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Sustainability, Volume 2, Issue 12 (December 2010), Pages 3623-3845

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Is Eco-Efficiency a Sufficient Strategy for Achieving a Sustainable Development? The Norwegian Case
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3623-3638; doi:10.3390/su2123623
Received: 20 September 2010 / Revised: 3 November 2010 / Accepted: 21 November 2010 / Published: 24 November 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A split review of the environmental impact of Norwegian consumption and production over the last decade illustrates that rising consumption is eliminating the bonus of eco-efficiency in production. Two key drivers behind this situation are the large increase in person and goods transportation
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A split review of the environmental impact of Norwegian consumption and production over the last decade illustrates that rising consumption is eliminating the bonus of eco-efficiency in production. Two key drivers behind this situation are the large increase in person and goods transportation and an increase in wealth that has allowed Norwegians to spend more on purchasing products and services. To achieve a sustainable development in rich countries, two major adjustments to the prevailing environmental policy are suggested: (1) The environmental impact of consumption should also be monitored as part of the official sustainability indicator monitoring system, e.g., by calculating the ecological footprint. (2) A specific consumption focus in environmental policy should be developed, beginning with the consumption categories with the largest footprint (volume) and the most negative development (change). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Footprint Indicator)
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Open AccessCommunication Durability of Compressed Earth Bricks: Assessing Erosion Resistance Using the Modified Spray Testing
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3639-3649; doi:10.3390/su2123639
Received: 12 October 2010 / Accepted: 18 November 2010 / Published: 25 November 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The discussion in this paper is part of research directed at establishing optimal stabilization strategy for compressed bricks. The deployment context for the use of the compressed bricks was Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) where manually fabricated bricks are increasingly being used in low
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The discussion in this paper is part of research directed at establishing optimal stabilization strategy for compressed bricks. The deployment context for the use of the compressed bricks was Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) where manually fabricated bricks are increasingly being used in low cost housing units. This discussion specifically focuses on strategies that can be used to counter deterioration due to wind-driven rain erosion. The impact of using cement, lime, fiber and a commercial stabilizing fluid was assessed. Factory-produced bricks were used for benchmarking. The durability of the bricks was assessed using the “modified” Bulletin 5 Spray Test. The different brick specimens were sprayed with water at 2.07 MPa and 4.14 MPa over one-hour time period while measuring the depth of erosion every 15 minutes. Factory-produced bricks hardly eroded at both 2.07 MPa and 4.14 MPa pressure levels. The maximum depth of erosion for Soil-Cement bricks ranged from a maximum of 0.5 mm at 2.07 MPa water pressure to 0.8 mm at 4.14 MPa. The maximum and minimum depths of erosion for Soil-Cement-Lime bricks were 25mm and 17 mm respectively. The inclusion of natural fiber in the bricks resulted in a sharp increase of the erosion depth to a maximum of 40 mm at 2.07 MPa and 55 mm at 4.14 Mpa. As the use of natural fibers and lime enhances some physio-mechanical properties, further research is necessary to determine ways of achieving this goal while maintaining acceptable levels of erosion resistance. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Sustainable Energy Scenario for the United States: Year 2050
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3650-3680; doi:10.3390/su2123650
Received: 14 September 2010 / Revised: 28 October 2010 / Accepted: 18 November 2010 / Published: 26 November 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a scenario depicting life in the United States in the year 2050. The scenario is designed to achieve energy sustainability: fossil fuels and corn ethanol have been replaced by other sustainable and inexhaustible energy sources. The scenario describes the disappearance
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This paper presents a scenario depicting life in the United States in the year 2050. The scenario is designed to achieve energy sustainability: fossil fuels and corn ethanol have been replaced by other sustainable and inexhaustible energy sources. The scenario describes the disappearance of the suburbs, replaced by a mix of high density urban centers and low density eco-communities. A suite of advanced technologies and significant social changes underpin the scenario. Analysis of the energy implications inherent in the scenario suggest that total US energy consumption would be around 100 quads in 2050, approximately the same as in the year 2010 despite a forecasted population increase of 130 million. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Futures)
Open AccessArticle Crop Sequence Influences on Sustainable Spring Wheat Production in the Northern Great Plains
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3695-3709; doi:10.3390/su2123695
Received: 11 October 2010 / Revised: 22 November 2010 / Accepted: 23 November 2010 / Published: 30 November 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cropping systems in American agriculture are highly successful since World War II, but have become highly specialized, standardized, and simplified to meet the demands of an industrialized food system. Minimal attention has been given to the efficient exploitation of crop diversity and the
