10 in 2 - Week of April 17th

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of April 17th

  • 10 news stories that piqued our interest us this week provided in about 2 minutes with links to the full stories found on our website.

  1. Think the climate isn’t changing radically? Ask someone who lives in the Yukon. The New York Times reports that In the blink of a geological eye, climate change has helped reverse the flow of water melting from a glacier in Canada’s Yukon, a hijacking that scientists call “river piracy.” This engaging term refers to one river capturing and diverting the flow of another. A process that would ordinarily take thousands of years — or more — happened in just a few months in 2016. (NYT)

  2. To make matters worse, according to Scientific American, we just breached the 410 PPM threshold for CO2. Right now we’re on track to create a climate unseen in 50 million years by mid-century. (Scientific American)

  3. This said, never doubt that a small group of companies can change the world. On Wed the world’s largest retailer launched an initiative to work with its suppliers to remove 1 gigaton (that’s 1 billion tons - billion with a B - equivalent of the annual emissions of Germany) of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by 2030. (Greenbiz)

  4. More on the great epistemological question: how do you know you’re not a brain in a vat being manipulated by super scientists to think your life is real? The Wait but Why blog, in an effort to explain exactly what Neuralink, Elon Musk’s new company is, has released a 5 part longform essay that takes us through the history of humanity.  (Wait but Why

  5. Ever wonder why you can only like, comment, or share on Facebook? In a recent episode of his Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris spoke with Design Ethicist, Tristan Harris, about how 99.9% of internet apps are designed to persuade us to spend more ‘time on page’. Together they ponder the implications of this and how app designers might be persuaded themselves to rethink their ethical stance. (Sam Harris - Waking Up)

  6. The scientific method. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson released a video urging Americans to change how they relate to science. He calls it “most important words” he's ever spoken, and who knows, he might be right. (Business Insider), consistent with this...

  7. The global March for Science is Saturday, April 22. Earth day. Find a march in your area at MarchforScience.com.

  8. Where are the jobs? Blowing in the wind. U.S. Wind Industry now employs 100,000 people and job growth is nine times greater than the average industry in this country. (The Washington Post)

  9. Do you really need a $400 wifi connected juicer? If you do, Juicero raised $120 Million in funding to build one. Unfortunately, it turns out that you can just squeeze their proprietary juice packs with your hands and forgo the high technology. (Bloomberg)

  10. Happy Earth Day! Britain’s National Grid tweeted that due to a radical increase in renewable energy over the last 10 years, Britain is all set for the first coal-free day since Industrial Revolution began. (The Guardian)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of April 10th

  • This is the 10 in 2 report for the week of April 10th
  • 10 news stories that piqued our interest us this week

 

  1. Bret Bart. The New York Times hired Bret Stephens this week to its editorial staff. In 2015 he wrote that climate change — along with hunger in America, campus rape statistics, and institutionalized racism— are “imaginary enemies.” (ThinkProgress)
  2. One of my favorite podcasts “Science Vs”, digs into GM foods this week to find out whether they’re safe to eat and what impact they can have on the environment. Highly recommended listen. (Science Vs)
  3. Oman's mountains may hold clues for reversing climate change. A unique rock formation pulls carbon out of thin air, and geologists are pretty excited about the potential. (WRAL)
  4. A new device developed at MIT pulls water from dry air using a metal-organic framework, and is powered only by ambient light. This process isn’t new, but this super low energy-cost is groundbreaking. (phys.org)
  5. Apple is competing with the city of San Francisco to buy all of the trees. Apple is landscaping its new spaceship campus, and the city is building a giant park on top of the new transbay terminal.  This has led to a “surprisingly cutthroat” tree buying battle. (Business Insider)
  6. Tesla for the Air. Boeing and JetBlue have invested in Zunum Aero, an airline startup company working to design and build a fleet of short-haul hybrid electric aircraft by the early-2020s. (Quartz)
  7. Millennia-old ice samples extracted by scientists from locations across the Canadian Arctic, melted because of a freezer malfunction in a lab. 22,000 years’ worth of atmospheric information, were entirely or partially destroyed. A sad and ironic reflection of our global predicament. (NYT)
  8. Trump's border wall plan hits snag as congressman backs environmental suit. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and the Center for Biological Diversity call for environmental analysis before construction, which could delay the project for years. (The Guardian)
  9. More proof that we are a lot like them. Ant Species Megaponera analis has been recently discovered to rescue wounded comrades on the battlefield. 95 percent of the ants that were carried home and allowed to mend lived to fight again. (Smithsonian)
  10. Asia-Pacific countries are beginning to consider their own form of universal basic income in the face of an automation-induced jobs crisis. Basic income has been floated as a potential solution for decades, if not centuries, but this time, the robots really are here and we are going to have to figure it out somehow. (South China Morning Post)


