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Update on US natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewables

Update on US natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewables | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
On August 6, I wrote a post called Making Sense of the US Oil Story, in which I looked at US oil. In this post, I would like to look at other sources of US energy.
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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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The US Deployed 5.8MW of Energy Storage in Q1 2015 - CleanTechies

The US Deployed 5.8MW of Energy Storage in Q1 2015 - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
According to the latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, a quarterly report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA), the United States deployed 5.8 megawatts of energy storage in the first quarter of the year. That’s up 16 percent over the first quarter of 2014. Seventy-two percent of the nation’s recently deployed capacity wasRead More
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Aided by the Sea, Israel Overcomes an Old Foe: Drought

Aided by the Sea, Israel Overcomes an Old Foe: Drought | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A major national effort to desalinate Mediterranean seawater and to recycle wastewater has provided the country with enough water for all its needs.
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Earthern Floors: Why, How, and Where

Earthern Floors: Why, How, and Where | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
My first step onto an earthen floor (sometimes called a ‘poured adobe’ floor) awakened me.
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Bees and Other Pollinators Love These Flowering Plants

Bees and Other Pollinators Love These Flowering Plants | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Given that here in the Midwest it's still planting season, and pollinators still (always!) need good habitat, I hope that anyone reading this will feel inspired to add more native plants to their gardens.
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Drive your car, help fight climate change? The new biofuel that claims to be carbon negative

Drive your car, help fight climate change? The new biofuel that claims to be carbon negative | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Colorado-based startup Cool Planet says it has created a fuel that mixes seamlessly with gasoline and actually removes carbon from the atmosphere
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Yale Environment 360: Designed for the Future: Practical Ideas for Sustainability

Yale Environment 360: Designed for the Future: Practical Ideas for Sustainability | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

From packing materials made of mushrooms to buildings engineered to cool and power themselves, sustainable design can play a key role in helping people adapt to a changing planet. That’s a central message of the new book Designed for the Future, by Jared Green, senior communications manager for the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Green asked more than 80 experts in sustainable design — architects, journalists, urban planners, and others — to point to a specific project that gives them hope that a sustainable future is possible.

Their selections varied widely, from communities that leave no carbon footprint to cutting-edge technological research programs. The respondents were not allowed to cite anything they had worked on themselves. But in looking in places as diverse as Belfast, Seoul, and Toronto, they found innovative approaches that show a sustainable way forward.

This gallery highlights a few of the projects they say have inspired them.

— Crystal Gammon

28 May 2015


View the gallery.

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Great Barrier Reef: Unesco to release draft ruling on 'in danger' listing

Great Barrier Reef: Unesco to release draft ruling on 'in danger' listing | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Recommendations will inform a final decision by the UN world heritage committee next month
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Production for Use and the Cooperative Commonwealth: A Necessary Addition to the Sustainability Conversation

Production for Use  and the Cooperative Commonwealth: A Necessary Addition  to the Sustainability Conversation | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Producers and consumers cooperate in the creation of value and have a common interest in stable, sustainable economic processes.
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How Cities Are Shaping International Relations | TheCityFix

How Cities Are Shaping International Relations | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

It can be easy to overlook foreign policy at a city level, given that high-profile agreements are typically made between national governments. However, while countries negotiate international security deals, trade partnerships, and climate agreements, the power of cities to develop their own foreign policy is growing.


Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the United Nations estimates that by 2050, two-thirds will live in cities. In the next 13 years, 600 cities will account for nearly 65 percent of global GDP growth. With this explosion in the economic power of cities, it is not surprising that cities are taking foreign policy matters into their own hands. In particular, cities such as Tokyo, New York and Paris—those with higher concentrations of global organizations, businesses, and educational and cultural institutions—are increasingly working together to tackle common challenges like poverty, aging infrastructure, and climate change.


With national governments stymied by political gridlock and leaders often disconnected from the local context and, international networks of cities provide a forum in which cities learn from each other. Cities are well-positioned to take the reins, given their economic and human capital and their smaller, more nimble governments. In the same way that global national leaders convene in summits like the G20, cities are positioned to form their own partnerships to work toward common goals at the local level beyond national borders.‎

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Does America’s Transportation Future Really Need More and Bigger Roads?

Does America’s Transportation Future Really Need More and Bigger Roads? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Finding more money for the Highway Trust Fund overlooks the more fundamental question: will we need more HTF revenue and will we need to build more road capacity in the years and decades ahead?
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Recognizing the global opportunity in the middle market

Recognizing the global opportunity in the middle market | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
When one thinks of foreign-owned companies operating in the United States, large manufacturing firms such as Honda and BMW come to mind. Yet in the 100 largest metropolitan areas, only 1.3 percent of foreign-owned establishments have more than 500 employees, and three-quarters of large metro areas have fewer than 10 such establishments. Thus, while efforts to attract large foreign firms might capture headlines, strategies to secure and expand foreign investment in the middle market—general
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Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living

Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
'Better' explores the intersection of sustainability and art, showing how each of us can reinvent our lives as our greatest artistic achievement
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Smartphone and tablet could be used for cheap, portable medical biosensing

Smartphone and tablet could be used for cheap, portable medical biosensing | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
As mobile technology progresses, we're seeing more and more examples of low-cost diagnostic systems being created for use in developing nations. One of the latest incorporates little more than a smartphone, tablet, polarizer and box to test body fluid samples for diseases.
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This Gorgeous Visualization Shows Which Way Your City's Winds Will Blow

This Gorgeous Visualization Shows Which Way Your City's Winds Will Blow | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Will it be still as a crypt tomorrow or gusty as a typhoon? To find out, you could check the local weather forecast. Or if you wanted a more sublime, artistic answer, you could visit the wonderful Windyty, a simulation of air currents for today, tomorrow, and several days into the future.

