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We absolutely can reduce the ecological footprint of humanity all the way down to zero!
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IPCC: Renewables, Not Nuclear Power, Can Solve Climate Crisis

IPCC: Renewables, Not Nuclear Power, Can Solve Climate Crisis | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Green power technologies have become far simpler and quicker to install than their competitors, especially atomic reactors. They are also far cheaper, and we have the capital to do it.

 

To avoid total catastrophe, says the IPCC, we must reduce the industrial spew of global warming gasses by 40-70 percent of 2010 levels.

 

Though the warning is dire, the report offers three pieces of good news.

 

* First, we have about 15 years to slash these emissions.

 

* Second, renewable technologies are available to do the job.

 

* And third, the cost is manageable.

 

With green power, says IPCC co-chair Jim Skea, a British professor, a renewable solution is at hand. “It’s actually affordable to do it and people are not going to have to sacrifice their aspirations about improved standards of living.”

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

By the time the new nuclear reactor technologies are developed and deployed, we won't need them any more.  Maybe we should reserve nuclear fuel for deep space transportation.

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"Unwasted: The Future of Business on Earth" - Beyond Recycling - Documentary

"Unwasted: The Future of Business on Earth" - Beyond Recycling - Documentary | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

 

 

                                   DOCUMENTARY (54.27)

             "UNWASTED: THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS ON EARTH"

A close look at companies who are working on creating a less wasteful, more cost-effective and environmentally tenable society.

There is no waste in nature. When a tree falls it's only halfway through its life. When a bear or animal finishes eating food and processes it in its body that becomes fertilizer for future life in the forest flora.

So it's a beautiful thing the way nature has worked this all out. There is no waste in nature; the human animal is in fact the only animal on the planet to create waste that nature cannot process.

The reason you should care about this is because that's going to make a difference for the environment, for the economy, for your costs, for all the things you care about. In economics there's this term of "externalities" and there's a lot of cost out there that we collectively bear as a society, whether it's habitat destruction, whether it's cost that are directly being imposed on us the citizens who didn't ask for those costs to be put on us.  http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/unwasted-future-business-earth/

 

 

▶  THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY:  COULD IT PRESENT A NEW WAY OF DOING BUSINESS? http://sco.lt/8plSHx

 

FastCoExist:

 ▶  5 BUSINESS MODELS THAT ARE DRIVING THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681904/5-business-models-that-are-driving-the-circular-economy

 

Global Onenes Project
▶ MORE WITH LESS:  WHAT WOULD NATURE DO?

We are using resources faster than they replenish -- from fossil fuel reserves and groundwater to the thousands of plant and animal species now permanently lost from our planet.

   To support outer efforts towards sustainability we need to radically adjust our inner attitudes toward the material world. Relationships based on greed, over-identification with ownership, and the use of material goods to establish status and power over others, can be traded for new values and ways of living that empower a healthy and dignified relationship to all the earth's resources.

https://www.globalonenessproject.org/library/themes/more-less

 

 ▶ THE OVERWHELMING IMPACT OF E-WASTE:  What is the human and environmental cost of new technology? http://sco.lt/6jBufh

 

Guardian Environment, George Monbiot, April 12, 2013
-▶  LET'S STOP HIDING BEHIND RECYCLING AND BE HONEST ABOUT CONSUMPTION http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/apr/12/escalating-consumption

 

                                                       WATCH:
                                                      Quest TV
                       FROM WASTE TO WATTS: BIOFUEL BONANZA
http://science.kqed.org/quest/video/from-waste-to-watts-biofuel-bonanza/

 

 ▶ DISPELLING THE MYTH OF CLEAN, GREEN BIOMASS POWER DRIVEN BY THE INDUSTRY http://sco.lt/7j2i8n

 

Al Jazeera America, January 15, 2014
-▶ U.S. LOUISIANA FORESTS BEING SACRIFICED TO FUEL EUROPE'S BIOMASS BOOM http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/1/16/green-energy-demandineuropemaybethreateningamericanforests.html

 

NICE, BUT NO EXCUSE FOR GENERATING UNBRIDLED WASTE IN THE FIRST PLACE
-▶  WORLD'S LARGEST CFB BIOMASS POWER PLANT NOW IN COMMERCIAL OPERATION http://www.caelusgreenroom.com/2013/01/07/worlds-largest-cfb-biomass-power-plant-now-in-commercial-operation/

