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Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

Reggie Watts Goes Solar for #ClickClean

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Reggie Watts Goes Solar for #ClickClean

Together, we can stop clicking dirty. Join us, and ask Internet companies to switch to a greener online, so we can all enjoy a greener offline. Learn what’s up at clickclean.org
#ClickClean

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The Southern Megalopolis: Using the Past to Predict the Future of Urban Sprawl in the Southeast U.S.

Friday, August 15th, 2014
Figure 1. Business-as-usual urbanization scenario for the Southeast US.

DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED ECOLOGY
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
Cities are expanding, and as they do urban sprawl–low-density urban development outside the urban core–is expanding even more rapidly. In some regions, expansion of suburban habitats as a result of shifts to automobile-dependent living has led to increases in the urban footprint even where populations have not shown large increases. Urban sprawl increases the connectivity among urban habitats while simultaneously fragmenting non-urban habitats such as forests and grasslands. These changes have a variety of effects on species and ecosystems, including impacts to water pollution, disturbance dynamics, local climate, and predator-prey relationships. Urban sprawl will also, almost certainly, influence the ability of species to respond to climate change, in as much as it creates barriers to the movement of species that cannot survive in cities and corridors for those who can. Knowledge about the potential future character of urban sprawl is thus useful to a variety of stakeholders, including resource managers, conservation organizations, and urban planners.

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Five Years of Learning From Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Figure 1: Many Americans prefer to live in more convenient, walkable neighborhoods. Source: National Association of Realtors 2013.

PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
Many of our communities and housing options, built for a different time, are not what Americans want today. Research from the real estate industry shows that more people want to live in more convenient, walkable neighborhoods (Figure 1). A National Association of Realtors survey showed that half of Americans prefer a neighborhood with a variety of housing types, including multifamily and single-family homes; shops, restaurants, and amenities within walking distance; and nearby public transportation over a neighborhood with only single-family homes and few transportation options besides driving. Walkable communities are particularly important to millennials, who make up the largest percentage of the U.S. population; one research firm estimates that about 70 percent of them see walkability as “important” or “vital” when choosing a home.

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Infographic: How Wind Power Helps the Economy

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
AWEA: Top Wind Energy Factoids

Wind Energy and the Economy: Infographic from the American Wind Energy Association

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Energy to Spare: NIST Completes Successful Net-Zero Energy House Experiment

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Energy to Spare: NIST Completes Successful Net-Zero Energy House Experiment

NIST conducted a year-long experiment to prove it could build a modern, spacious house that would create as much energy as it uses. This “net-zero” house was home to a virtual family that consumed as much energy as an average American family of four. Thanks to the house’s energy efficient construction and appliances, and solar panels for producing electricity and hot water, the house made more energy than the family used. The house will serve as a testbed for new energy efficient technologies for decades to come.

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The Economic and Climate Change Benefits of Accelerating Repair and Replacement of America’s Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines

Monday, July 28th, 2014
Figure 1: Historical U.S. Employment, Thousands of Jobs

BLUEGREEN ALLIANCE
As the United States continues a slow but steady recovery from the recession triggered by the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, investment is desperately needed to fuel economic growth and job creation—including modernizing large swaths of our nation’s infrastructure. Repairing the system of distribution pipelines that deliver natural gasto homes and businesses offers an opportunity to drive significant investment in our economy. Doing so will help to fix a critical part of our aging infrastructure while creating jobs and cutting global warming pollution—a winning proposition for both the environment and the economy.

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The 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

Friday, July 25th, 2014
2014 Energy-Efficiency Scorecard

AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT ECONOMY (ACEEE)
In this second edition of the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, we analyze the world’s 16 largest economies covering more than 81% of global gross domestic product and about 71% of global electricity consumption. We looked at 31 metrics divided roughly in half between policies and quantifiable performance to evaluate how efficiently these economies use energy. The policy metrics were scored based on the presence in a country or region of a best-practice policy…The United States has made some progress toward greater energy efficiency in recent years, particularly in areas such as building codes, appliance standards, voluntary partnerships between government and industry, and, recently, fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks. However, the overall story is disappointing.

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Catching the Wind: State Actions Needed to Seize the Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power

Monday, July 21st, 2014
EAST COAST ENERGY GOLD MINE

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
The Atlantic coastline is at the epicenter of America’s energy and environmental challenges, with state leaders currently facing critical decisions to meet the region’s growing energy demands and protect our communities and wildlife from the impacts of climate change. The cities, metropolitan areas, and sprawling suburbs that stretch along the East Coast have a massive, pollution-free energy source ready to meet these challenges –– offshore wind.

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Water & Climate Risks Facing U.S. Corn Production

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Competition for Water in Areas of Irrigated Corn Production

CERES
U.S. corn farmers are among the most productive and technologically advanced in the world, generating a record harvest of nearly 14 billion bushels in 2013—enough corn to fill a freight train longer than the circumference of the Earth. This production supports a mammoth agricultural sector comprised not just of farmers, but also major food, feed and energy companies that have an enormous stake in the long-term productivity and resilience of American agriculture. However, in the face of this bounty, three major threats to U.S. corn production loom: climate change, unsustainable water use and inefficient and damaging fertilizer practices.

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Wasting Our Waterways: Toxic Industrial Pollution and Restoring the Promise of the Clean Water Act

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Figure ES-1. Industrial Discharges of Toxic Chemicals to Waterways by Watershed Region

ENVIRONMENT CALIFORNIA
Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), toxic discharges from industrial facilities are responsible for polluting more than 17,000 miles of rivers and about 210,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.

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