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We absolutely can reduce the ecological footprint of humanity all the way down to zero!
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Time for a New Global Trade Deal - The Globalist

Time for a New Global Trade Deal - The Globalist | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The next big international trade deals should focus on green growth. By John Mathews

 

Why not push for a comprehensive trade deal creating a free market in clean technology goods?


President Obama, in his remarks on climate change in June said that he would direct his administration to “launch negotiations toward global free trade in environmental goods and services, including clean energy technology, to help more countries skip past the dirty phase of development and join a global low-carbon economy.”


Such a WTO agreement would underwrite market expansion for green goods worldwide. Developing countries would have an incentive to base their industrial strategies on green growth rather than black (coal- and oil-fired) growth. And it would provide developed countries with export markets for their new clean technologies and equipment.


Such an agreement would also curb the shift to the revival of fossil fuels in the form of coal seam gas and tar sands oil. Instead, it would keep the world focused firmly on renewable goods and energy systems – which because they are manufactured and are traded would form the core of a global agreement.


Finally, because a clean tech trade agreement would promote trade and investment in green growth, it would deliver far more secure cuts in carbon emissions than commitments under a Kyoto-style agreement could ever hope to achieve.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

There are some very good reasons to impose tarrifs having to do with fair labor practices, environmental responsibility, etc.  But national industrial protectionism should not be one of them.

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Village Infrastructure

Village Infrastructure | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

There are currently 1.3 billion people world-wide that live in energy poverty, nearly 20% of the world’s population. Energy poverty exists where households and communities lack access to electricity, heat and other forms of power. Without access to modern energy, many households rely upon kerosene lamps for lighting; an expensive and dangerous fuel.

Affordable energy for the majority world

Energy is important not only for providing light and heat, but also for building the fundamentals of healthcare, sanitation and industry. It forms the foundation of development. Our mission is to support communities to acquire basic energy infrastructure, to own and manage their own their power production.To make this happen, we will bring together business angel investors and communities in emerging markets. Focused on the end to end process, Village Infrastructure will offer 1-3 year energy loans to finance poverty alleviating infrastructure for villages.


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

It is critically important to the whole world that the poverty stricken developing world not copy our dirty addiction to fossil fuels, that they instead leapfrog us by using 100% renewable energy.

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Turning waste from agriculture and aquaculture into renewable energy

Turning waste from agriculture and aquaculture into renewable energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
An innovative new three-year research project will see the aquaculture, agriculture and biogas sectors working together to develop renewable energy.

 

Indeed, the EU project, known as BIFFiO, will play an important role in contributing towards the EU goal of sourcing 20% of Europe's energy demands from renewable energy systems by the year 2020.

 

The agriculture and aquaculture sectors are under tremendous pressure to improve sustainability and reduce their environmental impact. Both sectors produce a great deal of waste, which is often untreated and unused. The BIFFiO project aims to tackle this issue by developing an economic and resource efficient system for handling mixed waste agriculture and turning into usable energy.

 

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3 Islands Lead the Way By Going 100% Renewable Energy

3 Islands Lead the Way By Going 100% Renewable Energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

100% renewable energy to some may sound like nothing more than a pipe dream, but in reality, it already exists. As giant countries like China, North America and India continue to pump out never ending streams of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, small, low-elevation islands are at risk of serious damage from rising sea levels and more intense and frequent storms. But some islands refuse to surrender and are doing everything in their capacity to do their part, even if that means overhauling their electricity grid as a means to achieve 100% clean, renewable energy.

 

Transitioning to a 100% clean energy world is not only possible, it is inevitable. As Mr. Hermansen said, giving people a stake in creating clean energy will help accelerate its advancement.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

These islands may be small, but we all need to take action to ensure that every organization at all levels, from the smallest nation to the largest, shifts to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.

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We Have the Renewable Energy We Need to Power the World—So What's Stopping Us?

We Have the Renewable Energy We Need to Power the World—So What's Stopping Us? | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
A leading researcher says we have enough wind and solar to power the world. Are we willing to do what's necessary to transform our society?

 

In 2009 Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi, a research scientist at the University of California, Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, published a cover story inScientific American outlining a plan to power 100 percent of the world’s energy (for all purposes) using wind, water and solar technologies (WWS for shorthand). Their list of acceptable technologies includes several different kinds of solar power, on- and offshore wind turbines, geothermal, tidal, and hydropower. No nukes, no natural gas, no ethanol—only the real deal renewables.

