Sustainability Science
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The Biggest Sources of Greenhouse Gas: Public Perception is Wrong

The Biggest Sources of Greenhouse Gas: Public Perception is Wrong | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
You think you know the major sources of the greenhouse gases that are driving climate change? According to a recent international survey, you've probably got the wrong idea.
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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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​How land under solar panels can contribute to food security

​How land under solar panels can contribute to food security | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Beneath some solar arrays, pollinator-friendly plants, fruits, vegetables and forage are cropping up in place of turfgrass or gravel
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Will You Miss the Animals You Never Knew?

Will You Miss the Animals You Never Knew? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
If polar bears or tigers became extinct tomorrow, would you mourn them? Probably. But if an unfamiliar animal vanishes, would you feel the loss?
PIRatE Lab's insight:
It is hard to know what you don't know.
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Science Alone Won’t Save the Earth. People Have to Do That.

Science Alone Won’t Save the Earth. People Have to Do That. | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
We need to start talking about what kind of planet we want to live on.
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Tesla, Infineon, Airbiquity, FlexDrive, Blink, Luxsoft, ParkMobile, Magneti Marelli & Octo

ENGIE Resources announced that it has now supplied enough Green-e® certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) to displace the estimated greenhouse gas emissions of more than 1 million passenger vehicles driven for a year. A REC is created when one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity is generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable energy resource.

Via EcoVadis
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EcoVadis's curator insight, August 9, 6:29 AM

Great job by ENGIE! This step has helped the company to see considerable growth in its renewable product offerings, which now help commercial, industrial, and institutional customers across the U.S. meet their sustainability commitments.

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Power Worth Less Than Zero Spreads as Green Energy Floods the Grid

Power Worth Less Than Zero Spreads as Green Energy Floods the Grid | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Wind and solar farms are glutting networks more frequently, prompting a market signal for coal plants to shut off
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Trump’s Auto Efficiency Rollback: Losing the Climate Fight, 1 MPG at a Time

Trump’s Auto Efficiency Rollback: Losing the Climate Fight, 1 MPG at a Time | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Trump administration’s proposed freezing of tailpipe regulations would reverse one of the most effective climate actions on the books.
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Musk says Tesla will be self-funded, shunning Wall Street

Elon Musk trims his vision for Tesla – for now.
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Inside the Tesla Factory: Burning cash, and trying not to burn out

Inside the Tesla Factory: Burning cash, and trying not to burn out | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The automaker is running through billions of dollars — and testing workers’ limits — as it races to build its futuristic electric cars.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
This place sounds like grad school...or the birthing of a new university.
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Target, CVS join Walmart in collecting emissions data from suppliers

Target, CVS join Walmart in collecting emissions data from suppliers | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Retailers are opening the door to collaboration with suppliers, creating opportunities to reduce environmental impact and improve the bottom line. 
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Republican congressman Carlos Curbelo introduces bill taxing carbon emissions

Republican congressman Carlos Curbelo introduces bill taxing carbon emissions | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
It's the first GOP measure on climate change in nearly a decade.
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Discovered: Philadelphia’s high-tech, totally natural plumbing of 1812 - The

Discovered: Philadelphia’s high-tech, totally natural plumbing of 1812 - The | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
City utility workers just uncovered wooden water mains that were installed more than 200 years ago.
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Continuus Material Recovery Acquires ReWall

Continuus Material Recovery Acquires ReWall | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The acquisition delivers a large-scale solution to impending waste and recycling challenges.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Interesting that that Chinese ban on materials for the recycling/waste stream could stimulate an internal to America network for materials going into the recycling pipeline.
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AccorHotels boosts supply chain sustainability with 600 urban food gardens 

AccorHotels boosts supply chain sustainability with 600 urban food gardens  | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

The group, which operates 4,500 locations around the world, has committed to making its supply chain more sustainable and environmentally-friendly by reducing food waste and transport emissions. The installation of these gardens ties in with overall company aims to boost food traceability, reduce food waste from its restaurants by 30% by 2020, and to reduce the environmental footprint of its produce supply chain. This forms part of the company’s Planet 21 sustainability strategy. In 2012, AccorHotels set targets for 2020 in the areas of eco-design, energy efficiency, water stewardship and sustainably sourced food.


