Sustainability

The Quiet Clean Mining Revolution
February 21, 2012 10:56 AM - Guest Author, Clean Techies

Few industries have got the black eye, literally and metaphorically, of mining. After centuries of environmental effects ranging from toxic emissions to unsightly tailings ponds, acid mine drainage, massive energy consumption and other impacts, mining is slowly cleaning up its act. Why? Mostly because new clean technologies are increasing industrial efficiencies. They're lowering mining companies' power needs. And they're even helping reduce water requirements, and/or remediating the produced water and mines of years past that are now leaching toxins. And that's translating into cost savings for mining companies, which are being held increasingly accountable for their environmental impacts and are looking for ways to minimize the expenses of both the production phase of their operations, and reclamation.

A Sustainable America's Cup Race
February 20, 2012 07:19 AM - Nick Aster, Triple Pundit

Although the America's Cup is one of the most globally recognized names in sport, it remains relatively unwatched in its namesake country. That's likely to change in 2013 when the cup roars into San Francisco Bay – the first time in modern history that it will be easily viewable by spectators on shore (in years past, the race has taken place well off shore so anyone without a boat or helicopter was relegated to watching on TV). In fact, no less than five million people are expected to crowd the piers over the course of the final two events in June & September 2013. With such a turnout, one can imagine both the City of San Francisco and the cup organizers see a huge opportunity for education, outreach, and the promotion of all manner of issues. Sustainability will naturally be at the forefront of visibility.

High Productivity Farms may be Greener than Organic
February 18, 2012 08:38 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

While organic farms are great, new research finds that farms that aim for high food production using environmentally-friendly practices could be better for the environment than both organic and conventional farms. A new study, led by Oxford University scientists, compared the environmental impact of different farming systems. They found that 'integrated' farms that maximized crop yields while using environmentally-friendly techniques – such as crop rotation, organic fertilisers, over winter cover crops, and minimal use of pesticides – would use less energy and generate lower greenhouse gas emissions per unit of production than both organic and conventional farms.

Innovative Wastewater Treatment Technology
February 13, 2012 07:01 AM - CleanTechies Guest Author, Clean Techies

Israel’s Aqwise is proving to be a success story of international proportions in the arena of biological wastewater treatment. The Company began as a small start-up offering innovative biological treatment of urban wastewater, and today offers a variety of solutions for municipal and industrial customers, due to intensive R&D and expansion into new arenas of activity. According to Israel NewTech, Aqwise is one of the first companies which singled out the potential of the cleantech market for Israeli hi-tech based entrepreneurs. The Company began as a small start-up, which developed innovative technology for the biological treatment of wastewater. Now, 12 years later, the Company is profitable, has 150 installations around the world, and representation and partnerships in over 20 countries.

Charles Darwin's Birthday Feb 12th
February 12, 2012 07:10 AM - Laura Sutherland, ARKive.org

Sunday 12th February 2012 marks what would have been Darwin’s 203rd birthday, so we have decided to take a look back at the life of the father of evolutionary biology, Charles Robert Darwin. Quite possibly the most famous biologist in history, Darwin was born on February 12th 1809 in Shrewsbury. His father was a doctor and Charles looked to be following in his footsteps when he enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to study medicine in 1825. However neither medicine nor theology, which he later studied at Cambridge, was able to captivate the young Darwin as much as his passion for natural history – which can only be seen as a good thing for the advancement of science!

Call for new indicators of sustainable development
February 10, 2012 08:39 AM - T.V. Padma, SciDevNet

The world must develop different indicators on sustainable development that are not biased against developing countries, a major conference has heard. Bharrat Jagdeo, former president of Guyana, said current assessments and rankings use indicators such as access to potable water and sanitation, or malaria levels, which automatically rank developed countries higher.

Nuclear Power - environmental advantages
February 5, 2012 07:55 AM - CHARLES CHAVES/ecoRI News contributor

Renewable energy and nuclear power increasingly factor into the evolving American energy equation to replace polluting coal. Even some environmentalists acknowledge that nuclear is a viable emissions-free option to dirty coal while renewable-energy technologies continue to advance. Nuclear fission reactors generate electrical power by splitting the atomic nuclei of uranium. This process creates a massive amount of heat — thermal energy — and radiation. The resultant heat is in turn utilized to make steam from water that then moves turbine blades to drive generators to produce electricity.

A Turtle Success Story in the Philipines
February 4, 2012 07:30 AM - Kathryn Pintus, Species Text Author, ARKive.org

In 2011, green sea turtles laid a staggering 1.44 million eggs on just one island in the Philippines thanks to conservation efforts, breaking all previous records. The graceful and enigmatic green turtle faces a variety of threats globally, and as a result is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Yet there is some good news for this marine reptile, as Conservation International (CI) announces that the species has laid a record number of eggs on a small island in the Philippines.

The Super Green Bowl
February 3, 2012 07:20 AM - Kara Scharwath, Triple Pundit

For the past 18 years, the NFL has been working to decrease the environmental footprint of the largest annual sporting event in the U.S. – the Super Bowl. Two years ago, we wrote about several initiatives aimed at reducing the events’ impacts. Last year, we covered how Super Bowl XLV was slated to be the greenest NFL championship game in history. This year, the NFL is trying to outdo itself yet again by working with the Green Mountain Energy Company and the Indianapolis community to make Super Bowl XLVI the greenest yet. I talked with Jack Groh, Director of the NFL’s Environmental Program, to get the details on this year’s efforts.

UN Calls Sustainable Development a Top Priority
February 1, 2012 11:21 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit

The UN High-Level Panel Global Sustainability released its report in Addis Ababa yesterday entitled Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing. The panel’s 99-page report, which will serve as an input to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June, (otherwise known as the Rio+20 Summit) is a call to action, "to address the sustainable development challenge in a fresh and operational way." This document is incredibly rich, beautifully written and filled with a tremendous amount of good thought, clear vision, careful analysis, sober assessment, and useful suggestions for ways to move sustainable development from an abstract concept to the core of mainstream economics.

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