 

Click Green Research, January 09, 2014
▶ EU BIOFUEL POLICY IS DRIVING UP DEMAND FASTER THAN NATURE CAN KEEP UP - RUNNING OUT POLLINATING BEES http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/research/trends/124095-eu-biofuel-policy-is-driving-up-demand-faster-than-nature-can-keep-up.html

 

 

 

Forbes, February 21, 2013
-▶  HOW GM MAKES $1 BILLION A YEAR BY RECYCLING WASTE http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2013/02/21/how-gm-makes-1-billion-a-year-by-recycling-waste/

 

 ▶  REDUCING THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF HOSPITALS: FROM SINGLE USE TO REUSE http://sco.lt/5eK9oX

 

-▶  THE WORLD IS SITTING ON A CONSUMPTION TIME BOMB http://sco.lt/7sR3eT

 

-▶  DEADLY BYCATCH:  Two-thirds of healthy fish brought on to fishing vessels is thrown back into the sea - dead or injured http://sco.lt/6DbCld

 

▶ UP TO HALF OF GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION WASTED - A CASE FOR GROWING FOOD LOCALLY AND REGIONALLY - http://ens-newswire.com/2013/01/11/up-to-half-of-global-food-production-wasted/

 

▶ U.N.LAUNCHES NEW FIGHT AGAINST FOOD WASTE  - GLOBALIZATION vs LOCAL http://www.scoop.it/t/agriculture-gmos-pesticides/p/3995363082/u-n-launches-new-fight-against-food-waste-globalization-vs-local

 

 - ▶ THE WORLD'S LARGEST 'WASTE DUMP' IS FOUND IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN http://sco.lt/5F1E8H

 

  - ▶ PLASTIC IN 'GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH' HAS INCREASED 100-FOLD - Killing Ocean Life and Ecosystem | Common Dreams https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/05/09-2

 

 - ▶ OUR OCEANS ARE DROWNING IN PLASTIC http://sco.lt/5P84GH

 

Ensia
▶ REUSE:  THE NEXT WAVE FOR WATER CONSERVATION - WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT http://ensia.com/features/reuse-the-next-wave-for-water-conservation/

 

                                                 WATCH

                                     "A RIVER OF WASTE " 

Beginning with a history of the American food system, River of Waste shows its evolution to large-scale corporate farms where pollution and use of growth hormones threaten both individual health and the future of our planet http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/river-waste/

 

August 2, 2012 Pew Environment Group
▶ ANIMAL WASTE, WATERWAYS, AND DRINKING WATER http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/opinions/animal-waste-waterways-and-drinking-water-85899409190

 

 

 

▶ OUR INDUSTRIAL, WESTERN AGRICULTURAL FOOD SYSTEM IS DESTROYING THE EARTH, OUR CULTURES AND OUR HEALTH http://sco.lt/7JZlyb

 

December 27, 2011 EcoGreen4Us

- ▶  CAN WE LIVE WITHOUT WATER AND FORESTS? http://www.ecogreen4us.com/stories/environment-stories/live-without-water-forest/

 

 -▶  MORE THAN HALF OF U.S. RIVERS ARE TOO POLLUTED TO SUPPORT LIFE http://sco.lt/5Gpafx

 

August 5, 2013 Sustainable Blog

- ▶  WATER PROOF: THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF WATER CONSERVATION http://sustainablog.org/2013/08/water-proof-the-history-and-future-of-water-conservation/

 

 

 

CSRWire

-▶ A GREEN, COMMON-BASED GOVERNANCE: THE RIGHT TO A CLEAN AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL SPECIES http://sco.lt/8qokwj

 

 ▶  ECONOMIC SUCCESS ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH TO IMPROVE OUR WELL-BEING http://sco.lt/5T6cfh

 

 

 - ▶  KEEPING NATURE IN OUR FUTURE: HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS ESSENTIAL FOR ECONOMIC AND PLANETARY SURVIVAL http://sco.lt/5863W5

 

-▶  WHO OWNS NATURE? CORPORATE POWER AND THE FINAL FRONTIER IN THE COMMODIFICATION OF LIFE  http://www.scoop.it/t/agriculture-gmos-pesticides/p/2299601530/who-owns-nature-corporate-power-and-the-final-frontier-in-the-commodification-of-life

 

 

 

 

 

 


Via pdjmoo
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Being responsible for recycling 100% of our waste is an essential part of the Zero Footprint equation.  If we don't do it ourselves, we are making someone else do it.   How selfish is that?

