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Jeffrey D. Sachs says that the fight against global warming is mainly a technological problem. - Project Syndicate

Jeffrey D. Sachs says that the fight against global warming is mainly a technological problem. - Project Syndicate | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Decarbonizing the world’s energy system requires that our production of vast and growing amounts of electricity does not boost atmospheric CO2 emissions, a zero-carbon transport fleet, and a lot more production per kilowatt-hour of power. These are mainly engineering problems, not negotiating problems.
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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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‘Animated Life: Seeing the Invisible’

This animated documentary celebrates the scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, whose discovery of microbes would change our view of the biological world.
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Reconciling the Supply & Demand of Good Intentions

Reconciling the Supply & Demand of Good Intentions | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
By John Cary
LinkedIn recently eclipsed a staggering 300 million members.
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Big corporates leading the way on climate change with carbon pricing

Big corporates leading the way on climate change with carbon pricing | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
New CDP report shows 150 major companies already use an internal price on carbon and many more are calling for clear pricing to help regulate emissions The progressive corporate sector plans to make a major push at next weeks climate change summit...
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Duke Energy Invests Heavily in Solar

Duke Energy Invests Heavily in Solar | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
An RFP issued in February 2014 is paying off in spades for the solar industry with Duke Energy today announcing that it is making a $500 million commitment to solar power in North Carolina. Duke said that the announcement furthers its commitment to renewable energy, helps diversify its energy portfo
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Social Impact Investing: Making Money Make a Difference: Video

Ronald Cohen, chairman at Social Impact Investment Taskforce, explains the process of social impact investing, offering funding to people and businesses who aim to improve society and offers his thoughts on this week’s Scottish independence vote. He speaks with Guy Johnson on “The Pulse.”

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Are we on the path of 'Limits to Growth'?

Are we on the path of 'Limits to Growth'? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Researchers are finding that the business-as-usual scenario in the 1972 "Limits to Growth" study is unfolding before our eyes. Will reality follow that scenario further into the beginning of industrial decline this decade?
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Drought bites as Amazon’s ‘flying rivers’ dry up

Drought bites as Amazon’s ‘flying rivers’ dry up | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Climate News Network: Deforestation and climate change responsible for forests not producing vapour clouds that bring rain to Brazil, scientists say
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Making markets mainstream

Making markets mainstream | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
For most small-scale farmers and producers, the local farmers’ market is the engine of their business.
Flora Moon's insight:

We need to make the market adjustments so that small-scale farmers and producers can make a living!

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How Are Millennial Employees Changing Companies

How Are Millennial Employees Changing Companies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
With an influx of young people raise in a different era, are corporate landscapes responding--or just reshaping young idealists?
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Infrastructure in U.S. Cities: New Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Infrastructure in U.S. Cities: New Urban Bikeway Design Guide | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

In 2000, the District of Columbia had three miles of bike lanes. Today, the district has roughly 80 miles of bike infrastructure, and many other U.S. cities have made similar investments. Bicycling Magazine’s top 50 bike friendly cities includes some unsurprising places at the top – Minneapolis, Portland, Boulder, Seattle – but also shows how cities such as Cleveland, Miami, and Baltimore have made important strides in the last several years to improve their bike systems. Several are members of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), which has put out its best-selling Urban Bikeway Design Guide, first released in 2011, now with an updated second edition this year.

NACTO’s updated second edition is part of their “sustained commitment to making city streets safer for everyone using them.” Reformatted with improved structure, it features photos, diagrams, and 3-D renderings of wide-ranging best practices in design for bike infrastructure...


Via Lauren Moss
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Scientists reset human stem cells to earliest developmental state equivalent to 7-9 days old embryo

Scientists reset human stem cells to earliest developmental state equivalent to 7-9 days old embryo | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Scientists have successfully ‘reset’ human pluripotent stem cells to the earliest developmental state – equivalent to cells found in an embryo before it implants in the womb (7-9 days old). These ‘pristine’ stem cells may mark the true starting point for human development, but have until now been impossible to replicate in the lab. fThe discovery, published in Cell, will lead to a better understanding of human development and could in future allow the production of safe and more reproducible starting materials for a wide range of applications including cell therapies.

Human pluripotent stem cells, which have the potential to become any of the cells and tissues in the body, can be made in the lab either from cells extracted from a very early stage embryo or from adult cells that have been induced into a pluripotent state.

