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Robèrt Forgot Goulet: Augmenting TNS with the Capabilities Approach to Support the Social Dimensions of Sustainability

Description

While the definition of sustainability remains open for all to contribute to and participate in, there do seem to be some notions it has come to embody that should not

While the definition of sustainability remains open for all to contribute to and participate in, there do seem to be some notions it has come to embody that should not be neglected as the definition coalesces. Among these are the ethical and social dimensions of sustainability. Whether or not it is appropriate, required, or even desirable, concepts like social equity, human rights, ethical sharing of commons, etc. have increasingly come under the umbrella of the sustainability discourse. Even if “sustainability” as a bare word doesn’t imply those things, the concept of sustainable development certainly has taken on those dimensions. That sustainability might be redefined or re-scoped to be a purely environmental or a rigidly scientific endeavor, is not an immediate concern of this paper, though if that were to occur (whether for the sake of simplicity or pragmatics), it should be done explicitly so the ethical sub-discourse can be maintained (indeed, sustained) by some other movement.

This paper proposes a mechanism by which such a migration in terms can be prevented. First, in reviewing the work of Denis Goulet, it shows the solid basis for including an ethical aspect in the sustainability discourse. Second, it points out that Karl-Henrik Robèrt’s highly-lauded and broadly-employed sustainability framework, The Natural Step, is deficient in this area. This deficiency provides the impetus for, finally, proposing a mechanism by which The Natural Step can be extended to include the important social and ethical dimensions of sustainability. This mechanism is based on the capabilities approaches that, in many respects, evolved out of Goulet’s early work. Augmented accordingly, TNS can continue to be used without fear of overlooking the social and ethical aspects of the sustainability discourse.

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Understanding the Influence of Fly Ash and Activator Chemistry on Geopolymer Kinetics and Property Development

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It is the intent of this research to determine the feasibility of utilizing industrial byproducts in cementitious systems in lieu of Portland Cement to reduce global CO2 emissions. Class C

It is the intent of this research to determine the feasibility of utilizing industrial byproducts in cementitious systems in lieu of Portland Cement to reduce global CO2 emissions. Class C and Class F Fly Ash (CFA and FFA, respectively) derived from industrial coal combustion were selected as the replacement materials for this study. Sodium sulfate and calcium oxide were used as activators. In Part 1 of this study, focus was placed on high volume replacement of OPC using sodium sulfate as the activator. Despite improvements in heat generation for both CFA and FFA systems in the presence of sulfate, sodium sulfate was found to have adverse effects on the compressive strength of CFA mortars. In the CFA mixes, strength improved significantly with sulfate addition, but began to decrease in strength around 14 days due to expansive ettringite formation. Conversely, the addition of sulfate led to improved strength for FFA mixes such that the 28 day strength was comparable to that of the CFA mixes with no observable strength loss. Maximum compressive strengths achieved for the high volume replacement mixes was around 40 MPa, which is considerably lower than the baseline OPC mix used for comparison. In Part 2 of the study, temperature dependency and calcium oxide addition were studied for sodium sulfate activated systems composed of 100% Class F fly ash. In the presence of sulfate, added calcium increased reactivity and compressive strength at early ages, particularly at elevated temperatures. It is believed that sulfate and calcium react with alumina from fly ash to form ettringite, while heat overcomes the activation energy barrier of fly ash. The greatest strengths were obtained for mixes containing the maximum allowed quantity of calcium oxide (5%) and sodium sulfate (3%), and were around 12 MPa. This is a very low compressive strength relative to OPC and would therefore be an inadequate substitute for OPC needs.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The Efficacy and Effectiveness of Christian Psychotherapeutic Interventions: A Literature Review

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Christian psychotherapy appears to be useful especially for Christian clients seeking therapy, and is a growing preference among this population. Thus, the need for research on the efficacy and effectiveness

Christian psychotherapy appears to be useful especially for Christian clients seeking therapy, and is a growing preference among this population. Thus, the need for research on the efficacy and effectiveness of Christian interventions must be recognized. This study reviews 13 effectiveness and 21 efficacy studies of Christian psychotherapeutic interventions in various areas of psychotherapy. The majority of effectiveness and efficacy studies were shown to give positive outcomes for Christian psychotherapy, and overall, Christian psychotherapy is promising as an effective alternative to secular therapy. The need for further research in most areas is discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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A Partial Life Cycle Assessment of Oranges Grown Locally and Afar: An Evaluation of the Significance of Food Miles

