Climate Adaptation: Moving to Higher Ground in Your Region to Avoid Sea Level Rise

September 21, 2021 by  
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Wherever you live, climate change will transform your life over the next several decades. It… The post Climate Adaptation: Moving to Higher Ground in Your Region to Avoid Sea Level Rise appeared first on Earth911.

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Climate Adaptation: Moving to Higher Ground in Your Region to Avoid Sea Level Rise

Your Ideas: Let Nature Clean the Recyclables

September 21, 2021 by  
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In the spring of 2021, I had to clean out a plastic Nutella jar so… The post Your Ideas: Let Nature Clean the Recyclables appeared first on Earth911.

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Your Ideas: Let Nature Clean the Recyclables

We Earthlings: The Water Footprint of White Rice

September 21, 2021 by  
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To produce just one pound of milled white rice requires 1,136 gallons of water. Do… The post We Earthlings: The Water Footprint of White Rice appeared first on Earth911.

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We Earthlings: The Water Footprint of White Rice

We Earthlings: The Water Footprint of White Rice

September 21, 2021 by  
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To produce just one pound of milled white rice requires 1,136 gallons of water. Do… The post We Earthlings: The Water Footprint of White Rice appeared first on Earth911.

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Get your vegan jewelry fix with KEVA’s cactus leather line

September 13, 2021 by  
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It’s time for animal leather to step aside. Cactus by KEVA is here with a collection of vegan leather goods that proves there’s much more to leather than animal hide. This leather is organic, animal-friendly, sustainable and vegan. It’s also PETA-certified, made in the U.S. — oh, and it looks amazing, too. Processing animal leather is a  toxic process  that involves chemicals like formaldehyde, cyanide, chromium and lead. These chemicals are commonly used by tanneries, which create waste that can contaminate the water nearby. Statistics from the CDC show that people who live near tanneries are more likely to contract serious diseases, such as cancer. All the chemicals , stiffeners and additives used to process leather also make it nearly impossible to biodegrade. This is only a part of how animal-based leather negatively impacts the environment. Collections like Cactus are working toward changing all that. Related: Miomojo presents luxurious plant-based leather bags The leather comes from the Nopal cactus , a plant perhaps better known as the prickly pear. It’s grown on an organic ranch in Mexico. The process is pretty simple; mature leaves are taken from the plant, cut and then placed in the sunlight to dry naturally for three days. No more energy than that is needed to create this vegan leather . There is no irrigation system on the ranch. Rainwater and natural minerals from the Zacatecas region of Mexico are all that feed these plants. Even with repeat harvesting, prickly pear plants last for eight years.  The leather is created from the leaves, then processed with KEVA’s patented formula to create a highly durable, flexible and beautiful leather product. The Cactus collection uses this vegan leather for beautifully and sustainably designed earrings , bracelets, watches and key rings. KEVA was created by Eva Harris and Ginny Ball, who began the company because they wanted lightweight, beautiful leather earrings. Every piece of jewelry is hand-made in their Richmond, Virginia workshop. These vegan leather accessories can be purchased on Amazon, at boutiques around the U.S. and on the KEVA website. + KEVA Images via KEVA

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MIT innovation may make fusion energy a reality soon

