Day: July 18, 2011

ProQuest’s Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy e-Journal Adds Data Discovery for U.S. Government Sustainability Datasets

ProQuest’s peer-reviewed, open access e-journal Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (SSPP) is introducing a new data discovery tool to its Researcher’s Toolkit that enables users to search more than 3,000 records containing information on tens of thousands of public datasets from the U.S. federal government via Now, the data, which is the output of more than 120 departments and agencies, will be easily discovered and integrated through SSPP.

“There are vast amounts of public sustainability data available. By adding this new tool to the Researcher’s Toolkit, Sustainability Datasets from U.S. government will make it easier for readers, researchers, and potential authors to unlock this massive store of information,” said Jim McGinty, Vice Chairman of Cambridge Information Group, ProQuest’s parent company, and advisor to SSPP. “This aligns with our larger goal to provide the research and policy-making community with free access to tools and resources that are critical to understanding and investigating sustainability issues. Ultimately, SSPP aims to significantly enhance scholarly communications.”

Sustainability Datasets from U.S. Government are part of the Raw Data Catalog, under the Open Government Initiative. Search results contain full metadata descriptions of the dataset and an external link to the raw data via

Published by ProQuest, Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (SSPP) ( is a peer-reviewed, open-access e-journal that provides a platform for the dissemination of new practices and dialog within the field of sustainability. The mission of SSPP is to spread relevant information on sustainability science issues and enhance scholarly communications among researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. The e-journal is available free to all to read, download, copy, and reproduce for any scientific purposes without asking the author or publisher for permission to do so. The source of the article must however be clearly indicated. Copyright is retained by the author.

Webinar: NPPR Safer Chemistry Challenge Program

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Register at

Learn about this new voluntary chemical reduction program designed to motivate, challenge and recognize participating facilities.  You’ll also hear about how you can be a part of the process in developing the program by becoming a founding member or joining the technical review team.

Debate over corn use estimates shows need for solid ethanol data

Read the full story in Ethanol Producer Magazine.

The latest USDA World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates marked a milestone of sorts for the ethanol industry. For the first time, the USDA predicts that more corn will be used for ethanol production than for feed – suggesting that 5 billion bushels of the 2010 – ’11 corn crop will be used for feed while 5.05 billion bushels are destined for ethanol plants. The agency expects the spread to widen next year with 5.15 billion bushels of corn being used for ethanol compared to 5.05 billion bushels for feed.

Tuesday Webcast for Industry: Establishing and Maintaining a Strategic Partnership with the Chief Financial Officer

The Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) offers monthly webinars to assist your plant or industrial facility improve its energy performance. This month’s webcast will focus on establishing and maintaining a strategic partnership with your company’s CFO. This will include how to build a business case for energy efficiency in corporate sustainability investment plans and how to establish your energy program’s credibility. Neal Elliot, Associate Director for Research of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, will discuss your ‘pitch,’ being transparent in your approach, demonstrating your project’s expected return on investment, and the business impact of sustainability and your energy projects.

Title: Tuesday Webcast for Industry: Establishing and Maintaining a Strategic Partnership with the Chief Financial Officer
Date: Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
Register at register/681749248

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

How to visualize data using Google Fusion Tables

Read the full story from SmartPlanet.

Nobody wants to look at an Excel spreadsheet to try to figure out the trends. Not to mention, in the age of Google docs and our Facebook sharing nature, collaborating with people on big data sets isn’t that easy to do.

That’s the idea behind Google Fusion Tables, a cloud-based data management system that was launched in June 2009. It was originally designed for organizations who wanted to make their data available online, so companies could share their data internally or externally. Users upload their data files in various formats such as a spreadsheet or Comma Separated Values and can upload data sets up to 100MB.

Go for a screwdriver, come back with an EV charging station

Read the full post at SmartPlanet.

It’s no secret that Americans love spending time in home improvement stores. If home ownership is part of the American Dream, the Home Depots and Lowe’ses of the world are their Valhallas.

Next time Dad heads to the store for a screwdriver, however, he might come back with an electric vehicle charging station.

GE Energy Industrial Solutions and Lowe’s announced on Monday that the wall-mounted version of GE’s WattStation will be available from the big box retailer this fall.

Infographic: Map reveals effects of climate change in your neighborhood

Read the full post at SmartPlanet.

Whenever a wildfire breaks out, we put it out. An immediate danger requires an equally urgent response. It’s that simple.

But what about a growing wave of fires that flare up in disparate regions over a lengthy period of time, perhaps decades or even centuries? This type of phenomenon can sometimes seem so vast and complex, the events can just as easily be chalked up as a coincidence.

It’s called climate change. And one of the biggest challenges for scientists is impressing upon the public just how dire and serious the problem is. Whether it’s the slow-moving nature of global warming or people’s tendency to primarily concern themselves with threats within their local vicinity, raising a stink isn’t enough. That’s why the Union of Concerned Scientists created the Climate Hot Map, which displays all the various already-occurring consequences a warming planet is having on their neck of the woods and beyond.

Whatever happened to the “paperless office”?

Cecil Adams answers this question in the July 14 edition of The Straight Dope.

“Netflix for Baby Clothes” to Help Parents Waste Less

Read the full story in Good.

For many parents to-be, the onslaught of baby stuff begins the moment they make it public that they’re expecting. Toys, bottles, bibs, diapers, pacifiers, baby monitors, strollers… The list of presents and purchases rattles on and on, challenging any parent’s best efforts to reduce waste and cut back on consumption. When expecting mother and Stanford Institute of Design fellow Caroline O’Connor began processing the mountains of baby clothes given to her, she realized that what would be truly helpful would be receiving exactly the right-sized clothes at exactly the right time, delivered to her home in neat bundles.

Uprooting Subsidies: The Next Frontier in Product Stewardship

Read the full post at the Product Stewardship Institute’s Blog.

Last month I was fortunate to have been asked to present at the Northeast Resource Recovery Association’s 30th anniversary conference. One of my assigned topics was “Product Stewardship in 30 years.” Initially, this task seemed daunting…until I realized that I could say almost anything since no one knows exactly what will and won’t happen 30 years from now.

As I combed through my litany of what-could-bes, I considered the notion that 10 years of U.S. product stewardship might have finally positioned us to reach far upstream to reduce product impacts, and set us on the path to true sustainability. I even went so far as to say that the current conservative Congressional winds might just open the door to the removal of subsidies underpinning product un-sustainability.

During the question-and-answer period, one of our friendly participants asked me if my cause for optimism was justified. After all, many conservative politicians don’t give a hoot about environmental protection if it means that industry and consumers must pay for added social and environmental protections. Yet members on both sides of the political firestorm are increasingly focused on eliminating subsidies (tax breaks) due to a panic-inducing budget deficit.

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