In the face of shortages, water recycling and reuse strategies may be necessary to ensure business continuity.
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Compelling new data on why we shouldn’t waste wastewater
Apana, Shell and Veolia use circular principles to retain and recycle water used in farming, fracking and washing machines.
The global map on which all your geographical knowledge is based probably wasn’t as accurate as you thought. For nearly 500 years, classrooms have referred to the Mercator projection, which exaggerated the size of continents in the northern hemisphere. But now Boston public schools are switching over to the Gall-Peters projection, which attempts to correct the sizes of countries and could have a dramatic impact on students’ worldview. The Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator devised the Mercator projection all the way back in 1569. Now hundreds of years later, Boston schools are implementing a replacement, and director of the Boston public schools history department Natacha Scott says they believe they are the first public school district in America to make the switch. Related: New map reveals the world’s most toxic countries The Mercator projection has informed our collective worldview for centuries, but Mercator made it seem as if North America and Europe were larger than South America and Africa , for example. He also moved the equator, which places Germany near the map’s middle instead of much further north. Arno Peters, a German historian, released his projection in 1974 – as it corresponds with work by James Gall, a 19th century Scottish cartographer; today it’s called the Peters or Gall-Peters projection. Now in Boston classrooms, teachers have put the Gall-Peters projection up next to the Mercator projection. Colin Rose, Assistant Superintendent of Opportunity and Achievement Gaps for the Boston Public Schools, told The Guardian, “This is the start of a three-year effort to decolonize the curriculum in our public schools…It’s important that students trust the material they are given in school but also question it. The Mercator projection is a symbolic representation that put Europe at the center of the world. And when you continue to show images of the places where people’s heritage is rooted that is not accurate, that has an effect on students.” But some people say the Gall-Peters projection is also distorted – stemming mainly from the fact that it’s difficult to place a three dimensional sphere shape on a two dimensional piece of paper. Sizes are correct in the Gall-Peters projection, but shapes are wrong: near the poles countries are stretched horizontally and near the equator they’re stretched vertically, according to Business Insider, which pointed to four alternatives , including the Winkel tripel projection which National Geographic adopted in 1998. Via The Guardian and Business Insider Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )
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Boston public schools phase in new map to decolonize curriculum
An EPA official who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto’s popular Roundup weedkiller has been accused of conspiring with the company to “kill” the study. Jess Rowland, the former manager of the agency’s pesticide division, is rapidly becoming an important figure in the more than 20 lawsuits that have piled up accusing the company of burying evidence that its herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, has come under fire in recent years for its potential links to cancer. After the World Health Organization declared glyphosate likely to be a carcinogen , a number of people who’ve been exposed to the weedkiller have stepped up and attempted to sue the company. As public pressure has grown, activists have begun calling on the US Environmental Protection Agency to ban the herbicide altogether. The agency, however, has been slow to act despite the public pressure that’s been steadily building – and a recent court case may have revealed exactly why. Last week, Federal Judge Vince Chhabria released a number of court documents detailing Monsanto’s internal communications and the company’s correspondence with the EPA. Related: Activists call on the EPA to ban glyphosate The records reveal that not only did Rowland go out of his way to try to bury research into the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate , but that Monsanto’s own employees had ghostwritten several papers on Roundup’s safety. These are the same reports, later attributed to various academic researchers, which the EPA used to declare Roundup safe for public use. While it’s possible the EPA wasn’t aware of Monsanto’s collaboration on the original studies, it does call into question the accuracy of the agency’s assessment. Monsanto is, naturally, denying the allegations, and claiming that the company’s internal communications have been taken out of context. On the other hand, it’s hard to see how else statements like “we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and [the scientists] would just edit & sign their names so to speak” could be construed to mean anything else. The company has testified in court that this is merely a reference to minor edits made to the paper, rather than ghostwriting. If it’s true that academics publishing research on glyphosate’s safety are in bed with the company, and that EPA officials like Rowland are working off this biased data, the agency’s decision should be revisited as soon as possible. The WHO isn’t the only organization that’s found evidence of this herbicide’s risks – the International Journal of Cancer and the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine have both recently published research on the link between pesticide exposures and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well. Roundup has already been banned in several countries following the burst of recent studies, and the US would be wise to follow suit. Via Bloomberg Markets Images via Chafer Machinery , Mike Mozart
