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United States Carbon Emissions: An Interactive Heat Map & New Research

United States Carbon Emissions: An Interactive Heat Map & New Research | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

When it comes to carbon emissions, don’t blame big cities -- blame the suburbs, says a new study from the University of California, Berkeley. The study, released Monday, found that population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse-gas emissions per person than other areas of the United States. However, these cities’ suburbs are so damaging to the environment that they effectively wipe out any climate benefits. The study will be published in science journal Environmental Science & Technology.

 

Using dozens of variables, researchers found that greenhouse-gas emissions -- largely from cars, trucks and other vehicles -- in the suburbs account for about 50 percent of all household emissions in the nation, even though less than 50 percent of the population lives in these areas.


Via Lauren Moss
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Rescooped by SustainOurEarth from Développement durable et efficacité énergétique
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California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases

California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The state is relying on cities to figure out how to cut emissions in their region. Will it work?

 

When California’s S.B. 375 was passed in 2008, there were many skeptics. The law aimed to get metropolitan regions around the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions through changes to development form and transportation. 

In 2011, the California Air Resources Board set GHG emissions reduction targets by metro region for passenger vehicles and 18 Metropolitan Planning Organizations were then to develop "sustainable community strategies," with integrated transportation, housing, and community development.

The idea was that smart, sustainable community design, coordinated with transportation systems that integrated walkability, bicycles, and next generation public transit, could really make a difference. It's honestly much too soon to tell whether this will work. But here's a quick look at three prominent metropolitan regions and their responses to this mandate.


Via Lauren Moss, Stephane Bilodeau
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Rescooped by SustainOurEarth from Uso inteligente de las herramientas TIC
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9 Steps Cities Must Take to Dramatically Cut Carbon Emissions

9 Steps Cities Must Take to Dramatically Cut Carbon Emissions | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

A very long, very bold to-do list for the next 20 years.

The city of Toronto has already begun to sketch out policies that could reduce the area’s greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. Officials have proposed greening the electric grid, banning incandescent light bulbs, promoting green roofs on commercial buildings, retrofitting 1960s-era high-rises and implementing a stricter energy-efficient building code for new construction. With transportation, the city wants to expand bike lanes and transit infrastructure, all while it anticipates that electric vehicles will grow slowly more common.

This is a pretty standard menu of ideas, and according to scientists it will get the city part of the way toward the kind of changes broadly needed to really keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

But to really alter the future prospects for climate change, much more will have to happen in Toronto, and every other city. Researchers used the city as a case study to model what a truly aggressive framework might look like. If Toronto wants to cut emissions by 70 percent by 2031, all of these actions (or others with a similar impact) might be required in tandem...


Via Lauren Moss, Stephane Bilodeau, Lockall, Territori, Ursula Sola de Hinestrosa
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Pamela D Lloyd's curator insight, February 13, 2013 6:13 PM

While the steps being proposed in Toronto may not be as aggressive as those recommending by researchers concerned with reversing the climate changes caused by humanity's activity, they are at least a step in the right direction and far more than what seems likely in most U.S. cities.

 

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Green and Healthy Buildings: monitoring consumption & ecology in the built environment

Green and Healthy Buildings: monitoring consumption & ecology in the built environment | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings account for approximately 40 percent of worldwide energy use and are responsible for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. They also play an important role in the health and wellbeing of those who inhabit them each day.

The mass of information about what makes a building green tends to concentrate on new and innovative designs that create beautiful photo spreads. While such examples are inspiring, they make up a very small percentage of all buildings in operation.

Green Buildings Alive is an environmental initiative aimed at collecting and sharing data on existing buildings between 10 and 60 years old. The data is collected from office towers in Australian Central Business Districts (CBDs) and shared on a public website.

 


Via Lauren Moss, Stephane Bilodeau, Hans De Keulenaer
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Global carbon-dioxide emissions increase by 1.0 Gt in 2011 to record high

Global carbon-dioxide emissions increase by 1.0 Gt in 2011 to record high | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Global carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil-fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011, according to preliminary estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA). This represents an increase of 1.0 Gt on 2010, or 3.2%. Coal accounted for 45% of total energy-related CO2 emissions in 2011, followed by oil (35%) and natural gas (20%).

 

Are there any more words to attack this stupidity of our so-called world leaders? Start preparing for the final reckoning.


