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The OutRamp Guide to Sustainability: Episode #4

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Some cool ideas mixed into the standard spate of not-so-great news about the world around us. Maybe that guy in the bunker under my house isn’t so off-base after all… well, except for the parts about never showering and stealing my cable. (Hi, Uncle Melmo! Put the cheese back in the fridge.)

Don’t Miss These Links:

  1. How do you figure out how much plastic is in the ocean? Miriam Goldstein at Deep Sea News gives some interesting info on the big garbage patch and shatters the hopes of people like me that the plastic can just be “filtered out”. Technology can’t solve everything… uh, yet.

    For every 1000 grams (2 lbs) of plastic bits we removed from the water, we took out 731 grams (1.6 lbs) of ocean life, primarily zooplankton and baby fish. That’s a lot of critters, particularly since life is relatively sparse in the North Pacific Gyre. Remediation schemes will have to be sure that they are not causing more damage than they’re solving.

  2. Why Some Meteorologists Still Deny Global Warming Chris Mooney at Mother Jones gives a good explanation of why so many climate change skeptics come from the ranks of the weather guys.

    Far from undermining the scientific consensus on climate change, then, the new study could be said to strengthen it, by defining who’s a relevant expert in the first place. “You listen to the scientists who really know the field in question,” says George Mason’s Neil Stenhouse, a Ph.D. student and the study’s lead author. “And previous studies show that if you ask the scientists who really know climate change, there is high consensus on human causation.”

  3. Can Silicon Valley Make Fake Meat and Eggs That Don’t Suck? Sydney Brownstone, also at Mother Jones, gives us an update on the quest to have eggs without tortured chickens and burgers that don’t taste like… not burgers. I’m excited about these advancements, because my omnivore guilt keeps growing, but I still want to see a stevia-based cola that I’ll actually want to drink. Get on that, Silicon Valley.

    These new products are not the Boca Burgers of the ’90s, thinly concealed soy loaves designed to make vegetarians feel less ostracized at a barbecue. Rather, these entrepreneurs are determined to realign plant proteins into tasting and feeling exactly like meat. The goal is not a slightly improved Tofurky—it’s a product that could trick even the most discerning of steak eaters.

Climate and Environment

Food

Renewable Energy

Related OutRamp Guides:

  1. The OutRamp Guide to Science and Technology
  2. The OutRamp Guide to The Apocalypse
  3. The OutRamp Guide to Urban Life

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