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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
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Bill McKibben: The Planet's Future Depends On Distributed Systems

Bill McKibben: The Planet's Future Depends On Distributed Systems | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
"So my guess is that we’re going to see a rise of distributed energy—solar and wind being the best examples. But that is going to have interesting effects in all kinds of ways, one of which is a more democratic economy than the one we have now..."
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A Multi-Trillion Dollar Opportunity for Better Growth | World Resources Institute

A Multi-Trillion Dollar Opportunity for Better Growth | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A new report lays out 10 recommendations that could deliver 96 percent of the emissions reductions needed by 2030 to keep global warming to safe levels while also generating economic benefits.
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Scientists say warming seas could kill off coral reefs in Pacific, Atlantic oceans

Scientists say warming seas could kill off coral reefs in Pacific, Atlantic oceans | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Coral reefs are essential to ocean health, but dangerous coral bleaching is occurring more often and more widely due to warmer water, scientists report
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Is Solar Net Metering a Subsidy to Utilities? - CleanTechies

Is Solar Net Metering a Subsidy to Utilities? - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
When Robert Nohavec of Park City, Utah; Jabbar Graham from Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Don Born, of Waldoboro, Maine installed solar on their homes, they had something unexpected in common. They were all giving back to their electric company and their community. That’s because solar energy systems tend to provide more value to theRead More
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I'd like to see the net benefit distributed to installation of solar energy systems and subsidized energy rates for the needy.

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Yale Environment 360: Water Usage for Fracking Has Increased Dramatically, Study Shows

Yale Environment 360: Water Usage for Fracking Has Increased Dramatically, Study Shows | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Oil and natural gas fracking requires 28 times more water now than it did 15 years ago, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The increased water demand is attributed to the development of new, water-intensive technologies that target fossil fuels in complicated geological formations, the researchers say. The amount of water used varies greatly with location, the study found. A fracking operation in southern Illinois, for example, can use as little as 2,600 gallons of water each time an oil or gas well is fracked. That figure jumps to more than 9 million gallons in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and south and eastern Texas. Fracking is often concentrated in arid regions and could exacerbate existing water shortages, especially as water requirements for fracking continue to increase. Most of the water used for fracking is disposed deep underground, removing it from the water cycle.

Flora Moon's insight:

Closed Loop Challenge:  How do we get keep water used for oil exploration in the water cycle and fit for all living things?

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Fossil fuels have made up at least 80% of U.S. fuel mix since 1900 - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Fossil fuels have made up at least 80% of U.S. fuel mix since 1900 - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
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STATEMENT: WRI Calls China INDC "A Serious and Credible Contribution" | World Resources Institute

STATEMENT: WRI Calls China INDC "A Serious and Credible Contribution" | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (JUNE 30, 2015)— China formally submitted its contribution to United Nations climate talks today. The pledge commits China to a peak in emissions by 2030, an increase in the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix by about 20 percent by 2030, and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% by 2030, from 2005 levels.
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Compact, Connected, and Coordinated: A Vision for India’s Smart Cities | TheCityFix

Compact, Connected, and Coordinated: A Vision for India’s Smart Cities | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Like many other developing countries, not only do India’s cities face severe infrastructure bottlenecks and service level deficits that undercut economic performance, but poorly managed urban growth directly impacts health and quality of life. Worsening air pollution in Indian cities is estimated to have caused 620,000 premature deaths per year (WHO). Cities also add significantly to overall carbon emissions (close to half of India’s net greenhouse gas emission originate in urban areas). These costs are exacerbated by the ongoing real-estate boom in peri-urban areas fueled by demand from the IT and residential sectors that is not only unplanned, but almost entirely devoid of adequate public services (water, sewer, power) provision or reasonable access to transit infrastructure. This reinforces the vicious cycle of deeper and deeper reliance by firms and households on groundwater, private vehicular ownership, and polluting diesel power generation to meet basic needs. The costs of business-as-usual urban development are clearly unsustainable.

