Monday, January 31, 2011

Couple Transforms Beach Plastic Into Works of Art

For artists Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang, visiting their favorite stretch of Northern Californian coastline is a like taking a trip to an art-supply store. For the over 10 years, the couple has been collecting bits of plastic debris, washed-up remnants of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and transforming them into works of art which highlight the perilous state of our oceans -- while at the same time making something beautiful. "We really like to say this is a love story," says Judith.

One Plastic Beach from Tess Thackara on Vimeo.

Source: TreeHugger

Van Jones: "We Will Not Live On A National Plantation Run By The Koch Br...

At a Common Cause event in Palm Springs, CA, Van Jones argues that liberty, democracy, and justice are threatened by excessive concentrations of economic power, exemplified by the right-wing pollution magnate Koch brothers.

Fighting five diseases--measles, meningitis, pertussis, pneumonia: We Did the Math by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Fighting five diseases--measles, meningitis, pertussis, pneumonia--with existing vaccines would save the lives of three million children.

A 2GW Magnetic Leviatated wind Turbine: MAGLEV

Current bearing technology has forced wind turbine designers into horizontal spindle three bladed wind turbines. In this design the huge blades are connected to a spindle in the center. The bearings that support the spindle and control the pitch of the blades (which can be hundreds of feet long) see huge pitch-moment loading, some of which is manifest as torque energy that is focused through the center spindle. The target speed for the spindle is 18 or 20 rpm and the bearings holding the spindle are mounted in a huge casting which also contains a large gearbox stepping the speed up to 1800 to 2000 RPMs which allows for the proper surface speed relationship between the coils and magnets. It is necessary to invert or condition the current, which is expensive. This gearbox is full of many large bearings, gears and castings; for a 2 MW turbine the gearbox can easily weigh 30 tons. This gearbox needs to be mounted on the top of a pole more than 150 feet in the air and be able to support the turbine blades under full-force wind conditions.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine and Clock

Short video of vertical axis wind turbine and clock/thermometer at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

Pop Up Office by Liddy Scheffknecht and Armin B. Wagner

Cardboard office designed by Liddy Scheffknecht and Armin B. Wagner.
Inspired by pop up books, this mobile workstation comes with a desk and a chair that fold flat for easy storage and transportation.

Pop Up from abw on Vimeo.

Pop Up Office

Recession did not cut back pollution: US agency

The worst global recession in 80 years did little to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and China made a major polluting leap, US figures showed on Monday.

According to data from the US Energy Information Administration, US carbon emissions dipped 8.18 percent in 2009 compared to 2006, while in China they jumped 32.5 percent. For the planet as a whole, carbon emissions rose 5.2 percent in 2009 compared to 2006.

Source: Yahoo! News

Sexy Green Lingerie Styles

When you hear the term ‘eco lingerie,’ do you think: beige, bland and boring? We hate to break it to you, but you’ve been out of the game too long. Summer flings, vacations, weddings and sultry nights are on the horizon, and we’re here to loop you in on red hot green lingerie that will knock your partner’s socks off. From the playful and coy, to the sexy and seductive, here’s your guide to the best sustainably crafted unmentionables that are sure to help you ring in a season of frolicking good, green fun. Source: EcoSalon

Read more at EcoSalon

Bacardi Improves Energy, Water Efficiency

Bacardi has reduced water consumption by 27 percent and energy use by 11 percent, year-on-year. The liquor company’s 2010 corporate responsibility report says that the company reduced water consumption by 27.3 percent in fiscal year 2010, a 41.4 percent improvement over the past four years.

The company reduced its total energy use by 11.3 percent between fiscal years 2009 and 2010, improving efficiency by 5.9 percent. It increased efficiency by 16.6 percent over four years, surpassed its five-year target of a 12 percent efficiency improvement. Bacardi says its manufacturing facilities increased, by 30 percent over one year, the proportion of energy that they get from renewable sources.

Read more at Environmental Leader

Our Energy Future by the Numbers

Statistics from the U.S. government suggest that our energy choices and level of consumption will not change much over the next few decades.

If you want to create an effective energy policy for your company, you need to understand how energy consumption and production are likely to change in the foreseeable future. At least two broad trends are important to keep in mind. First, while renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, receive a great deal of attention, they will remain minor contributors to our overall energy mix. Nearly all our energy is derived from fossil fuels, whether petroleum, natural gas, or coal, and that will remain true for at least the next few decades. Second, demand for energy will continue to grow, keeping prices high. Although industrial energy consumption fell in 2009 as a result of the worldwide recession, by 2017 or so the industrial sector will consume more energy than all other users combined. That will not change for decades to come.

Source: Technology Review

Capturing More Light with a Single Solar Cell

The most efficient solar cells typically have several layers of semiconductor materials, each tuned to convert different colors of light into electricity. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have now made a single semiconductor that performs almost the same job. More importantly, they made the material using a common manufacturing technique, suggesting it could be made relatively inexpensively.

Capturing More Light with a Single Solar Cell - Technology Review

Friday, January 28, 2011

Deep Organic: Agriculture in the 21st C...

In 2007, Levi Gardner graduated from GVSU with a B.S. and B.B.A., and is currently pursuing his M.S. in Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies at Michigan State University. Following a three year stint as sustainability coordinator for Integrated Architecture, a local A + E firm, he is now employed at GVSU managing the community garden. He loves food, gardening, biking, hiking, music, friends, reading, and generally doing anything at all with his wife and daughter.

TEDxGrandValley - Julia Mason - An Ecofeminist Perspective

Julia M. Mason is an Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies. She earned her doctorate in American Culture Studies, with graduate certificates in Women's Studies and Ethnic Studies, from Bowling Green State University. She also has a Master of Arts in American Indian Studies from The University of Arizona. She has been teaching gender studies courses since 2001. Her research interests include: breast cancer in the media; ecofeminism; and feminist activism.

