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The pandemic, the environment and Cuba

the pandemic, the environment and cuba

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Help us keep OnCuba alive herePerhaps it is difficult to find a moment in the history of humanity in which, in such a short time, such an enormous volume of information (and disinformation) has been generated about a problem that affects the entire human species, as what has happened with the COVID-19 pandemic. Nor has humanity faced such an uncertain near future.In addition to the global health emergency, which has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and more than 2 million infected people worldwide, this pandemic has put on the political table the unsustainability of the capitalist system worldwide, the paradigm of unlimited growth and the culture of growing consumer.On Earth Day Coronavirus, a pollution hiccup?Suddenly, the reality that we live on a limited planet, with increasingly scarce resources, and that in the biosphere all existence is interconnected, has unquestionably emerged. The zoonotic nature of the COVID-19 itself tells us of the direct transmission of the virus to humans, most likely due to the contact or consumption of wild species and even due to the natural boundaries being displaced and the loss of biodiversity. The fact that it expands globally also alerts us to the profound environmental changes …

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Tech innovation critical for future sustainability, report finds –

tech innovation critical for future sustainability, report finds –

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Tech innovation : Technological innovation will play a critical role in tackling environmental challenges that arise in the near future, a new report by Ericsson has found.

Ericsson’s latest ConsumerLab report revealed fresh insights on consumer attitudes toward sustainability challenges, and how technology could help them to make a greater positive impact. Based on a quantitative study of 12,000 Internet users from across the world, the report uncovers the current consumer mindset of leading environmentally sustainable lifestyles.
interesting reading:  The loss of glaciers threatens the future of PakistanIn the last two decades, concern about air and water pollution has risen from concerning one in five consumers, to almost one in two. While consideration for climate change and global warming has also risen from 13 per cent of consumers to 50 per cent. The study also found that globally, eight in ten consumers consider governments as being responsible for environmental protection, with approximately 70 per cent also considering citizens responsible. Consumers also see the need for collective action, with 50 per cent expecting companies and brands to uphold their share of the responsibility.
interesting reading:  China’s state-owned FAW Group plans an electric future for Red Flag, Chairman Mao’s preferred carThe study also showed that 46 …

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Superworms Digest Plastic: Superpower Made Possible by Bacterial Sidekicks

superworms digest plastic: superpower made possible by bacterial sidekicks

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Bacteria from the gut of superworms can degrade polystyrene (white material). Credit: Adapted from Environmental Science & Technology 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c01495
Resembling giant mealworms, superworms (Zophobas atratus) are beetle larvae that are often sold in pet stores as feed for reptiles, fish and birds. In addition to their relatively large size (about 2 inches long), these worms have another superpower: They can degrade polystyrene plastic. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology have linked this ability to a strain of bacteria that lives in the larvae’s gut.
Polystyrene is used in packaging containers, disposable cups and insulating materials. When thrown in landfills or littered in the environment, the plastic takes several hundred years to completely break down. Recently, several studies have found that mealworms and superworms can ingest and degrade polystyrene within a few weeks. In mealworms, this ability was linked to a certain strain of polystyrene-degrading bacteria in the worms’ gut. Jiaojie Li, Dae-Hwan Kim and colleagues wanted to search for similar bacteria in superworms.
The team placed 50 superworms in a chamber with polystyrene as their only carbon source, and after 21 days, the worms had consumed about 70% of the plastic. The researchers then isolated a strain of Pseudomonas …

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The environmental impact of COVID-19 & why it provides hope for future

the environmental impact of covid-19 & why it provides hope for future

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The destruction that COVID-19 has caused to the global community is immeasurable, with death tolls rising throughout the world and economies ground to a standstill. However, data suggests that with the lockdown measures in place the environment is receiving a well-earned break from the punishment industry provides.40,000 deaths annually in the UK are attributed to air pollution, a shocking figure in itself (just 261 below the current total UK deaths from COVID-19). However, through a significant reduction in transport usage as well as global industry reducing its output, evidence suggests that nitrogen dioxide levels are seriously declining throughout Europe. NASA published images from one their space probes showing a significant reduction in harmful elements in the atmosphere, across the world. Not only has the atmosphere been given an opportunity to repair itself, but our oceans have received welcome respite from human activity. There is evidence to indicate that the reduction of fishing due to the pandemic, will enable marine ecosystems to flourish, last seen with the reduction in fishing during both world wars.Lifestyles The pandemic has provided us with an opportunity to see for ourselves that environmental issues can be tackled, and that environmental damage is not just an obscure …

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Applying Material Innovation: Does Architecture Have What It Takes?

applying material innovation: does architecture have what it takes?

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Applying Material Innovation: Does Architecture Have What It Takes?

