Sustainability Science
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Sustainability Science
How might we keep the lights on, water flowing, and natural world vaguely intact? It starts with grabbing innovative ideas/examples to help kick down our limits and inspire a more sustainable world. We implement with rigorous science backed by hard data.
Curated by PIRatE Lab
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Welcome to Sustainability Science

Welcome to Sustainability Science | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Welcome to my curation site for the emerging science of sustainability.

 

Here you will find an array of stories, examples, relevant cautionary tales, and data related to our hunt for a more sustainable economy with a reduced ecological footprint.  While my students, colleagues and I are interested in all aspects of sustainability, these pages have an historc emphasis on:

 

- human population growth rates/demography 

- product design/construction, especially:

    - triple bottomline

    - life cycle analyses (LCA)

    - sustainable supply chains

 - carbon footprints (especially carbon "finprints" of seafood)

 - food production/distribution systems

 - energy production/storage systems, especially:

    - dams and flow diversions

    - wind turbines

    - tidal power

    - solar panel efficiency/material advances

    - fuel cell design/material advances

 - general building design/construction, especially:

     - green roof/wall construction and plant palletes

     - lighting systems

     - elegant design

     - redevelopment/reuse

 - urban planning

 - role of mobile technology in fostering sustainability

 - elegant and effective communication

 

Thanks for visiting.  Please enjoy and let me know if I can answer any questions or be of any other help.

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New Mexico approves rules for industrial hemp cultivation

New Mexico approves rules for industrial hemp cultivation | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Farmers in New Mexico will be allowed to grow hemp beginning next year, setting the stage for a new industr
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Elon Musk says first tunnel for proposed underground transportation network will open in December

Elon Musk announces first tunnel for proposed subterranean transportation network will open in December.
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How the Tequila Boom Could Go Bust

How the Tequila Boom Could Go Bust | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Volatile prices, high expenses and the agave plant’s seven-year growth cycle are driving farmers out of business.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Bad times for the smaller producers.
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Food Banks Reap Unexpected Bounty From Trade Disputes

Food Banks Reap Unexpected Bounty From Trade Disputes | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The government is set to deliver $1.2 billion in products that it bought from farmers as tariff relief. The food banks are grateful—but also concerned about the costs of handling the extra goods.
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'Our wealth is the forest': Indigenous tribes are the last best hope for the Amazon

'Our wealth is the forest': Indigenous tribes are the last best hope for the Amazon | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Indigenous people are engaged in a fierce battle to defend the Amazon forest from illegal logging and it’s working. Deforestation in indigenous territories is much lower than in other areas. But those efforts are now threatened.
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C-suite makeovers

The biggest news and trends in energy, business and politics by Ben Geman, with Amy Harder. Weekday mornings
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Interesting positioning that may have serious implications for energy and environmental policy.
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Marshall Islands marches toward zero greenhouse emissions by 2050

Marshall Islands marches toward zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

The Marshall Islands, an atoll-nation vulnerable to sea level rise from climate change, announced steps on Monday towards an ambitious plan to cut its greenhouse emissions to zero by 2050.
The Pacific country became the first small island nation to present such a strategy to the United Nations amid increasing interest from governments worldwide towards eliminating planet-warming emissions in a bid to curb man-made climate change. Heine upped the pressure on world leaders to go beyond current pledges to reduce their heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions as agreed in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Worldwide, nine other countries have so far unveiled long-term plans to completely eradicate carbon emissions at home, from Britain to France and the United States under the administration of former U.S. president Barack Obama.


Via EcoVadis
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EcoVadis's curator insight, September 25, 8:06 AM

Great initiative by Marshall Islands! The best practice for emissions policies is to communicate clear principles and objectives for the reduction of GHG emissions in qualitative and quantitative terms, reporting of Key performance indicators (KPIs) can have an even stronger, positive impact on a suppliers’ scorecard.

