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News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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China's hidden water footprint

China's hidden water footprint | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
China's richest provinces have an outsized environmental impact on the country's water-scarce regions, according to new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the University of Maryland.
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US House Candidate Makes Climate Action a Campaign Centerpiece

US House Candidate Makes Climate Action a Campaign Centerpiece | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Michigan House District 11 Candidate Nancy Skinner is making  climate change a centerpiece of her campaign, going into next month's primary, and has come out swinging with the piece you see above. ...
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The Temperature on Mars, and Other Fables

The Temperature on Mars, and Other Fables | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Kentucky State Senator Brandon Smith says climate change science is false because Mars is the same temperature as Earth.

 

How do you explain someone out of a hole that deep?

 

As humorous as it is, it points up how far we have fallen in understanding of basic science concepts, when we hear a civic leader say something that is so obviously divorced from hundreds of years of observation, data, and experience.

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Debt: Eight Reasons This Time is Different

Debt: Eight Reasons This Time is Different | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Many seem to believe that if we worked our way out of debt problems in the past, we can do the same thing again. The same assets may have new owners, but everything will work together in the long run. Businesses will continue operating, and people will continue to have jobs. We may have to adjust monetary policy, or perhaps regulation of financial institutions, but that is about all.

 

I think this is where the story goes wrong. The situation we have now is very different, and far worse, than what happened in the past. We live in a much more tightly networked economy. This time, our problems are tied to the need for cheap, high quality energy products. The comfort we get from everything eventually working out in the past is false comfort.

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Jimmy Stewart on Solar Energy: 1938

From "You Can't Take it With You", directed by Frank Capra, most famous for "It's a Wonderful Life" - contained this forgotten bit of americana, proving once again how a dream of distributed, free, energy from the sun has fascinated generations of idealists and dreamers.

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If You Love this Planet, "Coal Rollers" Hate You.

If You Love this Planet, "Coal Rollers" Hate You. | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Napoleon famously said, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."  I normally would like to assume that others who do not share my views are still people who have...
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Towards an Energy Standard of ‘Local’

Towards an Energy Standard of ‘Local’ | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The graph below presents the fuel required to deliver 100 pounds of food for several small farms to my local farmers’ market relative to a semi truck transporting 40,000 pounds of food 3,000 miles to Vermont from the Central Valley of California. Recall that the semi truck in The Energetics of Food Distribution achieved the highest efficiency per unit food delivered for a set transport distance, but of course transport distance isn’t constant when comparing long distance shipments to local vendors. If transport distance shrinks enough, food distributed via less efficient means will end up using less fuel. For most of the vendors I surveyed – I collected information on the weight of food they brought to market, their round-trip travel distance and the fuel efficiency of their truck or van - the amount of fuel used per unit food delivered was lower than the semi from California, sometimes much lower.

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Beijing, Seoul agree to direct trade in national currencies

Beijing, Seoul agree to direct trade in national currencies | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
China designated a clearing bank in Seoul for yuan transactions in South Korea on Friday, coinciding with a visit by President Xi Jinping, as Beijing promotes greater use of its currency overseas, AF
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Manufacturing Giant's Water Woes a Sign of What's to Come

Manufacturing Giant's Water Woes a Sign of What's to Come | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Dow Chemical's struggles to secure enough water supplies for its growing operations in Texas have sparked concerns about whether the state's diminishing natural resources can accommodate its exploding population and economy.
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Methane’s Role In Climate Change

Methane’s Role In Climate Change | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Most plans to stave off climate change have focused on limiting emissions of carbon dioxide, which make up 90 percent of anthropogenic releases of greenhouse gases. Yet methane—the primary compound in natural gas—is a much more potent greenhouse gas.

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Disinfected Water, Fuel Additives, Nanotubes Should Be High IARC Priorities, Adviser...

Disinfected Water, Fuel Additives, Nanotubes Should Be High IARC Priorities, Adviser... | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
July 3 Advisers to the International Agency for Research on Cancer have recommended the agency evaluate dozens of chemicals pesticides food contact substances and occupational situations for their potential to cause cancer in people.
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Oil sands pollutants contaminate traditional First Nations' foods: report

Oil sands pollutants contaminate traditional First Nations' foods: report | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Study finds increased levels of metals, arsenic and mercury in wild animals, forcing aboriginals to shift to store-bought foods
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How can we measure the contribution of ecosystems to our prosperity?

