DESIGN COMPETITION: A MORE RESILIENT WEST PALM BEACH...

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Jared Green   THE DIRT Shore to Core / Van Alen Institute and West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency West Palm Beach, a city of nearly 100,000 some 70 miles north of Miami, is grappling with how to protect itself from sea level rise. Much of this long, thin 50-square-mile city fronts the Atlantic Ocean. While in the past this form of development maximized its appeal as a waterfront city, now that exposure elevates their risk. To create a sustainable and resilient future, the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency has partnered with the Van Alen Institute to create Shore to Core: Vision for a Waterfront City, an  urban design competition, to rethink its future trajectory. The design competition though calls for interdisciplinary teams of designers (landscape architects, urban designers, architects) along with experts...

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New Solar Device Removes Carbon Dioxide From the Atmosphere...

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] If the experimental technology can be commercialized, it can become an important tool for reducing the impact of climate change. Researchers used simulated sunlight to power a solar cell that converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into syngas, a combination of hydrogen gas and carbon monoxide that can be burned for energy or converted into liquid fuels. (Photo: University of Illinois at Chicago/Jenny Fontaine) Emily J. Gertz is an associate editor for environment and wildlife at TakePart. A new type of solar-powered technology has the potential to play a big role in the fight against climate change if its inventors can take it from the laboratory to industrial-scale use. On Thursday, a team of scientists announced in the journal Science that they have created a device that absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and...

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Cooling measures are big and getting bigger: The global impact of air conditioning...

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] More AC means billions of tons of increased carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere Lucas Davis, The Conversation  VIA SALON.COM This article was originally published on The Conversation. With a heat wave pushing the heat index well above 100°F (38°C) through much of the United States, most of us are happy to stay indoors and crank the air conditioning. And if you think it’s hot here, try 124°F in India. Globally, 2016 is poised to be another record-breaking year for average temperatures. This means more air conditioning. Much more. In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), Paul Gertler and I examine the enormous global potential for air conditioning. As incomes rise around the world and global temperatures go up, people are buying air conditioners at alarming rates....

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Democratic Platform Calls For WWII-Scale Mobilization To Solve Climate Crisis...

Jul 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Mark Stehle/Invision for NRG/AP Images Micro-wind turbines and solar panels installed at Lincoln Financial Field generate renewable energy during NRG Home’s 2nd Annual Media Charity Flag Football Game in Philadelphia Wednesday, November 19, 2014.   This month, the full Democratic Platform Committee approved the strongest statement about the urgent need for climate action ever issued by a major party in this country. The platform makes for the starkest possible contrast with a party that just nominated Donald Trump — a man who has called climate change a hoax invented by and for the Chinese, who has denied basic reality such as the drought in California, and who has vowed to (try to) scuttle the unanimous agreement by the world’s nations in Paris to take whatever measures are...

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“Tiny buses for everyone!” says Elon Musk...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TED Conference You get a bus and you get a bus! By Heather Smith   GRIST Tesla has had a rough ride lately. A Tesla Model S on autopilot slammed into a semi-truck in May, killing the driver and prompting a federal highway safety investigation. There’s talk that the company’s yearned-for merger with Solar City might fall apart, and its high-flying stock has plunged 12 percent in three months.What better time for Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, to unveil his “Master Plan Part Deux,” which says, essentially: “Don’t look at right now! Look waay over there, in the amazing future!” The plan, released on Tesla’s blog Wednesday, is full of wondrous whizbangery. There will be cars so autonomous that they will earn money for you when you aren’t driving, battery-enhanced solar panels so beautiful that you will...

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Greenpeace reports jump in radioactive contamination in Fukushima waterways...

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Greenpeace Japan member Mai Suzuki removes sediment samples from a remotely operated grabber at Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture on March 22. | © CHRISTIAN ÅSLUND / GREENPEACE National by Eric Johnston Staff Writer OSAKA – Greenpeace Japan on Thursday said it has discovered radioactive contamination in Fukushima’s riverbanks, estuaries and coastal waters at a scale hundreds of times higher than pre-2011 levels. One sample of sediment taken along the Niida River, less than 30 km northwest of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant, revealed the presence of cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels of 29,800 becquerels per kilogram. That was just one of 19 samples of dried sediment and soil the environmental activist group took and analyzed from the banks of the Abukuma, Niida, and Ota rivers. The samples were collected by...

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This ‘Other’ Form Of Solar Energy Can Run At Night, And It Just Got A Big Backer...

