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It's simple. If we can't change our economic system, our number's up

It's simple. If we can't change our economic system, our number's up
Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5% a year. How big would that stash have been by the Battle of Actium in 30BC? This is the calculation performed by the investment banker Jeremy Grantham. Go on, take a guess. To succeed is to destroy ourselves. Economic growth is an artefact of the use of fossil fuels. It was neither capitalism nor communism that made possible the progress and pathologies (total war, the unprecedented concentration of global wealth, planetary destruction) of the modern age. On Friday, a few days after scientists announced that the collapse of the west Antarctic ice sheet is now inevitable, the Ecuadorean government decided to allow oil drilling in the heart of the Yasuni national park. The trajectory of compound growth shows that the scouring of the planet has only just begun. Look at the lives of the super-rich, who set the pace for global consumption. Related:  SustainabilityEconomics

This New Finding Explains Why Bees Are Disappearing The secret is out – bees have been disappearing for almost a decade now, and scientists are scrambling to understand why. Some sources relay that the colonies all across the world are vanishing due to pesticides, electromagnetic frequencies, mites, and even GMO crops, but what researches have recently found to be the cause of the bee catastrophe will shock you. According to a recent report in Quartz, a first-of-its-kind study determined that large numbers of bees are dying due to cross-contamination of pollen and various pesticides. “Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. […] Scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. What does this study conclude? The authors summarized in their study:

5 Dirty Secrets About the U.S. Economy - Umair Haque If there’s one thing I hate these days, it’s discussing the U.S. economy. Will raising wages by seventeen cents destroy humanity? Will edible deodorant add 0.000007 percent to GDP? If we resurrected giant man-eating dinosaurs, could we use them to keep our warehouse pickers in line? I feel like I’m listening to a debate on the noble merits of true love between the Real Housewives and a bunch of broseph PUAs. By my count, there are five dirty secrets about the economy we’re not supposed to know. Number one. Contrary to nearly everything you hear on the subject, my humble suggestion is this: fixing the U.S. economy isn’t impossible. The US is a rich country that’s beginning to resemble, for the average person, a poor one. So the US should invest in its common wealth. Why? So: invest in public goods; employ armies to build them; create millions of jobs. Dirty secret number two: This is a bogus recovery—and it’s going to poison society, unless we are wise enough to recover from the recovery.

How to Make a Vermicomposting Flush Toilet Quinta do Vale is an off-grid permaculture project of 2.5ha in the mountains of Central Portugal. It’s an evolving demonstration site for many aspects of sustainable living, with a particular emphasis on off-grid infrastructure. It’s run by Wendy Howard. When I first started planning the infrastructure here, I intended to use Joe Jenkins‘ dry ‘humanure’ composting toilet system throughout. Many people though dislike dry toilets. In 2013, we were converting an old hen coop into an outhouse toilet. From a conventional flush toilet, flushings drain through a waste pipe into an insulated plastic container. When the flushings enter the container, the solids remain on the surface to be processed by the worms and the liquids drain through the organic filter material and exit the container. I used a second-hand 1,000-litre plastic IBC to form the basis of the system. The tank is sited immediately below the toilet in a dry-stone schist enclosure. Further resources How to make a DIY worm tower

The 5 Greenest Countries On Earth (And All Of The Rest), Ranked Switzerland does a good job managing the environment and protecting human health. The United States does it middlingly well. And Somalia, Haiti, and Afghanistan--as you might expect--not so great. They are some of the worst performers in a new ranking of environmental performance. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) assesses countries for how well they protect people from environmental harm and how well they protect ecosystems from human encroachment. After Switzerland in top place comes Luxembourg, Australia, Singapore, and the Czech Republic. While richer countries tend to do better in the ranking, some newly prosperous nations come off relatively badly. The U.S. has a score of 67.52 out of 100, and ranks well for areas like air quality and sanitation. As well as ranking countries, the report also provides an overall "scorecard" for the environment, showing how trends are going in different directions. Image: Switzerland via Shutterstock]

2 | These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country There are nearly 18,000 square miles of roads in the U.S., an area that’s bigger than the entire states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts combined. By some estimates, there are also as many as 2 billion parking spaces. Since most of that pavement is soaking up sun all day long, a couple of entrepreneurs had an idea: Why not put it to use generating solar power? The Solar Roadways project, now crowdfunding on Indiegogo, hopes to re-pave the country in custom, glass-covered solar panels that are strong enough to drive on while generating enough power to light the road, melt ice and snow, and send extra energy to cities. The project began eight years ago, when founders Scott and Julie Brusaw decided to take a chance on developing an idea that no one thought would work. Glass, it turns out, is stronger than you might think. It's strong enough to easily withstand cars, fully loaded trucks, and even 250,000-pound oil drilling equipment.

The End of Employment Nothing is easier, as the Long Descent begins to pick up speed around us, than giving in to despair—and nothing is more pointless. Those of us who are alive today are faced with the hugely demanding task of coping with the consequences of industrial civilization’s decline and fall, and saving as many as possible of the best achievements of the last few centuries so that they can cushion the descent and enrich the human societies of the far future. That won’t be easy; so? The circumstances of the present case are in some ways more difficult than past equivalents, to be sure, but the tools and the knowledge base available to cope with them are almost incomparably greater. The suicide of peak oil writer Mike Ruppert two days ago puts a bit of additional emphasis on that last point. I admit to a certain macabre curiosity about how that will play out in the years ahead. There are, of course, plenty of other options. This is more or less what I’ve been saying for eight years now.