Via EcoVadis
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EcoVadis's curator insight, August 16, 2:03 AM

Great initiatives by Accorhotels in order to reduce the environmental impact from their food purchases.

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“Democratizing” drinking water by taking it from thin air

“Democratizing” drinking water by taking it from thin air | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Atmospheric water generators—which take water vapor from the atmosphere and convert it to liquid water - could provide water for the world’s population.
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On fuel economy plan, Trump administration ignored its own EPA scientists

EPA officials raised multiple red flags in June about the administration’s contention that freezing fuel economy targets would result in fewer traffic deaths.
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Ignore the climate change deniers. California's hellish summer really is a grave warning

Ignore the climate change deniers. California's hellish summer really is a grave warning | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
In the long, hot, smoky California summer of 2018, as we camp under ash-hued sunset skies, the scariest thought is that the future has arrived, and more intense weather extremes will continue to wreak havoc in years to come.
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SEC Drops Probe of Exxon’s Climate-Change Disclosures

SEC Drops Probe of Exxon’s Climate-Change Disclosures | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The SEC dropped a probe into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about the risks that climate change and greenhouse-gas regulations posed to its business.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
WASHINGTON—Securities regulators dropped an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil Corp. misled investors about its accounting practices and the risks that climate change and greenhouse-gas regulations posed to its business. The Securities and Exchange Commission in a Thursday letter informed Exxon that it closed the probe and decided against trying to penalize the energy giant over its disclosures and how it valued oil and gas assets. 

The letter was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Exxon in a statement confirmed the probe had ended, saying it began in January 2016 and involved more than 4.2 million pages of records. “After a thorough investigation, including a review of these documents, the SEC issued its closure letter,” company spokesman Scott Silvestri said in the statement.

The SEC’s investigation began under former chairman Mary Jo White, who was picked by former President Barack Obama. It ended under SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, a new leader appointed by President Trump. The decision ends what was a surprise foray by the federal regulator into questioning how a major oil producer valued its assets in a world of increasing climate-change regulations. An SEC spokesman declined to comment.  
 
Investigations by the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts continue into how Exxon has accounted for the impact of climate change on its assets. New York investigators have alleged in court papers that Exxon appears to have used internal estimates to account for climate impacts that differed from public statements. Exxon has denied those charges and said its statements accurately reflect the “proxy cost” of carbon it uses in internal estimates. Before the probes began, Exxon was the only major oil-and-gas company that hadn’t written down the value of its reserves in the previous decade, an issue New York investigators had taken an interest in. 

In accounting terms, the value of such assets often falls when prices decline. Since the fourth quarter of 2016, Exxon has booked more than $3 billion of impairments. Under U.S. law, public companies must tell shareholders about risks or uncertainties that matter to shareholders’ investment decisions. Environmental groups and some activist investors have pushed the SEC to force companies to disclose more about how they weigh their exposure to climate change. 

 The SEC advised public companies in 2010 that they should consider the impact of greenhouse-gas regulations, international agreements among governments to limit emissions, and the physical effects of climate change, such as severe weather. The SEC said all of those factors wouldn’t apply to every public company, and it declined to mandate any specific disclosures about climate change. 