Jul 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: PHOTO BY AMBLE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Nevada’s Crescent Dunes concentrating solar thermal plant went online last September. It is 110 Megawatt with 10 hours of built in storage.   Converting sunlight directly into electricity, the photovoltaic (PV) solar panel industry has dominated the solar generation market recently because of its astounding price drops. Prices have fallen 99 percent in the past quarter century and over 80 percent since 2008 alone. This has also helped to slow the growth of the “other” form of solar, concentrating solar thermal power (CSP), which uses sunlight to heat water and uses the steam to drive a turbine and generator. Fortunately, one country appears to be making a major bet on CSP — China. SolarReserve, the company that built the Crescent Dunes...

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Fire From New Mexico Fracking Site Explosion Keeps Burning Three Days Later...

Jul 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Alejandro Davila Fragoso CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Kendra Pinto   A massive fire at a fracking site in rural New Mexico that scorched 36 oil storage tanks and prompted the evacuation of 55 residents is dwindling but still burning Thursday, some three days after the first explosion was reported. The fire that started Monday night is mostly out, WPX Energy, the Oklahoma-based company that owns the site, reported Wednesday. However, “small fires” remained at four of the 36 tanks, the company said. No injuries have been reported and according to the company no drilling was taking place at the site prior to the storage tanks catching fire. On Thursday morning plumes of smoke continued to billow from the five-acre oil production site located near Nageezi, a Navajo Nation town some 135 miles northwest...

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The Developing World is Awash in Pesticides. Does It Have to Be?...

Jul 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides threaten the environment and human health in many parts of the world. But research is pointing to a better approach. By Aleszu Bajak BILL MOYERS & CO. Pesticides help developing countries produce more food — but also take a toll on human health and the environment. (Photo by Thomas Cristofoletti/USAID/Flickr cc 2.0) This post originally appeared at Ensia. In today’s globalized world, it is not inconceivable that one might drink coffee from Colombia in the morning, munch cashews from Vietnam for lunch and gobble grains from Ethiopia for dinner. That we can enjoy these products is thanks, in large part, to expanded pesticide use across the developing world. Every year, some 3.5 billion kilograms (7.7 billion pounds) of pesticides — a catch-all term for the herbicides, insecticides and...

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SAN FRANCISCO WILL BAN ALL POLYSTYRENE PRODUCTS BY 2017...

Jul 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] FUTURISM Chris Caravello/Flickr In Brief San Francisco will be the first major US city to ban the sale of polystyrene or styrofoam products. Next year, styrofoam will be a thing of the past in San Francisco. Local council has just unanimously voted to ban the sale of polystyrene products — also commonly called styrofoam — by 2017. Styrofoam insulation products won’t be covered by these new rules, but the sale of all polystyrene food packaging, packing peanuts, take-away containers, coffee cups, foam dock floatings, mooring buoys, and pool toys will be illegal after the clock strikes 12 on 1 January 2017. Image source: Science Alert This is a critical step towards San Francisco’s goal of being a waste-free city by 2020. Polystyrene is one of the most commonly used packing products, and 25 billion polystyrene...

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WHILE THE SPOTLIGHT WAS ON OFFSHORE DRILLING, FRACKING QUIETLY MADE ITS WAY INTO OUR OCEANS...

Jul 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Climate by Samantha Page climate progress CREDIT: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky Vessels assist in the drilling of the Deepwater Horizon relief well on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana at sunset. The BP leak, the worst-ever in offshore U.S. waters, occurred at a well that the company was in the process of temporarily closing. The accident killed 11 workers and spilled up to 172 million gallons of oil.   The Gulf of Mexico has been struggling with the pollution from offshore oil drilling for a long time, a struggle that was dramatically highlighted by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill six years ago. But now it has come to light that the oil industry is conducting offshore fracking in the Gulf, which is even more dangerous than conventional oil drilling, according...

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‘Water Windfall’ Found in Drought-Stricken California...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment California’s Central Valley has three times more freshwater in underground aquifers than previously thought. By Bobby Magill / Climate Central  VIA ALTERNET California’s Central Valley has three times more freshwater in underground aquifers than previously thought, drinking water that could help the state weather future drought and fortify itself against a changing climate, according to a new Stanford University study. But tapping that water, locked thousands of feet beneath the ground, will be expensive and comes with an enormous risk — it could cause the valley floor to sink, according to the study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Sinking land in the Central Valley is threatening roads, homes and other infrastructure, and reduces the amount of water some aquifers can hold. California’s parched Central Valley in 2014. Credit: Stuart Rankin/NASA/flickr...

