Sustainability Science
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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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Tesla to repay $465m Department of Energy loan 9 years ahead of schedule

Tesla to repay $465m Department of Energy loan 9 years ahead of schedule | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Tesla Motors, famously called a "loser" by Mitt Romney, is on quite the winning streak these days.
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Is plastic food packaging dangerous?

Is plastic food packaging dangerous? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The phthalate chemicals used in packaging are banned in some countries and have been blamed for many ailments. So should you ban them from the house?

Via Global Aqua Link
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This is an age old debate.  Best thing is to avoid soft plastics whenever possible and to NEVER heat up (microwave, boiling water, etc.) plastics.

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State proposes regulation tightening of county's most-used fumigant

WATSONVILLE -- State pesticide regulators are proposing to tighten regulations on the use of chloropicrin, a fumigant widely used in Californias $2 billion strawberry industry.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

While I love our farmers and work closely with many, the whole issue with fumigants (i.e. soil sterilization) to grow a crop does not speak to the most effective use of precious croplands.  This will be a strawberry royale of fight.  The methyl bromide was brusing in the last few years.  I hope this debate is less harmful and more prodcutive.

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Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Energy Is Putting Power Back in the Hands of the People

Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Energy Is Putting Power Back in the Hands of the People | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Sungevity founder Danny Kennedy talks about his book and how solar power is transforming communities and creating jobs.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Decentralization (without severing the umbilical to the centralized mothership of power) is certainly key.  While there is nothing new here, it is still true.

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Talking Green Building Policy at USGBC

Talking Green Building Policy at USGBC | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Maggie Comstock, a global policy wonk on green buildings and cities, spoke with SCC about global sustainable development trends and the emergence of resiliency planning for cities around the world.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Newest from the Sustianable Cities Collective

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Agriculture Matters

World population is growing, the demand for high-quality, safe food continues to increase, and agriculture's impact on our economy affects every Canadian. Th...
PIRatE Lab's insight:

The Canadian take on their agriculture.

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Is Your Dinner Really Organic? Lapka’s New iPhone Sensor Can Tell You

Is Your Dinner Really Organic? Lapka’s New iPhone Sensor Can Tell You | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
iPhone sensors tell you whether your dinner is organic and what the radiation, humidity and EMF levels are in your environment.
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Study Finds 97% Consensus on Human-Caused Global Warming in the Peer-Reviewed Literature

Study Finds 97% Consensus on Human-Caused Global Warming in the Peer-Reviewed Literature | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
By Dana Nuccitelli and John Cook via Skeptical Science.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Proper use of pie charts.

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With Record Sales, Tesla Turns A Profit As Consumer Reports Says It ‘Comes Close’ To Being ‘The Best Car Ever’

With Record Sales, Tesla Turns A Profit As Consumer Reports Says It ‘Comes Close’ To Being ‘The Best Car Ever’ | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Tesla Motors Company is coming off a very good week.
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99 One-Liners Rebutting Denier Talking Points — With Links To The Full Climate Science

99 One-Liners Rebutting Denier Talking Points — With Links To The Full Climate Science | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Progressives should know the disinformers’ most commonly used arguments — and how to answer them crisply.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

A quick reference list if anyone needs one.

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Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long-Feared Milestone

Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long-Feared Milestone | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and sea level.
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A Humanitarian Catastrophe | How Natural Disasters Changed the World in 2012

A Humanitarian Catastrophe | How Natural Disasters Changed the World in 2012 | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Last year, an estimated 32.4 million people worldwide were forced from their homes due to natural disasters.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Tighten your seatbelts everyone.  As many of us have discussed for quite sometime; climate change will be hugely problematic for the U.S. and the west.  For the rest of teh world (particularly southeast Asia and Oceania and Africa) it will simply mean an end to much of what we currently think of a moder societies.

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World's most extraordinary species mapped for the first time

World's most extraordinary species mapped for the first time | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The black-and-white ruffed lemur, Mexican salamander and Sunda pangolin all feature on the first map of the world's most unique and threatened mammals and amphibians.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

The most recent iteration of "Hotspots."  While we can criticize these types of tools, it goes without saying that they are quite important and a very useful tool for prioritizing scare conservation dollars and resrources.  Nothing particularly new here, but still helpful.

