’t referring to studies by Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, which have noted that for “each increase of 1 degree Celsius caused by carbon dioxide, the resulting air pollution would lead annually to about a thousand additional deaths and many more cases of respiratory illness and asthma in the United States.”

 


Via Monica S Mcfeeters
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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, July 7, 2013 7:25 AM

So what do you think? What good is it to save the Planet? Here's his opinion.  He thinks "someone" will engineer a fix for his mess. 

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Consumption Dwarfs Population as Main Environmental Threat, by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360

Consumption Dwarfs Population as Main Environmental Threat, by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360 | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

It's overconsumption, not population growth, that is the fundamental problem: By almost any measure, a small portion of the world's people — those in the affluent, developed world — use up most of the Earth's resources and produce most of its greenhouse gas emissions.

 

This is a terribly convenient argument — “over-consumers” in rich countries can blame “over-breeders” in distant lands for the state of the planet. But what are the facts?

 

The United States always gets singled out. But for good reason: It is the world’s largest consumer. Americans take the greatest share of most of the world’s major commodities: corn, coffee, copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, rubber, oil seeds, oil, and natural gas. For many others, Americans are the largest per-capita consumers. In “super-size-me” land, Americans gobble up more than 120 kilograms of meat a year per person, compared to just 6 kilos in India, for instance.

 

Just five countries are likely to produce most of the world’s population growth in the coming decades: India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. The carbon emissions of one American today are equivalent to those of four Chinese, 20 Indians, or 250 Ethiopians.

 

Even if we could today achieve zero population growth, that would barely touch the climate problem — where we need to cut emissions by 50 to 80 percent by mid-century. Given existing income inequalities, it is inescapable that overconsumption by the rich few is the key problem, rather than overpopulation of the poor many.

 

In any event, it strikes me as the height of hubris to downgrade the culpability of the rich world’s environmental footprint because generations of poor people not yet born might one day get to be as rich and destructive as us. Overpopulation is not driving environmental destruction at the global level; overconsumption is. Every time we talk about too many babies in Africa or India, we are denying that simple fact.


Via Daniel LaLiberte
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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, July 7, 2013 1:45 PM

I've been arguing persistently against the nonsense claims of overpopulation alarmists.  Fred Pearce makes the clear comparison in this article with overconsumption, the far greater underlying cause of our environmental problems, but I would clarify one point: it is not precisely "overconsumption" but non-sustainable consumption that is the true cause.  It is critical to understand that any level of consumption could be made sustainable, or not.  To make consumption sustainable, it must be based on 100% renewable energy and 100% recycling of all resources.  And once we get to this goal of Zero Footprint, both population and consumption could grow enormously and still remain sustainable.

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Auch : un billet d’Artagnan ?

Auch : un billet d’Artagnan ? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
L’association Auch Éco Citoyenne crée une monnaie locale, qui devrait circuler en 2014. Voici un genre de projet qui n’est pas monnaie courante : les Auscitains, d’ici à 2014, auront...

Via Institut Palmas Europe
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Institut Palmas Europe's curator insight, July 5, 2013 2:47 PM

Bientôt une monnaie à auch dans le Gers avec des billets à l'effigie de D'Artagnan !

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The Consensus Project Update and Dana on Al Jazeera Inside Story

The Consensus Project Update and Dana on Al Jazeera Inside Story | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Cook et al.(2013) has now been downloaded over 64,000 times, becoming the most-downloaded paper ever published by Environmental Research Letters.  During the speech announcing his new Climate Action Plan, President Obama again mentioned the 

97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming. 

Awareness of the 97% consensus figure has spread far and wide.  To help close the consensus gap, check out sks.to/consensuspics and make use of the consensus graphics.

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Tierramérica: Edible Insect Market Hindered by Legal and Cultural Barriers in Spain

Tierramérica: Edible Insect Market Hindered by Legal and Cultural Barriers in Spain | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

MÁLAGA, Spain, Jul 1 (Tierramérica).- A 280-square-metre warehouse in Coín, a municipality in the southern Spanish province of Málaga, is home to a unique type of farm, where insects are raised for human consumption and the production of animal feed. But despite FAO’s endorsement of insects as food, there are numerous obstacles holding back the development of this industry. 

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Fosters.com - Dover NH, Rochester NH, Portsmouth NH, Laconia NH, Sanford ME

Fosters.com - Dover NH, Rochester NH, Portsmouth NH, Laconia NH, Sanford ME | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
NH guide for Southeast New Hampshire and Southern Maine, including Portsmouth, Rochester, Dover, Sanford and Laconia.
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Will fracking in Lancashire's green hills solve Britain's energy crisis?

Will fracking in Lancashire's green hills solve Britain's energy crisis? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Shale gas extraction could bring jobs and lower emissions. But opponents say the drillers' claims are spurious and 'fracking' is simply too dangerous
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Two big quakes rattle PNG

Two big quakes rattle PNG | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Sydney (AFP) July 08, 2013 - Two big earthquakes struck Papua New Guinea early Monday but no tsunami warnings were issued and seismologists said while they would have been felt damage was unlikely.
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To feed the future, we must mine the wealth of the world's seed banks today

To feed the future, we must mine the wealth of the world's seed banks today | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Ithaca NY (SPX) Jul 08, 2013 - With fewer than a dozen flowering plants out of 300,000 species accounting for 80 percent of humanity's caloric intake, people need to tap unused plants to feed the world in the near future, claims...
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Greenpeace takes on deep sea mining

Greenpeace takes on deep sea mining | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The International Seabed Authority Council has approved 17 seabed exploration contracts that lie beyond national jurisdiction in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
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Suing For The Right To Pollute

Suing For The Right To Pollute | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Polluting utilities are now suing for their right to pollute our air with poisons. And as usual, they claim that the controls are too expensive to adopt. But they’re telling their investors a completely different story.
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The 147 Companies That Control Everything | Forbes.com

The 147 Companies That Control Everything | Forbes.com | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Three systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have taken a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide and analyzed all 43,060 transnational corporations and share ownerships linking them. They built a model of who owns what and what their revenues are and mapped the whole edifice of economic power.

