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NY Times Says Earth Has Unlimited Carrying Capacity, So Forget Climate Change and Party On, Homo Sapiens!

NY Times Says Earth Has Unlimited Carrying Capacity, So Forget Climate Change and Party On, Homo Sapiens! | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
In a collective act of media irresponsibility, the New York Times and Washington Post have joined the Wall Street Journal in publishing "don't worry, be happy" articles days before the big UN climate science report will say quite the opposite.
BLC3's insight:

ThinkProgress is mad and rightfully so. Although there is always an obligation in the press to give a chance of speaking to the other side of an argument, that only applies when it is an argument. It's safe to assume that by now the majority of us can agree on the existance of climate change - and with that in mind, to give people who deny its existance such a grand stage is irresponsible.

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Asian officials look at valuing nature in economic decision making - Sustainability

Asian officials look at valuing nature in economic decision making - Sustainability | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Over 80 statisticians, economists, ecologists and senior policy makers across Asia began a three-day workshop at the United Nations in Bangkok on Tuesday to look at ways of valuing natural resources so they can be better protected.
BLC3's insight:

These types of studies showcase the real value of nature and conservation - not just their "market" value and are extremely important so that people understand a bunch trees is not just a source of wood but a carbon storer, a water purifier, breeding habitat, food for many animals and land manager. These should be mandatory reading everywhere.

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More than 90% of people in European cities breathe dangerous air, study finds

More than 90% of people in European cities breathe dangerous air, study finds | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Countries have downplayed hazards of air pollution despite evidence that it leads to 430,000 shortened lives a year
BLC3's insight:
The EU is often seen as the most environmentally concerned area in the world - and it is. The situation highlighted by the WHO and EEA with these levels needs to be tackled. The Eu's environment commissioner seems ready to do it, now let's see if each country's government is equally willing.
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Climate change sceptics aren't all alike, so don't tar them with the same brush

Climate change sceptics aren't all alike, so don't tar them with the same brush | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Ehsan Masood: Denying the sceptics a voice on the IPCC report is surely bad for democracy and bad for science
BLC3's insight:

An informed and fundamented discussion is an essencial part of any solid scientific investigation. Mr Masood is correct yes, sceptics should be part of the discussion - but the sceptics with solid background and fundamented perspective. 

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Boston Tops Ranking of Energy-Efficient U.S. Cities

Boston Tops Ranking of Energy-Efficient U.S. Cities | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
A new ranking highlights Boston's achievements in conserving energy as the Senate debates a bipartisan energy efficiency bill.
BLC3's insight:

If it were a bet, it would've probably been on San Francisco. Shame on us, since there are so many great practices that were implemented by the city, that not to know them is somewhat shameful. Great numbers in terms of required federal savings too.

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Climate Change Action Could Save 500,000 Lives Annually, Study Says

Climate Change Action Could Save 500,000 Lives Annually, Study Says | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Global action to curb climate change could save 500,000 lives annually, far outweighing the projected cost of reducing fossil fuel emissions, a new study says.
BLC3's insight:

The evidence for an investment on greener energy and a reduction of the dependence on fossil fuels keeps on pilling up. And the benefits are widespread, not just a niche cause. There's no reason to not listen.

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Photoflow is solar power and rainwater harvesting in one

Photoflow is solar power and rainwater harvesting in one | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
The device, featuring solar panels on top and a rainwater barrel below, would be a source for two scarce resources in developing countries.
BLC3's insight:

The Photoflow concept is brilliant: a small device that can harvest and keep both water and sun-generated electricity. It's an 8-panel device with a capacity for 400 liters of water and it was created with developing countries in mind but can see it as useful for other situations. Hopefully, it will be out and about soon? 

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Global food waste creates more carbon than any country, except the US and China

Global food waste creates more carbon than any country, except the US and China | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
A new report from the United Nation has narrowed that down a bit and found that globally about a third of the food produced for humans is wasted.
BLC3's insight:

These are an incredibly insane numbers: 

"Every year about a third of all food for human consumption, around 1.3 billion tons, is wasted, along with all the energy, water and chemicals needed to produce it and dispose of it.

Almost 30 percent of the world's farmland, and a volume of water equivalent to the annual discharge of the River Volga, are in effect being used in vain."
Changing our food consumption, habits and waste is essential, so we can stop waste precious resources, like water, for nothing. 

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Research Cites Role of Warming in Extremes

Research Cites Role of Warming in Extremes | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
In examining a dozen extreme weather events last year, scientists found evidence that human activity was a partial culprit in about half.
BLC3's insight:

Amazing work being done by scientists to try and determine the factors behind extreme weather. It's tremendous and says, through great modelling, in which cases and how much has global warming had an impact: none, aggravation and cause. Seriously recommended reading.

