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News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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New Book Released!

New Book Released! | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

SELC’S NEW BOOK JUST RELEASED! Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy: Helping People Build Cooperatives, Social Enterprise, and Local Sustainable Economies 

Janelle Orsi is the Director of the national nonprofit Sustainable Economies Law Center, and she is a “sharing lawyer” in private law practice in Oakland, CA.  Her work is focused on helping communities, share, barter, and create cooperatives, social enterprises, cohousing communities, urban farms, local currencies, and community-supported enterprise.  In 2010, Janelle was profiled by the American Bar Association as a “Legal Rebel ,” an attorney who is “remaking the legal profession through the power of innovation.”

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FICO Labs: U.S. Student Loan Delinquencies Climbing Fast, Showing No Signs of Slowing

FICO Labs: U.S. Student Loan Delinquencies Climbing Fast, Showing No Signs of Slowing | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

 Research by FICO Labs into the growing student lending crisis in the U.S. has found that, as a group, individuals taking out student loans today pose a significantly greater risk of default than those who took out student loans just a few years ago. The situation is compounded by significant growth in the amount of debt that new graduates are carrying. 

The delinquency rate today on student loans that were originated from 2005-2007 is 12.4 percent. The comparable figure for student loans that were originated from 2010-2012 is 15.1 percent, representing an increase in the delinquency rate by nearly 22 percent.

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Urban Agriculture Summit in Sweden, January 29-31 | Food Tank

Urban Agriculture Summit in Sweden, January 29-31 | Food Tank | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank co-founder will discuss why it’s important for the funding and donor communities to invest in urban agriculture at Summit in Sweden this week
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Climate Scientists Erring on the Side of Least Drama

Climate Scientists Erring on the Side of Least Drama | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A paper recently published in Global Environmental Change by Brysse et al.
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Experts Say Looming Cyber Warfare Attacks Could Be 'Catastrophic'

Experts Say Looming Cyber Warfare Attacks Could Be 'Catastrophic' | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Security experts are urging businesses and government officials to prepare for the worse as looming cyber warfare could result in the loss of human lives.
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Colbert skewers the climate fatalism caucus

Colbert skewers the climate fatalism caucus | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The Colbert Report had a wicked segment on climate change this week. Watch it.
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Ultimate Yosemite video took 30 photographers to make

Ultimate Yosemite video took 30 photographers to make | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
We have seen some great videos of Yosemite in our time. But let us tell you -- this is the Yosemite video to beat all Yosemite videos.
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5 Clever Product Packages That Dissolve After Use

5 Clever Product Packages That Dissolve After Use | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
These days, any designer worth his or her salt is grappling with ideas of waste and sustainability, trying to come up with ways to do more with less.

Via Digital Sustainability
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Digital Sustainability's curator insight, January 30, 2013 12:46 PM

These days, any designer worth his or her salt is grappling with ideas of waste and sustainability, trying to come up with ways to do more with less. This is especially pressing in the realm of product packaging: According to the EPA, Americans alone throw away some 70 million tons of boxes, bags, containers, and inserts each year. It’s a staggering statistic, and any place where we can cut back will help stem the tide. But Aaron Mickelsonhas a more radical idea. Why not get rid of packaging completely?

That lofty ambition served as the basis for Mickelson’s thesis project at Pratt Institute last semester, where the designer earned his masters in package design. The project, which Mickelson dubs "The Disappearing Package," shows zero-waste solutions for five different products, from trash bags to shower soap. And the craziest part of it all is that the designs really aren’t that crazy.

Most of the solutions stem from streamlining the packages of products that are, in some way, packages themselves--or are products that already include many individually packaged parts. Tide Pods, for example, are single-use detergent pouches typically sold in a plastic jug or stand-up bag. Mickelson’s proposal is a simple one: Arrange the pods in a single, perforated sheet; print on them directly with soap-soluble ink; and roll them up into a tight cylinder for grocery store shelves. At home, customers would simply tear off one pod at a time, as needed, until the last one was used, taking the last traces of the product to the washing machine along with it. Mickelson’s idea for tea bags is similarly elegant--instead of putting all the individual, wax-sealed packets in a tin or cardboard box, simply attach them together accordion-style and let the customer tear off one at a time.

The designer’s proposal for Glad trash bags seems even more feasible--and perhaps even a bit more clever. The idea is to roll up the bags into a self-contained tube, with the product information printed directly on the outside bag. But the best part is that customers draw bags not from the outside of the roll but from the inside, Kleenex-style, which dispenses one bag at a time while keeping the rest in one tidy unit. Not only does the design eliminate the need for the superfluous cardboard box but it also adds a bit of quick-grab usability as well. Reducing waste is worthwhile enough; the added utility is just a victory lap.


