Sustainability and Survival of the Species

By Lance Simmens LanceIn 1993 then Vice-President Al Gore was instrumental in establishing the Federal Government’s first Office of Sustainable Development in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce. I, along with former New Bedford, Massachusetts Mayor John Bullard, was tapped to turn the concept of the office into a reality. One of the first tasks we faced under direct orders from Commerce Secretary Ron Brown was to come up with an operational definition of sustainable development. Over the course of several weeks we did our research into contemporary uses and definitions of the concept but in the end went decidedly simple and reported back to the Secretary that sustainable development was little more than a euphemism for long-term planning. Eureka! That was perfect, it was understandable and could be easily explained to a largely uninitiated public, exclaimed the Secretary. From that moment on we dedicated ourselves to formulating and implementing a series of sustainable development initiatives in the Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Gulf of Mexico that incorporated fisheries management regimes with economic development that would have profound impacts upon the communities and individuals that relied upon the commercial fishing industry. I have spent nearly 40 years in politics, government and public policy and I use this as an illustrative example of one of the most important precepts that often does not receive appropriate attention but should serve as the foundation for public policies and programs across a wide spectrum of issues. And this is particularly true in the arena of resource issues. In my just released book entitled “The Evolution of a Revolution: An Attack Upon Reason, Compromise, and the Constitution” I delineate six conceptual criteria for unchaining the current system of government and governance from the dysfunctional shackles that currently render us incapable of addressing issues of any significance, let alone those that critically need action. One of those key criterion is supplanting short-term thinking in our political and governance systems with long-term thinking. This, combined with replacing leadership with statesmanship, which requires vision and wisdom, will go a long way towards resolving our current predicament. In my estimation there is no more serious long-term problem facing the human species than the issue of climate change. Unless we develop a sustainable approach geared towards curbing our insatiable appetite for activities that pump unsustainable levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere we are dooming future generations. An integral component of any definition for sustainability is to ensure that we leave the earth in at least as good a shape if not better than we found it. If we do not immediately move to shift the predominant economic and energy paradigm governing the world from one based upon fossil fuels to one reliant upon renewable energy sources we have no hope whatsoever of fulfilling even the most basic definition of sustainability. Yet Democrats and Republicans alike seem to have been hoodwinked by a fossil fuel industrial complex into believing that continued reliance upon this finite, carbon-emitting resource holds the key to our future. The senselessness of that last sentence is mind-boggling in its absurdity yet evidences the current degree of disregard for common sense. coque iphone That it is often accompanied by wholesale rejection of science or intellectualism only exacerbates the current state of inertia we are witnessing with regard to our reluctance to confront the crisis that stands naked before our very eyes. coque iphone 8 If this nation is unwilling to lead on the issue of sustainability despite being the most egregious trespasser upon the commons, the incentive for developing or developed nations to do will melt faster than ice in the Artic. coque iphone en ligne The current rage is fracking. The United States is in the middle of a fracking frenzy, tapping into shale plays from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, Ohio to Texas, Louisiana to California in search of fool’s gold that until several years ago could not be unearthed in an economically viable way. Technological advances that have made hydraulic fracturing possible effectively crowd out important investments in renewable energy and fatten the coffers of an oil and gas lobby that thrives in a post Citizens United political environment. This is an industry in which the top five corporations reaped $93 billion in net profits in 2013, a dramatic reduction from years past but still prodigious enough to shape tax and energy policies at will in State Capitols, the Halls of Congress, and the White House. All the while the observable manifestations of such a reckless disregard for the economic and environmental impacts of climate change, both short-term and long-term, continue to mount. And from a sustainable point of view other issues that are becoming increasingly documented point to the destructive nature of the extractive industry. They include: adverse impacts upon water, both quantity and quality; adverse impacts upon air contamination; adverse impacts upon public health; and an increasingly troublesome cause and effect relationship between drilling, waste disposal and seismic activity. The incidence of earthquakes has increased dramatically in places where they are common and in places where they are relatively unheard of, such as Ohio. coque iphone Failure to face the fallacy that fracking for fossil fuels is the future is potentially fatal. The fossil fools perpetrating this inter-generational injustice place profits over people. It is wrong on so many fronts but most of all it is an affront to our sensibilities. It is quite simply unsustainable. It was brought to my attention several years ago that the planet will survive climate change. When I asked whether the species would survive a famous earth sciences professor explained that that was a very different question. coque iphone xs max To quote Carl Sagan, “The Earth is the only world known to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.” In other words, there is no Planet B. Lance Simmens has worked for two Presidents, two U.S. Senators, two Governors, and the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. He is currently living in California and actively involved in grassroots efforts opposing fracking. He is the author of “The Evolution of a Revolution”, published by Inkwell Productions.

