Sustainability Science
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Europeans find horsemeat scandal hard to digest

Europeans find horsemeat scandal hard to digest | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
As police launch a continent-wide criminal investigation, fresh revelations are uncovering a murky world of food trading behind ready-made-meals.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

No more horsing around: it's time to get serious about mislabelled meat. The EU's top food safety experts are holding a crisis meeting today to draw up a comprehensive, Europe-wide testing program for unwanted horsemeat and any potentially harmful veterinary drugs that came with it.

Tests are one part of showing consumers that the contamination is contained. The other is finding the unscrupulous suppliers responsible. So far three people have been arrested in Britain, France has suspended one processing firm's license, and authorities are talking about "an international criminal conspiracy."

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Sustainability Science
How might we keep the lights on, water flowing, and natural world vaguely intact? It starts with grabbing innovative ideas/examples to help kick down our limits and inspire a more sustainable world. We implement with rigorous science backed by hard data.
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Welcome to Sustainability Science

Welcome to Sustainability Science | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Welcome to my curation site for the emerging science of sustainability.

 

Here you will find an array of stories, examples, relevant cautionary tales, and data related to our hunt for a more sustainable economy with a reduced ecological footprint.  While my students, colleagues and I are interested in all aspects of sustainability, these pages have an historc emphasis on:

 

- human population growth rates/demography 

- product design/construction, especially:

    - triple bottomline

    - life cycle analyses (LCA)

    - sustainable supply chains

 - carbon footprints (especially carbon "finprints" of seafood)

 - food production/distribution systems

 - energy production/storage systems, especially:

    - dams and flow diversions

    - wind turbines

    - tidal power

    - solar panel efficiency/material advances

    - fuel cell design/material advances

 - general building design/construction, especially:

     - green roof/wall construction and plant palletes

     - lighting systems

     - elegant design

     - redevelopment/reuse

 - urban planning

 - role of mobile technology in fostering sustainability

 - elegant and effective communication

 

Thanks for visiting.  Please enjoy and let me know if I can answer any questions or be of any other help.

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Do You Trust Big Data? Try Googling the Holocaust

Do You Trust Big Data? Try Googling the Holocaust | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The advent of big data was supposed to usher in a more precise and rational world. Instead, it might be leading us into the swamp of "alternative facts."

Via pdeppisch
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pdeppisch's comment, February 17, 6:44 PM
I will check out "DuckDuckGo" - thanks for the tip.
malek's comment, February 19, 4:28 PM
Speaking of the devil "We Used Terrible Science to Justify Smoking Bans" http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2017/02/secondhand_smoke_isn_t_as_bad_as_we_thought.html
pdeppisch's comment, February 19, 7:10 PM
I used to smoke but "no inhaling". I had TB as a kid. And I did find that smoking did leave me short of breath. So -for me stopping smoking was a win. And I wonder how many stories out there are just that stories. Now I am bothered by smoking and I like that almost all areas are free of it. :)
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Environmental science in a post‐truth world

Environmental science in a post‐truth world | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

A new year. A fresh start. Sound familiar? Yet this year seems anything but routine. Just when, thanks in part to US leadership, the world finally began to make tangible progress in addressing climate change, the US elected a President who labeled climate change a hoax and whose Cabinet nominees leave little doubt that climate denial will continue.

PIRatE Lab's insight:
Since when have we not engaged with our society?  While true, some of this reads as a bit pollyanna-ish and out of touch with how many of us try to engage with our society and consider our role to be engaged with our society.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, February 15, 8:50 AM
Climate change a hoax?
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Oroville Spillway Failure Flyover and Explanation 10 Feb 2017

Take a flight in the Luscombe over the Oroville Spillway just prior to overtopping.

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, February 12, 1:10 PM
Climate change is giving us both increased droughts and increased rainfall events in climate crazy California.  Both of these situations have been long predicted, driven by the unprecedented anthropogenic greenhouse gas build-up in our atmosphere.  

Oroville is the tallest dam in the United States and (thanks to the intense precipitation this year) the focus of national attention and concern over infrastructure in the wake of a climate changed world.  The most recent estimate pegs the repair of the eroding concrete channel at perhaps $100-200 million (and we are only in early February).

