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Five green community stories to watch in 2013 | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Five green community stories to watch in 2013 | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
  In my final article of 2012, I looked back at the year in review, to honor important recent work worth celebrating.  For my first one of 2013, let’s look ahead.  Here are some stories I’ll be paying attention to...
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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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A Vision for Public Food Production

A Vision for Public Food Production | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
We are increasingly concerned about the provenance of our food. Movements supporting local food production, urban agriculture, and more socially-equitable food systems have gained increasing tracti...
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The Future of Solar Economics and Policy

The Future of Solar Economics and Policy | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Solar power is at a unique place in history. It’s growing rapidly, its price is falling precipitously. Within the next 10 years, it will compete favorably with utilities for electricity sales, on price, and without subsidies. Given its rapid ascent, it might seem silly to talk about change.&nb
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DOE Issues Final Rule on Federal Green Building Standards - CleanTechies

DOE Issues Final Rule on Federal Green Building Standards - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The Federal government has long been a leader in constructing green buildings, and LEED has been the Federal standard of choice. The Department of Energy issued a final rule updating its recommended certification standards and levels for all Federal buildings on October 14, 2014. The Final Rule does not tell Agencies which rating system to use.Read More
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EarthTalk: Threats to Air Quality

EarthTalk: Threats to Air Quality | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Smog and particulate pollution remain the leading threats to air quality in the United States.
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Melissa Fleming: Let’s Help Refugees Thrive, Not Just Survive (TED video)

Melissa Fleming: Let’s Help Refugees Thrive, Not Just Survive (TED video) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
50 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their homes — a level not seen since WWII. Right now, more than 3 million Syrian
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Compact and connected communities improve public health, says new research | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Compact and connected communities improve public health, says new research | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
   We know from exhaustive past research that walkable neighborhoods and cities reduce driving, associated emissions, and living costs.  Three important academic studies published earlier this year demonstrate that they are good for our health, too. In particular, the research,...
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Powering up the poor shouldn't hurt the climate - environment - 19 October 2014 - New Scientist

Powering up the poor shouldn't hurt the climate - environment - 19 October 2014 - New Scientist | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
When countries get rich, their emissions rise – but connecting poor rural households barely affects greenhouse gas emissions
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Reducing Food Loss and Waste: An Overlooked Strategy for Creating a Sustainable Food System | World Resources Institute

Reducing Food Loss and Waste: An Overlooked Strategy for Creating a Sustainable Food System | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Today is World Food Day, a day to take a close look at our global food system and see what's working, what's not, and what needs to change. Much of the emphasis around feeding the world tends to focus around increasing food production. But just as important – and often left out of the conversation – is how we treat what’s already been produced.

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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, October 17, 9:50 PM

Not only can we reduce our enormous food waste, but we can produce better food in much better ways, both for the environment and for us.

Alan Marson's curator insight, October 18, 4:41 PM

Globally, according to WRI analysis, about 24 percent of all the calories produced for human consumption don’t actually end up reaching human mouths. As the chart below shows, this happens throughout the value chain, from farm to fork, and in all parts of the world.

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A Majority of Americans Are (Technically) Multi-Modal

A Majority of Americans Are (Technically) Multi-Modal | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
New data show a clear mobility "continuum" from car-only to car-less.
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Yale Environment 360: Pesticide Linked to Bee Deaths Does Not Improve Soybean Crops, EPA Finds

Yale Environment 360: Pesticide Linked to Bee Deaths Does Not Improve Soybean Crops, EPA Finds | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Coating soybean seeds with a class of insecticides that has been implicated in honeybee deaths and partially banned in the European Union does not increase soybean yields compared to using no pesticides at all, according to an extensive review by the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Seed treatment provides at most $6 in benefits per acre (an increase in revenue of less than 2 percent), and most likely no financial benefit at all, the EPA analysis concluded. The insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, are only effective for the first few weeks after planting, studies have found, when soybean pests are not typically active. Moreover, there are cost-effective alternatives, such as organophosphate insecticides, which can be applied as the plants are growing if pests do threaten the crop. Neonicotinoid seed treatments could theoretically help fend off sporadic and unpredictable pests, the report notes, but that benefit would be small and unlikely to be noticed outside of the southern U.S.