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Elon Musk Thoughts on transitioning to 100% renewable energy - YouTube

Thoughts on transitioning to 100% renewable energy Is solar really part of the solution? Are batteries really sustainable?

http://www.go100percent.org/cms/

 

By definition we must move to renewable energy.  How can one argue against that?  The question is how hard we should try, what pace we should go at.  And I think logically we should go as fast as we can because, since we know we have to get there eventually, it's better to get to a renewable future sooner rather than later, get there before we do the environmental damage, not after.

 

All we're talking about for solar electricity is taking a tiny tiny bit of energy that humanity needs for electricity, which I have to say is super tiny compared to the amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth. You could generate all the electricity that the United States needs with about a 100 mile by 100 mile grid of solar power.


I think the important thing to bear in mind with batteries is there really is no material shortage.  The Earth's crust has essentially an infinite amount of metal, as far as humanity is concerned.  We have barely scratched the surface of the metal resource availability of the Earth's crust.  This is fundamentally a very different thing from mining coal or oil because metal is recycled.  So once you have enough metal to support a given size industry, then it just keeps going in a recycling process. 


It definitely pays to recycle.

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Science Smackdown: Key Points On Renewable & EV Revolution From Mark Z Jacobson

Science Smackdown: Key Points On Renewable & EV Revolution From Mark Z Jacobson | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The video includes excellent talks by Mark Z Jacobson, Mark Ruffalo, and Marco Krapels. ... I just want to highlight some of the cleantech and energy points that I think need to be spread much further.

 

Wind, Water, & Sun: Best Overall Solution To Global Warming, Deadly Pollution, Reliable Energy Needs, and Disaster Protection

 

Battery-Electric Vehicles Are The Key Transportation Solution: 4–5 times more efficient than internal combustion (gasoline) engines for powering your car. 


Why Not Nuclear: 9–25 times more pollution per kWh than wind.


Tremendous wind & solar resources could power the world dozens of times over.


What about cost? WWS much cheaper than current mix even with a minimum estimate for externalities.


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

In other words, we can't afford NOT to switch to 100% renewable energy.

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How Biological Farming Can Make Better Food Supply

How Biological Farming Can Make Better Food Supply | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Jerry Brunetti discusses the importance of biological farming and how it helps keep the soil healthy for better food supply.

 

The entire food chain is connected to soil health, from plant and insect health, all the way up to animal and ultimately your healthWe’ve come to appreciate that the maintenance of intestinal flora is really essential for your health just as it is in the soilThe root ball of the plant is the “gut” or intestinal tract of the plant. In botanical terms, it’s called the rhizosphere, and it houses microbes just like the your gut does, provided the soil system is healthyBiological farming helps keep the planet healthy by sequestering carbon in the soilIt also prevents the loss of topsoil and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity, which provides natural drought resistance. It also helps reduce and boosts nutrient uptake in the plants 
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

If we grow our food right, we can be improving the health of our soil rather than degrading it, we can be extracting CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the soil rather than releasing more.  If everything we take from the land is feed back into the land, plus the soil is growing healthier, then this is a net win for all. Growing food the right way requires, among other things, zero use of fossil fuels, 100% renewable energy, and 100% recycling of all resources.  

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Illinois Powers 91 Communities with 100% Clean Energy

Illinois Powers 91 Communities with 100% Clean Energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Many people don’t know of a state with more than one community using 100-percent renewable electricity, but one state has nearly 100 of them.

 

Illinois is one of six states in the country that allows community choice aggregation (CCA), a system where residents can use their bulk purchasing to solicit bids from energy providers.


“The findings of today’s report are an example of Illinois leading our country’s movement to a more sustainable future from the community level,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “Communities up and down the state have banded together to pursue renewable electricity, reducing both their utility costs and the state’s environmental footprint. Illinois is showing what can happen when change at the local level is harnessed to create a collective movement, and I hope other states take notice.”

