Sustainability Reads: June 9- June 15

Cap and trade system in 60 seconds (video)
Video covering the basics of cap and trade systems. Systems are used to incentivize/reduce carbon dioxide emissions and are one way that states can reduce in light of President Obama’s reduction requirements for power plants. Cap and trade systems are a market-based mechanism. How it works: Amount of emissions allowed are capped at an amount for an area (usually amount decreases over time)>permits are given or auctioned off to emitters who are required to have enough to cover their emissions>emitters can buy and sell permits from each other accordingly. Cost is a very important factor as the price for each permit dictates if emitters will reduce emissions or just buy more permits (whichever is cheaper). From Financial Times.

Air conditioning raising night-time temperatures in the US
New study shows that ‘heat from air conditioning systems now raises some urban temperatures by more than 1C’. Air conditioning contributes to the reality that cities can be up to 5 degrees celsius hotter than the surrounding countryside due to ‘the concentration of traffic, commuter systems, street and indoor lighting, central heating, light industry, tarmac, tiles, bricks, building activity and millions of people. Post on The Guardian, study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres.

Why liberals like walkability more than conservatives
This report highlights that the U.S. political divide is more segregated than ever with liberals being democrats and conservatives belonging to the republican party. Insight into specific areas such as walkability are clear: 75 percent of “consistently conservative” respondents prefer the suburban sprawl model, and only 22 percent prefer the walkable urban design. Among “consistently liberal” Americans, the numbers are reversed. By Ben Adler on Grist.org.

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