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Writing the Future

Writing the Future | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

What does the future hold for the global economy? Will living standards rise worldwide, as today’s poor countries leapfrog technologies to catch up with richer countries? Or will prosperity slip through our fingers as greed and corruption lead us to deplete vital resources and degrade the natural environment on which human well-being depends? Humanity faces no greater challenge than to ensure a world of prosperity rather than a world that lies in ruins.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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Alley: ‘We Have High Confidence That Warming Will Shrink Greenland, By Enough To Matter A Lot To Coastal Planners’

Alley: ‘We Have High Confidence That Warming Will Shrink Greenland, By Enough To Matter A Lot To Coastal Planners’ | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
At a dinner I attended last night, glaciologist Jason Box explained why he believes Greenland’s disintegration is likely to keep outpacing Antarctica’s for the foreseeable future. He has a detailed explanation at his blog, Meltfactor, reposted below.
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What are long term threats of plastic in our seas?

What are long term threats of plastic in our seas? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Newsnight's Susan Watts reports on concerns about the effects on humans and wildlife of waste plastic, both visible and microscopic, in our seas, as research shows it is entering the food chain.
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America’s Plants, Fish And Wildlife Are Already Facing A Climate Crisis

America’s Plants, Fish And Wildlife Are Already Facing A Climate Crisis | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Without significant new steps to reduce carbon pollution, our planet will warm by 7 to 11°F by the end of the century, with devastating consequences for wildlife.
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Sustainable NE Seattle's Tool Library Grand Opening | Transition US

Sustainable NE Seattle's Tool Library Grand Opening | Transition US | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Earlier this month, the NE Seattle Tool Library officially opened its doors to the public after much preparation. The NE Seattle Tool Library is...
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The cost of not using renewable energy

The cost of not using renewable energy | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A new study finds that using up our fossil fuels now, making them less available in the future, imposes big costs down the line.
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Meet the tonic for a clean energy future: Molten salts | SmartPlanet

Meet the tonic for a clean energy future: Molten salts | SmartPlanet | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
They’re good for hydrogen production, CO2 removal, solar energy storage, nuclear reactors, carbon-light oil sands extraction and much more. No i
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Massive sinkhole in China swallows building

Look out, below. A massive sinkhole in Guangzhou, China, swallowed up buildings and knocked out power to thousands of residents. According to Shanghaiist, the sinkhole is about 3,230 square feet and plenty deep.
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Cyclone Power Technologies Completes Third Milestone Under U.S. Army Development Program

Cyclone Power Technologies Completes Third Milestone Under U.S. Army Development Program | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
POMPANO BEACH, FL--(Marketwire - Jan 30, 2013) - Cyclone Power Technologies, Inc.
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The unsophisticated reply to the 'sophisticated objection'

The unsophisticated reply to the 'sophisticated objection' | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The "sophisticated objection" to U.S. climate action is that it is pointless without help from China, India, and other major emitters. The unsophisticated reply? Tough shit. Decency dictates that w...
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Davos 2013: Introducing the Circular Economy VIDEO Decoupling Growth from Resource Use

Davos 2013: Introducing the Circular Economy VIDEO  Decoupling Growth from Resource Use | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Jan 29, 2013 The Guardian Sustainable Business

 

There's nothing quite like watching the extraordinary dedication and concentration of a dog herding a flock of dispersed sheep into a small enclosure.

If you want to see the equivalent in the world of business, look no further than Ellen MacArthur, who plans to corral 100 CEOs into joining forces with her to take the circular economy to scale. The official launch will take place next month with the first batch of companies signing up.

The consumer goods industry could save $700bn a year if they start taking action, such as introducing the anaerobic digestion of household waste.

Unilever CEO Paul Polman says that implementing the circular economy will not only save vital resources but also spur innovation and allow companies to succeed in decoupling growth from resource use.

"A new term has emerged in recent years to describe our modern era – the Anthropocene," he says. "It rightly implies that in this age humans became the dominant force shaping our physical environment. It is evident that an economy that extracts resources at increasing rates without consideration for the environment in which it operates, without consideration for our natural planetary boundaries, cannot continue indefinitely.... http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/davos-2013-ellen-macarthur-report


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Adulteration of Selected Unprocessed Botanicals in the U.S. Retail Herbal Trade - Springer

Adulteration of Selected Unprocessed Botanicals in the U.S. Retail Herbal Trade - Springer | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Samples of Juniperus and Tilia commonly contained species other than those specified, and most samples of alleged Arnica montana were entirely composed of Heterotheca inuloides (“false arnica”).


Via Meristemi
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Environment Canada on chopping block, Elizabeth May says

Environment Canada on chopping block, Elizabeth May says | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Ms. May asked the government about the rumour at the end of the daily Question Period on Tuesday. “If it had not been from credible sources, I would not be putting this question to you,” she told the Commons.
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If we know it works, why not do it? - AlertNet

If we know it works, why not do it? - AlertNet | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Focusing aid spending on emergency preparedness could save money – and lives
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