 

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We don't have to go off the grid by installing our own 100% renewable energy source.  We can work together and achieve our collective goal more quickly.

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The Tyee – Global Shift to Clean Energy No Longer 'Theoretical'

The Tyee – Global Shift to Clean Energy No Longer 'Theoretical' | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
That, and other surprising insights from a Q&A with Bloomberg New Energy Finance's Ethan Zindler.

 

These days the data tell a powerful story. Recent price declines for solar energy have been "massive," he explained, while merely "substantial" for wind, meaning that a global shift away from fossil fuels is no longer "theoretical." It's happening, and fast.


"But to some degree [this shift] is just getting started, because the real scale-up happens as these [clean] technologies truly become cost competitive to fossils without subsidies, and they're getting there, but they're not entirely there yet."


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

If economists agree the shift to clean energy is inevitable, then you can bet we are on the way.

 

And don't forget that we are still subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, which we should absolutely stop doing, like yesterday!  Like, they owe us $26 billion a year instead of the other way around.

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Renewable Energy Revolution: The Biggest Business Opportunity on the Planet | EcoWatch

Renewable Energy Revolution: The Biggest Business Opportunity on the Planet | EcoWatch | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The world has seen three major energy epochs. The first started when we harnessed fire to cook, keep warm and light our nights. The second began when we figured out we could burn condensed ancient swamp muck (first coal, soon oil) to power our cars and radios. The third epoch only recently began.


Energy, the world’s largest industry, is undergoing a tectonic shift. It’s time to stop hedging our bets. It’s time to embrace the idea that we have the power to transition the entire planet to 100% clean, renewable energy.


The shift didn’t come out of nowhere. For decades, we’ve been developing better clean energy technologies, even as the fossil fuel industry has (literally) dug itself into a very deep hole.


The overall trend is clear. Our energy world is turning upside down. All over the world, it’s starting to make more financial sense for people to power their lives with clean energy rather than dirty fuels.


100% is Already Happening

 

One hundred is not only achievable, it’s fast becoming the new normal.

To get a sense of our moment, google “100 percent clean energy” or “100 percent renewable energy.” You’ll find that major companies, cities, states, regions, and even countries are all operating under a new energy paradigm.  https://www.google.com/search?q=100+percent+renewable+energy&oq=100+percent+renewable+energy


The transition to 100% clean energy is inevitable. The only questions are how fast we can do it and who will benefit from the investments we need to make.


100% is a movement about abundance and possibility. It’s about taking charge of creating the world we all want to see and driving forward the set of solutions we need so our children will inherit a healthier, happier and more prosperous world than the one we were born into.

 

Updated graphic at: https://joinmosaic.com/blog/end-fossil-fuels/


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The energy transition tipping point is here - Chris Nelder

The energy transition tipping point is here - Chris Nelder | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The economic foundations supporting fossil fuels investments are collapsing quickly, as the business case for renewables such as solar and wind finds a new center of balance.

 

The soaring cost of producing oil has far outpaced the rise in oil prices as the world has relied on these marginal sources to keep production growing since conventional oil production peaked in 2005.


Nuclear and coal plant retirements are being driven primarily by competition from lower-cost wind, solar, and natural gas generators, and by rising operational and maintenance costs. As more renewable power is added to the grid, the economics continue to worsen for utilities clinging to old fossil-fuel generating assets.


Renewable energy now supplies 23 percent of global electricity generation, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, with capacity having doubled from 2000 to 2012. If that growth rate continues, it could become the dominant source of electricity by the next decade.

 

Is there any reason to think the world will turn its back on plummeting costs for solar systems, batteries, and wind turbines, and revert back to nuclear and coal?


Is there any reason to believe solar and wind will not continue to be the preferred way to bring power to the developing world, when their fuel is free and conventional alternatives are getting scarcer and more expensive?


I don't think so. All of these trends have been developing for decades, and new data surfacing daily only reinforces them.

 

The energy transition tipping point is here, and there's no going back.

 


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

This is great news. The fossil fuel industry is likely to collapse relatively quickly, as fast as the clean energy competitors are able to fill the gap.  This is a typical pattern with non-renewable resources after they pass their peak, and fortunately, we are starting to see it happen for fossil fuels.

