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Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

Chicago: Waste Management – Unrealized Environmental & Economic Benefits for Chicagoland

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
Figure 1. Average Total Costs of All Waste Management Components for 20 Municipalities in the Chicago Metro Region

DELTA INSTITUTE
The Chicago Metropolitan Region’s waste management statistics lag behind national averages. Currently, Cook County residents produce 7 pounds of waste per day compared to the average American who generates 4.4 pounds of waste per day, and Cook County’s 29% (excluding Chicago) recycling rate trails the national average of 34%. Concerned by Cook County’s above-average waste generation and below-average recycling rate, Delta Institute sought to determine the existing conditions of the region’s waste management system and its associated environmental and economic impacts.

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Clean Economy Rising: Wind Powers Michigan’s Energy Industry

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Renewable Electricity Power Plants, More than 1 Megawatt Capacity

THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS
Michigan’s 2008 Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act established a renewable portfolio standard, which requires electricity providers to generate 10 percent of their sales from renewable resources by 2015. The standard also allows electric utilities to use energy efficiency and other advanced energy technologies to fulfill part of the requirement.

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Making the Grade: How Investments in America’s Infrastructure Benefit Our Economy and Environment

Monday, October 27th, 2014
FIGURE 1. ASCE Grades, Annual Investment, and Investment Needed, Billions

BLUEGREEN ALLIANCE
Much of the physical infrastructure of the United States is in a state of disrepair. As documented by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in their 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, our roads, transit systems, dams, and airports need billions of dollars of investment to return them to adequacy. Our water, air, and land are threatened by aging systems designed to provide safe drinking water, handle hazardous waste, treat wastewater, and manage our solid waste. Half of our schools were built to educate the generation that is now retiring, and our electric grid is widely recognized as being incapable of meeting the needs of our changing energy system.

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Natural Defenses from Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting America’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Figure 1. Natural and nature-based features at a glance.

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
This report represents a collaborative effort of the National Wildlife Federation, Allied World Assurance Company, and Earth Economics to address the mounting risks of flooding and hurricanes to U.S. communities. Specifically, this report focuses on the U.S. coasts and coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico and the nation’s extensive network of rivers and streams –places where millions of Americans live and work. It asks whether federal, state, and local officials are paying enough attention to the growing threats of floods and hurricanes across the country and whether they are using the policy tools at their disposal to protect people and property endangered by these potentially-catastrophic natural hazards.

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Streetfilms: Pittsburgh Mayor Boosts Cycling & Livability

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Streetfilms: Pittsburgh Mayor Boosts Cycling & Livability

Mayor Bill Peduto is putting the rest of the United States on notice. His city is on the rise and he fully intends on implementing bicycling, walking and complete streets policies that enhance and make his city more attractive to young talent and business. For the first time in over half a century, Pittsburgh is expecting an increase in residents as the trend in the number of people moving back to cities grows.

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Automobiles, CO2 and Fuel Efficiency: Trends From 1975 to 2014

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Adjusted C02 Emissions by Model Year

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYOverview of Long-Term TrendsWhile the most recent annual changes often receive the most public attention, the greatest value of the Trends database is to document long-term trends. This is because: 1) year-to-year variability can reflect short-term trends (two examples are the Cash for Clunkers rebates in 2009 and the impact of the tsunami […]

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Interactive Map: Climate and Energy by State

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy

Curious how your state stacks up when it comes to sustainability, renewable energy or climate-friendly policies? The Georgetown Climate Center’s new interactive map includes all these parameters (and much more) in its colorful, easy-to-read interface. With the center’s proprietary State Energy Analysis Tool as the engine, this map offers insight into a wide range of data that’s otherwise hard to come by, from Electricity Market Regulation to Energy Exporters and Importers. State profiles offer an in-depth analysis of each state’s energy/climate breakdown.

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Future of Rail 2050

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
This graphic depicts countries and territories with 2050 urban populations exceeding 100,000. Circles are scaled in proportion to urban population size.

ARUP
This thought-piece focuses on the passenger and user experience. The journeys imagined here are intended to generate a conversation about the future and provide the big picture context for future planning and decision-making by the rail industry and by governments. They are also intended to set out a forward-looking and inspiring vision for rail. With the increasing pace of technological change, perhaps the more imaginative scenarios will come to fruition. The case studies indicate trends taking place in rail. They are early signs of possible directional change, and reveal directions in which the future could be heading. Whether these become more widely implemented remains to be seen.

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Health Benefits of Carbon Standards for Power Plants

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Figure 1: The Co-Benefits of Carbon Standards Study

HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: CENTER FOR HEALTH AND THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the nation’s first-ever carbon pollution standards for existing power plants on June 2, 2014. The EPA-proposed Clean Power Plan would achieve a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from U.S. power plants below 2005 levels by 2030 (USEPA 2014a). Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important greenhouse gas and a major driver of human-induced global climate change. Fossil-fuel-fired power plants are the single largest source of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the U.S. They emitted 2.2 billion tons of CO2 in 2012 (AOE 2014) and currently account for 39 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions (USEPA 2014b).

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Solar-Paneled Roadways: Future Infrastructure

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Solar-Paneled Roadways: Future Infrastructure

We’re all aware that America’s infrastructure is in trouble and needs some serious restoration work done ASAP…I don’t need to convince you that we have an urgent problem…Instead, I am here to spark a conversation about a potential solution to two of the problems. In my opinion it’s a pretty sweet deal as it is one solution that fixes two issues. I don’t know about you, but when I’m shopping around I’m a sucker for two for one deals so this tickles my fancy nicely. The problems are our aging roadways and power grid. The solution, potentially, is solar freakin’ roadways.

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