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Building toward sustainable, resilient cities in 2050 - July 15th, 2014 - Todd Reubold

By 2050, seven out of every 10 people on Earth will be an urban dweller. What the cities of the future look like depends largely on decisions we make today.

Will we design a future where driverless cars zip around under skyscraping vertical gardens in hyperconnected, energy-efficient “smart cities”? Or will we be trapped in endless traffic jams while pollution overwhelms remaining green spaces and infrastructure crumbles?


Clean Power, Off the Grid

Image: Eleni Kalorkoti - by David J. Hayes - July 17, 2014

STANFORD, Calif. — AFTER years of hype, renewable energy has gone mainstream in much of the United States and, increasingly, around the world. . .

. . . But many communities that need small-scale renewable energy remain out in the cold — literally and figuratively.

In Alaska, for instance, the vast majority of the more than 200 small, isolated communities populated primarily by native Alaskans rely on dirty, expensive diesel fuel to generate their electricity and heat.


Eight (No, Nine!) Problems With Big Data - April 6th, 2014 - Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis

Big data is suddenly everywhere. Everyone seems to be collecting it, analyzing it, making money from it and celebrating (or fearing) its powers. Whether we’re talking about analyzing zillions of Google search queries to predict flu outbreaks, or zillions of phone records to detect signs of terrorist activity, or zillions of airline stats to find the best time to buy plane tickets, big data is on the case. By combining the power of modern computing with the plentiful data of the digital era, it promises to solve virtually any problem — crime, public health, the evolution of grammar, the perils of dating — just by crunching the numbers.


The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate


Former US Vice President Al Gore
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for Free The Children

It's time to accelerate the shift toward a low-carbon future - by Al Gore - June 18, 2014

In the struggle to solve the climate crisis, a powerful, largely unnoticed shift is taking place. The forward journey for human civilization will be difficult and dangerous, but it is now clear that we will ultimately prevail. The only question is how quickly we can accelerate and complete the transition to a low-carbon civilization.


Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health

submitted by Cheryl Stroud - Institute of Medicine. Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014.


Rose Marie Martinez and Erin Rusch, Rapporteurs; Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (BPH); Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Fukushima Disaster Still A Global Nightmare


“The models that predicted the arrival of radioactive seawater stated that the seawater could come anytime from late March or early April to the end of year . . ."  Photo: KAI VETTER - by Harvey Wasserman - June 3, 2014

The corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening . . .

Ever more radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific. . .

Hundreds more tons are backed up on site, with Tepco apologists advocating they be dumped directly into the ocean without decontamination.


Chapter 11. Can We Prevent A Food Breakdown? - Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity - by Lester R. Brown

World agriculture is now facing challenges unlike any before. Producing enough grain to make it to the next harvest has challenged farmers ever since agriculture began, but now the challenge is deepening as new trends—falling water tables, plateauing grain yields, and rising temperatures—join soil erosion to make it difficult to expand production fast enough. As a result, world grain carryover stocks have dropped from an average of 107 days of consumption a decade or so ago to 74 days in recent years.

World food prices have more than doubled over the last decade.


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Focus: Water risks in the private sector

Growing population and increasing demand for higher living standards have led to the overuse of water resources.

More recently, the management of watersheds has been threatened by the impacts of climate change on the water cycle.

In the face of these challenges, water companies and agribusinesses need to seek solutions.

In this focus, Nature Climate Change presents four opinion pieces that discuss the risks and opportunities posed to private companies by water scarcity, highlight the steps some companies have already taken and, overall, the actions still required.


Tar Sands Linked to Health Problems - by Andy Rowell - April 1, 2014

In a landmark report to Alberta’s energy regulator, a panel of experts has concluded that odours from a controversial tar sands processing plant are linked to human health impacts.

The report, which was published [March 31, 2014], examined the emissions from Baytex Energy’s Peace River plant, which has been the subject of a number of health complaints from local residents over the last few years.

The situation has been so bad that seven families have been forced to leave.


Regulator says Peace River area emissions potential cause of health problems

Reaction Housing - Exo

submitted by Deirdre Darragh


The Exo Housing Unit

The Exos are base housing units that make up the foundation of the Reaction housing system. They provide private living and sleeping quarters for a family of four within a climate-controlled environment. An Exo is durable enough to be stored on a long-term basis and stacks for efficient storage and transportation. Electrical power is delivered via a connector line that powers each unit's lighting and four wall outlets. The Exo's design allows for numerous configurations to meet any need or deployment condition.

Setting Up the Exo


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