Dam it! How beavers could save Britain from flooding | Environment | The Guardian

At a secret location in the rolling pasture of west Devon lies a marshy patch of farmland protected by £35,000-worth of solar-powered electric fencing. This isn’t to keep people out but to restrain the tree-chomping, river-damming residents of these three hectares. Outside the fence is a typical small valley, with a trickle of a stream, willow thickets and pasture grazed by cattle. Inside the enclosure, the tiny stream has been blocked by 13 dams, creating pools and half-metre-wide canals. These have been built by Britain’s newest wild mammal, the beaver, which uses its waterways like we do – to transport goods. And as the beavers have coppiced trees, the willow thicket has been replaced with sunny glades of wild flowers – marsh thistles, watermint, meadowsweet – which dance with dragonflies and butterflies.

Source: Dam it! How beavers could save Britain from flooding | Environment | The Guardian

Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

GCR – News – Norwegian team to build world’s first autonomous electric cargo ship

The battery-driven carrier was created by technology group Kongsberg and fertiliser specialist Yara. It will initially be operated as a manned vessel before moving to remote operations in 2019 and performing fully autonomous operations from 2020.

Ship will replace 100 trucks per day – good for economy, good for company, good for environment, bad for drivers being laid off. Need to address the negatives, not just enjoy the positives.

Source: GCR – News – Norwegian team to build world’s first autonomous electric cargo ship

China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again

In one sector after another, the US is falling behind. The US isn’t losing its global leadership, its walking away.

We are witnessing a historic passing of the baton of global leadership on technology and climate from the United States to China. The new U.S. administration has said it will abandon climate action, gut clean energy funding, and embrace coal and oil — the dirty energy sources of the past that experts say can’t create a large number of sustainable new jobs. At the same time, China is slashing coal use and betting heavily on clean energy, which is clearly going to be the biggest new source of permanent hig

Source: China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again

WAN:: Timber tower by Team V Architecture

Timber tower by Team V Architecture

 

With construction due to start in the second half of 2017 HAUT is on track to become the world’s tallest timber tower The municipality of Amsterdam in the Netherlands has selected Team V Architecture with Lingotto, Nicole Maarsen, ARUP and brand partner NLE to develop a building that is a serious contender to become the tallest timber tower in the world.HAUT, will be a 21-storey wooden residential building by the Dutch River Amstel with construction work expected to start in the second half of 2017. HAUT promises to be a prototype of building in an innovative, sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner.

Source: WAN:: Timber tower by Team V Architecture

Republican bill to privatize public lands is yanked after outcry

It seems like the Republicans hate nature – especially national parks and anything unspoiled. Especially if there a way to make money while destroying the environment.

 

 

Last weekend, more than 1,000 sportsmen, outdoor business owners, and public lands supporters joined Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) in Helena, Montana. Wednesday afternoon, a rally in New Mexico drew hundreds more people, all protesting congressional attempts to sell off or privatize public lands. The outcry was prompted in part by Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s (R-UT) introduction of a bill to sell off 3.3 million acres of public lands — an area the size of Connecticut.

Source: Republican bill to privatize public lands is yanked after outcry

Dressing Up in a Panda Suit Can Really Make a Difference – Bloomberg

Combo of cute pictures and admiration for dedicated personnel. Who could ask for more.

This month, the giant panda, the black and white icon of the world’s threatened species since the WWF adopted it as a logo in 1960, has finally managed to crawl off the endangered list. Thanks to a network of more than 60 nature reserves in the mountains of China’s Sichuan province, a successful captive breeding program and a clampdown on poaching, the numbers of the big lovable bears have been rising. The monochrome mammals are still listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. So China’s latest step to conserve its national mascot is to release captive-born bears back into the wild. And for that, you have to look like a panda… Photographs by Adam Dean/Panos Pictures

Source: Dressing Up in a Panda Suit Can Really Make a Difference – Bloomberg

Norway to build world’s first floating underwater traffic tunnels | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

norway-underwater-tunnel-02-889x500

 

An ambitious new plan in Norway would install a series of “submerged floating bridges” to help travelers easily cross the nation’s many fjords. At present, the only way to travel across the bodies…

Source: Norway to build world’s first floating underwater traffic tunnels | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Could intercity cycle highways revolutionise the daily commute? | Cities | The Guardian

Germany is building the world’s biggest ‘bicycle autobahn’ to connect 10 cities and remove 50,000 cars from the road every day. With the popularity of e-bikes growing too, is Europe about to see a new era of long-distance cycle commuting?

