Sunday, October 31, 2010

Two New Electric Concept Cars You’ve Got To See

Two New Electric Concept Cars You’ve Got To See | Crisp Green

Nissan, which only recently made headlines by revealing the LEAF, the most affordable electric cars on the market, stunned EV-lovers by announcing its entry into the 2010 LA Auto Show: the Nissan iV (pictured above).

The design features a super-lightweight construction that showcases "organic synthetics" and an interwoven organic frame supported by a chassis based on fast-growing ivy and reinforced with spider silk composite (via Greenwala).

This news comes just days after Mitsubishi finished dazzling audiences at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show with it's electric concept car; the i-MiEV Sport (pictured below). The concept design builds on features seen in the i-MiEV electric vehicle released in Australia in August, but expands them to offer more environmental and performance benefits.

Amazing Hydro-Electric Power Collector

NYC Breaks Ground on $80 Million Recycling Center in Brooklyn

NYC Breaks Ground on $80 Million Recycling Center in Brooklyn | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

New Yorkers have quite a few gripes about the state of recycling in our city, but this week brought exciting news that is making us feel more optimistic. Mayor Bloomberg’s office announced that the city broke ground on a new recycling center that will minimize the amount of trucking between pickup and drop-off sites by more than 260,000 miles a year. The new Sims Municipal Recycling Facility will be located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and will serve as the principal processing facility for all of the city’s metal, glass, and plastic recyclables. The plan to open the center is a key part of PlaNYC, the city’s goal of improving air quality, cutting traffic and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Oh, and did we mention that the center will also create 100 new jobs for the area?

Athletes Go Nude for ESPN's 2010 Body Issue (Photos) - MindBodyGreen

Athletes Go Nude for ESPN's 2010 Body Issue (Photos) - MindBodyGreen

ESPN just came out with their 2010 'Body Issue', in which pro athletes strip down and bare all. Here's a sneak peak of the issue including the USA Women's Water Polo Team, skier Julie Mancuso, women's pro basketball player Diana Taurisi, ex-NFL star Herschel Walker, and wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer.

Herschel Walker, the oldest of the bunch at age 48, tells CNN he feels that he's in the best shape of his life. Walker is a vegetarian and has an unorthodox diet, saying he "doesn't worry about cholesterol or protein" and only eats when he's hungry, which is typically once a day.

Better monitoring urged for ailing oceans by 2015 - Yahoo! News

Better monitoring urged for ailing oceans by 2015 - Yahoo! News

Ocean scientists urged governments on Sunday to invest billions of dollars by 2015 in a new system to monitor the seas and give alerts of everything from tsunamis to acidification linked to climate change.

They said better oversight would have huge economic benefits, helping to understand the impact of over-fishing or shifts in monsoons that can bring extreme weather such as the 2010 floods in Pakistan.

A scientific alliance, Oceans United, would present the plea to governments meeting in Beijing on November 3-5 for talks about a goal set at a 2002 U.N. Earth Summit of setting up a new system to monitor the health of the planet.

"Most ocean experts believe the future ocean will be saltier, hotter, more acidic and less diverse," said Jesse Ausubel, a founder of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), which leads the alliance and represents 38 major oceanographic institutions from 21 nations.

Jon Stewart's speech at the Rally For Sanity.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Science group warns California voters about misleading attack against state's clean energy law ::

Science group warns California voters about misleading attack against state's clean energy law ::

With most voters' attention diverted by the oil industry's efforts to derail AB 32 with Proposition 23, another, less scrutinized oil-industry-funded ballot measure-Proposition 26-also poses a serious threat to the state's landmark clean energy law. Proposition 26 has received nearly $16 million from Chevron and other big oil companies, as well as alcohol and tobacco interests, to get themselves off the hook for paying for environmental and health damage they cause and shift that burden to taxpayers. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is alerting California voters to beware of misleading "slate mailers" arriving in their mailboxes just before the November 2 election and vote "no" on Proposition 23 and Proposition 26.

"While Prop 23 is a frontal assault on our clean energy law, Prop 26 is more like a Trojan horse," said Dan Kalb, UCS California policy manager. "As deceptive as the Prop 23 campaign has been, the campaign to pass Prop 26 is even more insidious. Not only do the oil and tobacco companies behind Prop 26 hide the fact that it would starve state and local public health, clean air, and clean energy programs, but now they are funding misleading slate mailers that misinform voters about what the pro-environment position really is on Prop 26. The pro-environment position on Prop 26 is a definite ‘no.' "

New Go-Ped high performance stealth scooter could fight crime, traffic — Autoblog Green

New Go-Ped high performance stealth scooter could fight crime, traffic — Autoblog Green

It seems Go-Ped has a new secret weapon. An improved variant of their Hoverboard that could help fighting both crime and traffic was just revealed to the company's Facebook fans. The prototype high performance portable patrol vehicle (PPV) takes the fully-suspended American-made stand-up scooter, upgrades most of the components and adds some cool options.

The scooter features one full kilowatt hour (kWh) worth of lithium battery to provide the juice for the T2V3 Torkinator motor that we hear was originally developed for "Robot Wars." The new power plant, combined with a higher sprocket ratio, can take the stealth machine to speeds of 30 miles per hour and handle a 300 lb rider (no doughnut jokes, please). Disk brakes front and back should provide plenty of stopping power. Range is said to be 30 miles and it comes with a nifty wireless remote "Go-Key" to get your journeys started.

Weekly Address: Working Together on the Economy

Ahead of the elections, the President says no matter what happens both parties must work together to boost the economy, and expresses concern about statements to the contrary from Republican Leaders.

Amazing Hanging Gardens, A Skyscraper of Astroturf and Steel - eVolo | Architecture Magazine

Hanging Gardens, A Skyscraper of Astroturf and Steel - eVolo | Architecture Magazine

McGill University architecture students Yan Jie Chen and Camille John have designed, directly across from Montreal’s Old Port, a skyscraper of glass and gardens that houses residents of the 2030s in the Néocité, a cultural revitalization project seeking to transform Montreal’s Cité du Havre.

The inspiration for the design of “Hanging Gardens” is playful yet complex: the building is based on a Chinese puzzle game with six unique, interlocking rectangles that can only be arranged in one certain way so that no spaces exist between the pieces. The students took this model and stacked it 20 times, rotating as they went, to create a 220-meter tower. The tower has a core that is wrapped by two “identical helices” that twist clockwise until the height reaches 86 stories tall.

This geometrical precision results in a skyscraper that can house 250 apartment units, and also has ample private and public outdoor gardens, meeting grounds and meditation spaces.

Hotel and Retail Centre in Jesolo Seaside Resort, Italy / Zaha Hadid - eVolo | Architecture Magazine

Hotel and Retail Centre in Jesolo Seaside Resort, Italy / Zaha Hadid - eVolo | Architecture Magazine

Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled a fascinating hotel and retail centre in Italy to be completed in 2014. Jesolo is one of Italy’s most established seaside resorts and the design of Jesolo Magica makes full advantage of its location near the Venice Lagoon. The project aims to be the catalyst for reinvention and regeneration – giving the of the town of Jesolo an excellent opportunity to further develop as a conference and holiday destination. The design creates a continuum of fluid space that instigates a renewed sense of possibility. The disparate elements of the Jesolo Magica complex fit together to form a coherent field of buildings, each one separate – but logically connected to the next in a continually changing ensemble. The volumes encompassing the retail centre ‘open-up’ around a central space, like the petals of a flower. The hotel building forms the final ‘petal’, framing the views over the adjacent lagoon. In addition to offices, retail spaces and restaurants, the Jesolo Magica project features a hotel with conference center, spa, nightclub and outdoor spaces for events.

Max-Lab in Sweden is a Cyclic Particle Accelerator Based on a Möbius Strip / Snøhetta - eVolo | Architecture Magazine

Max-Lab in Sweden is a Cyclic Particle Accelerator Based on a Möbius Strip / Snøhetta - eVolo | Architecture Magazine

Award-winning Norwegian architectural firm, Snøhetta, unveiled an innovative proposal for the Max-Lab in Lund, Sweden. The Max-Lab is a national laboratory jointly operated by the Swedish Research Council and the Lund University.

The overall architectural idea builds on the meeting point between the strong landscape and the circular shape of a synchrotron (cyclic particle accelerator). The circular shape is twisted and raised to create a dynamic form based on a Möbius strip that becomes an actual volume, not just a ribbon. The building is unified to the landscape through parks and cultural programs around an oval road with an iconic layout that would be independent from future developments in the surrounding area – from agricultural landscaping to urban developments. The geometry of the twisted cylinder is generated based on functional requirements and detailed solar studies for heat gain, reducing it up to thirty percent.

