Sustainability Reads: March 9- March 15

Global CO2 emissions did not rise in 2014 for the first time in 40 years, while global economy grew 3%
Yup, you read that correctly. Last year the world emitted 32.3 billion tonnes of CO2, same as in 2013.

Knowing your “energy personality” can save you a lot of money
The energy use of 800,000 homes was collected through smart meters over a 24-hour period. This article reminds us that electronics consume energy all night, even when not being used. When the data was plotted and analyzed further, five different energy consuming lifestyles emerged: steady eddies (use energy consistently all day), evening peakers, night owls, twin peaks (at morning and evening), and daytimers. Demographic data was also employed to understand these lifestyles further. For example, night owls tend to be young and apartment condo dwellers; daytimers are old with few children; steady eddies tend to live in condos and have a high level of winter energy usage from electric heating; evening peakers represent single-family homes that use a lot of power in the summer on air conditioning; and twin peaks tends to be wealthier families, also in single-family homes whose heat source is electric, not gas. This data is valuable to understand and curb energy use. By Chris Mooney at the Washington Post.

Threatened by climate change, Florida reportedly bans term ‘climate change’
A recent report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) officials have been ordered not to use the term ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ in any official communications, emails, or reports. According to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, including Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008-2013, an unwritten policy was enforced and officials were “told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability.’” Florida Governor Rick Scott is a known climate change denier. In a state that will be most affected by climate change and will have to rely on the government to prepare and protect them from the impacts of climate change, this is quite ironic and quite sad.

Solar Impulse: Global flight completes first leg
A record-breaking attempt to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane has completed its first leg, landing in Oman. The flight started in Abu Dhabi, heading east and crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans over the next five months, covering 35,000 km. Swiss creators and pilots of the plane, Andre Borschbeg and Bertrand Piccard, will be taken turns controlling the plane. The solar-powered plane has a wingspan of 72m, which is wider than a 747 jumbo jet, but weighs only 2.3 tonnes. The top of the planes wings are lined with 17,000 solar cells and as well as energy-dense lithium-ion batteries to use to sustain night-time flying. By Jonathan Amos at BBC.

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