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SOLAR ROADWAYS: 3 COUNTRIES, 3 SOLUTIONS...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   UNDERSTANDSOLAR.COM We will all be driving on solar roadways soon if this global effort to build the most enduring and efficient solar roads starts to fall into place (or pace?).  After all, urban areas have miles of pavement covering them and cities are becoming urban heat islands without moisture and vegetation to absorb all of the heat. Adding more concrete, asphalt and pavement would boost night-time temperatures and make places like New York around 15 degrees hotter than locations only 60 miles outside of the city. #1 USA Solar Roadways Image credits: Solar Roadways Cries of “no more pavement” have been ongoing since the discovery of urban heat islands, and Scott and Julie Brusaw’s solution – impact resistant solar panels – could be a win-win for everyone. Currently, the Brusaw’s company, Solar Roadways has managed to shift a...

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CAN THESE INVENTIONS SAVE OCEANS FROM OUR PLASTIC HABIT?...

Jun 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) As an environmental catastrophe looms, innovators around the world are hoping to turn the tide. Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife. NEWPORT BEACH, California—As a lifelong surfer, Louis Pazos has had an up-close look at the world’s plastics problem. Just about every time he has paddled out at any of his favorite breaks in Southern California, he has ended up swimming among trash bags and other rubbish. But the floating garbage isn’t just offshore. Twenty years ago, on a lunch date at a waterfront restaurant with his wife, he noticed that the same debris he was swimming with in the open ocean was floating in the local harbors as well. “I remember people cleaning up the trash in one spot in the marina,...

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THE NEXT SPACE RACE: FARMING SOLAR POWER IN THE COSMOS...

Jun 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] https://youtu.be/AB1VlSlLrgkhttps://youtu.be/AB1VlSlLrgkSPS-Alpha concept by John C. Mankins. (Illustration: Courtesy Artemis Innovations) Scientists are making the big push to send electricity to Earthlings from the final frontier. Anna Bitong FUTURISM   Aboard an imaginary space station surrounded by distant planets, an astronaut on the fringes of human life toiled to turn the sun’s rays into electricity and then zapped it through space and back to the planets to be used as a power source. “Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from one of those huge incandescent globes that happens to be near us. We call that globe the Sun,” the spaceman says in one of Isaac Asimov’s earliest works, the 1941 science fiction short story “Reason.” Biochemist and science fiction novelist Isaac Asimov. (Photo: Bettmann Archive) What was then an implausible idea—collecting solar energy...

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NATION’S FIRST SOLAR ROADWAY COMING TO HISTORIC ROUTE 66...

Jun 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT (Photo: US Bureau of Land Management)Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch Missouri’s Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has announced plans to install solar panels at a rest stop alongside the iconic Route 66 as part of the department’s “Road to Tomorrow Initiative.” The Historic Route 66 welcome center in Conway, Missouri will receive the nation’s first solar roadway panels on a public right of way. “… part of why we picked this location is because of the the historic Route 66 concept,” Laurel McKean, MoDot assistant district engineer, told KY3. “You know, here’s one of the main roadways that’s iconic for the United States, and being able to use the history to create potentially the future.” The panels were developed by Solar Roadways, an Idaho-based startup founded by Scott and Julie Brusaw. Their...

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4 WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR HOME’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT...

Jun 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Reducing your home’s environmental impact begins with reducing its carbon footprint. Your home’s carbon emissions as a result of your activities, or its carbon footprint, can be reduced by making environmentally sounder decisions, upgrading appliances and using less energy while taking advantage of what nature has to offer. Here are four way to reduce your home’s environmental impact. Take Advantage of Nature To avoid turning on lamps and lights around your house during the daytime, take advantage of natural light. To do this, avoid crowding furniture around your windows or glass doors to allow natural light into your home. Do keep your refrigerator out of the sun so it doesn’t have to use as much energy to keep itself cool. In regards to your home’s outdoor landscape, trees are great for protection from...

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HOLY CRAP … THE TREES ON YOUR BLOCK ARE WORTH HOW MUCH MONEY?!...

