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The Planet Fund: Crowdfunding the Restoration of our Environment and Communities

The Planet Fund: Crowdfunding the Restoration of our Environment and Communities | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The Planet Fund is the first online global fundraiser created to assist projects the world over with the regeneration of our environment and communities.

The Planet Fund has developed an entity of action — where we have the power to act globally as well as locally.

 

We have developed this platform to address the need for rapid and widespread assistance to projects, people and communities all over the world.

 

We have been told it’s too late. That the damage is irreversible. That there is to be an ongoing rise in disastrous events on the planet in all areas of life; environmentally, socially and economically. Climate change, over population, water contamination, food shortages and increasing desertification — just to name a few of the catastrophes on our doorstep. The Planet Fund started due to seeing firsthand the incredible results from innovative techniques being applied today, the world over, that are addressing the issues of climate change, food security, large-scale land restoration, farmers getting their farms back, carbon sequestration, rapid soil building, biodiversity increase — you name it. We have solutions to our problems. But many of the solutions have a problem; lack of funding. This has been an obstacle for too long.

 

The Planet Fund has decided to turn this problem into a solution — a global crowdfunding / fundraising platform assisting toward action. We now all have the ability to act whether it be on the ground, in the communities or with our finances.

 

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We absolutely can reduce the ecological footprint of humanity all the way down to zero!
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Renewable Energy Could Fully Power Grid by 2030

Renewable Energy Could Fully Power Grid by 2030 | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Renewable energy could fully power a large electric grid 99.9 percent of the time by 2030 at costs comparable to today’s electricity expenses, according to new research by the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College. A well-designed combination of wind power, solar power and storage in batteries and fuel cells would nearly always exceed electricity demands while keeping costs low, the scientists found.


“These results break the conventional wisdom that renewable energy is too unreliable and expensive,” said co-author Willett Kempton, professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. “The key is to get the right combination of electricity sources and storage—which we did by an exhaustive search—and to calculate costs correctly.”


Unlike other studies, the model focused on minimizing costs instead of the traditional approach of matching generation to electricity use. The researchers found that generating more electricity than needed during average hours—in order to meet needs on high-demand but low-wind power hours—would be cheaper than storing excess power for later high demand.

 

“Aiming for 90 percent or more renewable energy in 2030, in order to achieve climate change targets of 80 to 90 percent reduction of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the power sector, leads to economic savings,” the authors observe.

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Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy we can re-design the way our economy works Ellen MacArthur Foundation


Today's linear ‘take, make, dispose’ economic model relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and is a model that is reaching its physical limits. A circular economy is an attractive and viable alternative that businesses have already started exploring today. 


A circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design, and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times. The concept distinguishes between technical and biological cycles. As envisioned by the originators, a circular economy is a continuous positive development cycle that preserves and enhances natural capital, optimizes resource yields, and minimizes system risks by managing finite stocks and renewable flows. It works effectively at every scale. 


Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy 


There's a world of opportunity to re-think and re-design the way we make stuff. 'Re-Thinking Progress' explores how through a change in perspective we can re-design the way our economy works - designing products that can be 'made to be made again' and powering the system with renewable energy. 


From "https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/overview/concept"


Lots of interesting videos (71 ) on sustainable development on Ellen MacArthur Foundation·youtube channel made2bemade again https://www.youtube.com/user/made2bemadeagain ;


Here is a longer informative presentation on the issues by Ella Jamsin:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucTiaS7kh2k


Via Aulde de Barbuat
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:
We don't just need to reduce all consumption.  We need to convert bad consumption into good consumption by ultimately recycling all waste into new products, powering it all with 100% renewable energy.  That's what the Circular Economy is all about.
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Generation Z wants more action for a sustainable future, reveals global research from Masdar

Generation Z wants more action for a sustainable future,  reveals global research from Masdar | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Climate change will be the world’s biggest challenge over the next decade, according to a global survey of [5000] young people carried out by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company.