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Cropping systems in American agriculture are highly successful since World War II, but have become highly specialized, standardized, and simplified to meet the demands of an industrialized food system. Minimal attention has been given to the efficient exploitation of crop diversity and the synergistic and/or antagonistic relationships of crops in crop sequences. Objectives of our research were to determine if previous crop sequences have long-term benefits and/or drawbacks on spring wheat seed yield, seed N concentration, and seed precipitation-use efficiency in the semiarid northern Great Plains, USA. Research was conducted 6 km southwest of Mandan, ND using a 10 × 10 crop matrix technique as a research tool to evaluate multiple crop sequence effects on spring wheat (triticum aestivum L.) production in 2004 and 2005. Spring wheat production risks can be mitigated when second year crop residue was dry pea (Pisium sativum L.) averaged over all first year crop residues. When compared to spring wheat as second year crop residue in the dry year of 2004, dry pea as the second year residue crop resulted in a 30% spring wheat seed yield increase. Sustainable cropping systems need to use precipitation efficiently for crop production, especially during below average precipitation years like 2004. Precipitation use efficiency average over all treatments, during the below average precipitation year was 23% greater than the above average precipitation year of 2005. Diversifying crops in cropping systems improves production efficiencies and resilience of agricultural systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability, Learning and Capability: Exploring Questions of Balance
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3735-3746; doi:10.3390/su2123735
Received: 27 October 2010 / Revised: 26 November 2010 / Accepted: 1 December 2010 / Published: 3 December 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is argued that sustainable development makes best sense as a social learning process that brings tangible and useful outcomes in terms of understanding and skills, and also reinforces the motivation and capability for further learning. Thus, there are always balances to be
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It is argued that sustainable development makes best sense as a social learning process that brings tangible and useful outcomes in terms of understanding and skills, and also reinforces the motivation and capability for further learning. Thus, there are always balances to be struck between a broad-based, wide-ranging education and a more specialist one; between a focus on ideas themselves, and on their application in social or economic contexts; and between keeping ideas separate, and integrating them. This paper will explore the nature of such balances, and the issues to bear in mind when striking them, focusing on schools, university and college contexts within the United Kingdom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Education)
Open AccessArticle A Life-Cycle Approach to Characterising Environmental and Economic Impacts of Multifunctional Land-Use Systems: An Integrated Assessment in the UK
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3747-3776; doi:10.3390/su2123747
Received: 8 November 2010 / Accepted: 30 November 2010 / Published: 15 December 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An integrated environmental and economic assessment of land use for food, energy and timber in the UK has been performed using environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and economic Life Cycle Costing (LCC), to explore complementary sustainability aspects of alternative land uses. The environmental
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An integrated environmental and economic assessment of land use for food, energy and timber in the UK has been performed using environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and economic Life Cycle Costing (LCC), to explore complementary sustainability aspects of alternative land uses. The environmental assessment includes impacts on climate change, ecosystem services and biodiversity, all of which include soil carbon emissions. The systems explored include all processes from cradle to farm ‘gate’. The crops assessed were wheat and oilseed rape (under both organic and conventional farming systems), Scots Pine, and willow and Miscanthus. Food crops, particularly conventional food crops, are shown to have the highest climate-changing emissions per ha, whereas energy and forestry crops show negative net emissions. To a lesser extent, the same situation applies to impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity, with carbon storage in biomass playing a larger role than carbon in soils. The energy and forestry crops in this study show an overall beneficial environmental impact, in particular due to soil carbon sequestration, making these land uses the lowest contributors to climate change. Combining this with the non-renewable CO2 emissions displaced will mean that energy crops have an even lower impact. Economically, conventional food crops present the highest costs per ha, followed by organic food crops, energy and forestry crops. Integrating the results from LCA and LCC shows that the climate impacts per monetary unit of all land uses are dominated by soil management and, in the case of food production, also by fertilisation. Taxes or incentives such as “carbon charging” will encourage changes in practice in these areas to improve the sustainability of land management, mainly by building up Soil Organic Carbon (SOC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Green Jobs in Australia: A Status Report
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3792-3811; doi:10.3390/su2123792
Received: 26 October 2010 / Revised: 11 November 2010 / Accepted: 1 December 2010 / Published: 20 December 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (236 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper captures the breadth of complexity in the debate about ‘green jobs’ as the world seeks to transition to a ‘low carbon economy’ and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the reduction of reliance for energy on the burning of fossil fuels.
