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Large Cellulosic Biorefinery Will Convert Corn Stalks into Biofuel

Large Cellulosic Biorefinery Will Convert Corn Stalks into Biofuel | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Chemical giant DuPont has started construction of a large-scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Iowa capable of converting corn stalks and leaves into a biofuel that could be used in place of fossil fuels at.
Flora Moon's insight:

Once biofuel production can be done at scale, watch for disruption.  

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Sustainable Futures
Things to do, consider and act on to create a sustainable future for people and planet
Curated by Flora Moon
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Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
To sidestep Senate approval, President Obama’s negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal to “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions.
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As the bees go, so goes the world?

As the bees go, so goes the world? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
It is as simple as this - when the bees lose, we lose, and that is the road we are going down.
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Update on US natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewables

Update on US natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewables | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
On August 6, I wrote a post called Making Sense of the US Oil Story, in which I looked at US oil. In this post, I would like to look at other sources of US energy.
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Mideast Water Wars: In Iraq, A Battle for Control of Water

Mideast Water Wars: In Iraq,  A Battle for Control of Water | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Conflicts over water have long haunted the Middle East. Yet in the current fighting in Iraq, the major dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are seen not just as strategic targets but as powerful weapons of war.
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Medellín Metrocable improves mobility for residents of informal settlements | TheCityFix

Medellín Metrocable improves mobility for residents of informal settlements | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

In 2004, Medellín – the second largest city in Colombia – introduced the Medellín Metrocable system to connect low-income residents to public transport. As the world’s first modern urban aerial cable car transport system, this innovative addition to Medellín’s existing metro system was built in response to significant spatial inequalities in metro access. Metrocable was designed to improve transport and quality of life in informal settlements located on the mountainside, home to some of the city’s most disadvantaged communities. The system currently consists of three lines, the first of which carries approximately 30,000 passengers per day. A recent study further speaks to the system’s success, finding that the Metrocable dramatically improves accessibility to metro stops and employment opportunities for some low-income residents. This attention to the city’s underserved communities reflects Medellín’s increased commitment to improving equity and quality of life while reducing emissions through sustainable mobility.

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Yale Environment 360: Meat Production, Especially Beef, Strains Land and Water, Study Says

Yale Environment 360: Meat Production, Especially Beef, Strains Land and Water, Study Says | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Global meat production has expanded more than four-fold over the last 50 years — and 25-fold since 1800 — due to growing purchasing power, urbanization, and changing diets, according to a new report from the Worldwatch Institute. Consumers in industrial countries continue to eat much larger quantities of meat (75.9 kilograms per person) than those in developing nations (33.7 kilograms), though that gap is beginning to close, the report says. Nearly 70 percent of the planet's agricultural land and freshwater is used for livestock, with additional land and water used to grow grains for livestock feed. Beef production alone uses about three-fifths of global farmland and yields less than 5 percent of the world's protein, according to the report, and a kilogram of beef requires 15,000 liters of water, versus 3,300 liters for a kilogram of eggs. Sustainable agricultural practices such as feeding livestock with grasses instead of grains and using natural fertilizers could reduce these impacts, the report notes, but alternative dietary choices hold the most immediate promise for reducing the environmental footprint of meat production.

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Growing, and Growing More Dangerous, Draft of U.N. Report Says

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Growing, and Growing More Dangerous, Draft of U.N. Report Says | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The report says that warming has already led to food and climate crises, and that the failure to reduce emissions will lead to worse catastrophes.
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A Typology of Gentrification | Newgeography.com

A Typology of Gentrification | Newgeography.com | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
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Investors May Find It Hard to Break Up With Oil and Gas

Investors May Find It Hard to Break Up With Oil and Gas | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Investors seeking greener energy stocks will find it difficult to reproduce the returns offered by oil and natural gas producers, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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During extreme drought, farmers try for resiliency

During extreme drought, farmers try for resiliency | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
For those who take the long view, there are bigger ideas to achieve resilience in the face of extreme weather.
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Scientists create water splitter that runs on a single AAA battery

Scientists create water splitter that runs on a single AAA battery | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A new emissions-free device created by scientists at Stanford University uses an ordinary 1.5-volt battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen at room t...
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How I Brought a River, and My City, Back to Life

How I Brought a River, and My City, Back to Life | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

An architect in Fez, Morocco is converting a polluted and sewage-filled river in her hometown into a usable, public space.