University becomes Carbon Neutral Using Concentrated Photovoltaic Solar Energy Systems « Solar Thermal Magazine

University becomes Carbon Neutral Using Concentrated Photovoltaic Solar Energy Systems « Solar Thermal Magazine

Cal Poly Pomona University is celebrating becoming carbon neutral at its 16-acre John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies with an event called “Plug into the Sun: Green Light to Carbon Neutral.” The milestone was made possible by the installation of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar energy systems from California-based Amonix, Inc., the recognized leader in designing and manufacturing CPV solar systems for sunny and dry climates and a 12-year partner of the Lyle Center.

The Lyle Center plant will use two Amonix CPV solar systems to generate 210,000 kW hours of clean, renewable energy annually, displacing 85 metric tons of greenhouse gases – the equivalent of planting 53 acres of trees.

Advanced New Technology is Aimed at Making Solar Electric Generation Cheaper than Fossil Fuels « Solar Thermal Magazine

Advanced New Technology is Aimed at Making Solar Electric Generation Cheaper than Fossil Fuels « Solar Thermal Magazine

CSIRO will begin installing 450 large mirrors, called heliostats, for Australia’s largest solar-thermal tower system at the CSIRO National Solar Energy Centre in Newcastle, New South Wales.

The heliostats are part of an advanced new solar technology developed by CSIRO and manufactured by Central Coast company, Performance Engineering Group.By developing such technology CSIRO aims to make solar generated electricity at the same cost or cheaper than fossil fuel generated electricity when the cost of carbon is taken into account.

Commercial Development of Solar Cogeneration Technology. Delivers Five Times the Clean Energy. « Solar Thermal Magazine

Commercial Development of Solar Cogeneration Technology. Delivers Five Times the Clean Energy. « Solar Thermal Magazine

Cogenra Solar™, a provider of distributed solar cogeneration systems and renewable energy service solutions, has been awarded a $1.5 million research grant from the California Solar Initiative Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration (CSI RD&D) Program. The funding will support the accelerated development and commercial deployment of Cogenra’s proprietary solar cogeneration technology and will finance the company’s demonstration project at the Sonoma Wine Company in Graton, California.

Lookotels Green Prefab Hotel Startup

Lookotels Green Prefab Hotel Startup

Spanish Lookotels is on a mission to build a new kind of hotel for modern consumers seeking quality at a low cost. Each energy-efficient hotel will be prefabricated with up to 100 rooms and Lookotels has financing with plans to build 10 hotels in the next five years throughout Spain and Europe.

San Bernardino solar installation approved 70GW Solar Power in the Works

San Bernardino solar installation approved | Greenspace | Los Angeles Times

In two months, the California Energy Commission has blazed through seven solar power plant proposals, giving them the go-ahead to start construction in the desert. The most recent, the 664-megawatt Calico Solar Project planned for San Bernardino County, was unanimously cleared Thursday. Regulators from the federal Bureau of Land Management issued their own approval last week.

The state has more than 270 renewable-energy projects in the works that together would total about 70,000 megawatts of clean power.

The proposal now joins other projects that, like the Blythe Solar Power Project, are gearing up to break ground or, like the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System Project, have already started. The Calico project will employ 700 people at the peak of construction and will create 180 permanent operating jobs once it begins producing power. The SunCatcher solar dishes will sit on more than 4,600 acres of the Mojave Desert 37 miles east of Barstow.

Polymer Solar Vehicle

Polymer Solar Vehicle

On a bright sunny autumn day, Risø DTU demonstrated the Polymer Solar Vehicle, the first vehicle capable of carrying one person to be powered by polymer solar cells.

Polymer solar cells have reached a maturity level that allows for larger demonstrations on a significant scale. To illustrate this, the team of solar researchers and technicians at Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, has developed the concept of a vehicle powered by polymer solar cells. The light weight tri-wheel vehicle was fitted with approximately 3 square meter polymer solar panels providing 17 Volt and 3 Ampere. The collected electrons from the solar panels on the Polymer Solar Vehicle were directly applied to power an electrical motor that propels the vehicle and including a 75 kg driver forward – no battery or storage device was applied.

Polymer solar cells are solar cells that are capable of transforming photons from the sun into electrons in an electrical circuit – but instead of the predominant solar cell material, silicon, the polymer solar cells are made from synthetic polymer chains. The polymer solar cell technology is interesting because it possesses a potential cost competitive structure. The choice of materials combined with the potentially fast and scalable low cost manufacturing processes allows for low cost solar cells and is a promising source of solar energy for the future.

Goodwill and compromise: Nagoya biodiversity deal restores faith in UN | Environment |

Goodwill and compromise: Nagoya biodiversity deal restores faith in UN | Environment |

In the long run, the biodiversity deal scratched out in Nagoya in the early hours of this morning is intended to benefit habitats and species such as tigers, pandas and whales. But in the short-term, the biggest beast to get a reprieve may well prove to be the UN itself.

After the misery, disappointment and anger of last year's climate talks in Copenhagen, the body was fiercely criticised and the entire multilateral negotiating process called into question. It seemed time-consuming, prone to grandstanding and dominated by selfish national interests rather than pressing global concerns.

Unthinkable? Double summertime | Editorial | From the Guardian | The Guardian

Unthinkable? Double summertime | Editorial | From the Guardian | The Guardian

Some arguments are so familiar that supporters of opposing points of view march along familiar ruts without noticing that the world is changing around them. For generations, the case in favour of double summer time – advancing the clocks two hours ahead of GMT this March, and setting them back just one hour as usual in October – has foundered on the Scottish question. Observing Greenwich mean time in the darkest months, Scots have always claimed, was essential to give farmers light enough to tend their flocks and children to see their way to school. The case against is invariably sustained by projections of carnage on the roads in the darker early mornings. This weekend, as the gloom of winter evenings descends again, new research from the Policy Studies Institute sheds, er, more light on the facts. Most farmers, for example, keep dairy cows indoors in winter these days, while teachers, sports organisations and even motorists all see the advantage of afternoon daylight rather than dark mornings when, nation of layabeds we have become, most people are still asleep. There is also much more concern now about the impact on power consumption. It was, of course, to reduce coal consumption that daylight saving was introduced experimentally in 1916 and again in the second world war. On Thursday, Cambridge experts told MPs on the climate change committee that they calculate six gigawatt hours a day would be saved if it stayed light later. Maybe it's not so unthinkable after all.

GE to place Biggest Electric-Vehicle Order in History | Electric Vehicle News

GE to place Biggest Electric-Vehicle Order in History | Electric Vehicle News

General Electric Co. may jump-start the electric-vehicle industry with an order that Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said will be the largest in history.

GE, whose power-generation equipment provides a third of the world’s electricity, will order “tens of thousands” of the vehicles in about a week, Immelt said yesterday in a speech in London, without giving a total or identifying a manufacturer.

“This is a huge step up,” said Brett Smith, a vehicle technology analyst at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “It’s the biggest order to date I’m aware of, by a lot.”

Expanding the world’s fleet of electric vehicles would bolster GE as it expands so-called clean-energy technology such as car chargers, solar panels and wind turbines. For every dollar of electric-vehicle sales, GE estimates it may get 10 cents in revenue, said Gary Sheffer, a spokesman.

Immelt said half of GE’s sales force of about 45,000 will drive electric vehicles. The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company also has a vehicle-leasing division through its GE Capital finance unit. Financial terms and other details about the order aren’t yet being disclosed, GE said.

GE is investing $10 billion over the next five years in clean energy across its business lines, including power- transmission software and so-called smart-grid technologies. Its products include lithium-ion batteries for cars and trucks via a venture with A123 Systems Inc. and sodium-based batteries for use in large vehicles such as locomotives.

Stonyfield Farm Makes The Move To Plant-Based Yogurt Cups | Crisp Green

Stonyfield Farm Makes The Move To Plant-Based Yogurt Cups | Crisp Green

This month, Stonyfield Farm announced they will begin using PLA, a plant-based plastic, for all multipacks in the YoBaby, Yo Toddler, Yokids, B-Well, B-Healthy, Probiotic & O'Soy product lines. PLA (polylactic acid) is made from corn and will cut packaging GHG emissions by 48% and reduce their overall GHG emissions by 9%.

