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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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State to double down on AB 32’s failure? Really?

State to double down on AB 32’s failure? Really? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The 2006 law didn't inspire the world at all. It just made energy more costly.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Wow!  Talk about a fact-free editorial!  This is a wonderful example of how folks who don't believe in climate change operate: simply make false allegations and cherry pick previous statements to make it seem as if folks trying to make forward progress with carbon emissions are stupid/ignorant/disingenuous.

 

Clearly, anti AB 32 folks are running scared and feel the need to go fact free to make their case.

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Obama administration plan will aim to slash methane emissions

Obama administration plan will aim to slash methane emissions | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Obama administration on Wednesday will announce an aggressive new plan to combat global warming by targeting the methane emissions released through oil and gas production, according to a summary of the initiative obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
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Western Australia's mining boom ebbs along with China's economy

Western Australia's mining boom ebbs along with China's economy | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Joe Norton, a large man with a sun-burnt face, digs into a plate full of beef, potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts at Searipple, a mobile-home camp in Australia's western frontier.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Life in the non-so sustainable world of boom-and-bust extractive industries.

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Tom Steyer gets little payoff for millions spent on green issues

Tom Steyer gets little payoff for millions spent on green issues | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Environmentalists had something in their arsenal for Tuesday's election they never did before: a billionaire benefactor willing to empty his pockets of tens of millions of dollars to bring climate change to the forefront of political debate and elect candidates committed to fighting global warming.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This is the man who would apparently seek to be the next Senator from California, replacing retiring Senator Boxer in the next election.

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Council for Watershed Health

Council for Watershed Health | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

How is the golf industry responding to short term drought and a longer term compelling need to reduce its water footprint? Can golf courses help us capture and clean storm water? Can they act as a filter for petrochemicals, heavy metals, and pharmaceuticals? What are the game’s leaders and partnering organizations doing to take the state’s 866 golf courses off the potable grid, and what’s next on the game’s agenda for even more sustainable design and management? And how can the golf industry’s experiences inform the management of other large landscapes?

Join us on Tuesday, February 3 for a sustainable landscape seminar showcasing innovations in efficient irrigation, turf reduction, recycled water, water reuse, and stormwater infiltration in this era of dwindling water resources. This program will bring together municipal officials, landscape architects, golf course superintendents and water efficiency professionals to examine existing programs, highlight case studies and determine the future for sustainable golf course design and management.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

This looks like it could be quite interesting, but I teach on Tuesdays.

 

I've posted previously about the raft of golf course-related news stories in the LA Times over the past year or two.  They are great and well received, but I can't help but think that golf courses (for all their pesticides, eutrophication, non-natives, and water consumption) have something of a massive bulls eye on their backs.  Many courses have made significant strides in reducing water consumption, although the data are not as transparent as we would like them to be.

 

See:

 

http://sco.lt/6pkIMr

 

And then (just to make sure we are keeping everything real) there is my old Stanford nemesis:

 

http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/21/battle-stanford-water-golf-course-protect-steelhead-drought-dam/

 

 

 

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Why Some Chefs Just Can't Quit Serving Bluefin Tuna

Why Some Chefs Just Can't Quit Serving Bluefin Tuna | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Japanese sushi chefs often can't resist bluefin tuna on offer. Some American chefs can't either, even though conservation groups and marine biologists have been badgering them about bluefin for years.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

I am not one for banning all of everything. But there are certain things that I actively choose not to eat for ecological or ethical reasons. And Ahi (bluefin and big eye) Tuna has now entered into that realm for me.

These time are always very interesting to me: swearing off gas-powered personal vehicles, blood diamonds, drinking too many drinks on a Friday night, etc. When the facts are in that we really need to do something different to be responsible adults and members of our larger community can be difficult. It should be that the more "first world problem-y" the issue is, the easier it should be to quit or change our behavior. After all, we are not talking here about a choice of feeding our family or going hungry. But it seems the psychology of such "superficial" changes vs. more consequential/truly difficult choices is much more similar than it is distinct. This posting is a great example of that.

