Architects Speak Out Against Trump’s Latest Executive Order

Read the full story in FastCompany.

One issue that the right and left agreed upon in the 2016 election? Infrastructure. The country’s roads, bridges, highways, hospitals, railways, and water systems need immediate attention. President Trump promised to spend $1 trillion to improve the situation; so far, no comprehensive plan has been released–but the president is implementing policy that will impact how these projects are designed and built. And according to environmentalists and architects, it might make infrastructure weaker, not stronger.

Closing the Loop on E-waste: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

Bridgens, B., Hobson, K., Lilley, D., Lee, J., Scott, J. L. and Wilson, G. T. (2017). “Closing the Loop on E-waste: A Multidisciplinary Perspective”. Journal of Industrial Ecology. doi:10.1111/jiec.12645This article is open source.

Abstract: This paper describes the challenges faced, and opportunities identified, by a multidisciplinary team of researchers developing a novel closed loop system to recover valuable metals and reduce e-waste, focusing on mobile phones as a case study. This multidisciplinary approach is contrasted with current top-down approaches to making the transition to the circular economy (CE). The aim of the research presented here is to develop a product service system (PSS) that facilitates the recovery of valuable functional components and metals from mobile phone circuit boards. To create a holistic solution and limit unintended consequences, in addition to technological solutions, this paper considers appropriate component lifetimes; the (often ignored) role of the citizen in the circular economy; customer interaction with the PSS; environmental life cycle assessment; and social impacts of the proposed PSS. Development of enabling technologies and materials to facilitate recovery of components and metals and to provide an emotionally durable external enclosure is described. This research also highlights the importance of understanding value in the CE from a multifaceted and interdisciplinary perspective.

The Looming Decline of the Public Research University

Read the full story in Washington Monthly.

Cuts in research funding have left midwestern state schools—and the economies they support—struggling to survive.

We’re Nowhere Near Prepared for the Ecological Disaster That Harvey Is Becoming

Read the full piece in Esquire.

It is the Christian thing to do in the middle of tragedies like the one currently unfolding along the Texas-Louisiana Gulf coast not to politicize human suffering and, certainly, the stories of people rescuing their fellow citizens from this calamity deserve to be told and they deserve to be spread as widely as possible. But there is nothing I can find in the Gospels that would forbid us from politicizing politics. So let us summon the ghost of Walter Winchell and review some of the events of the past few days.

This strange spot in the Atlantic is resisting global warming. Scientists think they know why.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

mysterious “warming hole” in the North Atlantic Ocean, an anomalous zone of cooling temperatures which has fascinated and puzzled scientists for the past few years, may be evidence of more troubling processes at work.

new study, just out in the journal Nature Climate Change, has joined a growing body of literature suggesting the cold patch is evidence that a major ocean current system — which transports heat and influences climate and weather patterns around the world — may be slowing down. What’s more, the melting of Arctic sea ice could be to blame.

Webinar: Heartland Businesses Achieve Savings with Pollution Prevention Interns

Thu, Sep 21, 2017 1:30-2:30 PM CDT
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1352764724773046530

Heartland businesses provide stories of the successes and savings achieved by using Pollution Prevention Interns for summer projects. These trained students bring expertise to increase efficiency, save water, energy, and materials, and save money. This webinar features several projects accomplished within the last few years by pollution prevention interns and the impact of the projects.

Midwest researchers aim to make home energy management systems even smarter

Read the full story in Midwest Energy News.

In times of limited power availability, even today’s smartest appliances may not be clever enough. However, a team of Midwestern researchers is hoping to devise a way to better align automated home energy management systems with what their users really want.