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One Electric Utility Is Carbon Neutral Today

One Electric Utility Is Carbon Neutral Today | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

It’s one thing to own your utility and have a commitment to renewable energy, but it’s another thing to deliver. The municipal utility in Palo Alto, CA, set an ambitious target of 33 percent renewable energy by 2015 and to ultimately deliver a carbon neutral electricity supply. They will

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Air HES system to collect water and generate electricity from the clouds

Air HES system to collect water and generate electricity from the clouds | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The Air HES concept claims to yield both clean water and electricity by using a high-flying airship to harvest and condense water vapor which it then uses t...
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Welcome to the circular economy—where objects never die

Welcome to the circular economy—where objects never die | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
This post originally appeared at Ensia. “Don’t let fashion go to waste,” says H&M, the global clothing retailer that booked $20 billion in revenue last year. So I brought a bag of old T-shirts, sweaters and khaki pants to an H&M store in Washington, DC, where it took them, no questions asked, and gave me...
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U.S. liquid fuels production growth more than offsets unplanned supply disruptions - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

U.S. liquid fuels production growth more than offsets unplanned supply disruptions - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
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Community Food Activists Tell Their Stories

Community Food Activists Tell Their Stories | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
It’s easy to dismiss issues facing people we don’t know and don’t see. Out of sight, out of mind. And if we don’t know any people grappling with hunger, that crisis can seem very abstract.
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A Closer Look at Turbulent Oceans and Greenhouse Heating

A Closer Look at Turbulent Oceans and Greenhouse Heating | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Climate science homes in on the oceans’ role in driving wiggles in global warming.
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Irreversible Damage Seen From Climate Change in UN Leak

Irreversible Damage Seen From Climate Change in UN Leak | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Humans risk causing irreversible and widespread damage to the planet unless there’s faster action to limit the fossil fuel emissions that cause climate change, according to a leaked draft United Nations report.
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New diabetes treatment would turn liver cells into insulin-producers

New diabetes treatment would turn liver cells into insulin-producers | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Tel Aviv-based regenerative medicine firm Orgenesis is currently developing a diabetes treatment that it claims addresses many of the shortcomings of islet ...
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A semi-artificial leaf faster than 'natural' photosynthesis (8/26/2014)

A semi-artificial leaf faster than 'natural' photosynthesis (8/26/2014) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

In leaves, photosystem 1 (PS1) absorbs light and its energy is finally utilized for the conversion of carbon dioxide to biomass. Photovoltaic devices, mostly build from silicon based semiconductors, also harness solar light but produce electricity. One approach for the development of cheaper and renewable photovoltaics consists in replacing the semi-conductor with the isolated membrane protein complexes of photosynthesis. Prof. Dr. Matthias Rögner's team isolates a highly stable PS1 from thermophilic cyanobacteria that live in a hot spring in Japan. However, the integration of this natural component into artificial devices faces one major challenge. PS1 displays both hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains which complicate its immobilization on electrodes.

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The Energetic Basis of Wealth

The Energetic Basis of Wealth | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Last year I did an analysis to try to understand whether it’s possible to feed the world sustainably. Today I’d like to try to understand what happens to countries as they must rely upon the sun for energy (and, indirectly, wealth).

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The Power of Salt

The Power of Salt | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Where the river meets the sea, there is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy, according to a team of mechanical engineers at MIT.
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Can Open Standards Accelerate Community Shared Solar?

Can Open Standards Accelerate Community Shared Solar? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Tesla Motors recently announced that it would share its technology patents, which has put a spotlight on open source and open standards. These standards already play a huge role in the computer industry: PCs have an open architecture and the World Wide Web has open standards. Google built its busine
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Geothermal Visual: Borrowing a 'Play Fairway' from the Oil and Gas Industry

Geothermal Visual: Borrowing a 'Play Fairway' from the Oil and Gas Industry | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The map below is shaded grey in the project areas for the geothermal teams that were chosen by the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office to receive funding and support in the current “Play Fairway” award opportunity. The Geothermal Technologies Office announced
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