New research has found that global warming made the floods that devastated England and Wales in 2000, between two and three times more likely to happen. Â This is the first time that scientists have shown that global warming is to blame for a specific event and not just a cause of extreme weather.
New York City, America’s most populous city, is often seen as lumbering when it comes to change. Â However Janette Sadik-Khan, the transportation commissioner, has made great strides in moving New Your City into the 21st Century. Â She has overseen the building of hundreds of innovative bike lanes; she has secured huge grants from the Feds to improve bus service, and she has made the streets safer than they have been in many decades. Â Some people believe she is moving too fast, others think she is a visionary – determined and fearless.
From today, anyone with a computer andÂ internet access can be part of a huge, pioneeringÂ climate change experiment, probing the controversial question of whether extreme weather events will become more or less common as the world warms.
The Story of Stuff is a short animated documentary about the lifecycle of material goods. Â The film is written and narrated by Annie Leonard who brings to light the connections between a number of social and environmental issues. Â The 20 minute video appeals to each and everyone of us to create a more sustainable and just world.
New BBC documentary series: The Future of Food explores the growing global food crisis that could impact the world in coming years. Â TV journalist, George Alagiah, travels the world to discover the truth behind growing concerns that the global population is increasing so rapidly that in years to come we will not be able to produce enough food to feed everyone.
According to a new study published in the journal Environment and Urbanization, carbon emissions in cities are lower than in the suburbs. Â So if you are looking to lower your environmental impact, and are not keen on living in an earthbag hut, it looks like big cities are the way to go. Â Public transportation and walkability reduce per-capita carbon emissions making densely populated places greener.
It should be reasonable to most people to understand that energy is an analog for food. If you look atÂ a chart of oil production and compare it to population, it seems obvious that food and fuel are the same thing under a different cloak. Energy is food is population.
That creates a giant problem. Peak oil means peak food means peak population. The revolution in Tunisia first; now Egypt andÂ soon in Serbia are not about religion or dictators or police states. We have a police state in the United States; no one cares. No one gives a hoot about dictators until they can no longer afford food. Then they care and the walls come tumbling down.
The change in climate around the world is already starting to have a huge effect on global food supplies.
Adverse weather conditions, like the flooding in Australia and the droughts in Russia, have ruined harvests, causing massive food disruptions. Â Food prices have already become too high for some developing countries to buy the agricultural products they need.
Floods in Australia, Brazil and Pakistan, drought in America and China, Snow in the UK. Â The global weather situation is terrible. Â It is a story everyone wants to ignore but it is having a massive effect on the worlds’ economies. Â If you don’t believe the weather is having an impact, think again.
Wiki Leaks has released information that Saudi Arabia’s crude oil reserves have been overstated by as much as 300 billion barrels – nearly 40%. Â The US fears that the world’s largest crude oil exporter may not have enough reserves to prevent oil prices from escalating.
Both green enthusiasts and peak oil pundits should be starting to panic after the release of a new paper by researchers at the University of California, Davis. Â The paper states that it would take 131 years for replacement of gasoline and diesel given the current pace of research and development.
‘The myopic view of the world by politicians, the mainstream media and the American public in general is breathtaking to behold. Depite the facts slapping them across the face, Americans believe cheap oil is here to stay.’
A German army report has been leaked to the internet, which says “that peak oil will occur around the year 2010 and that the impact on security is expected to be felt 15 to 30 years later”. The impact on cities and economies will be severe.
Imagine an ocean without fish – The End of the Line premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and is a feature documentary film revealing the alarming impact of overfishing on our oceans. It outlines the possibility of an imminent extinction of seafood by 2050 unless we intervene in widespread use of poor fishing practices.
Three years ago China planned to lay 13,000kms of high-speed railway by 2020, more than the rest of the world combined. Then the Global Financial Crisis hit and Beijing brought that deadline forward by 8 years. China’s bullet train project is ambitious and has generated millions of jobs and utilised millions of tonnes of Australian iron ore to produce the high-tensile steel for tunnels, bridges and tracks. More global high speed rail investment is needed to make cities more resilient to oil depletion and rising jet fuel costs in the coming decade.
The WSC-SD is a multi-disciplinary network of motivated students with the ability to think and act both locally and globally, and who share the vision to make a difference. Our purpose is to be a leading international student organization that carries out meaningful projects which result in positive and enduring changes that improve lives and communities around the world.
During July the University of Melbourne in partnership with the Energy Research Institute released the first national plan for providing base load power to Australia from clean renewable energy. The Beyond Zero Emissions plan proposes a ten year roadmap for Australia to reach a 100% renewable energy target making it the first zero carbon nation on the planet. It proposes that all base load energy can be supplied by renewable sources and is affordable to all Australians at $8 per household per week. The plan has caused a stir in the national energy debate and is gaining widespread support. It is a visionary proposal that offers practical solutions utilising green technologies to tackle climate change.
A press release by The Climate Group advises that Australia’s 4 Eastern states reduced greenhouse gas emissions by just over 1.2 million tonnes emitted from energy compared to last summer. This is a significant reduction considering that it was one of the hottest summers on record with temperatures reaching 55 degrees. The fall in emissions was driven by a reduction in emissions from coal-fired electricity generation and a fall in emissions from the use of natural gas.