Jun 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Scientists just showed that money really does grow on trees. Clayton Aldern   MOTHER JONES Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock This story originally appeared on Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. It’s not easy to price a tree, but a group of researchers from the US Forest Service and UC Davis have tried to do exactly that. Working with a dataset of about 900,000 trees that line California’s public streets, the group sought to place a dollar value on the services those trees perform, which include “energy savings, carbon storage, air pollutant uptake, and rainfall interception.” Trees lining California’s public streets contribute about $1 billion annually to the state’s economy—nearly $111 per tree. All told, the researchers estimate the trees contribute about $1 billion annually—nearly $111 per tree for each of the state’s 9.1 million street trees....

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TADAO ANDO’S 152 ELIZABETH STREET IN NEW YORK INCLUDES A MONUMENTAL GREEN WALL...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]       ‘152 elizabeth street’ is an ultra luxury condominium building located in new york’s nolita neighborhood. designed by acclaimed japanese architect tadao ando, the scheme measures 32,000-square feet and comprises a total of seven stories and seven residences. each dwelling has been designed as a bespoke custom home, individually configured to highlight craft, detail, and quality. the living green wall measures 55 feet by 99 feet (17 x 30 meters) image by noë & associates and the boundary       developed by sumaida + khurana, ando is collaborating on the project with michael gabellini, the architect of record who is also designing the building’s interiors. in addition to ando’s signature poured-in-place concrete, the scheme also features a living green wall measuring 55-feet-high and 99-feet-wide — one of the largest in...

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PENDA POSES GREEN-FILLED SKY VILLA RESIDENCES IN INDIA...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]         penda has shared the latest development for his magic breeze project in hyderabad / india with the proposal of a residential idea of a ‘house with a garden’ to complement the maze-like garden landscape. the 450,000 square foot development is composed of 127 units; designed as duplex sky villas with each unit divided from its neighbor by a double-height, private garden. these green ‘in-between spaces’ create a sense of openness and vitality to the compound and loosens up the density a tenant would experience in a common condominium building. the complex would be composed of residential 127 units       for the project, penda developed a modular planter system that would be installed as an extension for the balconies of each unit. each planter can be filled with...

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A SOLAR POWERED PLANE JUST CROSSED THE ATLANTIC...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Solar Impulse sunprecedented By Samantha Lee GRIST If you thought there was something solar power couldn’t do, think again, because the sun just carried an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean. Early Thursday morning, Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard successfully landed the Solar Impulse 2 in Spain after a four-day journey that began in New York. All the while, the scrappy little plane, powered by 17,000 solar cells, emitted no pollution and guzzled no fuel. This flight was the latest leg in a round-the-world journey set to end in Abu Dhabi, and is particularly symbolic “because all the means of transportation have always tried to cross the Atlantic,” Piccard told the Guardian. With seating room for one, the Solar Impulse — which has a larger wingspan than a Boeing 747 but is lighter than a car...

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FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES IMPOSE MORE IN CLIMATE COSTS THAN THEY MAKE IN PROFITS...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  by David Roberts   VOX (Shutterstock) It is fairly well understood by now that releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere imposes an economic cost, in the form of climate change impacts. In most cases, however, those responsible for carbon emissions are not required to pay that cost. Instead, it’s borne mainly by the world’s poor and low-lying countries, and of course by future generations, as many of the worst impacts of climate change will emerge years after the emissions that drive them. People sometimes refer to the unpaid cost of carbon pollution as a subsidy, or an “implicit subsidy,” to polluting businesses. The IMF recently issued a report saying that total worldwide subsidies to energy, mainly fossil fuel energy, amounted to $5.2 trillion a year. The reason that number is...

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THE NEW LANDSCAPE DECLARATION: PERSPECTIVE AND CRITIQUE (PART 2)...

Jun 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The Dirt Contributo New Landscape Declaration / LAF The second day of the Landscape Architecture Foundation‘s New Landscape Declaration:  Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future offered critical responses to the 23 declarations delivered on the first day of the event and looked ahead to the next 50 years. Afternoon sessions were divided into five panels, each representing a different aspect of landscape architecture: academic practice, private practice, public practice, capacity building organizations, and emerging voices. Each panelist gave a short talk before engaging in a group discussion, addressing audience-sourced questions, and offering perspectives on what needs to be achieved over the next 50 years: Academic practice: Maintain the value of the “long view” “Academics combine teaching, scholarship, and service” while “taking the long view: looking back, then to now, and forward,” argued...

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THE NEW LANDSCAPE DECLARATION: PERSPECTIVE AND CRITIQUE (PART 1)...