Via Willy De Backer
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COP 19 conference: a key step in the fight against climate change

COP 19 conference: a key step in the fight against climate change | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Sea levels and air temperatures continue to rise according to studies, which is expected to lead to more floods and worse heat waves. To help prevent this, the 19th UN Climate Conference takes place this month to discuss how to curb carbon emissions after 2020, including key steps towards a new globally binding agreement by 2015. Check out the infographic on climate change for more information.


Via Lauren Moss
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Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, November 9, 2013 3:50 PM

Will we be in time? What should we do to prepare to protect ourselves?

Jenny Byrne's curator insight, November 10, 2013 12:37 AM

it's true, a picture is worth a thousand words

Rescooped by SustainOurEarth from sustainable architecture
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Wooden Skyscrapers: A New Level of Sustainability?

Wooden Skyscrapers: A New Level of Sustainability? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

A new breed of high-rise architecture is in the process of being born, thanks to the collaborative efforts of modern design pioneers. Envisioned as the best sustainable option for meeting world housing demands and decreasing global carbon emissions, wooden mega-structures are now one step closer to becoming a reality.


“Big Wood,” a conceptual project to the eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition, builds on the premise that wood, when harvested responsibly, is one of the best tools architects and engineers have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating healthy communities. Aspiring to become one of the greenest skyscrapers in the world, Big Wood challenges the way we build our cities and promotes timber as a reliable platform to support tomorrow’s office and residential towers...


Via Lauren Moss
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ParadigmGallery's curator insight, April 20, 2013 11:38 AM

The Case For Tall Wood                               Michael Green Architecture

I find this hard to truly picture, but the story is solid...."the last century there has been no reason to challenge steel and concrete as the essential structural materials of large buildings. Climate change now demands that we do.....Wood is the most significant building material we use today that is grown by the sun. When harvested responsibly, wood is arguably one of the best tools architects and engineers have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon in our buildings."

 

“I’d put my money on solar energy…I hope we don’t have to wait till oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
~Thomas Edison, In conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone March 1931

 

http://mg-architecture.ca/portfolio/tallwood/

 

 

“Known as the birthplace of the skyscraper, Chicago is an optimal location for a prototype in mass timber construction,” writes Carlos Arzate

Geovanni's curator insight, May 8, 2013 9:32 AM

Fascinating place. Must of been a lot of wood to be created.

Bubba Muntzer's comment, May 13, 2013 11:44 AM
It takes around 30 years for a seedling to grow into the kind of wood that can be used in construction. A little maintenance is required during that period. Meanwhile it's soaking up CO2 and making oxygen. The only industrial processes required are to cut it down and cut it into boards and 2 x 4s. If you stagger your planting you have an endless supply.
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Watch 62 Years of Global Warming in 13 Seconds

Watch 62 Years of Global Warming in 13 Seconds | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

An amazing 13-second NASA animation depicting how the globe has warmed during the period of 1950 to 2012.

 

From our friends at NASA comes this amazing 13-second animation that depicts how temperatures around the globe have warmed since 1950. You’ll note an acceleration of the temperature trend in the late 1970s as greenhouse gas emissions from energy production increased worldwide and clean air laws reduced emissions of pollutants that had a cooling effect on the climate, and thus were masking some of the global warming signal.

 

The data come from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York (GISS), which monitors global surface temperatures. As NASA notes, “All 10 of the warmest years in the GISS analysis have occurred since 1998, continuing a trend of temperatures well above the mid-20th century average.


Via Lauren Moss, Stephane Bilodeau, Diedert Debusscher
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Diedert Debusscher's curator insight, January 28, 2013 4:25 AM

Why we should care about global warming. And keep working on solutions (they exist).

Mercor's curator insight, January 31, 2013 9:55 AM

Scooped by Lauren Moss

Rescooped by SustainOurEarth from Digital Sustainability
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How Urban Farming can Transform our Cities & our Agricultural System

How Urban Farming can Transform our Cities & our Agricultural System | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

As concerns mount over the accessibility and quality of meals in cities, urban agriculture is becoming a practical solution to give communities more choice—all while helping address greenhouse gas emissions from centralized agriculture.
With more than 80 percent of the American population living in metropolitan centers, urban farming has the ability to dramatically enhance economic growth, increase food quality and build healthier communities.


Via Lauren Moss, Digital Sustainability
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