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Zero Footprint
How we can and must reduce the ecological footprint of all humanity all the way down to zero.
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Beyond Keystone XL: Eight Reasons for Optimism on Climate Change

Beyond Keystone XL: Eight Reasons for Optimism on Climate Change | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Climate change could have a crushing effect on the global economy...   But there are reasons for hope, if we act quickly. Here are eight signs that it's still possible to turn things around and create a low-carbon future.

 

1. We already know how to engineer zero-carbon buildings.

2. We are finally entering the age of the electric car.

3. We are using more renewables, and less coal, than ever before.

4. States are showing that it's possible to make policies that both cut carbon emissions and create jobs.

5. Cities are facing the consequences of climate change and taking action.

6. The president is ready to take action, at home and internationally.

7. China wants clean air and clean energy.

8. Renewable energy is on the rise around the world.


These are major milestones, and this is an important moment. We are a long way from solving the climate problem, but the threads of success are coming together. We need to find a way to seize these opportunities, reduce our emissions, and dramatically expand the low-carbon economy during the next few years.

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Future near perfect: How humans can still save the day by 2050

Future near perfect: How humans can still save the day by 2050 | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

In "The World We Made," green guru Jonathon Porritt writes of a future where we fix the planet with renewable energy, smart food systems, and jetpacks. Bonus: It's all possible. (Except maybe the jetpacks.)

 

"I think what’s amazing is that, technologically, it’s going to be possible to create a genuinely good, sustainable world for 9 billion people by 2050. I have absolutely no doubt about that in my own mind whatsoever. That’s a pretty good starting point, because technology is the bare minimum. It’s necessary — without the technology you can’t do it — but it’s not sufficient. You also have to get all the politics in place, the capital markets and financing, and you have to find ways of exciting and mobilizing people so that this becomes a great global priority."

 

"There are new ideas and brilliant breakthroughs and all sorts of technological opportunities emerging on a daily basis. Which means we can free ourselves from fossil fuels, we can get incredible resource efficiency, we can learn how to manage water far more efficiently than we do now, we can turn waste into raw materials, we can deal with sanitation problems. We need that as a starting point, just to give people a sense of doability — it is doable. At the moment, too many people think it isn’t doable."

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

I share Jonathon's optimism about what is technically possible. But I would go further and argue that what is possible is also essential. We MUST do all these things to minimize the inevitable suffering that will result if we do not.

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If Green Building is Going to Save the Planet it Will Have to Include Green Roads : Green Building Law Update

If Green Building is Going to Save the Planet it Will Have to Include Green Roads : Green Building Law Update | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Roads are the largest built structures we come into contact with and yet they are so ubiquitous and familiar that they have become an impervious given, the dark matter of the motor vehicle cosmos.


Building a one mile long single road lane uses as much energy to build as 50 American households in a single year.


But when society thinks about green building, those thoughts are almost universally of buildings (be it offices or schools or homes) and not of infrastructure like roads and bridges. As sustainability increasingly becomes a mainstream concern, one of the strategies some government departments of transportation have adopted for providing a more sustainable approach is a “green streets and highways rating system.”

 

The Greenroads Rating System is a collection of sustainable roadway design and construction best practices that encompass water, environment, access, community impact, construction practices and materials.

 

If green building is going to save the planet, society will have to think with a broader mindset than only buildings and Greenroads need to be at the forefront.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

To achieve Zero Footprint, we must consider ALL our impacts on the environment.  Transportation, involving both the vehicles that we drive and the roads we drive them on, are one of the major contributors to our footprint. 

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New Technology Makes Plastic Out Of Carbon Pollution — Could It Help Solve The Climate Crisis?

New Technology Makes Plastic Out Of Carbon Pollution — Could It Help Solve The Climate Crisis? | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
What if we could stop making plastic out of oil, and start making it out of greenhouse gas pollution?

 

To create AirCarbon plastics, Newlight uses a process that extracts carbon molecules from air containing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and rearranges those molecules into “long-chain thermoplastic polymers” that the company says matches the performance of oil-based plastics. Though this process has been known for some time, it has never been cost-effective enough to do — that is, until founders Mark Herrema and Kenton Kimmel developed what they said is a “ten-times more efficient bio-catalyst” that took more than a decade to perfect.