Five-dimensional glass memory can store 360TB per disc, rugged enough to outlive the human race Scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK have succeeded in creating five-dimensional (5D), ultra-high-density storage on standard silica glass discs that, unlike DVDs or Blu-rays, seem to be capable of storing data for an unlimited period of time without a reduction in data integrity. The scientists say that 5D optical storage could allow for densities as high as 360 terabytes per disc, and unless you crush it in a vice, these discs are so non-volatile that data stored on them should “survive the human race.” At first glance, five-dimensional storage might sound a bit like pseudoscience — but, in this case, the data really is stored on five different dimensions (surfaces, planes). There are the usual two dimensions (width, height) provided by a piece of silica glass, and depth is provided by writing at three different depths (layers) within the glass. To record data, spots are imprinted on the glass (pictured below) using a femtosecond laser.

New York's new mayor must build on Michael Bloomberg's green legacy | Environment During his 12 years as mayor of New York city, billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg has had an indelible effect on America's largest metropolis. As his tenure comes to a close, both the media and New Yorkers are analysing his legacy, from his aggressive reform of the school system to his controversial stop-and-frisk police policy. Rarely mentioned, however, is Bloomberg's dogged effort to make New York a sustainable city by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and protecting its 8.4 million residents from the perils of climate change. Bloomberg's sustainability push began quietly in 2005 when demographers projected that New York City would grow by 1 million people by 2030. His staff immediately started searching for ways to fit the extra residents into an already cramped and overstrained city. For more than a year, hundreds of city staffers, local scientists, environmentalists and community leaders hammered out a sweeping sustainability agenda, known as PlaNYC.

New adhesive system makes a circuit board that is 90% recyclable | Guardian Sustainable Business | Guardian Professional Three British companies have developed a 90% recyclable and reusable circuit board, whose components can be easily separated by soaking in hot water. Funded by the UK government's Technology Strategy Board with a view to help industry conform to European electronic waste regulation, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), In2Tec and Gwent Electronic Materials have devised an adhesive that helps manufacturers take apart electronic circuit boards and reuse their components to make new components. They call it ReUse – Reusable, Unzippable, Sustainable Electronics. "What happens to end of life electronics is one of the fastest growing waste streams," says Chris Hunt, head of the Electronics Interconnection Team at NPL. We looked at how you might make a circuit assembly that could disassemble easily when you no longer had a use for that appliance. The novelty of what NPL and its partners have developed is demonstrated when a circuit is exposed to water that is just about boiling.

Richard D. Wolff | Capitalism's Deeper Problem (Image: Stock exchange via Shutterstock)Recent press reports refer to troubling price increases for such assets as real estate, government bonds, companies targeted for acquisition and artwork. A New York Times front-page headline read “The Everything Boom, or Maybe the Everything Bubble.” Yet while asset prices soar, the production of goods and services, employment and workers’ incomes are not recovering and resuming growth. Instead, Western Europe, North America and Japan are stuck in a longer, deeper crisis than almost anyone expected. Given their persistent economic problems, consumers cannot borrow or spend more. Richard Wolff on Capitalism's Destructive Power from on Vimeo. To understand this puzzling and dangerous situation requires digging deeper than most current discussions of our economic problems. Ultimately, the efforts of so many nations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe to sustain anti- or non-capitalist development paths failed.

John Searl Solution : The Searl Effect "Nothing is impossible, except that the state of your mind makes it so" Prof John R.R. Searl The Searl Effect An SEG video animation of the innermost set of parts assembling. The Searl Effect was discovered by John Roy Robert Searl in 1946. Put simply, it is a method of extracting clean and sustainable electrical energy. The SEG consists of three fixed stator rings that are uniquely magnetized with patterns setup to generate continual motion of similarly magnetized cylindrical rotors. The SEG is an 'open system' of energy conversion that is in accordance with known thermodynamic laws; particularly as it may apply at the quantum level. Incidental effects includes a halo of negative air ionization or plasma, vacuum by extreme electrical charge, cooling temperatures of both device and the local environment; also gravitational and inertial anomalies under specific conditions. > next

Shoring Up Embankments Not Only Sustains The Environment, But Can Actually Save Energy CO2 Emissions Published on December 9th, 2013 | by David L Roberts Imagine the embankments along highways, reinforced hillsides at commercial and industrial sites, and levees that support waterways. However, today’s business environment requires companies be seen as responsible citizens by demonstrating practices of sustainability, minimizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and saving energy. Recycled tires cut and shaped to reinforce retaining wall. ArmaTerra GeoReinforcing (ATG) Reno-based and founded in 2009, ATG has the distinction of being the most energy-efficient MSE provider because of its patented application of recycled tires. To create AGT’s GeoTire product for the job site, contracted tire recyclers are trained to re-purpose (cut and bind) tires to required specs and drop ship directly to the job site. While employing long-standing best practices of earth reinforcement engineering, what ATG uniquely brings to the industry are the energy conservation benefits of recycling.