The Unseen Slaughter Under the Sea...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Ocean Defenders Alliance is on a mission to stop abandoned “ghost nets” from killing dolphins, sea turtles, and millions of other marine animals. April 20, 2015 Taylor Hill isTakePart’s associate environment and wildlife editor. full bi LOS ANGELES—As we set off for our destination off the Southern California coast, Captain Rex Levi weaves Mr. Barker’s LegaSea, a 55-foot Chris Craft yacht, between the massive cargo ships plying Los Angeles Harbor. The dockworkers’ strike of the past winter is over but still reverberates at sea as the behemoths queue 35 deep, waiting their turn to offload cars, clothes, and other merchandise at the Port of Los Angeles. Mr. Barker’s LegaSea belongs to environmental group Ocean Defenders Alliance and is named for Bob Barker, the game-show host and animal rights activist who donated $150,000—the price...

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Airline Takes on Big Game Hunters to Protect Rhinos, Lions, and Elephants...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   Africa’s largest airline bans the shipment of endangered animal trophies on its flights. An elephant head with ivory tusks and other hunting trophies in a taxidermy store in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. (Photo: Robert Caputo/Getty Images) April 30, 2015 By Taylor Hill Taylor Hill is TakePart’s associate environment and wildlife editor. full bio It just got harder for big game hunters to bring endangered animal trophies back home from South Africa to hang on their wall. That’s because South African Airways, the continent’s largest airline, has banned the transport of endangered rhinos, elephants, and lions aboard its passenger and cargo flights. “SAA will no longer support game hunters by carrying their trophies back to their country of origin,” SAA country manager Tim Clyde-Smith told the South African media on Wednesday. “The vast majority of...

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Landscape Architecture in the News Highlights (April 16 – 30)...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT by J.R. Taylor Hermann Park’s Japanese Garden Serves As City Oasis – The Houston Chronicle, 4/17/15 “Hermann Park’s Japanese Garden is a place where families flock to watch koi school in murky ponds, where couples rest under the trellis covered in leafy wisteria and where Houstonians steal away for quiet time in a natural setting.” How the Drought Will Reshape Californian Landscape Architecture – Curbed, 4/22/15 “California is dealing with a resource crisis that’s asking a West Coast accustomed to expansive growth and endless possibility to go against character and make do with less. The last time going dry has caused this much consternation was during Prohibition. Curbed spoke with four leading landscape architects to find out how their profession needs to adapt to a challenge with the potential to reshape...

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Steward Brand: We Need Planetary Restoration...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT by Jared Green Stewart Brand, who is perhaps best known for his book, Whole Earth Catalog, now runs the Long Now Foundation, which is focused on the next 10,000 years of human civilization. At the American Planning Association (APA) conference in Seattle, he called for a “planet-scale ecological restoration” over the next ten millennia, which can in part be accomplished by bringing back extinct mega-fauna like wooly mammoths. Over the past few thousands of years, the continental grasslands of the global north turned into tundra. To bring back the grasslands systems that co-evolved with wooly mammoths, scientists will need to first revive these ancient creatures using their DNA and the most cutting-edge biotechnology. Reborn grasslands would then be able to store massive amounts of carbon. The other part of this future...

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‘Charlie Hebdo’ Deserves Its Award for Courage in Free Expression. Here’s Why....

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Katha Pollitt   THE NATION (Via Creative Commons) When PEN decided to award the first PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, they surely thought they were honoring bravery in defense of free speech. This was a magazine that kept publishing after its offices were firebombed by Islamists in 2011, and kept publishing after nine staffers were horribly murdered by Islamists in January. Compare that to, say, Yale University Press, which dropped the illustrations for Jytte Clausen’s book about the Danish Mohammed cartoons after the book’s first printing, or Random House, which canceled publication of Sherry Jones’s The Jewel of Medina, a historical novel about Mohammed’s wife Aisha. Both publishing houses cited fears of violence by Muslim extremists. Those fears were not irrational. The...