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Starbucks commits to 10,000 ‘Greener Stores’ by 2025

Starbucks commits to 10,000 ‘Greener Stores’ by 2025 | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Starbucks has announced an initiative to design, build and operate 10,000 ‘Greener Stores’ globally by 2025, with wider aims to help the wider retail industry operate more sustainably. The ‘Starbucks Greener Stores’ framework is being set up to outline comprehensive performance criteria so that the design, building and operation of Starbucks’ locations will set new standards for ‘green retail’ – this will then be open sourced so that the wider retail community can benefit from the framework and work toward the standards. Developed with the help of experts such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), some key elements of the framework are set to include energy efficiency and water stewardship; renewable energy; healthy environment; responsible materials; waste diversion; and engagement (promoting a culture of sustainability).


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EcoVadis's curator insight, September 19, 3:58 AM

Great job Starbucks! Multinational organizations play a crucial role in the success of sustainability. These supply chains employ more than one in five workers and touch more than 80 percent of global trade, making collaboration across suppliers and industries critical to long-term success.

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Scientists say 25 years left to fight climate change

Scientists say 25 years left to fight climate change | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
"We are not prepared" for the impacts of climate change that are only now beginning to appear, says one scientist.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
"None of the students in my classes have grown up in a normal climate. None of them." On the flipside, if you’re over, say 30, and can actually recall “normal," well, that’s over. "I have to say that all the projections that were made 30 years ago are still valid," says Fung. "The only thing we had not anticipated ... is that the CO2 increases much faster than we ever thought that it would."
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Cheap junk food an obstacle for healthy diets

Cheap junk food an obstacle for healthy diets | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
ROME — The globalized food system is not delivering the diets that people need for a healthy life, but instead contributes to obesity an
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At Jerry Brown's climate summit, one deadline will overshadow all the others

If the world is to keep global warming to levels society can tolerate, the deadline for ridding the roads of gas powered cars and trucks is approaching unnervingly fast. But even clean technology capital California has no clear path for getting there. Will Jerry Brown's climate summit help?
PIRatE Lab's insight:
As with so many things, this may take a crisis (created by policy or external circumstance) to get us on the path to a decarbonized transportation system.  Even so, the long-haul vehicles (tankers, jets, etc.) seem to remain as the biggest hurdle.
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Your Summer Getaways, Now Carbon Neutral with TerraMar

Your Summer Getaways, Now Carbon Neutral with TerraMar | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Carbon Offsets for Summer Travel
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It's hard to believe these stylish jackets were once plastic bottles

It's hard to believe these stylish jackets were once plastic bottles | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

One brand that is innovating through recycling is San Francisco-based Everlane. Over the past few years, it has become known for offering quality basics at reasonable prices, while operating with transparency on their ethical supply chain. Recently they announced a line called ReNew - outerwear, such as puffer jackets, parkas and fleeces - made entirely of recycled plastic bottles. The range of classic garments comes in a selection of neutral tones, with offerings for men and women.


Via EcoVadis
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EcoVadis's curator insight, Today, 7:09 AM

Clothing production consumes resources and contributes to climate change. Therefore making stylish jackets out of plastic bottles will reduce both the level of plastics and the negative impact  on climate. Today’s consumers are more environmentally conscious than previous generations and they’re increasingly calling for companies to make sustainability and corporate social responsibility a major part of their business practice. 

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Fireproof shelters, strict zoning rules and buyouts: Bold ideas to prevent another deadly California fire

Some say recent deadly wildfires are a public safety problem that demands more than the standard fire-safety requirements. New ideas include buyouts, strict zoning rules and even fireproof community shelters.
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That $3 Trillion-a-Year Clean Energy Transformation? It’s Already Underway

That $3 Trillion-a-Year Clean Energy Transformation? It’s Already Underway | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A landmark climate change report describes a shift in energy spending—away from fossil fuels and into clean energy—needed to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Share your insight
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Implementation of stochastic multi attribute analysis (SMAA) in comparative environmental assessments

Implementation of stochastic multi attribute analysis (SMAA) in comparative environmental assessments | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The selection of an alternative based on the results of a comparative environmental assessment such as life cycle assessment (LCA), environmental inpu…
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Climate scientists are struggling to find the right words for very bad news

Climate scientists are struggling to find the right words for very bad news | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A much-awaited report from the U.N.'s top climate science panel shows a dramatic gap between professed goals and where the planet currently stands.
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Malaria and CRISPR: Gene Editing Causes Complete Collapse of Mosquito Population in 'Major Breakthrough' for Disease Eradication

