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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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California Lawmakers Pass Groundwater Rules as Drought Worsens

California Lawmakers Pass Groundwater Rules as Drought Worsens | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
California lawmakers have approved legislation that would for the first time regulate groundwater pumping and use as the most-populous U.S. state suffers from a record drought.
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Green Energy Jobs Surge Just in Time for Labor Day

Green Energy Jobs Surge Just in Time for Labor Day | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Some 12,500 jobs were added in the second quarter of 2014, double the number of the first quarter.
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The Small Indiana City That’s Embracing Livable Streets | Streetsblog.net

The Small Indiana City That’s Embracing Livable Streets | Streetsblog.net | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

With a population of about 60,000 and a formerly industrial economy, Kokomo, Indiana, is not the type of city that recent economic trends have favored.

But Aaron Renn at the Urbanophile says the city has embraced some tenets of urbanism as an economic and quality-of-life strategy, thanks in large part to the leadership of Mayor Greg Goodnight. When Renn visited recently, he was impressed with the new downtown bike trail and pedestrian infrastructure. And thanks to careful budgeting and prioritization, the city is making these improvements without taking on any debt.

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What is the environmental cost of war?

What is the environmental cost of war? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Trashed landscapes contaminated by depleted uranium or toxic gases. To the eco pragmatist, if you can’t halt war, change to ‘green munitions’
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Random things make beautiful patterns when they are bumped around in systematic ways

Random things make beautiful patterns when they are bumped around in systematic ways | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

This video shows salt scattered on a surface, which is made to vibrate at different frequencies.  The salt creates beautiful different patterns depending on the frequency.


Via Lorien Pratt
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Lorien Pratt's curator insight, August 30, 8:37 PM

If a) we live inside systems that have structure (economic, cultural, political, etc.) and b) these systems are subjected to noise, then c) this video shows how systems create emergent patterns.  So d) if we can learn to model that emergence, we can e) do a much better job of achieving the goals that we want and avoiding unintended consequences.


h/t @Linda Larson Kemp

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Swirls of Dust and Drama, Punctuating Life in the Southwest

Swirls of Dust and Drama, Punctuating Life in the Southwest | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Children, drivers and other residents have learned how to prepare for huge dust storms, sometimes called haboobs, that can turn day into night in seconds.
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Controlling extreme events on complex networks

Controlling extreme events on complex networks | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Extreme events, a type of collective behavior in complex networked dynamical systems, often can have catastrophic consequences. To develop effective strategies to control extreme events is of fundamental importance and practical interest. Utilizing transportation dynamics on complex networks as a prototypical setting, we find that making the network [ldquo]mobile[rdquo] can effectively suppress extreme events. A striking, resonance-like phenomenon is uncovered, where an optimal degree of mobility exists for which the probability of extreme events is minimized. We derive an analytic theory to understand the mechanism of control at a detailed and quantitative level, and validate the theory numerically. Implications of our finding to current areas such as cybersecurity are discussed.

Via Claudia Mihai
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Nudging Can Save Europe Billions of Euros on Energy Bills

Nudging Can Save Europe Billions of Euros on Energy Bills | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
European nations can cut billions of euros from citizens’ power bills using psychology to nudge them into consuming less, says energy-management business Opower Inc.
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In pictures: Singapore's surreal Supertree Grove and Cloud Forest

In pictures: Singapore's surreal Supertree Grove and Cloud Forest | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

There are places on this Earth where you simply stand, slack-jawed, and pinch yourself to make sure you're not dreaming – and Singapore's Gardens by the Bay...

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Recognizing the role of gender in the informal urban economy | TheCityFix

Recognizing the role of gender in the informal urban economy | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Governments can improve the livelihoods of female street vendors by creating safe public spaces and supporting member-based groups of informal workers. Photo by Jeff DeMaria/Flickr.