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Radical Histories: The Fight for a Sustainable Future...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] From the campaign to conserve hunting lands in the 19th century to the movement for climate justice in the 21st, The Nation has been a leading proponent of the idea that our success as a society can be judged in part by how we relate to the Earth we’ve inherited. The Nation Since its founding in 1865, The Nation has been a home for writers instigating, reporting on, and arguing about struggles for social and economic justice. We have held fast to our “Nation Ideals”— from racial justice to feminism, from a fair economy to civil liberties—throughout our 150-year history. This month, we’re celebrating environmentalism and conservation. Below, you’ll find a multimedia timeline that presents the history of the fight for a sustainable future, complete with archival photographs and video. Research by Richard...

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Here Are All the Ways People Are Dying at Work...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Michelle Chen RSS Feed Exploring the world of work, from the border to the barricades.   A Bangladeshi woman looks at a wall filled with portraits of missing persons near the site of the 2013 garments factory collapse in Bangladesh. (AP/Ashraful Alam Tito) This week, Workers’ Memorial Day reminded us that the leading cause of death at work isn’t factory fires, mine collapses, or machinery accidents—though it is all those things. The main reason workers die is because those in power look the other way. Global Worker Watch’s labor death map presents a chilling snapshot of an everyday calamity: A nameless laborer is crushed by falling soil at a construction zone in Qatar. Days later, five men die in a van crash as they speed down a foggy California road, en route to the...

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Big Banks Claim Reform Will Hurt the Economy. Here’s Why That’s Bullsh*t....

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Economy If we don’t fix this house of cards, it will fall on us again. By Lynn Stuart Parramore / AlterNet Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com Anat Admati, who teaches finance and economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is co-author of The Bankers’ New Clothes, a classic account of the problem of Too Big to Fail banks. On May 6th she will address the “Finance and Society” conference sponsored by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, featuring influential women who have challenged the status quo, like Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, IMF Managing Director Christine LaGarde, and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Admati will join Brooksley Born, former chair of Chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, to discuss how effective financial regulation can make the system work better for society. Seven years after financial hell broke loose,...

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Senators Approve Bill To Stop EPA From Using ‘Secret Science’...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Emily AtkinCLIMATE PROGRESS Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Senate sponsor of the Secret Science Reform Act. CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite A Senate committee has advanced legislation that would change how the Environmental Protection Agency uses science to craft regulations intended to protect the environment and public health, the Hill reported Tuesday. On party line votes, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-9 to approve the “Secret Science Reform Act,” a bill to prohibit the EPA from using science that includes private data, or data that can’t be easily reproduced. The bill has been pushed strongly by House Republicans for the last two years, but this is the first time it has been advanced by the Senate. It is sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). The purpose of the Secret Science...

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House GOP Wants To Stop The Pentagon From Protecting Military Families From Financial Predators...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Alan Pyke THINK PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky Military families will be exposed to predatory car loans and payday lenders for another year unless a little-noticed provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is stripped out of the bill during a House Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday. Majority Republicans quietly inserted language into the gigantic defense legislation that would override a Pentagon push to enhance consumer protections for men and women in uniform. Flaws in the current rules have allowed lenders to trap military families in loans that cost two, five, and even ten times as much to repay as what the loan was actually worth. Pentagon officials laid out plans in 2014 to revamp the rules that protect armed forces families from unscrupulous financial firms, after multiple analyses of how...

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6 Ways Bernie Sanders Will Challenge Hillary Clinton...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Kira Lerner  THINK PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is expected to announce today that he is running for the Democratic nominee for president, becoming the first official challenger to Hillary Clinton. Sanders has said he intends to challenge the wealthy who have gained power in the country. “Are we prepared to take on the enormous economic and political power of the billionaire class, or do we continue to slide into economic and political oligarchy?” he said on his website. Though he isn’t likely to win the party’s nomination — he currently trails Clinton by 55.1 percentage points in polls — his presence in the campaign field will shift the debate left on a number of issues, from the economy to the environment. Here are a few ways Sanders could...

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The Massive New Online Course That Every Climate Science Denier Should Be Very Afraid Of...

Apr 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Ari Phillips  CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Screenshot/YouTube What’s the best way to show a climate change denier the error of their ways? A new online course answers this question for the masses. Hint: it’s not lobbing an endless stream of scientific evidence that proves human-driven climate change. While this approach may be cathartic, telling those who refuse to accept climate science for political, cultural, or ideological reasons over and over that they’re wrong is ineffective at best, and oftentimes counterproductive. How to make progress in this Sisyphean pursuit then? Cue the new, first-of-its kind climate change denial massive open online course, or MOOC. So far the course, called “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial” has more than 10,000 people from 150 countries signed up to find out not only how to confront climate...

