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Solar cooling panel could provide AC without electricity by sending heat to outer space

Solar cooling panel could provide AC without electricity by sending heat to outer space | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A unique solar panel has been designed at Stanford that cools buildings by reflecting sunlight and radiating thermal energy out into space.
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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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Fox News Melts Down Over The U.S.-China Climate Deal

Fox News Melts Down Over The U.S.-China Climate Deal | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Less than a week ago, Fox News guest Charles Krauthammer said that "if [President Obama] gets an agreement with China, which he won't, but that's the one area it would be historic." Since that's become a reality, Fox News wasn't sure what to say Wednesday morning.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

These people are funny and most likely going to take you down the rabbit hole with them if you drink too much of their cool aid.

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The Biggest Sources of Greenhouse Gas: Public Perception is Wrong

The Biggest Sources of Greenhouse Gas: Public Perception is Wrong | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
You think you know the major sources of the greenhouse gases that are driving climate change? According to a recent international survey, you've probably got the wrong idea.
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California Republicans seek cap-and-trade exemption for fuels

California Republicans seek cap-and-trade exemption for fuels | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Republicans in the California Legislature wasted no time revisiting one of the more contentious issues from 2014, introducing legislation that would essentially prevent California’s cap-and-trade program from expanding to cover oil and gas.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This is a pathetic run around AB32.  I trust this will fail.

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U.S. sees voluntary emissions cuts as key to a climate change accord

The United States is championing a new international approach to cutting greenhouse gases that offers the best chance of prompting countries to take action to avert the worst effects of global warming, the nation's chief climate negotiator said Monday.
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DeMenno/Kerdoon

DeMenno/Kerdoon | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
DeMenno/Kerdoon largest recyclers of motor oils in the Western United States.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This DK plant deals with recycling motor oil, anti-frezze, oil water and is also one of the largest plants in the United States.

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Sustainable Solar-Pedal Transit by Shweeb SkySMART

Sustainable Solar-Pedal Transit by Shweeb SkySMART | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A game-changing 3D personal rapid transit solution using human pedal power & solar/electric assist.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Crazy idea that would be really cool.

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6 ways to give experiences instead of things this holiday season

6 ways to give experiences instead of things this holiday season | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Experiential gifts are growing in popularity because they create wonderful, long-lasting memories and don't clutter the house with unnecessary stuff.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Neat Christmas gift ideas.

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Animal Shaped Trash Cans

Animal Shaped Trash Cans | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

dolphBrowse Glasdon external and internal trash cans, pet waste station and trash collection tools – sort by price, size or product type.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

A dolphin-shaped recycling can?  Maybe we should get a sea turtle and jam the plastic bags in its mouth as a metaphor?

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To End Food Waste, Change Needs To Begin At Home

To End Food Waste, Change Needs To Begin At Home | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The U.S. throws out 35 million tons of food each year. While many restaurants, supermarkets and processors are taking responsibility, many consumers aren't. An EPA pilot program aims to change that.
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40 Percent Of The World's Cropland Is In Or Near Cities

40 Percent Of The World's Cropland Is In Or Near Cities | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Just how much of the world's cropland can we really call urban? That's been a big mystery until now.

 

Now, a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters has an answer: Somewhere around 1.1 billion acres is being cultivated for food in or within about 12 miles (20 kilometers) of cities. Most of that land is on the periphery of cities, but 16.6 percent of these urban farms are in open spaces within the municipal core.


Via Seth Dixon
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Rich Schultz's curator insight, November 26, 1:43 PM

Is this a surprise?

Bella Reagan's curator insight, November 28, 5:57 PM

Unit 1-Nature and perspectives on geography

 

This article explains how rural and urban areas are in the same nature. rural lands and urban lands are close or combined with each other though farms. These farms are affecting cities when they are so close from the sharing of resources. Water is a problem in these places through water scarcity. Places already with lack of water now are sharing with farms just outside the city. 

 

This relates to the unit through judging both perspectives or rural and urban societies working and living together. The urban societies are affected especially when water is a problem alone and then has to be shared with farms. People have noticed many farms are near cities with 80 percent of these rural lands near urban civilizations. Although many people have different views on what is considered urban,  and if these farms really are in urban areas. 