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20 Types of Coral Listed as Threatened

20 Types of Coral Listed as Threatened | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The federal government is protecting 20 types of colorful coral by putting them on the list of threatened species, partly because of climate change.
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London to get hybrid buses that could charge wirelessly

London to get hybrid buses that could charge wirelessly | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
BusinessGreen: Transport for London trial to equip bus stops to boost batteries wirelessly when the buses arrive
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Brazil Vows Water Supply Is Under Control as Basins Dry

Brazil Vows Water Supply Is Under Control as Basins Dry | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The state of Sao Paulo is facing its worst drought in eight decades, threatening the water supplies for 20 million people -- but you wouldn’t know that by asking Brazil’s elected officials.
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Saving Our Birds

Saving Our Birds | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Has the passing of the passenger pigeon taught us anything?
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Divesting from Fossil Fuels: Last One Out Loses

Divesting from Fossil Fuels: Last One Out Loses | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A new report written by Nathaniel Bullard at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) highlights the difficulties large institutional investors would have divesting from fossil fuels. What it does not specifically discuss is that these difficulties could lead to large financial losses for investors who s
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Yale Environment 360: New Database Tracks Ecological Health Impacts of Dams on World's Rivers

Yale Environment 360: New Database Tracks Ecological Health Impacts of Dams on World's Rivers | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

A newly launched online database illustrates the impacts of nearly 6,000 dams on the world's 50 major river basins, ranking their ecological health according to indicators of river fragmentation, water quality, and biodiversity. The "State of the World's Rivers" project was developed by the advocacy organization International Rivers and created using Google Earth. Users can compare the health of individual river basins, see the locations of existing and planned dams, and explore 10 of the most significant river basins in more depth. For example, as this map of China's Yangtze basin shows, at least 374 dams already exist in the basin, and at least another 167 are under construction or planned to be built. The ecological health of the region is showing signs of collapse, the database entry says: A 2014 study found that fish species in the Yangtze drastically decreased from 143 to 17 over the course of one year, due to overfishing and dam construction. The 6,000 dams represented in the database are a small percentage of the more than 50,000 large dams that impact the world's rivers, the organization notes.

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California Sets Stage for First Groundwater Regulations

California Sets Stage for First Groundwater Regulations | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
California lawmakers have sent Governor Jerry Brown legislation that would for the first time regulate groundwater use as the most-populous U.S. state suffers from a record drought.
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Friday Fun: You, too, can build a sustainable city through crowdfunding | TheCityFix

Friday Fun: You, too, can build a sustainable city through crowdfunding | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing funding model that has recently expanded as a way to support urban improvement projects. A number of platforms promote citizen-designed civic projects to help them raise small amounts of money from many donors. Parks, gardens, and other urban beautification initiatives are some of the most common projects funded on these platforms, though several projects show the potential for crowdfunding as a means to fund much larger initiatives. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, citizens have used crowdfunding to fund a wooden footbridge that aims to be a catalyst for economic development in the region. In Glyncoch, Wales, citizens donated a total of £792,021 (US$ 1.31 million) for a multi-purpose community center.

 

How can city governments utilize the potential for civic crowdfunding? More than 170 cities have already signed up to use Citizinvestor.com, a crowdfunding platform that raises money for public projects. Recently launched Citizinvestor Connect will allow cities to go further by creating their own platforms. This will allow cities to source project ideas from citizens, who can use the platform to raise money for an initiative that the government agrees to help implement.

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Cartilage grown from patients' noses used to repair their knees

Cartilage grown from patients' noses used to repair their knees | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Depending on the part of the body and the nature of the injury, cartilage either doesn’t grow back at all, or does so very slowly. Now, however, researchers...
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U.K. Sludge Treatment Site Turns Waste Into ‘Black Gold’

U.K. Sludge Treatment Site Turns Waste Into ‘Black Gold’ | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
When the world’s largest working advanced digestion plant opened last month, it showed the power- hungry process of treating waste in the $360 billion water industry can be self-sufficient in terms of energy use.
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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Sea turtles, kingfishers and butterflies are among the pick of this week’s images from the natural world
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This Approach to Climate Change Doesn't Involve Obama, the Senate or the UN

This Approach to Climate Change Doesn't Involve Obama, the Senate or the UN | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Forget the Senate, as President Obama is trying to do. Pull the plug on the annual United Nations climate negotiations. Maybe it’s time for investors to save the planet.
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Leveraging the Climate Crisis for Human, Planetary Health

Leveraging the Climate Crisis for Human, Planetary Health | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Climate change could be the catalyst for collective action on environmental restoration and planetary health.
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The car designer who turned a sailfish into a supercar

The car designer who turned a sailfish into a supercar | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The sailfish can swim faster than a cheetah can run – and the secrets behind its speed inspired McLaren’s Frank Stephenson to create a new car.
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Colossal Dam Removal Project Frees Washington's Elwa River

Colossal Dam Removal Project Frees Washington's Elwa River | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Two dams blocked the river for more than 100 years. The lower dam is completely gone and the last 30 feet of the upper dam were blown up this week. Now, the river is returning to life.
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