Sustainability Sc...
Follow
Find
3.3K views | +1 today
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
onto Sustainability Science
Scoop.it!

2013 OpenStreetMap Data Report

2013 OpenStreetMap Data Report | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

The million-plus amateur cartographers who volunteer their time to plot roads, streets, and even shrubbery for Open Street Map were busier than ever this year. The beautiful map above, created by MapBox, shows how the database has grown since its inception in 2004. Hot pink areas are newly mapped, blue and green areas are older. (scroll down a screen length or two for the zoomable version within Mapbox's annual report). OSM's database of more than 21 million miles of roads and 78 million buildings, keeps finding new uses, such as helping first responders to disasters like this year's typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

This open map project has finally gotten to the point where it seems generally useful for larger regional studies of coastal zones/road infrastructure.

 

It is great having both the formal google earth/apple maps datasets AND these more open-source datasets. 

more...
PIRatE Lab's curator insight, December 28, 2013 11:57 PM

This open map project has finally gotten to the point where it seems generally useful for larger regional studies of coastal zones/road infrastructure.

 

It is great having both the formal google earth/apple maps datasets AND these more open-source datasets. 

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.
Curated by PIRatE Lab
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

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.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Organic foods are more nutritious, according to review of 343 studies

Organic foods are more nutritious, according to review of 343 studies | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Most everyone who has ever selected their fruits and vegetables from the "organic" section while grocery shopping probably thought they were doing something good for their bodies and the environment.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Hmmm...this is sure to get the Prius-driving crowd all in a tither. 

 

One of the chief arguments offered by proponents of organic foods (aka it is healthier for you) seems to have some validity.  And this a meta analysis no less.

 

But...and this is a BIG BUT, I still say the main reason one should consider opting for a more organic diet is the well supported fact that organic food generally has a lighter impact on the planet.  I know all the arguments that we "cannot meet our existing nutritional demands if we were to somehow instantly go 100% organic," etc., etc.  But the reduced impact from organic is usually (except for bananas) a kinder thing for Mama Earth.

 

Crunch away you granola heads!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Bamboo could help developing cities urbanize

Bamboo could help developing cities urbanize | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

What if there were a local, renewable material that could be used instead of steel in reinforced-concrete buildings? And what if that substitute could be manufactured easily? These questions have motivated Dirk Hebel, an assistant professor of architecture and construction at the Future Cities Laboratory, in Singapore, to investigate a bamboo fiber composite as a possible substitute for steel reinforcement in concrete. The Future Cities Laboratory is a research arm of ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) Zürich, in Switzerland, and is the first program under the newly formed Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability, which conducts multidisciplinary research to foster urbanization that conforms to the principles of sustainable development.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

There are many "ifs" here, but this is an intriguing approach that may avoid the pitfalls of previous attempts at using bamboo for such a strengthening role in buildings.  I suspect that this won't work, and am always worried when press releases go out before a project has even preliminary results, but I very much like the innovative and new idea-type approach these folks are taking here.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by PIRatE Lab from Inspiring Sustainable End-to-End Supply Chain
Scoop.it!

Wyke Farms to recover 95% of wastewater with £1.3m investment

Wyke Farms to recover 95% of wastewater with £1.3m investment | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

The UK’s largest independent cheese-maker has officially opened a £1m water treatment plant that will recover up to 95% of its factory waste water.


Via Acquisti & Sostenibilità not-for-profit
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by PIRatE Lab from Coastal Restoration
Scoop.it!

"Save The Whales"... their poop holds the key (maybe)!

"Save The Whales"... their poop holds the key (maybe)! | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Whale poo could be the secret to reversing the effects of climate change. 


Via Marian Locksley, PIRatE Lab
PIRatE Lab's insight:

So whales can be seen as an ecosystem service.  In this case, a force to sequester carbon.  By saving whales from extinction we (in effect) saved this important function which "rockets" carbon from surface waters (such as krill or other plankton) into deeper waters as speed many orders of magnitude greater than the normal settling rate of typical marine snow.

more...
PIRatE Lab's curator insight, July 8, 8:13 PM

Its all about trying to transport carbon from the surface down to the sediments down deep in the benthos...although "reversing" climate change is a bit overly optimistic.

