Climate activists will turn up the heat at presidential debate

April 23, 2019 by  
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Young people have been making a lot of noise around the urgency of climate change , and they aren’t quieting down. Following the hotly debated release of the Green New Deal and last month’s Youth Climate Marches in 123 cities, young people in the U.S. are plotting their next high-impact climate action. The Sunrise Movement (the organization pressuring candidates to approve the Green New Deal) plans to stage a massive protest at the first Democratic Primary debate. The Democratic National Committee announced in March that the first debate will be held in Miami on June 26. Long before the date and location were known, the Sunrise Movement began plotting to disrupt the event and make it impossible for the candidates, media and millions of viewers to avoid their climate questions. Their goal is to make sure all presidential hopefuls acknowledge the gravity of climate change and discuss their specific platforms. Related: NYC considers Manhattan land expansion to fight climate change Miami is the perfect location for a debate focused on the impacts of climate change – the city stands to lose between 13 and 34 inches to sea level rise by 2060. Globally, there has been a shift in media and public attention related to climate change and the urgency of taking action. Some of this new attention is thanks to vocal groups like the Sunrise Movement and youth leaders like Greta Thunberg. Some activists have been galvanized by worrisome news, like the International Panel on Climate Change’s recent report that the catastrophic impacts of climate change will be irreversible if not addressed within the next 12 years. Still others are alarmed by the uptick in natural disasters – wildfires in California, hurricanes from Texas to Puerto Rico and cyclones in Mozambique. According to a recent poll , 80 percent of Americans believe it is important for presidential candidates to spend “a lot” of time talking about their climate change platforms, with only health care ranking higher as a priority issue. Holding politicians feet to the fire “We’re seeing a shift in people’s consciousness,” Janet Redman, Greenpeace’s climate program manager, told Mother Jones .  “We need to see that starting to be reflected in our politics—that it’s not an isolated set of incidents or phenomenon. The public is craving politicians to have a conversation on this. They want to know real solutions.” Greenpeace has signed on to Sunrise Movement’s plan to disrupt the debate, along with other environmental advocacy groups including 350.org, Credo Action and Friends of the Earth. The Democratic National Convention does not control the questions at the debate – the TV network hosting the event gets to choose. However, previous debates have focused on single themes before – such as the economy or national security. Climate activists argue that previous debate questions about the environment have been too vague. Questions like “Do you believe climate change is real?” are no longer adequate for the majority of young people, who accept climate science and want concrete solutions, specific proposals and accountability. “My fear is there will be some softball climate questions that aren’t specific, aren’t digging deep, [and] therefore make it hard for us to make any candidate who is elected accountable,” said Janet Redman. “What we’re trying to do by focusing on primaries is pulling the entire field of candidates to bolder positions.” What questions would they like to hear? Redman explained questions that force candidates to take explicit positions will help the American public understand their different stances and make informed voting decisions. For example, she would like to see questions as specific as demanding candidates express their opinions about leasing public land to fossil fuel companies. Plans to #ChangetheDebate “Our demands are simple: all presidential contenders must back the Green New Deal or face the contempt of young people everywhere, and the mainstream media must fully cover climate change or slide further into irrelevance,” Lora Zaguilan, a Sunrise Movement organizer in Northern California told Inhabitat. Over ten million people tune in to watch the debates, so the protests have the potential to create a massive, but peaceful, impact. “The tactics like civil disobedience and powerful stories that we used to put the Green New Deal on the map in D.C. this past Fall are some of our best tools,” says the Sunrise website . The site calls on activists and young people to show up in Miami for the debate, claiming thousands have already registered to attend what is being called by its hashtag, #ChangetheDebate. Via Mother Jones Images via Ella McDonald

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Climate activists will turn up the heat at presidential debate

