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Glenn Beck will fire any employee caught using CFLs

Glenn Beck will fire any employee caught using CFLs | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
HOW DARE YOU use an energy-efficient lightbulb! The terrorists have won!
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Nut job incorporated.

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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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The Perils of Aging: A Problem for Citizen Science?

The Perils of Aging: A Problem for Citizen Science? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Citizen science surveys help scientists take the pulse of bird populations-but errors creep into the data as volunteers age, according to a new study.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

So...we can't trust the population with the most time on its hands to collected citizen science?

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Wind Farm Powering A Million Homes Nears Approval Deep In Coal Country

Wind Farm Powering A Million Homes Nears Approval Deep In Coal Country | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A massive wind farm is getting closer to being built in Carbon County, Wyoming.
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This is climate change: Ohio’s water crisis was a man-made disaster

This is climate change: Ohio’s water crisis was a man-made disaster | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Industrial agriculture, invasive species and warming temperatures are all vital parts of this weekend's big story
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What ever happened to: "Small fridges make good cities"

What ever happened to: "Small fridges make good cities" | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

In 2007, The Interior Design Show displayed what remains the most beautiful and well thought out kitchen I have ever seen, designed by Donald Chong, now with Williamson Chong architects in Toronto. Chong's thesis was that Small fridges make good cities- people who have them are out in their community every day buy what is seasonal and fresh, buy as much as they need, responding to the marketplace, the baker, vegetable store and neighbourhood vendor.

 

It was an idea whose time just hasn't come in North America.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

Another good article.  But I would also suggest that this is all coming from the perspective of an urban dweller.  Oh, and pass me the soda and ice cream.  This story made me hungry...

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Two of America's food giants commit to fighting climate change

Two of America's food giants commit to fighting climate change | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Kellogg's and General Mills have made some industry-leading promises to reduce harmful greenhouse emissions. It's a start.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Great...now lets see some progress.

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Sierra Magazine's Annual Cool Schools Ranking of American Universities

Sierra Magazine's Annual Cool Schools Ranking of American Universities | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Our Cool Schools 2014 scorecard
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Sierra Magazine “Cool Schools” edition is out and CSU Channel Islands has moved up to #45 in this national ranking of sustainable universities.  The University of California and California State University campuses are improving each year on this (and other ranking systems).  

 

While we should also always be skeptical of such ranking systems, those centered on sustainability are much better metrics than the popularity contests that are the norm for "Best Schools."  To be sure there remains a certain element of that here, I think the more useful way to look at these is the trajectory a given campus has had over time on such rankings. 

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The 2014 GreenBiz corporate sustainability Twitterati Index

The 2014 GreenBiz corporate sustainability Twitterati Index | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Corporate sustainability pros are upping their game on Twitter. Our second annual look of who's got audience, activity and authority.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

The 2014 GreenBiz Twitter index ranks corporate sustainability executives active on Twitter. The index analyzes Klout, Kred and Peerindex scores to best develop a list based on audience, authority, and activity. 

With professionals that include Campbell Soup VP Dave Stangis, Nike CSO Hannah Jones, and MillerCoors Director Kim Marotta, the list is a great resource for those looking to get a frequent 140-character dose of thought leadership in corporate sustainability...if you're into that kind of thing.

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Luci Solar Lights | The Portable Solar Lamps by MPOWERD

Luci Solar Lights | The Portable Solar Lamps by MPOWERD | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Luci weighs only 4 ounces and collapses to one inch thin. Add a solar charged lithium ion battery and a 65 lumen light to the mix and you’ve got one impressive lady. Whether it’s for travel, disaster relief or anything in between, Luci always shines bright.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

My mom recently gave me one of these guys.  It seems pretty bright and the collapsable and waterproof nature makes it a natural fit for limited space (e.g. backpacking packs) or off-grid needs (e.g. first aid kits).

 

Nothing particularly revolutionary here, other than the fact this is a business trying to support the triple bottom line.