Marian Locksley's curator insight, July 9, 8:32 AM

3.7.14 ~ Rebounding whale populations are good for ocean ecosystems:  http://news.sciencemag.org/environment/2014/07/rebounding-whale-populations-are-good-ocean-ecosystems

Rescooped by PIRatE Lab from green infographics
Scoop.it!

Does Your State Have the Most—or the Fewest—LEED-Certified Homes?

Does Your State Have the Most—or the Fewest—LEED-Certified Homes? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
There are 150,000 LEED-certified housing units across the world, according to a new report. Is your state in the top 10 or the bottom 10 for the U.S.?

There are now more than 150,000 LEED-certified housing units worldwide, according to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED in Motion: Residential report. Where does your home state stack up? Visit the link for the top 10 and bottom 10 states per certified units.


Via Lauren Moss
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Another example of the growing coastal-inland divergence in almost all aspects of our society.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by PIRatE Lab from Ethics? Rules? Cheating?
Scoop.it!

Arsenic poisoning in rural China - in pictures

Arsenic poisoning in rural China - in pictures | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Mines and chemical plants mushroomed in the
realgar-rich area around Heshan from the 1950s. Shut down in 2011 due to the pollution they caused, dust and run-off plagues the village to this day

Via pdeppisch
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Syngenta seeks exemption from neonicotinoid ban

Syngenta seeks exemption from neonicotinoid ban | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The pesticide maker claims crops could fail unless farmers get an emergency exemption. But what got us into this mess in the first place?
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This is quite disappointing.  While the jury is still out, there is mounting evidence that these pesticides are quite problematic for our pollinators and part of a complex web of increasingly layered stressors for our insects.  

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

11 Chemicals You Might Have Already Eaten Today

11 Chemicals You Might Have Already Eaten Today | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

[...] online activists rail against ingredients the CSPI lists as safe, and Big Food has taken notice. "If you look at when companies start replacing ingredients, it's when there's awareness from the public," said Keval Mehta, CEO of Inrfood, an online database of food ingredients.  "The chemical makes white bread whiter, helps increase its elasticity, and is found in over 500 foods. [...] it also breaks down into a chemical that causes cancer, is banned in Europe, and is used to make shoe leather and yoga mats. According to the Pew Health Initiative, there are more than 10,000 food additives found in a typical supermarket. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest says that cutting domestic salt intake in half would save 100,000 lives per year. Snacks like potato chips tend to be cooked in vegetable oil. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says BHA can reasonably be anticipated to be a human carcinogen. Companies have been taking this out of packaged foods for several years but it still appears here and there, says Michael Jacobson, of the center for Science in the Public Interest. Tocopherols, which on food labels get called "Vitamin E." Manufacturers can also pack food with nitrogen instead of air. Jacobson says it's unclear if food companies really need to find a replacement for BHA. Brominated vegetable oil keeps flavor molecules spread evenly throughout the drink. Two case studies have shown that individuals who drank large amounts of soda suffered serious health consequences that doctors attributed to brominated vegetable oil. Food scientists point out that removing it from the food supply could endanger consumers with mold intolerances. In an effort to develop "clean labels," some consultants have suggested removing potassium sorbate from salad dressings and adding "refrigerate after opening" to the label. Some bread brands seeking clean labels have use cultured wheat flour, as a substitute.  Starbucks says it has developed a tomato-based dye to make its strawberry sauce look redder. The naturally occurring compound gives microwave popcorn its butter flavor. Workers at the plants that produced and used diacetyl came down with a condition known as bronchiolitis obliterans, a life-threatening and irreversible lung disease also known as popcorn lung. Kraft has decided to take dyes from some formulations of macaroni and cheese, Frito-Lay has taken dyes from Sun Chips and Tostitos, and if your Trix yogurt looks a little less nuclear, it's because General Mills has reformulated it to remove some artificial dyes. [...] some artificial food colors are also used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, sutures, and contact lenses. 