See also these refs:

nice overview/explanation of the current conditions at the dam: https://youtu.be/jIzldNLv8ww
Construction of the Oroville Dam: https://youtu.be/p_5udzKfLQM
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Trusted soil data for solving global issues! | ISRIC World Soil Information

Trusted soil data for solving global issues! | ISRIC World Soil Information | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
ISRIC has released a large set of standardised soil profile data for the world. It contains 4 million records for some 94 thousand profiles. The data are freely available from our website. The data come from various sources. The provenance and licence strongly determined which data could be standardised and subsequently served to the international community.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Great data set here for terrestrial productivity, etc. studies.
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World Ocean Council and Arctic Sustainable Development Goals hold summit

WOC CEO
Addresses Stakeholders at Arctic Frontiers Conference and Arctic Business Council Summit
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Seattle becomes the first city to sever ties with Wells Fargo in protest of Dakota Access pipeline

Seattle becomes the first city to sever ties with Wells Fargo in protest of Dakota Access pipeline | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Seattle City Council voted Tuesday to end its relationship with Wells Fargo in protest of the Dakota Access pipeline.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Divestment is an interesting approach.  In the global marketplace of today, such efforts have much less impact than they did two decades ago.  But such efforts when clearly targeted and applied via many actors can still indeed produce change in the companies in question.  There is also the moral issue at the heart of such protests.  It is interesting to me how rarely this latter argument is proffered as a justification for folks contesting the existing status quo.
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Dakota Access Pipeline to win US Army permit for completion - BBC News

Dakota Access Pipeline to win US Army permit for completion - BBC News | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
But Standing Rock Sioux lawyers pledge to fight approval of the $3.8bn, four-state project.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
More oil, more pipelines.
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Private Capital Investments in Conservation Have Taken Off Since 2013

Banks and fund managers have funneled billions of dollars into investments aimed at delivering measurable environmental benefits as much as financial returns.
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Pollution from China disrupts ocean ecosystems

Pollution from China disrupts ocean ecosystems | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Pollution from Chinese factories is changing the nutrient balance in the ocean, say scientists who studied depositions of chemicals and plankton blooms in the East China Sea. These waters are increasingly threatened by harmful algal blooms that choke off vital fish populations, according to the new study, led by researchers at the University of California, Irvine.

“There has been massive growth in emissions from China’s factories and cars over the past few decades, and what comes out of the smokestacks and tailpipes tends to be richer in nitrogen than phosphorus,” said Katherine Mackey, assistant professor of Earth system science at UCI and lead author of the study, published recently in Frontiers in Marine Science.

Via pdeppisch
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How 'letters to the future' are putting the spotlight on climate action now

How 'letters to the future' are putting the spotlight on climate action now | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The DearTomorrow project invites people to share messages with their loved ones about how they’re working against climate disruption — to be read decades in the future.
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Obama Orders Pentagon To Plan For Climate Change

Obama Orders Pentagon To Plan For Climate Change | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Pentagon has been planning for climate change for years.
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The Rise of Big Oil in American Politics

The Rise of Big Oil in American Politics | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
"How Big Oil Bought the White House and Tried to Steal the Country" is the subtitle of a book that tells the story of a presidential election in which a candidate allowed money from big oil companies to help him win office and then rewarded them with plum appointments in his cabinet.

With President-elect Donald Trump picking former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, one might think the book is an early exposé of the presidential election of 2016.

Instead, it's from The Teapot Dome Scandal, a book that tells the story of a corruption scandal that rocked the term of President Warren G. Harding's administration in the 1920s.

Via pdeppisch
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Scott Pruitt could end up being one of Trump’s most consequential Cabinet picks

Scott Pruitt could end up being one of Trump’s most consequential Cabinet picks | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Decades from now, we could look back on this as one of Donald Trump’s most consequential Cabinet picks.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
A great piece that jives with almost most of my colleague's (and my own) concerns with this anti-fact, anti-science, pro-pollution administrator just appointed to head the EPA last week.  The only key area left out is the impact on the culture of the agency: his appointment is likely to drive more effective, objective public servants from the system via frustration and inaction/inability to meet their public mandates.
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House Bill to Terminate the EPA

House Bill to Terminate the EPA | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Sponsored legislation by Matt Gaetz, the Representative from Florida - in Congress from 2017 through Present
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Terminating the EPA is neither reasonable nor sound policy and shows an utter lack of understanding for the benefits this agency has brought to our country since the Nixon Administration.