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Oasis at Risk: Oman’s Ancient Water Channels Are Drying Up by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360

Oasis at Risk: Oman’s Ancient Water Channels Are Drying Up by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360 | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Since pre-Islamic times, Oman’s water systems known as aflaj have brought water from the mountains and made the desert bloom. But now, unregulated pumping of groundwater is depleting aquifers and causing the long-reliable channels to run dry.
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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

A lion escapes a herd of angry buffalo, lesson in rock climbing and a charging elephant feature in this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Two radically different cities, and the sustainability challenges they face

Two radically different cities, and the sustainability challenges they face | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Leading a sustainable life in Iqaluit and Johannesburg isn’t always easy, but communities are rallying to overcome long-standing hurdles
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Yale Environment 360: Ozone Benefits of Montreal Protocol Already Widespread, Study Says

Yale Environment 360: Ozone Benefits of Montreal Protocol Already Widespread, Study Says | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

The planet's protective ozone layer is in far better shape today thanks to the United Nations' Montreal Protocol, which came into force in 1987 and restricted the use of ozone-depleting substances such as CFCs, according to a new study in Nature Communications. The researchers used 3D atmospheric chemistry modeling to look at what might have happened to the ozone layer had the treaty not been implemented. The findings suggest that the Antarctic ozone hole would have grown by an additional 40 percent by 2013 and, had ozone-depleting substances continued to increase, the ozone layer would have become significantly thinner over other parts of the globe. A very large ozone hole over the Arctic would have occurred during the exceptionally cold Arctic winter of 2010-2011 — colder temperatures cause more loss — and smaller Arctic ozone holes would have become a regular occurrence. "We knew that it would save us from large ozone loss 'in the future,'" said lead researcher Martyn Chipperfield of the University of Leeds. "But in fact we are already past the point when things would have become noticeably worse."

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Supporting the New Climate Agreement: A Checklist for Business | World Resources Institute

Supporting the New Climate Agreement: A Checklist for Business | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Businesses can help move international climate action forward through direct interventions in their own operations and by creating a surround sound of support. Global Director of WRI's Business Center Kevin Moss lays out a five-point checklist.
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The Changing Geography of Racial Opportunity | Newgeography.com

The Changing Geography of Racial Opportunity | Newgeography.com | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

n the aftermath of the Baltimore riots, there is increased concern with issues of race and opportunity. Yet most of the discussion focuses on such things as police brutality, perceptions of racism and other issues that are dear to the hearts of today’s progressive chattering classes. Together they are creating what talk show host Tavis Smiley, writing in Time, has labeled “an American catastrophe.”


Yet what has not been looked at nearly as much are the underlying conditions that either restrict or enhance upward mobility among racial minorities, including African-Americans, Latinos and Asians. In order to determine this, my colleague at Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism Wendell Cox and I developed a ranking system that included four critical factors: migration patterns, home ownership, self-employment and income.


We found, for all three major minority groups,   that the best places were neither the most liberal in their attitudes nor had the most generous welfare programs. Instead they were located primarily in regions that have experienced broad-based economic growth, have low housing costs, and limited regulation. In other words, no matter how much people like Bill de Blasio talk about the commitment to racial and class justice, the realities on the ground turn out to be quite different than he might imagine.

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Renewable share of U.S. energy consumption highest since 1930s - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Renewable share of U.S. energy consumption highest since 1930s - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
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How Public Spaces Make Cities More People-Oriented | TheCityFix

How Public Spaces Make Cities More People-Oriented | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

n the late 19thcentury, the car emerged as a promise of freedom and independence. Could anyone have imagined at the time that after more than a century of development, that we would now be moving the opposite direction, returning streets to their main function—as public spaces for people?


Many public areas have been gradually forgotten—no longer safe living spaces that move people. In order for cities to be vibrant and safe places, we need to think of them as systems of interdependent parts and complex connections, as interactive and social spaces. Reclaiming urban spaces for people is part of how we can humanize our cities and make our streets more communal. Public spaces are often more than anonymous places that can be replaced with one another: the meetings and exchanges that occur here affect our relationships with each other, giving meaning to our communities and urban landscapes.

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Researchers may have discovered fountain of youth by reversing aging in human cells

Researchers may have discovered fountain of youth by reversing aging in human cells | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Researchers in Japan have found that human aging may be able to be delayed or even reversed, at least at the most basic level of human cell lines. In the process, the scientists from the University of Tsukuba also found that regulation of two genes is related to how we age.
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Paul & Elizabeth Kaiser: Sustainable Farming 2.0

Paul & Elizabeth Kaiser: Sustainable Farming 2.0 | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Many of the practices they employ at Singing Frogs go beyond the standard ones used by traditional organic farmers, leading some to refer to their approach as organic farming 2.0.
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