Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book: Environmental Transformations A Geography of the Anthropocene (24 April 2014)

Environmental Transformations

A Geography of the Anthropocene

By Mark Whitehead

From the depths of the oceans to the highest reaches of the atmosphere, the human impact on the environment is significant and undeniable. These forms of global and local environmental change collectively appear to signal the arrival of a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. This is a geological era defined not by natural environmental fluctuations or meteorite impacts, but by collective actions of humanity.
Environmental Transformations offers a concise and accessible introduction to the human practices and systems that sustain the Anthropocene. It combines accounts of the carbon cycle, global heat balances, entropy, hydrology, forest ecology and pedology, with theories of demography, war, industrial capitalism, urban development, state theory and behavioural psychology. This book charts the particular role of geography and geographers in studying environmental change and its human drivers. It provides a review of critical theories that can help to uncover the socio-economic and political factors that influence environmental change. It also explores key issues in contemporary environmental studies, such as resource use, water scarcity, climate change, industrial pollution and deforestation. These issues are ‘mapped’ through a series of geographical case studies to illustrate the particular value of geographical notions of space, place and scale, in uncovering the complex nature of environmental change in different socio-economic, political and cultural contexts. Finally, the book considers the different ways in which nations, communities and individuals around the world are adapting to environmental change in the twenty-first century.
Particular attention is given throughout to the uneven geographical opportunities that different communities have to adapt to environmental change and to the questions of social justice this situation raises. This book encourages students to engage in the scientific uncertainties that surround the study of environmental change, while also discussing both pessimistic and more optimistic views on the ability of humanity to address the environmental challenges of our current era.
Chapter 1: Introduction – Geography in the Anthropocene Section 1: Environmental Transformations Chapter 2: Resources – Oil and Water Chapter 3: Air – Science and the Atmosphere Chapter 4: Soil – The Political Ecology of Soil Degradation Chapter 5: Forests – Jungle Capitalism and the Corporate Environment Chapter 6: Cities – Sprawl and the Urban Planet Section 2: Living in the Anthropocene Chapter 7: Governing the Environment Chapter 8: Greening the Brain: Understanding and Changing Human Behaviour Chapter 9: Conclusions: Misanthropy, Adaptation and Safe Operating Spaces
source from: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415809849/

Hong Kong: Environment chief opens green exhibition (27 April 2014)

Environment chief opens green exhibition

March 27, 2014
Out of sight

Out of sight:  Secretary for the Environment KS Wong inspects the waste automatic collection system in Areia Preta.

Secretary for the Environment KS Wong today led a delegation to open the 2014 Macau International Environmental Co-operation Forum & Exhibition.

He toured the exhibition booths to see business opportunities brought by modern environmental technologies and green solutions for a sustainable city.

He met Macau’s Secretary for Transport & Public Works Lau Si-lo, Director of the Office for the Development of the Energy Sector Arnaldo Santos and other Macau officials.

He also met the Portugal's Secretary of State of the Environment Paulo Lemos and his delegation.

Mr Wong inspected the waste automatic collection system in Areia Preta. Comprised of waste collection points, underground pipelines and garbage inlets, the system can collect 35 to 40 tonnes of garbage daily and serves about 15,800 households.

He and the delegation will return to Hong Kong after a dinner the Macau Government is hosting.

source: http://www.news.gov.hk/en/categories/environment/html/2014/03/20140327_190930.shtml

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book: Planning and Installing Micro-Hydro Systems (24 April 2014)