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Global Renewable Energy Grid Project: Integrating Renewables via HVDC and Centralized Storage

Global Renewable Energy Grid Project: Integrating Renewables via HVDC and Centralized Storage | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The global energy and environment challenges cannot be addressed through a local, regional, or even a national approach. They require a global outlook and a much broader vision, a Global Renewable Energy Grid [GREG]. A high voltage direct current [HVDC] transmission system must be built to serve as the bulk electrical power transport medium, with centralized energy storage facilities placed within GREG as needed. 

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

I like the global thinking, but I tend to agree with Andy Ferguson, who comments: "I'm rather skeptical of the approach outlined in this article. Broadly speaking, there are two models of green development. One is the type outlined here, an approach requiring extensive cooperation between governments, a top down engineering plan, and massive financial investment by large institutions with government support. On the other hand there is a distributed approach, where advances in storage and local smart grid technology can stimulate local distributed power generation and grid management.  ... This is not to say that widespread grid development and coordination isn't needed. I'm just skeptical of any approach that posits so much power in so few hands."

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Clean Trillion — Ceres

Clean Trillion — Ceres | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
In order to limit global warming to 2°C and avoid the worst effects of climate change, the world needs to invest an additional $36 trillion in clean energy—an average of $1 trillion per year for the next 36 years.

Ceres is calling this clean energy investment gap the Clean Trillion. Closing this gap will be a tremendous challenge, but it is possible if businesses, investors and policymakers join forces.
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Grantham: Wind, solar to replace fossil fuels within decades : Renew Economy

Grantham: Wind, solar to replace fossil fuels within decades : Renew Economy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Legendary hedge fund investor Jeremy Grantham says there is no doubt that solar and wind energy will “completely replace” coal and gas across the globe, it is just a matter of when.

 

“The question is only whether it takes 30 years or 70 years. That we will replace oil for land transportation with electricity or fuel cells derived indirectly from electricity is also certain, and there, perhaps, the timing question is whether this will take 20 or 40 years.”

 

“The idea of “peak oil demand” as opposed to peak oil supply has gone, in my opinion, from being a joke to an idea worth beginning to think about in a single year. Some changes seem to be always around the corner and then at long last they move faster than you expected and you are caught flat-footed.”

 

(Read more of Grantham on Tesla, Fertilizer Wars at:  http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111904710004579367232326349324.html#articleTabs_article%3D0 ;)

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

It is likely that fossil fuels will gradually increase in cost as the supply of these finite resources dwindles, and then as competition from renewable sources takes over, the fossil fuel industry will collapse rather quickly.  The sooner the better.

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India to build the world's largest solar power plant

India to build the world's largest solar power plant | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

India's government has signed a deal with six companies to build a 4 gigawatt (GW) solar power plant – by far the world's largest.

 

This facility – described by officials as an "ultra mega" project – is equivalent to four nuclear reactors and double the nation's entire current solar capacity. It will be 10 times bigger than any plant of its kind in the world.


In 2010, India launched a "solar mission" initiative, aiming to deliver 20 GW of solar capacity by 2022. This new project will be a significant step towards achieving that goal. The nation has an even more ambitious plan to reach 100 GW by 2030, enough to supply 200 million people.


With its high levels of sunlight, India is well-placed to exploit solar energy. Combined with plummeting installation costs and improving efficiency, solar is becoming a more attractive option with each passing year.

 

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Global Resource Depletion: Is Population the Problem?

Global Resource Depletion: Is Population the Problem? | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Environmentalists and scientists often refer to the two different ends of the environmental problem as sources and sinks. Thus the environmental limits to economic growth manifest themselves as either: (1) shortages in the “sources” or “taps” of raw materials/natural resources, and thus a problem of depletion, or (2) as a lack of sufficient “sinks,” to absorb wastes from industrial pollution, which “overflow” and cause harm to the environment.

 

What is immediately apparent from Chart 1 is that the 10 percent of the world’s population with the highest income, some 700 million people, are responsible for the overwhelming majority of the problem.

 

The poorest 40 percent of people on Earth are estimated to consume less than 5 percent of natural resources. The poorest 20 percent, about 1.4 billion people, use less than 2 percent of natural resources. If somehow the poorest billion people disappeared tomorrow, it would have a barely noticeable effect on global natural resource use and pollution. (It is the poor countries, with high population growth, that have low per capita greenhouse gas emissions.) However, resource use and pollution could be cut in half if the richest 700 million lived at an average global standard of living.