Post-Millennials also made clear their appetite for a stronger say on sustainability, with eight in ten (83%) saying governments need to listen more to young people about the issue. A similar number (80%) believe current leaders have not done enough to protect the environment, and it is up to their generation to build a more sustainable future. 


They think government and the private sector share responsibility for developing clean technology (81%), but they expect more government investment in renewable energy (84%).


Interestingly, Post-Millennials in the frontier states surveyed are the most likely to believe that all countries have a shared responsibility to adopt renewable energy and clean technologies, rather than it being the main duty of wealthy countries, with 73% taking this view. 


Frontier nations are also the most optimistic about the adoption of renewable energy in their country, with 83% saying that their country will have made significant progress during their lifetime.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:
Young people are the future, and fortunately, they are on our side.
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China’s Citizens Overwhelmingly Want Renewable Energy

China’s Citizens Overwhelmingly Want Renewable Energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

There are many places in China that are “worst-case scenarios” of the Industrial Age and its wastes. It is no wonder that many Chinese citizens are wide awake to solutions.  A new survey (by Ipsos) shows that 96% of Chinese urbanites believe “green power” could help. Of course, it will. Renewable energy can turn cities around.


The good news is that change is possible at this time in China, and it is occurring. An earlier post on CleanTechnica, “The Latest Trends In China’s Continuing Renewable Energy Revolution,” reports that China is working to remedy its many environmental problems. “China has made strategic choices favoring renewable over fossil fuels that are still not widely understood or appreciated,” John A. Mathews wrote.

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Tony Seba: All new vehicles, globally, will be electric by 2030

Tony Seba: All new vehicles, globally, will be electric by 2030 | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

And they'll mostly be supplied by solar power.


Seba believes that all new road vehicles—buses, cars, vans, trucks etc—will be entirely electric by 2030. [His video says by 2025.] That's a pretty astounding prediction. Made even more astounding because he's not talking about one country—he's talking about the entire world.


But Seba's predictions may not be as crazy as you'd think. Pointing to the much touted example of horses versus cars in New York City, and to the absurd underestimates of cell phone adoption rates in the late eighties, Seba argues that insiders almost always miss technological disruptions of this scale.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:
Electric vehicles have been doubling every year for several years already.  There were over 1 million electric vehicles in 2016 and there are about 1.2 billion cars in the world total.  So if we double 1 million just 10 times, we will reach 1 billion.  Also note that cars last only about 8 years on average, at least those with internal combustion engines.  So it looks to me that almost ALL cars will be electric within 10 years, because most will be new by then anyway. 
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Cradle to Cradle Design – So Much More Than Recycling

Cradle to Cradle Design – So Much More Than Recycling | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
It’s easy for the concepts of Cradle to Cradle design and a circular economy to become shorthand for recycling, but both are much more complex than that. As currency in a circular economy, Cradle to Cradle (C2C) products are sustainably manufactured, with safe ingredients, that can be perpetually recycled – all of which are critical to the approach.

To advance toward a more circular economy, product manufacturers and users must ask not only what happens to a product at the end of its useful life, but what went into that product: technical and biological nutrients, energy, water, labor; it requires a complex, holistic approach.
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This New Neighborhood Will Grow Its Own Food, Power Itself, And Handle Its Own Waste

This New Neighborhood Will Grow Its Own Food, Power Itself, And Handle Its Own Waste | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

ADELE PETERS 05.25.16 6:00 AM
"If you live inside one of the houses in a new neighborhood being built in an Amsterdam suburb, your dining room might be next to an indoor vegetable garden. Outside, you'll have another seasonal garden. And down the street, almost everything you eat will be grown in high-tech vertical farms. "

"The neighborhood will be the first ReGen Village, a new type of community designed to be fully self-sufficient, growing its own food, making its own energy, and handling its own waste in a closed loop."


