background preloader

All News

Facebook Twitter

Full scale of plastic in the world's oceans revealed for first time. California Wants to Store Water for Farmers, but Struggles Over How to Do It. Photo FRIANT, Calif. — Californians suffering through the fourth year of a punishing drought have a new worry.

California Wants to Store Water for Farmers, but Struggles Over How to Do It

With fierce storms predicted for the winter, they are bracing for floods by stockpiling sandbags and rushing to buy insurance. “Historic” climate deal sets “clear roadmap” for businesses. A climate deal agreed in Paris to try and limit global temperatures to less than 2 degrees has been heralded as "watershed moment for mankind" and "an exciting opportunity" for business.

“Historic” climate deal sets “clear roadmap” for businesses

Almost 200 countries, including the US, China and India, agreed on Saturday to strike the first climate deal to set out a clear long term temperature limit for the planet. After almost two weeks of intense negotiations, delegates at the 21st UN Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris rose to their feet and cheered and applauded as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the President of COP21, signalled the adoption of the agreement with the strike of a gavel. Partly legally binding and partly voluntary, the 'Paris Agreement’ commits all countries to keep global temperature increase "well below" 2C and to try to limit them to 1.5C. Turns out, crickets may not be the solution to all of our problems. A bit of bad news for anyone who thought we might be able to fix our food system and solve world hunger by feeding everyone bugs — turns out, things are a bit more complicated than that.

Turns out, crickets may not be the solution to all of our problems

It’s hard to talk about the idea of eating bugs are being potentially “overrated,” since for most people — in the U.S. at least — it’s not a diet change they’ve given much thought to. But the United Nations has been selling the cricket game hard: a 2013 report from its Food and Agriculture Organization presented insects as a “healthy, nutritious alternative” to our more conventional sources off meat and, because of what they claim to be their incredible efficiency at converting feed to protein, as a potential solution to world hunger. Certainly health-conscious and environmental-minded people have embraced entomophagy with gusto — and a $20 million industry has sprung up around them.

Microsoft buys carbon credits in forest near Rainier to offset pollution. Microsoft bought carbon credits certified by a California regulatory program that will preserve 520 acres of forest near Mount Rainier.

Microsoft buys carbon credits in forest near Rainier to offset pollution

Washington has no such tool to fight carbon pollution. Lush and lofty, the big trees in a 520-acre forest gracing the vista of Mount Rainier are now doing double duty, in the first-ever carbon-capture program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Microsoft bought the carbon credits in this forest under California’s rigorously verified cap-and-trade program. Washington has no such program. Epson unveils world’s first in-office paper recycling system.

Printer giant Epson has developed an in-office paper recycling machine.

Epson unveils world’s first in-office paper recycling system

Called the PaperLab, you put waste paper in, and then new, bright white printer paper comes out. Epson says this process is more efficient than sending paper to an off-site recycling plant, and it's also much more secure: the PaperLab, which breaks paper down into its constituent fibres before building them back up into new sheets, is one of the most secure paper shredders that money can buy.

The specs of the machine are truly impressive. Within three minutes of adding waste paper to the PaperLab, it starts pumping out perfectly white sheets of new paper. The system can produce around 14 A4 sheets of paper per minute, or 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour workday. Building a Case for National Water Management: Let There Be Water. Chinese Researchers Unveil Brain Powered Car. Arnold Schwarzenegger Doesn't Care What You Think About Climate Change.

US to ban soaps and other products containing microbeads. The US is set to ban personal care products that contain microbeads after the House of Representatives approved a bill that would phase out the environmentally-harmful items.

US to ban soaps and other products containing microbeads

The bill, which had been backed by a bipartisan committee, will now go to the Senate for approval. The Microbead Free Waters Act would start the phase-out of the tiny pieces of plastic found in soap, toothpaste and body washes beginning 1 July 2017. Microbeads can flow into rivers, lakes and streams where, they can be mistaken for food by fish. This can lead to the spread of pollutants throughout the food chain, including to humans. Why Isn't Big Ag's Huge Contribution to Climate Change on the Agenda at COP21? Tackling carbon emissions from agriculture from farming isn’t even on the table at the UN climate talks in December.

Why Isn't Big Ag's Huge Contribution to Climate Change on the Agenda at COP21?