China’s Party Plenum Recommends Climate Actions in the 12th Five Year Plan

China’s Party Plenum Recommends Climate Actions in the 12th Five Year Plan | ChinaFAQs

China will effectively control GHG emissions by making substantial energy intensity reductions and carbon dioxide emission intensity reductions as the binding indicators for climate actions. While improving energy efficiency, it is necessary to reasonably control the overall energy consumption and the excessive growth of high energy consuming industries. The examination of energy saving targets and responsibilities will be strengthened, and energy savings laws, regulations and standards will be improved. The promotion and regulation of a comprehensive mechanism for energy savings markets will be emphasized. Concerted effort will made in implementing key energy savings projects, the promotion of advanced energy saving technologies and products, and the implementation of energy performance contracting (EPC). It is also vital to focus efforts on key sectors such as manufacturing, buildings and transportation. Besides the above energy saving measures, it will be vital to adjust the energy consumption structure by increasing the percentage of non-fossil fuels. Enlarging forest coverage will also be emphasized as it could increase the carbon storage capacity. As parts of efforts for climate adaptation, China will emphasize capacity building to address extreme weather events. A mechanism to establish a statistical system for monitoring GHG emissions, energy savings and emission reduction will be developed. Scientific research on climate change will be strengthened, and R&D on and application of low carbon technologies will be expedited. A carbon trading market will be established gradually. China will continue to insist the principle of common by differentiated responsibility, and will aggressively participate in international cooperation on climate change issues.

People & Power - California: global warming showdown

National Peoples Congress: Building A Low Carbon Economy

Siemens Wins $466 Million Contract To Build 70 Green Trains

Siemens Wins $466 Million Contract To Build 70 Green Trains

Siemens has snapped up a $466 million six-year contract to build 70 electric trains for Amtrak. The deal, which is Siemens’ first major contract with the rail operator, is a significant coup for the company which is trying to aggressively expand its footprint in America.

Although Siemens has dominated in the light rail category in the US— with one out of every three light rail vehicles made by Siemens— the company is eager to lock up new deals, especially those outside of urban zones. In particular, Siemens is trying to become a major player in the high-speed rail market, which should accelerate in the coming years thanks to federal dollars.

Under the Amtrak deal, Siemens will add 200 jobs at its light rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento, California and 50 jobs at plants in Georgia, which will build motors and propulsion containers for the trains. Although the manufacturing process isn’t completely green, the Sacramento plant uses solar energy for up to 80% of its power, according to Siemens’ press release. The first trains will hit the track in 2013.

Is Gulf Seafood Safe To Eat? Feds’ New Test Says Yes, Not Convincingly

Is Gulf Seafood Safe To Eat? Feds’ New Test Says Yes, Not Convincingly

More than 9,000 square miles of U.S. federal Gulf waters are closed to commercial and recreational fishing today thanks to the BP oil spill. However, government offices today claimed that seafood from the Gulf is basically safe to consume, based on the results from their latest battery of tests.

You gonna eat that? Companies responsible for the environmental disaster spilled about 5 million gallons of oil, accidentally. They poured about 2 million gallons of oil dispersants into the Gulf waters on purpose, though. The dispersants were supposed to break up the wildlife-choking slicks into droplets that could be more easily digested by oil-eating bacteria. Or at least, they’d make the water look more like water and less like tar while the cameras were flying overhead.

VOTE NOW For Social Entrepreneurs: G-20 Financing Prize « Skoll Foundation

VOTE NOW For Social Entrepreneurs: G-20 Financing Prize « Skoll Foundation

The world’s small and medium-sized enterprises are the key to reducing world poverty, creating jobs and wealth, and ensuring a global economic recovery. But banks and the financial sector virtually ignore them, making access to capital and growth difficult, ultimately forcing too many to fail. The Group of 20 nations and Ashoka’s Changemakers are partnering on The G-20 SME Finance Challenge, naming 14 top SMEs from around the world. The best solutions will be scaled up and expanded with millions of dollars and introduced at the Seoul G-20 Summit this November.

The winners of the G-20 SME Finance Challenge have been announced – and they include two Skoll awardees. Now they need your help, please follow the links below and vote for these great organizations: the three most popular winners in online voting will share the stage with President Obama and the Korean President at the G20 summit in two weeks.

An Open Letter about Scientific Credibility and the Conservation of Tropical Forests « Skoll Foundation

An Open Letter about Scientific Credibility and the Conservation of Tropical Forests « Skoll Foundation

This week a group of 12 prominent scientists published an open letter to “alert the public” about pro-industry groups that are distorting the truth about deforestation and palm oil production in southeast Asia. Skoll friend Rhett Butler is a driving force raising public and media scrutiny on big companies using front groups masquerading as environmental NGOs to greenwash deforestation and illegal timber activities.
Recent analysis of a wide field of data by Butler and the Skoll Foundation established that deforestation – primarily in tropical forests – is a larger contributor of carbon emissions than the worldwide transportation sector. And that commodity production (with palm oil topping the list, especially in southeast Asia) is a leading driver of deforestation.

E.ON and Siemens win the Bavarian Energy Award 2010

Press Releases - Siemens Global Website

E.ON and Siemens were presented with the Bavarian Energy Award 2010 by Katja Hessel, State Secretary at the Bavarian Economics Ministry. The prize is worth 10,000 euros. The two companies earned the award for their efforts to ensure safe and reliable power supply in keeping with the highest environmental and climate-protection standards at the Irsching 4 power plant. This ultra-modern and extremely efficient plant features the world's most powerful gas turbine. With this turbine, Irsching 4, a (gas and steam) combined-cycle power plant, will achieve a hitherto unique world-record efficiency of over 60 percent. The two companies have agreed to donate the prize money of 10,000 euros to the vocational college in Pfaffenhofen, in the immediate vicinity of the Irsching power plant.

Power to the people of Egypt

Power to the people

Egypt is not a place that lacks sunshine. But it does lack solar energy: Renewable power accounts for less than 1 percent of the energy consumed by the country’s 75 million inhabitants. Moreover, to acquire solar capacity, Egypt would have to import all the solar panels, since it currently lacks manufacturing facilities for photovoltaic cells.

Nadia Shalaby would like to change that. Shalaby is currently one of 35 fellows at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship, which supports “bottom-up” business enterprises in the developing world. At the Legatum Center, she is spending the 2010-2011 academic year developing a business project intended to jump-start the Egyptian solar-manufacturing industry. “This land is fertile ground for solar energy,” says Shalaby, who largely grew up in Egypt.

Indonesia buried in ash after volcano Merapi eruption

Twin disasters - a tsunami and a volcano eruption - have hit Indonesia. At least 154 people have been killed in the tsunami, while more than 28 died when Mount Merapi erupted. Thousands were forced to flee and seek refuge in shelters. Scientists had warned that pressure building beneath the volcano's lava dome could trigger one of the most powerful blasts in years.

Russia: Volcano erupts in Kamchatka Peninsula

Russia's Shiveluch Volcano has erupted in Kamchatka. Ash-fall from the volcano has covered the settlement of Ust-Kamchatsky, 90 kilometres from the volcano....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

President Obama and Vice President Biden speak about the unprecedented efforts across the Federal Government to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence in an event marking Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The White House Science Fair

Kolonihavehus: Reclaimed Plexiglass Pavilion by Tom Fruin

Kolonihavehus: Reclaimed Plexiglass Pavilion by Tom Fruin | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Tom Fruin, a New York-based installation artist, recently traveled to Copenhagen where he built this stunning outdoor pavilion in plaza outside of the Royal Danish Library. Constructed out of hand welded angle iron and about a thousand scraps of reclaimed plexiglass, Kolonihavehus is a portable structure commissioned by CoreAct, a Copenhagen-based performance company headed by Anika Barkan and Helene Kvint. The outdoor sculpture will provide a backdrop for a series of daily poetry performances, which began on October 14th and will end on November 13th.

Historical Perspective on the Russian Heat Wave of 2010

Historical Perspective on the Russian Heat Wave of 2010 : Blog : Breaking : Climate Central

The summer of 2010 brought intensely hot weather to large portions of the northeastern U.S., central Europe, and Russia. Russia was especially hard hit as a heat wave — with daily high temperatures hitting 100°F — contributing to the deaths of as many as 15,000 people in Moscow while wildfires tore across more than 2,900 square miles in the central and western part of the country. Drought accompanied the record high temperatures decimating more than a quarter of Russia’s grain harvest. Economists estimated the grain losses cost the Russian economy upwards of $15 billion dollars.

As climate scientists continue to study the underlying dynamics of this extreme heat event in order to better understand the extent to which human-caused climate change may have played a role, we wanted to put the Russian heat wave of 2010 into historical context. With that in mind, we collected temperature data from Moscow for July 2010 as well as summer (June through August 2010) and compared it to every year since 1950. (Our analysis is similar to that employed by Schär et. al in their 2004 Nature paper).

