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News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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Solar Power Is A Huge Water Saver (World Water Day Infographic)

Solar Power Is A Huge Water Saver (World Water Day Infographic) | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Every year since 1993, the community of nations has focused on the importance of fresh water and advocated for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Severe droughts experienced recently in places like the American West, the Horn of Africa, Russia, China, and Australia have highlighted the fact that humans are rapidly using up the world's water supplies—and when they’re gone, they’re gone. We are spending one of our most vital resources in greater volumes every day.

One Block Off The Grid recently developed an infographic to illustrate how energy production depends on water. It shows water use by four of the most common energy sources: coal, nuclear, oil and gas, and solar. Solar comes out on top big time.


Via Lauren Moss
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, May 2, 10:17 AM

Interesting infographic from Lauren Moss.  This graphic makes a strong case for solar power. It's about time Hawaii integrated more solar power into the grid.  With the adoption of "smart meters" and better grid management, we can lessen our dependence on imported oil for power generation.  Aloha, Russ.

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Professor Who Gave Famous Overpopulation Lecture Over 1,700 Times Dies

Professor Who Gave Famous Overpopulation Lecture Over 1,700 Times Dies | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A renowned former physics professor at the University of Colorado Boulder who was famous for a lecture he delivered over 1,700 times died on Saturday at the age of 90. According to The Daily Camera, he had been diagnosed with lymphoma.

Via Willy De Backer
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Willy De Backer's curator insight, September 11, 2013 3:39 PM

Death of one of the world's greatest sustainability thinkers - "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function"

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A Clearer Definition for Smarter Smart Growth

A Clearer Definition for Smarter Smart Growth | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
As cities become more conscious of their environmental and social impact, smart growth has become a ubiquitous umbrella term for a slew of principles to which designers and planners are encouraged to adhere.

 

NewUrbanism.org has distributed 10 points that serve as guides to development that are similar to both AIA’s Local Leaders: Healthier Communities through Design and New York City’s Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design.  Planners all appear to be on the same page in regards to the nature of future development.  But as Brittany Leigh Foster of Renew Lehigh Valley points out, these points tend to be vague; they tell us “what” but they do not tell us “how”.

10 Rules for Smarter Smart Growth by Bill Adams of UrbDeZine San Diego enumerates how to achieve the various design goals and principles that these various guides encourage.


Via Lauren Moss
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The Oil Drum | Twelve Reasons Why Globalization is a Huge Problem

The Oil Drum | Twelve Reasons Why Globalization is a Huge Problem | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Globalization seems to be looked on as an unmitigated “good” by economists. Unfortunately, economists seem to be guided by their badly flawed models; they miss real-world problems. In particular, they miss the point that the world is finite. We don’t have infinite resources, or unlimited ability to handle excess pollution. So we are setting up a “solution” that is at best temporary.


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Zero-growth is the 'new normal'

Zero-growth is the 'new normal' | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

US economic growth will be less than 1% in the next fourty years according to a new analysis by famous American investor Jeremy Grantham. The contrarian investor sees resource scarcity and higher resource prices as well as demographic factors as the main reason why our global economies will continue to struggle for new economic growth.

 

As always the gloomy predictions of Mr Grantham's piece make a lot of sense but will be neglected by the "don't worry, be happy" myopic political and economic elites.


Via Willy De Backer, Stephane Bilodeau
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Infographic: The Global Water Crisis

Infographic: The Global Water Crisis | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Despite the critical role that water has in our everyday lives, few people realize that the world’s freshwater supply is facing a major crisis in the near future.

Take a look at this infographic for more details, statistics and data on the 'invisible threat to humanity's future' to help increase awareness with regard to the global water crisis...


Via Lauren Moss, Susan Davis Cushing
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Sustainable Technology: Our phones are depleting natural resources [INFOGRAPHIC]

Sustainable Technology: Our phones are depleting natural resources [INFOGRAPHIC] | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

This infographic takes a look at this troubling technology trend, which is depleting the planet's supply of Rare Earth Elements.

Apple sold a record 5 million iPhones the first weekend the phone was on the market. And unlike in the iPhone’s early days, the latest Apple smartphones are not primarily being purchased by first time owners.

But did you ever stop to think about what happens to all those iPhone 3, 3GS, 4 and 4Ss now deemed out of date? While there are many recycling programs available, most smartphones are not efficiently thrown out.

Apple’s iPhones is far from the only culprit —..


Via Lauren Moss, Digital Sustainability
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August 22 is Earth Overshoot Day

August 22 is Earth Overshoot Day | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Today, August 22, is Earth Overshoot Day, marking the date when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. We are now operating in overdraft. For the rest of the year, we will maintain our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


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How Can You Reduce Your Water Footprint?