"We're really looking at a global scale," he says. "We are redefining residential real-estate development by creating these regenerative neighborhoods, looking at first these greenfield pieces of farmland where we can produce more organic food, more clean water, more clean energy, and mitigate more waste than if we just left that land to grow organic food or do permaculture there."


Via Mário Carmo
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Eben Lenderking's curator insight, December 28, 2016 5:40 AM

Fascinating

Eric Larson's curator insight, December 28, 2016 9:54 AM
Truly sustainable?
Juan Antonio Castán's curator insight, January 3, 3:17 AM
Este nuevo barrio cultivará su propia comida, generará su energía y gestionará sus residups
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This eco-village is designed to be fully self-sufficient, from energy to food to waste

This eco-village is designed to be fully self-sufficient, from energy to food to waste | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
RegenVillages, which is a spin-off company of Stanford University, is working on a pilot development of 25 homes in Almere, Netherlands, beginning this summer, with the aim of integrating local energy production (using biogas, solar, geothermal, and other modalities), along with intensive food production methods (vertical farming, aquaponics and aeroponics, permaculture, and others) and 'closed-loop' waste-to-resource systems, along with intelligent water and energy management systems. 

"We're really looking at a global scale. We are redefining residential real-estate development by creating these regenerative neighborhoods, looking at first these greenfield pieces of farmland where we can produce more organic food, more clean water, more clean energy, and mitigate more waste than if we just left that land to grow organic food or do permaculture there." - James Ehrlich, CEO of ReGen Villages

Via David Rowing, Alan Yoshioka, THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*, Marc Kneepkens, Mário Carmo
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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, June 5, 2016 8:17 AM

Getting ready for the #population boom and working with limited #resources.

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What Will It Take For America To Go 100 Percent Renewable?

What Will It Take For America To Go 100 Percent Renewable? | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Is 2016 the year that switching to 100 percent renewable energy becomes mainstream?

 

It took just three years for three U.S. cities to make the transition to 100 percent clean energy — and experts in the field of renewable energy, as well as several prominent environmental groups, expect that pace only to quicken in the coming years.


In total, 12 U.S. cities — including San Francisco, CA, Georgetown, TX, and Ithaca, NY — have made commitments to transition to 100 percent clean energy, though many have yet to solidify those commitments as law.


But even if cities pledge to make the transition, there are still a number of barriers to overcome before 100 percent renewable energy can become a widespread reality.  While the price of renewables has been falling in recent years — with solar dropping 70 percent since 2009 and wind becoming cost-competitive with natural gas — there are still technological barriers to overcome, especially in the area of energy storage.


The numbers support the economic argument for transforming a city’s energy infrastructure — over the last year, the solar industry added jobs twelve times faster than the rest of the economy. Many experts and elected officials also view the Paris climate agreement reached last December as sending a clear signal to global markets that the world will be moving towards renewable energy.

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How world can go 100% renewables by 2050 – and save money

How world can go 100% renewables by 2050 – and save money | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Stanford study says that 139 countries could power their economies with 100% renewable energy - wind, water and sunlight - by 2050, create millions of jobs and save trillions.

 

The Stanford study focuses on what is has dubbed “WWS” – wind, water and sunlight. And it includes not just electricity but transportation, heating and cooling, industry, and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

 

They have even broken now the equipment and installations needed into each country. It appears eye watering, but Stanford says the land use requirements are minimal – just 0.29 per cent of the land area, mostly for solar PV, not including reclaimed fossil fuel plants.

 

Stanford says the major benefits of a conversion to WWS are the near-elimination of air pollution morbidity and mortality and global warming, net job creation, energy-price stability, reduced international conflict over energy because each country will be energy independent.

 
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Basically, it would be stupid NOT to switch to 100% renewables ASAP!

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Global Emissions Reductions Have Already Saved the U.S. $60 Billion, Report Says

Global Emissions Reductions Have Already Saved the U.S. $60 Billion, Report Says | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Global action to reduce carbon dioxide has produced at least $60 billion in economic benefits to the U.S. in the last five years, according to a new analysis. It also concludes that current rates of  emission reductions worldwide could contribute another $2 trillion in the next 15 years.  