Jun 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT BY Jared Green New Landscape Declaration / LAF After hearing 23 declarations on the first day of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF)‘s New Landscape Declaration: Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, panels of landscape architects on day two critiqued the declarations, delved into some of the important facets of landscape architecture — aesthetics, ecology, society, and innovation — and offered visions for what needs to be achieved over the next 50 years. Aesthetics: Connect Through Creativity The panel, which was led by Adam Greenspan, ASLA, a member of the LAF board of directors, essentially worried that the importance of “physical design, which engages culture and nature,” may be lost in the total quest for sustainability and restoring ecosystems. Their response was designed landscapes must be beautiful if we expect communities...

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Why Conserving Crops’ Wild Cousins May Be Critical for Human Survival...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food As global food requirements grow with a skyrocketing human population, genes from wild relatives of common crops could play a big role. By Kristen Satre Meyer / Ensia  VIA ALTERNET Portrait of a young woman at work in greenhouse,in uniform and clipboard in her hand . Greenhouse produce. Food production. Tomato growing in greenhouse. Photo Credit: Vlad Teodor/Shutterstock Wild cousins aren’t always appreciated at family gatherings. But when it comes to crops, the opposite is often true: Plant breeding has historically relied on genes from plants growing in the wild as a source of diversity that can be introduced into crop plants to produce new crop varieties that are more resilient, nutritious and productive than those currently cultivated. As human populations increase and shift away from traditional diets, demand for food is...

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DUMPSTER DIVING...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Food How to seriously cut down on your monthly food bill. By Assya Barrette / Greenhighfive   VIA ALTERNET   Photo Credit: Wikipedia I first came into contact with dumpster diving when I volunteered with the organizationFood not Bombs (FNB),Toronto Chapter. Their objective is to recover food that would otherwise have been thrown away, and cook up delicious vegan meals for whomever wants some. Although a lot of the food they get is donated from bakeries and shops (who’d otherwise dump the food), they do dumpster diving to fill in the gaps. Recently, one of the members of the group held a dumpster diving tutorial in downtown Toronto. After I attended the tutorial, I went solo in my town, with huge success. This, coupled with the times I had gone with FNB in...

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FRACKING PRODUCES TONS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE. WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH IT?...

Jun 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Byproducts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, create radioactive waste like the truckload shown here in West Virginia. BIll Hughes down in the dumps By Jie Jenny Zou   GRIST Cross-posted from Center for Public Integrity The Marcellus Shale has transformed the Appalachian Basin into an energy juggernaut. Even amid a recent drilling slowdown, regional daily production averages enough natural gas to power more than 200,000 U.S. homes for a year. But the rise of hydraulic fracturing over the past decade has created another boom: tons of radioactive materials experts call an “orphan” waste stream. No federal agency fully regulates oil and gas drilling byproducts — which include brine, sludge, rock, and soiled equipment — leaving tracking and handling to states that may be reluctant to alienate energy interests. “Nobody can say how much of...

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THE NEW LANDSCAPE DECLARATION: VISIONS FOR THE NEXT 50 YEARS...

Jun 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT  BY  Jared Green India’s water crisis / National Geographic Over the next 50 years, landscape architects must coordinate their actions globally to fight climate change, help communities adapt to a changing world, bring artful and sustainable parks and open spaces to every community rich or poor, preserve cultural landscape heritage, and sustain all forms of life on Earth. These were the central messages that came out the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF)‘s New Landscape Declaration: Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future in Philadelphia, which was attended by over 700 landscape architects. The speakers used declarations and short idea-packed talks, and attendees used cards, polls, and an interactive question and commenting app to provide input into a new declaration — a vision to guide the efforts of landscape architects to 2066. As...

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COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED DEVELOPMENT: A FIRST STEP TO COMMUNITY SOLAR FOR ALL...

Jun 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE photo credit: Boardman Hill Solar Farm Communities are a critical actor in the global effort to combat climate change. More than 1,000 locally elected officials from around the world were present at the Paris Climate Conference talks. Their voices, representing distant communities, were widely recognized as drivers of the international agreement. In the United States, communities and governments continue to drive toward more sustainable, inclusive economies by leveraging local solar power—most recently, in the form of community-scale solar. A unique benefit of community-scale solar projects is their very community orientation, which enables “community-supported development.” This concept describes the range of activities that can be taken to reduce the cost of, and drive local interest in, community-scale solar. The communities taking action can include constituent- or community-based organizations, nonprofits, municipalities,...

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