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EPA official accused of killing investigation into Monsanto weedkiller
Spiky ETFE roofs top this airy forest resort and spa in the historic region of Kurzeme, Latvia. 3GATTI Architecture Studio and OFL Architecture teamed up to design the Pinecones Resort using sustainable construction techniques and prefabrication , resulting in a fairytale-like woodland setting in harmony with its natural surroundings. The resort comprises cone-shaped units with inflatable roofs made from 100 percent recyclable ETFE that has a minimal carbon footprint . Lightweight and flexible, this material offers the possibility of creating dynamic building forms. The roofs will be inflated by a recyclable SPF sprayed eco foam with superior insulation and structural qualities. The laminated lightweight frames, made from locally-sourced wood, support the roof membrane and allows it to withstand snow loads. Related: Labyrinthine resort in Bangladesh lets nature take over The resort will focus on providing Blue Clay treatments based on organic and naturally abundant material. Different programs will be distributed across the site, with wooden bridges connecting the units housing winter tubs, saunas, therapy rooms and dining areas. In addition to the aforementioned sustainable features, the resort will also include a water filtration system, geothermal loops, and solar window technologies. + 3GATTI + OFL Architecture Via Archdaily
Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma claimed Thursday on CNN that the Environmental Protection Agency is “brainwashing” America’s children, defending Donald Trump’s plan to cut the agency’s funding by 31 percent. He told the network: “We want to deliver the services. We ought to make things clean. But we ought to take all this stuff that comes out of the EPA that’s brainwashing our kids, that is propaganda, things that aren’t true, allegations.” This isn’t the first time Inhofe has made a controversial statement while he’s been in office. During the 2002 midterm election, he compared the EPA to the Gestapo , and has declared global warming to be a hoax on multiple occasions. (Unlike Donald Trump, however, he doesn’t believe it’s the work of the Chinese government. The credit instead goes to Barbra Streisand .) In 2015, he made headlines by bringing a snowball onto the floor of Congress in an attempt to disprove the existence of climate change. So while his statements this week are deeply troubling, they’re not at all unexpected. Related: Trump to purge climate change from federal government The most recent comments came during an interview asking Inhofe his opinion on proposed funding cuts to the EPA. The plan would cut a staggering $100 million from the agency’s climate change programs, and reduce its overall budget from $8.3 billion to $5.7 billion. This could have far-reaching impacts beyond reducing the EPA’s ability to fight climate change – it could also affect its ability to enforce clean water and air regulations, and would cut 3,200 jobs from the agency (about 1/5 of its workforce). The cuts would also end specific programs to restore the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes, along with a program to certify eco-friendly appliances under the Energy Star Label. The proposal would also cut funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by as much as $990 million and funds for critical health research carried out under the National Institutes of Health by $5.8 billion. Defense spending, on the other hand, would increase by $52 billion. Related: Scott Pruitt attacks critics and EPA employees in first speech The budget would need to be approved by Congress before it could be implemented, however, with lawmakers like Inhofe in office, we may have reason to be concerned. Via Business Insider Images via Gage Skidmore , Screenshot/C-SPAN
Businesses that stop wasting food generate a 14-fold return on investment.
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Companies cut food waste to stop wasting profits
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Dreaming Out Loud’s new farm hopes to provide jobs, business incubation and more in a city ward that has often been overlooked.
A D.C. urban farm takes on urban problems
Comments Off on 100 seeds for a sustainable future: Launching entrepreneurship
In week four of 10-part series, a Chinese campus goes for LEED gold; insurers account for climate change.
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100 seeds for a sustainable future: Launching entrepreneurship
Comments Off on It’s time to measure business success beyond profit
A new measure for the success of business enterprises and those who lead and manage them.