 Securities lawyers say the decision is specific to Exxon’s case and may not portend a change in terms of how the SEC reviews companies’ statements about climate change. Proving that a company suppressed the threat of climate change is difficult because the trend may not immediately—or anytime soon—affect its performance. “Given the time horizon over which climate change could have an impact, it’s challenging to prove that any risk or uncertainty is material to a company in the present day,” said Keith Higgins, a former SEC director and now chairman of the securities and governance practice at Ropes & Gray LLP.
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An ancient lake holds secrets to the Mayan civilization’s mysterious collapse, study finds

An ancient lake holds secrets to the Mayan civilization’s mysterious collapse, study finds | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Sediment under a lake in Mexico quantifies for the first time the intensity of the drought that contributed to the Mayan civilization's collapse.
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Adding Up the Cost of Climate Change in Lost Lives

Adding Up the Cost of Climate Change in Lost Lives | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
An exhaustive new study focusing only on heat-related damage predicts that by 2099, even with economic growth and adaptation, 1.5 million more people world-wide will die each year because of increased temperatures.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Not surprisingly, wealthier places fare better: in Houston, each additional day averaging 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), relative to a “normal” day of 20 degrees, raises the annual death rate by 0.5 per 100,000 people. In Cairo, which is as hot as Houston but only one-tenth as rich, a hot day is nearly 10 times deadlier. More surprising, temperate places fare worse, because they aren’t used to heat: in Seattle, a hot day is seven times deadlier than in Houston because fewer homes have air conditioning and people spend more time outdoors. 

The study uses these relationships to project the effects of global temperatures rising four degrees Celsius by 2099, which is the scientific consensus of how much temperatures will rise if no steps are taken to slow carbon emissions. Without the benefits of growth and adaptation, mortality rates would rise by 125 per 100,000 people, or 14 million additional deaths. Factoring in rising incomes, that drops to 44. Incorporating adaptive behavior, such as staying indoors, it drops further, to 13, roughly 1.5 million people. 

 The impacts are highly uneven. Mortality actually drops in temperate, rich cities such as Oslo because they experience fewer dangerously cold days, and their affluence minimizes the harm of hot days. It rises sharply in places like Mogadishu, Somalia, that, despite being used to hot days, aren’t rich enough to withstand the extremes. Within the U.S., mortality drops in the relatively cool northern plains but rises in the southeast. 

 The toll goes beyond death. Adaptation avoids some deaths but soaks up money and effort that can’t go toward other things such as dental care and vacations. These costs ought to be factored into the effects of climate change. Regulators evaluating new safety rules routinely express human lives in dollar equivalents. The study’s authors do the opposite, expressing the costs of adaptation in death-equivalents. This raises the net impact on mortality to 35 per 100,000, or roughly 3.9 million lives. Using dollars instead of deaths, the study concludes the heat-related costs incurred by one additional metric ton of carbon dioxide is $39, far larger than existing estimates of around $1.50, according to one popular model, says Mr. Greenstone, who helped developed estimates of the social cost of carbon under President Barack Obama.
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Which Vision Of Farming Is Better For The Planet?

Which Vision Of Farming Is Better For The Planet? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Farmers face a growing dilemma. Specifically, a food-growing dilemma. How do you feed an increasing number of people without harming the environment? As it
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Supreme Court case could trim authority of EPA, other agencies | McClatchy Washington Bureau

Supreme Court case could trim authority of EPA, other agencies | McClatchy Washington Bureau | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Conservative groups have long wanted to restrict the latitude of the EPA and other federal agencies. They will get a chance in the fall, with a Supreme Court case that Brett Kavanaugh could help decide.
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The Trump administration's energy policies are full of contradictions

The Trump administration's energy policies are full of contradictions | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
"I hate the wind!"
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How Postcards Solved The Problem Of Disappearing Rice | 89.3 KPCC

How Postcards Solved The Problem Of Disappearing Rice | 89.3 KPCC | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Indonesia had a program to provide subsidized rice to the poor. But thousands of kilos didn't make it to the recipients.
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How Staples Center and the Kings learned to make ice from thin air

Staples Center and the L.A. Kings have joined with an El Segundo startup to sell a new techology that pulls water out of the air — water so pure that it freezes into high-quality ice. The technology also helps cut the arena's energy costs and makes hockey-watching a less chilling experience.
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