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10 in 2 - Week of April 3rd

  • This is the 10 in 2 report for the week of April 3rd

  • 10 news stories that piqued our interest us this week 

 

1. A Moment of Choice. Yesterday The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees over 200 million acres of public land, swapped out its website’s splash page photo of a young boy and his companion backpacking across a mountain meadow in favor of one showing a massive coal seam. (NPR)

 

2. The New Children’s Crusade. A nine-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government for failing to take action on climate change. Ridhima Pandey asks the court to order the government to assess industrial projects, prepare a “carbon budget”, and create a national climate recovery plan. (The Guardian)

3. Beer is Proof that God Loves Us. The illustrious Ben Franklin said this and were he around today he’d be smiling about how Carlos Brito, CEO of the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, pledged to power their global operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2025. The company currently purchases 7% of its electricity from renewable sources. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

4. Nanotech alchemy to reduce suffering. A team of scientists at the University of Manchester have developed a way to use Graphene, the ‘hardest material ever made’ as a molecular sieve to transform seawater into drinking water. (Big Think)

5. Truth or Dare. Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, pledged $100 million to support investigative journalism and fight "fake news." (CNN

6. Can you say uniformitarían principle? A new study says the combination of atmospheric increases in CO2 and sun intensity increases means that unless we shift direction quickly, we are heading for the warmest climate since 500 billion BC. As the article says, “Nothing like this has been recorded in the rock record for at least 420m years” (The Conversation

7. Help Mr. Wizard. AI, robots and automation could replace humans in the food services industry "by the mid [2020s]," according to the CEO of YUM Brands. This is in direct contrast to comments by the Treasury Secretary who recently said the change would take 50 to 100 years. (CNBC)

8. Truth or Dare redux. Scientists plan to head out of their labs and into the streets to protest on Earth Day, April 22. Science has become a political act. “Ice has no agenda. It just melts.” (The Inquirer)

9. Can you wrap your head around this? We’re bringing it back! The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum switching to solar power in hopes of saving money on energy costs. (SF Gate)

10. The old Switch and Bait. The internet exploded with jokes on the news that Trump donated the first three months of his presidential salary to the National Park Service, putting $78K and change back into a budget that he plans to slash by 1.5 billion. (The Hill



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10 in 2 - Week of March 27th

  • This is the 10 in 2 report for the week of march 27th

  • 10 news stories tangentially related to sustainability that piqued our interest us this week provided in 2 minutes (or in as short a time as we can).

 

1. The new podcast from the makers of Serial & This American Life is finally here. S-Town is a seven-part audio documentary the centers around John B McLemore, an antique clock restorer from Alabama who happens to be passionate about climate change. I haven't finished it yet, but I can already strongly endorse this true crime story which took YEARS to put together.   (S-Town

 

2. Arctic researcher Victoria Herrmann pleads with Trump to stop deleting climate research. And I quote “While working in one of the most physically demanding environments on the planet, we don’t have time to fill new data gaps created by political malice.” (Guardian)

3. Google’s online tool Project Sunroof now works in all 50 states, the software uses aerial photos and mapping data to calculate rooftop solar energy potential for your house (Project Sunroof)

4. In a water contamination crisis to rival Flint’s, it has been reported that in 29 California neighborhoods, nearly 14 percent of children under the age of six have elevated levels of lead in their blood.  (WNYC)

5. A New Zealand environmentalist has challenged his country's environment minister to a fist fight. Greg Byrnes, the general manager of a conservation trust, issued the challenge in a newspaper classified ad (CBC.CA

Environmentalist Greg Byrnes

Environmentalist Greg Byrnes

 

6. Infamous slacker Elon Musk announced his new company this week. Neuralink’s mission is to add a symbiotic digital layer to the human brain. (NPR)

7. Peruvian scientist Marino Morikawa "revived" polluted wetlands in 15 days using nanotechnology after getting a call from his father saying his childhood fishing spot was an illegal trash and sewage dump. He now plans to try to clean up Lake Titicaca. (EFE)