 

Thus birth control programs in poor countries or other means to lower the population in these regions will do nothing to help deal with the great problems of global resource use and environmental destruction.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

This graph is not showing population growth but the extreme inequity of incomes across the world, and the disproportional consumption that results.  The fact that the products we consume are produced in non-sustainable ways means that we in the richest parts of the world are responsible for the vast majority of the problems.

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Morgan Stanley: Tipping point nears for going off grid : Renew Economy

Morgan Stanley: Tipping point nears for going off grid : Renew Economy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Investment bank Morgan Stanley says the tipping point for going off grid in the US is getting closer – thanks to falling solar costs, Tesla’s big battery bet and rising grid prices. Some utilities may adapt, others will not.

 

The initial report, published earlier this month, has been followed up by a note from Morgan Stanley highlighting the extent to which investors had been unaware of these mega trends, which threaten massive disruption in the trillion-dollar utility business.


More importantly, the investors were particularly focused on how utilities might respond. Solar, they suggested, should be seen as an opportunity and utilities should look at ways of becoming enablers of these technologies, rather than barriers.


“There may be a “tipping point” that causes customers to seek an off-grid approach,” Morgan Stanley writes.  “The more customers move to solar, the remaining utility customer bill will rise, creating even further “headroom” for Tesla’s off-grid approach.”


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Two Contrasting Views Of Our Energy Future | PlanetSave

Two Contrasting Views Of Our Energy Future | PlanetSave | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

... fossil fuels must be phased out as soon as possible.  But what are we going to replace them with?  I have recently read two very different visions for our shared energy future.

 

The first comes from Paul Gilding, who in his 2011 book “ The Great Disruption”, outlines a plan he calls the One-Degree War.  This plan relies heavily on the use of renewable energy. Critics often dismiss renewables as lacking the capability to be scaled up to meet projected power requirements. However, as Gilding points out, the adoption of new technology tends to be exponential in nature. Once critical momentum is reached he believes that it will be possible to massively expand wind and solar, over a much shorter time span than most analysts predict. This trend is already apparent in the recent uptake of solar power across the world, which has consistently exceeded the estimates of industry analysts.

 

A very different vision of the energy future is offered by Tom Blees in his book “Prescription for the planet”. Blees is an outspoken advocate for nuclear energy, and in particular what are known as Integrated Fast Reactors (IFRs). These are fourth generation nuclear reactors, which can be powered using the spent fuel from existing nuclear reactors. Unlike conventional thermal nuclear reactors, which use barely one percent of the energy in their uranium fuel, IFRs use virtually all of the energy in their fuel, meaning that the stockpiles of nuclear waste accumulated to date could theoretically provide all the energy the world is likely to require for hundreds of years.

 

What this simplistic picture also fails to take account of are the impact of other future energy sources. Technologies such as hydro power, geothermal, wave and tidal power, ocean thermal energy conversion, and biofuels will all be part of the future energy landscape in one form or another.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

I side with the 100% renewable energy solutions.  But we might as well make use of the already available nuclear fuel, a large fraction of which is considered "waste", and burning it all down to a small amount of ash in IFRs would make sense.  Think of it as the ultimate 100% recycling last resort.  But don't forget the time and expense required to construct a whole new nuclear industry, and compare that with just deploying more of the rapidly growing renewable energy.  In the short term, I don't think we have a choice - 100% renewable energy is where we need to go, and where we are already headed.

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Carbon crash – solar dawn : Paul Gilding, Renew Economy

I think it’s time to call it. Renewables and associated storage, transport and digital technologies are so rapidly disrupting whole industries’ business models they are pushing the fossil fuel industry towards inevitable collapse. It's a carbon crash, and a solar dawn.

 

Most people accept the idea that fossil fuels are all powerful – that the industry controls governments and it will take many decades to force them out of our economy. Fortunately, the fossil fuel industry suffers the same delusion.


Their delusion, however, is good news for the world. If the industry really understood what was happening, it would pull out all stops to prevent it. While they’d ultimately fail, it would cost us decades of lost time – decades we can’t afford if we are to stabilize society and reduce the risk of collapse.