 

Their plan, which would provide energy for everything—transportation, heating/cooling, electricity, and industry—would have 51 percent of the energy coming from wind, specifically 3.8 million 5-megawatt wind turbines. Sound like a lot? “It is interesting to note that the world manufactures 73 million cars and light trucks every year,” they write. Also, the footprint of these would be smaller than the size of Manhattan, and of course they wouldn’t all be clustered in the same area either.

 

The next big power source is solar—40 percent coming from a combination of 89,000 photovoltaics (like the kind you mount on the roof of a home or business) and concentrated solar plants, which usually use mirrors to concentrate light, turning it into heat, and creating electricity with steam turbines. Add in 900 hydroelectric facilities, 70 percent of which we already have, and around 4 percent from geothermal and tidal energy, and the globe is powered by renewable energy!

 

Jacobson recently said on the “David Letterman Show,” “There is no technological or economic limitation to solving these problems; it’s a social and political issue, primarily.”

 

“I think in some sectors it will naturally evolve very quickly, like electric cars because they're so efficient,” said Jacobson. “In other sectors, if we don't push faster, then they're just going to change really modestly or not fast enough. I'm pretty optimistic that once people understand what's going on with the problems, in terms of climate, pollution, energy security, and once they understand there are technical solutions available and the economic solution is available, they will galvanize around those solutions.”

 


Via SustainOurEarth
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

What's slowing us down in the switch to renewable energy is the dominant powers in the world.   It's the fossil fuel industries that want us to continue down our self-destructive path; that don't want to change direction unless they can make even more money.  And they rationalize that they deserve even more money and power, because it's our fault for buying their products.

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Tasmania aims for 100% renewables by 2020, 35% carbon cuts : Renew Economy

Tasmania aims for 100% renewables by 2020, 35% carbon cuts : Renew Economy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Tasmanian charges ahead of mainland Australia with new plan to reach 100% renewables by 2020, and to cut emissions by 35%.

 

The government this week released its Climate Smart Tasmania: A 2020 Climate Change Strategy. “It’s the most comprehensive plan by any Australian Government to reduce carbon emissions and help communities adapt to a changing climate, built on more than a year of careful research and consultation,” Cassy O’Connor, the Tasmanian Climate Change Minister, said.

 

She noted it was in vast contrast to the actions of the Tony Abbott government, which has abandoned the country’s long-held emissions reduction target, started working on repealing the carbon price, and destroyed our international standing at U.N. talks in Warsaw.

 

“With a climate denialist government in Canberra determined to wind back Australia’s efforts to reduce emissions, it’s more important than ever that Tasmania shows leadership. We’re already making great progress,” O’Connor said.

 

A large part of the plan is to stop importing coal-fired power from mainland Australia, which constituted 15 per cent of total energy use in 2007. Tasmania has also set a goal to reduce emissions by 60 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Those who deny climate change and refuse to reduce their carbon emissions are effectively stealing from those who are making the investment in moving us toward 100% renewable energy.

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08 A community goes 100% renewable

We took a trip to one of the country's numerous 100% Renewable Villages, which are increasingly covering all of their electricity and heat demand from local renewables and becoming exporters to neighboring cities.

 

[Part of a series of videos on the Energiewende at http://welcometotheenergiewende.blogspot.de/]

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Everyone who goes 100% renewable helps everyone else eventually reach that goal.

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Graph of the Day: Major industrial carbon producers : Renew Economy

Graph of the Day: Major industrial carbon producers : Renew Economy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Who is responsible for climate change? New study identifies the top 90 producers of industrial carbon emissions

 

The responsibilities for climate change fall on many shoulders, of course — from individuals through the daily choices we make, to emitting industries, to nations. But some are more responsible than others. Drawing upon several years of painstaking research, Heede shows that nearly two-thirds, 63 percent, of all industrial carbon dioxide and methane released to the atmosphere can be traced to fossil fuel and cement production by just 90 entities — investor-owned companies, such as Chevron and Exxon-Mobil; primarily state-run companies, such as Gazprom and Saudi Aramco; and solely government-run industries, such as in the former Soviet Union and China (for its coal production).

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Separating Fact from Fiction In Accounts of Germany’s Renewables Revolution

Separating Fact from Fiction In Accounts of Germany’s Renewables Revolution | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Germany’s renewables revolution is in fact highly successful and strong as ever, but that hasn’t stopped three myths from gaining traction in the media. Amory Lovins takes a look.

