Brilliant graphic shows surface area required to power California with 100% renewables

September 22, 2016 by  
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Cold hard science in the clean energy space has a wonderful way of debunking misinformation fueled by politics and corporate greed, and nobody does that better than the husband and wife team behind the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). Elizabeth and Monoian and Robert Ferry have dished up an illuminating new infographic which demonstrates how much surface area is required to transition California away from energy sources that jeopardize planetary health to 100 percent renewables; take a closer look after the jump. LAGI writes: “Starting in 2009 with the Surface Area Required to Power the World with Solar , we have been making the case that the renewable energy transition, while a huge undertaking, is not any more ambitious in scale than previous human endeavors, and that the footprint on our environment can be designed to be in harmony with nature and provide a unique benefit to human culture.” The graphic depicts a mix of renewable energy technologies and how much land would be required to implement them – based on how much power each county currently consumes. “Much of the infrastructure can be located within our cities—on rooftops and through creative and community-owned applications in public spaces,” they write on their blog . “The rest could easily be located in the places that have already been disturbed by oil and gas extraction—the dark dots on the map.” In other words, the transition need not absorb more land than has already been appropriated to provide California residents with energy, and it is realistic for the State to attain a 100 percent renewable energy economy by 2050. Related: Elon Musk’s idea for powering the entire US with solar energy holds a lot of water In their study The Future of Solar Energy , MIT demonstrates that the same land use principle in California essentially applies to the entire country. LAGI wrote, “We were fascinated to learn across the entire US, the land area required to satisfy 100% of U.S. 2050 energy demand with PV would be no larger than the surface area that has already been ‘disturbed by surface mining for coal’.” They added that given the unprecedented threat of human-induced climate change , the global community can’t afford to pursue a less rigorous stance on climate change than California has done. Indeed, they question whether even that will be enough to avert the worst effects of warming temperatures and its cascade of consequences. “Don’t ask how much it will cost because that is the wrong question,” they said. “What will be the cost to the children born in 2016 if we do not act now? The technology exists to begin today, and the economic stimulus effect of a WPA-scale regenerative infrastructure project for the 21st century will bestow positive benefits for generations.” + Land Art Generator Initiative

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Brilliant graphic shows surface area required to power California with 100% renewables

See what splurging on a tiny house on wheels gets you in the beautiful ESCAPE Vintage

September 22, 2016 by  
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Presumably targeted towards retirees eager to travel, the new ESCAPE Vintage prioritizes comfort with a traditional Americana design that, despite its 315-square-foot size, features a first-floor queen-size bedroom, kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, dining area, living area, full-size bath, and upstairs loft/bedroom. The tiny portable home needn’t be used for travel, however. The adaptable ESCAPE Vintage can also serve as a guesthouse, Airbnb rental, writer’s retreat , or backyard office for any age. Craftsmanship and minimal power usage are at the heart of this tiny home on wheels . The 10,000-pound base unit sleeps up to four and measures 25 feet in length (29 feet including the hitch), 8.5 feet in width, and 13-and-a-half feet in height. The cottage-like exterior is clad in cedar lap siding and cedar trim with Corten-style metal accents and protective panels. A 36-inch glazed entry door, as well as a dozen operable low-E and thermopane windows, fills the home with natural light and views of the outdoors. The vaulted interior is lined with sealed three-quarter-inch pine walls, ceiling, and trim complemented by laminate flooring. Closed cell foam made from recycled products, a high-efficiency split system A/C, and an LP furnace with a thermostat maintains comfortable interior temperatures. Warm LEDs are installed throughout the home. Related: Portable ESCAPE Traveler XL home lets you hit the open road in freedom and luxury The first-floor bedroom with a queen-sized bed offers a variety of storage options and is divided from the open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living space by a sliding door. A large butcher-block table folds down for dining and the compact kitchen includes a full sink, cooktop, and full-size refrigerator. The spacious bathroom, located on the far end of the home features a vanity with single-bowl sink, a 30-inch-by-60-inch fiberglass tub and shower, Toto toilet, low-soho exhaust fan, and storage. A loft area accessible via ladder can be used as an extra bedroom or as storage. Water, power, and utility hook-ups are fast and easy. “This is our most classic design yet,” says ESCAPE Homes founder, Dan Dobrowolski. “The vintage oak floors, butcher block kitchen table and counters, and built-in bookshelves conjure up images of that family cabin that generations have enjoyed.” Introductory pricing starts at $59,800 and each handcrafted unit can be delivered within 90 days. The ESCAPE Vintage also offers many additional options available such as dry wall, washer and dryer, and off-grid programs. + ESCAPE Vintage Images via ESCAPE Vintage

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See what splurging on a tiny house on wheels gets you in the beautiful ESCAPE Vintage

Guerilla cycling: San Francisco activists create their own bike lanes with traffic cones