TEDxGrandValley - Brett Colley - The Art of Un-Suspending Disbelief

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Denemarken Worldchampion Organic Food Consumption

With 132 EUR per inhabitant, Denmark has the highest sales of organic products of any country in the world. Despite the financial crisis, sales of organic products in Denmark rose constantly. According to Henrik Hindborg, Marketing Manager at Organic Denmark, the reason for this is the consumer's search for quality products that are healthy and take animal and environmental protection aspects into account.

One major success factor is the cooperation between the organic sector and the retail trade. Organic products are bought mainly by people with a university education. They consume 21 % of organic products - the national average is 7.6 % of the products purchased. Organic products sell best in large cities like Copenhagen and Århus.

Source: BioFach

Your Guide to the Year in Science 2011

At PopSci they love to find the biggest, coolest, most interesting science and technology innovations. This year promises much to love, including an artificial heart that looks and beats just like a real one, and 3-D entertainment without the goofy glasses--plus, judging by the State of the Union, our president seems bullish on science and tech. So, what else will make 2011 awesome?

View Photo Gallery

2011 has already been a great year in science: An engineer designed his own life-saving heart implant, we've already had the required cold fusion claim, Japanese scientists are planning to resurrect the woolly mammoth, we could have a universal flu vaccine, and many more. But there's lots more to look forward to, including advances in space and aviation, medicine, environmental tech, and consumer tech and entertainment, and we've collected 43 of the probable advances about which we're most excited.

Read more at Popular Science

Volcano Alert: Smoke & ash of Shinmoedake volcano block visibility, disrupt transport in Japan

Smoke and ash continued to spew from the Shinmoedake volcano in southern Japan on Thursday as local officials raised the alert level and banned residents from going within a two kilometre (1.2 miles) radius of the mountain in the Kogoshima Prefecture. There was a small eruption from Shinmoedake on Wednesday with the plume of smoke reaching as high as 1500 metres (4920 feet) at one point, which distributed volcanic ash across surrounding villages. The persistent ash has blocked visibility in the surrounding area and has made the roads slippery and treacherous for motorists, according to local officials. Train services in the area were suspended and flights to the area were cancelled on Thursday. So far no damage or injuries have been reported.

Betting on Siemens with Offshore Wind

A late comer to the wind turbine manufacturing industry, Siemens AG entered the wind business six years ago when it purchased the veteran Danish wind turbine manufacturer Bonus Energy. Europe’s largest engineering firm, Siemens is also one of the world’s primary suppliers of transmission infrastructure equipment. In 2010, the company’s 3 and 3.6 MW wind turbines emerged as the top choice for offshore wind projects. Currently ranked 6th in the world in terms of total wind turbine sales, Siemens is expected to creep up to among the top three wind turbine suppliers by the end of 2012. While other turbines have reported weak sales over the past year, Siemens is showing strong sales in both onshore and offshore wind arenas.

At present, the company’s turbines account for 77 percent of the installed and under development offshore wind projects in the United Kingdom, the market expected to lead the world over the next ten years, with as much as 30 to 50 GW over the next ten to 15 years. The company is also making major inroads in the United States, having been chosen to supply 130 3.6 MW turbines for the high profile Cape Wind project off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


Wave and tidal energy spend to hit US$1.2bn by 2015

Global spending on wave and tidal energy may reach US$1.2 billion over the next five years, according to energy business analyst Douglas-Westwood. Douglas-Westwood also predicts that annual capital expenditure on wave and tidal projects will reach US$500 million in 2015, up from approximately US$52m in 2010.

According to The World Wave & Tidal Market Report 2011-2015, wave and tidal installations over the coming year are already double those in 2010 and a total 150 MW capacity will be installed between 2011-2015.

The UK, Canada and US are the three biggest markets; the UK leads with 110 MW of installations forecast. According to Ian Jones, lead report analyst, capital expenditure in the UK will total almost US$900m over the next five years, with annual expenditure approaching US$500m in 2015.

Source:Renewable Energy Focus

Sony's next PSP (codename NGP): a closer look

Following the unveil of its bodacious next generation portable (NGP) PlayStation device, Sony let a swarm of journalists (including us) on stage to get a closer look at the PSP's dual-stick, quad-core successor. No touching, but we were able to direct our lens mighty close and compare the NXP with a PSP and PSP Go before the on-hand staff shooed us away

Sony next-generation PlayStation Portable: PSP2, codenamed NGP, playing Uncharted

Betcha didn't think this day would come, but it finally has. Sony has just come clean with its next-generation PlayStation Portable. It's actually codenamed NGP and will revolve around five key concepts: Revolutionary User Interface, Social Connectivity, Location-based Entertainment, Converging Real and Virtual (augmented) Reality. It will be compatible with the PlayStation Suite and is backwards-compatible with downloadable PSP games and content from Sony's PlayStation Store.

Specs include a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 5-inch touchscreen OLED display with 960 x 544 resolution, dual analog sticks (not nubs as on the current generation), 3G, WiFi, GPS, a rear-mounted touchpad, the same accelerometer / gyroscope motion sensing as in the PlayStation Move, an electronic compass, and cameras on both the front and back.

Putrajaya Waterfront Residential Towers in Kuala Lumpur by Studio Nicoletti Associati

The Putrajaya Waterfront development, south of Kuala Lumpur, is home to a large planned residential tower complex in Precinct 4. As part of large centrally planned commercial and government district the towers Studio Nicoletti Associati conceived the design to stand as counterpoint to the tall traditional towers nearby.

The overall form is both reminiscent of a sailboat's profile and a nod to Islamic design sensibilities by terminating with a contemporary ogive arch. Starting with an rounded exoskeleton the towers vary in height and orientation to create an open, pedestrian friendly landscape. Each tower ranging from 18 to 20 stories is topped out with a large terrace spa and green space partially shaded by the support structure that terminates a few stories above. The project totals 278,000 square feet of floor area.