 

1) Germany’s supposed turn back to coal,

2) how renewables [supposedly] undermine grid reliability, and

3) how renewables subsidies are [supposedly] cratering the German economy. 

Germany’s Energiewende is a bold, challenging, and complex experiment. Its inevitable imperfections need, and get, recognition and correction. On the whole, it has been highly successful so far and is on track for its seemingly ambitious goals—renewable electricity rising to 35 percent of consumption by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, primary consumption falling respectively to 20 and 50 percent below 2008 levels, and CO2 emissions falling to 30 and 80 percent below 1990 levels. In fact, Germany could even surprise the world by going even further and faster.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We must all go much further and much faster than Germany's current plans, and we will be able make significant progress once the power and influence of the fossil fuel industry is sufficiently undermined that switching over to 100% renewable energy becomes more obviously the correct path for everyone.

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UMD Leads 1st Local-to-Global Mapping of Forest

UMD Leads 1st Local-to-Global Mapping of Forest | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

A University of Maryland-led, multi-organizational team has created the first high-resolution global map of forest extent, loss and gain. This free resource greatly improves the ability to understand human and naturally-induced forest changes and the local to global implications of these changes on environmental, economic and other natural and societal systems, members of the team say.


"This is the first map of forest change that is globally consistent and locally relevant," says University of Maryland Professor of Geographical Sciences Matthew Hansen, team leader and corresponding author on the Science paper.

 

"Losses or gains in forest cover shape many important aspects of an ecosystem, including climate regulation, carbon storage, biodiversity and water supplies, but until now there has not been a way to get detailed, accurate, satellite-based and readily available data on forest cover change from local to global scales," Hansen says.


Hansen and colleagues say the global data sets of forest change they have created contain information that can provide a "transparent, sound and consistent basis to quantify critical environmental issues," including the causes of the mapped changes in the amount of forest; the status of world's remaining intact natural forests; biodiversity threats from changes in forest cover; the carbon stored or emitted as a result of gains or losses in tree cover in both managed and unmanaged forests; and the effects of efforts to halt or reduce forest loss.

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The Circular Economy

Ellen takes us on a journey to investigates how insights from living systems might offer some of the answers to how we can re-design our future, in a world of increasing finite materials and energy.

Find out more about the circular economy at  http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org

Follow the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/made2bmadeagain

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

The focus here is on 100% recycling. Because it is not enough to merely use a little less and cause a little less harm.  We need to close the loop by elimimating what we call "waste" and reducing our harm all the way down to 0.

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A Net Zero Win For Cambridge, Mass., Activists | EarthTechling

A Net Zero Win For Cambridge, Mass., Activists | EarthTechling | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
After a vigorous petition campaign by activists, Cambridge, Mass., agrees to explore ways to make the city net zero.

 

Going carbon neutral isn’t easy, but it is fairly straight-forward: It means sourcing power from renewable energy projects and filling out any gaps with the purchase of renewable energy certificates.


Net zero, by contrast, is about what’s happening at the building level. That puts the onus on developers, and puts a premium on tracking and reporting how buildings function. Here’s how Net Zero Cambridge described the proposal it wants the city to adopt:

 

Our proposal restricts the use of fossil-fuel based energy in new developments (greater than 25,000 sq. ft.) by requiring greenhouse gas mitigation plans and periodic reporting of energy usage.  To reach the net zero standard, developers may take advantage of design efficiencies, on-site generation of power, and off-site purchases of renewable energy over the grid. All of these steps have been shown to be feasible and economically viable right here in Cambridge.


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Cambridge is just one city, within a much larger metro region, one among many around the world.  But this place is one I know personally, and it is exciting to see this kind of action taking place locally, to be even a small part of it.  I hope it will encourage similar actions in every other city that is not already moving forward with all due haste toward the goal of Zero Footprint.

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Letterman Interviews Stanford Professor About U.S. Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy

Letterman Interviews Stanford Professor About U.S. Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The good news is that by switching from an energy grid that is supported primarily by using fossil fuels (those which pollute not just our air, but also our soil and oceans) to one based on wind, water and solar power, we can not only sustain our current energy needs, but change the quality of our air, water and soil, while utilizing 100% sustainable and renewable forms of energy.


Letterman asks an important question of Jacobson, “How do we motivate the fossil fuel people – the gas, and oil people of this country to stop what they are doing – thanks guys we’ve had enough – and start allowing technology development for sustainable energy?” Letterman said, “they aren’t going to give up this multi-billion dollar industry.”