However, scientists have struggled to generate human pluripotent stem cells that are truly pristine (also known as naïve). Instead, researchers have only been able to derive cells which have advanced slightly further down the developmental pathway. These bear some of the early hallmarks of differentiation into distinct cell types – they’re not a truly ‘blank slate’. This may explain why existing human pluripotent stem cell lines often exhibit a bias towards producing certain tissue types in the laboratory.

Now researchers led by the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council (MRC) Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge, have managed to induce a ground state by rewiring the genetic circuitry in human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Their ‘reset cells’ share many of the characteristics of authentic naïve embryonic stem cells isolated from mice, suggesting that they represent the earliest stage of development.

“Capturing embryonic stem cells is like stopping the developmental clock at the precise moment before they begin to turn into distinct cells and tissues,” explains Professor Austin Smith, Director of the Stem Cell Institute, who co-authored the paper. “Scientists have perfected a reliable way of doing this with mouse cells, but human cells have proved more difficult to arrest and show subtle differences between the individual cells. It’s as if the developmental clock has not stopped at the same time and some cells are a few minutes ahead of others.”

The process of generating stem cells in the lab is much easier to control in mouse cells, which can be frozen in a state of naïve pluripotency using a protein called LIF. Human cells are not as responsive to LIF, so they must be controlled in a different way that involves switching key genes on and off. For this reason scientists have been unable to generate human pluripotent cells that are as primitive or as consistent as mouse embryonic stem cells.

The researchers overcame this problem by introducing two genes – NANOG and KLF2 – causing the network of genes that control the cell to reboot and induce the naïve pluripotent state. Importantly, the introduced genes only need to be present for a short time. Then, like other stem cells, reset cells can self-renew indefinitely to produce large numbers, are stable and can differentiate into other cell types, including nerve and heart cells.

By studying the reset cells, scientists will be able to learn more about how normal embryo development progresses and also how it can go wrong, leading to miscarriage and developmental disorders. The naïve state of the reset stem cells may also make it easier and more reliable to grow and manipulate them in the laboratory and may allow them to serve as a blank canvas for creating specialised cells and tissues for use in regenerative medicine.

Professor Smith adds: “Our findings suggest that it is possible to rewind the clock to achieve true ground state pluripotency in human cells. These cells may represent the real starting point for formation of tissues in the human embryo. We hope that in time they will allow us to unlock the fundamental biology of early development, which is impossible to study directly in people.” - See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/scientists-reset-human-stem-cells-to-earliest-developmental-state#sthash.4gxh2MI9.dpuf


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Concluding the Future of Knowledge Work | Hinesight....for Foresight

Concluding the Future of Knowledge Work | Hinesight....for Foresight | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Concludes the series on the future of knowledge work with some key implications
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Bobonline.org - YouTube

Freedom starts with a choice. Bobonline.org - Your global access to ballots on political and social issues and a direct, participatory democracy. The new NGO...
Flora Moon's insight:

This organization seems to be organizing for "crowd-truthing" an  interesting use of #crowdfunding.

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New High Resolution Maps Show Greenhouse Gas Emissions at City-Level

New High Resolution Maps Show Greenhouse Gas Emissions at City-Level | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Researchers have developed a new method for mapping global carbon emissions for individual cities on an hourly basis — a major improvement over previous techniques, which quantified greenhouse emissions less accurately and at coarser scales,...
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Duke Energy Commits To Largest Solar Farm East Of Mississippi

Duke Energy Commits To Largest Solar Farm East Of Mississippi | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Crews complete construction of the solar panel structure at the O2 Energies solar panel farm in Newland, N.C., in 2011.
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Rethinking prosperity: exploring alternatives to the economic system

Rethinking prosperity: exploring alternatives to the economic system | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Guardian Sustainable Business launches a new section delving into what it takes to create a more socially and financially equitable society that operates within ecological limits If you want to understand why we are not making faster progress...
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The UN Climate Summit: What’s in it for Cities? | TheCityFix

The UN Climate Summit: What’s in it for Cities? | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

City leaders have a key role to play at next week’s UN Climate Summit in New York City, which brings together heads of state, mayors, business leaders, and civil society representatives to build momentum towards an international agenda to tackle climate change and build resilience.


The window of opportunity to make meaningful progress in the battle against climate change is shrinking. This is especially true in cities, which are set to gain 1.4 billion people by 2030 and develop trillions of dollars in new infrastructure. Since 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions originate in cities – and these same cities are expected to bear the brunt of climate change impact – any international climate agreement must address urbanization to address the full scope of the challenge.