Source: eVolo

An Overview of Smart Home Technology

In the home of the future, smart home technologies will be integrated into the home during the construction phase. There are a number of key features in a smart home system, many of which are designed to work together.

For example, in the home theatre or entertainment room, the home automation system can tie together the media control center with certain elements that may be controlled through the system. The lighting in the room can be tied to the media center such that the lights automatically dim when a movie begins to play and brighten when the movie is over. The speaker system can be adjusted such that it is muted, or the volume turned down when the security system or home intercom is activated. Curtains or blinds in the theatre room can be closed automatically, and the room temperature can be adjusted for comfort in a home with zoned, controlled heating and cooling.

A simple system with basic audio, security, lighting, climate control, and a single touch screen requires on the order of 800 meters of wire, and some customized programming to allow for vacation setting and other specialized settings. A more sophisticated system that integrates media, voice and data lines, and additional touch screens can require over 3000 meters of wire and elaborate customized programming. These systems can incorporate closed-circuit TV, HDTV, garage door control, irrigation, and muliple climate control zones with touch pad controllers place in various locations throughout the home.

Source: Leonardo ENERGY

Woodland Park Zoo's Solar Powered Carousel

In partnership with Seattle City Light, Woodland Park Zoo in the USA is installing a solar power system on its carousel to offset the electricity use of the popular attraction.

While Seattle isn't renowned for sunny days, Seattle City Light says the solar panels will still generate around 9,000 kilowatt-hours annually, the equivalent power the carousel would use during its 100,000 rides a year and enough to provide for the electricity needs of the average Seattle home. The solar array will also utilise Aurora solar inverters to convert the DC charge from the solar modules into AC.

The zoo says the PV array will serve as a very public demonstration that solar energy is a viable option in the Seattle community.

Source: Renewable Energy News

Cincinnati Zoo Taps Into Solar Energy

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, an internationally recognised haven for exotic plant and animal species, is hoping to draw crowds with its latest attraction when it becomes home to America’s largest publicly accessible urban solar panel array.

A 1.64 megawatt (MW) PV based solar energy system comprising 6,400 solar panels will make up a canopy that will also provide shade for the zoo’s 1000-space parking lot. The solar canopy will generate enough electricity to power 200 homes per year.

Source:Renewable Energy News

Winners of the Maritime and Popular Music Center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The Spanish architecture firm MADE IN unveiled their winning design for the Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The project will start construction in a few months and will be one of the most important developments ever built by a Spanish firm outside of Spain with a surface of more than 100,000 square meters and a budget of 100 million Euros.

The project will accommodate two auditoriums, one exterior for 12,000 people that will enjoy the bay views and an interior for 3,500 seats. In addition, the complex will have a maritime museum, a music museum, markets and other cultural facilities. The project proposes a series of buildings and public spaces that will articulate and animate the Love River Bay which is one of the most important parts of the city.

Source: eVolo

LOOP City in Copenhagen by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

LOOP City is an urban plan for future growth in and around Copenhagen, Denmark created by the Danish capital’s own BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group). The focus of the plan is largely on reimagining the residential and industrial areas to the west of central Copenhagen that were developed in accordance with the Finger Plan, a post-WWII urban plan headed by Steen Eiler Rasmussen. The Finger Plan laid out “fingers” of urbanization that reach west out from central Copenhagen as well as green spaces to occupy the spaces between the fingers, all in line with answering what they saw as the 10 essential issues facing the city in the future. However well conceived, under the pressures of post war industrialization, the Finger Plan has led to extensive urban sprawl and transportation issues.

LOOP City seeks to reimagine Greater Copenhagen by centralizing urbanization around a light rail system that would ultimately be a part of a larger transportation/development loop that would extend around the entirety of the Oresund Region.

The plan is for an area equal in size to central Copenhagen with a similar urban profile, turning areas of 25% urban density to areas more like the central city, where density is as high as 200%. According to BIG’s plans, if the new areas were urbanized similarly to central Copenhagen it could provide housing for over 325,000 new residents and create more than 280,000 working places.


Internet users reach two billion mark

The number of Internet users worldwide has reached the two billion mark, the head of the UN’s telecommunications agency, Hamadoun Toure, said. “At the beginning of the year 2000 there only 500 million mobile subscriptions globally and 250 million Internet users,” he said. “By the beginning of this year 2011 those numbers have mushroomed to over five billion mobile users and two billion subscribers to the Internet,” Toure added. This is no surprise since our work, love and social lives are now lived on the Internet. We will soon be going on Facebook to talk to our own kids in the other room.

Israel follows Norway’s Lead With a High Tax on its Massive Off-Shore Oil Find

A new tax plan proposed in Israel, following the tiny nation’s startlingly large oil and gas find in the Leviathan field off its Mediterranean coast, would roughly double current tax rates to as high as 62% of revenues from gas and oil drilling. Israel already has a gas tax that supports hybrids. Norway taxes oil revenue at 78%, while tax rates on oil in nations like Nigeria are more around the 30% range.

This Sunday, the Cabinet adopted the committee’s recommendations for the 62% tax in full. Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Globe that the revenue should be spent on “education, education and education, and one other thing – defense.”
“The resource is important to Israel’s economy and to Israel’s future,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting. “We will cooperate with the investors in order to bring the gas to Israel quickly, and so the most important thing now is to move forward.”

Unsurprisingly the tax proposal was not well received by the oil companies involved, Israel’s Delek Group and its Texas-based partner Noble Energy, who made the find. US oil producers have long been pampered by oil-industry-written tax breaks. But Israel is not the US. At this point, it’s up to the Knesset, which would still have to approve the higher tax rate. Israel could well decide to follow Norway’s more socialist example.

Norway’s oil wealth has proved the exception to the resource-curse. With the discovery of extractive fossil energy, the pattern has been for nations and states to become less democratic and more corrupt, have less economic growth and more conflict, less innovation and more social inequality.