 

They discovered that global corporate control has a distinct bow-tie shape, with a dominant core of 147 firms radiating out from the middle. Each of these 147 own interlocking stakes of one another and together they control 40% of the wealth in the network. A total of 737 control 80% of it all. The top 20 are at the bottom of the post. This is, say the paper’s authors, the first map of the structure of global corporate control.

 

The #occupy movement will eat this up as evidence for massive redistribution of wealth. The New Scientist talked to one systems theorist who is “disconcerted” at the level of interconnectedness, but not surprised. Such structures occur commonly in biology, things like fungus, lichen and weeds. Economists say the danger comes when you combine hyperconnection with the concentration of power. The Swiss scientists warn that this can lead to an unstable environment. No Scheisse, Sherlock.

 

But the web of corporate control is not de facto a conspiracy of world domination. There are many reasons for tightly bundled nodes and connections: anti-takeover strategies, reduction of transaction costs, risk sharing, increasing trust and groups of interest.

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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5 Natural Air-Conditioning Designs Inspired by Nature

5 Natural Air-Conditioning Designs Inspired by Nature | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

 With heat waves gripping much of the planet, electricity grid operators are sweating even more than their customers. Air-conditioning uses a tremendous amount of energy, but a new group of designers think they can solve that problem by mimicking Mother Nature's craftiness.


Via Jocelyn Stoller
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Climate Change Alters Soil Bacteria Distribution: Scientific American Podcast

Bacteria are key players in the formation of topsoil. They add carbon and nitrogen, and extract nutrients. Uprooting these microscopic residents could upset the land’s fertility and lead to soil erosion.

To investigate how a rise in temperature might alter bacterial distribution in different desert climes, researchers surveyed the microbes present in a pinch of crust from several arid locations. And they found that cooler deserts are ruled by one type of bacteria, and warmer ones are dominated by another.


Via Flora Moon
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Must-See Gasland Part II on HBO Monday: Natural Gas, Once A Bridge, Now A Gangplank | Think Progress

Must-See Gasland Part II on HBO Monday: Natural Gas, Once A Bridge, Now A Gangplank | Think Progress | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

If you liked the Oscar-nominated fracking exposé “Gasland” by Josh Fox, you’ll love the sequel Gasland, Part II, which is being broadcast on HBO Monday night.

 

I think it’s a better movie, more entertaining and even more compelling in making a case that we are headed on a bridge to nowhere — a metaphorical gangplank — with our hydraulic fracturing feeding frenzy.

 

Future generations living in a climate-ruined world will be stunned that we drilled hundreds of thousands of fracking and reinjection wells:

 

--Even though we knew that fossil fuels destroy the climate and accelerate drought and water shortages;

 

--Even though we knew that leaks of heat-trapping methane from fracking may well be vitiating much of the climate benefits of replacing coal with gas; and

 

--Even though each fracked well consumes staggering amounts of water, much of which is rendered permanently unfit for human use and reinjected into the ground where it can taint even more ground water in the coming decades.

 

Perhaps you have been persuaded fracking is a good idea by the multi-million-dollar industry campaign for fracking and against Fox — which includes backing a counter-documentary by two anti-science filmmaker’s best known for a film smearing Al Gore. If so, I’d urge you to read the Propublica exposé in Scientific American, “Are Fracking Wastewater Wells Poisoning the Ground beneath Our Feet?”

 

Click headline to read more--

 


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Plaidoyer pour une économie au service de l'écologie et du bien-être humain

Plaidoyer pour une économie au service de l'écologie et du bien-être humain | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Pour le chercheur Robert Costanza, il faut abandonner l'objectif de croissance du PIB.

Via Institut Palmas Europe
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Raphael Souchier's curator insight, December 19, 2013 6:27 AM

Il est temps de choisir ce qui compte vraiment.

Stéfane Grandcamp's curator insight, December 20, 2013 4:27 AM

Certaines villes en france ont décidé de soutenir la croissance locale de cette maniere

Prêt à Pousser's curator insight, December 20, 2013 4:38 AM
Vive l'humain dans l'économie !
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Central Valley farmworkers still vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, study finds - The Sacramento Bee

Several years after state politicians focused on reducing farmworker deaths, Central Valley laborers remain vulnerable to heat-related illness, according to a study by the UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety.
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Ontario honey bees dropping like flies

Ontario honey bees dropping like flies | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
ELMWOOD, ONT. - David Schuit routinely watches his employees die.

He’s an apiarist, after all, with bees that work to make honey for him. But now he fears the bee business is losing its buzz, and he claims it’s largely because of a rampantly used pesticide that he believes is killing his bees by the millions.

“This is how they die,” says Schuit, 48, pointing with a broad hand to a bee that’s gone haywire, flailing erratically in the grass. “Their tongue sticks out and the venom drips out their backside.”

He pauses, and his voice wavers. “You really get emotional because they’re your insects, your livestock … It’s terrible.”

 

 

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A Painful Mix of Fire, Wind and Questions

A Painful Mix of Fire, Wind and Questions | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Investigators are beginning the task of unraveling how a routine afternoon of cutting fire lines along the edge of a community in Arizona became the deadliest day for wilderness firefighters in 80 years.
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