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, January 8, 1:24 AM

I am not one for banning all of everything.  But there are certain things that I actively choose not to eat for ecological or ethical reasons.  But I am not one to stop eating all fish simply because we are not properly managing some (or the majority of) stocks.  But Ahi (bluefin and big eye) Tuna has now entered into that realm for me.  This is very sad for me.  I think of the seafood I used to eat when I was younger and it is not what I eat now.  

 

Most conspicuously, abalone is no longer part of my diet unless I pick up a few small steaks from my mariculture friends' farms.  That was literally what my extended family built parts of our summers around when I was a child: men popped, kids transported them up the cliffs, and the ladies pounded the steaks so that all had frozen abalone steaks for the year.  Now it is not only illegal to harvest abs here in my region of California, but there literally are none to be had.  Victims of overfishing, elevated sea temperatures, Rickettsia-like infections, etc.

 

These times are always very interesting to me: swearing off gas-powered personal vehicles, blood diamonds, drinking too many drinks on a Friday night, etc.  When the facts are in that we really need to do something different to be responsible adults and members of our larger community, follow through can be difficult.  It should be that the more "first world problem-y" the issue is, the easier it should be to quit or change our behavior.  After all, we are not talking here about a choice of feeding our family or going hungry.  But it seems the psychology of such "superficial" changes vs. more consequential/truly difficult choices is much more similar than it is distinct.  This posting is a great example of that.

 

See also: http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2015/01/06/tri-marine-consensus-and-enforcement-of-tuna-protection-measures-must-improve/

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Aging nuclear arsenal grows ever more costly

Aging nuclear arsenal grows ever more costly | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Pipes, tanks and other equipment rust in the humid Southern air. Leaky roofs leave puddles on factory floors. Abandoned buildings are scattered across an 800-acre site contaminated with hundreds of tons of mercury.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

A maintaining a large nuclear arsenal does not appear to be a sustainable practice, however you slice it. 

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How Much Space Do Cars Take? Cyclists Demonstrate How Bicycles Fight Congestion

How Much Space Do Cars Take? Cyclists Demonstrate How Bicycles Fight Congestion | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

People that commute by car spend an inordinate amount of time staring at taillights. There’s no way they’re getting around that traffic in front of them. But what about bike commuters? This group of Latvian cyclists recently created a powerful demonstration of the large footprint created by cars that carry just one occupant.

 

The four cyclists strapped on fragile frameworks shaped like cars, then hopped into the local traffic in Riga to show how much room they would occupy on their daily commute. The difference communicates loud and clear: if these cyclists were actually in cars, they would seriously add to congestion.


Via Lauren Moss
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Russell Roberts's curator insight, October 17, 2014 12:23 PM

Interesting study from Latvia.  Something to think about when fossil fuels  run out or become too expensive to buy. Protection from bad weather is a definite plus for cars.  Or, you could have commuters park their cars in a municipal lot and use bikes to reach their workplaces once they enter the city.  Aloha, Russ.

Jim Gramata's curator insight, October 27, 2014 10:49 AM

Visually compelling look at the power of the bike commute 

Agence Relations d'Utilité Publique's curator insight, November 24, 2014 5:06 AM

Les images parlent d'elles même...

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With flush aquifer, Coachella Valley golf courses slow to conserve

With flush aquifer, Coachella Valley golf courses slow to conserve | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
At brunch on a recent Thursday, Sunny Butler nibbled at an omelet and considered playing a round later that afternoon. Part of the joy of living on the 18th hole of the Citrus Club in the Coachella Valley, Butler said, is the verdant green landscape just beyond the back door.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This is living in a fantasy world.  The notion that it is appropriate to consume the huge volumes of water that traditional large courses do is rooted in the 1950s and the era of Bob Hope.  While I understand that agriculture, etc. consume the vast quantity of water in California this notion of "we don't have to" or "we don't have to pay for it" is central to the issue of resource management challenges generally in the developed world.