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Solar-Powered Plug Transforms Windows Into Outlets

Solar-Powered Plug Transforms Windows Into Outlets | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A pair of designers have developed a new portable outlet that absorbs solar energy and converts it to electricity for everyday use. This nifty device can be attached to a window or wall that gets a lot of sunlight and, after eight hours of charging, holds up to 10 hours of electricity. This can then be used to charge your phone or any number of electricity-hungry gadgets.
It is even possible to leave the solar plug on the wall and use it as an outlet to keep your laptop or anything else.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Cool!  I had something like this about 20 years ago, but it was much less sophisticated...and I can't remember the name of the thing.

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20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know

20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

We live in an era of accelerating change, when scientific and technological advancements are arriving rapidly. As a result, we are developing a new language to describe our civilization as it evolves. Here are 20 terms and concepts that you'll need to navigate our future.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
PIRatE Lab's insight:

An interesting compilation of terms.  Perhaps most interesting to me is the utter "out of touch" aspect of some of these terms.  Most of very human/wealthy human-centric and are likely to be niche terms at best.  Only the "anthropocene" and "mule" really seem to stretch beyond our wealthy, western lifestyles.  Nevertheless a good read to stimulate your thinking about what the future may bring.

 

Thanks to Szabolcs for posting! 

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Pushpendra Mishra's curator insight, March 24, 7:12 AM

Aamod at Bhimtal is a magnificent hill resort surrounded by untouched Oak and Pine forests on one side and a small lake on the other with lush green aamod.in

Pablo Munévar's curator insight, March 28, 9:46 AM

Estamos en una época de aceleración y vale la pena repensar estas nuevas formas de comprender estos términos

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The U.S. ranks 13 out of 16 countries in energy efficiency, Germany is #1

The U.S. ranks 13 out of 16 countries in energy efficiency, Germany is #1 | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Waste is ugly. Doing more with less is beautiful. Many of us try to live by these sayings in our personal lives, but at the country level, too few nations really give their best effort.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Phew!  We (barely) beat Russia!  Oh wait, I mean we are at the (almost) bottom of the list.

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Improvised devices help water drought-stricken L.A. trees

Improvised devices help water drought-stricken L.A. trees | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Los Angeles officials and environmentalists have begun deploying emergency low-tech watering devices to try to save trees in desperate need of water during the drought .
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Inspiration for low cost slow-release watering devices from our friends down under.

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Inside The Most Dangerous Room in the World

Inside The Most Dangerous Room in the World | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
"To enter you must wear a respirator, 3 pairs of gloves, 2 pairs of socks, rubber boots and a hard hat—along with a hazmat suit"

Via pdeppisch
PIRatE Lab's insight:

The legacy of nuclear waste is a real issue with this form of energy.

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What Happens When Climate Change Becomes An Unignorable Part Of An Election

What Happens When Climate Change Becomes An Unignorable Part Of An Election | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The race to represent San Diego is rare in that both candidates acknowledge the threat of climate change. Some voters and environmental groups, however, have doubts about who will actually prioritize the issue in Congress.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Would that this would not be noteworthy.  And have happened twenty years ago.

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Climate change and drought in ancient times

Climate change and drought in ancient times | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The influence of climate on agriculture is believed to be a key factor in the rise and fall of societies in the Ancient Near East. An investigation into archaeological finds of grain has taken place in order to find out what influence climate had on agriculture in early farming societies. The research team analyzed grains of barley up to 12,000 years old from 33 locations across the Fertile Crescent to ascertain if they had had enough water while growing and ripening.
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Politicians need to address transport taboos, not just new technology, to meet carbon targets, say researchers

Politicians need to address transport taboos, not just new technology, to meet carbon targets, say researchers | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Transport accounts for 30% of carbon dioxide emissions in the EU, with emissions rising 36% between 1990 and 2007. New research has found a need to dissect the widely-held view that new technologies, such as biofuel and improved aircraft design, will result in carbon reduction targets being met.

Via Anita Woodruff
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Be wary of the the techno fix.

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World's top PR companies rule out working with climate deniers

World's top PR companies rule out working with climate deniers | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Ten firms say they will not represent clients that deny man-made climate change or seek to block emisson-reducing regulations
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This is positive news.  But I somehow can't help thinking that this is a bit like the virus creators that let a destructive force into the wild...then turn around and become consultants/experts in "solving" the problem for us.

