Category Archives: Uncategorized

What Are Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles?

A Subaru Outback PZEV

The designation “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV) has many people perplexed. Certainly, childhood math would tell us there is no such thing as “partial-zero.” But while most of us are scratching our heads, PZEVs are quickly becoming the norm in gasoline vehicles. In fact, by 2025 all cars sold in America will be PZEVs. But what does this strange designation mean?

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The Drought In California

Photo Credit: Muffet via Compfight cc

California is the biggest U.S. producer of agricultural products. It’s also in its third year of drought, with 95% of the state in moderate to exceptional drought conditions. Food prices have already risen as a result, but there are likely even higher prices to come. Oh, and the rivers are so dry salmon are being driven to the sea in tanker trucks.

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The Drought of 2012 Continues

drought-affected field

Farmhouse on Horizon Revisited 3 by Merrick Brown

While the big weather news this fall focused on Hurricane Sandy, the drought of 2012 continues to affect more than 60 percent of the United States and is forecast to continue through at least March 2013, affecting food production, food prices, and shipping prices.

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Introducing Jeremy Kranowitz

Sustainable America is happy to announce the appointment of Jeremy Kranowitz as its Executive Director. Mr. Kranowitz brings 20 years of management and not-for-profit experience to the position, the last 10 of which he spent at The Keystone Center in a number of senior roles.

“We are delighted to welcome Jeremy to Sustainable America,” said Chairman Nicholas Tiller. “His passion for our work and his extensive experience with issues related to energy, the environment and education will help Sustainable America accomplish its mission of finding solutions to the potential food-fuel crisis.”

Mr. Kranowitz was kind enough to answer a few questions for the Sustainable America Blog about his background and his goals for Sustainable America.

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The Drought of 2012

Setting Sunflower, by Mikey Roach

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration created the animation below to show the affects of the historic 2012 drought on vegetation month by month. It’s eerie to watch the dying vegetation spread across the country. You can also see how the first half of July has seen an acceleration of burned-out vegetation brought on by high temperatures and by the length of the drought.

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Salad Greens in Suburbia

In a movement propelled by environmental concern, nostalgia for a simpler life and a dollop of marketing savvy, developers are increasingly laying out their cul-de-sacs around organic farms, cattle ranches, vineyards and other agricultural ventures. They’re betting that buyers will pay a premium for views of heirloom tomatoes—and that the farms can provide a steady stream of revenue, while cutting the cost of landscaping upkeep.

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The Link Between the Energy Market and the Food Market

In this article from the Wall Street Journal on September 3, 2011, Brian M. Carney asks the question, “Can the World Still Feed Itself?”

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.

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