With the worlds population on the rise and more people moving to cities, President Clinton describes a bold new project that will set the global standard for communities striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to below zero.
In Sydney Australia, NSW state premier Kristina Keneally has taken the axe to the transport blueprint of past premier Nathan Rees, cancelling the proposed metro network to spend the money on expanding the existing heavy rail system but still favouring road spending. $5.3 billion for the Sydney CBD Metro was axed but $21.9 billion in unspecified road spending over 10 years was confirmed.
History is littered with examples of urban settlements abandoned and forgotten. In the case of two notable examples, Machu Picchu and Angkor, it has often be speculated that the reason for the demise of these two great metropolis of their times was their success and then the eventual unsustainable growth in population and resultant demand for food and clean water. Fast forward a thousand years and we may be witnessing the start of the demise of two world capitals for the same reasons, cities in which the unregulated consumption of natural materials and resources is rapidly driving the destiny of these cities away from their populations and governments. The capital cities of Sanaa in Yemen and Jakarta in Indonesia are faced with the real prospect of Â abandonment or at the very least a radical contraction in terms of national significance and size, and with no real solutions offered it seems the options on the table are to simply move on, start over and let the weeds take root, that is of course assuming there is enough water and clean soil to sustain them for the next one thousand years.
A new study is set to reveal that if large corporations were made accountable for their environmental impacts then they would lose up to a third of their annual profits.
A recently completed slime mould experiment by a team led by mathematical biologist Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University in Japan and cell biologist Mark Fricker of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom used Physarum polycephalum to find the shortest route through a layout of oak flakes. The slime discovers and grows over its food digesting it through its body creating thin tendrils that manifest into an ever simpler and efficient network of tubes. The tubes carrying the largest volume of nutrients expand while the less used contract and die off. The oat flakes were positioned on a diagram of Japan in the locations of major cities and the mould released into the map. In a period of twenty six hours the mould self organised into an efficient route layout that resembles the train network around Tokyo. The experiment was designed to use biology as a tool for determining the most efficient possible infrastructure network after human designers had struggled to find an answer. The team now wants to make a mathematical model that mimics the mouldâ€™s simple algorithms to apply to the design of real transit networks.
The Associated Press has put out an interesting interactive map of climate change data, including the emission trends from countries in the northern hemisphere, graphs of the various indicators of global warming such as glacier melts and global temperatures, and the pledges that different countries have made when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A report, citing figures obtained from the government, says Hong Kongâ€™s roadside air pollution reached life-threatening levels one in every eight days last year. The air pollution index was recorded by the Environmental Protection Department. It said there were 44 days of â€śvery high pollutionâ€ť last year. That number is up from the 39 reported days in 2008 and the 13 days in 2005. The impact of vehicular and industrial pollution on the health of citizens in major cities is becoming increasingly documented. Public transport needs to play a bigger role in moving people around their cities to reduce pollution.
It is an open secret that the downtown of Detroit, Michigan is as empty as the residential districts that surround it. As heavy fossil fuel reliant industries and products become increasingly redundant due to rising fuel costs from peak oil shrinking local economies will continue to make some cities redundant.
China’s economy is continuing to grow despite the global recession, helped by a massive government stimulus package of $585bn.Â But doubts remain whether such strong growth can be sustained by public spending alone.Â Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan reports from Inner Mongolia, where a whole town built with government money is standing empty.
In June, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story highlighting recent figures from the United Nations revealing that renewable energy has overtaken fossil fuels in attracting investment for electrical power generation. In 2008, $US140 billion was invested in wind, solar, hydro and other renewable technologies compared with $US110 billion in gas and coal. More than a third of this investment in renewable energy was destined for Europe, however, the biggest growth in investment came from China, India and other developing nations. Wind power attracted the largest investment in renewables, followed by solar and biofuels.
The recent economic slump has seen overall investment to date in 2009 fall 2% in the west, although signs of recovery are evident. Developing countries led by China and India have risen 27%. The UN states that US$750 billion needs to be spent worldwide on renewables between now and 2011.
A shared presentation at Cundallâ€™s Sydney office in August 2009 from Adrian McGregor of the Biocity Studio and Peter Driscoll & Sarah Hatcher from Transition Sydney, a branch of the global Transition Towns movement identified similarities between the two initiatives.Â Primarily, that they are both tackling the challenges of peak oil and global warming.Â The Biocity Studio has referenced the Transition Towns initiative in itâ€™s university courses as a positive precedent for providing solutions to cities for the transition to a post peak oil, global warming affected planet. For more information on Transition Towns, visit
Latest on Twitter
- Four Things Every Company Can Learn From Apple - Forbes http://t.co/Vstq4nd3 2012-06-08
- Apple Dumps Coalâ€”Sort Of | Mother Jones http://t.co/u1sIVHqE 2012-05-24
- New IPD index report shows green is good, again | The Fifth Estate http://t.co/Lx0F0ema 2012-05-24
- Check our new services pages on Linkedin http://t.co/pVzpsbr5 2012-05-04
Become a Biocity Studio contributorBiocity Studio invites qualified people to contribute data to this wiki across the twelve systems. Follow the link below and register your details.
Biocity Studio Experts neededBiocity Studio is looking for twelve qualified expert volunteers, one for each system, to assist with regulation of contributed data and to work with us to refine the data fields. To register your interest please send us an email.
- February 2011
- September 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- BUILT FORM