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This thesis was conducted in order to determine the role played by food miles metrics in making the agricultural industry more sustainable. In an effort to analyze the importance of

This thesis was conducted in order to determine the role played by food miles metrics in making the agricultural industry more sustainable. In an effort to analyze the importance of eat locally this study utilizes a partial life cycle assessment. This study looks at oranges grown in Arizona and California and inputs such as water, energy, fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, frost mitigation, and distance in order to conduct the partial life cycle assessment. Results of this study indicate that food miles are not as significant, in relation to overall energy input, as the locavore movement claims. This is because production processes account for a larger portion of the total energy used in the food chain than what these claims suggest. While eating locally is still a significant way of reducing energy use, this thesis shows that decisions about eating sustainably should not only focus on the distance that the products travel, but place equal, if not more, importance on energy use differences due to geographic location and in-farm operations. Future research should be completed with more comprehensive impact categories and conducted for different crops, farming, and locations. Further research is needed in order to confirm or challenge the results of this thesis. With more research conducted regarding this topic, ecological labeling of agricultural products could be improved to help consumers make the most informed choices possible.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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A Study of yard-scale climate effects in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

In this project, I investigated the ecosystem services, or lack thereof, that landscape designs created in terms of microclimate modification at 11 residential homes throughout the Phoenix Metro Area. I

In this project, I investigated the ecosystem services, or lack thereof, that landscape designs created in terms of microclimate modification at 11 residential homes throughout the Phoenix Metro Area. I also created an article for the homeowners who participated, explaining what I did and how they could apply my research. My research question was how a person can achieve a comfortable outdoor climate in their yard without over-using scarce water resources. I hypothesized that there would be a negative correlation between the maximum air temperature and the percent shade in each yard, regardless of the percent grass. I analyzed the data I collected using the program, R, and discovered that my hypothesis was supported for the month of July. These results are in line with previous studies on the subject and can help homeowners make informed decisions about the effects their landscaping choices might have.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

Sense of Place, Place Attachment, and Student Perceptions of Sustainability in the Salt River Valley

Description

The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate sustainability students' engagement with sustainability in relation to their sense of place in the broader Salt River Valley community. The study

The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate sustainability students' engagement with sustainability in relation to their sense of place in the broader Salt River Valley community. The study was guided by two research questions 1) How do undergraduate Sustainability students explain their sense of place in the Valley with relation to their perceptions of sustainability? 2) Does residency in a different city, town, or state prior to entering the Sustainability program influence students' sense of place in the Valley? The study consisted of two distinct parts. In the first part, twenty students were interviewed using a narrative inquiry process to understand their perceptions of sustainability, their sense of place in the Valley, and how those two components influenced their engagement with sustainability in their communities. In the second part, these narratives were analyzed, synthesized, and samples of the stories were placed into a creative nonfiction collection to express an overall picture of sustainability in the Valley. Results showed that students generally relied on academic, professional, and social factors to identify places in which they could practice or engage with sustainability. Regardless of previous residencies, students expressed similar frustrations or limitations in expressing their sense of place, as related to sustainability, in the Valley.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Under the Camper Shell

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The objective for Under the Camper Shell was to build a prototype of a full living environment within the confines of a pickup truck bed and camper shell. The total

