Day: June 6, 2013

Does sustainability need to cheer up?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In their latest book, “Flourishing: A Frank Conversation About Sustainability,” John Ehrenfeld and Andrew Hoffman explore a definition of sustainability as “the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever.” They ask an important but mostly overlooked question: What is it that we’re trying to sustain in the first place? The answer for Ehrenfeld is flourishing — “a workable metaphor for the bundle of things that make life worth living and produce well being.”

ACEEE International Scorecard Self-Scoring Tool

Download the tool.

The ACEEE International Scorecard Self-Scoring Tool is an analytic tool that helps users develop a high-level snapshot of the overall energy efficiency of a nation, state, or province. The tool is based on the 2012 ACEEE International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which analyzed and ranked 12 of the world’s largest economies on their overall energy efficiency. This tool allows users to perform similar analyses on countries of their choice and compare those results with the 12 economies analyzed by ACEEE. This tool is unique in that in addition to compiling key information specifically addressing the energy efficiency of a country, it provides complementary resources and analysis highlighting best practices and opportunities to improve while providing a benchmark with which a country’s progress toward improving its energy efficiency can be compared.

Research shows where trash accumulates in the deep sea

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

Surprisingly large amounts of discarded trash end up in the ocean. Plastic bags, aluminum cans, and fishing debris not only clutter our beaches, but accumulate in open-ocean areas such as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” Now, a paper by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) shows that trash is also accumulating in the deep sea, particularly in Monterey Canyon.

Bigger Cities Don’t Always Equate to Energy Savings

Read the full story from Boise State University.

New research by visiting Boise State University professor of economics Michail Fragkias could help shape how major cities are built and managed in the coming decades.

More than half the world’s population currently lives in cities, and an additional 3-5 billion more are headed that way by the end of the century. This growth has led to increased interest in finding ways to meet energy demands, control greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately achieve global sustainability.

It is a long-held assumption that large cities benefit from economies of scale. A higher concentration of residents, shared infrastructure and increased economic activity lead to innovation, efficiencies and lower-than-average energy consumption.

Or does it? Data collected by Fragkias and his team of co-researchers brings that last assumption into question.