How can we measure the contribution of ecosystems to our prosperity? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Systematic measurements of the condition of ecosystems and their contribution to our prosperity are vital in a world undergoing rapid environmental change. Changes in ecosystems and the climate are often irreversible and the depletion of natural resources is limiting our options. But what is the economic ...
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Coal is Over

Coal is Over | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Renew Economy: Last week, for the first time in memory, the wholesale price of electricity in Queensland fell into negative territory - in the middle of the day.  For several days the price – norma...
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What Antarctic Ice is Telling Us

What Antarctic Ice is Telling Us | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

It's autumn in the Antarctic. Time for another seasonal revival of the "Antarctic Ice is Growing" Crock.

 

Guy Williams is Co-leader of the ‘Sea Ice Processes and Change’ project within the ‘Oceans and Cryosphere’ research program of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosytem Cooperative Research Centre at the University of Tasmania.

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The Energy Cost of Local Food

The Energy Cost of Local Food | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Years back a pair of planners, Branden Born and Mark Purcell, warned that there's nothing about smaller scale enterprises that make them inherently more efficient than their larger counterparts. With respect to on-farm energy intensity, they're certainly right.
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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, July 7, 2014 7:36 PM

"As I point out in The Energy Basis of Food Security there's a strong relationship between energy prices and food prices owing to the high energy demand associated with food production. As long as local food fails to gain an advantage over larger scale food production in terms of its energy intensity, it's reasonable to expect the price of local food to trend with energy prices just like food from larger-scale operations.

Perhaps the higher energy inputs often needed for small-scale farms partially accounts for why local food tends to be pricier than comparable mass marketed products? While food enterprises in general need to pay more attention to their energy intensity, this is particularly true for smaller enterprises that seek to market their products locally."

 
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A Renewable Revolution: The Real News Interview

A Renewable Revolution: The Real News Interview | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Following up on the most recent video, the Real News Network again asked me to flesh out some details. Could be a trend. In response to some rather unkind, although funny, comments last time, I tri...
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This Breed of Mosquito Is Invading the U.S. — And It Could Carry a Terrifying Disease

This Breed of Mosquito Is Invading the U.S. — And It Could Carry a Terrifying Disease | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Chikungunya fever and the Asian tiger mosquito: two names you may not know, but which could soon threaten your health. In Swahili, "chikungunya" it means “walking bent over,” referring to the fact that those who contract the disease often have trouble walking due to headaches, rashes, fevers and, most of...
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Yes, There’s Wood Pulp in Burgers…Here’s Why I Think it Matters | SilverDoctors.com

Yes, There’s Wood Pulp in Burgers…Here’s Why I Think it Matters | SilverDoctors.com | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
There may be more fiber in your food than you realized. As the cost of food continues to rise, the cost of not paying attention to what you are eating ris
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Japanese Knotweed: The Invasive Plant That Eats the Value of Your Home

When the German botanist Philipp von Siebold sent a variety of plant specimens to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in August 1850, he had no idea what he was unleashing on the world.

 

Among the various floral and tuberous growths he dispatched was a plant which, 164 years later, is leaving a trail of mayhem all across the planet.

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Energy companies say disposal wells are central to Oklahoma's oil, gas operations

Energy companies say disposal wells are central to Oklahoma's oil, gas operations | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Wastewater disposal wells, which some have linked to Oklahoma’s recent earthquake swarms, are an important part of the state’s oil and natural gas operations.

 

Oklahoma has shook, rattled and rolled through nearly 800 earthquakes in the past year, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.

 

That is more than enough for Cynde Collin-Clark, who is poised to leave her Edmond home for someplace without as much seismic activity.

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Outcry prompts expedited plan for Kewaunee nuclear plant

Outcry prompts expedited plan for Kewaunee nuclear plant | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In working to decommission the plant, its owner wants to speed up the move of radioactive rods to long-term storage.
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Lawsuits seek to stop work at mines in 3 states

Lawsuits seek to stop work at mines in 3 states | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Coal industry representatives say lawsuits against mines in three Western states could have consequences across the U.S. as environmentalists seek changes in how mining is approved on federally owned reserves.

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Cut use of antibiotics in livestock, veterinary experts tell government

Cut use of antibiotics in livestock, veterinary experts tell government | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Drugs contribute to rise of untreatable bacteria in humans – but farmers say production would be 'impossible' without them
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