Peruvian scientist Marino Morikawa poses at the Japanese Garden - EFE/Ernesto Arias

Peruvian scientist Marino Morikawa poses at the Japanese Garden - EFE/Ernesto Arias

 

8. Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft say they will continue their efforts to combat climate change despite the current executive and legislative actions taking place (The Verge)

9. There are huge tunnels in South America dug by extinct giant sloths. The problem is that no one knows why or how. The tunnels are large enough for a person to walk through and some of them are thousands of feet long. (Popular Mechanics)

photo Heinrich Frank

photo Heinrich Frank

 

10. Just in case you are not aware, Planet Earth II is out, and it is mind-bendingly gorgeous and fun to watch. My one criticism is that there isn’t any footage of the extinct tunneling sloths. (BBC



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10 in 2 - Week of March 20th

 

 

1. The art of Leadership vs. the art of the Deal. Today California’s Air Resouces Board, representing a 12 state coalition and ⅓ of the US car market, voted to uphold the 2025 standard of an average miles-per-gallon of 54.5 in a direct rebuke to the federal administration's plans to ease those regulations. NYT

2. Working toward a future that doesn’t suck. The online periodical Grist named “50 fixers” for 2017. The list features emerging environmental leaders with fresh, forward-thinking solutions to some of humanity's biggest challenges. The featured leaders are saving soil, using comedy to spotlight indigenous rights, coaxing Angelenos onto bikes, and tackling basically everything else. This is the future that liberals want.   (Grist)

3. Enough about the B Team. Got a big idea to defend or improve the world? Start an A-Team (for Activist Team). An organization called Fight for the Future says they will pay you to quit your job and make a difference instead of sitting around wishing things would be different. Now you have no excuse. (Fight for the Future - A teams)

4. The future is now. According to Bloomberg, Store No. 8, Walmart’s new tech incubator in Silicon Valley will focus on “innovation in robotics, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence” Soon we’ll be able to think of what we want and experience it frictionlessly. (Bloomberg

5. Buzzkill. The rusty-patched bumblebee, once a common pollinator, has been added to the endangered list after a 90 percent decline in population and habitat in just 20 years. (CBS News

6. Counter intuitive. Futurist Alex Steffen, writing for the blog ‘The Nearly Now’ argues that Donald Trump is the best thing to happen for climate action in years and is actually accelerating the birth of the low carbon economy.  (The Nearly Now

7. Margaret Mead disciples. A ragtag crew of social media celebrities banded together to send food to Somalia. Incredibly, their Go Fund Me campaign raised over $2 million in just five days. Ben Stiller, Turkish Airlines and a host of others are in action. (Love Army for Somalia

 

8. An Inconvenient Exit. Former Vice President, Al Gore argues that climate change helped cause Brexit and is contributing to political instability around the world. (Independent)

9. Grass Fed M&A. Online meal kit pioneer, Blue Apron just acquired Bill Niman’s Northern California Ranch, hoping to provide low cost, grass fed beef for their customers who have come to expect only the best (in as many individually wrapped packages as possible).  (Eater)

10. Riverdance. New Zealand and India have legally decreed that rivers have the same rights as people. Like citizens and corporations in the USA, the Whanganui and the Ganges Rivers can now own property, petition the courts, and we assume, fight for their rights. (The Economist)

 



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The President of Chile and Tompkins Conservation Sign Historic Pledge to Create 11 Million Acres of New National Parks in Chile

photograph by Jimmy Chin

photograph by Jimmy Chin

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, leader of Tompkins Conservation, today signed a pledge to dramatically expand national parkland in Chile by approximately 11 million acres. The proposal represents the largest land donation in history from a private entity to a country; the area to be protected is three times the size of Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks combined.
 
This proposal will help create the “Route of Parks,” a 17-park network spanning more than 1,500 miles from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn that Chilean citizens, nature lovers, global adventurers and tourists from around the world can enjoy. The Route will safeguard Patagonia’s wilderness and provide a boon to economic development in the South of Chile, with the potential to generate US$270 million in annual, ecotourism-related revenue and employ up to 43,000 people in the region.

Blu Skye is proud to support Tompkins Conservation and our other clients in things that we can touch, taste and feel.