We sought an answer to the question: how significant was the departure of the 2010 values from the typical summer temperature in Moscow?

No on Prop 23 - Don't Mess With California

Right now, California is on the front line of the battle for the hearts and minds of Americans in the debate over climate change. Big Oil, in the shape of two Texas-based oil companies, Tesoro and Velero, along with the Kansas-based billionaire Koch brothers, have poured millions of dollars worked hard to put Proposition 23 on the California ballot. In corporate documents, Koch Industries has explicitly stated that California’s global warming law would hurt profits and “be very bad news for our industry.”

Proposition 23 would temporarily suspend implementation of AB32, California’s innovative clean energy law, until the state unemployment rate drops to 5.5% for four consecutive quarters, a feat that’s only been achieved three times in the past 40 years. On November 2nd, Californians will vote on Prop 23 – a “no” vote is a vote for clean energy and for the battle against climate change.

Lately, though, Californian clean energy supporters have come out fighting against this out-of-state meddling, including Canadian-born director James Cameron, who just donated $1 million to the campaign against Prop 23. This video, starring David Arquette, is part of this pushback.

Video | A green light for Thailand's tourism

Video | A green light for Thailand's tourism | Travel |

Tourism on the popular islands of Koh Samui, Koh Pha-Ngan and Koh Tao in the southern gulf of Thailand has contributed to increased pollution in the area. Alex Rees investigates how the local government is starting to make steps towards a clean-up campaign

Former Chevron/Texaco Worker in Ecuador: We Dumped Pollution into the Rainforrest...

A former oil operations assistant for Texaco (now Chevron) in Ecuador explains how oil workers were told to dump toxic waste directly into the rainforest environment. Chevron's dumping of 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater created an ongoing environmental catastrophe for tens of thousands of local residents, who continue to suffer an epidemic of cancer and other oil-related illnesses to this day.

Arnold Schwarzenegger flexes muscles to defend climate-change law | Environment | The Guardian

Arnold Schwarzenegger flexes muscles to defend climate-change law | Environment | The Guardian

It was his signature line from his days as an action hero: "I'll be back." Now Arnold Schwarzenegger's fight to protect his climate legacy is fuelling speculation that he is seeking a role as environmental defender on a bigger stage.

With just a week to go until Californians choose his successor as governor, Schwarzenegger has hurled himself into the campaign against the Proposition 23 ballot initiative brought by Texas oil refiners and the billionaire Koch brothers that would effectively kill off his climate change law, which requires 25% cuts in emissions levels by 2020.

He has called oil company executives and eco-entrepreneurs, visited investment bankers and held a fundraising event at his home, helping to build a huge cash advantage for the climate campaigners over the oil firms. He has lobbied Hollywood directors and used a Tweetcast to urge his 1.8 million followers to vote down the measure.

In so doing he has cast himself as a new kind of action man – Eco-defender – claiming that a defeat for Proposition 23 could finally put some steel in Washington's spine to act on climate. We need to go to Washington and say, 'Look what happened: because the oil companies spent money against you and threatened you, you backed off on energy policy and environmental policy'," he told ABC television. "What wimps! No guts!" During the Tweetcast, Schwarzenegger said: "Prop 23 is funded by Texan oil companies. And … they … happen to be the biggest polluters in California."

People & Power - California's global warming showdown

People & Power investigates the problems with California's effort to battle climate change.

Really Simple Science: Halloween

Pumpkins, ghosts, costumes and candy are all part of the modern Halloween tradition. But how did the holiday get its start? James Williams animates the spooky history of this ghoulish celebration.

Secretary Clinton Highlights the U.S.-India People to People Conference

OSRAM LED with new beam characteristics for more efficient luminaires

Press Releases - Siemens Global Website

LED luminaires can now be made simpler and more efficient thanks to the new 150° beam angle of the OSRAM OSLON SSL 150. Retrofit and downlight designs in particular, will benefit from the even distribution of light from the new OSLON SSL 150, which allows designers to better manage the light in external reflectors. Additionally OSLON’s small footprint can simplify the design of lamps and luminaires and facilitate low profile designs.

The wide beam characteristic of this new LED enables the light to be used in reflector systems with much lower light losses which means LED lamps and luminaires designed with OSLON SSL 150 are more efficient. “With its low-profile and very compact design the new OSLON SSL 150 can be closely clustered without creating shadow effects. In reflector applications for example, the luminaire efficiency can be increased by more than 5 percent. The reflectors can also be low-profile and the luminaire itself needs only a shallow mounting depth,” said Martin Wittmann, Marketing Manager Solid State Lighting at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. “Thanks to these properties the LED offers flexible design options for high-performance lighting solutions.”

The OSLON SSL 150 is also ideal for other applications such as diffused lighting in suspended ceilings and for wide-area backlighting with no obvious spots of light. Additionally, uniform illumination of the diffuser is possible in retrofits that aim to simulate incandescent or halogen light.

Color mixing is also easier than ever. If OSLON SSL LEDs in different colors are used in a cluster the colors can be mixed at the reflector level. This is much less complex than mixing colors with secondary lenses.

The technical data of the new LED is also impressive. The LED is based on a 1mm2 chip, providing a typical brightness of 92 lm at 3000 K at an operating current of 350 mA and 156 lm at 700 mA. It is available in all white tones (2700-6500K) and in different colors. OSLON SSL 150 is the latest addition to the OSLON SSL product family (beam angle of 80°) and fits neatly into the portfolio with its dimensions of 3 mm x 3 mm. Depending on the application and specific requirements, both versions offer tailor-made solutions with maximum system efficiency.

Siemens concludes framework agreement with Enel Green Power for 260 wind turbines - 600 MW

Press Releases - Siemens Global Website

Siemens has concluded a framework agreement with Enel Green Power for the supply of up to 260 wind turbines for various wind farms in Europe. The total capacity of the onshore turbines is 600 megawatts (MW), sufficient to supply more than 350,000 European households with clean wind power. The agreement with the subsidiary of the Italian utility Enel S.p.A. provides for delivery of the turbines between 2011 and 2014 and includes an option for delivery of a further 600 MW of wind turbines. Maintenance of the turbines is also part of the agreement.

HOCHTIEF to Build Next 440 mW Offshore Wind Farm for EUR 175 Million (Germany)

HOCHTIEF to Build Next Offshore Wind Farm for EUR 175 Million (Germany) >> Offshore Wind

HOCHTIEF Construction has been awarded the contract for another offshore wind farm. From mid-2012, the HOCHTIEF subsidiary is expected to start constructing the wind farm Global Tech I in the German North Sea. The contract volume is EUR 175 million. The client of the wind farm is the project company Global Tech I Offshore Wind in which several energy suppliers, energy trading companies and a number of other companies have a share.

In the wind field 110 kilometers northwest of Cuxhaven, HOCHTIEF will first anchor 80 foundations, each with a weight of 950 tons, in the 40-meter-deep sea bed. The 5-megawatt wind wheels will then be mounted using Group-owned special platforms and reach 150 meters out of the water. In this project, BELUGA HOCHTIEF Offshore‘s special jack-up vessel will be used for the first time. HOCHTIEF also has developed a tailor-made logistics concept which allows construction time to be reduced significantly. Henner Mahlstedt, CEO of HOCHTIEF Construction: “With our competence and the high quality of our services, we make an important contribution to the energy supply of the future.” The Group expects annual sales of almost half a million euros from its entire offshore business.

SAVE OUR PLANET -- Global warming blamed for extreme weather

SAVE OUR PLANET... China's top scientists note increasing extreme weather due to global warming. In a recent statement, Mr. Ren Fumin, chief instructor of the China Meteorological Administration, cited climate change as the reason for such extreme weather this year across the country, saying that the relentless rainstorms and hot temperatures were due to increased heat and its abnormal circulation over the northern hemisphere. Other scientists, such as Dr. Zong Yongqiang (NFT: 宗永強) of the University of Hong Kong, agree that the region's overall temperature rise is part of human-caused global warming.

One Toilet Paper Company Decides to Ditch the Tube

One Toilet Paper Company Decides to Ditch the Tube : TreeHugger

In an attempt to cut down on back on consumer waste, one toilet paper manufacturer has unveiled perhaps the biggest change the product has undergone in over a century -- replacing that old cardboard tube with, well, nothing. If the advancement in TP technology seems unremarkable, consider just how much waste it will keep from the landfill. Each year, a million miles worth of cardboard tubing is tossed out -- that's enough to circle the Earth over forty times.

