We should price nature to protect it. That was the topic up for debate at the IQ2 event that attracted several hundred people in Sydney on July 21. “Price” and “nature” were the moving targets in this debate hosted by The Ethics Centre. It seemed to be successful however in changing people’s minds, but why?
At the outset some 53 per cent of attendees were on the affirmative side of the debate but only 36 per cent retained their view at the conclusion. Some 20 per cent took the negative position initially but this rose to 51 per cent, with many from the “undecided” category joining their ranks.
Motorized vehicle emissions are a primary cause of air pollution and yield some of the most adverse impacts on public health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to heavy traffic—even living near a major road—harms health and increases mortality rates. In 2012 alone, outdoor air pollution caused 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide, 88 percent of which occurred in low and middle-income countries.
In response, pedestrianization projects in cities worldwide are demonstrating that transforming car-oriented streets into walkable environments can generate a range of benefits—from higher levels of physical activity to greater economic activity. Istanbul, for example, has been a leader for pedestrianized communities and is demonstrating that making streets about people—not cars—can produce concrete benefits for all.
People suffering from cataracts aren't exactly flush with options when it comes to restoring their vision. But new research suggests a less invasive solution might be on the way by treating them with a naturally occurring molecule through a simple eye drop.
In 2011, Brookings and the Rockefeller Foundation launched the Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation (PSMI), a five-year initiative to expand economic growth and opportunity in metropolitan regions. To better understand the impact of the project, Brookings has undertaken research to document state and metro area implementation and progress toward more productive and inclusive economic growth.
Algae could replace corn as feed for cattle and other livestock, according to findings published in the Journal of Animal Science. Algae — hardy microorganisms that can grow in a variety of environments and laboratory settings — require less fertilizer, water, land, and herbicides than corn, and thus could prove to be an environmentally friendly alternative for livestock feed, researchers say. The materials used in the new study were remnants of algae grown and processed for other applications, such as cosmetics, cooking oil, and biofuels, and would otherwise have been burned as waste. The researchers found that even these pre-processed leftovers were able to provide the same amount of protein as corn, along with slightly more fat. Cattle in the study readily ate the algae at a variety of concentrations and maintained their body weight as well as corn-fed cattle. Researchers say the algal meal could be priced to compete with corn and could be on the market by 2016.
Plastic carrier bags are typically petroleum-based, take a long time to decompose and are often imported from distant countries. They're also tricky to carry when cycling. The new PaperJohn tackles all of these issues. It's a backpack made of biodegradable, 100 percent recycled paper.
Chinese researchers have constructed a type of synthetic coral that could help remove toxic heavy metals like mercury from the ocean, according to a report in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. Mercury can be especially toxic to corals because they very efficiently adsorb heavy metals, the scientists note. They took advantage of that ability to create a synthetic coral that can bind and remove mercury pollution in water. The coral-like structure is covered with self-curling nanoplates made of aluminum oxide — a chemical compound that can collect heavy metals. The scientists found that the synthetic coral structure could bind mercury 2.5 times more efficiently than aluminum oxide particles alone. According to the World Health Organization, up to 17 in every thousand children living in areas relying on subsistence fishing showed cognitive declines caused by eating mercury-contaminated fish.
Sustainability with a local or precinct flavour is of growing interest, but what exactly is a precinct? Murray Hogarth, one of the founders of the Total Environment Centre’s Smart Locale, found this was a critical question in establishing the new group
Flora Moon's insight:
Good insights about the importance of establishing common definitions.
Traffic crashes claim 1.28 million each year, and will be the world’s fifth-largest cause of death by 2030 unless we improve road safety. The impact of these crashes falls disproportionally on cities in the developing world, with 90 percent of all deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. In Sao Paulo, more than 1,300 people die from traffic crashes every year; in Delhi, it’s more than 1,500.
While those who use the roads have historically been seen as responsible for these shocking numbers, the responsibility also can rest with road system designers and urban decision makers. A new WRI report, Cities Safer by Design, shows how basic design principles can save lives on urban streets.
As urban populations grow, with more city dwellers using cars to get around, the risk rises for the most vulnerable on city streets: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The United Nation’s Decade of Action on Road Safety initiative has focused attention on the issue.
Nossa Cidade (“Our City”), from TheCityFix Brasil, explores critical questions for building more sustainable cities. Every month features a new theme. Leaning on the expertise of researchers and specialists in WRI’s sustainable urban mobility team in Brazil, the series will feature in depth articles on urban planning, sustainable mobility, gender, resilience, and other key themes for sparking more sustainable development in our cities.
In an interview with TheCityFix Brasil, Felipe Calderon, former President of Mexico and President of the Global Climate Economy Commission, emphasized the role that sustainable urban growth plays in climate change mitigation: “We need to build new urban infrastructure and create more compact and well connected cities. The way we build our cities and transportation systems will determine our economic performance, residents’ quality of life, and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced over the next decades.”
The world is taking notice of this urgency. The role of cities in tackling climate change will be will be just one of the issues discussed in September at the International Congress Cities & Transport. Some of the voices that we’ll hear from include Sam Adams, former mayor of Portland (USA); Rachel Biderman, director of WRI Brazil; Nelson Franco, climate change manager for the City Hall of Rio de Janeiro; and Délio Malheiros, vice mayor and environment secretary of Belo Horizonte.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.