 So, as I see it, the game is up for fossil fuels. Their decline is well underway and it won’t be a gentle one. Of course they won’t just be gone in few years but once the market and policy makers understand what’s happening, it will become self-reinforcing and accelerate rapidly.
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The Solutions Project - 100% Renewable Energy

The Solutions Project - 100% Renewable Energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The Solutions Project uses business, science + culture to accelerate the inevitable transition to 100% renewable energy. Join us!

 

The World Can Transition to 100% Clean, 
Renewable Energy Starting TodayProfessor Jacobson and his team have created 50 state plans for 50 states to transition to 100% renewable energy. Each plan identifies a custom mix of wind, water and solar (WWS) to power our energy for all purposes (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling and industry).
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UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World | Over Grow The System

UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World | Over Grow The System | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World Via www.iatp.org Transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems in order to increase diversity on farms, reduce our use of fertilizer and other inputs, support small-scale farmers and create strong local food systems.

 

The report links global security and escalating conflicts with the urgent need to transform agriculture toward what it calls “ecological intensification.” The report concludes, “This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers.”


In 2007, another important report out of the multilateral system, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), with contributions from experts from over 100 countries (and endorsed by nearly 60 countries), came to very similar conclusions. The IAASTD report concluded that “Business as Usual is Not an Option,” and the shift toward agroecological approaches was urgent and necessary for food security and climate resilience. Unfortunately, business as usual has largely continued. Maybe this new UNCTAD report will provide the tipping point for the policy transformation that must take place “before it’s too late.”

 



Via Schumacher Institute
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Feeding the world, even as we grow to a peak of about 9-10 billion, and even as we shut down the entire fossil fuel industry, should be easy enough, IF we change our ways so agriculture is a net positive for the environment rather than a net negative.  Growing crops can actually sequester more carbon from the atmosphere if we stop adding petrochemical based fertilizer and other chemicals.

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Organic Social Media's curator insight, March 8, 3:07 PM

UN Report Says Small-Scale #Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World | Over Grow The System

Steven McGreevy's curator insight, March 10, 7:01 PM

Great, tell us something we don't already know.  

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Does The Future Of Humanity Lie In Space? | PlanetSave

Does The Future Of Humanity Lie In Space? | PlanetSave | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Given the current state of our technology, it is unlikely we will be venturing far into space this coming century. However over this same time period we will face tremendous challenges here on Earth. For our species to survive into the 22nd century, we will need to find ways to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, solve a host of related environmental problems, and stabilize our population. This will need to happen within the lifetime of many people who are alive today. Achieving such a transformation requires that we turn away from unsustainable growth-based models of resource use, and transition to a steady-state economy.


The Kardashev scale suggests that our energy requirements will continue to increase indefinitely as our civilization develops. However, as we saw above, the future of humanity depends on us being able to stabilize our numbers and live sustainably on the Earth. This implies that our energy consumption will inevitably reach a peak sometime in the next century, and flatten out thereafter. Planetary limits dictate that this must be so. Our civilization simply cannot advance fast enough to allow to us to perfect space travel before we run up against the limits imposed by nature.


If we consider the alternative hypothesis that any civilization destined to survive in the long term would have evolved to a steady-state economy long before they perfected space travel, then it is quite possible that there could be millions of such civilizations scattered through the universe, each quietly going about their own business. This is probably the best option for a long-term sustainable future for the human race. It is a future which most likely will include space travel, but not one in which space travel is a prerequisite for our survival.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We will have to learn to live sustainably before we have time to escape into space.  In fact, it might be much more challenging to try to live sustainably beyond the planet.

 

Stabilizing population is NOT the the primary problem, however.  Rather, a small but stable percentage of the population, the richest 7%, is causing half of the environmental problems, whereas the poorest 93% of the world is much closer to being sustainable already.

 

And once we achieve Zero Footprint, where the average footprint per person is also 0, more people won't increase the footprint.

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Powering the US with Renewables: A State-By-State Roadmap

Powering the US with Renewables: A State-By-State Roadmap | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

What does it take to convert a city, a state, a nation, to 100 percent renewable energy? Many countries are giving it a go with very ambitious goals to be 100-percent powered by renewable energy (islands seem to have a leg up). But what about right here in the U.S., how could that be achieved for this nation? And since all politics is local (and most especially true for renewable energy policies), how could it be done by individual states?