 

"A lot of people have advocated for climate action based on moral and environmental reasoning," said Peter Howard, the institute’s economics director and co-author of the report. "This demonstrates there’s an economic sense to agreeing to reach a climate agreement."


The report counters arguments often used by opponents of climate action in the U.S. that taking the lead in reducing carbon emissions will allow developing nations to continue to pollute with few consequences.


If anything, Howard said, the U.S. is the free-rider, enjoying the benefits of global emissions reductions, particularly in Europe.


Although the full extent of climate change’s damage is unknowable, Howard said his report and research by others help policymakers and the public understand the scale of the economic risks of not taking action.



Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

More evidence that we have crossed a threshold, where now it is cheaper to shut down the fossil fuel industry and switch to 100% renewable energy.  In fact, we can't afford NOT to transition as soon as possible.

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Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities

Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Course Summary

Since the concept of planetary boundaries was first published in 2009 it has generated enormous interest and debate. Our scientists have spoken at the United Nations. Businesses have asked, how do we apply “planetary boundaries” to our business models? The World Wildlife Fund has adopted planetary boundaries as a core part of its strategy.

 

The reason is clear: the last decade has seen an explosion in scientific knowledge about our planet. Now, the world is waking up to the realization that our relationship with our planet is changing rapidly. There is a new responsibility emerging for humanity to ensure the long-term stability of Earth’s life support system.

 

This course, Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities: The Quest for Safe and Just Development on a Resilient Planet, is designed to provide people everywhere with the latest science in clear simple modules accessible to all. We believe this knowledge will help empower more people to view themselves as “global citizens” and become “planetary stewards.”

 

The course will provide a basic understanding of each component of the Earth system - the atmosphere, oceans, forests, waterways, the rich diversity of life on our planet and our global economy. The course will focus on the processes of change and how these components interact, often in unexpected ways. The course will also include solutions from the community level to the global. Finally, the course will equip participants with a set of tools for thinking differently about the challenges and opportunities in the field of global sustainability.


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IEA: Fossil fuels losing price advantage to renewables

IEA: Fossil fuels losing price advantage to renewables | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Renewable energy sources can now produce electricity at a price very close to the cost of electricity generated by fossil fuels, according to a new report released yesterday by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

 

"The costs of renewable technologies - in particular solar photovoltaic - have declined significantly over the past five years," the report stated. "These technologies are no longer cost outliers."


The cost of electricity is expected to change dramatically over the coming years, according to the report. In sunny regions, utility-scale solar could provide electricity for under $100/MWh by 2025, making it cost-competitive with fossil fuels. Meanwhile, electricity from coal could become up to 70 per cent more expensive if new regulations are enforced requiring new plants to capture carbon emissions.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

A fair assessment of *all* the costs of burning fossil fuels would show that renewable energy is *already* a far better deal. We can't afford *not* to shut down the entire fossil fuel industry as soon as possible, as fast as feasible.


We don't have to think about waiting any longer, until another decade when the IEA says utility-scale solar will become competitive, and in fact, the world is not waiting.  Both solar and wind energy have been growing for several years at a very fast rate that is expected to continue, and fossil fuel technologies are stalling out and beginning to collapse.  

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Dame Ellen MacArthur: food, health and the circular economy

Talk during the 2015 EAT Food Forum. Read more on www.eatforum.org
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Polydome Sustainable Agriculture

Polydome is a revolutionary approach to greenhouse agriculture that offers the possibility of commercial scale, net-zero-impact food production. 


The Polydome system strategically interweaves a wide variety of crops and animals, taking advantage of every inch of the greenhouse while eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.


It is estimated that by using Polydome, even cities as densely populated as New York City could provide the majority of their own food supply using available roof space. A less dense city like Rotterdam could provide an estimated 80% of its food needs using only 3% of its surface area. 