Sreya Ayinala's curator insight, November 30, 10:04 PM

Unit 5 Agricultural and Rural Land Use

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Are electric cars greener than traditional gas-powered cars? Depends on where you live.

Are electric cars greener than traditional gas-powered cars? Depends on where you live. | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Nowhere do automakers sell more hybrid vehicles than California, with its unique combination of environmental consciousness, high gas prices and traffic-choked highways.

But new hybrid models will be in short supply at this week's Los Angeles Auto Show — one sign that the technology is still struggling to break out of its green-car niche, experts say.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

There is nothing new about this analyses, but it is an updating of older efforts with the most recent numbers out there.  It is true that using coal-fired power to juice your your car is problematic, but for most of the county (e.g. coastal areas) most of us would be better off switching to electric transportation systems.  Also, the best possible solution is to power our vehicles with locally-generated power, such as roof top or garage-top solar panels.  

 

The trick is getting this into everyone's hands in an easy, turn-key manner.  I think the tone of this piece misses that key point.  This is an evolving conversation and new technology.  It also needs to be one part of a broad spectrum of approaches to de-carbonizing our energy markets.  Falling back onto the old mantra of "it doesn't work everywhere all the time" is a bit ho-hum and overly simplistic.  Kind of the way some folks feel it is necessary to write an op-ed about their research to get increased attention for it.

 

For those interested in the actual study, you can find it here:

 

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~mansur/papers/GraffZivin_Kotchen_Mansur_MargEmit.pdf

 

There is also an interesting story, in a similar vein, from the LA Times about faltering gas-electric hybrid vehicles at this week's LA Auto show:

 

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-la-auto-show-no-hybrids-20141121-story.html

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Earthster: A Metric Tool for Leaders in the Age of Transparency

The age of ecological transparency is nigh. Business leaders now must learn to embrace “externalities” (like pollution) and work to lessen them, as Christopher Meyer and Julia Kirby argued in the Harvard Business Review last month. If this is our emerging business reality, here’s a hot tip: look into Earthster.org. Earthster represents an emerging generation […]
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Watts Going On: The Gaudy Excess Of 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'

Watts Going On: The Gaudy Excess Of 'The Great Christmas Light Fight' | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
If you've never seen hundreds of thousands of lights used to do things like animate wire-frame animals, you're going to love this bonkers piece of television.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

See it for yourself here:  http://abc.go.com/shows/the-great-christmas-light-fight

 

http://www.planetchristmas.com/leds-vs-incandescents/

 

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Copenhagen Lighting the Way to Greener, More Efficient Cities

Copenhagen Lighting the Way to Greener, More Efficient Cities | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Urban areas around the world are installing wireless networks of streetlamps and sensors that could ease traffic congestion and reduce carbon emissions.

Via Anita Woodruff
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Carbon Emissions and Warming: First Direct Mathematical Link Identified

Carbon Emissions and Warming: First Direct Mathematical Link Identified | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Most climatologists, ecologists, and even the World Bank have all reached a consensus that climate change is occurring. Experts and policymakers alike have attributed rising concentrations of carbon dioxide to net warming, but finding straightforward evidence of this can be difficult. Now, a team of researchers claims that they have identified, for the first time, how global warming is related to the amount of carbon emitted in a mathematical proof.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Yet another series of robust facts and rigorous science telling us what we knew 40 years ago.  Climate Change is real.  How embarrassing this is "newsworthy."

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Almost 90% of Australians support renewable energy target, says poll

Almost 90% of Australians support renewable energy target, says poll | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
WWF poll finds overwhelming support for RET, particularly in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, as senators consider deal
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Hmmm..the people and the leaders differ.  How strange...

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Should the U.S. Take Unilateral Action on Climate Policy?

Should the U.S. Take Unilateral Action on Climate Policy? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Critics of unilateral action say the U.S. would pay too high an economic price without significantly moving the needle on climate change. Supporters say the goal is too important to wait.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Wow.  I mean wow.  Read this opinions.  We solve everything so we therefore should do nothing?  