How Can You Reduce Your Water Footprint? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

How much water do you use every day?  The answer might surprise you. 

A paper released online last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that Americans significantly underestimate their water use.

Curious how my friends and family would fare, I reached out via social media and posed the simple question, “how much water do you use each day?”  The results in my quick survey ranged to from 2 gallons to 300 gallons, but the most common estimate was 10 to 15 gallons per day.  In reality, Americans use closer to 90 gallons of water a day.  To put things in perspective, a 10-minute shower with an EPA WaterSense labeled high efficiency showerhead consumes 22 gallons, while a 20 minute shower with an older, high flow showerhead could be as much as 100 gallons.  Last month, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency and called on all Californians to conserve water in every way possible. 

Knowing how much water you use, and how and where you use it, are important first steps in determining the most effective ways you can save water in your home and business.


Via Lauren Moss
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Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, March 12, 7:43 PM

Water, water, everywhere but not a drop to waste.

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World Population May Reach 11 Billion By 2100

World Population May Reach 11 Billion By 2100 | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

"The model predicts that the population will likely reach between 9 billion and 13 billion by 2100."


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Willy De Backer's curator insight, June 18, 2013 2:09 PM

And still, this issue remains the biggest taboo for policymakers and media.

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China's Water Crisis

China's Water Crisis | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
For years, China claimed to hold an estimated 50000 rivers within its borders. Now, more than half of them have abruptly vanished.

Via Seth Dixon, Steven McGreevy
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Paige Therien's curator insight, April 26, 12:04 AM

China is attributing the disappearance of over 50 percent of their country's rivers to inaccurate sources; more effective technologies today give an accurate picture of China's waterways compared to the former data based off of sources from the  1950's.  While it is probably true to some extent that previous numbers were off, there still needs to be much concern for the state of China's current waterways and why waterways that once existed have disappeared.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 4:48 PM

Cutting corners in safety and cleanliness has caused pollution in the rivers. All the money they saved cutting corners now has to be invested in diverting clean water to northern areas of the country. I hope someday they realize that you cannot do things super cheaply without paying for it in another area.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 9:41 PM

What has happened to these rivers? Are they purposely being depleted from China? How do they expect to supply water for their residents if they are building things over these used-to-be rivers?

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New Lens Scenarios - Shell Global

New Lens Scenarios - Shell Global | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

"With the world’s population headed toward 9 billion at mid-century and millions of people climbing out of poverty, global energy demand could increase by as much as 80% by 2050. That’s according to Shell’s latest scenarios, which look at trends in the economy, politics and energy in considering developments over the next half a century."


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Willy De Backer's curator insight, March 9, 2013 3:35 AM

In its latest New Lens scenarios, Shell recognises the existence of "ecological limits" to growth and confirms 2 degrees warming target is unreachable.

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Cities: Drivers of Sustainable Human Development & Prosperity

Cities: Drivers of Sustainable Human Development & Prosperity | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

As we plan for the future of our planet, it is imperative that we consider the effects of development on both the environment and human populations. A city is only truly sustainable if it uses natural resources efficiently while still fully meeting the needs of its inhabitants and a decent standard of living.

 


Via Lauren Moss, Peter Jasperse, David Hodgson
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The End of Economic Growth

Another impressive presentation by Richard Heinberg of why we have now entered the post-growth era and what will be the implications for our societies.


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Jeremy Grantham: ‘Welcome to Dystopia’: We Are ‘Entering A Long-Term And Politically Dangerous Food Crisis’

Jeremy Grantham: ‘Welcome to Dystopia’: We Are ‘Entering A Long-Term And Politically Dangerous Food Crisis’ | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

"We are five years into a severe global food crisis that is very unlikely to go away. It will threaten poor countries with increased malnutrition and starvation and even collapse. Resource squabbles and waves of food-induced migration will threaten global stability and global growth. This threat is badly underestimated by almost everybody and all institutions with the possible exception of some military establishments."

 

Joe Romm summarises the latest article by guru investor Jeremy Grantham in his Quarterly Newsletter. "The global economy is a Ponzi scheme".


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Rio+20: A Momentum for Resource Economics

Rio+20: A Momentum for Resource Economics | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Growth. It's not about plant growth, hair growth or growth in quality of life, it's about economic growth. And the kind that is measured in GDP. However, Rio+20 might mark a paradigm shift in the way we measure growth and wealth.

 

This article on Rio+20 in the Huffington Post demonstrates clearly how difficult it is to end our obsession with "growth" as the number one political priority. "Intelligent" growth, a "paradigm shift in the way we measure growth and wealth"... do all these phrases really put us on track for a new destination or do we just blind ourselves with nice rhetoric?


Via Willy De Backer
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