Earth Capital Partners

Earth Capital Partners LLP is a company specializing in advising on investments that deliver a commercial risk adjusted return and address the challenges of Sustainable Development such as climate change, food, vente de coque iphone energy and water security. coque iphone xs max ECP is an investment manager focused towards renewable energy infrastructure; clean technology venture and expansion capital; and sustainable timberland. soldes coque iphone 2019 Our investors participate via funds, or managed accounts which invest in all or a sub-set of funds or specific assets. coque iphone Sustainable Development – ‘meeting the needs of today without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their needs’ – is at the heart of the ECP investment model. coque iphone Responding to increasing investor demand for transparent, soldes coque iphone sustainable investment products, soldes coque iphone ECP has developed the Earth Dividend TM – an annual reported measure of the contribution investments make to sustainable development. ECP intends to re-invest a portion of profits back into the environment and communities through the ECP Foundation.

Blue Is The New Green: Future Power

By Ari Phillips In February, a natural gas power plant along the Central California coast closed after operating for more than 50 years, thus ending an era that saw the surrounding community of Morro Bay grow up around it. In an unlikely partnership, the shuttering may also help usher in a new era of energy generation — this one reliant on power from the waves that undulate through the bay before crashing up against the nearby shoreline. The antiquated Morro Bay plant is part of a pattern of seaside plants closing due to a combination of stricter environmental regulations coupled with California’s requirement that 33 percent of electricity in the state come from renewable sources by 2020. Two companies have filed preliminary permits with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to test wave energy projects off the coast of Morro Bay, a town of about 10,000 people north of Los Angeles. Both projects would use the defunct plant as a much-needed transmission hub to push energy to the grid and from there to consumers throughout the region. “If we aren’t able to use Morro Bay, there are other shore-based power plants shutting down along the coastline,” said Paul Grist, president and chairman of Archon Energy, one of the companies applying for a FERC permit. “They can’t meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard and they suck in and spew out millions of gallons of water.” Dynegy, the owner of the power plant, is the other company that applied for a FERC permit. A Houston-based utility company with around 13,000 megawatts (MW) of nationwide power generation capacity, their February 6 application with FERC came several months after Archon’s. If their project tests successfully and goes on to get the two dozen or so licenses and permits that would be needed, it would eventually generate 650 MW of power and cost more than $1 billion to build. “Dynegy filed their permit many months after we did,” Grist said. “Our goal was to use that transmission corridor to the coast and Dynegy basically followed. Their application is further towards land than ours. I’ve talked with them and we’re going to try to work together and help each other out as much as we can.” Wave energy will be coming of age in the immediate future. Archon Energy, co-founded by Grist in 1999 when he was 20 years old, is a small, independent power producer focusing on next generation technologies with minimal environmental impacts. In the fall of 2013, the company filed for a FERC permit to pursue testing on a one-by-fifteen mile site several miles offshore that would cost about $1 million. Grist said they are waiting for preliminary permits to start investing significant capital and holding consultations with stakeholders, including local community members and environmental groups. coque iphone 8 However, he’s had his eye on hydrokinetics — the production of energy from the flow of moving water — for a decade. coque iphone xs “There’s a lot of technology happening in wave energy conversion,” Grist said. “Wave energy will be coming of age in the immediate future.” Ocean-Powered Future A spate of recent developments would seem to support Grist’s prediction. In March, Lockheed Martin, a global defense, security and technology company, signed on to help build what will be the world’s largest wave energy project — a 62.5 MW project several miles off Australia’s southern coast that will have the capacity to power 10,000 homes. Across several oceans, a 320 MW tidal project, another world’s largest, is under consideration off the coast of Wales. Ideally, it will lay the groundwork for similar installations around the U.K. The first FERC-licensed, grid-connected tidal project was approved in 2012 off the coast of Maine for the Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Company. Having invested over $20 million dollars in the project, no major negative environmental impacts have been observed thus far and the company plans to expand the installation this year, deploying several additional devices and greatly increasing the amount of tidal power they are capturing. On March 20, in an indication of FERC’s willingness to support such technologies, the agency approved a ten-year pilot license for the 600 KW Admiralty Inlet Pilot Tidal Project to be located in Puget Sound off Washington state. The