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Silver Lining in China’s Smog as It Puts Focus on Emissions

Silver Lining in China’s Smog as It Puts Focus on Emissions | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
A plan would swiftly limit the carbon dioxide China produces from fossil fuels, which constitute over a quarter of the world’s total such emissions.
BLC3's insight:

China is responsible for 28% - and growing - of world emissions. If they're considering change, it's good. It'd be fantastic if it was the bold, ambitious peak in 2025... but we guess something is better than nothing.

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Germany Shatters Monthly Solar Generation Record With 5.1 Terawatt Hours of Clean Energy

Germany Shatters Monthly Solar Generation Record With 5.1 Terawatt Hours of Clean Energy | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Germany broke its monthly solar generation record in July, increase solar energy output by 42 percent compared to July 2012.

Via Centre for Climate Safety
BLC3's insight:

Germany's huge investment in solar is paying off and it proves its use - the country generated 5.1 Terawatts vs not even 1TW from the US. Combined with its wind investment, it is producing great outcomes, with constant record levels - it's proof that it works.

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Centre for Climate Safety's curator insight, August 21, 2013 12:01 AM

Germany just broke its monthly solar generation record by clocking over 5.1 terawatt hours (TWh) in July, according to data from the EEX Transparency Platform. The accomplishment proves once again that a lack of sunshine is no obstacle to scaling up solar energy – and if the Teutons can produce record amounts of solar power under grey skies, then the potential for countries with sunnier weather and more land mass (like the United States) is limitless.

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A grand solar minimum would barely make a dent in human-caused global warming

A grand solar minimum would barely make a dent in human-caused global warming | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Dana Nuccitelli: Research has shown that a grand solar minimum would offset no more than 0.3°C of global warming
BLC3's insight:

Some articles have been considering the possibility of a Little Ice Age being a good thing to cool the planet. I haven't read the pieces but the Guardian has a point, perhaps the point: what he need is as stable as an environment as possible. And for that, we might add, we need to change the way things are done.

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Why Edison Wants A Piece Of The Rooftop Solar Business

Why Edison Wants A Piece Of The Rooftop Solar Business | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
EdisonInternational, the energy company that owns one of the largest utilities in the country,on Monday announced the purchase of solar company SoCore Energy.
BLC3's insight:

We find this to be great news and it shows that people are willing and ready to make a transition and to invest in such transition. Although you could also say California leading the way yet again, Edison is a national company and as such as great example.

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Can a carbon tax work without hurting the economy? Ask British Columbia

Can a carbon tax work without hurting the economy? Ask British Columbia | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Dana Nuccitelli: Five years in, BC's carbon tax has successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions in a stable economy
BLC3's insight:
The experiment in British Columbia - one of the greenest, most eco-friend and aware places in the world, from personal experience - is a noteworthy one. It is a great place with a working economy where everyone has gained with the carbon tax.
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China hit by another airpocalypse as air pollution cancer link confirmed

China hit by another airpocalypse as air pollution cancer link confirmed | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Jennifer Duggan: China's residents' health at risk as air pollution levels in the city of Harbin reach off-the-chart levels
BLC3's insight:

The recurrence and level of pollution in these episodes in China is inbelievable. And further proof that we all need to do more and better - and however unfair developing countries think it is, they cannot be exempt from the effort.

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O.E.C.D. Head Calls for Global Effort Against Climate Change

O.E.C.D. Head Calls for Global Effort Against Climate Change | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Ángel Gurría, secretary general of the O.E.C.D., said the world should eliminate all emissions from burning fossil fuels before the century is over.
BLC3's insight:

That the OECD places an effort against climate change on its agenda and evaluation of a country's development is outstanding. To tie economic cooperation and development to the environment and its challenges is something that needs to be done much more often. 

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Algae Fuel Passes Another Crucial Test | Biomassmagazine.com

Algae Fuel Passes Another Crucial Test | Biomassmagazine.com | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
BLC3's insight:

We're biased but we 100% agree with this piece. Even if some people see biofuels as a stopgap alternative or a transition fuel, they are just better. Which is why we need to invest in them. The future's energy outlook is a composite of various sources, not a single source. And although we need to do more, if we could reduce emissions by more than 50 percent now just by using biofuels, that would be a great contribution to the state of things.

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IPCC model global warming projections have done much better than you think

IPCC model global warming projections have done much better than you think | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Dana Nuccitelli: Global warming since 1990 has fallen within the range of IPCC climate model projections
BLC3's insight:
Whenever someone tries to defy the importance of warnings from the IPCC or any other scientific body, it is important to remind ourselves and the detractors that this is science - and data like this, that reinforces how solid the information is, is essential to do that.
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NY Times Says Earth Has Unlimited Carrying Capacity, So Forget Climate Change and Party On, Homo Sapiens!

