Habitat issue

It is projected that in the next fifty years, two-thirds of humanity will be living in towns and cities. A major challenge is to minimize burgeoning poverty in cities and improve the urban poor’s access to basic facilities such as shelter, clean water and sanitation.
source: World Urban Forum 2006 See also XlnkS6D0

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World Urban Forum 2006

From 19 to 23 June 2006, Vancouver will host the 3rd World Urban Forum, a major UN event also known as UN-Habitat. The meeting will bring together public and private institutions, experts and decision-makers from around the world to discuss the key urban challenges facing the world today.
weblink: Un-Habitat Web Sitefrom: United Nationdocument: Background Paper WUF IIIin detail XlnkS6D0 XlnkC17E2

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The Breakthough Institute

The Breakthrough Institute believes that we can create a better world by advancing a vision grounded in America’s founding values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Their current strategic initiatives include: – Death of environmentalism : a criticism of current environmentalism movement. – New Apollo project: a call to create 3 million clean energy jobs – King on the $20 : a request to put the picture of Martin Luther King on $20 US bill
weblink: The Breakthrough Web Sitefrom: Breakthough Institutein detailsee also: Dead of environmentalism XlnkS6CE XlnkC1933

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Dead of environmentalism

Structured around the thesis that environmentalism has become little more than the ineffective expression of a special interest group grown fat on easy grant funding, the essay “Dead of Environmentalism” created some controversy among environmental leaders. The essay’s authors, Michael Schellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, claim that the once robust political support for environmental issues has weakened considerably since its peak in the 1970s. They claim that early success spoiled the movement’s leadership to such an extent that only in death can there be new life: “We have become convinced that modern environmentalism, with all of its unexamined assumptions, outdated concepts and exhausted strategies, must die so that something new can live.” Schellenberger and Nordhaus argue that environmentalism, with its traditional reliance on technical solutions, is poorly equipped to tackle massive global problems, especially climate change. Years of legislative and legal victories don’t measure up, they say, when compared with the failure to provide a comprehensive, inspiring, values-based vision. Perhaps the environmental movement as we have known it is dead. Perhaps, as Mark Twain would say, “the news of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
weblink: Download “Dead of Environmentalism” (PDF)in detail XlnkS6CD

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Light Efficiency

The traditional incandescent bulb was invented by Edison more than 150 years ago. It was a direct move from burning candles to “burning” a carbon filament with electricity. The technology is extremely inefficient. Incandescent bulbs produce only 8 to 12 lumens per watt. The majority of energy is dissipated as heat, the reason why bulbs are so hot. In fact, with all the losses during the production at the power plant and the transportation of electrify, only 1% of the energy originally available to produce electricity (Coal, Gas, Water head) arrives as useful photons. If electricity is produces with coal and considering that one megawatt of coal produces 1 tonne of CO2, a 100-watt bulb “produces” _ kg of CO2 per hour – or about one tonne after a couple of years. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) are 3 to 4 times more energy efficient that incandescent bulbs – about 80 to 100 lumens per watt. They last 13 times longer than traditional lamps. Finally, LED ( Light Emitting Diodes) produce 30 to 40 Lumens per watt, about half less efficient than CFL. They have however a much longer life span than CFL.
in detail XlnkS6CC

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The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)is the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Council membership has grown to over 4000 leading organizations. Developed by the USGBC membership, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a national consensus-based, market-driven building rating system designed to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices. In short, it is a leading-edge system for designing, constructing and certifying the world’s greenest and best buildings.
weblink: USGBC Web Sitefrom: USGBC – US Green Building Councilin detail XlnkS6CB XlnkC180B

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