Seinfeld's George Costanza once pointed out how little TP has progressed over the decades. "Do you realize that toilet paper has not changed in my lifetime? It's just paper on a cardboard roll, that's it. And in ten thousand years, it will still be exactly the same because really, what else can they do?" On that last point, he was wrong.

Kimberly-Clark, the company which produces Scotts toilet paper, will begin testing its oddly revolutionary Tube-Free TP next week in Walmarts and Sam's Clubs across the North-eastern US. Depending on how well it's received, soon the trend might spread globally.

A Minute of Your Time: Floating Nuclear Power Station

Given the state of the economy, nuclear power is looking pretty good as a relatively cost-effective alternative fuel. But nuclear power plants are large, ugly things that no one wants to live near. So Russia came up with the bright idea of putting their newest plant where no one would complain about it: in the ocean.

US navy completes successful test on boat powered by algae

US navy completes successful test on boat powered by algae | Environment | The Guardian

It looked like a pretty ordinary day on the water at the US naval base in Norfolk, Virginia: a few short bursts of speed, a nice tail wind, some test manoeuvres against an enemy boat.

But the 49ft gunboat had algae-based fuel in the tank in a test hailed by the navy yesterday as a milestone in its creation of a new, energy-saving strike force.

The experimental boat, intended for use in rivers and marshes and eventually destined for oil installations in the Middle East, operated on a 50/50 mix of algae-based fuel and diesel. "It ran just fine," said Rear Admiral Philip Cullom, who directs the navy's sustainability division.

The tests, conducted on Friday, are part of a broader drive within the navy to run 50% of its fleet on a mix of renewable fuels and nuclear power by 2020. The navy currently meets about 16% of its energy and fuel needs from nuclear power, with the rest from conventional sources.

The navy plans to roll out its first green strike force, a group of about 10 ships, submarines and planes running on a mix of biofuels and nuclear power, in 2012, with deployment in the field scheduled for 2016

Tsunami, Volcano Eruption in Indonesia Linked?

Tsunami, Volcano Eruption in Indonesia Linked?

This week's Indonesian tsunami and volcano eruption might be linked, scientists say.

The tsunami was triggered by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake that hit at 9:42 p.m., local time, on Monday near the western island of Sumatra. The resulting waves killed more than 300 people. (See an Indonesia map.)

A few hours later the 9,700-foot (3,000-meter) volcano Mount Merapi, on the eastern island of Java, blew a pillar of hot ash and debris into the sky, killing at least 30 people living on its slopes. (See pictures of Mount Merapi erupting.)

Mount Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano, had been building up steam for several days. But the timing of the main burst so soon after the earthquake raises the question of whether the shaking ground set off the eruption—even though the epicenter of the quake was 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) away from the volcano.

"Volcanic eruptions that are related to stress changes following earthquakes, or due to triggering by the seismic waves, do seem to occur," Chris Goldfinger, a marine geologist at Oregon State University, said by email. "But documentation of them is spotty at best."

Your Next Computer May Be Made of Water

Your Next Computer May Be Made of Water

When Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester developed graphene, it won them this year's Nobel Prize in physics. There were reasons for that. The one atom-thick substance, shaved from crystals, is possibly among the lightest-weight, most conducive and rugged materials on earth.

The avenues of development for the material include help in sequencing DNA and the possible creation of an extraordinary energy storage medium. But how can you make a computer out of the stuff? Just add water.

For those of you without advanced physics degrees, what that means is that you can use water in conjunction with graphene to create an on-off switch, a transistor.. How does a graphene/water transistor work? Take a wafer of graphene and slap it onto one of silicon and silicon dioxide, then send water into the tiny space between the two; the water backs away from the silicon toward the graphene, de-conducting the water, and breaking the connection.

Why is this important? Water is a safe, common element, so when and if the technology takes off, it would need, and create, less toxicity than current transistor technology. And that's nice. What's more compelling to the computing experience is that, in combination with radically extended storage possibilities, the graphene transistor has the potential to make computers tougher, much smaller and much faster than we have now. A device the size of tablet might carry the processing power and memory of a network of computers.

At $300 million, NRG Energy to become top investor in BrightSource’s Ivanpah

At $300 million, NRG Energy to become top investor in BrightSource’s Ivanpah | VentureBeat

In a move that could make solar a much bigger part of the grid, electricity wholesaler NRG Energy announced it will invest $300 million over the next three years in BrightSource’s Ivanpah project, a 392-megawatt solar thermal facility that will be the largest in the world.

NRG didn’t disclose the size of its stake, but said this investment will make it the lead investor in the project through its subsidiary NRG Solar. The project is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 140,000 homes.

BrightSource has already signed 20- to 25-year power purchase agreements to provide energy generated by Ivanpah to Southern California Edison and PG&E.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Amazon Species: "Bluetooth" Tarantula, Electric Fish

New Amazon Species: "Bluetooth" Tarantula, Electric Fish

The poison dart frog Ranitomeya amazonica is one of more than 1,200 new species of plants and vertebrates discovered in the Amazon rain forest between 1999 and 2009, the international conservation group WWF announced Tuesday in a new report highlighting the region's biodiversity.

At least 17 percent of the Amazon has been cleared to make room for cattle or crops that are grown for animal feed and biofuels, WWF says. The wildlife group is calling for greater species protection in the face of increasing development pressure.

In pictures: London Futures climate change exhibition

In pictures: London Futures climate change exhibition | Environment |

A new exhibition shows London landmarks in an environment transformed by climate change. From paddy fields in Parliament Square to ice-skating on the Thames, 14 familiar views of the capital have been digitally transformed by illustrators Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones. The exhibition runs from October until March 2011 at the Museum of London. Captions written by the museum.

• George Marshall: Fantasy images of climate migration will fuel existing prejudices

Sanctum Trailer 2011 HD

Drill, Brazil, drill | Offshore | Oil Drilling

Brazil | Offshore | Oil Drilling

This week Brazil is poised to start selling off its “gift from God.” After billions of barrels of undersea oil were discovered off Brazil’s coast in 2007, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva credited divine providence. “God is Brazilan,” he said in a speech following the discovery, later calling the oil not only a divine gift, but his country’s “passport to the future.”

That future arrives in part on Thursday. That’s when Brazil’s state-run oil company, Petrobras, is set to announce the start of its commercial production of a small section of the Tupi field, one of several billion-barrel oil fields the company says are located offshore.

More than 200 miles out to sea and several miles below the surface, the pools of oil are thought to be among the biggest discovered on earth in recent decades. Properly tapped, they’ll make fortunes and catapult Brazil into the ranks of the world’s top oil-producing countries.

But as the crude begins to flow, some industry experts say Brazil has understated the risks involved — made apparent by the deep-sea drilling that caused this year’s disastrous spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Low energy light meets high design Reuters

A small London design agency called Hulger is launching the world's first designer low-energy light-bulb, in an attempt to win consumers over to more sustainable way of life.

Low energy light meets high design | Video |

The World’s Most Sustainable Hotel?

The World’s Most Sustainable Hotel? | traveling greener

Planning a trip to New Zealand? If you’re going to Christchurch, take a look at cool, new eco-friendly Hotel SO. The hotel is striving to become the “world’s most sustainable hotel” with green initiatives like its free electric car charging for guests and upcoming roof wind turbines.

Says Steven Dixon, hotel spokesperson:

“The electric car market is small now, but it will boom, and we like to be ahead of the curve. More importantly, it fits with our eco-friendly and progressive vision. This is just part of a number of initiatives aimed at being the most sustainable hotel in the world something we feel comfortable claiming as the energy consumed per room is dramatically lower than any comparable product.”

Guests at Hotel SO who are driving electric cars can park at the back of the hotel and plug their vehicle in for free overnight. Staff also use a suite of “micro” electric cars for driving around the city and running errands.

The PlayStation Phone

The PlayStation Phone -- Engadget

It's hard to believe that what we're looking at is real -- but we assure you, the picture above is in fact the PlayStation Phone you've long been waiting for. As we reported back in August, the device you see is headed into the market soon, likely boasting Android 3.0 (aka Gingerbread), along with a custom Sony Marketplace which will allow you to purchase and download games designed for the new platform. The device snapped up top (and in our gallery below) is sporting a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 (a chip similar to the one found in the G2, but 200MHz faster), 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and the screen is in the range of 3.7 to 4.1 inches. Looking almost identical to the mockup we hit you with this summer, the handset does indeed have a long touchpad in the center which is apparently multitouch, and you can see in the photos that it's still bearing those familiar PlayStation shoulder buttons. For Sony buffs, you'll be interested to know that there's no Memory Stick slot here, but there is support for microSD cards.