While token "impeach the president" and "terminate the Department of Education" (another bill freshman Congressman Gaetz also just introduced) bills such as this are not unheard of from the more fringe elements in elected office every so often, this has the feel of possibly something else. One would hope this is just politicking, but in this uncertain and massively divisive era all bets are off as to what "reasoned policy" represents these days.

Truly, deeply concerning.






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Cutting Helicopter Fuel Consumption With Hybrid Power

Cutting Helicopter Fuel Consumption With Hybrid Power | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Helicopter engine manufacturer Safran studies hybrid power systems as a way to reduce turbine engine size and fuel burn.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Hybrid engine technology has been poorly adopted in the aviation industry.  This has numerous reasons from needed high thrust demands to focus on aerodynamics of the outer shell of the craft, etc.  But there are increasing signs that some of the design innovations for terrestrial motors are being incorporated into the power plants for aerial craft.  This is but one example.
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Free Virtual Conference on Green/Sustainable Business

Free Virtual Conference on Green/Sustainable Business | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Click here to edit the content
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Great line-up here for next week's conference.
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New documentary uncovers Singapore’s dirty little waste secrets

New documentary uncovers Singapore’s dirty little waste secrets | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Where do your coffee cups, clothes and household appliances go to die? New documentary Trash Trail traces the afterlife of consumer goods in Singapor
PIRatE Lab's insight:
I've not seen these videos in person yet, but the descriptions look great.  Another example of the "hidden" costs of our traditional economic/development pathways.
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Slideshows

Slideshows | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Gapminder modular slides to fit your presentation style

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Share your insight
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L’Oreal, Ben and Jerry’s, and more see benefit in “carbon insetting” | Ensia

L’Oreal, Ben and Jerry’s, and more see benefit in “carbon insetting” | Ensia | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Insetting does more than just offset carbon emissions—it helps companies boost resilience and care for the ecosystems that provide their raw materials.
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A runaway energy industry is costing California billions

A runaway energy industry is costing California billions | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The state has more than enough power. So why are we paying higher prices and building new plants?
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Nice visual intro to the new investigative series by the LA Times on California power generation by public utilities since 2001.
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Native Americans vow legal action after proposed suspension of DAPL environmental review

Native Americans vow legal action after proposed suspension of DAPL environmental review | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is vowing legal action after the US Army Corps of Engineers was directed to complete an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline project. The tribe insists the environmental impact statement should be completed first.
Read more
Army Corps starts Dakota Access Pipeline environmental study
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), intended to carry crude oil from the Bakken shale fields to Illinois, has been nearly completed aside from a segment running under Lake Oahe, which supplies drinking water to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. The tribe and water protectors believe the four-state pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites.

Via The Planetary Archives / San Francisco, California, pdeppisch
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when alternative facts enter the scientific space

when alternative facts enter the scientific space | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Good article showing the ways folks attempt to misinform the public and an interesting discussion in the comments.

Make sure to check out: https://www.desmogblog.com/center-accountability-science to get a sense of the author of this piece of propaganda.
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Elon Musk wants to dig a tunnel to ease L.A. traffic. We have a lot of questions

Elon Musk wants to dig a tunnel to ease L.A. traffic. We have a lot of questions | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Elon Musk suggested on Twitter that he soon plans to construct a tunnel beneath Los Angeles to alleviate traffic woes. If he's serious, digging a big hole isn't rocket science, but it's not easy.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Hyoerloopy?
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Canaries in the climate change coal mine

Canaries in the climate change coal mine | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
I challenge any partisan climate change denier to travel to Alaska and tell the residents of the 31 communities shown on the map depicted above that climate change isn't real. It's easy to sit behind a microphone and blow steam or to makes stupid claims on the floor of the Senate, but it is a…
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Trump vows broad rollback of Obama environmental policies on White House website

Trump vows broad rollback of Obama environmental policies on White House website | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Update on 'Inauguration Day live updates: 'American carnage stops' here and now, Trump says'
PIRatE Lab's insight:
It begins...
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