September 9, 2021 by  
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Commercially viable fusion energy may soon be a reality, following the successful trial of a new superconducting magnetic field. On September 5, scientists at MIT tested a large high-temperature electromagnet for the first time to gauge its strength. The first-of-its-kind magnetic field successfully demonstrated that it was possible to generate commercially viable fusion energy. For decades, scientists have been trying to find a way of capturing fusion energy. The problem has always been the inability to capture more energy than is used. Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), an MIT startup company, is the first firm in the world to achieve this. Related: DC Microgrids, building infrastructure for energy’s future “Fusion in a lot of ways is the ultimate clean energy source,” said Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research and E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics. “The amount of power that is available is really game-changing.” Water helps fuels the creation of fusion energy, and “the Earth is full of water — it’s a nearly unlimited resource. We just have to figure out how to utilize it.” In light of the successful demonstration, MIT and CFS are collaborating to build the world’s first fusion device. The demonstration device known as SPARC is scheduled to be completed by 2025. Fusion is what powers the sun. The process involves merging two small atoms into one, which generates an enormous amount of energy. The problem with this process has always been that replicating it on Earth requires higher temperatures than most materials can hold. To solve the problem, scientists use intense magnetic fields to form an “invisible bottle” that contains “the hot swirling soup of protons and electrons.” The MIT innovation introduces changes to the type of magnetic fields used in containing fusion atoms. The project used high- temperature superconductors, which helped create higher magnetic fields in a smaller space. Traditional technology requires a much larger apparatus to create this same kind of magnetic field. The design was made possible due to a new kind of superconducting material becoming commercially available a few years ago. If the process is successful, fusion energy will be able to replace traditional energy sources and get rid of the stubborn carbon emissions problem. Via MIT Lead image via Gretchen Ertl, CFS/MIT-PSFC, 2021

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Anti-logging protests make history in Canada

September 9, 2021 by  
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More than 866 protesters against old-growth logging have been arrested in western Canada since April. These protests are now the biggest act of civil disobedience in the country’s history. The main issue of contention is Vancouver Island’s disappearing ancient forests. The situation on the island has been worsened by police brutality towards protestors. The police have responded to protesters by pepper-spraying, beating and dragging them. The number of arrests has already surpassed those made in the 90s during the anti- logging “War in the Woods” protests. Related: Monarch butterfly population declines due to climate change and logging Protestors have locked themselves to the logging road, chained themselves on tripod stands made from logs, suspended themselves in trees and locked their arms in devices known as sleeping dragons, which are cemented to the ground. In June, British Columbia announced a two-year logging moratorium. Protestors want a permanent ban, but the government has been reluctant to acquiesce. Jean-François Savard, one of the protestors who has been at the campsite since April, said, “We have experts in rigging, we have climbers, we have carpenters – we have all these people getting together to build amazing, beautiful things.” Savard added, “The [police] are getting very frustrated by our tenacity because we’re constantly rebuilding and coming up with new ideas. People aren’t giving up.” Police have recently been criticized for their handling of the situation. They are accused of hiding their faces and not wearing name badges. They have also barred the media from reporting on the protests despite a court ruling this unlawful. Those at the camps say that their resolve is only growing. They are determined to protect the remaining forests . One of the protestors, Warren Kimmit, said they are willing to put their bodies on the line. “The civil disobedience movement is very simple. We put our bodies on the line, we almost expect to be injured, we expect to be in a very uncomfortable situation,” said Kimmit. “Our willingness to do that is what causes the public to see our commitment to a cause, to rally them and to put pressure on the government to act.” Via The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

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Anti-logging protests make history in Canada

How Climate Adaptation Helps to Manage Organizational Risk

September 3, 2021 by  
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Date/Time: October 14, 2021 (1-2PM ET / 10-11AM PT) Climate action is a planetary necessity and also a strategic organizational imperative. If progress doesn’t measure up, organizations can face consequences, including investor, employee and community activism — as well as increased operational and financial risk. Sustainability professionals are developing and operationalizing resilience and adaptation strategies that are scientifically valid, technically feasible and commercially viable. Yet, too often, these plans don’t sufficiently address potential operational risks. At the same time, enterprise risk management (ERM) teams often work from “back-casted” models that can lack a robust, updated view of rapidly evolving climate risks and the potential impact on the organization and its value chain. This session will explore the untapped opportunity to align ESG and ERM to design strategies to help promote resilience and accelerate the transition to the low carbon economy — while accounting for uncertainty and delivering from a cost-benefit perspective. Grounded in case studies from the utilities infrastructure and commercial sectors, participants will come away with practical insights into how to drive their climate ambition in ways that account for resource constraints, stakeholder expectations, and enterprise risk. Moderator: Jim Giles, Food & Carbon Analyst, GreenBiz Group Speakers: Michael Mondshine, Director, Sustainability, Energy, and Climate Change, WSP USA Emily Wasley, Climate Risk Practice Leader, Sustainability, Energy and Climate Change, WSP USA Taylor Winchell, Water Resources Engineer, Denver Water Alexis Dufour, Water Resources Engineer, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the webcast recording and resources, available to you on-demand after the live webcast.