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The Dutch Windwheel is not only a silent wind turbine – it’s also an incredible circular apartment building…...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]  INHABITAT     <p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p>   The proposed Windwheel is equipped with solar PVs and a climactic facade to make the best use of natural resources.   The Windwheel is composed of two rings built on an underground foundation and surrounded by wetlands so as to give the structure the appearance of floating. The outer ring houses 40 rotating cabins to provide visitors with impressive views of Rotterdam—much as the London Eye does in the UK—while the inner ring houses 72 apartments, 160 hotel rooms, commercial outlets and is topped off with a restaurant. Perhaps the most striking detail of the Windwheel, other than its appearance, is the turbine that fills the inner ring of the building. The electrostatic wind energy converter (EWICON) is a technology that was developed at TU...

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What if roads could be certified as ‘green’ just like buildings?...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Michelle Kennedy Hogan, INHABITAT With over four million miles of roads cris-crossing the nation, and as much as 32,000 miles of new roads being added annually, it would be wonderful if we could make these roads a little greener. Just as the building industry has undergone its own evolution in the last few decades, making buildings greener, more energy-efficient and eco-friendly overall, Greenroads is a rating system dedicated to certifying roads that are built “greener,” similar to LEED certification for buildings. But just what is a greener road? According to Greenroads.org, roads can be made more eco-friendly by utilizing existing knowledge, smarter design and available technology. Greenroads-certified roadways will take into account the local environment into account, reduce stormwater runoff and other pollutants by improving systems, design roadways for multi-modal transportation (to...

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Iceberg B-34 frees itself from Antarctica’s Getz ice sheet and proceeds to scour the sea floor....

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Pakalolo DAILY KOS ‘It’s catastrophic, really. They kill 99 per cent of things they come in contact with”. David Barnes, British Antarctic Survey An iceberg 17 miles long,  now named B-34,  cracked and broke loose from Antarctica’s Getz Ice Shelf. The Getz ice shelf is roughly 300 miles long and up to 60 miles wide. Ice shelves in Antarctica have an average thickness of between 1,300 to 1,600 feet and some can extend out hundreds of miles off the coast. The Amundsen shelves are grounded on a bed that lies below sea level and several large islands are partially or wholly embedded in the ice shelf.  The Amundsen Sea ice shelves are weak and more prone to climate change. It is thought to be melting at a rate triple of what it...

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High Anxiety That Mountain Peaks Are Warming Faster...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford, Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG The diminishing glaciers on the top of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. (Douglas Hardy, UMass Amherst) This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Temperatures could be climbing on mountains—with new research suggesting that the highest altitudes may be warming at a rate greater than expected. Members of the Mountain Research Initiative collective report in Nature Climate Change that they found evidence that mountain peak regions were warming faster than the surrounding plateaus and lowlands. The study—by Nick Pepin, leader of the Environmental Processes and Change Research Group at Portsmouth University in the UK, and colleagues from the US, Switzerland, Canada, Ecuador, Pakistan, China, Italy, Austria and Kazakhstan—comes with more than the usual set of health warnings. The authors concede that the evidence is “extremely sparse”. But just...

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Bernie Sanders Means Business With 2016 Presidential Run...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] TRUTHDIG United States Congress This is no political stunt, folks: In his newest article, Rolling Stone’s biggest marquee reporter, Matt Taibbi, sizes up Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bid for the presidency in the 2016 election and concludes that Sanders is the real deal. Taibbi makes no secret of his admiration for Sanders, praising his character and motives as a politician and breaking down the reasons the self-avowed socialist will join the ranks of Democratic candidates in the 2016 race (via Rolling Stone): But Sanders genuinely, sincerely, does not care about optics. He is the rarest of Washington animals, a completely honest person. If he’s motivated by anything other than a desire to use his influence to protect people who can’t protect themselves, I’ve never seen it. Bernie Sanders is the kind of person who...

