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Sweden: Facebook Announces First Data Center with Rapid Deployment Design | TheNextWeb.com

Sweden: Facebook Announces First Data Center with Rapid Deployment Design | TheNextWeb.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it


Facebook today announced plans to build the first data center using its new “rapid deployment data center” (RDDC) design, its most efficient method to build a data center yet. It will be located in a second building at the company’s existing campus in Luleå, Sweden, the location of the social network’s first international data center.


At this year’s summit for the Open Compute Project (OCP), Facebook previewed the RDDC design (video embedded below and full 97-page presentation available here). The company says it expects the new approach to data center design will enable it to construct and deploy new capacity twice as fast as its previous approach, will prove to be much more site-agnostic, and will greatly reduce the amount of material used during construction.


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Yves Cretegny's curator insight, March 8, 2014 1:59 AM

The concept is all about treating the building of a data center less like a construction project and more like a manufactured product.

 
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NBN recruiting 4,500 jobs across Australia | Corinne Reichert | ZDNet.com

NBN recruiting 4,500 jobs across Australia | Corinne Reichert | ZDNet.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

NBN has announced a further 4,500 jobs to be created for the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), doubling the total number of jobs produced by the project to 9,000.

The company will be spending close to AU$40 million on advertising, recruitment, and training, and hopes to lure entry-level employees, experienced workers, and returning retirees to the industry by offering flexible work-life options on both long-term and short-term contracts.


"To bring high-speed broadband to Australians faster, our delivery partners will need a bigger pool of trained, skilled workers," NBN CEO Bill Morrow said when announcing the employment drive on Monday morning.


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RE:Build uses sand and gravel to make a better shelter | Adam Williams | GizMag.com

RE:Build uses sand and gravel to make a better shelter | Adam Williams | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Created to ease the plight of displaced refugees, Re:Build is a basic scaffold-based construction system that can be used to build a home, school, clinic, or whatever else is required. It makes use of readily-available onsite materials like sand, gravel, and earth, and enables the refugees themselves to construct the structures.

The Re:Build project involves Pilosio Building Peace (the non-profit arm of Pilosio S.p.A, a construction and oil rig equipment manufacturer), former Architecture for Humanity boss Cameron Sinclair, and architect Pouya Khazaeli.


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Obama's Greenhouse-Gas Plan: 'The Most Important Regulations on Climate Change Ever Issued' | David Graham | The Atlantic

Obama's Greenhouse-Gas Plan: 'The Most Important Regulations on Climate Change Ever Issued' | David Graham | The Atlantic | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

President Obama’s plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is aimed at three major constituencies. First, there’s the plan’s immediate goal: significant decreases in the emissions in the U.S. between now and 2030. Second, the rule arrives as the world gears up for global emissions talks in Paris in December, and American action is seen as necessary to convince other countries to act. And third, Obama views the fight against climate change as an essential part of his legacy, alongside the Affordable Care Act.

“We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it,” Obama said at a press conference at the White House on Monday, repeating a line he’s used before. The president emphasized the moral case for reducing emissions throughout the speech, invoking Pope Francis’s call for action, and scolding “cynical” critics who charged his plan would hurt minorities and the poor. “If you care about low-income minority communities, start protecting the air they breathe and stop trying to rob them of their health care.”


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MA: Is Water Technology Innovation Happening Fast Enough? | Rupa Shenoy | WGBH News

MA: Is Water Technology Innovation Happening Fast Enough? | Rupa Shenoy | WGBH News | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

There are people in Africa who have to walk hours to get to clean water, and then carry it back to their family.

The students of Morse Pond School in Falmouth on Cape Cod learned about them in a book. They decided to try it out themselves as a class project. So they put water bottles in backpacks, slung them on and … it was raining, so they walked around in the halls for about two hours.

Afterward, Elizabeth Rosbach and Tierney Roggiolani were exhausted.

"I definitely feel grateful," Rosbach said.

"Yeah, because if you look at the third world countries, they’re much less fortunate than we are," Roggiolani said. "Like I really never knew about Africa until now. So I was kinda taking it for granted and stuff."

But the kids still don’t think they have to worry about water in New England.

"No not really, no," Roggiolani said.

Compared to Africa, with its scarcity; or California, with its drought; New England doesn’t seem to have it so bad. But our water’s got plenty of problems. It’s polluted, acidifying, flooding, and eating away at our coastlines.


