The sixth mass extinction is killing off wildlife 100 times faster than normal

July 11, 2017 by  
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For years, scientists have warned that Earth is entering it sixth mass extinction — an era in which three-quarters of all species die off within only a few centuries. However terrifying this notion may be, nothing compares to a recent finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which paints a full picture of “biological annihilation.” According to the study, which was conducted by Gerardo Ceballos, an ecology professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, hundreds of species are disappearing at a faster-than-expected rate. And, believe it or not, even humans are at-risk. The researchers wrote that numerous species around the world are experiencing an “extremely high degree of population decay.” Findings from the study support this. For instance, nearly one-third of the 27,600 land-based mammals, bird, amphibian and reptile species are shrinking in terms of territorial range and their numbers. After looking at a well-documented group of 177 mammal species, the researchers also determined that all had their territories reduced by at least 30 percent between the years of 1900 and 2015. Furthermore, more than 40 percent of the species lost at least 80 percent of their geographic range during this time. As a result of these findings, the study authors wrote that “Earth’s sixth mass extinction is more severe” than previously believed. Additionally, the major event is “ongoing.” Scientists have already established that 50 percent of the Earth’s wildlife has been wiped out in the last 40 years alone, but no one really comprehended the extent to which the numbers have declined. According to Anthony Barnosky, executive director of the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve at Stanford University, this is because conservationists and researchers are “not constantly counting numbers of individuals.” He added, “it doesn’t take complicated math to figure out that, if we keep cutting by half every 40 years, pretty soon there’s going to be nothing left.” Related: Vanishing land snails signal the 6th mass extinction is happening now Perhaps the most terrifying discovery is that species are going extinct at roughly 100 times the rate which could be considered normal. In fact, within twenty years, the African elephant may go extinct. Barn swallows, giraffes , rhinos, pangolins, and jaguars, as well, may only be preserved in zoos if their populations continue to decline. With 37 percent of the Earth’s land surface now farmland or pasture (according to the World Bank), and humans utilizing polluting resources at a faster rate than they can be replenished, the whole world is in jeopardy unless sustainable initiatives are introduced and implemented. Fortunately, there’s still time, according to Ceballos. He wrote, “The good news is, we still have time. These results show it is time to act. The window of opportunity is small, but we can still do something to save species and populations.” + PNAS Via CNN Images via Pixabay

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The sixth mass extinction is killing off wildlife 100 times faster than normal

Germany generated 35% of its electricity with renewables in first half of 2017

July 11, 2017 by  
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Good news! In the first half of 2017, Germany derived 35.1 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources , according to the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE). In a press release , the country’s trade body announced that Germany has successfully met its 2020 target for “share of gross electricity consumption.” It helped that from April 30 to May 1, the country generated 85 percent of its energy needs using renewable wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power. Germany has steadily increased its production of clean electricity over the past few years. In the first half of 2015, for instance, the country generated 32.7 percent of its energy needs from renewables , and 32.7 percent in the first half of 2016. Though the new record is positive news , progress in other sectors has been slow, specifically in the transportation and heating sectors. Said Haraold Uphoff, the acting director of BEE, “The power generation in Germany is progressing far too slowly.” Fortunately, the country is well on its way to producing 45 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2040, and 60 percent by 2050. The report details a jump in offshore wind energy in the first half of 2017. As Clean Technica reports, onshore wind energy grew “from 34.08 TWh in the first half of 2015, to 34.71 TWh a year later, but jumping to 39.75 TWh in the first half of this year. Offshore wind also jumped, from only 2.15 TWh in the first half of 2015 to 8.48 TWh this year.” Solar PV, as well, has seen incremental increases in growth. In 2015, output has increased from 19.50 Two in 2015 to 21.74 in the first half of 2017. Related: Germany, Denmark, and Belgium to boost offshore wind 5-fold within the next decade Time and again, Germany has proven its commitment to bettering the environment by taking action to meet goals outlined at the Paris Climate Change Conference . Their most recent effort includes signing a joint statement on climate cooperation with California earlier this month. The agreement was a “reaffirmation of joint ties” between the two to continue working on the persistent issue of global warming. Via Clean Technica Images via Pixabay

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Germany generated 35% of its electricity with renewables in first half of 2017

The State of Green Business, 2016

February 2, 2016 by  
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The ninth annual assessment of corporate sustainability progress offers good news about progress in the post-Paris world.

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The State of Green Business, 2016

How retailers can harness green buildings to boost profits

February 2, 2016 by  
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Research from the World Green Building Council finds that greener shops can please customers and grow the bottom line.

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How retailers can harness green buildings to boost profits

Put your building to work: Smart approaches to better business results

January 19, 2016 by  
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Sponsored: U.S. buildings have a long way to go to become smarter. The good news? The technology is here now.

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Put your building to work: Smart approaches to better business results

3 common habits of data center water stewards

November 20, 2015 by  
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Data centers are surprisingly thirsty. The good news is that water efficiency and energy efficiency go hand-in-hand.

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3 common habits of data center water stewards

A way out of food waste: Upcycle food to hunger relief

November 17, 2015 by  
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Food waste is often mentioned in the news lately. Forty percent of food in America goes to waste and the annual estimated retail value of wasted food in the United States is more than $165 billion. Food is also the largest component of waste in our landfills. As food rots, it emits methane, a gas 20 times more harmful than CO2.But there’s good news: most food waste is preventable.

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A way out of food waste: Upcycle food to hunger relief

Inhabitat’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Stories of 2013

December 27, 2013 by  
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The media tends to feed on negativity – but if you dig a little deeper you’ll find a wealth of uplifting and inspiring stories just below the surface. Sometimes they’re about brilliant teenagers who came up with innovative solutions to the world’s problems – like this 16-year-old who created bioplastic from bananas and the student who developed a phone charger that can fill your cell in 20 seconds . Other times they’re about visionaries like the man who is planting a second forest entirely by hand , the African inventor who built a working 3D printer from e-waste , and the Empowerment Plan to provide Detroit’s homeless with coats that turn into sleeping bags. These bright minds are building a more sustainable tomorrow – check out their stories below and vote for the most inspiring! Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco-friendly design , good news , green design , green innovation , inspiration , inspiring news , inspiring stories , most inspiring stories of 2013 , positive environmental news , positive news , sustainable design , teenage inventors , top stories of 2013 , uplifting stories        

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Inhabitat’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Stories of 2013

Report from COP18: Leadership is a matter of degrees

December 6, 2012 by  
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This year's global climate talks bring lots of — well, talk. But good news from the U.S., too? A report from our correspondent.

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Report from COP18: Leadership is a matter of degrees

Report from COP18: Leadership is a matter of degrees

December 6, 2012 by  
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This year's global climate talks bring lots of — well, talk. But good news from the U.S., too? A report from our correspondent.

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Report from COP18: Leadership is a matter of degrees

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