But Norway bucks that trend, by putting a tight control over fossil wealth, and spreading it through its very egalitarian society. With its discovery of North Sea oil, it moved to put a high tax rate on its massive off-shore oil and gas finds.

Source: Green Prophet

First AeroFarms Unit Installed This Week in Jeddah

AeroFarms, a company whose vertical skyscraper farming idea we have covered before, is now beginning to introduce a new way of farming to the Middle East that could have as radical an effect on the future of our food supply, as when we switched to farming from hunting and gathering. This will be a very major change.This week AeroFarm’s first unit has just been installed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under the support and partnership of Saudi Arabia’s Sheikh Saleh Boqshan, who is spearheading the project.
Instead of soil, and sunshine, AeroFarms employs aeroponic farming technology, that can work inside buildings in cities. Because of the rise of mega cities in the 21st century, with 80% of us expected to be living in large cities by 2050, this alone makes for a sustainable farming technology.

Seeds are sown into a light weight porous support that is open to air so that the plants can be sprayed with a mist of water and nutrients. The structural growing medium cloth can be reused again and again. The mist itself is recycled too, so there is no run-off, like in traditional farming.

Because aeroponic farms can be sited literally anywhere at all – inside buildings: even multistory buildings without any sunlight at all – it dramatically cuts the carbon costs of transporting food from distant farmlands to city dwellers.

AeroFarms grows food under LED lights, which require only a tenth of the energy to run as that needed by incandescent lights, and far less energy than traditional farming.

Because the food is grown indoors in speeded-up 18-20 day cycles (shorter than typical 21 day pest cycles), there is no need for pesticides. This, in turn, means pesticide-free seeds can be used.

Source: Green Prophet

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Creation of a New Island

BP’s stocks soar, Halliburton makes a killing

Climate Week UK: Inspiring Millions to Act

Climate Week is a supercharged national occasion that offers an annual renewal of our ambition and confidence to combat climate change. It is for everyone wanting to do their bit to protect our planet and create a secure future.

Climate Week will shine a spotlight on the many positive steps already being taken in workplaces and communities across Britain. The power of these real, practical examples – the small improvements and the big innovations – will then inspire millions more people.

Thousands of businesses, charities, schools, councils and others will run events during Climate Week on 21-27 March 2011. They will show what can be achieved, share ideas and encourage thousands more to act during the rest of the year.

You can help create a massive movement for change by making Climate Week happen where you are. Ask an organisation or group you know, such as your workplace or local school, to run an event.

Source: Climate Week

Italy solar capacity can hit 8,000 MW end-2011

Italy's total installed photovoltaic capacity can reach 8,000 megawatts by the end of this year, hitting a target the country has set for 2020, Italy's state energy services agency GSE said on Tuesday.

Italy's total installed photovoltaic capacity, which turns sunlight into power, jumped to 3,000 MW at the end of 2010 from 1,142 MW at the end of 2009 as operators rushed to sign up for generous incentives which expired at the end of 2010, GSE said in a statement.

The total figure would rise to 7,000 MW if capacity installed by the end of 2010 but not yet connected to grid was included, GSE said adding such capacity must be connected to the grid by the end of June to qualify for earlier incentives.

Source: Reuters

Facebook and Twitter wedding: the social network romance

Is it possible to organise a wedding just using Facebook and Twitter? The announcement, the invitations, the arrangements for the big day itself - can these all be orchestrated via social networks?

Mark Hillary and Angelica Mari tried to do just this for their wedding in December 2010. The BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones joined them for the big day to see how well their virtual plans translated to the real world.

The Secret History of Social Networking is a three-part series for BBC Radio 4, starting on Wednesday 26 January at 1100 GMT.
BBC News

The Tech Company that Earns Greenpeace's Highest Rating

In December, the environmental group Greenpeace put Cisco Systems at the top of its twice-yearly Cool IT leaderboard for the second time a row. The group praised the Silicon Valley-based company for keeping detailed measurements of its environmental impact and for its advocacy of green practices. Darrel Stickler, a leader of Cisco's "green task force," works with customers and every part of Cisco's business to make sustainability a priority. He talked to Technology Review about how Cisco works to reduce its own environmental impact and that of its customers.

See also: Greenpeace Cool IT Challenge: Leaderboard November 2010

Source: Technology Review

Billionaire Venture Capitalist Vinod Khosla’s Energy Bets Inch Forward

Superstar venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has spent the past six years or so investing in a broad array of clean energy-related companies and technologies. He readily admits that many are science experiments with a high probability of failure. But he may be getting closer to success with a few of them.

Khosla recently told an audience in San Jose, Calif. that portfolio investment EcoMotors, a company that builds automotive engines that are up to 50% more efficient than current models, in early January signed up one of the larger truck makers in the world to adopt EcoMotors’ technology. Khosla didn’t specify which truck maker it was.

He also told the group that one of his lighting companies, Soraa , will introduce a low-cost lightbulb that uses 80% less electricity than current bulbs and enables a payback on investment in one year. Existing LED (light emitting diode) lights from large companies like Philips, Siemens‘ Osram unit and Cree, have yet to be widely adopted because of their still prohibitively-high cost.

Khosla said another of his companies, Caitin, can reduce the amount of energy used in air conditioning by 80%.

Source: Forbes

Fairtrade Fortnight 2011: Show Off Your Label

This Fairtrade Fortnight we want everyone to get loud and proud online about the Fairtrade label and encourage others to shout about it too.

You can show off Fairtrade any way you want. Take part in our bunting record attempt, hold a fashion show with your friends, or be loud and proud about how your business supports farmers and workers in developing countries.

Greenbuild: Howard Williams, manufacturer, discusses safer chemicals

Howard Williams, Vice Pres. of Construction Specialties (CS) discusses safer chemicals policy has practiced by his company. CS has created a niche for itself by developing and manufacturing environmentally responsible building products. This $300-million-a-year business helps builders avoid PVCs, PBTs, and other chemicals known to harm human health and the environment. The demand for environmentally responsible and relevant building products is growing rapidly.