Ireland powers up for geothermal energy - Green Tech | - Ireland's Technology News Service

Ireland powers up for geothermal energy - Green Tech | - Ireland's Technology News Service

GT Energy, a geothermal energy company exploring the potential for a geothermal energy plant in Newcastle, south Co Dublin, has lodged a planning application with South Dublin County Council in the hopes of constructing Ireland’s first geothermal electricity facility.

GT Energy says the proposed facility at Newcastle could provide up to 4 megawatts of electricity - powering up to 8,000 homes - which would be fed directly into the grid.

If the project applications are successful, GT says the drilling of the wells will commence early next year, with the plant scheduled to be operational in 2012. GT Energy commenced its investigation into the potential for geothermal resources in Ireland in 2006 and a year later began a three-phase drilling and data collection plan. The development’s estimated cost is around €30m and the energy company says it is receiving technical assistance from ESB International

The Debt Trailer 2010 HD

Climate change and the public: The end of a love story?

EUobserver / [Comment] Climate change and the public: The end of a love story?

Remember last year when the whole world was looking at a small and cold country in Europe - Denmark - mesmerized by an international conference on climate change known as COP15?

This year, many people won't even know where the follow-up conference, COP16, is taking place. While the next round of international climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico is approaching fast, publics and the media on both sides of the Atlantic remain unfazed. As new polls show, people in fact aren't particularly concerned about climate change any more, don't see it as a top priority, and in some cases even doubt that it is really happening.

As the German Marshall Fund's Transatlantic Trends finds, only six percent of Americans list fighting climate change as a top priority for their country, while 20 percent of Europeans think it should be on the top of the list for their leaders. According to the Pew Global Attitudes survey, 52 percent of Germans consider climate change a serious problem, but only 46 percent of the French, 40 percent of the British, and 37 percent of Americans agree.

When asked if they would be willing to pay higher prices to address global climate change, more than half of German and British respondents were willing to do so, but just little under 40 percent of French and Americans approved. These numbers are probably connected to a rising scepticism about climate change in general. In a February poll conducted by the BBC, only 26 percent of the British believed that climate change was happening and man-made, down from 41 percent only three months earlier.

In the United States, half of the population believes that global warming is due to human activities, down from 61 percent in 2003, according to a Gallup poll conducted in March.

Magnetic Levitation VAWT

This vertical axis wind turbine uses a permanent magnetic bearing to support the vertical forces. Only small conventional bearings are needed to support the side forces. Next additions will be hall effect sensor to log rpm and PIC processor to record RPM, voltage and current
and allow us to cross correlate with our weather station wind data which is being archived. This will allow us to determine whether design modifications help or hinder power output.

Neodymium ring magnets (2" x 1/2") are used for the actual levitation. These same magnets are used in the alternator thus reducing the number of different parts needed to build the turbine. Small roller blade bearings are used to handle the side forces.

More than 1.8 million people in West and Central Africa affected by floods – UN

More than 1.8 million people in West and Central Africa affected by floods – UN

Over 1.8 million people have been affected by floods in Central and West Africa, which have also killed nearly 400 people, the United Nations humanitarian arm reported today, adding that Benin remains the country hardest hit by the disaster.

Elisabeth Byrs, a spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told reporters in Geneva that greater financial resources are needed to respond to the situation in West Africa, where over 1.6 million people have been affected and 307 have lost their lives.

Benin remained the country hardest hit by the floods, with over 700,000 persons affected, she noted, adding that OCHA will probably launch an appeal for the country at the end of this week.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is preparing to reach 385,000 people and 13,000 host families with food aid over a two- month period. Distributions have started in some areas, with 200,000 people, including 27,000 children, receiving food baskets consisting of corn, oil, salt, and beans.

Children are also receiving a supplementary ration of milk and therapeutic Plumpy'nut, a ready-to-eat peanut paste that is rich in protein.

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which provides resources rapidly to assist people affected by natural disasters and conflicts, will also contribute $4 million to assist flood victims, Ms. Byrs said.

Meanwhile, nearly 230,000 have been affected in Central Africa, where 90 people have lost their lives.

In addition to the floods, over 52,000 cases of cholera have been reported in Central and West Africa since June, according to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The CERF has allotted over $650,000 to Cameroon in order to help the country fight cholera, an acute intestinal infection caused by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Styrofoam

Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Styrofoam | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Styrofoam is one of the world’s most environmentally unsound packaging materials – not only does it stick around in the environment forever (I’ll never forget swimming around a beautiful fresh-water lagoon in the DR, picking up tiny bits of foam that had found their way there), it’s super toxic to produce, clogs animal digestive tracks, contributes to ozone depletion, it’s made from non-renewable petroleum, and it leaches chemicals into food, especially if microwaved; and that’s not all! Fortunately, there’s a handful of innovative companies who are kicking the material to the curb – read on to learn about some inspired alternatives to the styrofoam scourge!

1930's Church Transformed Into Amazing House in Rotterdam

1930's Church Transformed Into Amazing House in Rotterdam | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Neighbors might think they're holier-than-thou, but this House in a Church along the river De Rotte in Rotterdam is a beautiful example of adaptive reuse. The 1930's church had ended its career as a religious sanctuary and was being used as a garage for fixing and selling cars before a family came along and wanted to transform it. With the help of Ruud Visser Architects and Peter Boer, the church was adapted into a home fit for a family of four.

Cosmetics Dirty Dozen - 12 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid

Cosmetics Dirty Dozen - 12 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid - MindBodyGreen

We knew about the "Dirty Dozen" list for fruits and veggies, but our friends at No More Dirty Looks tipped us off to the David Suzuki Foundation's new "Dirty Dozen" list of toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care.

If you're not familiar with David Suzuki, he's a beloved Canadian geneticist, educator, environmentalist and co-founder of the foundation that bears his name. Based on an online survey of 6,243 people and 12,550 products, the Suzuki foundation concluded that 80% of participants' beauty products contained at least one of the "Dirty Dozen" ingredients. Yikes!

“Climate Change is About Us – The Survival of My Entire Generation and Every Generation Yet Unborn is at Stake”

Alec Loorz is a 16 year old student at El Camino High School, in Ventura California. He founded Kids vs Global Warming when he was 12 years old, after watching Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Feeling the weight of the global situation and compelled to try to make a difference, Alec started to talk to other kids about the problems the world is facing. Alec’s message is deeply rooted in hope, and he encourages kids to speak up and let their voices be heard on this all-important issue.

Great speech. See also:

Climate Change News: Argentina protects its glaciers by law

Climate Change News: Argentina protects its glaciers by law

Argentina enacted a new law that protects the country's glaciers, in a global context where climate change
threatens the large bodies of ice and there are risks of different polluting activities.

The law, enacted on September 30, aims to preserve the glaciers as "strategic reserves of water for human consumption, for agriculture and as suppliers of water to recharge basins, for the protection of biodiversity ; as a source of scientific and tourist attraction."

Rabbit Hole - Official Trailer [HD]

Picking Cotton | Greenpeace International

Picking Cotton | Greenpeace International

This case study shows the economic stability and benefit for Indian farmers of farming cotton organically and without genetic engineering and toxic chemicals.

Millions of Indian farmers are dependent on the money brought in by their annual cotton crop. The cotton crop represents by far the largest income for these households, and in nearly all cases is crucial for the farmer’s family’s survival. In India, cotton represents one of the most economically important commodities in the country and it is central to the livelihood of the many millions of farmers who grow cotton every year. Cotton is one of the major traded commodities worldwide, with a global export value of about $12 billion US dollars, similar to the global export value of a staple grain as important as rice (FAOSTATS 2010). When the cotton fields fail to produce a good crop, as in the dry year of 2009, millions of Indian farmers and their families are left in deep economic distress.

With this printer, what you see is what you smell - tech - 22 October 2010 - New Scientist

With this printer, what you see is what you smell - tech - 22 October 2010 - New Scientist

THAT crisp apple colour and that crisp apple smell could one day come out of the same ink-jet printer, if an idea hatched in a Japanese lab takes off. Using technology from existing ink-jet printers, the idea is to generate evocative aromas to complement images on your computer or TV, from the scent of a mown lawn in a family photo to truffles in a cookery show.