To celebrate this historic event, Zach interviewed Erin Billman on the significance of this announcement. Listen and subscribe on iTunes using this button, or on the SoundCloud player below.

 


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10 in 2 (yeah, we already changed the name) - Week of March 6

1. Beetles-be-Dunn. UC Santa Cruz music professor, David Dunn, has designed a device that uses sounds broadcast inside trees to disrupt the feeding, communication, reproduction of bark beetles. (universityofcalifornia.edu)

UC Santa Cruz music professor David Dunn listening to bark beetles. Credit: Courtesy of David Dunn

UC Santa Cruz music professor David Dunn listening to bark beetles.
Credit: Courtesy of David Dunn

2. If you want to solve a big problem, make it bigger. Sustainable Business pioneer, Paul Hawken, has “The World’s First Comprehensive Plan to Reverse Global Warming”. Hear all about it Wednesday, March 29th at the Applied Innovation Exchange in SF (Eventbrite)

3. When you live on an island with no oil... Electric cars are getting solar roofs. New Priuses in Japan are finally getting the tech that we have always imagined as a no-brainer. (thinkprogress.org)

CREDIT: Panasonic via NewAtlas.com

CREDIT: Panasonic via NewAtlas.com

 

4. When you live on a continent with lots of oil... Crude oil could be flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline as early as next week. (NPR)

5. Post-Post Modernism. Los Angeles-based artist, Jennifer Bolande put up photographs on billboards along California’s Interstate 10 en route to Palm Springs. Each billboard is a unique image taken at the site, in an attempt to reconnect the space that the rectangle of the billboard has interrupted. (Juxtapoz)

photo via Lance Gerber

photo via Lance Gerber

 

6. Our one Trumpian reference for the week. EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming  We pledge to only refer to him by his new name, Scott Prove it.(CNBC)

7. We like low tech solutions. Check out the Oggun... a tractor built using open-source technology and exclusively off-the-shelf parts in Alabama could be revolutionary for small family farmers all around the world. (Greenhorns)

 

8. Shell game. We gave Shell a hard time last week, but we try to give credit where due. This week CEO Ben van Beurden said,  “This is the biggest challenge we have at the moment as a company ... the fact that societal acceptance of the energy system as we have it is just disappearing.” (independent.co.uk)

9. By all means, deregulate. Everyone is distracted by Trump. We think it is important to focus on that insanity, but just as important to not lose sight the everyday environmental injustices: the water in Flint’s water is still tainted with lead, the great barrier reef is bleaching for and unprecedented second straight year, and fracking in the US is still only done in poor neighborhoods.

10. Bio Building. Lego is researching a pivot to make its billions of bricks out of corn and wheat, instead of petroleum-based plastic.  I think this is the memo that Shell must have gotten. (WSJ)

 

As always, audio report availabale on iTunes, or wherever you get your pods.



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Blu Skye Sustainability Report - Week of February 27th

^^Podcast version of this weeks report

  1. Science vs (un)common sense. Earlier this week the ‘science guy’ Bill Nye argued that climate change deniers are delusional, so Tucker Carlson invited him onto FOX news show. The resulting chaos is a perfect snapshot of the current debate or lack thereof. (YouTube

  2. Along these same lines... In his address to the joint session of congress on Tuesday night, Trump had a lot to say about climate change.  *sounds of crickets*

  3. The drum beat for a “Calexit” is getting louder. The blog “Wait But Why” argues that if California were to succeed from the Union, it could innovate a new democracy in the same way that Apple reinvented the phone.  (Wait But Why) As an aside... apparently, the person who coined Calexit lives in Russia. Conspiracies everywhere.

  4. How containers changed the world: a new 8-part podcast by Alexis Madrigal focuses on how global trade has transformed the economy and capitalism by looking through the lens of the Oakland port (iTunes)

  5. Evidence of the Know Do Gap. In 1991, Shell produced a documentary on global warming called Climate of Concern outlining the very outcomes we’re seeing today. Despite this, in the last 26 years Shell, like all fossil fuel companies, has failed to meaningfully shift the trajectory in business or policy. (The Guardian)

  6. It’s Zinfull. Pending legislation would prohibit public schools in Arkansas “from including in its curriculum or course materials or any books authored by or concerning Howard Zinn. Howard is best known for his book, ‘A people’s history of the United States’ that tells America's story from the point of view of America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers (Zinn Education Project)