PIRatE Lab's insight:

Another good example of how easily it is for misinformation, partial information, or innuendo are often at the heart of food/chemical worries.  We see fewer of these things with issues in theoretical physics as most folks fell they do not have a good handle of the subject.  But with food and eating: game on.  We are all experts.  And most of us experts don't like "chemicals."

 

We all need to be better informed and a "precautionary principal" approach is probably the better option in most cases.  But all of this requires objective information and an educated consumer: not a internet meme or Reddit petition.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

25 Exceptional Ways To Use Old Stuff You Were Going To Throw Away. #10 Is Brilliant.

25 Exceptional Ways To Use Old Stuff You Were Going To Throw Away.  #10 Is Brilliant. | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Planning to throw away some old things? Not so fast! Upcycling is the process of converting old or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful. Take an old tire for example. Tie a rope to it and hang it from a tree and now you have a swing! Upcycling is often seen in art […]
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Some cool ideas here about how to keep things out of the trash bin.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Nonnative mule deer now in Catalina Island Conservancy's cross-hairs

Nonnative mule deer now in Catalina Island Conservancy's cross-hairs | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Over the last two decades, the conservancy that owns nine-tenths of this island has shot, trapped and shipped out thousands of goats, pigs and bison that were literally eating away the island.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Go get 'em!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Overweight total tops 2.1bn globally

Overweight total tops 2.1bn globally | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The number of the world's population that are obese or overweight has topped 2.1 billion, latest figures show.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Cambodia's 'better factories' are getting a lot worse

Cambodia's 'better factories' are getting a lot worse | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

diaThe Southeast Asian nation was once a leader in the drive for cleaner sweatshops. How did mass faintings and union busting become the new normal?

PIRatE Lab's insight:

Cambodia was once en route to becoming a model for the garment industry, union activists and factory owners say.

 

Instead, collective swoons have now become a regular part of industry life in Cambodia.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

California’s New Fracking Regulations Delayed Half a Year

California’s New Fracking Regulations Delayed Half a Year | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
State lawmakers approved the delay in late June, and at the same time tightened up the environmental review process for fracking permits.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Our new regulations/enhanced review of fracking wells in California are being delayed slightly to make the process more unified and cohesive.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by PIRatE Lab from Coastal Restoration
Scoop.it!

Dumped WWII Chemical Munitions Still Affecting Fish

EUROPE - Thousands of tonnes of chemical warfare agents were dumped into the Baltic Sea after the Second World War. A recent study has shown that fish caught near the dumping grounds show high levels of genetic and cell damage, revealing the long legacy of these toxic substances.
more...
PIRatE Lab's curator insight, July 12, 8:13 PM

This is particularly interesting and an increasing venue for exploring ecotoxicity.  Our historic approach of looking for PAHs or some other substance has often missed the big story that persistent compounds can have effects upon populations and ecosystems long after the compound itself my have decayed or broken down to sub-detection levels.  Population and genetic structure is the natural place to look for this.  But even so, being able to detect impacts from seven decades ago is impressive.

Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

▶ LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome. - YouTube

http://www.legoblockshell.org/?ytv1 We love LEGO. You love LEGO. Everyone loves LEGO. But when LEGO's halo effect is being used to sell propaganda to childre...
PIRatE Lab's insight:

LEGO has been on a roll lately, partly thanks to a popular film that helped bring the 75-year old Danish company back to the forefront of popular culture. But Greenpeace thinks something is rotten in the state of Denmark! They've made this video to try to pressure LEGO into dropping its partnership with oil company Shell.

 

LEGO has responded to the Greenpeace video, basically saying "Hey, don't involve us in your dispute with Shell", to which Greenpeace countered with an open letterexplaining why LEGO can't have its cake and eat it too when it comes to who they implicitly promote and support with their toys that are used by millions of children.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

10 ways to improve your recycling

10 ways to improve your recycling | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Here are some tips for taking your recycling to the next level.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Much of this is old hat or obvious, but there are some pearls in here in the specific suggestions at the bottom of the article.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Inside Monsanto, America's Third-Most-Hated Company

Inside Monsanto, America's Third-Most-Hated Company | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
What's the genetically modified seed factory up to? Making high-tech plans to feed a growing world
PIRatE Lab's insight:

An interesting, well reported article about our massive agri/food science megacorporation.  Check out the interesting radio discussion prompted by the article:

 

http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/07/08/gmo-labeling-vermont-oregon-monsanto

 

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by PIRatE Lab from sustainability and resilience
Scoop.it!

