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Climate Change

Shanghai's Silent Motorcycles: What Do they Say About Global Pollution?

September 15, 2014 by Patrick Lydon

Shanghai Motorcycles

A lot of talk about China in the West is about the polution it spews, about the dirty cities, the un-breathable air. On a recent visit to Shanghai, however, something astounding stuck out. The motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters were not spouting fumes.[read more]

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The Nine Challenges to Food Security That Threaten Our Ability to Feed the Cities

September 10, 2014 by David Thorpe

Food Don't Waste It - US FDA poster 1917.

In my second post arising from the International Conference on Vertical Farming and Urban Agriculture being held yesterday and today at Nottingham University, I report on professor of ecology, Tim Benton, University of Leeds, work on addressing the food security challenges facing us. How will we feed the cities in the future?[read more]

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Urban Agriculture – A Next Big Thing for Cities

September 8, 2014 by David Thorpe

Dickson Despommier at the conference.

Dickson Despommier sees the growth of urban and vertical farming as exponential. This is an account of his presentation at the Vertical Farming and Urban Growing conference in Nottingham, today.[read more]

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How Solar Energy Can Solve Egypt's Electricity Crisis

September 8, 2014 by David Thorpe

Egypt's solar resource.

Massive power cuts are devastating life in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt causing civil unrest. Egypt is blessed with some of the best solar energy resources in the world, yet in his address to the nation this weekend President Sisi made no reference to it or energy efficiency. Here's what he should do.[read more]

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Renewable Energy Toolkit for Enterprises

September 5, 2014 by David Thorpe

Solar thermal works well in cities. What else does?

The Institute for Sustainability has launched a free toolkit that can apply to urban areas which shows the opportunities that arise from using renewable energy and low carbon markets. Although targeted at the South East of England, much of this information is useful in most parts of the world.[read more]

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WEBCAST: George Marshall on Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change

September 1, 2014 by David Thorpe

George Marshall, whose brain is wired up to talk about climate change.

Why, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, do we still ignore climate change? And what does it need for us to become fully convinced of what we already know? An interview with George Marshall, author of a groundbreaking new book called Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.[read more]

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Call for Imaginative Design to Build Green Infrastructure in Our Cities

August 29, 2014 by David Thorpe

Arup's vision of a fully greened city.

Cities Alive: Rethinking Green Infrastructure from the Landscape Institute and Arup shows how the incorporation of green infrastructure with imaginative design can help to create healthier, safer and more prosperous cities. It calls for green infrastructure to have a much more influential role in the planning and design of cities and urban environments.[read more]

Bees as Bellwether: Studying Colony Loss In the United States

Bee Loss and Environmental Risk

If you keep bees, have an interest in bees or have ever heard the often muttered phrase ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’ or CCD, you may have heard of Jonathan vanEngelsdorp, research scientist for the University of Maryland and former State Apiarist for Pennsylvania.[read more]

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Map Reveals 39 Cities That Could Heat Themselves Using Rivers or Sea

August 21, 2014 by David Thorpe

London could heat itself from the Thames.

London could heat itself using the River Thames, and Bristol could be warmed by the River Avon in the future, if the potential identified by a new heat map of England is unleashed. It identifies 39 English cities that could take advantage of heat pumps and nearby bodies of water to deliver low carbon heat via district networks.[read more]

Is LEED v4 Better or Just Newer?

August 20, 2014 by Tyler Caine

The New LEED

Although the latest incarnation of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system has been around for almost a year, projects have still been able to enjoy the more familiar likeness of LEED 2009. However, the window of time for the grace period of the system transition continues to close.[read more]

Toilet-To-Tap In Texas Towns Becomes A Reality

August 18, 2014 by Mark LeChevallier
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Toilet to Tap in Texas

The idea of wastewater to aid in water shortage situations isn’t all that new; treated wastewater is frequently used for industrial and landscaping purposes, and can equate to 2 billion gallons of water saved per year. Over 90% of the treated wastewater in the U.S. isn't recycled, and could be a valued resource.[read more]

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Climate Change Bailouts: Too Big to Fail?

August 16, 2014 by Peter Smith
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Climate Change and Federal Money

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Congress moved quickly to appropriate emergency relief funds. But what happens when sea-level rise and extreme weather events begin to affect every community in the United States at more or less the exact same time?[read more]