The New Patcraft and Designweave Evergreen Carpet Recycling

Shaw Industries, the leader in carpet recycling, manufactures carpet that is completely recyclable into new carpet via its Evergreen facility. Products from The New Patcraft and Designweave constructed with Eco Solution Q contain recycled content from Evergreen.

Plug-In Luxury Yachts - The Atlantic Sea Hawk can Hit 50 Knots Running on Electricity Alone

The Atlantic Sea Hawk is one of the most eco-friendly yachts. Atlantic Motor Yachts and Sauter Carbon Offset Design have combined to build this 18-meter luxury yacht that is designed to run of of a hybrid solar engine.

The Atlantic Sea Hawk absorbs energy from the sun which it uses to power itself to a max speed of 50 knots. The yacht is designed to cut fuel costs being able to propel itself strictly off of electricity when navigating harbors and shallow waterways. Why settle for just a Prius when you can have a hybrid yacht as well?

Plugged in the Atlantic Sea Hawk is capable of feeding 11Mwh’s of electricity to the grid. Enough energy to offset up to1,000 nautical miles of Carbon Neutral cruising every year. RR Kamewa jets are safer and in hi-speed jet propelled Yachts will use less fuel than boats of the same size with propellers. The fastest commercial ferries in the world employ jets to reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions.

Source: Trendhunter

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

UN food chief warns: 'fix system or face global crisis'

The world is hurtling towards a food crisis that could produce political instability across the globe, the head of the UN's food agency warned yesterday. Calling for laws to curb speculation in surging commodity prices, Jacques Diouf, director general of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, told the Nikkei business newspaper in Japan that governments had to "tackle the structural causes of imbalances in the international agricultural system".

Mr Diouf's remarks came a day after the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, warned that the world risked food riots and weaker growth because of volatile food prices. This week two major international studies called for far-reaching action to feed a global population that is estimated to increase from 6.8 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050.

According to Mr Diouf, farm subsidies and tariffs are playing a major role in distorting the global balance between supply and demand. In a report yesterday commissioned by the UK government and said to be the most comprehensive study ever undertaken into the future food market, scientists warned that there were major failings in the global food system that damaged the environment and left one billion people hungry.

The Global Food and Farming Futures study, based on contributions from more than 400 experts in 35 countries, said that, in real terms, the price of key crops would increase by between 50 and 100 per cent over the next 40 years.

Source: The National

Nuclear Reactors Move to the Ocean Floor

Nuclear power may not be clean enough to be included in some studies about the feasibility of renewable energy, but some countries are so determined to get off fossil fuels in favor of nuclear power that they are studying how they can place nuclear reactors on the ocean floor.

Each nuclear reactor that would go on the ocean bed is pretty small, generating as little as 50 megawatts, enough energy to power about 37,000 American homes.

The nuclear reactors are being developed by the French naval defense company DCNS, which have dubbed their innovation the Flexblue. Preliminary studies that lasted two years showed that it is possible for Flexblue to produce anywhere from 50 to 250 megawatts of nuclear energy on the ocean floor.

Source:Discovery News

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi Launches First Solar ATM in UAE

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Number One Bank in the UAE, has become the first bank in the UAE to launch a solar-powered ATM.

NBAD’s first solar ATM became operational this week at Al Bateen Branch in Abu Dhabi. Its launch coincided with the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), taking place in Abu Dhabi January 17-19, which NBAD sponsors, and where speakers from NBAD will present to the forum the Bank’s sustainable initiatives and strategy.

“We are proud to be the first bank in the UAE to launch a green ATM,” says Suvo Sarkar, the General Manager of Consumer & Elite Banking at NBAD. “As the Number One Bank in the UAE, NBAD strives to be at the forefront of offering superior banking products and services. As part of our CSR initiatives, we hope to be the 'trend-setter' in adopting solar power for future ATMs in this country. ”

Source: NBAD

Volkswagen XL1 Concept: Super Efficient, 261 mpg

Volkswagen has taken another step towards making the one-liter car a reality, and this 200 mile-per-gallon dream could be on the roads within the next few years.

The Formula XL1 Concept combines a two cylinder TDI engine, electric motor, lithium-ion battery pack and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to achieve an astonishing 0.9L/100 km – just over 260 mpg to us Yanks. The included plug-in system, along with the XL1's low drag and extensive use of lightweight materials has the potential to make the concept the most efficient vehicle to ever grace public roads.

Source: Autoblog

Electricity from Fuel Cells

For a growing number of businesses, government subsidies and decreasing costs are making the technology cost-effective.

The new World Trade Center towers in New York City will be powered in part by fuel cells. Whole Foods runs some of its supermarkets on fuel cells. Walmart, eBay, Google, Staples, Coca-Cola, and many other major corporations have installed them in the last few years. Many of these companies say that they're not just using fuel cells to reduce energy consumption and pollution, provide reliable backup power, and attract good publicity. They also aim to save money.

Powering commercial buildings with fuel cells can cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. They make the most sense for hospitals, banks, supermarkets, and companies with big data centers—businesses that require a reliable source of backup power and are willing to pay a premium. Backup generators are typically far less expensive than fuel cells: a natural-gas generator might cost 50 cents per watt of generating capacity, while fuel cells can cost over $7 per watt, says Sam Jaffe, a research manager at IDC Energy Insights. The problem is that in most places, local regulations limit the use of generators, so most of the time they're sitting idle. Fuel cells, which are quiet and clean, can run continuously, so companies can recover their investment more quickly. (The best natural-gas generators can also minimize emissions, and if regulations are modified to take this into account, fuel cells may lose their advantage, Jaffe says.) Fuel cells are particularly attractive for new buildings, which can be engineered to take advantage of the waste heat generated by the cells to provide hot water, heat the building, or cool it with the help of special chillers driven by heat or hot water. One supermarket in New York even uses heat from its fuel cells to keep its sidewalks free of ice. A well-designed fuel-cell system can use 90 percent of the energy in the fuel it consumes. By contrast, even the most efficient power plants are less than 60 percent efficient (and some coal plants are less than 40 percent efficient).