Jacobson agreed and argued that policies need to be put into place that support the welfare of citizen’s health and sustainable energy, instead of those which currently support Big Oil and Big Gas companies.


"Everything will be OK if we collectively put our mind to it.  There is no technological or economic limitation to solving these problems.  It's a social and political issue primarily."

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China’s Renewable Power Sector Set to Outpace Rest of World by 2035 | CleanTechies Blog - CleanTechies.com

China’s Renewable Power Sector Set to Outpace Rest of World by 2035 | CleanTechies Blog - CleanTechies.com | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
China is on track to generate more electricity from renewable energy by 2035 than the U.S., the European Union, and Japan combined, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a new report.

 

In its World Energy Outlook report, the IEA also said that by 2035 renewable energy sources — wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass — will make up more than 30 percent of the world’s electricity supply, surpassing natural gas and rivaling coal as the leading energy source. Wind and solar photovoltaic power will see especially large gains, helping renewable energy account for nearly half the increase in global power generation over the next two decades, the IEA said.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Only 30% renewable energy for electricity by 2035?  Moving in the right direction, but not fast enough.

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New Paper Offers Sweeping Plan to Decarbonize the Global Economy | CleanTechies Blog - CleanTechies.com

New Paper Offers Sweeping Plan to Decarbonize the Global Economy | CleanTechies Blog - CleanTechies.com | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Eighteen prominent international climate scientists and economists have authored a paper that seeks to answer the most vexing environmental question facing the planet: How to reverse soaring carbon dioxide emissions and prevent the world from experiencing destabilizing climate change.


Their answer, presented in the journal PLOS One, boils down to this: Offer global leaders a detailed blueprint for decarbonization that involves setting a steadily rising price on carbon, the large-scale deployment of nuclear power and renewable energy, increased research into low-carbon energy technologies, and a reform of forestry and agricultural policies that leads to massive sequestration of CO2 — all while not spending more than 1 percent of global gross economic output.

 

The paper’s key recommendation is a gradually increasing price on carbon that would reflect the true price to the global economy and environment of continuing to combust fossil fuels.


Sachs stressed that none of the world’s major economies have developed detailed, realistic decarbonization plans, which has led to stalemate at global climate talks. Such plans, he said, would include significant increases in the research and development of “low carbon” energy, including nuclear power; achievable targets for switching the transportation sector and heating and cooling of buildings to low-carbon sources of electricity; and a price on carbon that would reward companies and individuals for sharply reducing fossil fuel use. California, he said, has embarked on such a path, with a target of reducing its carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. 


Via Flora Moon
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Great plan, except that for the cost and time required to build nuclear plants, we should invest in renewable energy instead, and start benefitting much sooner.

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India’s Dangerous ‘Food Bubble’

India’s Dangerous ‘Food Bubble’ | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Editor's Note: As is often the case with the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), crucial solutions are largely missing from the article below. I personally believe India’s population is not the problem, but land mismanagement and the prioritising of extractive short-term economic policies. The author, Lester Brown, only touches on solutions (a surface-level mention of water harvesting), instead of bringing it, and a wholesale restoration of the hydrological cycle, to front and centre, along with a host of interconnected methods for improving soil quality, dietary diversity and mitigating climate change. But, I put the post up anyway, as the EPI is good at providing important stats which help us to see why the education and uptake and applicaton of systemic, holistic solutions is so urgent. See links at bottom for some solutions-based articles and videos.

 

Lester Brown: 


What India is experiencing is a "food bubble": an increase in food production based on the unsustainable use of irrigation water.


The energy subsidies that encourage heavy overpumping of underground water will have to be phased out. Traditional water harvesting—capturing the excess water that comes during monsoons in small ponds—can help create a buffer. Farmers can also reduce water use by using more-efficient irrigation techniques and by growing less thirsty crops—for example, more wheat and less rice.


With a third of the U.S. grain harvest now going to fuel for cars and another third going to feed livestock, U.S. exports are down. Global demand is increasing rapidly as populations expand and as more people move up the food chain, consuming grain-intensive animal products. A tightening grain situation means rising food prices for all, a trend that will continue without a global mobilization to use water more efficiently and quickly stabilize population and climate.

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Obama Executive Order Calls For Federal Government to Triple Use of Renewable Energy in 7 Years

Obama Executive Order Calls For Federal Government to Triple Use of Renewable Energy in 7 Years | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The president wants the government to lead by example to promote the use of renewables

 

The president issued a memorandum today ordering a boost in solar, wind and other technologies to 20 percent by 2020.