Back in 2011 Stanford professor Mark Jacobsen envisioned what that might require, and followed that up with an analysis of how to accomplish it in New York State. (Our coverage of that, by the way, was by far our most commented story in recent memory.) Now he's extended his analysis to all 50 U.S. states, laying out a resource roadmap to how each of them could meet 100 percent of their energy needs (electricity, transportation, heating) through renewable sources by 2050 — excluding nuclear, ethanol and other biofuels.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Everyone needs to make similar plans for how they are going to get to 100% renewable energy.

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Google's Next Goal: To Stop Deforestation with Global Forest Watch

Google's Next Goal: To Stop Deforestation with Global Forest Watch | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Deforestation has long been cited as a problem, but a lack of accessible data meant that the general public had to take someone's word for the figures. As a result, its threat always seemed more abstract and nebulous than, say, climate change or rising sea levels.

 

Until now: Google has unveiled its Global Forest Watch, an online tool that monitors deforestation around the world in near-real time.


Via Lauren Moss
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Antonio Lopez's curator insight, February 28, 3:05 AM

One role of media should be to act like those speed monitors we see that tell us how fast we are going. Hopefully a program like Google's Global Forest Watch can help us monitor deforestation in real time.

thinking peasant's curator insight, February 28, 3:51 AM

maybe they have not gone over to the dark side for good?

Daniel LaLiberte's comment, March 10, 8:59 AM
Another writeup at: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26287137
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Readers Respond Day 3: Can We Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy?

Readers Respond Day 3: Can We Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy? | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Several countries have announced ambitious goals to be powered completely by renewable energy, while other nations set smaller, incremental goals. These high aspirations have sparked quite a debate amongst industry experts, and we here at Renewable Energy World are curious to hear what you, our readers, have to say.

 

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Given that we have 1000s of times more renewable energy available to us than all the energy we currently use, and the costs are only coming down, as fossil fuel costs are going up, this seems like an obvious "Absolutely".

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The surprising value of waste

The surprising value of waste | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
In the 'sanitation value chain,' human waste, with the proper infrastructure, is turned into a valuable commodity. Collecting, storing, and recycling waste into valuable byproducts, such as fertilizer, can create work and renewable resources, the thinking goes.

 

Statistics point to 2.5 billion people worldwide affected by a lack of access to proper sanitation. But factor in where their waste ends up—dumped into rivers and waterways used for drinking, and leached into soil—and that number reaches closer to 4 billion.

 

"When it comes to sanitation it's no longer a question of, 'Can you bring someone a good toilet?' If that's the answer we would have already solved it," Auerbach says. "You need to address the entire sanitation value chain to solve the challenge."

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Addressing the full lifecycle of all the resources we consume and the waste that results is essential for coming to terms with true sustainability.  

 

Where we can already create effective businesses around total resource lifecycle management, so much the better, but there are likely to be some situations in which we must charge fees to waste producers, so we can subsidize 100% recycling.

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100 Solutions Wanted for Global Sustainability Campaign | EcoWatch

100 Solutions Wanted for Global Sustainability Campaign | EcoWatch | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

What are the 100 solutions that can make real a sustainable society? Scandinavian think tank, Sustainia, today launches a global campaign to find the answers.


With a worldwide campaign alliance of companies and organizations, the goal is to identify the world’s 100 leading sustainability projects and technologies across sectors such as food, fashion, energy, smart homes etc. Collectively, the solutions form a comprehensive guide to state-of-the-art sustainability practices in industries and regions.


“The Sustainia100 campaign is for the people and by the people. For too many years, we have been waiting for a political breakthrough,” says Erik Rasmussen, founder of Sustainia.

 

“We cannot afford to wait longer. With Sustainia100, we identify the leading available solutions that make it possible to start building a sustainable future today.” 


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Individual sustainable solutions are great, and we need them, but we also need to keep in mind what the sum total effect will be of all our activities.  Will it be enough and will it be soon enough?  

 

In order to achieve true sustainability, the overall goal is 100% renewable energy and 100% recycling.  We also must reverse the centuries of damage we have inflicted on the environment.

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