How To Feed The World
The world has long produced enough calories, around 2,700 per day per human, more than enough to meet the United Nations projection of a population of nine billion in 2050, up from the current seven billion. There are hungry people not because food is lacking, but because not all of those calories go to feed humans (a third go to feed animals, nearly 5 percent are used to produce biofuels, and as much as a third is wasted, all along the food chain).
The current system is neither environmentally nor economically sustainable, dependent as it is on fossil fuels and routinely resulting in environmental damage. It’s geared to letting the half of the planet with money eat well while everyone else scrambles to eat as cheaply as possible.
While a billion people are hungry, about three billion people are not eating well, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, if you count obese and overweight people alongside those with micronutrient deficiencies. Paradoxically, as increasing numbers of people can afford to eat well, food for the poor will become scarcer, because demand for animal products will surge, and they require more resources like grain to produce. A global population growth of less than 30 percent is projected to double the demand for animal products. But there is not the land, water or fertilizer — let alone the health care funding — for the world to consume Western levels of meat.
The Sway - sustainable fashion from repurposed leather scraps
Belinda, owner of the Sway, has a truly inspiring story. After climbing to the top of the ladder at huge international fashion conglomerate, she quit her job to start her own eco-friendly fashion brand.
Following Etsy’s mission of bringing heart to commerce, she decided that she could not continue working in the disposable fashion industry.
Now, her up-start fashion brand, the Sway, makes super fashionable leather jackets and accessories from reclaimed leather scraps from a motorcycle accessories factory in Pakistan.
Science enthusiasm in kids and teenagers, more two stories of year 2012 | Picture edited via Sci-Tech
Clara Lazen is the discoverer of tetranitratoxycarbon, a molecule constructed of, obviously, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. It’s got some interesting possible properties, ranging from use as an explosive to energy storage. Lazen is listed as the co-author of a recent paper on the molecule. But that’s not what’s so interesting and inspiring about this story. What’s so unusual here is that Clara Lazen is a ten-year-old fifth-grader in Kansas City, MO.
Kenneth Boehr, Clara’s science teacher, handed out the usual ball-and-stick models used to visualize simple molecules to his fifth-grade class. But Clara put the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms together in a particular complex way and asked Boehr if she’d made a real molecule. Boehr, to his surprise, wasn’t sure. So he photographed the model and sent it over to a chemist friend at Humboldt State University who identified it as a wholly new but also wholly viable chemical.Sixteen-year-old Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad has found that an inexpensive catalyst could be used to create $78 million worth of biofuel each year. Egypt’s plastic consumption is estimated to total one million tons per year, so Azza’s proposal could transform the country’s economy, allowing it to make money from recycled plastic.What Azza proposes is to break down the plastic polymers found in drinks bottles and general waste and turn them into biofuel feedstock. (This is the bulk raw material that generally used for producing biofuel.) It should be noted that this is not a particularly new idea, but what makes Azza stand out from the crowd is the catalyst that she is proposing. She says that she has found a high-yield catalyst called aluminosilicate, that will break down plastic waste and also produce gaseous products like methane, propane and ethane, which can then be converted into ethanol.
Speaking about the breakthrough, Azza said that the technology could “provide an economically efficient method for production of hydrocarbon fuel” including 40,000 tons per year of cracked naptha and 138,000 tons of hydrocarbon gasses – the equivalent of $78 million in biofuel.
In the rush to help create low carbon economies as a solution to curbing climate change, the construction industry has strived to create zero-carbon homes whose footprint is negligible. Now UK company Lignacite has developed the Carbon Buster, a building block that is actually carbon negative.
Made from over 50 percent recycled material, the brick is an amalgam of cement, sand and water. It also features wood particles that sequester carbon dioxide and store the gas in the block itself, rather than emitting it into the atmosphere. According to test results, its 3.6N/mm2 strength bricks have an embodied carbon level of -14 kg per tonne – compared to the industry standard of 100kg. Its 7.3N/mm2 strength model also has -3 kg per tonne rating. According to the company, the blocks are suitable for most building projects and also offer greater noise absorption than industry standards.