Sustainability Science
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New carpool lane on northbound 405 finally set to open

New carpool lane on northbound 405 finally set to open | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

After countless delays, cost overruns, gridlock gripes from Tesla's Elon Musk and a phenomenon known as "Carmageddon," officials Friday will finally unveil on the 405 Freeway the nation's longest continuous carpool lane.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

Wow...it only took a billion dollars, a decade of active planning/construction (on top of our twenty previous years of discussions), unions screaming for the "high paying jobs" the construction would provide, beyond aggravated motorists, etc., etc.

 

Who says we can't do overpriced, car-centric, gasoline-centric, dated-before-it-launches transportation planning?

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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.
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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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California's gas tax increase has fast-tracked road repair projects. But is that enough to prevent a repeal?

California's gas tax increase has fast-tracked road repair projects. But is that enough to prevent a repeal? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Drivers on the 605 Freeway may notice the ride suddenly gets smoother in El Monte. At least state officials hope they notice. Three months after the state began collecting an extra 12 cents per gallon in gas taxes, road projects are on the fast track to head off a repeal initiative.
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Oil Investors Call for Human Rights Risk Report After Standing Rock

Oil Investors Call for Human Rights Risk Report After Standing Rock | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Marathon shareholders want the oil company to explain how it weighs environmental and social risks after the treatment of Dakota Access pipeline protesters.
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As New Delhi’s pollution crisis persists, so does widespread public denial and complacency

As New Delhi’s pollution crisis persists, so does widespread public denial and complacency | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
In early November, there was no escaping the fact New Delhi was facing a public health crisis. The city’s Air Quality Index, by some readings, soared as high as the maximum, 999. Schools were closed, questions of governmental competency were raised and high-level meetings were convened. Conditions have improved, but remain far from healthy. But you wouldn’t know it by observing daily life.
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Vacant lots, empty homes and dying orchards on bullet train route attract squatters, vandals and thieves

Vacant lots, empty homes and dying orchards on bullet train route attract squatters, vandals and thieves | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The state High-Speed Rail Authority has purchased more than 1,000 properties in the Central Valley for its route, but many of the vacant parcels are magnets for squatters, vandals and arsonists.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Some of the many (but predictable) unintended consequences of eminent domain and large-scale public works efforts.
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Why is geothermal energy the forgotten renewable?

Why is geothermal energy the forgotten renewable? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Experts say the American West is full of geothermal reservoirs whose energy could power millions of homes.
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California, Trump Officials Weigh Vehicle-Emissions Rule Changes

California regulators and Trump administration officials met to discuss for the first time the prospect of changes to vehicle-emissions rules, a significant step in complex negotiations aimed at preventing a legal battle over future environmental regulations on cars and trucks.
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Environmental Impact Assessments and Hydraulic Fracturing: Lessons from Two U.S. States

Although the United States has been stimulating well production with hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”)1 since the 1940s [1], high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) combined with horizontal drilling is a relatively recent [2, 3] development with potential to adversely impact human health [4], environment [5], and water resources [6], with uncertainty about impacts and gaps in the data on HVHF compared to conventional drilling techniques [7]. Part of protecting environmental and public health is identifying potential risks before licenses are issued and drilling operations proceed. To this end, two case studies, focusing on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures of California and New York, are analyzed in this paper. Both states have histories of strong environmental protection law and policy [8–10] and legally require an EIA to be conducted before development of HVHF sites [11, 12], an outgrowth of the 1969 federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). New York State conducted what appears to be a thorough EIA [13] and concluded that as there were too many gaps in the data on HVHF, fracking could not proceed. California’s EIA, which was less extensive, and did not consider health impacts [14], concluded that HVHF could proceed, relatively unabated. A comparison of these cases illustrates that the processes designed to ensure adequate identification, monitoring, and assessment of environmental impacts are prone to differences [15]—an outcome of the fact that laws governing HVHF in the US are not consistent across, nor controlled at, the federal level [16, 17].

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China’s two-child policy has already stopped working

China’s two-child policy has already stopped working | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
That was quick. When China officially ended its one-child policy in 2015, couples promptly heeded the call and had a lot more babies. Under its new two-child policy, China recorded 18.46 million births in 2016—the highest since 2000—with almost half of those babies having at least one older sibling. https://www.theatlas.com/charts/B1EkKl1rz But in 2017, the number o
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Students apply geometry lessons to build tiny houses - The Hechinger Report #makered

Students apply geometry lessons to build tiny houses - The Hechinger Report #makered | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Every week in geometry class, more than two dozen Eureka High School students stow their backpacks and cellphones in their lockers and don hard hats and goggles.

Instead of sitting at desks, they slice wood with power saws, measure wood to be cut and hammer together the skeleton of a new tiny house — a fully habitable dwelling, just 26 feet long — all with little teacher help.

In less than two months, they have almost finished building the entire frame of a 14-by-26-foot house from the ground up.

“We’re not getting results that we’d like to get for our students, so we’re looking for additional opportunities that could make math relevant for students. This program does that.”
Mike LaChance, Ritenour School District’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

“You actually have to try in this class,” said Tucker Burt, 14, a freshman. “It’s a lot more fun. It’s a lot more hands-on. It’s a lot more interesting.”