Capturing carbon from the air is not a new idea. It was first introduced in a scientific paper by Columbia University physicist Klaus Lackner in 1999. The idea that has grown into a budding industry, particularly for fossil fuels.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

The energy to drive the process must come from renewable sources, not burning more fossil fuels, otherwise there would be no point.    As soon as we can, we should also substitute biofuels, but we have an excess of carbon in the atmosphere even if we stop burning all fossil fuels now. 

 

Funding this with fees on fossil fuel burning, in proportion to the CO2 emissions, we can create all the plastic we'll ever need for products, and then recycle 100% of those products at the end of their useful life.  Soon we will have more than enough plastic resources, and we'll have to find more creative uses for it.  We can also grow more plants to soak up more CO2.

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The More Money We Have, the Less We Care About the Impacts of Our Consumption

The More Money We Have, the Less We Care About the Impacts of Our Consumption | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Why are we so numb to the obviously devastating effects of mass consumer capitalism?

 

The 2012 Greendex survey found that people in poorer countries feel, on average, much guiltier about their impacts on the natural world than people in rich countries (http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-content/file/GS_NGS_2012GreendexHighlights_10July-cb1341934186.pdf). The places in which people feel least guilt are, in this order, Germany, the US, Australia and Britain, while the people of India, China, Mexico and Brazil have the greatest concerns. Our guilt, the survey reported, exists in inverse proportion to the amount of damage our consumption does. This is the opposite of what a thousand editorials in the corporate press tell us: that people cannot afford to care until they become rich. The evidence suggests we cease to care only when we become rich.

 

A report by the Gaia Foundation reveals an explosive growth in the pace of mining: cobalt production up 165% in ten years, iron ore by 180%, a 50% increase in non-ferrous metals exploration between 2010 and 2011 (Opening Pandora’s Box: The New Wave of Land Grabbing by the Extractive Industries and the Devastating Impact on Earth. The Gaia Foundation.http://www.gaiafoundation.org/opening-pandoras-box).


Via Jocelyn Stoller
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

People with more wealth tend to believe they are entitled to even more wealth, thus the problems of the world must be due to someone else, namely the poor people.

 

By the way, consumption by itself is not a problem, but it is a problem when it is non-sustainable consumption based on non-renewable resources, using fossil fuels and creating unrecycled waste.   Once we shift to 100% renewable energy and 100% recycling of all resources for the entire world, we won't have to feel guilty about consumption.

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A Successful Push to Restore Europe’s Long-Abused Rivers, by Fred Pearce

A Successful Push to Restore Europe’s Long-Abused Rivers, by Fred Pearce | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
From Britain to the Czech Republic, European nations have been restoring rivers to their natural state — taking down dams, removing levees, and reviving floodplains.

 

The restoration is not perfect. River floodplains cannot be fully restored when they contain cities, and hydroelectric dams are still needed. But

Europe’s fluvial highways are becoming the test bed for conservation biologist Edward O. Wilson’s dream that the 21st century should be "the era of restoration in ecology." 

 

The change has been dramatic. While water engineers in Europe have been cleansing rivers of pollution for half a century, they now are trying to restore them to something like their natural state. 


During floods on the Rhine in 1995, levees failed and large parts of the Netherlands at the river’s mouth flooded. The country decided that confronting rivers did not work because, however high you raise the levees, a river in flood will find the weakest spot and burst through. It began instead to set aside land for flooding — to "make room for the river."


Via Anita Woodruff
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

All waterways and watersheds should be restored and preserved, as the veins and arteries of life on earth.  I don't have as much objection to dams, as long as they are done carefully, and usually on a small scale.

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World Footprint

World Footprint | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Do we fit on the planet? Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets each year. This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year.

 

Turning resources into waste faster than waste can be turned back into resources puts us in global ecological overshoot, depleting the very resources on which human life and biodiversity depend.


The Earth provides all that we need to live and thrive. So what will it take for humanity to live within the means of one planet?

 

Individuals and institutions worldwide must begin to recognize ecological limits. We must begin to make ecological limits central to our decision-making and use human ingenuity to find new ways to live, within the Earth’s bounds.


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Achieving Zero Footprint means we will require only one Earth.

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Find Green-e Certified » Renewable Energy

Find Green-e Certified » Renewable Energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Green-e certifies environmental commodities and products that mitigate climate change and help build a sustainable energy future.


Why is Renewable Energy Better?