Source: Technology Review

The Moderns Rethinks Office Space for Greener, Happier Workers

When their building's water tower burst in October 2009, The Moderns office space suffered an 8,000 gallon flood. They called it their own tsunami of change. They knew that while it was a huge hassle to build a new space, they'd received a great opportunity to completely re-do what they considered an office and try to integrate their green ideals into that new workspace. Janine James, President and Chief Creative Officer of The Moderns, presented their remodel to the attendees at this year's Compostmodern conference in San Francisco, CA. Check out what they've done to create a (nearly) utopian work environment.

Source: TreeHugger

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ford's Blueprint for Sustainability: The Future at Work An Impressive Sustainability Strategy

Ford Motor Company has published its 11th annual non-financial report, entitled Blueprint for Sustainability - The Future at Work. Our vision is for our sustainability reporting to demonstrate our values, as well as to reflect and drive outstanding economic, environmental and social performance.

Three key aspects of Ford's sustainability strategy show the company's real leadership by Andrew Winston:

1. It's based on hard science. Ford's in-house climate scientists - yes, you heard that right — have bought into an important global scientific consensus: humanity must keep CO2 levels in the atmosphere below 450 parts per million to reduce the odds of catastrophic, species-threatening climate change (many leading scientists have since lowered the goal to 350 ppm — and we've already hit 390 ppm).

Ford then worked back from this necessary future reality, determined the share of global emissions coming from Ford products (around 2%), and mapped out the fuel-efficiency levels required to meet the scientific mandate. As Viera said, "I can tell you 5, 10, 20 years from now, where we need to be." Relying on hard climate science to map out non-negotiable boundaries for your products is, to say the least, very unusual.

2. It tackles both long-term and short-term sustainability challenges. Given those science-based plans, Ford is investing in the long-term — the sexy, new EV market that everyone is going after — and rolling out a series of efficiency technologies in the existing, combustion-engine fleet. The 2011 Ford Explorer, for example, is using EcoBoost engine technology to improve fuel efficiency by 25%. Viera points out that the world may save more fuel between now and 2020 through these incremental improvements than through nascent sales of cleaner cars. "It's not as glamorous," Viera says, "but it makes sense number-wise."

3. It's heretical. In Ford's sustainability report, one statement stopped me in my tracks: "By 2050, there will be nine billion people on Earth...Putting nine billion people into private automobiles is neither practical nor desirable." This is an auto company saying that going after market saturation is not ideal for the company or the world (since cities would cease to function with that much traffic.

Sources: Andrew Winston and Ford

A brief introduction to Geothermal Heating

A brief introduction to geothermal: the next wave of clean and sustainable energy.

Triodos Bank predicts 2011 solar financing crunch

The head of business banking at Europe's largest sustainable bank has warned that many solar projects will fail to move forward this year as developers rush to secure financial backing before the government cuts the incentives available through its feed-in tariff scheme.

Bevis Watts, head of business banking at Triodos, told BusinessGreen the bank expects to receive applications from significant numbers of large-scale solar farm developers in 2011. But he warned that many of them will be turned away, especially if they have not secured planning permission and other consents before applying for financing.

Under the feed-in tariff scheme, individuals or developers who install renewable energy systems receive payments from their energy supplier based on how much energy they generate. But the government is set to review rates in 2012, or potentially sooner if installation rates are higher than expected, and has already identified scope to cut feed-in tariffs by up to 10 per cent.

Watts said 2011 will be "a huge year" for solar developers as they rush to get projects under way before the incentives are cut. But he warned many projects are going to be under a lot of time pressure and will fail to secure planning permission or other relevant consents before 2012.


Firewinder: The Wind Powered Outdoor Light

Developed by young British inventor Tom Lawton, The Firewinder is an innovative outdoor lighting system that transforms wind into a visual display of light. This decorative lamp is 100% wind-powered, and it reacts to subtle variations in wind speed to create a vibrant expression of your natural surroundings.

Twelve Tales from the World of Energy: Green Energy Fables by Chris Buzelli

Zwölf Märchen aus der Welt der Energie (Twelve Tales from the World of Energy) includes twelve unique fables based on green energy for each month.

Green Energy Fables

Genovation G2 aims to be the greenest thing you can drive, will be made from renewable and recycled parts

One big sticking point for those still unwilling to embrace the eco-friendly credentials of electric vehicles is the undeniable fact that building an EV costs plenty in terms of resource and energy use. Hoping to counter this concern, Genovation is working on developing a new G2 electric car (the G1 was a Ford Focus modified with off-the-shelf parts to run on batteries), which will try to maximize the use of renewable and recycled materials in its construction. It's just completed the first phase of its development, where quarter-size models have been built by Tata Technologies and a bunch of simulations, analyses, and performance tests have been run. Phases two and three will involve the building of functional prototypes and pre-production road vehicles, with phase four presumably being the onset of our sustainable living utopia.

Source: Engadget

Generation Hot: If you’re under 25, you should be pissed about climate change

So you effed up our planet, huh?"Generation Hot" is the 2 billion or so young people who will be stuck dealing with global warming and weirding for their entire lives -- and who have to figure out how to do it sanely and humanely. In his new book Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, journalist (and Grist contributor) Mark Hertsgaard puts the official start of Generation Hot at June 23, 1988, when climate scientist James Hansen first testified to Congress about climate change and The New York Times put the story on its front page.

"My daughter and the rest of Generation Hot have been given a life sentence for a crime they didn't commit," Hertsgaard writes in a piece in The Nation adapted from his book. Even if we manage to ditch fossil fuels over the next 25 years, "the reality is that we're locked in to at least 50 more years of rising temperatures and the harsher climate impacts they bring. Thus the young people of Generation Hot are condemned to spend the rest of their lives coping with a climate that will be hotter and more volatile than ever before in our civilization's history."