The Climate Summit places cities high on an agenda packed with different ideas for reducing the world’s emissions. Specifically, municipal leaders will narrow in on three lines of action for low-carbon, sustainable cities: adaptation and resilience; greenhouse gas accounting; and closing the finance gap for sustainable urban development.

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The Next Generation Greenhouse

The Next Generation Greenhouse | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Four Dutch engineers have started a revolution. They have developed plan production units the size of a city block and just a few stories high capable of producing the same volume of crops as a large farm.

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The New Alchemy: How Self-Healing Materials Could Change the World

The New Alchemy: How Self-Healing Materials Could Change the World | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Scientists are cooking up asphalt, concrete, and metals that heal themselves. That means smarter and stronger infrastructure—and just a dash of magic.
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How to Make Farm-to-Table A Truly Sustainable Movement by Diane Toomey: Yale Environment 360

How to Make Farm-to-Table A Truly Sustainable Movement by Diane Toomey: Yale Environment 360 | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Chef Dan Barber says the farm-to-table movement that he helped build has failed to support sustainable agriculture on a large scale. To do that, he says in a Yale Environment 360 interview, we need a new way of looking at diverse crops and the foods we eat.
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Symbolic regression of generative network models

Symbolic regression of generative network models | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Networks are a powerful abstraction with applicability to a variety of scientific fields. Models explaining their morphology and growth processes permit a wide range of phenomena to be more systematically analysed and understood. At the same time, creating such models is often challenging and requires insights that may be counter-intuitive. Yet there currently exists no general method to arrive at better models. We have developed an approach to automatically detect realistic decentralised network growth models from empirical data, employing a machine learning technique inspired by natural selection and defining a unified formalism to describe such models as computer programs. As the proposed method is completely general and does not assume any pre-existing models, it can be applied “out of the box” to any given network. To validate our approach empirically, we systematically rediscover pre-defined growth laws underlying several canonical network generation models and credible laws for diverse real-world networks. We were able to find programs that are simple enough to lead to an actual understanding of the mechanisms proposed, namely for a simple brain and a social network.


Symbolic regression of generative network models
• Telmo Menezes & Camille Roth

Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 6284 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep06284

See Also: https://github.com/telmomenezes/synthetic


Via Complexity Digest
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Big data meets systems and can potentially shines a light on system dynamics....

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New York City's Protected Bike Lanes Have Actually Sped Up Its Car Traffic

New York City's Protected Bike Lanes Have Actually Sped Up Its Car Traffic | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Don't listen to the angry drivers shouting at you. By reducing pedestrian and cyclist injuries and easing car congestion, protected bike lanes are...
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The Rise of Urban Riverfronts | Newgeography.com

The Rise of Urban Riverfronts | Newgeography.com | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

In the '80s, downtown Providence was a much less vibrant and destination-worthy place than it is now. Its urban rivers were buried beneath cement, rail-lines, and acres of concrete until a public-private revitalization effort gained enough traction. Today, in its place, the 11-acre Waterplace Park hosts numerous attractions, including the well-loved Waterfire events, and is a long, winding string of paths and bridges that sprawls through Providence’s downtown.

What's best about its place-making design is its versatility. The riverfront offers commutable routes between destinations, areas to picnic or socialize during lunch breaks, and event space throughout the seasons. Gondola rides, kayaking, and even viral pop-up installations all thrive here, making it multi-functional and inviting to a range of citizens.

Flora Moon's insight:

Houston is in the process of "parkification" of the bayous that run through the city center and the result is magnificent. 

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Michelle Holliday's TED Talk VIDEO on Thrivability + The Future of Humanity

Michelle Holliday's TED Talk VIDEO on Thrivability + The Future of Humanity | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
4/4/2011  I'm posting this again with the Video of Michelle's talk as well as the text version I sent in late February.  Walt Significant changes often are underpinned by a significantly different ...

Via Anne Caspari
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Anne Caspari's curator insight, September 11, 8:44 AM

It's an older video (2011) but still neat!  It is always worth while looking how  Living systems do it... 

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Who's Willing to Pay for Renewable Energy?

Who's Willing to Pay for Renewable Energy? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Reuters It's easy for people to say they support renewable energy. But if their eagerness to be green meant spending more money, would they really?
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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, September 12, 2:04 PM

"Younger adults across the board were more likely to agree that paying more for renewable energy is worth it: 60 percent of people aged 18 to 34 responded affirmatively. Older generations found that commitment more distasteful, with roughly 44 percent of those 50 and above agreeing. (People older than 65 said they "didn't know" almost three times more often as youngsters). And college graduates were more likely to open their wallets for renewable energy than people with a high-school education or less."