 

Every time you switch on your lights, or use any electrical device, natural resources are consumed to generate the electricity that you use. A staggering 98 percent of electricity in the United States comes from non-renewable resources such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. 

 

Using non-renewable resources to create electricity produces more harmful emissions linked to global warming than any other human activity. The remaining two percent of U.S. electricity generated from clean, renewable resources—such as wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro-electric and biomass—produce dramatically less air pollution and have significantly smaller environmental impacts.

Find Renewable Energy for Your Home or Organization: http://www.green-e.org/base/re_products
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Now there are dozens of ways you can switch to 100% renewable electricity affordably, with no installation required.  Do it now.

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EthicalElectric is Easy Affordable 100% Renewable Energy. Click to Switch.

EthicalElectric is Easy Affordable 100% Renewable Energy. Click to Switch. | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

You can have clean energy for your home today from Ethical Electric. 

 

Ethical Electric is an energy company that does good. We power as many American homes and businesses as possible with 100% clean energy from renewable sources like wind and solar.  We do not sell energy from coal, natural gas, nuclear or oil.  All that changes is that with Ethical Electric, you’ll be supporting 100% clean, local, renewable energy every time you pay your power bill.

 

Ethical Electric's 100% wind energy product, offered in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., Ohio, and Illinois, and is certified through Green-e Energy, the nation's leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy in the retail market. 

 

Use this link to reward ZeroFootprint when you sign up with Ethical Electric:

https://ethicalelectric.com/referral/by/ZeroFootprint

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

This is one easy way you might be able to switch all of your electricity to 100% renewable sources.

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▶ Food wastage footprint - YouTube

▶ Food wastage footprint - YouTube | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Each year, one-third of all food the world produces is lost or wasted.  Not only does this mean an economic loss, it means that all the natural resources used for growing, processing, packaging, transporting, and marketing that food were also wasted.

 

And as agriculture and fisheries expand into wild areas, over exploit natural resources, forest, and marine habiats are lost along with their biodiversity.

 

The solution starts with you.  Each producer, supermarket, household, restaurant and nation has a part to play.  It will take the commitment of all to reduce food loss and waste so that all the natural resources used to produce food will end up as meals for the world's population instead of as garbage in landfills.

 

www.fao.org/nr/sustainability/food-loss-and-waste

© FAO: http://www.fao.org

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Until we are producing all our food with 100% renewable energy, and recycling 100% of waste, we need to reduce our food waste to a minimum. 

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The Zero Home And The Future Of Home Construction, by David Glenn

The Zero Home And The Future Of Home Construction, by David Glenn | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Partnering with Garbett Homes, Vivint claims the very first climate 5 “net zero” smart home.  Located in Herriman, Utah, the Zero Home achieved a HERS rating of 0. The lower the ranking the better, and prior to the zero home, no one had received a rating of 0. So is the Zero Home a one-time miracle, or will we be seeing more of them in the future?


Garbett’s marketing explained that the home cost $150 per square foot to build, which is about the same as any other traditional home. The construction techniques of the Zero Home reveal it as something that could be replicated on a mass basis.


There’s a lot of talk about America’s dependence of fossil fuels. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States consumes nearly 19% of the world’s energy. With energy sources depleting this is likely not a sustainable trend. Change needs to happen and innovations involved in the Zero Home could play a big role.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We should require all new building construction to at least be well insulated, because insulating later costs much more, and doing it right at the time of construction costs no more than doing it wrong.

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Scotland embarrasses U.S. by planning to use only clean energy by 2020

Scotland embarrasses U.S. by planning to use only clean energy by 2020 | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The Scottish countryside isn’t the only thing that’s green. Did we mention that they hate fracking and nuclear power? Time to just move there already.

 

The Arizona-sized country was using 24 percent renewable energy in 2010, which it upped to 40 percent last year. By 2015, that’ll be 50 percent, and then ideally 100 percent wind, solar, wave, and hydro by 2020. (Arizona, in contrast, only gets 9 percent of its power from renewables, despite abundant sun. Yeah yeah, sometimes America’s priorities are effed up.)



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Total Surface Area Required in 2030 to Fuel the World With Solar

Total Surface Area Required in 2030 to Fuel the World With Solar | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

[The total surface area required to fuel the world with nothing but solar is less than 500,000 square kilometers.  Lets put this number in perspective.]  

