UN’s 17 Sustainable Development goals

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity,  Partnerships –  in other words – the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development goals:  https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300 Many of these goals libraries can be a part of for resources, knowledge and action:

UN sustainable development goals

Also be sure to download the Agenda  — a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom, We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.



Open eBook: Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change

coverThe National Academies Press has released this FREE pdf of this book Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises (2013) but you can buy the paperback to add to your library collections as well. The well-respected established authors are from the Committee on Understanding and Monitoring Abrupt Climate Change and Its Impacts; Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council. This 200+ page book notes the primary abrupt changes to be concerned about the most and those most of concern for humans, with ideas for moving forward. It also gives some quality reference links and a solid summary of those committee members writing the document. Click on the Related Resources tab to find some short summary and report as well as a visual slideshow of examples of abrupt climate change for those looking for a more visual summary. The Multimedia tab offers a video (embed below too) of findings and recommendations.

Their description:

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns of rainfall will change. But the future is also partly uncertain — there is considerable uncertainty about how we will arrive at that different climate. Will the changes be gradual, allowing natural systems and societal infrastructure to adjust in a timely fashion? Or will some of the changes be more abrupt, crossing some threshold or “tipping

Wind Map

Check out this amazing wind map! If the map is missing or seems slow, use the latest Chrome browser. It is a personal art project, not associated with any company. The surface wind data comes from the National Digital Forecast Database – near-term forecasts, revised once per hour. Note that maximum speeds may occur over lakes or just offshore.

As the web page states: ” An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future. This map shows you the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US.  Read more about wind and about wind power.”

Also for wind power information:

EPA’s Interactive GHG Map Tool

Now available is comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) data for 2010 from facilities in 9 industry groups, including 29 source categories which directly emit large quantities of GHGs, as well as suppliers of certain fossil fuels and industrial gases  through the EPA’s GHG Reporting Program.  Check out the new EPA’s interactive GHG Map Tool to visual see and identify nearby sources of GHGs which could be a great tool to local governments and businesses to track and hopefully curb their emissions.

UNEP Research Reports

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has published some freely available research reports worth adding to your collections. UNEP works collaboratively to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. This recent report is called Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Developmentand Poverty Eradication – A Synthesis for Policy Makers, which can be viewed online, searched, downloaded, viewed on a mobile device and shared.   There are numerous others available here. There are numerous other reports available here.

Mapping the Future of Solar/Renewable Energy

The BLM  (Bureau of land management) and Dept of Energy  created maps of six U.S. states most suitable for solar energy generation and transmission: Arizona (PDF and below), California (PDF), Colorado (PDF), Nevada (PDF), New Mexico (PDF) and Utah (PDF). The US Govt is now conducting several environmental impact studies, opening solar energy permitting offices, and overhauling the application and review process for utilities looking to develop land for solar energy generation. Read more on CNET’s Green Tech site.

There is also a new set of layers – 14 types of areas within three main categories of land protection –  for Google Earth called Path to Green Energy, developed byNatural Resources Defense Council and the National Audubon Society and a Google.org’s Geo Challenge Grants.  The tool’s goals is to provide industry, conservationists, policy-makers, and concerned citizens instant access to interactive wildlife, habitat and land management maps to guide appropriate site selection for renewable power generation and transmission facilities. Launch the tool through NRDC site and read more details here.

Bottle vs Tap Water

Oregon Dept of Environmental Quality just published a reportLife Cycle Assessment of Drinking Water Delivery Systems: Bottled Water, Tap Water and Home/Office Delivery Water” that compares 48 different methods of delivering drinking water to consumers. It evaluates the  environmental effects across the entire life cycle of single-use, five-gallon reusable and tap water delivery method and determines the variables (recycling rates, recycled content, dishwasher use, transportation distance, water treatment, secondary packaging, to name just a few) that go into the lifecycle.

The conclusion is that tap water has lower environmental impacts than bottled water which we all assume anyway, but  the report views this question through the lens of “reduce, reuse, recycle”.  (The news release from Oregon DEQ has a nice summary of the report. As David Allaway from the Oregon DEQ says:

“We often hear people express some variation of bottled water is bad for the environment because most of the bottles go to the landfill – now we have specific evidence to support this theory. “While recycling water bottles is better than disposing of them, the overall environmental impacts of tap water are much lower than the impacts of drinking bottled water regardless of whether the bottles are 100% disposed or 100% recycled. EX: PET bottle, recycled at a rate of 100%, has greenhouse gas impacts 46 times higher than the “best case” tap water scenario the study evaluated.  Put differently, just because a packaging is recyclable (or recycled) doesn’t make it inherently “good for the environment”. The timeworn hierarchy of “prevent first, then recycle” makes good environmental sense.”