September 22, 2016 by  
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A group of concerned San Franciscans is erecting sections of protected bike lanes all across the city. Doing what they believe the city is not, SF Transformation (SFMTrA) has been leaving orange traffic cones  along bicycle and pedestrian lanes in an effort to bring attention to recent traffic fatalities and the lackluster reaction of public transportation officials. The organization, whose name is a play on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency ( SFMTA ), has set up traffic cones and signs in the city’s Mission District that direct bicycle and Uber traffic in the name of public safety. This action follows the deaths of two cyclists, struck down in different locations, earlier this year on June 22. Residents say more must be done to protect car-less commuters. Related: Lumos helmet keeps bikers safe with turn signals and brake lights “Even with some improvements from the SFMTA and other advocacy groups lobbying the city for safe streets, we felt there was more that could be done to increase street safety and attention to these issues by taking direct action on our public streets,” the group told CityLab . They predict no decline in the interest of cycling, especially as the globe starts to turn its back on fossil fuels and embrace greener modes of transportation. So far, SF Transformation has engaged in seven demonstrations, with several more planned. “With a growing group of members we expect to increase the amount of safety improvements we can make and this will encourage the city to do more as well,” they explain. “We are just getting started.” Via CityLab Images via Twitter

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Guerilla cycling: San Francisco activists create their own bike lanes with traffic cones

INFOGRAPHIC: Which countries are causing global warming and which are most vulnerable to the effects

September 18, 2015 by  
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The effects of climate change are pretty hard to miss no matter where you live, but some countries are going to feel the brunt of the impact more than others. The following infographic was created by George Washington University ‘s grad program in health administration in order to illustrate which countries are causing global warming and which countries stand to suffer the consequences (spoiler alert: it isn’t the same countries causing it). Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: Which countries are causing global warming and which are most vulnerable to the effects

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INFOGRAPHIC: Which countries are causing global warming and which are most vulnerable to the effects

National Parks Service maps show noise levels across the US—with and without humans

March 13, 2015 by  
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The National Parks Service (NPS) has published a map that shows the average sound levels across the lower 48 U.S. states on a typical summer’s day. While the map was produced as part of the NPS’s work monitoring and controlling noise pollution in park ecosystems, it also incorporates data gathered in urban areas. At a glance you can see that the eastern half of the country is much noisier than the west, but if you really want to get away from it all, the NPS website has hi-res maps available to download so you can zoom in and find some peace and quiet among all that ruckus. Read on for details. Read the rest of National Parks Service maps show noise levels across the US—with and without humans Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: acoustics , data gathering , map , map of noise pollution in US , national parks service , noise levels , noise pollution , noise pollution map , NPS , soundscape map , US noise pollution

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National Parks Service maps show noise levels across the US—with and without humans

River map shows which way every river in the US flows

December 26, 2014 by  
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Andrew Hill created this mind-blowing map of the rivers of the continental United States, colored according to the direction in which they flow. Hill, of Vizzuality , used the the CartoDB platform and the National Hydrography Dataset , put out by the US Geological Survey, for this project. Is it geography or is it art? Eighteen colors are used on the map, representing points around the compass. At first glance, the veins on the map appear to blur together, or blend in some places. In order to best see the rivers’ directions, viewers need to zoom in and study the pinks, blues, greens, and reds. Hill claims the map was easy to make, but it’s worth hedging a bet that Einstein said the same thing about the theory of relativity once he’d gotten all the kinks sorted. Via New Scientist Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Andrew Hill , Andrew Hill map , Andrew Hill river map , CartoDB , data visualization , interactive mapping , mapping US rivers US river flow direction , National Hydropgrahy Dataset , new scientist , US river flow map , US river map , US river visualization , US rivers , US waterway map , us waterways , usgs , Vizzuality

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River map shows which way every river in the US flows

Incredible Map Shows 11 Years of Major US Fires

July 24, 2012 by  
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This map by interactive designer John Nelson catalogues 11 years of major US fires. After recent wildfires blazed in Colorado and Utah following long periods of dry weather, Nelson gathered satellite imagery from NASA to show not only the locations of major fires since 2001, but also to show the intensity of each of those events—as compared to the average summertime output of a nuclear power plant. Read the rest of Incredible Map Shows 11 Years of Major US Fires Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , data maps , data visualization , fire intensity , forest service maps , global warming wildfires , hot spots , idv solutions , john nelson , nasa satellite imagery , US maps , US weather , wildfire megawatts

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Incredible Map Shows 11 Years of Major US Fires

Is Data Visualization the Next Big Thing for Green Tech Companies?

September 30, 2010 by  
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By now, most of us know that driving gas-guzzling cars, leaving your lights on all day and taking hour-long showers are activities that have a negative impact on our Earth and our future.

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Is Data Visualization the Next Big Thing for Green Tech Companies?

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