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Water Industry Launches Attack on Water Democracy, Promotes Privatization...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Private water companies seek to undermine supporters of water systems operated by local, democratically elected councils. By Darcey Rakestraw / Food & Water Watch  VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: Ersler Dmitry/Shutterstock The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) has launched a new campaign, truthfromthetap.com, to undermine advocates who want municipal water systems operated and owned by local, democratically elected councils—not by big companies accountable to shareholders. But the truth is, the private water operators behind the site have a poor track record when it comes to serving communities. Company executives drive the management decisions, not locally accountable water boards, and they have a financial incentive to cut service, cut maintenance and cut the workforce. This often results in delayed repairs and slow responses to customer service requests. There is ample evidence that maintenance backlogs,...

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The Total Corruption of Our Politics Was on Display at the White House Correspondents Dinner...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Media Much of the dysfunction that now poses a threat to our government is ultimately about money, and the media it buys. By Marty Kaplan / AlterNet “Don’t do it!” Stories, whether torn from history or made from whole cloth, can make us want to shout that. Don’t open that door at the top of the stairs. Don’t get on that boat. Don’t believe that president, general, journalist, preacher, cop. This packs a punch in a short story Delmore Schwartz wrote when he was 21, “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities.” The narrator tells us he dreamed he was in a movie theater watching an old film of his parents’ courtship. His father asks his mother to marry him, she says yes — and the narrator is galvanized to stand up and shout, “Don’t do...

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8 Dangerous Side Effects of Fracking That the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Hear About...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Radon gas, anyone? By Reynard Loki / AlterNet Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management With the recent confirmation by the U.S. government that the fracking process causes earthquakes, the list of fracking’s deadly byproducts is growing longer and more worrisome. And while the process produces jobs and natural gas, the host of environmental, health and safety hazards continues to make fracking a hot-button issue that evenly divides Americans. To help keep track of all the bad stuff, here’s a roundup of the various nasty things that could happen when you drill a hole in the surface of the earth, inject toxic chemicals into the hole at a high pressure and then inject the wastewater deep underground. But first, let’s take a look at some of the numbers: 40,000: gallons of chemicals used for each fracturing...

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In Portland, Street Food Shapes the Public Realm...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by The Dirt Contributor As landscape architects and urban designers, we look for ways to create vitality in the spaces we design. In Portland, Oregon, street food has become a phenomenon, growing in popularity over the last ten years. The result has been a transformation of the public realm, as well as many privately-owned spaces in our downtown and neighborhoods. Our street food goes way beyond the hot dogs and roasted nuts commonly found on street corners in many cities; diverse food is served by more than 525 vendors operating throughout Portland. The cuisine found on the street has become increasingly sophisticated and delicious, attracting a serious “foodie” audience, along with a hungry everyday lunch crowd looking for fresh air and convenience. Visitors can even tour the city based on the wide variety...

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Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Natural and social scientists develop new model of how ‘perfect storm’ of crises could unravel global system This Nasa Earth Observatory image shows a storm system circling around an area of extreme low pressure in 2010, which many scientists attribute to climate change. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Nafeez Ahmed  THE GUARDIAN A new study partly-sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries...

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Is 2015 The Year Soil Becomes Climate Change’s Hottest Topic?...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Natasha Geiling  CLIMATE PROGRESS Environmental groups want to make soil a red hot climate change issue. CREDIT: Shutterstock Last week, 650 people from 80 countries gathered in Germany for a week-long discussion about an increasingly important topic in climate change: soil. Dubbed Global Soil Week by the Global Soil Forum — an international body dedicated to achieving responsible land use and soil management — the conference brought together scientists and environmental advocates from all over the world who hoped to translate scientific research about soil into tangible policies for its management. 2015 is shaping up to be a big year for soil — in addition to being Global Soil Week’s third year running, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has declared it the International Year of Soil. José Graziano da Silva,...

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BREAKING: California Governor Issues North America’s Most Aggressive Climate Goal...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Ari PhillipsCLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo On Wednesday morning, four-term California Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order that aims to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Brown called it the most aggressive GHG target by any North American government to date. Under Brown’s guidance, California has made ambitious steps to confront climate change, which has contributed to the state’s current water woes. But this is his boldest gambit yet. His carbon reduction target is even more aggressive than the Obama administration’s, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. According to the announcement, California’s planned reduction falls between the state’s 2020 goal of reducing GHGs to 1990 levels, and a long-term 2050 goal of reducing GHGs by...

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Whooping cough increase related to current vaccine...