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Trailblazing Israeli electric car company to fold

Trailblazing Israeli electric car company to fold | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's trailblazing electric car company Better Place announced Sunday that it is shutting down, less than six years after unveiling an ambitious plan that promised to revolutionize the auto industry by reducing the world's...
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This wasn't surprising to me.  For the last seveal years, the stories about this new appraoch to electric cars just seemed too far fetched (and this is coming from me).  The radical shift in infrastructure that would have been requried seemed an increadibly long shot.  It might have been cool, but I just saw battery swapping stations across our road networks in place of gas stations as something that would never take off.

 

There was also something a bit off here about the incentives of the governments invovled making such directed investments on such unique technology (that depended upon so many other variables).  It seemed to smack of government lobbying, although I have no knowledge of anything untoward.  

 

And also, this is yet another data point suggesting that WE NEED BETTER BATTERY TECHNOLOGY.

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Capitol Alert: $500 million cap-and-trade loan to state hits wall of opposition

Capitol Alert: $500 million cap-and-trade loan to state hits wall of opposition | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to shift $500 million in cap-and-trade fees levied on business for greenhouse emissions into the state budget ran into bipartisan opposition Tuesday. The two Democrats and...
PIRatE Lab's insight:

While we have been making strides with California spending of late, this proposal is just crazy.  If we wanted to pass a carbon tax (which I am in favor), we need to do that.  But to create a carbon credit marketplace to explicitly raise funds to offset CO2-related impacts and then "borrow" from that money for non-climate change related issues is just wrong headed.

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Rail spill brings oil transport into spotlight

Rail spill brings oil transport into spotlight | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Canadian Pacific says both pipelines and rail are ‘safe options,’ but some experts say a more active stand is needed (Another derailment and spill brings #oil transport by rail into spotlight http://t.co/EGC9ETUNWE...
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Ooops.

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Building Energy Retrofit Press Release

US Retrofits could yield $1 trillion of energy savings and create 3.3 million job years; new financing models can this (RT @INCRnews: "Scaling building energy efficiency retrofits in the US offers a $279B investment opportunity" - Deutsche Bank report...
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Investors call for firmer Government policy on waste sector

Investors call for firmer Government policy on waste sector | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Call for greater certainty on UK Government waste policy at Defra and WRAP’s Investor Symposium (RT @MRWmagazine: MRW latest: Investors want reassurance from Government: Call for greater certainty on UK Government waste poli...
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Report says poor are moving to nation's suburbs

Report says poor are moving to nation's suburbs | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
LOS ANGELES (AP) — More poor people live in the nation's suburbs than in urban cities because of affordable housing, service-sector jobs and the increased use of housing vouchers, according to a study released Monday.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

In the developing world people are running to the urban areas.  Here, some are leaving them.

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Significant improvement in performance of solar-powered hydrogen generation

Significant improvement in performance of solar-powered hydrogen generation | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Using a powerful combination of microanalytic techniques that simultaneously image photoelectric current and chemical reaction rates across a surface on a micrometer scale, researchers have shed new light on what may become a cost-effective way to...
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Cool time-lapse imagery of the earth's climate changing over 30 years

Courtesy of Google, zoom in anywhere on earth and watch the land change in time over 30 years.
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Alaska: where politics and climate change go hand-in-hand

Alaska: where politics and climate change go hand-in-hand | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Though Sarah Palin has reversed her policy since she was governor, it is undeniable that Alaska is changing fast
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Here they come...

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Scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change

Scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed articles on the topic of global warming and climate change has revealed an overwhelming consensus among scientists that recent warming is human-caused.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Nothing new here.  I almost didn't post this.  But then I heard some new commentators say "what if Glenn Beck was right" about the curernt IRS controversy.  That little gem of critical thinking hasn't penetrated to climate science apparently.  Mr. Beck's ilk still seem to think that thinking is best left to other people.

 

If a mad mad screams 100 dillusional things and one by chance happens to be supported, it is a fallacy to then assume all this individual's statements are.  Funny how this most recent study which (yet again) has gotten so little play in conservative, anti-science, anti-critical reasoning media outlets.  Then again, I guess it is not that surprising.

 

Folks that fail to heed these concerns illustrate the (unfortuantely) age old debate between the scientists' 95% confidence interval for "signficiance" vs. the lawyers' definitiion of 0.0001% criteria for "significance."

 

There is concensus on cliamte change.  It is long beyond the time we focuse the conversation on this and move to actively dealing with solutions.

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Why a Hotter World Will Mean More Extinctions

Why a Hotter World Will Mean More Extinctions | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Extinctions are already on the rise as a growing human population displaces animals and plants. But if global warming continues unchecked, our planet could get a whole lot lonelier
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