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This paper captures the breadth of complexity in the debate about ‘green jobs’ as the world seeks to transition to a ‘low carbon economy’ and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the reduction of reliance for energy on the burning of fossil fuels. A consideration is provided within both the Australian and international contexts of the current assertions and projections regarding green jobs, their definition and location in the economy. The substantive focus of the paper is on the development of these notions in the Australian context. We consider the understanding brought to the term and explore some of the intersections for vocational employment and training which have emerged in debate about the ways in which nations will manage the carbon pollution reduction imperative. We explore the ways forward for a coherent understanding of the need to build capacity for green jobs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Education)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Paradigm: Intelligent Energy System
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3812-3830; doi:10.3390/su2123812
Received: 18 November 2010 / Revised: 2 December 2010 / Accepted: 7 December 2010 / Published: 21 December 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (392 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The promotion of sustainable development is the European affirmation in the international arena and is European policy for the Union. However, the current situation—where the Sustainability is more intention than a practice—risks such European affirmation. In our analysis, we have assumed that the
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The promotion of sustainable development is the European affirmation in the international arena and is European policy for the Union. However, the current situation—where the Sustainability is more intention than a practice—risks such European affirmation. In our analysis, we have assumed that the energy system is a complex system, which may interact with its surrounding by utilizing resources, exchange conversion system products, utilizing economic benefits from conversion processes and absorbing the social consequences of conversion processes. Information and communication technologies are recognized as one of the pillars in the development of sustainable global life support systems. Information and communication technologies improve the capability to monitor and manage energy systems and to help to reduce the impact of natural and human-induced disasters through prediction, early warning and registration of potential changes which may lead to the unexpected disasters. With the respective methodology and monitoring system, the resilience of an energy system can be evaluated as the safety parameter of the energy system. In this respect, it is of the paramount importance to introduce the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in the online evaluation of an energy system. The main attention of this paper is devoted to: (1) Energy efficiency as a complex problem, which has to be defined with an additive function of agglomerated economic efficiency, environment efficiency and social efficiency; (2) Information and communication technologies recognized as the tool for the development of sustainable and safe global life support systems. This comprises monitoring tools for the assessment and evaluation of potential degradation and resilience of the energy system; (3) Multi-criteria evaluation method is verified as an appropriate procedure for the Sustainability Index determination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Sustainable Management)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of the Role of Local Strawberry Rhizosphere—Associated Streptomycetes on the Bacterially—Induced Growth and Botrytis cinerea Infection Resistance of the Fruit
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3831-3845; doi:10.3390/su2123831
Received: 22 November 2010 / Accepted: 10 December 2010 / Published: 22 December 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (280 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The future need for sustainable agriculture will be met in part by wider use of biological control of plant pathogens over conventional fungicides hazardous to the environment and to public health. Control strategies involving both (i) direct use of microorganisms antagonistic to the
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The future need for sustainable agriculture will be met in part by wider use of biological control of plant pathogens over conventional fungicides hazardous to the environment and to public health. Control strategies involving both (i) direct use of microorganisms antagonistic to the phytopathogen, and (ii) use of bioactive compounds (secondary metabolites/antibiotic compounds) from microorganisms on the phytopathogen were both adapted in order to investigate the ability of streptomycetes isolated from the rhizosphere of strawberry plants to promote the growth of the fruit and suppress Botrytis cinerea causing strawberry rot on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. In vitro studies showed that 25/39 streptomycetes isolated from strawberry field soils inhibited B. cinerea growth by antifungal activity, ranging from antibiosis to volatile compound production. However, when non-volatile antifungal compounds were extracted and applied aerially to the actively growing strawberry fruits infected with B. cinerea, a significant disease reduction was not recorded. On the other hand, plant and fruit growth was promoted by the presence of actively growing streptomycetes in container media. Findings might indicate that live streptomycete inoculum can be used as growth promoting agent in container media for this economically important crop. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Sustaining World Food Security with Improved Cassava Processing Technology: The Nigeria Experience