 

* This is roughly equal to the area of Spain.

 

* According to the United Nations 170,000 square kilometers of forest is destroyed each year. If we constructed solar farms at the same rate, we would be finished in 3 years.

 

* There are 1.2 million square kilometers of farmland in China. This is 2 1/2 times the area of solar farm required to power the world in 2030.

 

* The Saharan Desert is 9,064,958 square kilometers, or 18 times the total required area to fuel the world.

 

* If every nation were to embark on a state program of the scale of the US highway system we could be finished with the required infrastructure in 20-40 years.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

A frequent argument given against the viability of 100% renewable energy is that it will take too much space.  This is untrue even if we are restricted to using nothing but solar.  Distributing the area around the world, it is barely visible.

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Daniel LaLiberte's comment, December 23, 2013 5:39 PM
Another article referencing the same visualization is "Energy Rant" by Scott Lewis: http://brightworksadvisors.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/energy-rant/
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Fukushima Pledges To Go 100 Percent Renewable by 2040

Fukushima Pledges To Go 100 Percent Renewable by 2040 | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The region is still struggling to recover from the devastating impacts of the 2011 nuclear meltdown.

 

“Tokyo is shoving nuclear power plants and nuclear waste to other regions, while enjoying the convenience (of electricity) as a big consumer,” Hosokawa said during a late January news conference. “The myth that nuclear power is clean and safe has collapsed. We don’t even have a place to store nuclear waste. Without that, restarting the plants would be a crime against future generations.”


Fukushima currently gets 22 percent of its energy from renewable sources. In November, a 2-megawatt offshore wind turbine started operating about 12 miles off Fukushima’s coast. Two more 7-megawatt turbines are in the planning stages. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has said that total offshore wind capacity may reach up to 1,000 megawatts.

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Countries Vow to Form Africa Clean Energy Corridor

Countries Vow to Form Africa Clean Energy Corridor | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Nineteen countries have pledged to create an Africa Clean Energy Corridor to exploit the continent’s vast renewables potential.

 

The corridor is designed to boost the deployment of renewable energy and help meet Africa’s rising energy demand with clean power from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, biomass, wind and solar.  


IRENA’s director-general Adnan Z. Amin said the corridor would “provide the continent with the opportunity to leapfrog into a sustainable energy future.”

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Developing countries must "leapfrog into a sustainable energy future", rather than follow in our dirty fossil fueled footsteps.

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Even India could reach nearly 100% renewables by 2051 : Renew Economy

Even India could reach nearly 100% renewables by 2051 : Renew Economy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
A report says India could reach near 100% renewable energy by 2051 - but there are huge barriers to overcome.

 

When the world thinks of countries that could go 100 per cent renewable, the immediate thoughts go to islands with solar and storage, hydro and geothermal rich countries such as Iceland, or even wind and wave-rich countries like Scotland.


WWF says that to get there India must make some large-scale changes to get on the right track as soon as possible. According to the report, aggressive energy efficiency improvements alone can bring in savings of up to 59 per cent (by both the supply and demand sides) by mid-century.



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Symbiotic fungi inhabiting plant roots have major impact on atmospheric carbon, scientists say

Symbiotic fungi inhabiting plant roots have major impact on atmospheric carbon, scientists say | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Some types of symbiotic fungi can lead to 70 percent more carbon stored in the soil.

 

"Natural fluxes of carbon between the land and atmosphere are enormous and play a crucial role in regulating the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and, in turn, Earth's climate," said Colin Averill, lead author on the study and graduate student in the College of Natural Sciences at UT Austin. "This analysis clearly establishes that the different types of symbiotic fungi that colonize plant roots exert major control on the global carbon cycle, which has not been fully appreciated or demonstrated until now."


Soil contains more carbon than both the atmosphere and vegetation combined, so predictions about future climate depend on a solid understanding of how carbon cycles between the land and air.

"This study is showing that trees and decomposers are really connected via these mycorrhizal fungi, and you can't make accurate predictions about future carbon cycling without thinking about how the two groups interact. We need to think of these systems holistically," said Averill.

 

The researchers found that this difference in carbon storage was independent of and had a much greater effect than other factors, including the amount of plant growth, temperature and rainfall.

