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Wormfood - February 2017 - A positive year

News > Global News Digest

What better way to stay updated on sustainability than the February wormfood? Discover all about eco-friendly innovations, how Canada guarantees environmental control for natural gas projects, the solution of Tesla to store sun energy, and optimal walking and cycling speeds to reduce air pollution inhalation. African leaders plan mass withdrawal from international criminal court and new technology could guarantee easy carbon capture from ambient air.


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Global News

  • African leaders plan mass withdrawal from international criminal court. This decision was reached at the African Union summit, and follows announcements by South Africa, Burundi and the Gambia that they plan to leave the court. African leaders have adopted a strategy calling for a collective withdrawal from the international criminal court. The non-binding decision came behind closed doors near the end of the African Union summit.
  • Ireland, fossil fuel free? Ireland votes in favour of law to become world's first country to fully divest from fossil fuels. The Irish Parliament passed the historic legislation in a 90 to 53 vote in favour of dropping coal, oil and gas investments from the €8bn Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. Once enacted, the bill would force the found to sell its investment in fossil fuel industries over the next five years.
  • Natural gas project agreement to guarantee an environmentally sustainable development. Indigenous Canadian First Nations granted role overseeing proposed facility for Liquefied Natural Gas in British Columbia. The pact, first of its kind, is designed to address indigenous opposition to the project on Lelu Island in northwestern British Columbia, by providing two aboriginal communities with an oversight role in the development and operation of the liquefied natural gas facility.

Energy & Environment

  • Tesla kills the duck with big batteries. One of the problems that comes from reliance on solar power is the “duck curve” where the solar panels produce more power than is needed during the day. Tesla has delivered a giant battery farm with 396 stacks of batteries that can provide enough electricity to power 15,000 houses for four hours, about how long it takes to shave the peaks, to kill the duck.
  • Green bonds What are green bonds, and how can they help mobilize private capital to fund energy transition and climate change mitigation measures?  12 ways environment and development sectors can collaborate to meet the SDGs - Sustainable Design Goals.
  • How far can technology go to stave off climate change? With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to rise, an increasing number of experts believe major technological breakthroughs, such as CO2 air capture, will be necessary to slow global warming. But without the societal will to decarbonize, even the best technologies won’t be enough.

Business & Economy

  • Bulk Barn has embraced the zero waste movement. Bulk Barn has revolutionized grocery shopping in Canada. The largest bulk food retailer in the country has just announced that it will accept reusable containers in all stores, starting February 24, 2017.
  • How sharing can help change consumption culture. All around the world, local communities are exploring fresh new ideas beyond the traditional white elephant sales and thrift shops for stretching resources, cutting down on waste, and making social connections. More resources on how to share, borrow, donate, and gift your stuff on wehatetowaste.com.
  • Trump must choose between farmers and ‘Big Meat’. Among the final actions of the Obama administration were new rules making it easier for chicken farmers to sue the companies for anti-competitive behavior. The big meat lobbying firms oppose any new rules, and now that the Trump administration has frozen all regulations, it’s unclear if those protections will ever take effect.

Science, Technology & Design

  • Crystallization method offers new option for carbon capture from ambient air . Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found a simple, reliable process to capture carbon dioxide directly from ambient air, offering a new option for carbon capture and storage strategies to combat global warming.
  • Solar-powered water purifier. The idea of using solar power to turn undrinkable water into drinkable water isn’t new. But researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have come up with a way of making the technology far more efficient, and it involves dipping paper in carbon.
  • On the relation between designing and implementing in Permaculture. A more detailed breakdown of current Permaculture understandings of design process.

Urban Environment

  • Optimal walking, cycling speeds to reduce air pollution inhalation. Cyclists should be riding at speeds between 12 and 20 kilometers per hour on city roads, while pedestrians should be moving at two to six kilometers per hour to minimize their inhalation of air pollution while still getting the health benefits of exercise, according to new UBC research.
  • Wellness is the new luxury, multimillion dollar condos get healthy. WELL Building Standard and Delos founder Paul Scialla is back with "Wellness Real Estate" to doing over the top expensive apartments like he started with, working with wellness guru Deepak Chopra to build what Peter Lane Taylor of Forbes calls “the first ultra-luxury residences specifically designed and built around human biological well-being and preventative health design.”
  • In South Korea, an innovative push to cut back on food waste. Seoul has introduced innovative, high-tech programs that require residents to deposit their food waste in bins, where the amount of food they toss out is weighted by households using a key-card system. Dispose of too much food and you are charged a fee by municipal officials. Watch the video made by Yale Environment 360.

Unexpected and Intriguing

  • Why kids like the dog better than their siblings. Kids get more satisfaction out of relationships with their pets than they do with their brothers and sisters, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.
  • Anti-surveillance clothing aims to hide wearers from facial recognition. The hyperface project technology involves printing patterns on to clothing or textiles, which then appear to have eyes, mouths and other features that a computer can interpret as a face.
  • On the climate change frontline: the disappearing fishing villages of Bangladesh.

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