For more information on sustainable agriculture and the polydome visit: Except Integrated Sustainability - http://www.except.nl/en/#Home

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:
The key interesting concept is that the majority of our food needs can be met in the same space required for us to live.  

While animals are involved in this ecosystem, I expect it would work fine, perhaps even better, without us having to eat them, if we get our minimal protein needs from plants.
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Survey Results: Acceptance of Renewable Energy Worldwide

Survey Results: Acceptance of Renewable Energy Worldwide | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

What is the public’s opinion on renewables? 


• In major industrialized countries of the Western World, renewables have a high degree of acceptance with approval ratings well above 80% in most cases.


 • Expansion targets for renewable energies are also strongly supported. This applies to European Union member states, Japan and, depending on the costs, also to the US, Canada and Australia. 


The reasons behind the high acceptance levels are the environmental benefits and perceived sustainability. The acceptance seems to be little influenced by the energy policy of the country and the expansion of renewable energies. So countries with a relatively low level of development have a similarly high level of acceptance as countries with a high share of renewable electricity.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:
Almost everyone wants renewable energy. So we should be able to move very fast toward the goal of 100% renewable energy, as long as the powers that be don't slow us down?
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Urban farming utopia in India produces more energy than it uses

Urban farming utopia in India produces more energy than it uses | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Vincent Callebaut unveiled designs for a self-sustaining urban utopia in India that not only grows organic food, but also produces more energy than it consumes.


Designed in collaboration with agroecologist Amlankusum, Hyperions was created to achieve two major objectives: energy decentralization and food deindustrialization. The result combines urban agriculture, bio-based materials, and dense mixed-use planning into a self-sufficient development. The project comprises six 36-story connected towers built from cross-laminated timber sourced locally and sustainably from a Delhi forest. Reinforced with steel, the timber towers sit atop a steel and concrete substructure engineered for earthquake resistance and to take advantage of the earth’s thermal inertia for stable natural heating and cooling. The project is designed to achieve a net-zero environmental footprint with a recycling system that takes care of gray water, black water, and food waste on site. Energy for the buildings is generated via wind turbines and photovoltaic systems.

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Shifting to a Clean Energy Economy Would Bring Billions in Economic Benefits, Shows New Report

Shifting to a Clean Energy Economy Would Bring Billions in Economic Benefits, Shows New Report | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

We all know the science. The United States and the world as a whole must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050 in order to significantly reduce the risks posed by unabated climate change. 


We would need to invest an average of about $320 billion a year from 2020 to 2050, but the benefits would far outweigh these costs.


Via André Michel
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It's Official: Solar Energy Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels

It's Official: Solar Energy Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Renewable energy has reached an important milestone. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has determined that in many parts of the world, solar energy is now the same price or even cheaper than fossil fuels for the first time.


The WEF highlighted how the unsubsidized LCOE for utility-scale solar photovoltaic—which was not competitive even five years ago—has declined at a 20 percent compounded annual rate, "making it not only viable but also more attractive than coal in a wide range of countries."

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Our Renewable Future By Richard Heinberg & David Fridley

Our Renewable Future By Richard Heinberg & David Fridley | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The next few decades will see a profound and all-encompassing energy transformation throughout the world. Whereas society now derives the great majority of its energy from fossil fuels, by the end of the century we will depend primarily on renewable sources like solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal power.

Fossil fuels are on their way out one way or another, and nuclear energy is a dead end. That leaves renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass, to shoulder the burden of powering future society. While it is probably an oversimplification to say that people in the not-too-distant-future will inhabit a 100 percent renewably powered world, it is worth exploring what a complete, or nearly complete, shift in our energy systems would actually mean. Because energy is implicit not only in everything we do but also in the built environment around us (which requires energy for its construction, maintenance, and disposal/decommissioning), it is in effect the wellspring of our existence.