 

“From an environmental perspective, few things threaten our nation’s future prosperity and way of life more than climate change,” SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch said. “That’s why it’s so important for the [US] federal government to lead by example."

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

This more aggessive goal only applies to federal agencies, and it could be even more aggressive.  We should do something similar for every organization within the US.

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World Bank says no money for nuclear power

World Bank says no money for nuclear power | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The World Bank and United Nations on Wednesday appealed for billions of dollars to provide electricity for the poorest nations but said there would be no investment in nuclear power.

 

"We don't do nuclear energy," said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim as he and UN leader Ban Ki-moon outlined efforts to make sure all people have access to electricity by 2030

 

"And because we are really not in that [nuclear] business our focus is on finding ways of working in hydro electric power in geo-thermal, in solar, in wind," he said.

 

The World Bank chief said it had been difficult to find long term capital for poorer countries but insisted: "We will show investors that sustainable energy is an opportunity they cannot afford to miss."



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Where Do Trees Get Their Mass From?

Trees can weigh hundreds or even thousands of tons, but where do they get this mass from? A few common answers are: the soil, water, and sunlight. But the truth is the vast majority of a dry tree's mass comes from the air - it originated as carbon dioxide.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

It is interesting that most people seem to miss this essential fact, that most of the dry mass of plants, trees in particular, comes from carbon dioxide.  

 

Therefore, if we add any more carbon to the atmosphere from other sources, say by burning fossil fuels, this must be balanced by storing that much more carbon in more plants, or by sequestered more carbon in other ways.  Otherwise the excess carbon stays in the atmosphere, adding to the largest contributor of global warming.

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Invest, Divest: Renewable Investment To Hit $630 Billion A Year In 2030, Fossil Fuel Stocks At Risk Today

Invest, Divest: Renewable Investment To Hit $630 Billion A Year In 2030, Fossil Fuel Stocks At Risk Today | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

It's no longer [just] enviros saying the days of fossil fuel are numbered.

 

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has a must-read piece for investors on how the smart money is beginning to notice the quicksand on which fossil fuel stock prices are built.


“By 2030, the growth in fossil fuel use will almost have stopped,” Liebreich told renewable-energy investors…. “We’re told that it needs to happen by 2020” in order to prevent irreversible climate damage. “That won’t happen. But by 2030, it pretty much will.”


The risk: Oil and coal companies worth more than $7 trillion may be sinking billions of dollars today into projects that will never make sense to finish.


Divesting from fossil fuels isn’t risky. Not divesting is.


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We certainly could go faster.  It makes no sense, from a long-term economic viewpoint, to invest anything more in fossil fuels *now* when the same investments, and more, should instead be put into renewable energy.

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Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions

Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Chevron, Exxon and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show.

 

The analysis found that the vast majority of the firms were in the business of producing oil, gas or coal, found the analysis, whichhas been published in the journal Climatic Change.

 

Half of the estimated emissions were produced just in the past 25 years – well past the date when governments and corporations became aware that rising greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of coal and oil were causing dangerous climate change.

 

Many of the same companies are also sitting on substantial reserves of fossil fuel which – if they are burned – puts the world at even greater risk of dangerous climate change.

 

Climate change experts said the data set was the most ambitious effort so far to hold individual carbon producers, rather than governments, to account.

 

Michael Mann, the climate scientist, said he hoped the list would bring greater scrutiny to oil and coal companies' deployment of their remaining reserves. "What I think could be a game changer here is the potential for clearly fingerprinting the sources of those future emissions," he said. "It increases the accountability for fossil fuel burning. You can't burn fossil fuels without the rest of the world knowing about it."

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

These companies are actually more powerful than the governments, while taking far less responsibility than they should, blaming, instead, the consumers for continuing to 'demand' cheap products.  Simply requiring (by law) full payment for all the externalities and using that revenue to undo the environmental damage would quickly change the equation to favor clean renewable energy.

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Small planet, big appetites: How to feed a growing world

Small planet, big appetites: How to feed a growing world | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
"Consumed" author Sarah Elton wants a food system that will allow us to do more than survive. Here, she lays out how farming can make the environment, and the people in it, thrive.

 

Sarah Elton:

 

When you look at the facts, the status quo is just not sustainable. The way we produce food today drains ground water aquifers. It pollutes surface water, ground water, and oceans with chemical and fertilizer runoff. Over the last 100 years, it has diminished biodiversity dramatically. And the food system today is deeply reliant on fossil fuels — while also producing so many greenhouse gas emissions (think industrial livestock production that is responsible for 14-18 percent of emissions — estimates vary).