project will be grid-connected and, as the first U.S. undertaking at such a scale, is leading an effort to better understand how wave and tidal energy projects interact with local environments, numerous stakeholders ranging from tribal groups to business organizations, and the electric grid. “Anyone who has spent time on the waters of Puget Sound understands the power inherent in the tides,” Steve Klein, Snohomish Public Utility District (PUD) General Manager, told the local news. “In granting this license, the FERC acknowledges the vigilant efforts of the PUD and its partners to test the viability of a new reliable source of clean energy while at the same time ensuring the protection of the environment and existing uses.” Ocean current resources are about 800 times denser than wind currents … meaning a 12-mph marine current generates the equivalent amount of force as a 110-mph wind gust. Wave and tidal power are both hydrokinetic sources of energy. Wave power harnesses the energy of surface waves through a number of different mechanisms, many still in early stages of development. Currently the primary method involves floating buoys the size of lighthouses that are moored to the ocean floor. In another example, a group of researchers at UC-Berkeley have developed what they call a “seafloor carpet” that absorbs the impact of ocean waves much as muddy seabeds do. Tidal power uses the flow of ocean currents, tides or inland waterways to capture the potential energy between high and low tides as they occur every 12 hours. “The rotation of the earth creates wind on the ocean surface that forms waves, while the gravitational pull of the moon creates coastal tides and currents,” the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) explains. As the search for new forms of clean, sustainable energy persists, the global potential of wave and tidal power represents an untested but immensely promising frontier. Oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface — and they do so densely. Ocean current resources are about 800 times denser than wind currents, according to NREL, meaning a 12-mph marine current generates the equivalent amount of force as a 110-mph wind gust. With more than half of all Americans living near the coastline, wave and tidal power is also appealing for its proximity to electricity demand centers, whereas the many of the best wind and solar sites are hundreds of miles from population hubs. A 2012 report prepared by RE Vision Consulting for the Department of Energy found that the theoretical ocean wave energy resource potential in the U.S. is more than 50 percent of the annual domestic demand of the entire country. The World Energy Council has estimated that approximately 2 terawatts — 2 million megawatts or double current world electricity production — could be produced from the oceans via wave power. Testing Waves Up And Down The Coast But even in the small nook of ocean lapping into Morro Bay, an impressive amount of energy is being devoted to the development of wave, and possibly tidal, power generation. Just about a dozen miles inland from the Bay, research into setting up a National Wave Energy Test Facility in California (CalWave) is underway at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. As part of the newly formed Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy, the facility has been selected by DOE to determine which location along California’s coast has the best potential to accelerate the development of a commercial ocean renewable energy industry. IATPP, formed in 2012, is the brainchild of former California State Senator Sam Blakeslee, who has been running it since its inception on a pro-bono basis. Blakeslee has a Ph.D. in geophysics from nearby UC-Santa Barbara and also worked as a strategic planner for Exxon before entering state politics in 2005. He left politics just over a year ago after leading the GOP State Assembly and helping craft California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, among other things. “I have no plans to return to politics,” Blakeslee told ThinkProgress. “The best place to drive policy right now is in some of these think tanks working on exciting new ideas, and not in state houses or on the Hill where people can’t seem to agree on anything.” Blakeslee wants to help develop and spread the potential transformative benefits of emerging technologies rather than get bogged down by laws, regulations, and standards that can actually impede the application of such innovations. acheter coque iphone en ligne And after signaling its interest in giving up to $40 million to the expansion of wave energy technologies — pending Congressional approval — its seems DOE is pursuing the same type of paradigm-shifting innovation. Blakeslee likens the prospect of a national wave testing facility to the public-private partnership that led to the proliferation of satellites. In that case, satellite owners and operators share in the common technology and infrastructure provided by the government which would otherwise be cost-prohibitive to development. “The Obama administration is looking to develop the test facility so companies can test equipment and compare results in a facility that would otherwise be unavailable to them individually,” Blakeslee said. coque iphone 8 “Down the road as the technology develops there will be wave farms, and this is one of the major steps towards that. By having this facility in the U.S. the likelihood that the country will be a big commercial player in the industry greatly