Hertsgaard has been reporting about climate change for 20 years, but it wasn't until 2005, when his daughter was born and he began to realize what kind of world she would be growing up in, that he became, as he puts it, "deeply angry."

He plans to channel some of that anger into guerilla-style protests against the "climate cranks" in Congress, corporations, and the media who have denied the problem and blocked the solutions. The week of Jan. 31, Hertsgaard and some members of the members of Generation Hot will confront climate cranks on camera in Washington, D.C.

Source: Grist

Eco Street Lighting: The Biolamp Streetlamp by Peter Horvath

Electric cars are expensive, so until their prices are lowered, you may want to consider this Biolamp Streetlamp option.

Peter Horvath is a Hungarian designer who aims to battle fuel emissions with this BioLamp Streetlamp. The inside of the Biolamp contains a mix of water and algae that converts CO2 into fuel. This sustainable lamp also has a pump that absorbs smog and transforms CO2 into oxygen. Hopefully, the innovative Biolamp Streetlamp will turn into reality one day.

Source: Trendhunter

The New Flat Lampshade is Made from Cardboard Boxes by Formfjord

These New Flat lampshades by Berlin designer Formfjord are an easy, cheap and inventive way to shade your lighting fixtures with an easily recycled material.

The best part about the New Flat is that you don’t even have to be a savvy, handy person to install them: Little more than a bit of folding is required to set them up. Once you’re done with it, the New Flat can then be easily stored in a drawer or cupboard, or discarded in your recycling bin.

Source: Trendhunter

'Green asphalt' layers cool surface on school lot

What's light green, sprayed on top of asphalt, and lowers the temperature of parking lots by 30 degrees? If you went to school at Robert L. Duffy school in Phoenix, you'd know the answer.

Late last month, the charter school became the testing ground for "green asphalt," a concrete-based reflective covering designed to make asphalt surfaces cooler and more durable. Phoenix-based Emerald Cities installed the coating at the school to demonstrate the viability of the technology to city leaders and contractors, company CEO Sheri Roese said

Source: CNET News

The Blue Economy

Do you want to live healthy, and have joy in life?
Do you want to be an entrepreneur, and figure out how you can make a difference?
This is not about the good and the bad, this is about how you can do it better.

BMW will develop EV for Chinese market

BMW will team up with joint venture partner Brilliance China Automotive to develop an electric vehicle specifically for China, a Chinese newspaper reported. The EV will be built on the platform of the BMW 5-series. Its concept model will be displayed at an auto show in China sometime this year, according to the Beijing-based Beijing Youth Daily daily newspaper.

Source: Autonews

Making Electric Vehicles Pay Off

Commercial fleets are a logical place to introduce battery-powered electric vehicles. After all, fleet vehicles operate with relatively predictable driving patterns, return to a central location overnight, and are managed by sophisticated logistics professionals who can weigh the cars' lower fueling and maintenance costs against their premium purchase price. Last year, managers of large fleets began exploring in earnest what EVs offer, kicking off demonstrations that will come to scale this year.

Companies such as FedEx, PepsiCo (through its Frito-Lay business), and AT&T are each deploying tens to hundreds of electric delivery vans from manufacturers such as Navistar, Smith Electric, and Azure Dynamics. And in November General Electric announced an aggressive plan to make EVs account for half of its 30,000-vehicle fleet by 2015 and to lease another 10,000 EVs to other commercial fleets managed by GE Capital.

Read More atTechnology Review

Beautiful and Creative Tea Table With Ripple Effect by Jeonghwa Seo and Hanna Chung

Beautiful and creative table designed by Jeonghwa Seo and Hanna Chung. Each time you place the tea cup on the table, the ripples form on the water covered surface. The table was inspired by the belief that small changes in an individual’s life can have an impact on the whole community.

ripple effect tea table from seo30207 on Vimeo.

Source: Toxel

Urban Library of the Future in Gent, Belgium by UNStudio

The two main aims in UNStudio's design for the Urban Library of the Future and Centre for New Media in Gent are to create a dynamic, flexible and open knowledge environment, whilst simultaneously strengthening the character of the location with the introduction of a building with a distinct architectural identity. Sustainability is the guiding factor in the design, based on the conviction that not only must the environmental and user-friendly design of the Urban Library of the Future be able to evolve along with new media, but it must also offer the possibility for future change of use. Withan open landscape, spaciousness, extensive views, alternative circulation routes, several meeting areas and a public plaza, the design for the library affords a renewal of its urban context.

The building is both fluid in form and accommodating to its surroundings. This is evidenced by its appearance - which varies according to the orientation - as well as from the decision to lift the building volume above ground level, thereby creating light, transparency and expansive sightlines. However the layered structure and low construction volume ensure that the impact of the design on the urban profile is minimal and that views to the characteristic towers of Gent are preserved. The structure also makes it possible to introduce (green) roof terraces whilst also ensuring low levels of direct sunlight penetration. Based on the functional organisation the volume is lifted in order to create public space around the Library. In conjunction with the promenade along the quays, this results in interaction with the surrounding water and thereby the revival of the Waalse Krook.

Source: eVolo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Desso = Dutch Design: Cradle to Cradle Carpet Manufacturer

Today, DESSO can look back on almost 80 years of proven performance, having built a reputation as a leading manufacturer of high quality carpet tiles and broadloom.

DESSO's innovation strategy is concentrated in 3 key areas: Creativity, Functionality and Cradle to Cradle®. For DESSO, creativity is synonymous with CARPETECTURE®, which is a powerful example of DESSO's commitment to creative carpet design and its dedication to meet the needs of architects, interior designers, building owners and end users. In the field of functionality, DESSO develops pioneering solutions that make a difference for health, wellness and well-being.