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Here’s How Canada Could Have 100% Renewable Electricity by 2035

Here’s How Canada Could Have 100% Renewable Electricity by 2035 | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Canada could become 100 per cent reliant on low-carbon electricity in just 20 years and reduce its emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, a new study shows. The report calls for bold policies to be adopted immediately in order for Canada to transition to a sustainable society. “Twenty years ago Canada was a leader on the climate change file. But today our reputation on this issue is in tatters,” James Meadowcroft, political science professor at Carleton University and one of the report’s authors told DeSmog Canada. “It is time for us to get serious and take vigorous action to move towards a low carbon emission economy.” The report is a collaboration between 60 Canadian scholars and outlines a 10-point policy framework to achieve dramatic emission reductions. At the top of the list is the need to put a price on carbon which was unanimously recommended by the report’s authors.

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World’s biggest EV and storage maker predicts annual doubling in market

World’s biggest EV and storage maker predicts annual doubling in market | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
World's largest EV maker says market will double every year for next three years, and sees strong growth in battery storage for homes.

 

Wang said that the EV market is growing “very fast”, a development that enabled it to become the number one EV maker in the world, outpointing Nissan and Mitsubishi with more than 43,000 units until the end of October.

 

“Every year will double for next three years,” Wang said when asked about the size of the market.

 
“This is not about competition. The market is so huge, it needs more people’s participation in the market. Tesla is targeting high end, there is a bit of an overlap, but we are focusing on electric cars and buses in different markets.
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

This 100% growth per year is a little faster than recent projections, but still very reasonable.  Elon Musk also projects doubling the number of Teslas this year, and perhaps into the future: "Every year we are doubling our total cumulative production so at the beginning of last year we had fifty thousand cars in total on the roads worldwide and then last year we produced another 50,000 cars so the total fleet of Tesla vehicles doubled last year and will approximately double again this year"    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlidB40aoTI 

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Fossil fuel subsidies: G20 spends billions to push us close to climate disaster - YouTube

A new report reveals that the G20 spent an average of $452 billion each year in 2013 and 2014 to support fossil fuel production, despite pledging to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies every year since 2009.

 

(From http://cleantechnica.com/2015/11/13/g20-nations-spending-452-billion-fossil-fuel-subisdies/)

 

“G20 governments are paying fossil fuel producers to undermine their own policies on climate change,” said Shelagh Whitley, of the Overseas Development Institute. “Scrapping these subsidies would rebalance energy markets and allow a level playing field for clean and efficient alternatives.”

 

 A report published in September by the Carbon Tracker Initiative found that not only are governments around the world subsidizing coal production to the hilt, but that some of these subsidies are opening coal reserves that would not have been touched without existing subsidies, therefore heavily distorting the market.


A similar report published again in September, this time by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), revealed more than 800 spending programs and tax breaks currently used by governments throughout the 34 OECD countries, as well as 6 additional emerging G20 nations (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa) to subsidize fossil fuel production. 


The absurdity of fossil fuel subsidies, beyond the obvious, was made quite clear in October by another report which showed removing fossil fuel subsidies in 20 countries would reduce national fossil fuel emissions by 11%.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Quite the opposite of a carbon tax, these fossil fuel subsidies amount to a *negative* tax because the government is giving our tax dollars to the fossil fuel companies, thus accelerating our own destruction.  How insane! 

 

How about we, at the very least, eliminate these subsidies, so we end up with a 0 tax?  Or equivalently, tax the producers of fossil fuels exactly the same amount as the subsidies.

 

But as long as we continue to burn fossil fuels, the amount of the carbon tax should be equal to whatever it costs to sequester the emissions that result from the burning. Then we should use those tax dollars to actually sequester the carbon, and we will be carbon neutral, at least regarding future fossil fuels.

 

We still have to find a way to pay for restoring the environment back to the way it was before all this started, a few hundred years ago.

