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.
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
- 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.
As California suffers through a three-year drought, residents of semiarid Southern California are mostly being asked to voluntarily conserve water. In typically wetter Northern California, residents are faced with mandatory rationing.
UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World Via www.iatp.org Transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems in order to increase diversity on farms, reduce our use of fertilizer and other...
The promise that each generation will be better off than the last is a fundamental tenet of modern society. By and large, most advanced economies have fulfilled this promise, with living standards rising over recent generations, despite setbacks from wars and financial crises. In the developing world, too, the vast majority of people have started to experience sustained improvement in living standards and are rapidly developing similar growth expectations. But will future generations, particularly in advanced economies, realize such expectations? Though the likely answer is yes, the downside risks seem higher than they did a few decades ago.
The old labels no longer apply. Rich countries need to learn from poor ones.
BILL GATES, in his foundation’s annual letter, declared that “the terms ‘developing countries’ and ‘developed countries’ have outlived their usefulness.” He’s right. If we want to understand the modern global economy, we need a better vocabulary.
Mr. Gates was making a point about improvements in income and gross domestic product; unfortunately, these formal measures generate categories that tend to obscure obvious distinctions. Only when employing a crude “development” binary could anyone lump Mozambique and Mexico together.
It’s tough to pick a satisfying replacement. Talk of first, second and third worlds is passé, and it’s hard to bear the Dickensian awkwardness of “industrialized nations.” Forget, too, the more recent jargon about the “global south” and “global north.” It makes little sense to counterpose poor countries with “the West” when many of the biggest economic success stories in the past few decades have come from the East.
All of these antiquated terms imply that any given country is “developing” toward something, and that there is only one way to get there.
It’s time that we start describing the world as “fat” or “lean.”
The terms "developing" and "developed" are certainly problematic. But so too are just about any such terminologies. "Fat" and "lean" have their own host of problems. But the unmistakable issue is that the world is much more diverse and harder to characterize than a century ago.
My vote would be a scale of corruption. Or a measure of the disparity of income between the richest and poorest in the country, or perhaps a measure of the wealth/poverty concentration.
The emerging field of “energy scavenging” is drawing on a wide array of untapped energy sources — including radio waves, vibrations created by moving objects, and waste heat from computers or car exhaust systems — to generate electricity and boost efficiency.
From 'Livestrong' to 'Purple Paws,' trendy wristbands have come to represent causes from cancer to ending cruelty to animals. Add a new wristband of a different sort: one that could close the loop on determining the potential disease risks of exposure to substances like pesticides.
WASHINGTON — As international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stall, schemes to slow global warming using fantastical technologies once dismissed as a sideshow are getting serious consideration in Washington.
Lightning strikes have been known to incapacitate wind turbines by destroying their blades. But while most tall structures are prone to lightning strikes, wind turbines seem to be especially susceptible.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Super cool slow mo video of lightning running up from the metal superstructures.
ST. LOUIS—Agricultural biotech giant Monsanto unveiled its latest strain of genetically modified corn Wednesday, claiming that the new, hardier seed yields 400 percent more litigation against small independent farms than the company’s previous...
It seems like a no-brainer: Having a movie digitally delivered to your doorstep is the best choice when it comes to your carbon footprint, but is it? When considering the environmental benefits, most of us assume that not having a physical artifact automatically makes it more eco-friendly. As more and more “stuff” lives in the cloud, however, we must invest in more cloud infrastructure. Servers, buildings to house the servers and transmission capabilities all take energy and leave a footprint here on earth.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Wow...I would have guessed the other way. There is also the legacy impacts over time and physical pollution to consider as well, but this is interesting.
Very, very few of these businesses have any significant emphasis on sustainability. A few do (e.g. Whole Foods, Unilever) but the vast majority read more like a Who's Who of non-triple bottom liners. Really? Wall Street Banks are among the "most admired" businesses in the world. Come on.
Once again, Fortune Magazine shows why 1) it is near bankruptcy and 2) takes money to write stories that other outfits would classify as "paid advertisements" or "paid promotions."