Transit Oriented Development is the key to better cities

Transit Oriented Development is the key to better cities | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A new standard sets out the guiding principles for shifting away from the car and toward a walkable, cyclable city.

Via Anita Woodruff
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Which is better for a city, subways or surface transport?

Which is better for a city, subways or surface transport? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
It depends on whether you are trying to build a community or just get out of it fast. A look at Toronto's proposed Scarborough subway.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

A tough cookie to crack.  The key here seems to be that we are arguing and vetting which is better, rather than how many more car lanes do we ned to add to the major arterial and freeway corridors.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by PIRatE Lab from Coastal Restoration
Scoop.it!

Ocean Garbage: Why People Are Eating Their Own Garbage

Ocean Garbage: Why People Are Eating Their Own Garbage | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

This is a nice little info graphic which might have some utility/good images for folks making outreach presentations.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

EPA Gets A Win From Supreme Court On Global Warming Emissions — Mostly

The court's 7-2 decision gave the EPA the right to regulate greenhouse gases. But in a separate 5-4 vote, the justices curbed the agency's attempt to rework one section of the Clean Air Act.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

I suppose the best that can be said of this decision is that the anti-science/anti-climate-change-is-a-reality-crew couldn't sway even the conservative court that is the current U.S. Supreme Court.

 

It seems clear that (at least in a general sense) the notion of possibly partially limiting CO2 emissions is no longer a Sisyphean task.  I suppose that is progress.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Gas vs. Charcoal: Which grill has the lowest carbon impact?

Gas vs. Charcoal: Which grill has the lowest carbon impact? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

ifIn honor of the official start of summer, we took a look at our favorite summer pastime—barbecuing! Like everything that we do, even grilling has an environmental impact. It turns out that a gas grill produces about three times fewer carbon emissions than a charcoal grill, when taking into account the entire lifecycle of the grilling process.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

I wonder if this number includes the new estimates of emissions from natural gas which incorporate more realistic emissions from pipeline leaks, etc.  In any event, the fact that natural gas is nearly three times more carbon intensive suggests that charcoal is a tough sell (except for the flavor that is).

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Dream cars on exhibit in Atlanta — back to the future.

Dream cars on exhibit in Atlanta — back to the future. | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
In the auto industry they’re called “concept cars,” and they are glimpses of what we might see in the future in any given showroom. In reality, they’re Dream Cars in the sense that they were born in the dreams of some of the world’s best and most original designers. This summer, 17 of these cars […]
PIRatE Lab's insight:

The Ferrari and the Rocketship cars are cool!  Well done design can inspire and entertain as well as be functional.

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by clare wormald
Scoop.it!

These Are the Streets You Want to Avoid When You're Riding Your Bike

These Are the Streets You Want to Avoid When You're Riding Your Bike | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Whether you're a commuter or a leisure rider, when you head out on your bicycle you want to be safe. That could mean wearing a helmet, making sure your bike's tuned up, or avoiding the streets where the most bicycle crashes happen. That last part just got a little easier, thanks to these data-derived maps by You Are Here.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by PIRatE Lab
Scoop.it!

Solar FREAKIN' Roadways! - YouTube

SustaiVideo by Michael Naphan It's the roadway of the future! Feel inspired? Help us bring this project to the next step: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-...

PIRatE Lab's insight:

I've seen this idea before, but it looks like with a little creative marketing and an entertaining video many more folks are finally checking out the idea.  The possibilities are (almost) limitless.  

 

Normally I am someone who worries about the harm roadways can cause.  Here we have an example of how a liability can become an asset.

more...
No comment yet.