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Critics: MA Governor Baker's hydropower bill could harm energy market | Emily Micucci | Worcester Biz Journal

Critics: MA Governor Baker's hydropower bill could harm energy market | Emily Micucci | Worcester Biz Journal | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

On its surface, Gov. Charlie Baker's bill to encourage large-scale adoption of hydropower by Massachusetts utilities appears to take a reasonable crack at reducing carbon emissions, a requirement of legislation passed in 2008.

But while it may be aptly designed to achieve that by reducing dependence on fossil fuel-based power in favor of water-generated electricity, industry sources say it could work to deregulate the energy market in the Bay State at the expense of power suppliers and consumers.

The bill was filed with the state Senate on July 9. In a statement, Baker the bill is "critical to reducing our carbon footprint, meeting the goals of the … Global Warming Solutions Act and protecting ratepayers already stuck by sky-high energy prices." The act requires a 25-percent reduction of carbon emissions from 1990 levels by 2020, and an 80-percent reduction by 2050. According to the Baker administration, the bill would achieve 5 percent of the needed reduction.

Baker's plan relies heavily on Canadian hydropower, a vast resource there. For its part, Canada is keenly interested in exporting it to utilities in the Northeast, especially New York and New England, so its interests are aligned with Baker's strategy.


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Scientists fear toxic algae bloom spreading on Pacific coast | Ryan Schuessler | Al Jazeera America

Scientists fear toxic algae bloom spreading on Pacific coast | Ryan Schuessler | Al Jazeera America | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The toxic algae blooms in the Pacific Ocean stretching from southern California to Alaska — already the largest ever recorded — appear to have reached as far as the Aleutian Islands, scientists say.

“The anecdotal evidence suggests we’re having a major event,” said Bruce Wright, a scientist with the Aleutian Pribilof Island Association, the federally recognized tribal organization of Alaska’s native Aleuts. “All the populations [of marine mammals] are way down in the Aleutians.”

While algal blooms are not uncommon in the Pacific, 2015’s blooms appear to be the largest on record, scientists say. Stretching from Southern California to Alaska, the blooms are responsible for unprecedented closures of fisheries and unusual deaths of marine life up and down the Pacific coast.

Pseudo-nitzchia is one species of algae that produces domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can be lethal to humans and wildlife. The toxin is ingested by shellfish and krill that, when consumed, pass the toxin onto the predator — in some cases, people.


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Everything You Need to Know About Obama's Clean Energy Plan | Alissa Walker | Gizmodo.com

Everything You Need to Know About Obama's Clean Energy Plan | Alissa Walker | Gizmodo.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Last month, scientists at a UN conference delivered a sobering warning: To prevent catastrophic warming of the planet, we must reduce all carbon emissions to zero by the end of the 21st century. Today, the Obama administration announced its plan to get there.

This afternoon Obama detailed a new clean energy plan that calls on the US to cut carbon emissions from power plants by a third by 2030. “There is a such thing as being too late when it comes to climate change,” President Obama said in today’s address, which he said was two years in the making. “The science says we have to do more.”


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Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange CEO Mark Karpeles arrested in Japan | Charlie Osborne | ZDNet

Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange CEO Mark Karpeles arrested in Japan | Charlie Osborne | ZDNet | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles has been arrested in Tokyo on suspicion of financial fraud.

As reported by the Associated Press, the Tokyo Metro Police have arrested the 30-year-old on suspicion of falsifying financial records in the Mt. Gox computer system in order to inflate his own bank account by $1 million.


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Climate Change and President Obama | WhiteHouse.gov

Climate Change and President Obama | WhiteHouse.gov | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan sets achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. By setting these goals and enabling states to create tailored plans to meet them, the Plan will:


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Apple Campus 2 to feature glass-walled visitor's center | Adam Williams | GizMag.com

Apple Campus 2 to feature glass-walled visitor's center | Adam Williams | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Compared to Google's open and accessible Mountain View headquarters design, Apple's planned Campus 2 seems a relatively private affair. However, new architectural plans reveal that the tech giant's new HQ will feature a visitor's center with viewing platform open to the general public.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal was the first to notice that updated architectural plans for Apple's Campus 2 filed a few months ago include a separate two-story glass-walled visitor's center building topped by a carbon-fiber roof. The ground floor plan calls for a 2,386 sq ft (221 sq m) cafe and a 10,114 sq ft (939 sq m) store, presumably chock full of Apple products.