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Climate change-induced tuna migration may wreck island economies

September 2, 2021 by  
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Ocean warming may cause small states in the Pacific Islands to struggle economically due to fish loss. A recent study published in the journal   Nature Sustainability  has found that tuna caught in 10 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will decline by an average of 20% by 2050. The study also found that all the 10 islands will be affected and may struggle economically as a result. As waters closer to the equator warm, tuna and other sea species move out in search of a favorable environment. According to Johann Bell, the lead author of the study and a senior director at  Conservation International’s Center for Oceans, fish can only live in conditions that suit their physiology. Related: Mysterious fish deaths in Mar Menor Spain prompt investigation “All fish have preferred water temperatures, i.e., temperatures that suit their physiology best and which provide optimum conditions for growth and reproduction,” Bell said. Conservation International’s Center for Oceans is a nonprofit organization that works to protect nature through science. The organization uses scientific data to show changes in nature and urge policymakers to make critical choices.  Bell explains that tuna follow other species favorable for prey. He says when the ocean warms, other species may move outward in search of cooler waters. Tuna have to follow such species, or they may fail to find food and experience stunted growth. The study looked at two key species of tuna: skipjack and yellowfin. These are the main target species for large-scale fishers in the Pacific Islands region. Researchers found that these species will progressively continue moving eastwards as the waters get warm . As a result, the species will only be available in high seas and regions outside the jurisdiction of SIDS. Most states in the Pacific Islands depend on fishing as a main economic activity. If the most popular fish species moves away from the area, locals will struggle economically.  For a long time, scientists have warned that the effects of global warming will be more economically costly than any amount invested in combating climate change. The tuna conundrum is just one example of how this issue manifests. Via EcoWatch Lead image via Pexels

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Climate change-induced tuna migration may wreck island economies

A new rammed earth spiritual center arrives in Arizona desert

August 31, 2021 by  
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The new TSG Foundation site is located on an 11-acre parcel of land in the Sonoran Desert in Scottsdale, Arizona . Some of the sustainable features include rammed earth construction, zinc tile exterior cladding, solar power, desert landscaping with native and drought-tolerant  plants , and energy-efficient LED lighting. “Like the beauty of a physical building that is designed by principles to nurture health, respect for its environment, longevity, and a source of peace and joy, building the inner life of a human being is designed to produce similar outcomes – if it is built utilizing similar principles,” said Gita Saraydarian, Founder and President of TSG Foundation. Built to embody the principles of the  Living Building Challenge  — a green building standard similar to LEED that focuses more on human health — the center has aligned its construction values with those of the challenge (Health and Happiness, Equity, Energy, Water , Materials, Place and Beauty). Related: Morocco Pavilion is a rammed earth wonder for Dubai Expo As visitors enter the center, a  desert  pavement driveway leads to parking areas landscaped to screen them from street view with asphalt made using decomposed granite, or gravelcrete, to minimize thermal gain. There’s a pedestrian bridge linking the parking area to the main building with additional landscaping and bicycle racks to connect the visitors to the outdoors as they enter. The designers at  180 Degrees Design + Build , responsible for the architecture, chose to axially rotate the site to allow more southern natural sunlight during the wintertime, as well as northern views looking out over the Carefree Mountains. Additionally, the building offers opportunities for nighttime star gazing. The architects also included principles of  Feng Shui  — Fire, Water, Earth and Metal — in the design throughout both the building itself and the building site. The 3,000-square-foot sanctuary space has passive and active energy strategies to assist the Foundation in its goal to become a Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water Certified Building through the Living Building Challenge. + 180 Degrees Design + Build Images courtesy of 180 Degrees Inc.

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A new rammed earth spiritual center arrives in Arizona desert

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