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3681-3694; doi:10.3390/su2123681
Received: 24 October 2010 / Accepted: 24 November 2010 / Published: 26 November 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (65 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cassava is a very important food crop that is capable of providing food security. However, a lot of problems prevent the development and use of modern equipment for its production. Most of the cassava produced still comes from peasant farmers who depend on
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Cassava is a very important food crop that is capable of providing food security. However, a lot of problems prevent the development and use of modern equipment for its production. Most of the cassava produced still comes from peasant farmers who depend on manual tools for their field operations and these farmers have made Nigeria the world’s largest producer of the crop. An increase in production of cassava to sustain the world food security needs improved machinery to allow its continuous cultivation and processing. Reasons for the low success recorded in the mechanization of cassava harvesting and processing were traced, and the attempts that have been made in the recent past by various engineers in Nigeria researching towards achieving mechanized harvesting and processing of cassava are well explained. The machinery required for cassava production in Africa, the development of new machines, and the need for more research and development in harvesting and processing machineries, which can reduce poverty worldwide and make food available and accessible for all, are also discussed. Research efforts made and the challenges facing the engineers, farmers, scientists and food processors towards achieving mechanical harvesting and processing of cassava are presented. Breeding a cassava variety with a regular shape for easy mechanization is one solution that could help the engineers worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Environmental Sustainability)
Open AccessReview Why Does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to Be Inadequate? A Preliminary Public Choice Analysis
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3710-3734; doi:10.3390/su2123710
Received: 4 October 2010 / Revised: 15 November 2010 / Accepted: 22 November 2010 / Published: 30 November 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a widespread consensus among the most important players in developed countries (voters, politicians, producers, traditional and green interest groups and bureaucracies) that a shift towards an eco-social market economy is essential for sustainable growth. Nevertheless, market-based instruments have not as yet
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There is a widespread consensus among the most important players in developed countries (voters, politicians, producers, traditional and green interest groups and bureaucracies) that a shift towards an eco-social market economy is essential for sustainable growth. Nevertheless, market-based instruments have not as yet been implemented satisfactorily in environmental policy. To identify the reasons for this insufficient implementation over the past decade, the Public Choice theory is used. The players’ behavior is analyzed in order to show that their incentives for implementing market-based instruments in environmental policy, instead of command-and-control measures, are surprisingly weak. Knowing the obstacles to implementing market-based instruments provides valuable insight into how to overcome them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy and Sustainability)
Open AccessReview National and International Standardization (International Organization for Standardization and European Committee for Standardization) Relevant for Sustainability in Construction
Sustainability 2010, 2(12), 3777-3791; doi:10.3390/su2123777
Received: 5 November 2010 / Revised: 23 November 2010 / Accepted: 15 December 2010 / Published: 20 December 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability in construction has a short history in terms of principles, standardizations and applications. From the Brundtland Report “Our Common Future”, a new vision of the resource deficits, climate impacts and the social responsibility gave growth to the idea of sustainability also in
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Sustainability in construction has a short history in terms of principles, standardizations and applications. From the Brundtland Report “Our Common Future”, a new vision of the resource deficits, climate impacts and the social responsibility gave growth to the idea of sustainability also in design and construction. Consequently, in around 2000, the international and national organizations for standardization started to develop standards for the application of sustainable principles. This paper gives an overview of existing and planned standards, and examples on how to use them as a framework for the development of methods and tools for assessment. Full article

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