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The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion | Ellen Brown | Truthdig.com

The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion | Ellen Brown | Truthdig.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

“My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Luca Brasi held a gun to his head and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature, would be on the contract.” — The Godfather (1972)

In the modern global banking system, all banks need a credit line with the central bank in order to be part of the payments system. Choking off that credit line was a form of blackmail the Greek government couldn’t refuse.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is now being charged with treason for exploring the possibility of an alternative payment system in the event of a Greek exit from the euro. The irony of it all was underscored by Raúl Ilargi Meijer, who opined in a July 27th blog:

The fact that these things were taken into consideration doesn’t mean Syriza was planning a coup . . . . If you want a coup, look instead at the Troika having wrestled control over Greek domestic finances. That’s a coup if you ever saw one.

Let’s have an independent commission look into how on earth it is possible that a cabal of unelected movers and shakers gets full control over the entire financial structure of a democratically elected eurozone member government. By all means, let’s see the legal arguments for this.

So how was that coup pulled off?


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Half of climate safety level has gone | Alex Kirby | Climate News Network

Half of climate safety level has gone | Alex Kirby | Climate News Network | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The world is now halfway towards the internationally-agreed safety limit of a maximum 2°C rise in global average temperatures, researchers say.

That limit seeks to prevent the global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels exceeding 2°C above the pre-industrial global temperature. The UN’s Paris climate summit later this year aims to ensure that it is not breached.

It appears that the human race has taken roughly 250 years to stoke global warming by 1°C. On present trends, we look likely to add the next 1°C far more quickly – across much of the world, many climate scientists believe, by the middle of this century.

The research is published in the journal New Scientist, which commissioned it. As so often with climate projections, it needs qualifying and teasing apart.

Some scientists, for example, warn that there’s uncertainty about just what the pre-industrial global temperature was. The New Scientist research is careful to be specific: it says global surface temperature is now passing 1°C of warming “relative to the second half of the 19th century”.


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This 'Anaconda' Parody Calls Out Unilever For Polluting Indian Town | Lydia O'Connor | The World Post

This 'Anaconda' Parody Calls Out Unilever For Polluting Indian Town | Lydia O'Connor | The World Post | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

A new take on Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" is calling out consumer goods giant Unilever for exposing residents of Kodaikanal, India, to toxic mercury contamination.

In her version of the song, Indian rapper Sofia Ashraf accuses the company of sickening employees and local residents, and causing birth defects in their children when it mishandled mercury at a thermometer factory it operated in the town until 2001.

"Kodaikanal won't step down until you make amends now," Ashraf raps in the video released Thursday. "Prolonged exposure got many men killed / There's children born being seriously ill."

At a protest covered last month by the New Indian Express, activists alleged that the Unilever factory allowed toxic mercury to spill on the factory floor and dumped mercury waste in a nearby scrapyard, causing at least 45 deaths.

The environmental group Greenpeace cites findings by the Bangalore-based Community Health Cell that the factory's workers suffered gum and skin allergies that appeared to be due to mercury exposure, and employee testimonies cite headaches, skin rashes and spinal problems that can be linked to mercury contamination.


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Major Indirect Benefits of Obama’s Climate Plan That Could Save the World | Juan Cole | Truthdig.com

Major Indirect Benefits of Obama’s Climate Plan That Could Save the World |  Juan Cole | Truthdig.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

President Obama spoke on Monday on his plan to use the Environmental Protection Agency to pressure states to close high-carbon power plants and reduce CO2 emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. The US Supreme Court has ruled that carbon dioxide is a form of pollution and so regulating it falls under the EPA’s purview.

This part of his plan is in my view the least interesting thing about it. Because Obama uses a 2005 benchmark, the historical height of our carbon emissions when the US put up 6 billion tons of CO2 a year, it will be fairly easy to meet his unambitious goal of reducing CO2 by a third from that high mark. Just a bad economy since 2008 has already caused US emissions to fall to 5.4 billion tons annually. And, the electricity generation sector only accounts for 32 percent of carbon produced by the US. So the reductions come in only about 2 billion a year of these emissions. The US has to get those 2 billion down to 1.267 billion. The total annual reduction by 2030 is therefore just .73 tons per annum. We’re still putting out over 5 billion tons a year and will go on doing nearly that through 2030. Obama’s plan would get us down to 4.67 billion tons a year.


Let’s be clear.  We need to be at net carbon zero by 2030.  We don’t need to cut out less than a ton of emissions.  We need to cut out almost all of our 5.4 billion tons.


So if we only focused on this relatively minor reduction in over-all CO2 emissions, which can largely be achieved by closing down some very dirty coal plants, I think we would miss the bigger picture.