The objective for Under the Camper Shell was to build a prototype of a full living environment within the confines of a pickup truck bed and camper shell. The total volume available to work with is approximately 85ft3. This full living environment entails functioning systems for essential modern living, providing shelter and spaces for cooking, sleeping, eating, and sanitation. The project proved to be very challenging from the start. First, the livable space is extremely small, being only tall enough for one to sit up straight. The truck and camper shell were both borrowed items, so no modifications were allowed for either, e.g. drilling holes for mounting. The idea was to create a system that could be easily removed, transforming it from a camper to a utility truck. The systems developed for the living environment would be modular and transformative so to accommodate for different necessities when packing. The goal was to create a low-water system with sustainability in mind. Insulating the space was the largest challenge and the most rewarding, using body heat to warm the space and insulate from the elements. Comfort systems were made of high density foam cushions in sections to allow folding and stacking for different functions (sleeping, lounging, and sitting). Sanitation is necessary for healthy living and regular human function. A composting toilet was used for the design, lending to low-water usage and is sustainable over time. Saw dust would be necessary for its function, but upon composting, the unit will generate sufficient amounts of heat to act as a space heater. Showering serves the functions of exfoliation and ridding of bacteria, both of which bath wipes can accomplish, limiting massive volumes of water storage and waste. Storage systems were also designed for modularity. Hooks were installed the length of the bed for hanging or securing items as necessary. Some are available for hanging bags. A cabinetry rail also runs the length of the bed to allow movement of hard storage to accommodate different scenarios. The cooking method is called "sous-vide", a method of cooking food in air-tight bags submerged in hot water. The water is reusable for cooking and no dishes are necessary for serving. Overall, the prototype fulfilled its function as a full living environment with few improvements necessary for future use.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12

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Tossing Out the Waste: An Exploration of Sustainable Solutions for an Arizona Restaurant

Description

The goal of this project is to gain and use knowledge of sustainability topics as a value-adding function for a business in the Tempe, AZ area and to develop the

The goal of this project is to gain and use knowledge of sustainability topics as a value-adding function for a business in the Tempe, AZ area and to develop the skills to approach and consult with business owners and staff about sustainable business options. Sustainability searches for a balance between society, economy and the environment where all three can thrive; therefore, the ideal project partner was a business that values the wellbeing of mankind, is locally owned and operated and promotes environmental stewardship. The Original Chop Shop Co in Tempe Arizona was appropriately selected. Throughout the duration of our partnership, I observed their daily routine, interviewed employees and managers and used the collected information to identify three areas of focus that have the largest potential to reduce The Original Chop Shop Company's impact on the environment. Information on the areas of recycling, composting, and food sourcing was researched and synthesized to make suggestions for ecofriendly changes to business practices. The scope of the project includes small changes in daily practices such as implementing a recycling and composting program and employee training sessions and minor investments such as purchasing a micro washer and silverware in order to eliminate nonrenewable plastic utensils. The scope does not include major renovations or investments in technology. The suggestions offered position The Original Chop Shop to conduct business in a way that does not compromise the health of the environment, society, or economy.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Carbon Dioxide Separation by Ceramic-Carbonate Dual-Phase Membranes and Process Design for Membrane Reactor in IGCC Power Plant

Description

Currently, approximately 40% of the world’s electricity is generated from coal and coal power plants are one of the major sources of greenhouse gases accounting for a third of all

Currently, approximately 40% of the world’s electricity is generated from coal and coal power plants are one of the major sources of greenhouse gases accounting for a third of all CO2 emissions. The Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) has been shown to provide an increase in plant efficiency compared to traditional coal-based power generation processes resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of this project was to analyze the performance of a new SNDC ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane for CO2 separation. The chemical formula for the SNDC-carbonate membrane was Sm0.075Nd0.075Ce0.85O1.925. This project also focused on the use of this membrane for pre-combustion CO2 capture coupled with a water gas shift (WGS) reaction for a 1000 MW power plant. The addition of this membrane to the traditional IGCC process provides a purer H2 stream for combustion in the gas turbine and results in lower operating costs and increased efficiencies for the plant. At 900 °C the CO2 flux and permeance of the SNDC-carbonate membrane were 0.65 mL/cm2•min and 1.0×10-7 mol/m2•s•Pa, respectively. Detailed in this report are the following: background regarding CO2 separation membranes and IGCC power plants, SNDC tubular membrane preparation and characterization, IGCC with membrane reactor plant design, process heat and mass balance, and plant cost estimations.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Integrating Sustainability Within the Internal Operations of Pet Retailers

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An examination of ways the pet retail industry can integrate sustainability into their internal operations by pursuing initiatives surrounding associate engagement, logistics/transportation, packaging/certifications, and water and energy conservation.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05