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Most important sustainability stories of 2017

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/19/17 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Transform

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In our annual tradition, we share some of the most important sustainability stories of the year. Eco-economic decoupling, breaking the link between "environmental bads" and "economic goods,” gets our vote for story of the year. This chart from the U.S. Department of Energy shows overall power consumption in the U.S. dropped by 0.76% in 2017 while GDP rose 2.2%. Reducing the...more

Talking transit crisis, solutions with Joe Calabrese GCRTA CEO

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/08/17 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in Transit

This week, we reported on a transit crisis unfolding in the State of Ohio. We end the week asking, what can state and local leaders do to prevent the transit crises brought on by the long-expected end of a medical care organization (MCO) sales taxes which will punch a $20 million hole in the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA)...

That familiar feeling<br />GCRTA CEO and GM Joe Calabrese discusses cuts during a 2016 funding shortfall with labor leaders. A capital idea<br />Funding for transit capital projects, like the Little Italy Rapid Station, is separate and usually more available than operating funds. (although the federal TIGER grant program that paid for this station is on the Trump chopping block). On the line<br />The GCRTA Green and Blue light rail line runs to the suburbs where many riders have options such as driving. The line lost its evening service to downtown after the 2016 transit funding crisis.How Ohio funds transit<br />Image: Policy Matters Ohio

When climate change is natural and when it very clearly is not

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/06/17 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Climate

Timing is everything, and that includes climate change. For 65 million years, the climate has experienced natural changes—as the earth tilted a little on its axis and its orbit stretched, the sun’s energy reaching earth was diminished to the extent that it triggered an Ice Age. A mile-high glacier covered where Cleveland is. Florida’s coast line grew to double its...

<br />Dr. Darin Croft presents on Climate Change Past Present and Future. The image is of the tight connection between carbon emissions and planetary rise in temperature between 1880 and Present.<br />A mile high glacier covered Cleveland for 11,000 years. Current climate change is beyond the normal range, scientist who look at millions of years of evidence discovered.

Ohio is watching a "transit death spiral" unfold

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/04/17 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Transit, Vibrant cities

2017 saw Cleveland transit advocates clash with Mayor Jackson over his decision to close Public Square (then re-open it) to buses. But that tempest played out in a teapot compared to what the State of Ohio is preparing to (not) do this month when a long-awaited medical service sales tax cut is expected to blow a hole in the budgets...

<br />RTA cut service to its suburban trains in 2016<br />Many Clevelanders will be stranded in economic islands of lost opportunity if RTA is forced to shut down 10 percent of its system in 2018<br />Ohio lavishes tens of millions of dollars on highways, like this empty highway which is being decommissioned in Akron, instead of flexing those highway funds to be used on transit.<br />The Public Square closure to buses was a distraction from the real issue facing transit - a state that has historically undervalued and underfunded it.

Biomimicry at 20: A hot idea finds its feet

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/28/17 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Plants & animals

In the two decades since “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature," Janine Benyus’ 1997 bestseller, hatched the idea that nature is a prolific problem solver and muse, researchers have been hard at work searching for the next generation of bio-inspired inventions.

<br />Geckos have been the subject of thousands of reports, and speculative Biomimicry research, because of their amazing ability to scale vertical surfaces.<br />Dr. Peter Niewiarowski (right) University of Akron Biomimicry Program Director discussed his research on gecko feet.

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