Malaria and CRISPR: Gene Editing Causes Complete Collapse of Mosquito Population in 'Major Breakthrough' for Disease Eradication | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A gene drive to stop the spread of malaria showed promise, with no mutations arising in laboratory experiments.
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The share of the world in extreme poverty is shrinking - 

The share of the world in extreme poverty is shrinking -  | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Only 10% of the world's population in 2015 lived on less than $1.90 a day.
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How our brains process scary climate change news

How our brains process scary climate change news | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
“Climate change has all the hallmarks of an issue which is difficult for people to engage with psychologically,” says an environmental psychologist.
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United Airlines targets 50 pct cut in greenhouse gas emissions

United Airlines said on Thursday it has set a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent over the next few decades to help reduce its carbon footprint and its dependence on fossil fuels. The third-largest U.S. air carrier will invest more than $2 billion a year in more fuel-efficient aircraft, expanding its use of low-carbon biofuels in daily flights and implementing ways to better conserve fuel. "This is not only good for the environment but guards against oil price instability," Aaron Stash, a United manager of environmental strategy and sustainability, told reporters. Fuel costs account for a major portion of airlines' expenses, and rising oil prices over the past year have eaten in to industry profits, sending carriers scrambling to mitigate the impact.


Via EcoVadis
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EcoVadis's curator insight, September 18, 2:28 AM

Remarkable initiative by United Airlines! Best practice for emissions policies is to communicate clear principles and objectives for the reduction of GHG emissions in qualitative and quantitative terms, reporting of Key performance indicators (KPIs) can have an even stronger, positive impact on a suppliers’ scorecard.

Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, September 23, 9:01 PM
The third-largest U.S. air carrier will invest more than $2 billion a year in more fuel-efficient aircraft, expanding its use of low-carbon biofuels in daily flights and implementing ways to better conserve fuel. 

 "This is not only good for the environment but guards against oil price instability," Aaron Stash, a United manager of environmental strategy and sustainability, told reporters.
 
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Giant Food store is now zero waste

Giant Food store is now zero waste | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Giant Food stores is moving straight towards its zero waste goal through its dedication towards becoming one of the most environmentally friendly grocers in the U.S. As part of its sustainable retailer commitment, the company announced that it's Cleona, PA store located at 481 West Penn Ave., is the first in the chain to reach zero waste. A recognized definition by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, zero waste means 90 percent or more of a store’s total waste is being diverted from a landfill or incineration. Currently, 77 percent of all waste generated by its stores is diverted through recycling and composting.


Via EcoVadis
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EcoVadis's curator insight, September 12, 8:11 AM

Great job Giant Food Store! Countries often don’t have the infrastructure required to ethically or efficiently handle waste recycling, leading to a buildup of harmful chemicals that affect populations near dumping sites

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How far can California push the nation — and the world? Jerry Brown's climate summit may provide the answer

If ever California could prove it can set policy for the nation — and the world — it is now. At Jerry Brown's climate summit, the state will play a role no state ever has, creating a shadow federal government of sorts on climate policy that has buy-in from leaders worldwide — except in Washington.
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New Story + ICON : 3D Printed Homes for the Developing World ("technology application for low-cost housing")

3Dhome.org - The first permitted, 3D-printed home created specifically for the developing world was unveiled today in Austin, Texas by New Story, th

Via Bert Guevara
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Bert Guevara's curator insight, March 14, 10:32 AM
The first permitted, 3D-printed home created specifically for the developing world was unveiled today in Austin, Texas by New Story, the non-profit working to create a world where no human being lives in survival mode, and ICON, the newly launched construction technologies company leading the way into the future of home building by using 3D printing to make major advancements in affordability, building performance, sustainability and customizability.
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California Wants All Its Electricity Carbon-Free. How’s That Possible?

California Wants All Its Electricity Carbon-Free. How’s That Possible? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
This story was originally published by Grist and appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. If you want to get electricity generated by fossil fuels in California you’re soon going to be out of luck. A bill that just made it through the legislature requires the state’s electricity to come entirely from zero-carbon sources by 2045. […]
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