 

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Inside Biosphere 2: The World's Largest Earth Science Experiment - YouTube

Craig goes to Biosphere 2--the largest closed system ever created--and learns about the science of recreating the Earth's ecosystems. Special Thanks to: John Adams, deputy director of Biosphere 2 

 

Written up in this blog:

http://ecowatch.com/2015/10/16/biosphere-2-video/

 

The project has had a rocky past. In the early 90s, eight brave souls pledged to live in Biosphere 2 for a full two years.  A second mission began in 1994, but ended only six months later [...]

 

“What they did learn, and in my opinion the single most important lesson, was just how little we truly understand Earth’s systems,” says Adams.

 

Although people don’t live there anymore, the ecosystems have been growing for more than 20 years now, and researchers have been able to learn a lot from the project. In fact, although it was theorized for a long time, ocean acidification “was first demonstrated on a large-scale by researchers from Columbia University at Biosphere 2.” And now the University of Arizona is getting ready to conduct the world’s largest Earth sciences experiment at Biosphere 2.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We still know very little about many of the fundamentally critical ecological systems of Biosphere 1, the Earth, and we will have to learn fast to deal with the global crises that are now confronting us.  In order to achieve the goal of Zero Footprint and rebalance the ecosystem on a global scale, it will help to understand ecological systems on a much smaller scale, such as the experimental laboratory of Biosphere 2.

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Soil as Our Salvation

Soil as Our Salvation | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The carbon-capturing abilities of dirt will be the main subject at the International Soil Not Oil Conference in Richmond California this weekend

 Why is soil so important? Both humans and animals depend on it almost exclusively for food. The fiber that clothes and shelters us is grown in it, as well as the fuels that power our cars and heat our homes.
The Earth stores carbon, or carbon sinks as they are called, in three major places: the atmosphere, the ocean, and the soil. The first two are reaching saturation.  Most of us understand the effect increased carbon — in the form of greenhouse gases — is having in our atmosphere. And oceans around the world are experiencing unusual die-offs due to acidification from increased carbon absorbed in the waters.

The Soil Not Oil Conference will be looking at Regenerative Agriculture as a local solution to this global problem. Through permaculture techniques, such as no-till farming, composting, planned grazing, and cover crops, farmers can see higher yields with less chemical inputs while increasing their soil’s fertility and capturing more carbon in it. Carbon Farming it is called. These and other techniques can also help the ground retain water more efficiently. We can reduce the levels of carbon in the atmosphere while producing healthier foods, combat the drought, aid farmers, and reverse climate change!

 
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Storing carbon in soil through regenerative agriculture will probably not be enough by itself.  Of course we need to also shut down the fossil fuel industry as soon as possible, and recycle 100% of the resources we extract from the earth.  And we need to go further than that, to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere and oceans. Regenerative agriculture is part of the solution.  Restoring grasslands and forests is another essential part.  Restoring the oceans might be the most difficult task.

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Big Bank Says It’s Going To Cost A Lot To Do Nothing On Global Warming

Big Bank Says It’s Going To Cost A Lot To Do Nothing On Global Warming | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

A new report from Citibank found that acting on climate change by investing in low-carbon energy would save the world $1.8 trillion through 2040, as compared to a business-as-usual scenario. In addition, not acting will cost an additional $44 trillion by 2060 from the “negative effects” of climate change.

 

“Overall, we find that the incremental costs of action are limited (and indeed ultimately lead to savings), offer reasonable returns on investment, and should not have too detrimental an effect on global growth,” the report’s authors write. In fact, they found that the necessary investment, such as adding renewable energy sources and improving efficiency, might actually boost the global economy.


“We believe that that solution does exist,” the report states. “The incremental costs of following a low carbon path are in context limited and seem affordable, the ‘return’ on that investment is acceptable and moreover the likely avoided liabilities are enormous. Given that all things being equal cleaner air has to be preferable to pollution, a very strong ‘Why would you not?’ argument begins to develop.”

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

The tide is turning, as the world's wealth begins to flow more rapidly away from fossil fuels and wasteful pollution and towards increasingly sustainable development based ultimately on 100% renewable energy and 100% recycling of all resources.

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