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Want to Get into the Doughnut? Tackle Inequality

Want to Get into the Doughnut? Tackle Inequality | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
...we need to get into the doughnut: the safe and just sweet spot between social and planetary boundaries
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Analyst: US Residential Demand Could Approach 1 GW Annually

Analyst: US Residential Demand Could Approach 1 GW Annually | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The outlook for the residential solar market in the United States remains strong, with policymakers looking to reduce the regulatory burden for new installations and major downstream players focusing on continued installed system cost reduction.
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Designing Climate Finance for the Developing World - CleanTechies

Designing Climate Finance for the Developing World - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Scaling up investment in developing nations to reduce the hardships of climate change poses many challenges.

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EPA Carbon Rules: Create Gliding Paths Instead of Cliffs

EPA Carbon Rules: Create Gliding Paths Instead of Cliffs | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The EPA’s proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide from existing power plants emphasizes the ample flexibility it provides to states. However, careful analysis of the rule shows that it provides significant flexibility for how states can achieve the required CO2 reductions, but little flexibil
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Black Magic: The Secrets of Amazonian Fertility

Black Magic: The Secrets of Amazonian Fertility | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The great Amazon rainforest. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Bones. Charcoal. Ash. Blood. Feces. Food waste. Pottery shards. Before I began my journ
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Germany's Energiewende Proves Electricity can be Clean and Reliable - CleanTechies

Germany's Energiewende Proves Electricity can be Clean and Reliable - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Since 2004, the year of the first major revision of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the country has added at least 35 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 35 GW of wind to its electric grid – enough to offset upwards of 35 coal plants. What’s more impressive is during the first half of 2014, closeRead More
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After Years Without a Grocery Store, Greensboro Neighbors Are Building One Themselves—And They’ll Own It

After Years Without a Grocery Store, Greensboro Neighbors Are Building One Themselves—And They’ll Own It | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
For more than 15 years, there were many efforts to lure a new grocery store into the space. However, while the store would be profitable, it wouldn’t be profitable enough to satisfy the demands of the shareholder-based economy of a large corporation.
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Global Boom in Natural Gas Unlikely to Help the Climate, Study Suggests - CleanTechies

Global Boom in Natural Gas Unlikely to Help the Climate, Study Suggests - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Increasing global supplies of unconventional natural gas will not help to reduce the overall upward trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions and the planetary warming that comes with it, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. The findings further undercut the notion, long touted by proponents of natural gas, that the fuel —Read More
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The Kissimmee: A River Recurved

The Kissimmee: A River Recurved | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
In Florida, a key river is undergoing the largest environmental restoration effort in the world. But when complete, a looming water shortage means the river's waters still face an uncertain future.
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Acoustic Analysis Using Energy Modeling – Building Design For Occupant Comfort

Acoustic Analysis Using Energy Modeling – Building Design For Occupant Comfort | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Energy modeling allows designers to simulate a building’s energy performance during the early design and concept phase itself. It provides engineers with a display that is highly visual and interactive. As a result, engineers can analyze the results and device appropriate solutions; they can also communicate extensive databases and complex concepts...
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A New Climate Economy: Shifting Corporate America onto a Low-Carbon Path | World Resources Institute

A New Climate Economy: Shifting Corporate America onto a Low-Carbon Path | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

As more businesses take action on climate change, new research could help accelerate the trend by showing why it’s in U.S. companies’ economic best interests.

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Energy for growing and harvesting crops is a large component of farm operating costs - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Energy for growing and harvesting crops is a large component of farm operating costs - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

The U.S. agriculture industry used nearly 800 trillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy in 2012, or about as much primary energy as the entire state of Utah. Agricultural energy consumption includes energy needed to grow and harvest crops and energy needed to grow livestock. Crop operations consume much more energy than livestock operations, and energy expenditures for crops account for a higher percentage of farm operating costs.

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Limits to Growth: Where We Are and What to Do About It

Limits to Growth: Where We Are and What to Do About It | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
In this talk, Nate Hagens synthesizes the current landscape of global energy, environment and financial risks while offering suggestions on what to do as a hominid living on a full planet.
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Sustainable Solutions: Water in the Walls

Sustainable Solutions: Water in the Walls | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
People who study ecological design understand the importance of thermal mass for keeping places cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As water issues continue to plague many parts of the planet, the notion of rainwater harvesting beco...
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Offshore Wind Power Can Save US Billions On Electricity, Recent DOE Study Finds

Offshore Wind Power Can Save US Billions On Electricity, Recent DOE Study Finds | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Offshore wind power isn’t usually associated with lower-cost energy, at least not in the public imagination. But it turns out that installing 54 gigawatts of offshore wind power off America’s coasts can cut the cost of electricity in the U.S. by an astounding $7.68 billion a year. That&r
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