Scent-assisted movies were tried out in the mid-20th century. AromaRama pumped scent into cinema air conditioning, while the rival Smell-O-Vision had its own dedicated system of pipes. Both were abject failures, with noisy machinery or patchy odours. Worst of all, each aroma lingered too long and mixed with the next, blending into a noxious stench by the closing credits. More recent attempts to make whiffy peripherals, such as the iSmell USB device from Digiscents in 2000, fell at the same hurdle.

But ink-jet printing technology can do the job, according to Kenichi Okada of Keio University in Tokyo and colleagues, who will present their work at the Association for Computing Machinery's Multimedia conference in Florence, Italy, next week. "We are using the ink-jet printer's ability to eject tiny pulses of material to achieve precise control," Okada told New Scientist.

Mazda's New Design Theme: Kodo - Soul of Motion

The new concept model for Mazda, the Shinari, is a pure expression of the new Kodo design theme.
It's a 4-door, 4-seat, sports coupe, and fully expresses the soul of motion in its idealized form. The Mazda Shinari showcases several new design elements that will carry forward into production.

Nissan Releases New Fuga Hybrid

Nissan Releases New Fuga Hybrid : Nihon Car .com

Nissan today announced the launch of the new Nissan Fuga Hybrid luxury sedan, which goes on sale November 2nd at Nissan dealers nationwide in Japan.

Since its launch in November 2009, the current generation Fuga luxury sedan has been acclaimed by customers for its beautiful dynamic design, spacious and comfortable interior, advanced performance and safety technologies, and its responsive, exhilarating driving experience. The new Fuga Hybrid builds on those features, adopting Nissan's original one-motor two-clutch parallel hybrid system named 'Intelligent Dual Clutch Control,' which combines a number of advanced environmental technologies. The new Nissan Fuga Hybrid achieves fuel economy of 19.0 km/L (10-15 mode) - comparable to that of a compact car, while also providing the direct feel and exhilarating driving performance of a luxury vehicle.

The Fuga Hybrid's 'Intelligent Dual Clutch Control' system connects the high-response electric motor and the 3.5-liter VQ35HR V6 engine directly to the transmission, without the use of a traditional torque converter. This simple, highly efficient and lightweight hybrid system contributes to fuel efficiency. In addition, since one of the two clutches completely disconnects the motor from the engine, quiet and highly efficient EV mode driving is realized. Compared to traditional hybrid systems, the electric motor driving range is expanded for high-speed driving (up to over 100km/h on a level highway) and the EV mode is frequently applied, helping the Fuga Hybrid achieve best-in-class fuel economy.

The compact, high-output lithium-ion battery is able to charge/discharge quickly. This contributes to high-speed, precise control of the electric motor and optimum clutch control, which both enable luxury driving with smooth shift quality and sharp, direct acceleration response. The Fuga Hybrid's new electronic 7-speed hybrid transmission with manual shift mode features optimized shift performance according to the motor's output characteristics. This combines with the updated 3.5-liter VQ35HR engine with higher efficiency to provide smooth and sustained acceleration.

Also contributing to the Fuga Hybrid's outstanding sport performance feel are the use of double-piston shock absorbers, and the first-ever application of both the advanced Electro-hydraulic Power Steering system and Electric Driven Intelligent Brake system, providing both high quality riding comfort and sophisticated, exhilarating driving.

The Nissan Fuga Hybrid VIP Package for executives adopts special features, such as power reclining rear seats, a built-in control switch in the rear center armrest, and an electrically operated rear window sunshade. Also offered is the Premium Interior Package, designed to provide an open, high-quality feeling with the extensive use of special materials, including semi-aniline leather with soft-to-the-touch and natural textures. Combined with the Comfort Suspension, the new Nissan flagship car creates exceptional levels of cabin comfort.

Along with its performance, technology and comfort, the new Nissan Fuga Hybrid achieves a 25% improvement in fuel economy over 2010 standards and SU-LEV certification, emitting 75% less exhaust compared to 2005 standards. This luxury sedan also qualifies for the 'next-generation vehicle' tax break provided through Japan's 'tax system to promote the diffusion of environmentally friendly vehicles,' *1 thereby fully exempting it from the automobile acquisition tax and automobile weight tax.

Also, in fiscal year 2010, Nissan introduces its two-pillar strategy to reduce CO2 emissions: 'Zero Emissions' and 'PURE DRIVE'. 'PURE DRIVE' vehicles are designed to achieve top-of-class fuel economy for mass-produced vehicles by equipping them with optimal next-generation eco- technologies, such as Idling Stop, Clean Diesel and Hybrid engines. The new Nissan Fuga Hybrid is the third in the series of 'PURE DRIVE' vehicles to be introduced in Japan.

Aukland's Eco Ironbank is the World's First 5 GreenStar Building | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Aukland's Eco Ironbank is the World's First 5 GreenStar Building | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Completed in 2009, the Ironbank is a mixed-use office and retail building in Aukland that has received a number of accolades for its rusty "container" architecture, environmentally-sustainable design, and its impressive parking garage featuring an innovative robotic car stacking system. Designed by Aukland-based RTA Studio, the Ironbank is not only ecologically and sustainably designed, but it is the first structure to ever receive 5-Star Greenstar rating awarded by the New Zealand Green Building Council.

The Waste Revolution Handbook Volume 1

The Waste Revolution Handbook Volume 1

Waste generation is a perfect example of how market forces are hugely impacting on our environment. Disposing of something costs very little or nothing and as a result we have created waste streams and products that are easily disposable.

However if the real cost of waste was actually borne by the generator of the waste thereby dramatically increasing the cost of disposal, the system would evolve to ultimately create less waste in order to minimise costs.

Such interventions are more accessible than we think and markets are adapting to extract profits from these changes - the evolution of the ‘waste system’ is actually upon us.

Climate change to hit Asia's poor hardest: W.Bank - Yahoo! News

Climate change to hit Asia's poor hardest: W.Bank - Yahoo! News

Asia's poor will bear the brunt of disasters sparked by climate change and rapid urbanisation, a World Bank expert told a regional conference Tuesday.

"More than others, poor people pay for disaster with their lives," the bank's director for sustainable development in East Asia, John Roome, told the Asian ministerial conference on disaster risk reduction.

Last year, he said in a speech, six of the 10 countries with the highest death rates and GDP losses from natural disasters were in Asia.

And since 1997, 82 percent of all lives lost in disasters were in countries represented at the meeting in the city of Incheon west of Seoul.

"Climate change, coupled with unprecedented rates of rapid urbanisation, makes the potential impacts of disasters much worse," Roome said, noting that the frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters had quadrupled in the past two decades.

Citing OECD estimates, Roome said Asia is home to six of the 10 most vulnerable cities -- Guangzhou, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh, Mumbai, Kolkata and Osaka.

President Obama on Small Business and the Economy

President Obama speaks about the key role small business plays in moving the American economy forward and the steps his Administration has taken to help small businesses grow and hire new workers during a visit to Woonsocket, RI.

Scenes from Thailand - The Big Picture -

Scenes from Thailand - The Big Picture -

The last time the Big Picture focused on Thailand, the government crackdown on Red Shirt protesters was taking place in Bangkok. Since then, much of the damaged part of downtown Bangkok has been repaired, and the Red Shirts continue their protests both in the streets and online. Thailand has also been hit with severe flooding, struggled with terrorist attacks, and celebrated Queen Sirikit's 78th birthday. Collected here a a handful of recent photographs from around Thailand. (31 photos total)

IKEA Going Geothermal in Colorado | Tomorrow is greener

IKEA Going Geothermal in Colorado | Tomorrow is greener

The news about IKEA’s new store in Colorado is exciting but it is not just about furniture. Not everyone finds IKEA furniture exciting anyway, and the store will not begin operating till later in 2011. But it is already generating more interest than most IKEA store openings, and the cause for excitement here is that the store temperature will be regulated through a geothermal system instead of conventional heating and cooling systems.

Office Rice Paddy Turns Tokyo Salarymen into Urban Farmers | Popular Science

Office Rice Paddy Turns Tokyo Salarymen into Urban Farmers | Popular Science

Office workers in Japan are adding some rural relaxation, if you can call it that, to their usual workaday routines. In Tokyo’s bustling business hub of Otemachi, a 1,000-square-foot indoor rice paddy is providing office workers a way to get back to their horticultural roots – and 100 pounds of rice for the building’s cafeteria. That’s actually kind of a big deal for a country that grows only half of the food it requires.

The rice paddy is an experimental effort to get city-dwellers more interested in farming, but also to provide office workers with a rural respite from their crowded urban environs. It also aims to teach skills that have been lost even in Japan’s countryside, where many agricultural tasks have been taken over by machinery.