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Earth's Future? Ancient Warming Gives Ominous Peek at Climate Change

Earth's Future? Ancient Warming Gives Ominous Peek at Climate Change | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
New data from the Earth's last big warmup, some 56 million years ago, may offer a sneak peek into what today's climate change may eventually look like.Scient...
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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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Ramping up production of affordable Tesla may take years, Elon Musk says

Ramping up production of affordable Tesla may take years, Elon Musk says | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
DETROIT — A day after General Motors Co. unveiled a prototype of an affordable, long-range electric vehicle by 2017, Tesla Motors Inc. 's chief executive, Elon Musk , said it could take until 2020 to put a comparable mass-market EV into full production.
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MAGAZINE: Maximum Yield - January 2015

MAGAZINE: Maximum Yield - January 2015 | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
January is a good time to reflect on the last year in the garden and analyze what went well and what didn’t, then set goals to help you boost the performance of your plants going forward. If one of your goals this year is to try something new, then this issue is for you.
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Los Alamos lab contractor loses $57 million over nuclear waste accident

Los Alamos lab contractor loses $57 million over nuclear waste accident | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The contractor managing the nuclear weapons laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M., was slapped with a $57-million reduction in its fees for 2014, largely due to a costly nuclear waste accident last year.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Absolutely amazing!  I never thought I would see the day when the department of energy would actually discipline nuclear contractors in any real way for performance failures.  Unbelievable.  Clearly a step in the right direction and a step to properly internalizing the externalities associated with fission-based weapons and power plants.

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The American Oil Trade Deficit Has Never Been Lower

The American Oil Trade Deficit Has Never Been Lower | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Total petroleum imports fell to $23 billion, the lowest level since August 2009
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Great!  Now we can buy more SUVs!

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Green tape

Green tape | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
WHAT are the economic effects of environmental policies? It sounds painfully obvious, but the answer depends on how strict those policies are. So how do you quantify...
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Interesting that the "cost" so many anti-regulation types love to tout are almost assuredly incorrectly calculated.  There is great benefit in well-palnned, effective regulations for the sake of protection (not rise management or policy for the sake of policy).

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Alaska's record-warm year in 2014 worries observers

Alaska's record-warm year in 2014 worries observers | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The biggest state in America, home to more ocean coastline than all others combined, has just set another record. This one, however, is nothing to cheer.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Drip, drip, drip.

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Santander: The Smartest Smart City

Santander: The Smartest Smart City | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Where some see smart cities, others fear a new form of governance based on algorithms rather than human experience.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Where some see smart cities, others fear a new form of governance based on algorithms rather than human experience.

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Future Living Housing Project: Technology Meets Design

Future Living Housing Project: Technology Meets Design | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

The Future Living house took twenty six designers to create it, with every technologic leap analyzed to make sure all proposals were possible by 2050. It’s a paradigm shift in home resource creation and location with water using gravity to generate pressure and energy harvested from solar and wind. Air, water and waste are cleaned using a living bio wall.


Via Lauren Moss
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Zsolt Tinelly's curator insight, January 1, 2:43 PM

add meg a belátás ...

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, April 10, 8:54 PM

Making cities sustainable 

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Can We Keep Up? A Physical Data Visualisation Using Sponges and Water - information aesthetics

Can We Keep Up? A Physical Data Visualisation Using Sponges and Water - information aesthetics | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Can We Keep Up [halwatts.co.uk] is a a physical data visualisation that investigates the domestic need for water in cities all over the world.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

Great idea and fantastic visualization!

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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/

 

And check out this great new study from NASA:

 

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-nasa-satellite-spies-holiday-lights-from-space-20141217-story.html

 

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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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