Apr 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] News in Science  Dani Cooper ABC SCIENCE The age group reporting the largest number of cases is now 7 to 11 year olds. (iStockphoto: KatarzynaBialasiewicz) The move to an artificially created vaccine for whooping cough is behind an increase in cases of the deadly disease in the US, a new study suggests. The findings highlight the need to do similar research in Australia where whooping cough cases have spiralled upward in the past decade, co-author Associate Professor Manoj Gambhir, from the University of Monash, says. In 2012 the US saw the highest number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases since 1955. At the same time there has been a shift in the age group reporting the largest number of cases from adolescents to 7 to 11 year olds. In the paper, published today in...

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Energy Storage Would Play Major Role in a Green Future...

Apr 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Paul Brown, Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG A storage reservoir for a pumped-water hydroelectricity plant on Zar Mountain in southern Poland. (Ongrys via Wikimedia Commons) This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Inventors are in a race to find the best way of storing electricity to make the most of renewables and cut the use of fossil fuels. Currently, when more power than needed by consumers is produced by sources such as wind turbines or solar panels, some of the electricity is wasted. But that is changing. Governments have realised that one of their biggest challenges in cutting the use of fossil fuels is to store surplus electricity for use at peak times. Advertisement At present, coal and gas plants are left ticking over or running at below...

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Big Coal’s big scam: scar the land for proft, then let others pay to clean up...

Apr 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] George Monbiot  THE GUARDIAN Keep it in the ground: Energy giants claim they dig new opencast mines to fund the closure of old ones. Will anyone call their bluff? The Ffos-y-fran coalmine. ‘Why are we digging coal anyway, when we cannot afford to burn it?’ Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images     Wrapped up in this story is everything that’s wrong with the way our economy works. Corporations ream the land with giant holes, extract a stack of money, then clear out, leaving other people with the costs. There’s a briefer description: legalised theft. This is an account, scarcely mentioned in the national media, of the massive unfunded liabilities emerging from coalfields throughout Britain that opencast mining companies have been allowed to walk away from. In terms of irresponsibility, it’s comparable to the nuclear...

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The Top Ten Greenest Buildings of 2015...

Apr 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] METROPOLIS MAGAZINE  Point of View Estefania Acosta The Collaborative Life Sciences Building for OHSU, PSU & OSU, one of the COTE’s 2015 Top Ten Green Projects For 19 years, the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) has been rigorous in their efforts to single out excellence in sustainable design practices. As a result, the COTE Top Ten Green Project awards serve as a gauge of the rising standards in green design in the United States. Each year, the honorees undergo an exhaustive examination of their practice, which includes a close look at the project’s construction, water cycle, energy flows, and more. The committee’s judging criteria aim to break down how these ten buildings contribute to their neighboring communities, improve comfort for building occupants, and reduce environmental impact. This year, the COTE partnered with...

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Yesterday’s Future of Modular Interior Design...

Apr 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED Architecture This site has featured a number of modular, everything-included interior units–from MIT’s CityHome to Urban Capital’s Cubitat to Clei’s Elastic Living. The concept makes a ton of sense: plug one of these units into a clear space and have all the furnishings, kitchen and plumbing fixtures, storage–everything basically–ready to roll for habitation. The ability to mass produce them would make them doubly attractive to a developer looking to streamline construction. Though aforementioned examples make it seem like this idea is a recent one, such is not the case. Way-ahead-of-his-time industrial designer Joe Colombo made his Total Furnishing Unit almost 45 years ago. The unit includes a kitchen, bathroom, two beds, storage, a television and more. It was designed to adapt to multiple room layouts and also to its user’s changing habits–moving the...

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The Fake Meat Market Is Surging...

Apr 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Between 2010 and 2012, the U.S. market for fake meat crossed the half-billion-dollar mark. By Tom Philpott / OnEarth Magazine   VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: Tina D/Flickr Whether you’re a strict vegetarian or a contented carnivore, meat poses a vexing efficiency problem. Crowded into feedlots, the modern cow burns through an estimated 25 pounds of corn and soybeans for every pound of edible meat it generates. Pork, chicken, and egg production each requires an average of five pounds of feed per pound of product yielded, which is somewhat more efficient, but they, too, raise a provocative question: Why not just eat the protein-rich grain and beans that go into all that feed rather than running them through the body of an animal first? When author Frances Moore Lappé first asked this question in...

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