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Smog Free Tower creates clean air, and air that you wear | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com

Smog Free Tower creates clean air, and air that you wear | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Smog affects many major cities around the world and can cause health problems for those breathing it in. To highlight this issue, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde is building what he calls the world's largest air purifier. The Smog Free Tower is designed to allow people to breathe clean air in a city ... plus it also turns the smog into jewelry.

The Smog Free Tower is the latest project of Roosegaarde's that deals with urban improvement. Previous projects have included glow-in-the-dark bike lanes and glow-in-the-dark road markings, along with smart highways that show different markings at different temperatures, that only use lighting when vehicles are detected, and that generate electricity.


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World's first "aqueous solar flow battery" outperforms traditional lithium-iodine batteries | Nick Lavars | GizMag.com

World's first "aqueous solar flow battery" outperforms traditional lithium-iodine batteries | Nick Lavars | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The scientists that revealed the "world's first solar battery" last year are now, following some modifications, reporting its first significant performance milestone. The device essentially fits a battery and solar cell into the one package, and has now been tested against traditional lithium-iodine batteries, over which the researchers are claiming energy savings of 20 percent.

It was last October that researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) first detailed their patent-pending design for a dye-sensitized solar cell also capable of storing its own power. With three electrodes rather than the typical four, it featured a lithium plate base, two layers of electrode separated by a thin sheet of porous carbon, and a titanium gauze mesh that played host to a dye-sensitive titanium dioxide photoelectrode.


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Mapping how the United States generates its electricity | John Muyskens, Dan Keating & Samuel Granados | WashPost.com

Mapping how the United States generates its electricity | John Muyskens, Dan Keating & Samuel Granados | WashPost.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Coal and natural gas are the most common sources for electricity in the country, but coal represents a declining share.


The new Clean Power Plan seeks to accelerate that trend by requiring power plants to cut carbon pollution levels and rewarding states and companies that embrace clean sources of energy.


Story: White House set to adopt sweeping curbs on carbon pollution


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Four of the Worst Pests Could Be a Lot More Prevalent If Global Temperatures Keep Going up | Andrea Thompson | AlterNet.org

Four of the Worst Pests Could Be a Lot More Prevalent If Global Temperatures Keep Going up | Andrea Thompson | AlterNet.org | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Summer may mean it’s time for outdoor fun in the sun, but it’s also prime time for a number of pests. All that extra time outdoors can bring everything from poison ivy rashes to exposure to Lyme disease from tick bites. And of course there’s that ubiquitous summer menace, the mosquito.

With the rising temperatures brought about by global warming, the risks posed by these pernicious pests could also be increasing. A warmer climate can mean expanded habitats for many pest species, as well as increases in their numbers.


Here’s what research suggests will happen with four key summertime pests as the world warms:


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Who wins and loses under Obama's stricter power plant limits | Josh Lederman | Cape Cod Times

Who wins and loses under Obama's stricter power plant limits | Josh Lederman | Cape Cod Times | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

President Barack Obama is mandating even steeper greenhouse gas cuts from U.S. power plants than previously expected, while granting states more time and broader options to comply.

The tweaks to Obama's unprecedented emissions limits on power plants, to be unveiled at the White House on Monday, aim to address a bevy of concerns raised by both environmentalist and the energy industry in more than 4 million public comments received by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Opponents plan to sue to stop the rule, and on Monday, the National Mining Association wrote the EPA a letter requesting that the agency put the rule on hold while the legal challenges play out. If the EPA refuses, industry groups plan to ask the courts to take that step instead.

Some of the changes Obama is making in the final version of the plan go even further in cutting the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. Other changes delay implementation and eliminate certain options that states could use to show they're cutting emissions, making it harder to comply.


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Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Other GOP Candidates Attack Obama’s Plan to Curb Climate Change | Eugene Robinson | Truthdig.com

Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Other GOP Candidates Attack Obama’s Plan to Curb Climate Change | Eugene Robinson | Truthdig.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The vast majority of scientists who have devoted their professional lives to studying the Earth’s climate believe human-induced warming is an urgent problem requiring bold action. Republican candidates for president insist they know better.

With one possible exception—Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who barely registers in the polls—GOP contenders either doubt the scientific consensus on climate change or oppose attempts to do anything about it. This promises to be one of the starkest ideological divides facing voters next year.

No pressure; it’s only the fate of the planet hanging in the balance.


