The missed opportunity of a tiny, tidy life

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Meet your neighbors” should be a rather benign request. You share many trappings of your life with them, after all: A street, a building stairwell, a bodega where you see each other buying the exact same flavor of taquitos at two in the morning. See! You have so much in common.

Recent reader responses to this very suggestion revealed its perceived outrageousness. They covered a remarkable variety of objections: claims of being too shy, accusations that yours truly is a “Cheeto follower,” and the colorful declaration that “my neighbor can go pound sand” (which I had to Google).

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Nicosia hosts the 7th Nicosia Environment and Recycling Festival

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Green Dot Cyprus has organized for the seventh consecutive year the all-day “Nicosia Environment and Recycling Festival” in an effort to raise awareness over the contribution of recycling to improving the quality of life.

The festival took place on Saturday, the 20th of May, at the Acropolis Park in Nicosia, from early morning until midnight.

At the Festival the public had the opportunity to be informed on a variety of environmental and recycling issues, while many educational games, music and dancing events and children`s performances were organized.

This year`s festival aimed to highlight how recycling contributes positively to protecting the environment and improving quality of life and health. For this reason, the festival included a special session with activities related to healthy eating and sport.

Sakis Theodosiou, commercial director of Green Dot, said that the festival was educational and entertaining for the whole family, and focuses on creating and shaping positive behaviours towards the environment. “We want to create a better world with our children for our children,” he said in a statement during the Festival.

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Even Republicans are nervous about Trump’s budget.

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Daimler AG, the company behind Mercedes-Benz, just broke ground on a $543 million lithium-ion battery plant in Germany, Bloomberg reports. Consider it a response to Tesla’s $5 billion gigafactory under construction in California, as car makers and utilities drive demand for more powerful and less expensive batteries.

The German plant is the first of many such factories planned in Europe, including a 4 billion-euro ($4.5 billion) battery plant slated for Sweden by 2023. With all this investment in batteries, prices could fall by 43 percent, estimates Bloomberg’s energy research unit — enough to make electric cars cheaper than their fossil-fueled counterparts by 2030.

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Coal impacts could push 122 million people into extreme poverty by 2030.

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Though the official release is planned for Tuesday, leaked versions of the 2018 budget proposal show dramatic funding cuts for environmental programs — even those supported by the president’s own party.

The budget, which still needs congressional approval, would cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 35 percent. It also slashes funding for cleanup programs like Superfund, but adds cash for water infrastructure.

After submitting an original budget blueprint, the Trump administration faced backlash from Democrats and environmental groups about the drastic cuts. But Republicans are wary of what President Trump might propose, too.

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Europe is going all in for batteries.

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Though the official release is planned for Tuesday, leaked versions of the 2018 budget proposal show dramatic funding cuts for environmental programs — even those supported by the president’s own party.

The budget, which still needs congressional approval, would cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 35 percent. It also slashes funding for cleanup programs like Superfund, but adds cash for water infrastructure.

After submitting an original budget blueprint, the Trump administration faced backlash from Democrats and environmental groups about the drastic cuts. But Republicans are wary of what President Trump might propose, too.

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Trump’s bid for public input on monuments is a sham, federal advisors say

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In late-April field biologist Stanley Smith was catching up on emails at his desk in the College of Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, when he noticed a shocking note. It came from the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Department of the Interior, and informed Smith that the public lands advisory council in southern Nevada that he’s served on for years was suspended. Across the country, other regional advisors got similar notices.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had called for a review of more than 200 independent groups that advise his department on various issues, such as whether a historical site or natural feature should be designated a national monument. The day before Smith received his notification, President Trump signed an executive order asking Interior to review 21 sites recently designated as national monuments. The review would cover patches of wilderness that received the distinction after 1996, like Mojave Trails in California and Bears Ears in Utah, and would assess whether public opinion was adequately taken into account prior to elevating their status.

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IEA SHC Task 54: Investigating Cost Factors Along the Value Chain

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Task 54 RWTH Aachen
Researchers have worked intensively for one-and-a-half years across national borders to find ways of reducing the costs of solar thermal systems and making them more attractive to end users. The members of Task 54 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, Price Reduction of Solar Thermal Systems, have discussed the effects of standardised product designs or changes in product offerings on cost structures. They have also analysed the entire value chain from component manufacture to system assembly and installation to help identify cost-cutting potential. This is the first time that methods of Process Cost Analysis are being adapted for the solar thermal business. “The share of overhead (e.g. marketing, sales, logistics, quality management and maintenance) has increased significantly, from 30 to 60 % of total product expenses over the last 50 years. This means we will have to investigate the relationship between technology, product portfolio and overhead,” explained Wolfgang Kramer, Head of the Solar Thermal Heating Systems Department at German-based Fraunhofer ISE. “To this end, the process cost analysis provides important quantitative information.” For example, the chart illustrates the issue of having a wider product portfolio and its impact on competitiveness and profitability. The model is currently being adapted for the solar industry in Task 54 as part of German research programme TEWIsol.

Chart: RWTH Aachen University

The German research partners from Fraunhofer ISE are using the newly adapted methods to optimise the cost structure of the value chain in cooperation with German-based RWTH Aachen University. “We have expanded upon the methods used by Aachen University to create ones which meet the needs of the solar industry, which means adding the plumber business and factoring in the solar thermal yield,” said Kramer. The research has been funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the TEWIsol project (which aims to improve the technology and cost efficiency of solar combi systems).

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Meet the fixers: These activists want carbon polluters to pay.

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The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority mentioned the leak in an annual report on offshore exploration but revealed no details about who operated the well.

That information came to light on Friday, when Woodside Petroleum — Australia’s largest oil and gas producer, owned by Royal Dutch Shell — admitted to owning the well on the North West Shelf of the country. The leak began in April 2016 and lasted about two months. All told, it spilled nearly 2,800 gallons of oil into the ocean.

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Interview with Patricia Moser, Director, UNOPS Procurement

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To mark the start of a series of profiles on UN sustainable procurement champions, Greening the Blue met with Patricia Moser, Director of the Procurement Group at UNOPS to discuss all things procurement. Here’s what she told us…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at UNOPS?

I’ve been at UNOPS for almost two and a half years. Before that, I worked in senior executive roles in different industries in the private sector, in procurement and supply chain. I also ran my own consultancy for several years, with clients from both the private and public sectors.

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Troodos run to raise awareness about environment

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Troodos run to raise awareness about environment – Cyprus Mail

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