Is it ethical to farm insects for food?

November 11, 2021 by  
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More people are eating bugs and scientists agree that insects can’t feel pain the same way mammals do. But should we be relying on them as sustainable protein source?

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Is it ethical to farm insects for food?

Why commodity traders may finally get a handle on deforestation

November 11, 2021 by  
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There are reasons to be both hesitant and optimistic about the COP26 deforestation pledge.

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Why commodity traders may finally get a handle on deforestation

Why supply chain disruptions may slow down clean energy deployments

October 28, 2021 by  
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A confluence of factors is making construction materials, shipping costs and components more expensive. At the same time, renewable energy demand is running high.

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Why supply chain disruptions may slow down clean energy deployments

Corporate leaders rally around decarbonization pathways for high-emitting industries

October 28, 2021 by  
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The names behind the new plans indicate a new level of ambition in aviation, shipping and shipping.

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Corporate leaders rally around decarbonization pathways for high-emitting industries

Microgrids and the Energy Transition

October 28, 2021 by  
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Centralized electricity production spurred huge progress in the early 20th century — enabling significant economies of scale and improved power plant efficiency. But times are changing. Today, we are facing new energy challenges, including an aging electrical grid, an increase in severe weather, and rising energy costs. Power decentralization may help us tackle these 21st-century energy hurdles by creating accessible, reliable, green, and resilient energy. The first step to decentralize is to find a way to create and distribute power on site. And microgrids are quickly becoming the smart decentralization solution. They provide local, interconnected energy, battery storage, and digital control capability. What is microgrid technology? Will it become the norm and not the exception in the coming years? Read this white paper to find out.

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Microgrids and the Energy Transition

Q3 2021: Walmart, Microsoft empower communities; wind-powered hydrogen; Louisiana solar

October 14, 2021 by  
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The major corporate renewable energy deals announced in the third quarter of 2021 tracked higher than the year-earlier period, but well below contracts announced for the same period in 2019.

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Q3 2021: Walmart, Microsoft empower communities; wind-powered hydrogen; Louisiana solar

The methane impact of organic waste vs fossil fuel emissions

September 27, 2021 by  
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While the focus is usually on fossil fuel  emissions  as the main climate change culprit, a new analysis by the nonprofit  Energy Vision  concludes that reducing emissions from organic waste would more steeply reduce methane. And it would cost less to accomplish. Last week the EU and U.S. announced their commitment to cutting methane emissions by 30% by 2030, as compared with 2020 levels. Congress has allocated billions of dollars to target methane emitted by the oil and gas industry. The EPA is planning stricter regulations to ensure that oil and gas companies locate and repair methane leaks ASAP. Inhabitat: EPA loosens restrictions on methane emissions “Lowering methane emissions in the  fossil fuel  sector is critically important, but at the same time, policymakers should understand that there are much more efficient ways of cutting methane emissions than plugging methane leaks in abandoned oil and gas operations,” said Energy Vision president Matt Tomich, as reported by PR Newswire. “Our research shows that trapping the methane biogases from decomposing organic wastes could cut methane emissions more deeply and at much lower cost.” While capping abandoned oil and gas wells can prevent greenhouse gas emissions to the tune of $67 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, Energy Vision found a much cheaper way to reach the same outcome. If organic  wastes  are processed in anaerobic digesters, which turn them into ultra-low-carbon renewable natural gas (RNG), we can avoid that same ton of greenhouse gas emissions for only $16. The report said that investing $5.5 billion in 400 new RNG projects could eliminate 33 million tons of  carbon dioxide  equivalent per year. This could be accomplished at a fraction of the $50-$100 billion cost of capping abandoned oil and gas wells. Methane accounted for approximately 10% of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities within the USA in 2019. This includes raising livestock and methane leaks from natural gas facilities. While methane doesn’t stay in the atmosphere nearly as long as carbon dioxide, it traps more  radiation . According to the EPA, the comparative pound-for-pound impact of methane over a hundred-year period is 25 times greater for methane than for carbon dioxide. Via PR Newswire , EPA Lead image via Pixabay

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The methane impact of organic waste vs fossil fuel emissions

