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The “Green New Deal,” Pineapple Shoes, and Experiments to Dim the Sun

Articles worth reading about environmental technology and science.

The ‘Green New Deal’, carbon pricing and other policies that could shape 2019

New governmental initiatives spark excitement about the many ways in which environmentally sound policies can stimulate the economy and support individuals affected by climate change. But will they actually catch on? More from GreenBiz.

The latest kicks from Hugo Boss feature faux leather made from pineapple.

Produced from a byproduct of the existing pineapple industry, Pinatex is vegan and uses less water and fewer chemicals than tanned leather. The revolutionary material is also a boon to pineapple farmers, who can now profit from waste products. Get the full story from Dezeen.

Want to be the richest person on the planet? Get in on the recycling game.

Over 90% of the world’s plastic has never been recycled, according to the International Statistic of the Year. Moreover, if you sold all of that plastic trash, you’d have trillions of dollars on your hands, enough to buy Apple, Walmart, Google, Exxon, etc., etc. Fast Company has the story.

Can the “Blue Economy” movement lift people out of poverty and protect ocean ecosystems?

Collaboration is key to the success of the Blue Economy, which encompasses all the earth’s oceans. Madhushree Chatterjee, Chief of the Natural Resources and Interlinkages Branch of UN DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development Goals, gives her impressions of this growing movement (via UN.org):

“The blue economy comprises a range of economic sectors and related policies that together determine whether the use of ocean resources is sustainable. An important challenge of the blue economy is to understand and better manage the many aspects of oceanic sustainability, ranging from sustainable fisheries to ecosystem health to preventing pollution…The sustainable management of ocean resources will require collaboration across borders and sectors through a variety of partnerships, and on a scale that has not been previously achieved…” 

Going electric: California busses and Israeli planes

50% of California’s public transit buses will be electric by 2029 (possibly sooner) thanks to a new rule from the California Air Resources Board. California has long been a leader in the fight against global warming and shows no signs of slowing down. More via the World Economic Forum. Israeli company Eviation will be test-flying electric commuter planes this year and aims to start carrying passengers by 2021. More on this and other 2019 tech projects from IEEE Spectrum.

Harvard researchers will launch novel experiment to “dim the sun” this year.

Mimicking the climate-cooling effect of volcanic eruptions, scientists will inject calcium carbonate particles high above the earth with the goal of reflecting some of the sun’s rays back into space. Dezeen explains this latest effort to experiment with controversial geo-engineering. (It was the topic of one of Techonomy’s all-time most popular conference sessions, way back in 2012.)

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