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Brazil announces massive reforestation and renewable energy plan with US

Brazil announces massive reforestation and renewable energy plan with US | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
President Dilma Rousseff pledged to restore 12m hectares of deforested land and increase renewable energy use by 2030 as part of climate partnership with US
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Cheap Reductions, Not Binding Targets, are Best Bet

Cheap Reductions, Not Binding Targets, are Best Bet | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The core problem in climate policy design is that the costs and benefits of taking action are highly uncertain and have very different time dimensions. Costs are incurred in the short term while benefits are likely to be many decades into the future, writes Warwick McKibbin.
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The Grid is at a Fork in the Road

The Grid is at a Fork in the Road | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Today, the road towards an integrated grid is the one less traveled. But it is for this very reason that RMI is working with leaders in New York and elsewhere to collaboratively develop the solutions that will lead us down the road toward an integrated grid.
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Catholic organisations call for people to change lifestyles to help environment

Catholic organisations call for people to change lifestyles to help environment | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
CIDSE, international alliance of Catholic social justice groups, follows Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical by calling for action against global warming
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Why a Leading Indian Politician Is Now an Environmental Hawk by Christian Schwagerl: Yale Environment 360

Why a Leading Indian Politician Is Now an Environmental Hawk by Christian Schwagerl: Yale Environment 360 | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh believes the “cult” of unfettered economic growth has been ruinous for India’s environment. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about his vision of “green growth,” which he says is essential for his nation’s future.
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12 tools for communicating climate change more effectively

12 tools for communicating climate change more effectively | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Be consistent, talk about risk rather than uncertainty, use visuals, tell human stories and give the top-line message before the caveats
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Are bridge-mounted wind turbines a viable option?

Are bridge-mounted wind turbines a viable option? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
European researchers have released a study that suggests turbines mounted underneath bridges could be a good way to harness the power of the wind in built up areas, or natural regions with limitations on development.
Flora Moon's insight:

DUMB QUESTION:  This idea seems so wrong - how will the birds know not to fly under that section of bridge?

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White House plans rooftop solar panel initiative for inner-city neighbourhoods

White House plans rooftop solar panel initiative for inner-city neighbourhoods | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The White House wants to cut bills and fight climate change by installing 300 megawatts of solar power in subsidised housing by 2020
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What Does Community Mean?

What Does Community Mean? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Community is an important buzzword these days. People recognize that social structures are deteriorating and that people want more of a sense of connection with others.
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Carbon Pricing Gains Popularity with Governments, Businesses | World Resources Institute

Carbon Pricing Gains Popularity with Governments, Businesses | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Thirty-nine countries now have carbon-pricing policies on the books, while hundreds of businesses have voiced support. Pricing carbon, which was just a theoretical concept a few years ago, has blossomed into real climate action.
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Who Should Immigration be Helping? | Newgeography.com

Who Should Immigration be Helping? | Newgeography.com | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Recent revelations about the firing of American tech workers and their replacement by temporary visa holders reveal, in the starkest way, why many Americans are wary of the impact of untrammeled immigration. Workers in American companies have been removed from their jobs not because they could not perform them, but because their replacements, largely from India, are simply cheaper and, likely, more malleable.

The H-1B temporary visa program was purportedly designed to help tech firms hire specialized talent to fill needs not adequately addressed by the U.S. labor market. But what it has really become is a way to lay off workers for cheaper ones.

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Affordable Housing Crisis Grows Across the Country as Apartment Rents Skyrocket

Affordable Housing Crisis Grows Across the Country as Apartment Rents Skyrocket | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A new national report finds homelessness is also rising.
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The European circular economy package – what the experts think

The European circular economy package – what the experts think | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The European commission put bold plans to scrap waste on hold last year, but is preparing to present a new and improved proposal
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White aging means post-millennial America is becoming more diverse everywhere

White aging means post-millennial America is becoming more diverse everywhere | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
While media attention continues to focus on the racial issues in America’s biggest cities and its most racially diverse regions, William H. Frey explains why newly released census data make plain why we need to expect a more racially diverse America everywhere.
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Worth saving: landscapes threatened by climate change - gallery

Worth saving: landscapes threatened by climate change - gallery | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
We asked you to submit your photos of places you want to save from rising tides, elevated temperatures and natural disasters. Add your contributions in the comments below
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One in Three Investors Will Back Their First Solar Project within the Next Year - CleanTechies

One in Three Investors Will Back Their First Solar Project within the Next Year - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
One interesting development of the commercial solar industry boom that is currently under way in the U.S. is the numbers of professional investors getting involved with the sector. Over 60 percent of investors will invest in commercial solar and a staggering 83 percent of investors will make investment in solar a priority in the next fiveRead More
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BLDGBLOG: Slingshots of the Oceanic

BLDGBLOG: Slingshots of the Oceanic | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Gravity-assisted space travel is when you use the gravitational pull of one planet or other celestial body as a fuel-efficient way to "slingshot" yourself toward another, more distant goal, someplace you could not have reached without assistance, either in terms of your velocity or even your basic direction.

You head toward one place to get to another—or "by indirections find directions out," we might say.

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