  7. Trailing best practices...99 Percent Invisible details the art of crafting beautiful wilderness trails, where the “‘natural’ appearance is the byproduct of extremely conscientious design”. (99percentinvisible)

  8. Not a good sign. In an advertised $99 deal for Steve Bannon’s Breitbart readers, an offer called “My Patriot Supply” will overnight an exclusive “4-week survival food supply” kit. Get it while you still can from their online shop. (Breitbart)

  9. Changing the world one cow at a time. Stonyfield, the leader in organic yogurt sales in the US, just became the largest yogurt brand to be certified as a B Corp. At the same time, it announced the creation of a Mission Director focused on changing the world. (Stonyfield)

  10. From the mouths of babes. A fifth grader named Bria came up with an advertising idea for Tesla. The idea caught the eye of Elon Musk on Twitter, and he says they will adopt the plan. (The Next Web)



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10 in 90 - Week of February 20

We are adding to our podcast arsenal with a debrief of each week in sustainability news that caught our attention.  The news will be read by Jib Ellison and released to all podcatchers each Friday, with blurbs and links to the stories appearing here.


1.       Breath and weep. The air is consistently worse in major cities in India than in major cities in China. Both places suck and are getting worse. (New York Times)

2.       On a positive note. A recently released “Youth Solutions Report” showcases 50 youth-led projects linked to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. Cool projects like Arbio, which focuses on having local people fall in love with their rainforests. And Wintervacht, where co-founder Yoni’s mom suggested she make a coat out of old wool blankets for her boyfriend Manon. They’re now leading a reuse movement in Netherlands (Youth Solutions Report)

3.       Sailing away. According to a recent Greenbiz survey of more than 400 companies, 60% will stay the course even with Trump administration headwinds, while another third say they’re going to need to tack somewhat.

4.       Jobs, jobs, jobs. Nexus media tells us that a former Navy officer who earned a Bronze Star while serving in Afghanistan, Nat Kreamer,  who is now Chair of Solar Energy Industries Association, has committed to hiring 50,000 vets by 2020.  (Nexus Media)

5.       Fake fake news. The NYTs reports that a retired government scientist blasted his former boss on a blog, which then got reinterpreted as proof of climate conspiracy. “How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data,” the Daily Mail headline said.  The scientific community swiftly shot down the accusations and affirmed the accuracy of the research. (New York Times)

6.       The end of facts. According to Joe Brewer on a recent blog post in Medium, Humanity is on the brink of another Dark Age and we had better prepare our knowledge stores for what is coming.

7.       Proof that California is another planet. Fast Company tells us that Kevin de León, the leader of California’s state Senate, has introduced a bill that would transition the country's most populous state to 100% clean energy by 2045, and require hitting the 50% mark by 2025.  (Fast Company)

8.       Can you say ‘deregulation’? Someone at the NYTs read 6000 pages Scott Pruitt’s emails when he was Attorney General of Oklahoma. Their findings? Our new head of the EPA closely coordinated with major oil and gas producers, electric utilities and political groups to roll back environmental regulations. Despite this, the emails are unlikely to cause Mr. Pruitt significant new problems. (New York Times)

9.       It's official, we’re in the geologic history books. WESLEY YANG, in the NYT magazine, explores whether the coining of the term for the “Age of Man” – The Anthropocene – is good science, or simply good politics. (New York Times Magazine)

10.   Market making. In a world first,  Laureate Education, a higher education company, and a legal B Corporation raised $490 million in its initial public offering. B Corps by law don’t have to maximize shareholder value. This shift has the power to make positive impacts on communities and the planet in ways that governments can't or won't. (Shareable)



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Episode 10 of the Blu Skye Podcast - Real Future Fair - Keynote Speaker Mae Jemison

Two weeks ago I attended the Real Future Fair at the Oakland Museum of California. The annual fair is focused on "Creative conversations on how technology is changing our world". I recorded the keynote speaker and edited it down to what you need to hear. Mae talks about interstellar travel, and her goal to make sure we are traveling outside of our solar system within 100 years. She does this in a way that I did not expect: by connecting it to the benefit of the planet that we currently occupy. "Everything that we need for an interstellar flight, is exactly what we need to survive as a species on this planet."

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@maejemison

First woman of color in space, Physician, Scientist, Engineer, Explorer & Futurist. Leader 100 Year Starship. 

 

 

 



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