 

A system like this simply cannot be called sustainable if it is destroying the very things — like clean water, healthy soil, biodiversity — it needs to keep producing food for our kids and their grandkids. Not to mention worsening climate change.

 

What’s the alternative? Agriculture that nurtures biodiversity from the bees to the seeds to the nematodes in the soil, conserves water, manages nutrients in fertilizer responsibly, that sequesters carbon. When I traveled around the world researching this book, I found that these signposts of sustainability were more likely to be found on small farms, practicing sustainable — organic — agriculture. Also, if you look at the science, organic soils are more able to sequester carbon as well as more resilient to the extreme weather events that scientists say will become increasingly common with climate change.

 

Farmers who practice this kind of agriculture were typically part of this global sustainable food movement that I write about in the book. And what was really interesting to see was that people who were farming in this way tended to be improving their fortunes — not getting poorer or hungrier. So this is true sustainability when it stretches from environmental sustainability to economic sustainability for farmers.

"

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Global Reef Project Documents The World's Threatened Coral Reefs [PHOTOS/VIDEO] | PlanetSave

Global Reef Project Documents The World's Threatened Coral Reefs [PHOTOS/VIDEO] | PlanetSave | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The survey is being called “the world’s largest stock-taking of corals in history” and it is as much about science and conservation as it is about the appreciation of the wonders of Nature. The survey will serve as an invaluable resource for both scientists and conservation groups in the years to come as these productive sites are further impacted by climate change and human industrial activity and pollution.

 

According to the website:

‘The Catlin Global Reef Record is a research tool aimed at collating and communicating the coral reef science of the Catlin Seaview Survey and combining that information with data from other leading sources of ocean research. This free database will provide scientists across various disciplines of marine studies with a tool for analyzing the current state of the reef ecosystems on a local, regional and global scale and monitoring changes that occur over time.’

 

 

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The World Isn’t Keeping Up With The Need To Invest In Sustainable Energy

The World Isn’t Keeping Up With The Need To Invest In Sustainable Energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

When it comes to investing in a future of clean and sustainable energy, the world is rapidly falling behind.

 

Global investment plateaued at roughly $360 billion in 2012, despite a need for almost twice that amount per year.


According to estimates by the U.N., another $48 billion will be needed on top of [roughly $625 billion per year] every year until 2030 to bring global energy access. That would move the world towards a sustainable energy economy while reducing global energy poverty at the same time — two goals that are often in structural tension.


With their greater wealth and much lower poverty, developed countries bare the majority of the responsibility to sacrifice to combat climate change.


Other good news from the CPI report was the discovery that we’re getting more bang for our buck out of renewable investments, probably due to improved economies of scale and lower technology costs. 



Via UIWGroup
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Investing in renewable energy shouldn't be viewed as a "sacrifice" because, actually, NOT investing in renewable energy is the real sacrifice.

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UIWGroup's curator insight, October 22, 2013 5:31 PM

There is appoximately 1,000,000 homes in Australia that PV or solar hot water. It is about us all be part the change as we move toward creating a truly sustainable world

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Researcher is optimistic about meeting 'Grand Challenge' of global prosperity | Science Codex

Researcher is optimistic about meeting 'Grand Challenge' of global prosperity | Science Codex | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
ITHACA, N.Y. – With ecological viability threatened, world resources draining, population burgeoning and despair running rampant, the end is nigh. Or not, says Lawrence M. Cathles, Cornell professor of earth and atmospheric sciences.

 

"In spite of our apparent environmental problems, we stand a remarkable chance of achieving solutions," he says. "Societies all around the world are living longer. We have more access to food, clean water and energy… and we've never been more healthy."


Meeting the Grand Challenge would require energy production of 50 terawatts today and 75 terawatts 100 years from now, ideally all from zero carbon energy sources, says Cathles. Growing from 15 to 75 terawatts over a century requires a growth rate of 1.6 percent per year, which is modest, he says.

 

The lion's share of the power expansion could be met by wind, solar power produced in deserts or nuclear; but by far the least environmentally intrusive, feasible and realistic option is nuclear, he says. The oceans have enough dissolved uranium to sustain 10.5 billion people at a European standard for more than 100 centuries, and the extraction footprint would be tiny.

 

"Everything is possible with energy, nothing is possible without it," says Cathles.

 

(Note: The full paper is available for download online here.)

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