It’s time to redefine sustainability

July 27, 2021 by  
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It’s time to redefine sustainability Esteban Guerrero Tue, 07/27/2021 – 02:15 It’s time we should be able to explain sustainability to a 5-year-old — in five words or less. There really aren’t many simple definitions of sustainability. This matters because if we want more people to contribute to a sustainable future, they would first need to know what to do, what the goal is. As expressed by social and environmental leaders recently, people need to become their own problem solvers — and doers — in their communities. Outside-in, top-down solutions alone won’t do it. Therefore, wouldn’t it be more effective if people could just glance at a good definition of sustainability, easily retain it in memory and know exactly what to do from there? Any definition first needs to clearly explain its target word. A very short definition runs the risk of not containing enough words to meet that goal. But what if we could distill the essence of a target word so that a few keywords containing enough meaning could accomplish both goals? Wouldn’t it be more effective if people could just glance at a good definition of sustainability, easily retain it in memory and know exactly what to do from there? Upon hearing any new statement, our short-term memory gets triggered first. As Christopher Poppas stated , this area temporarily stores information, but can only hold up to seven “items” at a time, for roughly 10 to 60 seconds. For this information to enter your long-term memory, however, your brain filters through it and only keeps the key points. Therefore, the shorter definition will stay with you longer, because your brain doesn’t have to filter out information because every word within a small definition counts. Existing definitions Let’s begin with the most well-known definition of sustainability, from the Brundtland report: “Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs […] Sustainable development requires meeting the basic needs of all and extending to all the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for a better life.” Although comprehensive, this definition is too long, even for sustainability professionals to try to recite. I looked at over 70 of the top schools, corporations and organizations in hopes of finding shorter but equally comprehensive definitions. Unfortunately, some definitions were too complex; others, not comprehensive enough. For example: Only 42.7 percent of the definitions mention “people” and “coexist.” Fewer, 22.7 percent, discussed our planet, resources and nature. And only 13.6 percent of the definitions included words such as “future,” “permanent” or “forever.” But nearly no definition explained what people should actually be caring about in terms of sustainability. Only 6.4 percent of the definitions used the word “fulfillment” while 8.2 percent discusses “meeting needs.” Fortunately, when we consider all these definitions in aggregate, we can see three essential themes: we want to include everyone; we want to enable people to lead the fulfilling lives they want; and we also want to enable future generations to do the same. The Brundtland definition above includes all three themes. So, if most of the other definitions do not include all three themes, or they do, but not in significantly fewer words, why are they useful? They do not offer anything new nor are they more effective at delivering the same message. To be transparent, I did find a few short definitions, but here is why they don’t work: “People, profit, planet ” is a definition by John Elkington and was very powerful and useful when it first came out, partly because of its alliteration and partly because it does seem to allude to the essential elements of sustainability. However, it is open-ended; you still have to explain to your audience what each word means. “Healthy people, healthy planet”  has a few problems. For one, is “being healthy” equivalent to “leading a fulfilling life”? “Enough for all (or “for everyone”) forever”  is the closest definition we found to adequately and simply define sustainability. It implies that people have needs to meet, that everyone should have access to resources and that these resources must be maintained. But the word “enough” is limiting. Having “enough” may not lead everyone to a fulfilled life. If mankind is to reach a truly sustained level of prosperity, we must recognize that fulfillment is a key goal to accomplish. Life is not only about meeting material needs but also about pursuing joys and aspirations. Redefining sustainability Just how much yet another definition will help? Be the judge yourself: “Fulfillment… For everyone… Forever” These 4 words (“The Three Fs”) contain all three essential elements and are very easy to remember: Fulfillment : everyone should feel confident to live the lives they dream of, not just aim for sustenance For everyone : all of mankind is included; no one should be left behind Forever : expresses the desired endless continuation of this world and encourages everyone to treat it — and each other — the best possible way to ensure future generations can enjoy life, too And this definition is actionable — you can begin acting on sustainability by contributing anything you can on any of the three dimensions: You could focus on leading a truly better life. You could help your current and future loved ones do the same. Or, you could help ensure we better (re)use resources to enable the above. That’s it. You don’t need to be an expert. Anything that you do, to fulfill yourself and everyone else, forever, helps. The next step Now that you have an easy and actionable definition, ask yourself: What’s keeping people from living more fulfilling lives? Why don’t we have full inclusion throughout everything? When will we start acting on forever instead of just the near term? Additional research will show that we need to bring about three things: empowerment; empathy; and embracing — “The Three Es.” By using each of these words as actionable verbs (empower, empathize, embrace), we can begin to evolve the current socioeconomic system at a faster rate into one that finally delivers fulfillment, for everyone, forever — for certain. Pull Quote Wouldn’t it be more effective if people could just glance at a good definition of sustainability, easily retain it in memory and know exactly what to do from there? Topics Marketing & Communication Sustainability Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz

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It’s time to redefine sustainability

How transportation infrastructure keeps sustainability on the move

October 5, 2017 by  
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The basic experience of transportation infrastructure has remained the same for the past 50 years. That’s all about to change.

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How transportation infrastructure keeps sustainability on the move

What the rise of solar in China says about the future of EVs

July 19, 2017 by  
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In just one decade, the country used policy to help prop up the rise of solar manufacturing. Now, it’s putting the same energy behind electric vehicles.

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What the rise of solar in China says about the future of EVs

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