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▶ 220 years of US population changes in one map

Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau calculates the exact center of the American population. Vox's Danielle Kurtzleben explains what that one statistic sh...
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VERGE 2014 | GreenBiz Conferences, Oct 27-30, 2014, San Francisco

VERGE 2014 | GreenBiz Conferences, Oct 27-30, 2014, San Francisco | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Advancements in the interconnected technologies for energy, buildings and transportation are creating huge opportunities. VERGE SF reveals these opportunities, bringing together innovators, entrepreneurs, and leading public officials for practical, scalable, solutions-oriented conversations.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Technology and sustainability intersect at this (not cheap) conference.

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Yet another global warming warning: Deep emissions cuts needed by 2050, says UN

Yet another global warming warning: Deep emissions cuts needed by 2050, says UN | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Global warming will reach dangerous levels unless deep cuts are made in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report from the UN. Limiting global warming is still possible, the report says, but will entail substantial technological, economic, and behavioral challenges.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

No surprises here.  The new normal is the production of reports to say how dire a situation we are now officially in and how difficult it will now be to stave off the worst aspects of climate change.

 

Good job ignorance, greed, and inaction.  You seem to have won.  Bummer for our planet, people, and society, though.

 

See also:

 

http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/why-a-global-warming-pact-won-t-stop-global-warming-20140807

 

and to be sure, this is a problem across all sectors of our government.  See for example this recent lawsuit by 12 U.S. states claiming overreach by the EPA's modest emission regulations for coal-fired power plants:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/02/business/a-dozen-states-file-suit-against-new-coal-rules.html?_r=2

 

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Panels Ponder Context, Chemicals, Cradle to Cradle Textiles on #SB14sd Day 3 | Sustainable Brands

Panels Ponder Context, Chemicals, Cradle to Cradle Textiles on #SB14sd Day 3 | Sustainable Brands | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
“What if sustainability was at least 10 percent of every product decision at every company?
That’s the “What If?” question Steven Cristol, managing partner at Strategic Harmony, posed at his workshop Wednesday afternoon on “making sustainability unavoidable.” While it should be, the reality is that sustainability considerations often get brought up after product development decisions are already made, leading to waste, inefficiencies and failures.
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Food Industry Playing Catch Up on Sustainability

Food Industry Playing Catch Up on Sustainability | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Food and beverage companies are beginning to realize the importance of sustainability, with a growing number working to advance product improvements. But the sector as a whole is lagging behind other industries in taking sustainability action and generating the associated business benefits. What steps can these companies take to join the leaders?

Via Acquisti & Sostenibilità not-for-profit
PIRatE Lab's insight:

We can sometimes get locked into our worldview/expectations.  It is important to periodically look around outside our regular haunts or industries to see what others are doing.  In this case, efforts to institutionalize sustainability within the food sector could well benefit from more management exchange with other non-food businesses.

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California lawmakers considering historic shift in groundwater policy

California lawmakers considering historic shift in groundwater policy | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
As California continues to endure a calamitous lack of water from the sky, the state could, for the first time, start to regulate water drawn from the ground.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

It is absolutely crazy that we don't regulate groundwater in this state...and that we can't even get the estimates of wells in the state to less than +/- a million bores.

 

Utterly insane.

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Heat Mapping the World's Hottest Temperatures

Heat Mapping the World's Hottest Temperatures | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Andrew Sykes Group, a large air conditioning firm based in the UK, has developed this interactive displaying record highs, and current temperatures from select cities across the globe. 

While Climate Central's interactive tool (displaying the average temperature cities across the U.S. are expected to reach by 2100) did little to make those of us suffering a sweltering summer feel optimistic about the future, the interactive graphic at the link provides some perspective that current temperatures could be worse.

The Andrew Sykes Group has developed this interactive displaying record highs, and current temperatures from select cities across the globe. Smaller nodes represent cities, while larger nodes stand for the hottest temperatures ever seen on each continent.


Via Lauren Moss
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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, August 9, 8:08 PM

The Andrew Sykes Group has developed this interactive displaying record highs, and current temperatures from select cities across the globe. Smaller nodes represent cities, while larger nodes stand for the hottest temperatures ever seen on each continent.

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Green Technology Building Code Changes Approved For San Diego County

Green Technology Building Code Changes Approved For San Diego County | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of all but one of the staff's recommendations.
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