South Africa unveils plans for 'world's biggest' 5 GW solar power plant

South Africa unveils plans for 'world's biggest' solar power plant | Environment |

South Africa unveils plans for 'world's biggest' solar power plantGiant mirrors and solar panels in Northern Cape would reduce carbon emissions and generate one-tenth of the country's energy needs. Africa is to unveil plans this week for what it claims will be the world's biggest solar power plant – a radical step in a coal-dependent country where one in six people still lacks electricity.

The project, expected to cost up to 200bn rand (£18.42bn), would aim by the end of its first decade to achieve an annual output of five gigawatts (GW) of electricity - currently one-tenth of South Africa's energy needs. Giant mirrors and solar panels would be spread across the Northern Cape province, which the government says is among the sunniest 3% of regions in the world with minimal cloud or rain.

The government hopes the solar park will help reduce carbon emissions from Africa's biggest economy, which is still more than 90% dependent on coal-fired power stations. In April, the World Bank came in for sharp criticism from environmentalists for approving a $3.75bn (£2.37bn) loan to build one of the world's largest coal-fired power plants in the country

Shaw Industries and the environment | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Shaw Industries and the environment | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Among other initiatives, the company hopes to reduce energy use by 25 percent over the next seven years. The way forward is clear for flooring manufacturer Shaw Industries and the environment, with a multi-tiered sustainability effort that includes innovative new ways to minimize the company's impact on the planet during manufacturing, a massive carpet recycling effort and a range of new eco-friendly Cradle to Cradle-certified flooring products.

With the release of its 2009 Corporate Sustainability Report, Shaw Industries reveals its progress on crucial sustainability goals, which the company outlines on its green-themed website,

Shaw Industries has announced that it will reduce its energy usage by 25 percent by 2017, reduce its landfill waste 90 percent by the end of 2011 and further improve its water consumption by achieving an additional 25 percent reduction by 2010.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Industrial farming puts ecosystems at risk of collapse, warns Prince Charles | Environment |

Industrial farming puts ecosystems at risk of collapse, warns Prince Charles | Environment |

Industrial farming puts ecosystems at risk of collapse, warns Prince CharlesFarming methods must be low-impact, organic and low-carbon to protect natural resources for the long term. Prince Charles has warned that the world's ecosystems face collapse because of a dangerous over-reliance on industrial farming systems that work against nature rather than with it.

In a speech to launch a new sustainable farming project with the supermarket chain Morrisons, the Prince of Wales said farming needed to shift quickly to low-impact, organic and low-carbon methods to survive into the long term. The prince directly attacked farms that "treat animals like machines by using industrial rearing systems". Although he did not mention it directly, his criticisms echo fears about the UK's first diary "super farm" planned for Lincolnshire, where 8,000 cows will produce milk 24 hours a day and will be housed in four open-sided barns. He also criticised the increasing use of "green" labelling and award schemes which failed to protect natural resources in the long term and which "contributes to the failure of the entire system upon which it depends."

He said experts predicted that demand for food will rise by 50% by 2030, while humanity will also need 30% more water and 45% more energy. Fresh water supplies were finite and oil close to its peak. For every nine barrels of oil used today, only one barrel of readily exploitable oil was being found. "The mathematics do not exactly add up," he said. "We have to come up with a better way of producing our food that maintains the health of the earth's natural systems so that we work much more closely with them rather than so carelessly to spite them. And because we will have to do so in a commercial environment hounded by the spiralling cost of the diminishing oil supply it would pay us perhaps to do so quickly, now rather than later when it may be too late." He added: "So far we have enjoyed the considerable luxury of ignoring these things. We've tended to believe many of nature's services are free."

JET Assisted Vertical Turbine of Wind-Hydro Kinetic Applications

Wind-Hydro Kinetic Tidal/River/Canal Power Barge with Vertical Axis JET Mono- directional Rotating Turbines in Omnidirectional Water/Wind Flow.
Wind/Hydro-kinetic power plant with JET blades on vertical shafts (cross flow turbines)based on a floating anchored pontoon structure VAWT Patented JET turbines formed by hollow blades with elliptic-like cross-section.

The blades with side inlet aperture and outlet nozzles at blade trailing edge. It is a radical new patented blade design that increases flow-to-power efficiency significantly and helps to increase turbine performance at low and moderate flow speeds and in turbulent flow as well. Easy starting turbines. Patent pending. Integrated power train with a common electric alternator

Vision Signs MoU with SolFocus for 8 CPV Solar Plants in Saudi Arabia | Green Prophet

Vision Signs MoU with SolFocus for 8 CPV Solar Plants in Saudi Arabia | Green Prophet

Saudi Arabia has taken another step toward integrating solar power into its energy mix: Vision Electro Mechanical Co. (Vision) has signed an MoU with California-based SolFocus to build eight solar power stations in the kingdom, starting with a 130-kilowatt solar plant in the Bahra industrial complex near Jeddah, according to

Vision, a subsidiary of Jeddah-based Construction Products Holding Company (CPC), was established in August with a mandate to develop, manufacture and operate solar power plants in Saudi Arabia. The solar plant at CPC’s Bahra complex will be the largest in the region to utilize concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology for generating electricity. (Two smaller CPV arrays, developed by MST and ZenithSolar, are installed in Israel.)

Man builds plane of Scrap

How far are you willing to go in chasing your dream? For one 42-year-old father of two, it means everything including spending all his savings. Gabriel Nderitu intends to fly a homemade aircraft. But the first hurdle is building it. Here is his story.

ORGATEC 2010 - Modern Office & Facility


Working time is living time

Experience modern life in office and facility.
From 26th to 30th october 2010 in cologne.

U.K. Pledges 2.2 Billion Pounds for Clean Energy - BusinessWeek

U.K. Pledges 2.2 Billion Pounds for Clean Energy - BusinessWeek

The U.K. government pledged 2.2 billion pounds ($3.5 billion) for clean energy projects as it cut spending across other departments, saying it was safeguarding efforts to create jobs in new industries.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne earmarked as much as 1 billion pounds for a carbon capture and storage project that may go to Iberdrola SA and another 1 billion pounds for a Green Investment Bank. Another 200 million pounds will go for offshore wind technology and port facilities needed to handle the turbines.

“When money is short, we should ruthlessly prioritize those areas of public spending which are most likely to support economic growth, including investments in our transport and green energy infrastructure,” Osborne told Parliament today.

The measures were part of a broader package slashing 81 billion pounds of spending to curb a record budget deficit. Prime Minister David Cameron aims for his Conservative-led administration to be the “greenest” ever, targeting a 32 percent cut in CO2 emissions and 15 percent of U.K. energy coming from renewable sources by 2020.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Senate climate change deniers funded by BP and other major polluters | World news | The Guardian

Senate climate change deniers funded by BP and other major polluters | World news | The Guardian

Analyis finds climate change deniers in US Senate like Tea Party favourites DeMint and Inhofe have received over $240,000

BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites who deny the existence of global warming or oppose Barack Obama's energy agenda, the Guardian has learned.

An analysis of campaign finance by Climate Action Network Europe (Cane) found nearly 80% of campaign donations from a number of major European firms were directed towards senators who blocked action on climate change. These included incumbents who have been embraced by the Tea Party such as Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, and the notorious climate change denier James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma.

The report, released tomorrow, used information on the Open database to track what it called a co-ordinated attempt by some of Europe's biggest polluters to influence the US midterms. It said: "The European companies are funding almost exclusively Senate candidates who have been outspoken in their opposition to comprehensive climate policy in the US and candidates who actively deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by people."

It's official: Denmark has the world's greenest hotel ::

It's official: Denmark has the world's greenest hotel ::

Denmark's first CO2 neutral hotel building, the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, located in the Ørestad district of Copenhagen, has been named 'The World's Greenest Hotel' by Skål International, the world's largest travel and tourist organisation, reports Ritzau. The 4 star hotel won the EcoTourism Award 2010 in the Urban Accommodation category, thus affirming its exemplary status as an environmentally-conscious model for the hotel industry. Less than a year old, The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers is a beacon of green innovation from top to bottom. Its electricity is supplied by Northern Europe's largest facade-mounted photovoltaic solar cell plant, while below ground lies its unique technology for regulating the building's indoor climate - Denmark's first groundwater-based cooling and heating system. The rooms are equipped with low energy TVs and lighting, and all the shampoo bottles, toothbrushes and shower caps are biodegradable. The restaurant uses local ingredients for its menus, and all kitchen waste is used as feedstock for producing biogas and fertiliser. And in the fitness centre, guests can use exercise bicycles that generate electricity for use in the building.

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