The author gained a grasp for innovative architectural materials and their application while working for architects such as Rick Joy, whose Mountain House in Tucson, Arizona, employed rammed-earth walls. (Creative commons/Flickr user designmilk)

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There is a slide I like to show at the beginning of the architecture courses I teach that provides an overview of the last hundred years or so in design and technology. In the left column, a car from the beginning of the 20th Century (a Ford Model T) is poised over a contemporary car (a Tesla). The middle column contains a similar juxtaposition, showing a WWI-era biplane and a modern-day stealth fighter (an F-117A). In the right column, Walter Gropius’s 1926 Bauhaus Dessau building is seen next to an up-to-date urban mixed-use building. The punch line, of course, is that the two buildings—separated by roughly 100 years—look basically the same, whereas the cars and planes separated by the same timespan seem worlds apart. What is the reason for this?

Of course, a lot has changed in architecture in …

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World Environment Day, Pak Navy participates – Technology Times

world environment day, pak navy participates – technology times

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World Environment Day is an oath to maintain sustainable ecosystem, Pakistan Navy participates.

World Environment Day is an oath to maintain sustainable ecosystem at every nook of land and turns out Pakistan Navy is ahead with active participation. The day is being organized by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in order to spread awareness regarding the prevailing environmental issues on an international level.
Since 1974, this day is celebrated on 5th June every year and it has become a dynamic platform for encouraging progress on the environmental dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Over 150 countries participate each year in the event along with other non-governmental organizations, major corporations, and civil societies to take action on critical environmental challenges on the face of the planet. The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is biodiversity — a call for action to combine global efforts to combat the species loss, misuse of natural resources and degradation of the natural world.

According to a latest report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) stated that around one million plant and animal species are facing extinction. The result of this extinction may increase the losses in biodiversity thus, encouraging the spread …

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Dissecting and Unpacking the USMCA Environmental Provisions: Game-Changer for Green Governance?

dissecting and unpacking the usmca environmental provisions: game-changer for green governance?

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JURIST Guest Columnists Bashar H Malkawi, the Director of Knowledge Management for the Government of Dubai, and Shakeel Kazmi, Professor of Practice in Legal Studies at New York University in Abu Dhabi, explore the environmental provisions of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement…
Protecting the environment is not an extravagance but rather essential. The COVID-19 crisis with its economic and social impacts has reminded us of events that countries were not adequately prepared to address. Rising environmental issues leave countries vulnerable to diseases and disasters. Countries should always take steps to address environmental issues. International trade agreements like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) environmental provisions- play an important role in this arena.
The implementation of USMCA is fast approaching as it will enter into force on July 1, 2020. In December of last year, the US House of Representatives approved the USMCA by an overwhelming margin of 385-41. On January 16, the Senate passed the agreement 89-10. The US notified other USMCA parties that it has completed its domestic procedures to implement the agreement- the final step necessary for the USMCA to enter into force.
The USMCA is a revision and replacement for the twenty-five-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a regional trade …

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EGEB: Trump suspends environmental reviews – Electrek

egeb: trump suspends environmental reviews – electrek

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In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

In the midst of a health and social crisis, Trump rolls back crucial environmental protections.
Fossil fuels’ value globally is likely to be slashed by nearly two-thirds, says a new report.
Germany’s stimulus package includes $10 billion for hydrogen.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.
Trump’s shock doctrine
President Donald Trump, citing the need for economic stimulus, signed an executive order on Thursday that would allow key energy and infrastructure projects to move forward without required environmental reviews. This includes such projects as highways, mines, and pipelines.
In other words, it uses the cover of the US’ current emergencies to ram through polluting projects. That means agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency would be able to waive provisions put in place by laws like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Joel Mintz, former EPA enforcement and supervisory attorney, professor of law emeritus, and C. William Trout Senior Fellow in Public Interest Law at Nova Southeastern University College of Law, said:
It is far from clear that the president has the legal authority to do this. NEPA is a …

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How ‘Green IT’ Can Make Smart Cities Sustainable

how ‘green it’ can make smart cities sustainable

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Green IT

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Cities provide people with opportunities to improve their quality of life. Hence, the population of cities is growing at an increasing rate. To meet the needs of the expanding population and to fulfill their lifestyle needs, the government is trying to make cities smarter by using technology. Smart cities have the potential to gather data from various information sources and use them to give solutions for managing assets and resources. With the increase IT products and applications, there is an increase in demand to manufacture it. Green IT, also known as green computing, makes IT products and IT applications in an environmentally-friendly way. The concept of Green IT came into existence when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the Energy Star program in 1992. Energy Star is used to promote and recognize energy efficiency and helps organizations to make decisions accordingly. The prime objective of green IT is to minimize the negative environmental effects of manufacturing, operating and disposing of IT-related products and applications. The adoption of green IT can help address challenges to ensuring sustainability in smart cities.

How ‘green IT’ can make smart cities sustainable

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Challenges for maintaining sustainability in smart cities
Smart cities …

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