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Anatomy Of A Smart City
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Story  Dec-1-2011     GuestWriter

Anatomy of a smart city; click to see the full infographicBy Trevor Harwood /

The dramatic shift of the world's population into urban areas is encouraging citizens, city planners, businesses and governments to start looking at visions of 'smart' cities.

Click here to look into what is driving the need to establish these networked environments, how smart city concepts and projects are different in the developing world, and what technologies and systems are needed to make them a reality.

'Sustainability' Crunch: Dropping The 'S' Bomb
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Blog item  Jun-29-2011       GreenCupboards   GreenCupboards

What do we mean when casually referring to sustainability during environmental conversation? Many people – news organizations, teachers, students governmental officials and the general public – often refer to sustainability as the Golden Mean, meant to solve all of Earth's pollution woes. But is this idealism pure fancy, or is there some salvageable content to be found in the hub-bub over solar cells, ...  See entire blog item

Global Youth Uprising: Dashed Hopes, Anger, And Realism
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Blog item  Jun-26-2011     GuestWriter GuestWriter

By Richard Heinberg

Madrid protestsMedia reports often fail to connect recurring demonstrations in Greece and Spain with those in the Middle East and North Africa (Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain). After all, the MENA demonstrations are ostensibly about democracy, while European countries already have functioning electoral systems. Protestors in Greece and Spain are instead decrying austerity programs resulting from governmental efforts to rein in deficits and debt burdens.

At the core, though, all of these uprisings are about the simultaneous failure of modern economics and modern politics—even though systems differ somewhat from country to country. People in all of the nations mentioned have one thing in common: crushed expectations. Economists and politicians have promised jobs and growth, but instead citizens are seeing spreading unemployment, rising food and...  See entire blog item

Our Interactive Ecological Predicament
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Blog item  Jan-11-2011       chefurka   chefurka

It is clear that we (as in humanity, other species and the planet itself) face a potpourri of problems. Most of the ecological issues in the world twine together with human activities like a mating ball of snakes.  This note discusses a set of ecological and human problems, and tries to put them into perspective against each other.
At the very top of my list of problems, always, is carbon dioxide which I consider the main villain of the play. CO2, which is produced mainly by burning fossil fuels, contributes heavily to climate change and ocean acidification. The warming aspect of climate change contributes to water shortages and biodiversity loss,...  See entire blog item

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Blog item  Oct-12-2010       chefurka   chefurka

The "conceptual equation" I=PAT was developed by Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren in the 1970s to illustrate the idea that the impact (I) that humanity has on the planet is the result of multiplying our population (P) times our affluence (A) times our level of technology (T).

As any of the three values increases, whether we become more numerous, richer or more technologically capable, our overall impact goes up.  The formula is a convenient way of organizing our thinking about the effect we have on our planet its natural systems as our numbers, wealth and technology increase over time.

The evidence of this impact is all around us, in the air (CO2 and global warming) in the oceans (acidification and the precipitous decline of fish species) and on land...  See entire blog item

Preparing For Disasters And Hard Times
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Blog item  Jun-8-2010 Click to play the linked video or audio in a new window       peakmoment   peakmoment

How to be ready for Peak Oil and similar hard times; click to see the videoIn this animated video dialogue, natural resource analyst Sean Brodrick provides a sharp-eyed perspective on what may be coming in this precarious economy and how to prepare for it. The author of "The Ultimate Suburban Survivalist Guide", Sean is hip to peak oil and other resource...  See entire blog item

Peak Asphalt: The Return Of Gravel Roads
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Blog item  Apr-5-2010     GuestWriter GuestWriter

Model T car, comfortable on unpaved roadsBy Ugo Bardi

The classic Ford model T; made from 1908 to 1928. Note the high chassis, soft suspensions and light wheels; this car was designed for running on unpaved roads. With asphalt - made from crude oil - becoming more and more expensive, are we going back to this kind of vehicles?

Peak oil is said to be an inversion of tendency of the economy; but also of many things of everyday life that seem to have started to go back to earlier times. The last inversion of tendency comes from a series of articles in the press that describe the return of gravel...  See entire blog item

Biodiversity Is Life. Biodiversity Is Our Life.
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News item  Jan-22-2010       TheTeam

Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life. To celebrate the launch of the International Year of Biodiversity on 11 January, the European Environment Agency (EEA) is commencing a series of concise, thematic assessments of biodiversity. The first of these '10 messages for 2010' presents the interaction between climate change and biodiversity.

Biodiversity embraces the variety of genes, species and ecosystems that constitute life on Earth. Despite a global pledge to reduce...  See entire news item

Edward Burtynsky - An Alternative Look At Progress
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Blog item  Jan-22-2010 Click to play the linked video or audio in a new window       speeva   speeva

The TED Prize allowed Edward Burtynsky to express his environmental wishes; click for videoCanadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has an amazing ability to visualize the scale of the changes caused by human activity. Mountains of worn tires, oil fields and bright orange rivers flowing out of the nickel mine - these are just part of modern landscapes, both...  See entire blog item

Grouper? We Hardly Touched Her! The Coming Fish Extinctions
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Blog item  Jan-20-2010     GuestWriter GuestWriter

By Steve Klotz

The Sunday Hurled (10.16.05) kicked off a two-part story about the ongoing destruction of the world's fisheries. To sum up: thanks to many factors, many of which attributable to human abuse, we're running out of fish to eat. There's a pun here about the "scales" of justice, but I'll resist it. And you'll thank me.

Seems that we're running out of edible fish. Tuna, flounder, snapper, Chilean sea bass, orange roughy, grouper, you name it—we're in short supply. Fish today are shrimps (sorry) compared to a their ancestors of only 50 years ago; smaller,...  See entire blog item

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