 

The argument that individual action won't move the needle is clothed in both an incorrect understanding of the facts AND a disregard of the actual map accompanying this article: there is an emerging patchwork of responses to carbon emissions simply because THERE IS NO UNITED APPROACH.  But the whole conversation is moving because of the northern Europes and Californias of the world.  They are showing the way.

 

I am sorry but the factually incorrect trope that job growth only comes from staying on dirty energy sources is pathetic and wrong.  Spoken like a person who 1) knows nothing about the energy industry 2) doesn't live along a low-lying coast, and 3) is ignorant of externalities.  

 

I have heard the same exact line from oil lobbyists about it being just "too costly right now" to ditch fossil fuels.  Representatives said the exact same words to my students a few weeks ago.  And those were the same EXACT words that I heard espoused in 1976.  Apparently 40 years has changed nothing and we can only stick to 1800s technology to power the world of the 21st century.  How fallacious and how pessimistic about our creativity and ingenuity.

 

 At the risk of an ad hominem attack, I don't think the author of such volumes as The False Promise of Green Energy and Creating Cayman as an Offshore Financial Center: Structure and Strategy since 1960 is the best expert the Wall Street Journal could have found to comment on the technical issues related to decarbonizing our energy infrastructure.

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Leading Edge

Leading Edge | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Denmark supplies three out of four of the world's offshore wind turbines, and it's on track to be free of fossil fuels by 2050.
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Smart light bulb designed by ex-Tesla engineer adjusts itself

Smart light bulb designed by ex-Tesla engineer adjusts itself | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Your smartphone isn't needed.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This is part of whole wave of energy sipping light bulbs that rely on internal or external sensors or input to change color, ramp down illumination level, etc.

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School For Husbands Gets Men To Talk About Family Size

School For Husbands Gets Men To Talk About Family Size | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The average woman in Niger bears seven children — the world's highest birth rate. And the country can barely feed its current population. How do you convince people that smaller families are better?
PIRatE Lab's insight:

We need to pull down birth rates faster than before.  Local approaches such as this are a key part of the solution.

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Salad vending machines are coming to L.A.

Salad vending machines are coming to L.A. | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
If you're grabbing lunch from a vending machine, chances are it's a soda, instant noodles and a sad, sad turkey sandwich with neon cheese. If there were a machine full of mixed greens, berries, almonds, flax seeds, organic quinoa and spinach, would you bite?
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For Babies, Preterm Birth Is Now The No. 1 Cause Of Death

For Babies, Preterm Birth Is Now The No. 1 Cause Of Death | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
For the first time, the single greatest threat to a newborn's life is not a specific disease. Rather, it's the fact of being born prematurely.
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How Crowdfunding Is Changing the Fashion Business

How Crowdfunding Is Changing the Fashion Business | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

This There's an alternative to mass-produced, off-the-rack retail, and it starts with crowdfunding.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

This has the potential to help make the fashion industry more sustainable/responsive to consumers wishes.

 

But then again, it might not...

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Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment - Carnegie Mellon University

The Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment (EIO-LCA) method estimates the materials and energy resources required for, and the environmental emissions resulting from, activities in our economy.  The EIO-LCA method was theorized and developed by economist Wassily Leontief in the 1970s based on his earlier input-output work from the 1930s for which he received the Nobel Prize in Economics.  Researchers at the Green Design Institute of Carnegie Mellon University operationalized Leontief's method in the mid-1990s, once sufficient computing power was widely available to perform the large-scale matrix manipulations required in real-time.  This website takes the EIO-LCA method and transforms it into a user-friendly on-line tool to quickly and easily evaluate a commodity or service, as well as its supply chain.  The results from the EIO-LCA model and this website are free for non-commercial use and may not be used in other derivative works or websites without permission.
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NREL: U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database Home Page

NREL and its partners created the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database to help life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioners answer questions about environmental impact. This database provides individual gate-to-gate, cradle-to-gate and cradle-to-grave accounting of the energy and material flows into and out of the environment that are associated with producing a material, component, or assembly in the U.S.
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