Stunning ‘beach shack’ on remote Australian beach is 100% self-sufficient

April 23, 2019 by  
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Sydney-based firm  Casey Brown Architecture  has unveiled a gorgeous home in Great Mackerel Beach, a remote coastal area in South Wales. Conceived as a modern beach shack, the Hart House is tucked deep into a steep cliffside looking out over the ocean. Only accessible by boat, the home, which is covered in an aluminum shell, is completely off-grid thanks to solar panels on the roof, a water collection system and an onsite waste system. According to the architects, the home’s simple box volume is a “contemporary interpretation of the quintessential one-room Australian beach shack.” The house sits back from the shoreline and is tucked into a rising cliffside covered in natural vegetation. Using the incredible landscape as additional inspiration, the architects focused on creating an  energy-efficient home that would be both resilient and self-sustaining. Related: Circular, solar-powered beach house is a sustainable holiday retreat Because of its remote location, the home is only accessible by water, which meant that the structure had to not only be resilient but self-sufficient. A rooftop array of solar panels generates enough energy to meet the needs of the residents. Additionally, the design has an integrated rainwater collection system, and waste is processed on-site. Clad in a corrugated aluminum shell, the beach house is well-protected from the local climate , such as the harsh salt environment, cold winds and even bushfires. Only the front of the home is left exposed with a large glass wall made up of several floor-to-ceiling panels that provide an abundance of natural light and stunning views of the ocean. The home’s corrugated aluminum shell is punctuated with small openings, framed in large Corten Steel frames, which allow for optimal cross ventilation. The interior design of the three-story home creates a harmonious connection with the surrounding natural environment. Lined in birch plywood with timber flooring and large windows, the top floor living space is a warm, light-filled oasis. Spotted gum was chosen to build the front deck as well as the doors and windows because of its sustainable profile as well as its natural fire resistance. Under the living space is a bedroom that leads out to a terrace constructed from  sandstone  harvested onsite. The terrace sits on a base, also made of sandstone, that cascades down toward the beach through various stepped retaining walls. + Casey Brown Architecture Via Wallpaper Photography by Rhys Holland via Casey Brown Architects

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Stunning ‘beach shack’ on remote Australian beach is 100% self-sufficient

Earth Day and the polling of America 2019

April 2, 2019 by  
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Is it hot in here or is it us? Pollsters take Americans’ temperature on climate.

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Earth Day and the polling of America 2019

Bikes, EVs and LNG trucks: How delivery giant UPS is steering ‘beyond diesel’

April 2, 2019 by  
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Bikes, EVs and LNG trucks: How delivery giant UPS is steering ‘beyond diesel’

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Bikes, EVs and LNG trucks: How delivery giant UPS is steering ‘beyond diesel’

The decarbonization ideals underlying the Green New Deal are not unattainable

March 26, 2019 by  
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Massive electrification will bring about a new American abundance.

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The decarbonization ideals underlying the Green New Deal are not unattainable

Closed Loop Partners’ Ron Gonen on investing in circularity

March 26, 2019 by  
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Communicating the opportunity to other financial players and disrupting tradition — all in a day’s work.

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Closed Loop Partners’ Ron Gonen on investing in circularity

As investors demand action on sustainability, Europe leads the way

March 26, 2019 by  
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Even during the current volatility, investor expectations around environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors have continued to rise.Whether driven by EU legislation or EU sovereign fund investment policies, or electing to prioritize ESG principles on their own, eurozone companies are distinctly ahead of the rest of the world in adopting sustainability metrics.

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As investors demand action on sustainability, Europe leads the way

The Green New Deal: From resolution to reality

March 12, 2019 by  
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Appropriately defined and implemented, it has the potential to be a powerful vision for society, one that yields both short- and longer-term benefits that are tangible to voters.

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The Green New Deal: From resolution to reality

America can afford a Green New Deal — here’s how

March 6, 2019 by  
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Implementing the GND seems expensive, but the costs of not addressing the climate and inequality are greater — and will only continue to grow.

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America can afford a Green New Deal — here’s how

The kids are alright

February 27, 2019 by  
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James Murray reflects on school strikes, theories of change and vegan sausage rolls.

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The kids are alright

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