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If You Think Obama’s New Climate Change Plan Is Bold, Think Again | Roisin Davis | Truthdig.com

Describing it as “the single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against climate change,” President Obama on Monday unveiled a series of measures curbing carbon emissions from power plants. The Clean Power Plan is designed to expedite the retirement of the nation’s coal-fired power plants and has been described as equivalent to taking 70 percent of American cars off the road.

As meteorologist Eric Holthaus writes for Slate, although the president’s statement may be true, “It’s not saying a whole heck of a lot.”

He continues:


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Wildfire threat spreads across warming world | Tim Radford | Climate News Network

Wildfire threat spreads across warming world | Tim Radford | Climate News Network | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Wildfire – nature’s way of turning fallen vegetation into the next season’s nutrients – is a growing hazard. In the last 35 years, the wildfire season has grown longer by a fifth, and wildfire is now a threat to one fourth of all the plant-covered land on the planet.

US researchers report in Nature Communications that since 1970 the number of days without rain has increased by well over one day every decade.

William Jolly of the US Forest Service in Missoula, Montana and colleagues say they examined the fire season worldwide for the study period, taking into consideration all the factors that are used to calculate fire hazard: wind, humidity and temperature, as well as rainfall levels.

They found that the combined changes in the surface weather have meant that the fire season has increased so far by 18.7%

Worldwide, wildfires sear, scorch or incinerate about 350 million hectares of ground cover every year. Changes in the rainfall patterns were a factor, with the number of rain-free days increasing by 1.31 days per decade. The season of smoke and cinders and smouldering stumps had been extended almost everywhere.


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Novel pyramid-shaped high-rise slated for Jerusalem | Adam Williams | GizMag.com

Novel pyramid-shaped high-rise slated for Jerusalem | Adam Williams | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Architecture firm Studio Libeskind has been granted permission to build a large pyramid-shaped tower in the center of Jerusalem. The 105 m (344 ft)-tall tower is due to break ground within five years.

Studio Libeskind, which is led by Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind, was given the go-ahead by Jerusalem city officials to place the unusual 26-story tower, dubbed Pyramid, in the center of the ancient city, near Mahane Yehuda Market (known as "The Shuk"). Its facade will feature patterned local stone and glass, while an arched colonnade will open up the ground floor shopping arcade to the surrounding area.


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Get Ready for Ugly as "Free Markets" Begin to Deal With Climate Crisis | EcoWatch | Truth-Out.org

Get Ready for Ugly as "Free Markets" Begin to Deal With Climate Crisis | EcoWatch | Truth-Out.org | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Advocates of “market-based” climate solutions paint pastel pictures reflecting smoothly adjusting macro-economic models. Competitive markets gradually nudged by carbon pricing glide into a low carbon future in a modestly disruptive fashion, much as sulfur pollution from power plants was scaled back in the 1990’s.

But commodity markets for oil and gas don’t work that way. These real markets are poised to savagely strand assets, upset expectations, overturn long established livelihoods and leave a trail of wreckage behind them—unless climate advocates start owning the fruits of their own success and preparing for the transition. Schumpeter’s destructive engine of capitalism is about to show its ugly side.

Two powerful forces are currently driving energy markets and climate outcomes.


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Goddard Technology Helps Fight Forest Pests | Roberton Molar-Candanosa | NASA.gov

Goddard Technology Helps Fight Forest Pests | Roberton Molar-Candanosa | NASA.gov | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Northeastern forests in the United States cover more than 165 million acres, an area almost as big as Texas. Soon, millions of pine and ash trees in those forests could be wiped out, thanks in part to two types of voracious insects—each smaller than a penny.

A joint operation using technology developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will help the U.S. Forest Service understand the impacts of these pests on northeastern trees. The collaboration flies a unique airborne instrument known as G-LiHT, or Goddard’s LiDAR, Hyperspectral and Thermal imager, on a Forest Service airplane. Using G-LiHT to measure signs and symptoms of forest health, scientists from both agencies flew over forests in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island this summer.

The southern pine beetle, a lethal predator of pine trees that cost the Southeast’s economy 1.5 billion in the early 2000s, already accounts for about 1,000 acres of infestation in New York and has recently been trapped in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The emerald ash borer, considered the worst tree-killer in the United States, has already killed tens of millions of northeastern trees and has been detected in 24 states and two Canadian provinces.

Goddard Earth scientist Bruce Cook said insects like the emerald ash borer will continue their feast for the foreseeable future. “We’re probably looking at the eradication of most of the ash trees in the United States and Canada,” he said.


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