increases.” By having this facility in the U.S. coque iphone 8 the likelihood that the country will be a big commercial player in the industry greatly increases. Blakeslee has had conversations with Grist about the type of research that needs to occur off Morro Bay before any siting decisions are made. He and Grist both expressed concern for marine life, especially migratory mammals such as blue whales, gray whales, and humpback whales, as well as fishing communities that could be impacted by the projects. These concerns will need to be addressed up and down California’s 750-mile coastline and the rest of the West Coast if wave and tidal power are to proliferate. The closing of the Morro Bay Power Plant is not a one-time, serendipitous occasion, but part of a trend of coastal power facilities closing due to old age and new regulations aimed at protecting sea life being negatively impacted by the facilities’ cooling systems. In fact, the plant is just one of 19 gas-fired power plants along the coast of California to be phased out of operation in order to project marine life from being sucked through their cooling systems or impacted by the hot water released back into the ocean. This will open up 5,500 MW of transmission lines and a similar amount of energy demand — although many would like to see some of that demand reduced through efficiency and conservation measures rather than replaced, even by sustainable sources. Farther down the coast, the recent closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has opened up not only hundreds of megawatts of transmission lines, but also a power supply void that will need to be filled. The California Public Utilities Commission recently directed Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to secure up to 1,500 MW of new energy by 2022, with at least 600 MW coming from renewable energy sources or energy efficiency measures. Having available transmission lines is critical for a nascent technology like wave power. “Building transmission lines in California can take up to a decade,” Blakeslee said. “The availability of transmission lines and to have a prescribed amount of power brought into the system through Independent System Operators are big considerations for any energy project in the state.” Transmission is far from the only challenge wave and tidal power will have to overcome on the path to becoming major energy providers. New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies encapsulates the ups-and-downs of the early days of the industry. In February, Ocean Power Technologies signed on to provide buoys for the Lockheed Martin project off the coast of Australia, a major deal that sent the company’s stock soaring. The company has spent millions of dollars developing a PowerBuoy that converts ocean wave energy into commercial scale electricity. Standing 140 feet tall, it resembles a giant metal detector and when submerged in the ocean, only the handle remains above water. The tip-of-the-iceberg effect in the form of wave energy. Then in March, Ocean Power Technologies shelved its much-hyped plans to develop the country’s first large-scale wave energy project off the coast of Oregon, which would have employed a flotilla of up to 100 buoys. A key challenge is that all new technologies are initially uncompetitive. Kevin Watkins, the Pacific Northwest representative for Ocean Power Technologies, told the Oregonian that implementing the wave energy technology on a large scale became too expensive and complicated. The cumbersome regulatory process and concern from fishing and crabbing communities about ecological and economic impacts caused unanticipated delays. Peter Fraenkel, co-founder of U.K.-based Marine Current Turbines Limited and a pioneer in the field of wave and tidal energy, thinks that the bottom-line concern is really cost. coque iphone en ligne “A key challenge is that all new technologies are initially uncompetitive,” he told ThinkProgress via email. “Conventional generation using steam turbines, gas turbines or nuclear for example were originally developed on an almost cost-no-object basis mainly for military purposes. Sadly there seems to be no military application for wave or tidal energy so it will need subsidies in some shape or form for early projects.” Fraenkel also acknowledges the challenges of grid connectivity, saying that in the U.K., unlike along California’s coastline, promising tidal and wave resources lack easy transmission options. “So we have a ‘Catch 22′ situation where nobody wants to invest in grid extension until the technology to generate into the grid extension is ready and nobody wants to invest in projects where there is no certainty of having a grid connection.” While oceans may cover more than two-thirds of the planet, wave and tidal power require concentrated energy locations with strong currents or consistently large waves. This limits the opportunities to a tiny percentage of the ocean, according to Fraenkel. So on top of technological advances and economic favorability, siting, natural resources availability, and transmission access must all align for a successful wave or tidal power project. Even so, Fraenkel views the challenges as not only worth overcoming, but necessary to overcome. “The oceans contain a huge amount of energy so logic dictates that we need to learn to extract energy where possible bearing in mind that future use of fossil fuel is going to be inhibited both by the effects of pollution induced climate change and by resource depletion,” he said.