Source: Could intercity cycle highways revolutionise the daily commute? | Cities | The Guardian

CBF’s Brock Environmental Center to be awarded prestigious ‘Living Building’ certification | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

One of the world’s greenest buildings 14 feet above sea level prepares for climate change

Source: CBF’s Brock Environmental Center to be awarded prestigious ‘Living Building’ certification | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Jetson Green – Net Zero Prefab That Can be Built in Just Three Days

Unity Homes has recently unveiled a prefab home, which is sustainable yet still made to last for at least as long as traditionally constructed homes. The home has a number of certifications, including LEED v4 Platinum, while it is also net-zero energy and can be constructed on site in three days or less. It is also fitted with the largest number of Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified building products used in a residential project to…

Source: Jetson Green – Net Zero Prefab That Can be Built in Just Three Days

Introducing ‘treeconomics’: how street trees can save our cities | Cities | The Guardian

In Toronto, researchers recently found that people living on tree-lined streets reported health benefits equivalent to being seven years younger or receiving a $10,000 salary rise. As well as studies revealing benefits from everything from improved mental health to reduced asthma, US scientists have even identified a correlation between an increase in tree-canopy cover and fewer low-weight births. And economic studies show what any estate agent swears by: leafy streets sell houses. Street trees in Portland, Oregon, yielded an increase in house prices of $1.35bn, potentially increasing annual property tax revenues by $15.3m.

Source: Introducing ‘treeconomics’: how street trees can save our cities | Cities | The Guardian

Coastal property values could erode if nourishment subsidies end — ScienceDaily

The value of many oceanfront properties on the East Coast could drop dramatically if Congress were to suddenly end federal beach nourishment subsidies. Values could fall by as much as 17 percent in towns with high property values and almost 34 percent in towns with low property values. A gradual reduction of the subsidies, in contrast, is more likely to smooth the transition to more climate-resilient coastal communities.

via Coastal property values could erode if nourishment subsidies end — ScienceDaily.

Sprawl costs US more than a trillion dollars a year | Better! Cities & Towns Online

Sprawl costs the American economy more than $1 trillion annually, according to a new study by the New Climate Economy. That’s more than $3,000 for every man, woman, and child.

These costs include greater spending on infrastructure, public service delivery and transportation. The study finds that Americans living in sprawled communities directly bear $625 billion in extra costs. In addition, all residents and businesses, regardless of where they are located, bear an extra $400 billion in external costs.

via Sprawl costs US more than a trillion dollars a year | Better! Cities & Towns Online.

Urban Life and a Microscopic Attention | Sustainable Cities Collective

Small-scale urban spaces can be rich in biodiversity, contribute important ecological benefits for human mental and physical health (McPhearson et al., 2013), and overall help to create more livable cities. Micro_urban spaces are the sandwich spaces between buildings, rooftops, walls, curbs, sidewalk cracks, and other small-scale urban spaces that exist in the fissures between linear infrastructure (e.g. roads, bridges, tunnels, rail lines) and our three dimensional gridded cities.

via Urban Life and a Microscopic Attention | Sustainable Cities Collective.

Global Estuaries Forum

About 60 percent of the world’s population lives along estuaries and coastal areas Of the 32 largest cities in the world, 22 are located on estuaries 90 percent of Europe’s international trade passes through estuaries and their adjacent ports Coastal recreation and tourism generate between $8-$12 billion per year in the United States alone Often called the “nurseries of the sea,” estuaries provide vital nesting and feeding habitats for many aquatic plants and animals.

The Global Estuaries Forum brings together public institutions, the private sector, researchers, and NGOs from around the globe in an effort discuss and meet the pressing and immediate challenges facing our world’s most important estuaries. Follow on Twitter at @EstuariesForum.

 

 

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