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Our World Runs on Energy - YouTube

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Video

 

Most of our energy comes from fossil fuels.  There is another way.  We have learned how to harness the sun and the wind, the rivers and oceans, energy from under the earth and above it, from plants and animals.

 

We are rich in this energy.  It doesn't run out, and it is all around us. It gives more people more access to electricity, helping them rise out of poverty and create employment.  It reduces carbon emissions, protecting our environment from climate change, and it makes economic sense today!

 

All over the world, people are doing the maths and concluding that renewable energy is the best way forward.

 

The world is rallying around a renewable future.  We live in a transformative moment, on the right side of history.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

With enough energy, we can also produce all the clean water we need, and grow all the food we need, and recycle 100% of our waste back into useful products, and we can do it all without degrading the environment, if we switch to 100% renewable energy.


"We live in a transformative moment, on the right side of history."


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Mike Biddle: We can recycle plastic | Video on TED.com

Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled -- compared to almost 90% of metals -- because of the massively complicated problem of finding and sorting the different kinds.

 

Frustrated by this waste, Mike Biddle has developed a cheap and incredibly energy efficient plant that can, and does, recycle any kind of plastic. 

 

"The good news is we are starting to recover materials from our end-of-life stuff and starting to recycle our end-of-life stuff, particularly in regions of the world like here in Europe that have recycling policies in place that require that this stuff be recycled in a responsible manner. Most of what's extracted from our end-of-life stuff, if it makes it to a recycler, are the metals."

 

"So what are we to do about this space-age material, at least what we used to call a space-aged material, these plastics?"

 

"We eventually broke the code. This is the last frontier of recycling. It's the last major material to be recovered in any significant amount on the Earth. And we finally figured out how to do it. And in the process, we started recreating how the plastics industry makes plastics."

 

"We have significantly lower capital costs in our plant equipment. We have enormous energy savings. I don't know how many other projects on the planet right now can save 80 to 90 percent of the energy compared to making something the traditional way."

 

"So now, instead of your stuff ending up on a hillside in a developing country or literally going up in smoke, you can find your old stuff back on top of your desk in new products, in your office, or back at work in your home."

 

"So I hope I've changed the way you look at at least some of the stuff in your life. We took our clues from mother nature. Mother nature wastes very little, reuses practically everything. And I hope that you stop looking at yourself as a consumer -- that's a label I've always hated my entire life -- and think of yourself as just using resources in one form, until they can be transformed to another form for another use later in time."


Via Renew Cities
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Excellent. I wasn't aware that the recycling of plastics had advanced so far.  And this is 2.5 years ago.

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Converting New York State Entirely to Renewable Energy in 20 years: What Would It Look Like?

Converting New York State Entirely to Renewable Energy in 20 years: What Would It Look Like? | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson previously co-authored studies in 2009 and 2011, outlining what it would take to shift completely to renewable energy at a global and national scale, respectively. In either case, such conversion would be a colossal undertaking in infrastructure, policy, finance, and partnerships.


But could it be more feasible to do it on a smaller scale — say, an individual state? Jacobson has now shrunk those analyses down to what it would take for the State of New York to shift its entire energy needs — transportation, electricity, heating and cooling — to renewable sources. 


Here's what they come up with as New York's renewables-only mix by 2030:


40 percent: Offshore wind (12,770 5-megawatt turbines)10 percent: Onshore wind (4,020 5-MW turbines)10 percent: Concentrated solar (387 100-MW CSP plants)10 percent: Utility-scale solar PV (828 50-MW plants)6 percent: Residential rooftop PV (5,000,000 5-kW systems)12 percent: Commercial/government rooftop PV (500,000 100-kW systems)5.5 percent: Hydro (7 1.3-GW hydroelectric power plants, most of which already exist)5 percent: Geothermal (36 100-MW plants)1 percent: Tidal (2,600 1-MW tidal turbines)0.5 percent: Wave energy (1,910 0.75-MW wave devices)


The end result, according to the study: power demand would be reduced by 37 percent, fuel costs would be zero, there would be a net increase in jobs, nearly all energy would be produced in-state, costs (and mortality) associated with pollution and emissions would decline significantly, and the 271 GW of installed power needed would be repaid within 17 years.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Every building, every town, every state, and every nation in the entire world should have such a plan.

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Mind-boggling Consequences In Wake Of Battery Price Drops

Mind-boggling Consequences In Wake Of Battery Price Drops | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Originally published by ABB-Conversations
by Hans Streng
We are now in a transition period where battery prices are dropping by 20-30% each year.