Planning and Installing Micro-Hydro Systems

A Guide for Designers, Installers and Engineers

By Chris Elliott

Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
An essential addition to the Earthscan Planning & Installing series, Planning and Installing Micro-Hydro Systems provides vital diagrams, pictures and tables detailing the planning and installing of a micro-hydro system, including information on the maintenance and economics once an installation is running. The book covers subjects such as measuring head and flow, ecological impacts, scheme layouts, practical advice, calculations and turbine choice. Archimedes screws are also covered in detail, as well as the main conventional choices relevant to small sites.
Micro-hydro refers to hydropower systems with a power rating of 100kW or less. A 100kW system will produce 100 standard units of electricity in one hour. These systems have been popular in some sparsely populated or mountainous countries for a number of years, but now new technology, less stringent regulation of grid connected generators and standardised turbine designs are encouraging more widespread interest in micro-hydro in the developed world.
The renewable energy sector is growing at a remarkable rate, and whilst much attention has so far focused on solar and wind technologies, Europe and elsewhere have great potential for generating power from small scale hydroelectric installations.
This book is aimed at site owners, designers and consultants who are looking to develop schemes in the micro-hydro scale – 5 to 100kW – although the concepts are applicable to smaller and larger schemes.
1. Energy in Context 2. Hydro Basics 3. The Weight of Water 4. Head and Flow 5. Ecological Considerations 6. Stages of Project Design 7. Initial Design 8. Predicting Power Output and Energy Capture 9. The Value of Power 10. Weirs and Impoundments 11. Intakes and Forebays 12. Spillways 13. Channels 14. Fish Passage Structures 15. Powerhouses 16. Screening 17. Penstocks 18. Sluices 19. Turbines 20. Mechanical Transmission 21. Archimedes Screw Turbines 22. Electrical Basics 23. Control Equipment 24. Generators 25. Grid Connection 26. Design for Flood 27. Assessing Historic Structures 28. Condition Monitoring 29. Commercial 30. Site Investigation 31. Temporary Works and Construction Methods 32. Accepting Machinery, Installation and Commissioning 33. Maintenance and Monitoring
source: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781844075386/

Book: The Politics of Knowledge and Global Biodiversity (24 April 2014)

The Politics of Knowledge and Global Biodiversity

By Alice B.M. Vadrot

Routledge – 2014 – 320 pages
The establishment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) points to the crucial role attributed to science and knowledge for the successful implementation of biodiversity politics by both scientists and policy-makers. With the increased importance of biodiversity in international politics, and in part inspired by the success the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has had in raising awareness of global warming, the call for an ‘IPCC for Biodiversity’ was successful.
The Politics of Knowledge and Global Biodiversity gives a full overview of the process of its implementation as finalised in 2013 and proposes an innovative conceptual framework that puts this specific case into a more general perspective of international politics and relations. It provides a detailed empirical analysis of the knowledge politics associated with the establishment of IPBES and its conceptual framework and methodological approach is grounded in a theoretical perspective.
This pioneering work is the first to examine IPBES in this way and is essential reading for researchers and scholars of International Relations, Environmental and Biodiversity Politics, Science-Policy Interfaces and Global Environmental Governance. It will also be of interest to political scientists and social scientists.
Introduction 1. How we view Nature now: the emergence of 'biodiversity' 2. A Novel Approach: 'epistemic selectivities' 3. Who needs a 'Science-Policy Interface' for Biodiversity 4. Conception and Birth of New International Body: the IPBES 5. The Manifold Narratives of the IPBES negotiations 6. Epistemic Selectivies: Knowledge and Institutional Change
source: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415729901/

Hong Kong: Green summit urges less waste (27 April 2014)

Green summit urges less waste

April 11, 2014
Public participation is crucial in achieving the "use less, waste less" vision, Acting Chief Executive Carrie Lam said today.

She was speaking at the Go Green, Waste Less summit, organised by the Environmental Campaign Committee and the Environmental Protection Department.

About 180 representatives from District Councils, local community groups and schools joined. Mrs Lam thanked them for their efforts to promote community participation and environmental work.

Secretary for the Environment KS Wong said the councils and local residents are key to promoting environmental protection in the community.

Since 2012, the department has given funding to District Councils to organise environmental programmes. The 2013-14 theme was Community Action on Waste – Use Less, Reuse, Recycle, featuring district-based education, promotional and recycling programmes, with more than 80,000 participants.

source: http://www.news.gov.hk/en/categories/environment/html/2014/04/20140411_173414.shtml

Hong Kong News: Park photo competition opens (27 April 2014)

Park photo competition opens

April 15, 2014
The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department launched a country park photography competition today.

The event is to promote country park visits and nature conservation.

The department encourages participants to share their country park experiences by taking photographs capturing the seasonal beauty and rich biodiversity in Hong Kong’s country parks.

Entries should be emailed to cpphotocomp2014@gmail.com during specified periods in each season.

source : http://www.news.gov.hk/en/categories/environment/html/2014/04/20140415_151655.shtml