It ought to be and it’s big agribusiness that’s at the heart of the problem. In 2006 a report from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) threw the climate change effects of farming into the spotlight. It claimed that the meat and dairy industries are responsible for more greenhouse gases than the whole transport sector. The majority of ensuing studies have only considered emissions released directly through farming. Yet when supporting industries such as transport, packaging and retail are included, agriculture is responsible for around half of total human-made emissions, not to mention other ecological degradation such as water scarcity and biodiversity loss. Greenland Is Melting Away. On the Greenland Ice Sheet — The midnight sun still gleamed at 1 a.m. across the brilliant expanse of the Greenland ice sheet.

Greenland Is Melting Away

Brandon Overstreet, a doctoral candidate in hydrology at the University of Wyoming, picked his way across the frozen landscape, clipped his climbing harness to an anchor in the ice and crept toward the edge of a river that rushed downstream toward an enormous sinkhole. If he fell in, “the death rate is 100 percent,” said Mr. Overstreet’s friend and fellow researcher, Lincoln Pitcher.

But Mr. Housing Innovation Awards. Universities See Existing Buildings in New Light for Energy Efficiency Savings. High performance real estate is more common and its value is finally understood, but many people still believe that all of these efficient green buildings are new, shiny developments.

Universities See Existing Buildings in New Light for Energy Efficiency Savings

Yes – it’s typical to apply the latest sustainability strategies and technologies to new construction, but it’s just as typical to retrofit and renovate existing buildings with new sustainable and efficient features and technologies. We mentioned in an earlier blog post that nearly three million more people will be enrolled in American colleges and universities in 2022 than were enrolled in 2011 – a 14% increase – and there’s a parallel spike in the need for space to host the influx. But universities are often cash-strapped, and with land use restrictions to boot, building new sustainable buildings is rarely an option. How can an aging building be transformed into an energy efficient, purposeful building without the hefty investment involved in new construction? Amazon, data center turn hot idea into cool technology. Saving millions of kilowatt-hours a year, the innovative heat-transfer system between Amazon’s downtown high-rises and the region’s chief telecom hub could be a model for others.

Amazon, data center turn hot idea into cool technology

When Amazon.com’s eye-catching spheres and towers open over the next year, the heat for their thousands of tech workers and hundreds of green plants won’t be a drag on the power grid. Instead, the heat for Amazon’s high-rise Denny Triangle campus will be recycled, essentially, from the Pacific Northwest’s telecom hub on an adjacent block — an innovative partnership that could spread to other downtown buildings. Heat coming from the 34-story Westin Building Exchange will be used to warm just over 4 million square feet of development on Amazon’s four-block campus, saving 80 million kilowatt-hours over 20 years, or about 4 million kilowatt-hours a year, officials said Thursday.

New California Laws are a Needed Paradigm Shift for Energy Efficiency. Why real estate needs Tesla-style buildings, used 'Uber-style' While the financial industry is still reeling from recent stock market gyrations, it is tempting to forget about long-term issues, such as extreme weather events, the rising sea levels and demographic change. Failing phytoplankton, failing oxygen: Global warming disaster could suffocate life on planet Earth. Falling oxygen levels caused by global warming could be a greater threat to the survival of life on planet Earth than flooding, according to researchers from the University of Leicester.

A study led by Sergei Petrovskii, Professor in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leicester's Department of Mathematics, has shown that an increase in the water temperature of the world's oceans of around six degrees Celsius -- which some scientists predict could occur as soon as 2100 -- could stop oxygen production by phytoplankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis. Professor Petrovskii explained: "Global warming has been a focus of attention of science and politics for about two decades now. Gates, Zuckerberg and Other Tech Titans Team Up to Push Clean Energy.

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and several other of the world's wealthiest tech and business titans are banding together to fight climate change by investing billions in clean-energy research and technologies. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition was announced ahead of the opening day Monday of the U.N. A Carbon Tax for Steak May Be the Best Way to Get People to Eat Less Meat. From renewable energy to carbon sequestration to cap and trade, a lot of different ideas for arresting the change under way in the climate are going to be discussed at the upcoming international climate talks in Paris.

There is, however, one carbon-producing issue that the international group would appear to deem somewhat marginal—only 21 out of 120 national plans included it in their reduction goals—but that could lead to significant cuts in emissions: meat consumption. The Koala in the Coal Mine. Soft drink tax war to bubble up in cities across the U.S. How to read the jargon at the Paris climate change talks. PIttsburgh Mayor, other leaders join in Resilience Pledge. PITTSBURGH, PA –Mayor William Peduto is committing at least 10% of the city’s operating and capital budget spending to flood control, street and facility improvements, and other projects that will improve the City’s resilience against challenges it will face in future years.