 

Battery prices are the main cost drivers of electric vehicles. Last year Volkswagen stated that it would be possible to manufacture a 100% electric vehicle more cheaply than a car with a combustion engine within three years.


The automotive industry has to switch, and switch quickly. Batteries will do to the automotive industry what flat panels did to TV and PV-panels to the solar business.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

People are asking for verification on the 20-30% per year reduction rate.  Known estimates are that battery costs are dropping at only 7-10% per year.  But there are several new battery technologies gearing up for production.

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Earth Ships And Sustainability - Finally Catching Fire!

Earth Ships And Sustainability - Finally Catching Fire! | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

In the Greater World Earthship Community, everything from the rooftop rainwater catching system to the indoor vegetable garden to the passive solar architecture is of the extreme shade of eco-consciousness.


Earthship Biotecture, which is the company behind the Earthship, is steadily marching toward its goal of changing the world with radical yet efficient designs that enable people to not only build houses out of what many consider garbage, but also live off the electrical grid - all in an oasis of comfort.


There are various floor plans - from luxury mansions to studio homes - but all designs contain these key elements: Natural and recycled materials, Water harvesting, Sun and wind power, A contained, on-site sewage treatment system, Food production, and Passive thermal heating and cooling dynamics.


The heating, cooling and water filtration systems rely on gravity and the forces of nature to operate, a throwback to the way homes used to be built.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We need to be thinking about the entire planet as an Earth Ship, the only one we will get, with extreme eco-consciousness driving us toward the truly sustainable goal of Zero Footprint.

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Green Power Network: Can I Buy Green Power in My State?

Green Power Network: Can I Buy Green Power in My State? | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Find out which organizations offer green power in your state.

 

Green pricing is an optional utility service that allows customers an opportunity to support a greater level of utility company investment in renewable energy technologies. Participating customers pay a premium on their electric bill to cover the incremental cost of the additional renewable energy.

 

The essence of green power marketing is to provide market-based choices for electricity consumers to purchase power from environmentally preferred sources. 

 

Green power marketing has the potential to expand domestic markets for renewable energy technologies by fostering greater availability of renewable electric service options in retail markets.

 

In survey after survey, customers have expressed a preference and willingness to pay more, if necessary, for cleaner energy sources.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

You may be able to switch NOW to 100% renewable energy for ALL your electricity, with a small increase in cost.  Variable rates or short term fixed rates available.  Nothing to install.  No time to waste.  Do it now!

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Solar Would Be Cheaper: US Pentagon Has Spent $8 Trillion to Guard Gulf Oil

Solar Would Be Cheaper: US Pentagon Has Spent $8 Trillion to Guard Gulf Oil | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The US commitment to the Gulf is because some 22% of the world’s petroleum is shipped out through its Strait of Hormuz.  


It has cost the United States $8 trillion to provide military security in the Gulf since 1976. 


Some argue that since the US itself imports relatively little petroleum from the Gulf, we’re crazy to pay for policing it.


The right argument is that we shouldn’t be using petroleum and nor should our allies. The supreme tragedy is that the US has bankrupted itself ensuring military security for the oil-producing nations of the Gulf when oil production is destroying the world. We need a crash program to get the world off petroleum, some 70% of which is used to power automobiles. People should be given incentives to move back to cities so they don’t have to commute. Better public transport is needed.


A tiny fraction of the $8 trillion we spent through 2010 (surely it is up near $10 trillion now) on Gulf security would, if invested in research and development in solar energy and other renewables, and in reformulating our urban transportation systems, save the world. We are told we don’t have money for that effort. But we had plenty of money for aircraft carriers and wars in the Gulf.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Imagine how much better the world would be today if we had spent $8 trillion on renewable energy instead.

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Surface Area Required in 2030 to Power the World with Offshore Wind Power Alone

Surface Area Required in 2030 to Power the World with Offshore Wind Power Alone | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

[It would require almost 12 million 5MW turbines to generate the required power. Let's put that number in perspective.]

 

* There are 500 million cars in the world.


* Each turbine requires 1/2 square mile of area for offshore sites. This would require 5.85 million square kilometers.  That's just 10 times the area required for powering the world with solar panels.


* 90,000 Cape Wind size installations.




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