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Facebook Twitter 'Eco' Status Quo? Why We're Growing Our Own Food. Internet of food: Arduino-based, urban aquaponics in Oakland. The land in West Oakland where Eric Maundu is trying to farm is covered with freeways, roads, light rail and parking lots so there’s not much arable land and the soil is contaminated. So Maundu doesn’t use soil. Instead he’s growing plants using fish and circulating water.

Farming fish and plants together It’s called aquaponics- a gardening system that combines hydroponics (water-based planting) and aquaculture (fish farming). Aquaponics has become popular in recent years among urban gardeners and DIY tinkerers, but Maundu- who is trained in industrial robotics- has taken the agricultural craft one step further and made his gardens smart. Smart aquaponics Maundu himself ran from agriculture in his native Kenya- where he saw it as a struggle for land, water and resources. “I feel knowledge of electronics and software programming makes me a better farmer than just having a hoe. Future of farming. Balance is not bias -- Fox News critics mislead public on climate change. In George Orwell’s novel, "1984," the totalitarian state (“Big Brother”) demands blind belief in falsehoods that literally stand the truth on its head: War Is Peace, Ignorance Is Strength, and Freedom Is Slavery.

If Orwell were alive and could observe today’s climate debate, he might have to add another inversion to the litany of deception: Balance Is Bias. In a recent column in The Guardian, climate activists John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli claim that Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and other conservative media provide “false balance” by featuring climate contrarians. By “disproportionately representing” climate skeptics in their global warming coverage, Abraham and Nuccitelli argue, conservative media foster the illusion of scientific controversy and hide from the public a near-universal scientific consensus.

As an attempt to discredit contrarians, the Cook study is a bust. This criticism is a big fat empty suit. But the Cook study does not really prove what it claims to prove. What Climate Change Skeptics Think About the UN Report | Climate of Doubt | FRONTLINE. Watch Climate of Doubt, FRONTLINE’s exploration of the massive shift in public opinion on climate change. Last week, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change went further than it ever has in blaming humans for the role in climate change in its fifth report, warning that the warming is happening faster, and will only get worse.

“Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Thomas Stocker, a Working Group co-chair. “As a result of our past, present and expected future emissions of [carbon dioxide], we are committed to climate change, and effects will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 stop.” But has the new report changed the mind of any of the leading climate change skeptics? FRONTLINE asked several for their thoughts. Here’s what two of them told us: He added: “However many lies the IPCC and the mad governments who back it tell, the truth remains unaltered and unalterable.

The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic. The NS Interview: Bjørn Lomborg. G-20 leaders agree to cut use of potent greenhouse gases. Leaders from the United States, China and 23 other countries agreed to reduce the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs -- greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration -- at the Group of 20 summit in Russia on Friday. HFC emissions are expected to reach the equivalent of 20 percent of carbon dioxide emissions globally by 2050 if left unchecked, according to White House statistics. President Barack Obama released two statements at the G-20 on Friday, one cosigned by Chinese President Xi Jinping, and another by the leaders of 23 smaller countries and the European Union, supporting the use of the Montreal Protocol to reduce the use of HFCs. The Montreal Protocol provides governments with guidelines to reduce emissions of certain gasses. It is the same Protocol that helped virtually eliminate the use of chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, the notorious ozone-depleting gases released from aerosol cans.

Al Jazeera and Reuters. China, US could help push new U.N. climate deal - experts. A woman wearing a face mask walks past a poster outside a construction site on a hazy day in central Beijing, Oct. 22, 2013. Choking smog all but shut down Harbin, one of northeastern China's largest cities on Monday, forcing schools to suspend classes, snarling traffic and closing the airport, in the country's first major air pollution crisis of the winter. REUTERS/Jason Lee LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The world’s two biggest climate polluters, China and the United States, may have new impetus to push toward a global deal to curb climate change at U.N. negotiations in Warsaw next month, experts told a conference in London on Monday. As negotiators start hammering out a new 2015 deal to tackle climate change, “China is going to set the level of ambition of the agreement,” predicted Nick Mabey, the head of E3G, an independent London-based policy group that aims to accelerate a global transition to sustainable development.

“We will get an agreement. How Vehicle Automation Will Cut Fuel Consumption. Several automakers are developing technology to let cars drive themselves, mainly as a way to make driving more convenient and improve safety. But it could also significantly reduce gasoline consumption, says Nady Boules, the director of GM’s Electrical and Controls Integration Lab. Increased automation could reduce congestion, but also allow for radical redesigns of automobiles to make them lighter and more fuel-efficient. Boules says partially automated vehicles that let drivers take their hands off the steering wheel and the accelerator, but still require them to pay attention, could be sold by the end of the decade.

Some cars already have a system that prompts drivers to change the way they accelerate to drive more efficiently. Allowing the car to control acceleration automatically could also save fuel. But the biggest effects could come with full automation. Is a VMT Tax a Good Idea? - Eric Jaffe. Late last month the Associated Press reported that San Francisco transportation officials will study the idea of implementing a tax on vehicle-miles traveled as a way of decreasing congestion and increasing roads funds. The plan would charge drivers anywhere from fractions of a penny per mile up to a dime depending on the time of day.

Based on current driving patterns, the mileage tax could deliver the Bay a daily revenue in the area of $15 million. To date the American public has shown little but disdain for the idea of a VMT tax. As Emily Badger reported last fall, some people consider the thought of someone watching over our odometers too "creepy," while others merely distrust the government's ability to spend the money wisely on road funding. So there are concerns about privacy and taxation and legislative competence. For sure, a system for measuring vehicle mileage would accurately measure vehicle mileage. The communication infrastructure is also there. Infrastructure funding: Roads less travelled.

Energy News

Smart grids in Abu Dhabi to use machine learning algorithms. The future of electricity transmission depends on two things – renewable way to get energy and an efficient way to get it where it needs to go. The former is well under way, but the latter has a distance to go. To make these adaptive and environmentally friendly distribution systems, or smart grids, we will need a number of significant advances in the supporting technologies and systems.

Today’s power grids are based on radial topologies – they are one-way streets coming from a single point. Electricity is generated at a central source, then transmitted and distributed to consumers in a one-way outflow. Easy to understand and easier to manage. But soon this simplistic configuration will no longer suffice. We expect in future that a large chunk of our energy will come from renewable sources, which are less predictable than current ones. Sun and wind are the most obvious of these, but unfortunately neither sunlight nor wind speed is constant. One-page article. Smart grids: Wiser wires. Ecomagination. What is the Smart Grid? Smart cities: innovation in energy will drive sustainable cities | Guardian Sustainable Business | Guardian Professional.

Cities represent three quarters of energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions worldwide, and represent the largest of any environmental policy challenge. Urbanisation is only set to increase, cities house half the world's population today but are set to host three quarters in 2050. To cope with this continued urban growth we will need to invent new ways to manage cities and make them more effective. The convergence between digital technology and the world of energy, or Energy 3.0, will pave the way for a new ecosystem of services which will enable both a better quality of life and reduced energy consumption.

The pathway to more sustainable cities Marc Andreessen, co-founder of the first widely used web browser, famously said that "Software is eating the world". Network Rail is one of the businesses driving forward innovation. Extending the Internet of Things to create smart cities This requires working on open and non-proprietary standards. Empowering people in smart cities.