Via John Evans
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Takeout creates a lot of trash. It doesn't have to.

Takeout creates a lot of trash. It doesn't have to. | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Can we deliver ourselves from packaging waste?
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Tesla's enormous battery in Australia is responding to outages in record time

Tesla's enormous battery in Australia is responding to outages in record time | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Less than a month after Elon Musk's Tesla Inc. unveiled a new backup power system in Australia, the world's largest lithium-ion battery is already being put to the test. It appears to be far exceeding expectations.
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Checkmate: how do climate science deniers' predictions stack up?

Checkmate: how do climate science deniers' predictions stack up? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The years 2017, 2016 and 2015 will make up the three hottest years on record for the planet. There’s no convincing some people
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Toyota Prius software fix may reduce fuel efficiency, experts say

About 800,000 Toyota Priuses recalled in 2014 to address overheating. Some drivers and experts who studied Toyota documents say the company's software fix resulted in a reduction in fuel economy.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Yet another case of companies messing with the :"unseen" computer control code that regulates more and more of our technology and lives.
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In eastern Kentucky, a rural county struggles without a steady supply of clean water

In eastern Kentucky, a rural county struggles without a steady supply of clean water | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
For more than a month, a rural part of Kentucky has been mostly without running water. When taps do work, residents worry the water is unsafe to drink.
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No Drop in U.S. Carbon Footprint Expected Through 2050, Energy Department Says

No Drop in U.S. Carbon Footprint Expected Through 2050, Energy Department Says | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

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MSC suspends Argentine anchovy certification

MSC suspends Argentine anchovy certification | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
You may also like: Produce: 46% of Peruvian anchovy quota caught After a year of strong pelagic landings, Chile’s fishing season kicks off Peru orders anchovy season closure
PIRatE Lab's insight:
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate for Argentine anchovy fishery has been suspended after it failed to show evidence for progress against its conditions, a MSC spokeswoman told Undercurrent News. 

 The Argentine anchovy fishery was initially MSC certified in August 2011 and obtained its recertification in December 2016.

This fishery has been improving its sustainability standard since it first engaged with the MSC program, but MSC requires fisheries to have a high sustainability standard, according to MSC. "To do so, fisheries under assessment can be certified with conditions; these conditions are a key element to improve beyond a minimum tolerable sustainability level. In the Argentine anchovy fishery case, it was suspended not as a result of bad practices, but because the fishery has not yet submitted information to demonstrate progress in its plan of action to address one condition of this certification," the MSC spokeswoman told Undercurrent. 

 According to the MSC general certification requirement, the "fishery client" has 90 days from the date of the suspension to submit a corrective action plan addressing the cause of suspension, which will need to be accepted by the certifier. 

If this information is not submitted or is not acceptable, the fishery should withdraw the MSC program. According to the MSC fishery certification requirements, the Argentine anchovy fishery is still certified and has 90 days to submit information to the certifier to get over this suspension, MSC said. "The MSC program is under voluntary basis, so, the client needs to demonstrate its work in addressing the condition," the MSC spokeswoman noted.
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Top ivory investigator stabbed to death

Top ivory investigator stabbed to death | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Ex-UN envoy for rhino conservation Esmond Bradley Martin was known for his undercover work.
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Fracking well depths linked to Oklahoma quakes

The deeper the injection well, the greater the quake risk
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Saudi and Russia energy chiefs downplay U.S. shale threat

Saudi and Russia energy chiefs downplay U.S. shale threat | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
“In the overall global supply-demand picture, it is not going to wreck the train."
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Finding California's Climate Past and Future Inside of Its Trees

Finding California's Climate Past and Future Inside of Its Trees | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
In order to better understand just how extreme the state's weather has gotten, scientists looked to the ring patterns of 500-year-old oaks.
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A Wet and Warm Spring, Then 200,000 Dead Saigas

A Wet and Warm Spring, Then 200,000 Dead Saigas | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Scientists identified bacteria that caused a mass die-off of the endangered antelopes in Kazakhstan in 2015. But the mechanism that made the bacteria so deadly is not understood.
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Climate Information Is Disappearing From Federal Websites Under Trump

Climate Information Is Disappearing From Federal Websites Under Trump | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
One group of scientists spent the past year tracking 20,000 government websites and databases about climate change. Here's what they found.
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Pathogens boosted by food additive

Pathogens boosted by food additive | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Epidemic strains of the bacterium Clostridium difficile have now been found to grow on unusually low levels of the food additive trehalose, providing a possible explanation for C. difficile outbreaks since 2001.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
A great example of the so often hard to quantify unintended consequences of a lax regulatory system.  This is one example of why precautionary principles are a safer way to go in terms of regulating food and food systems.  The notion that we need merely to use something until we have a confirmed problem with it is often an unwise approach when it comes to factors that can impact our ecosystem or organism health and well being.

See this additional perspective from LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-sugar-c-diff-20180103-story.html
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Faced with rising temperatures, people may seek asylum

Faced with rising temperatures, people may seek asylum | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
How weather influences migration.
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How a Wayward Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe

How a Wayward Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Beaufort Gyre, a key Arctic Ocean current, is acting strangely. Scientists say it may be on the verge of discharging a huge amount of ice and cold freshwater that could kick off a period of lower temperatures in northern Europe.
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