NY Times Says Earth Has Unlimited Carrying Capacity, So Forget Climate Change and Party On, Homo Sapiens! | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
In a collective act of media irresponsibility, the New York Times and Washington Post have joined the Wall Street Journal in publishing "don't worry, be happy" articles days before the big UN climate science report will say quite the opposite.
BLC3's insight:

ThinkProgress is mad and rightfully so. Although there is always an obligation in the press to give a chance of speaking to the other side of an argument, that only applies when it is an argument. It's safe to assume that by now the majority of us can agree on the existance of climate change - and with that in mind, to give people who deny its existance such a grand stage is irresponsible.

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Life-cycle study shows current LED bulbs about on par with CFLs, but next-generation twice as good

Life-cycle study shows current LED bulbs about on par with CFLs, but next-generation twice as good | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
We already know that incandescent light-bulbs are on the way out because they're incredibly wasteful, being better at producing heat than light...
BLC3's insight:

The Department of Energy created this very useful and informative chart on incandescent lamps vs compact fluorescent vs LED, so that we can smply visualize the energy consumption and full life cycle cost of each of the lamps. It's public service!

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Green Hornet: F/A-18 Super Hornet Fighter Plane Flies on 50/50 Biofuel Blend

Green Hornet: F/A-18 Super Hornet Fighter Plane Flies on 50/50 Biofuel Blend | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Photo: U.S. Navy, Public domain.Biofuels Probably Have a Brighter Future in Aviation than Ground TransportThe U.S. military is the #1 consumer of oil in the world, and the Navy's ships and planes use a large fraction of the total.
BLC3's insight:

It's great to hear that the performance of biofuels is exactly the same and as such, they are not only considered but seen as a reality. We're not sure which is the plant/flower powering but it's good that it is non-competitive with agrifood farming. We hope to hear more of this - and extended to other aviation sectors, hopefully. 

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German Utility Revolts Against Renewable Energy, Threatens To Relocate In Turkey

German Utility Revolts Against Renewable Energy, Threatens To Relocate In Turkey | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
The politics of electric power are getting nasty in Germany.
BLC3's insight:
The change in the make-up of electricity sources in Germany is proof that things can be swiftly changed, if there is a will to do it - and investment too, of course. Although we understand that the reality is terrible for E.ON and it does mean a loss of jobs in that company (which will appear elsewhere, since photovoltaic panels do not instal themselves, for example), it is a big enough company that can adjust and adapt - and invest accordingly. Throwing a fit is hardly going to solve all your issues.
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Annie Leonard: How to Be More than a Mindful Consumer

Annie Leonard: How to Be More than a Mindful Consumer | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

The way we make and use stuff is harming the world—and ourselves. To create a system that works, we can't just use our purchasing power. We must turn it into citizen power.


Via Anita Woodruff
BLC3's insight:

An incredibly well-written piece on our consumption habits and their effect in the world. If you want to be a conscious consumer - at least, a more conscious consumer - have a read. From sustainability in terms of water quality, air pollution, crooping for clothes to human rights and strange concepts of aid.

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New catalyst dives into water to produce hydrogen

New catalyst dives into water to produce hydrogen | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —Few catalysts are energy efficient, highly active, stable, and operate in water, but a nickel-based catalyst designed at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory quickly produces hydrogen...
BLC3's insight:

To be able to harness solar power's full energy potential, you need to find a solution to store it. This catalyst might be able to use water to create molecular hydrogen. It's isn't ready yet but the director of the Centre seems to be confident of the efforts made. 

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Fukushima's Radioactive Water Leak: What You Should Know

Fukushima's Radioactive Water Leak: What You Should Know | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has failed in an effort to control radioactive water leaking into the sea. What does it mean for people and the environment in Japan, and across the Pacific Ocean?
BLC3's insight:

The concentration levels found in the Japanese waters is terrible and the fact that it is leaking at the rate mentioned into the ocean severely threatens the global marine ecosystem. Profound changes in the waters make the system unpredictable, which can have an impact on the weather, absorption and release of gases...

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Arid Southwest Cities’ Plea: Lose the Lawn

Arid Southwest Cities’ Plea: Lose the Lawn | Sustainability and Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Worried about dwindling water supplies, communities in places like Las Vegas and Los Angeles have begun waging war on the lush, green grass of front lawns.
BLC3's insight:

To be able to save up 9.2 billion gallons of water is quite an achievement. And although we can sympathize with wanting a piece of lovely green grass to play around, the fact is that if we don't hold back on water usage now, the scarcity in the future will be tremendous. And not to mention what the piece left out - all kinds of pesticides and herbicides that are used to keep the grass green and lush. A well-kept community garden for children may be an answer to those wanting a space to play?

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