This Is What A Green NYC Could Look Like

The Huffington Post | by Kevin Short Posted: 03/24/2014 New York City is many things, but sustainable it is not. coque iphone The people of New York City require some 4 million acres of food-producing land — roughly the size of the entire state of Connecticut — just to produce all the food they eat annually, according to Terreform Research Group, a sustainable architecture firm. soldes coque iphone That’s a problem, especially since the energy used to transport foods from around the globe to American dinner plate is a significant contributor to climate change. Even food grown within North America travels more than 1,200 miles on average from where it was grown. Those so-called “food-miles” are why researchers at Terreform set out to determine what the biggest city in the U.S. vente de coque iphone would look like if it could produce all the food and energy needed to power itself. And in a city with so little available space, it’s no surprise that figuring out how to pack all that food production within the city limits proved quite a challenge. What they developed was the New York (Steady) State project, a self-described “thought-experiment” that envisions a wholly self-sufficient New York. In this dream scenario, the city meets the needs of its citizens by repurposing structures into food-producing towers. coque iphone 7 Their architectural renderings reflect a New York that produces all that food within the five boroughs using a “cradle-to-cradle” system with minimal pollution. coque iphone 2019 (The team assumed that New York’s 8.5 million residents each require 2,500 calories per day.) For now, the tremendously ambitious plan remains a pipe dream. But the design firm’s president, Michael Sorkin, said it provides the city with an “encyclopedic” roadmap to a more sustainable future. “[The New York (Steady) State project] allows us to truly test the limits of the possibility for direct action to save the planet,” Sorkin wrote in an email to HuffPost. “Our investigation takes place at every scale, from the window box to the apartment, to the building, block, neighborhood, and city.” Here’s some of what they envision: Green roofs would cover nearly every Manhattan building.

Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Peace Prize 2006

Muhammad Yunus – The Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2006
From: Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 2006, Editor Karl Grandin, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 2007

Professor Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, fueled by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves.

From Dr. Yunus’ personal loan of small amounts of money to destitute basketweavers in Bangladesh in the mid-70s, the Grameen Bank has advanced to the forefront of a burgeoning world movement toward eradicating poverty through microlending. Replicas of the Grameen Bank model operate in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Born in 1940 in the seaport city of Chittagong, Professor Yunus studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh, then received a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt in 1969 and the following year became an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University. Returning to Bangladesh, Yunus headed the economics department at Chittagong University.

From 1993 to 1995, Professor Yunus was a member of the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women, a post to which he was appointed by the UN secretary general. He has served on the Global Commission of Women’s Health, the Advisory Council for Sustainable Economic Development and the UN Expert Group on Women and Finance.

Professor Yunus is the recipient of numerous international awards for his ideas and endeavors, including the Mohamed Shabdeen Award for Science (1993), Sri Lanka; Humanitarian Award (1993), CARE, USA; World Food Prize (1994), World Food Prize Foundation, USA; lndependence Day Award (1987), Bangladesh’s highest award; King Hussein Humanitarian Leadership Award (2000), King Hussien Foundation, Jordan; Volvo Environment Prize (2003), Volvo Environment Prize Foundation, Sweden; Nikkei Asia Prize for Regional Growth (2004), Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan; Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Award (2006), Roosevelt Institute of The Netherlands; and the Seoul Peace Prize (2006), Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation, Seoul, Korea. He is a member of the board of the United Nations Foundation.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 2006, Editor Karl Grandin, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 2007
This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate.

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 2006

Sustainability Introduction

The simple, yet powerful definition of “Ecology” is that everything is connected to everything else. Sustainability is the capacity of living systems to prevail, and thrive in our interconnected world whereby biological systems can continually diversify, and flourish. A sustainable lifestyle will create the conditions under which humanity, and nature can coexist, whereby social and economic needs and their requirements are in harmony with the natural world and its carrying capacity of the Earths Eco-System. We can all make a difference.

With over 400 billion tons of toxic waste dumped into the air, ground and water of our planet every year, and 40% of all deaths worldwide attributed to industrial pollution, it is clear that there is a chasm of daunting proportions between humanity and the environment. Our closed economic system of perpetual growth is not sustainable, with glaring consequences to the Earth that we see on a daily basis. As a species, we are functionally illiterate when it comes to our understanding of ecology, how else could such grim facts stand?

With awareness, connectedness and education comes responsibility. It is our hope that once we become attuned to our minds, bodies, hearts and spirits, action becomes the next logical step — that burning impulse to do what you can. This can range from the simple, yet critical decisions we make with our consumption habits, how we discard our waste, to becoming active, empowering others, and joining the growing movement around the world to build a sustainable future. We humbly present some of these options to you here.

· Activism
· Business/Economy
· Culture
· Earth Angels
· Green Commerce
· Green Living
· Indigenous People
· Politics
– Right Livelihood