The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are available for public review and comment in Illinois. Comments will be accepted until November 18, 2013. Visit the Web page at http://www.isbe.net/rules/proposed/default.htm for instructions. Information about the adoption of the NGSS in Illinois is listed in the section titled, “Proposed Amendments to Part 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision).”
Read the full story in The Guardian.
Brands have the potential to generate consumer movements that could progress sustainable living. But are they using their power and can they really turn consumers into collaborators?
Read the full story in Supply Management.
What might supply chains look like in 10, 20 or 50 years’ time? What will the sustainability risks and opportunities be? How will supply chains need to evolve?
Mapping the future is always a challenge, but as we look ahead it’s clear sustainability mega-trends are coming our way. Rising demand for food, energy, living space and water; and the challenge of dealing with climate change will continue to have a profound impact on the global economy and the vast network of supply chains that are part of it. Business will need to look at these issues, understand the impact that they will have on their operations, and then focus on what they will do to mitigate these impacts.
Read the full story in New Scientist.
Is the earthworm turning into a global warming saviour? Earlier this year, the animals were cast as key contributors to climate change, but they may have been falsely accused.
A fifth of carbon dioxide emissions come from soils, and earthworms play a central role. They churn up soil, encouraging breakdown of organic matter to produce CO2. They also drive subterranean processes that both lock up and release carbon.
A recent review of more than 200 published studies by Ingrid Lubbers of Wageningen University in the Netherlands and colleagues concluded that worms increase CO2 emissions from soils by a third on average.
Weixin Zhang of the South China Botanical Garden in Guangzhou says things are more complex. His team’s work shows that microbes in the guts of earthworms convert organic carbon into a form that can be stored in soils.
Read the full story in Sustainable Industries.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) this week released its second annual Energy Benchmarking Report, which details energy usage information for nearly 450 municipal buildings – including, for the first time, over 130 school district facilities – and tracks data that city departments are successfully utilizing to monitor and reduce energy consumption.
The report details the 2012 energy use of 446 public facilities including schools, libraries, medical clinics, police stations and more. Altogether, the buildings in the report comprise more than 46 million square feet of floor space, an increase of more than 9 million square feet over the buildings included in the 2011 Energy Benchmarking Report. City departments can – and very well should – use the data to track the efficacy of energy efficiency efforts as well as unexpected spikes in energy use at the city facilities they manage.
In this provocative paper, PCI Executive Director Asher Miller and Transition Movement Founder (and PCI Fellow) Rob Hopkins make a convincing case for why the environmental community must embrace post-growth economics and community resilience in their efforts to address the climate crisis.
Read the full story in the New York Times.
The case is a sequel to a 2007 decision involving the Environmental Protection Agency’s responsibility to regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles.
Read the full story in the San Jose Mercury News.
A California law that requires utilities to get 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind is widely credited with accelerating the state’s cleantech economy. Now state regulators are poised to compel utilities to invest in “energy storage,” which could jump-start technology long considered the holy grail of the electricity industry.
On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission is expected to vote on a groundbreaking proposal that would require PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to collectively buy more than 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage by 2020 — roughly enough electricity to supply nearly 994,000 homes.
Read the full story in R&D Magazine.
Scientists have created a heat-resistant thermal emitter that could significantly improve the efficiency of solar cells. The novel component is designed to convert heat from the sun into infrared light, which can then be absorbed by solar cells to make electricity—a technology known as thermophotovoltaics. Unlike earlier prototypes that fell apart at temperatures below 2,200 F (1,200 C), the new thermal emitter remains stable at temperatures as high as 2,500 F (1,400 C).