Signing the pledge will secure $5 million in technical and financial resources for Pittsburgh over the next five years from The Rockefeller Foundation/100 Resilient Cities, which held a resilience summit with Mayor Peduto and other leaders from around the world this week. The funding will be in addition to the funding Rockefeller has already committed to Pittsburgh as one of the 67 cities chosen so far for membership in the the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative. Canada’s new prime minister will no longer censor scientists, unlike the last one. The American Turkey Farmer Takes On Mother Nature and Wins. Photo. Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Levels Hit Record, Report Says.

Photo Global concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million for a monthly average this past spring, breaching a symbolic barrier set by climate scientists and policy makers, according to a report released Monday. Concentrations of other greenhouse gases produced from human activities, such as methane and nitrous oxide, also reached records in 2014, the World Meteorological Organization announced in its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The report is one of several measurements made by different climate agencies to address the state of greenhouse gases in advance of the Paris Climate Summit.

Borrowing From Solar and Chip Tech to Make Diamonds Faster and Cheaper. Photo. Everything You Need to Know About the New SAT. The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week for Coal. Saving Basmati and Other Endangered Grains. Alleviating Food Recall Madness: Key Methods to Boost Food Safety Measures. Why Food Waste is an Urgent Global Problem. Seattle Is Not Being Changed by Amazon but by Financial Institutions. Arsenic found in many US red wines. And the EV revolution will be led by ... Volvo? Aircraft may be lessening their carbon footprint, but what about airports? Indonesia's Wildfires Are as Bad as Some of the Planet's Worst Air Polluters. Cities Are Banning Cars in Favor of Cyclists and Pedestrians to Fight Choking Pollution. This California district brings tasty, local, affordable food to the cafeteria.

Are India’s clean energy investments slowing the march of coal? When Child Care Costs More Than Rent, Women Stay at Home. PIttsburgh Mayor, other leaders join in Resilience Pledge. Mars, General Mills, Unilever, Kellogg, Nestlé Unite On Climate Action. The Planned Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Power Plant Is a Really Big Deal. Real Returns for Investing in Resilience. A Lot of People Think Sustainability Belongs in the Federal Nutrition Guidelines.

A Silent Scourge Is Wiping Out Crops in Africa. These $1 Contraceptives Last Three Months—and Could Change the Lives of Millions. U.S. Reaches Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal With 11 Pacific Nations. What We’ve Learned from New Orleans. Can capitalism evolve to address the climate crisis? Will California redouble its push for clean energy? It all rides on this upcoming vote. ‘Rebuild by Design’ Joins 100RC to Bring Collaborative Research & Design-driven Approaches to Cities. Urban policy: could the federal government finally ‘get’ cities? Facebook looks to assert itself as a force for social good. The EPA's big crackdown on smog, explained. Nation's water challenges are many, but so are the solutions. Volkswagen's appalling clean diesel scandal, explained.

The Cost of a Crab Dinner: Dead Whales. Making batteries with portabella mushrooms. Skip the Car Charger: Roads With a Jolt of Electricity Are Coming to the U.K. The Eco-Friendly Approach to Cancer Sticks: Cigarette Recycling Comes to the U.K. A Sushi Master’s Lament—and the One Fish You Should Always Avoid. California Farms Raking In Cash Despite Drought. It Takes a Shipping Container to Feed a Campus. In times of drought, should I use hand sanitizer instead of washing my hands? King County becomes largest government in U.S. to use new energy-tracking system used by Microsoft. Fashion world's antidote to environmental concerns. Google's making it easy for you to get solar panels onto your roof. Chelan & Okanogan Complex Fires Fly Through 8-20-2015 @ 3:30AM.

Improving Our Water Efficiency: The Coca-Cola Company. Vertical farming with the promise of 95% less water. Here's how new buildings can actually help salmon. The Key to Saving Billions of Gallons of Water is Sitting in Your Shower. Making a Living on the Bayou After a Decade of Disasters. Farmers market vouchers may boost produce consumption in low-income families. Where Are the Highly-Impacted Communities in Washington? Do You Live in a Resilient City? The home that pays its own utility bill (and then some) Pope Francis convenes world's mayors to discuss global warming. Tuhoe and NZ's first 'living building'

The World We Want. The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is Doomed. Vulcan Real Estate Makes News by Going Salmon Safe.

Previously Curated