In signing a partnership agreement with the Hamburg-based Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA), DESSO has become the first carpet manufacturer in EMEA to adopt the Cradle to Cradle® design. It marks DESSO's radical decision to move beyond 'mere' sustainability in producing its carpets and artificial grass.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

UNICEF and 'Viet Nam's Next Top Model' form a unique partnership for children

UNICEF reports on a partnership with the TV show, 'Viet Nam's Next Top Model,' to raise awareness about important children's issues.

UN lays out 'ambitious' agenda to tackle global humanitarian crises in 2011

United Nations, New York, 21 January 2011 - With climate change presaging natural mega-disasters, aid workers facing mounting attacks in conflict areas and the economic crisis crimping resources, the United Nations office coordinating the global humanitarian response announced its agenda for 2011 today: more lives saved, more rapidly, with fewer gaps and less duplication.

"In a changing world there can be no organizational status quo," Valerie Amos, who heads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told Member States at a meeting at UN Headquarters in New York.

Frost Over the World - Can the internet bring freedom to the world?

Clean Air Power to supply dual-fuel system for Volvo buses

Clean Air Power, a developer of dual-fuel combustion technology that enable engines to operate on both diesel and natural gas, has inked a deal to supply Volvo Bus Corporation with its dual-fuel systems. Volvo will outfit 11 of its conventional buses with Clean Air Power's dual-fuel system and aims to have these coaches servicing routes in Sweden by summer. Once in action, the 11 vehicles will become Volvo's first batch of buses that can operate on both biogas and diesel.

In addition, Volvo and Clean Air Power are reportedly considering teaming up to jointly develop a dual-fuel system for next-generation buses. Clean Air Power claims that its dual-fuel retro-fit system has demonstrated the ability to slash CO2 emissions by 8.4 tons per year, based on an annual distance traveled of 200,000 kilometers. Furthermore, the company states that its system could save operators up to £10,000 ($15,880 U.S. at the current exchange rate) per year in fuel costs. Man, gas in Scandanavia is expensive

Clean Air Power to supply dual-fuel system for Volvo buses — Autoblog Green

Walmart plans healthier food

Hard as it may be to believe, Walmart understands sustainability and knows that its future profitability requires the company to be as green as possible. It also seems to get that sustainability isn’t just about the environment; there’s a social aspect to the company’s efforts as well. Take for instance yesterday’s news that Michelle Obama is working with Walmart to make healthy foods affordable.

Reducing salt and sugar as well as eliminating trans fats in packaged foods. Officials for the world’s largest retail chain also plan to cut the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables — and will build stores in low-income neighborhoods where consumers have few choices to buy food beyond gas stations and convenience stores.

See also: The First Lady Michelle Obama Introduces Let’s Move

Walmart plans healthier food | Greenfab News and Media

President Barack Obama: Competing in the Global Economy

President Obama speaks about the importance of innovation in the global economy and introduces Jeff Immelt as the chairman of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness after touring a General Electric plant in Schenectady.

See also: Third World America: The American Dream is Over

Is this LG’s future Tablet?

We all know that LG is going to launch an Android 3.0 tablet in the near future, however what we still don’t know for sure is what this tablet will look like or do we? What you are seeing just above is what could be LG’s future tablet that appeared during a Korean Pop star video clip “What Can I Do”. So we will have to wait a little bit longer to get to the bottom of this meanwhile enjoy the video clip below!

Source: Akihabara News

New Concentrated Solar Tower Project will Be Europes Largest and Most Technologically Advanced

NUR-MOH SA has announced that it received a 38 megawatt (MW) Electricity Generation License for a solar power plant on the island of Crete in Greece from the Greek regulatory agency. The Crete Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant will be the first in Europe to feature BrightSource Energy’s proprietary LPT 550 solar technology system and will produce electricity for approximately 13,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by 35,000 tons annually.

Source:Solar Thermal Magazine

Bjarke Ingels Has Big Plans for the Big Apple

The 36-year-old Danish architect Bjarke Ingels is the hottest topic on the tip of every avant-garde’s tongue. I’m glad he’s here, mostly because he uses words like symbiosis and spontaneous interaction; hybrid typology and harvest resources. There’s nothing sexier than a voracious vocabulary. And an architect.

Ingels and his Copenhagen-based firm, BIG (the Bjarke Ingels Group), have been busy in Denmark for years, although his foray into the U.S. has only just begun. On West 57th between 11th and 12th Avenues, New York, New York, to be exact. Or at least that’s the rumor.

Bjarke Ingels Has Big Plans for the Big Apple | EcoSalon | Conscious Culture and Fashion

Blue Man Group video featured on "Earth To America!"

New melt record for Greenland ice sheet

New research shows that 2010 set new records for the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, expected to be a major contributor to projected sea level rises in coming decades.

"This past melt season was exceptional, with melting in some areas stretching up to 50 days longer than average,” said Dr. Marco Tedesco, Director of the Cryosphere Processes Laboratory at the City College of New York (CCNY – CUNY), who is leading a project studying variables that affect ice sheet melting. “Melting in 2010 started exceptionally early at the end of April and ended quite late in mid- September.”

The study, with different aspects sponsored by WWF, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA, examined surface temperature anomalies over the Greenland ice sheet surface, as well as estimates of surface melting from satellite data, ground observations and models. In an article published today in Environmental Research Letters, Dr Tedesco and co-authors note that in 2010, summer temperatures up to three degrees C above the average were combined with reduced snowfall.

The capital of Greenland, Nuuk, had the warmest spring and summer since records began in 1873.

WWF - New melt record for Greenland ice sheet

A World Record? Apple's App Store hits 10 billion downloads

Now that the number of App Store downloads to iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads around the world has handily exceeded the population of Planet Earth, we can hopefully put this story to bed until they hit another factor of ten -- and as unreasonable as 100 billion downloads sounds, we'll bet it actually won't take that long. That's right: just a few days after kicking off its online counter, Apple's officially hit the 10 billion mark, which is a whole lot of software any way you slice it. So, Android Market, you're next?

Apple's App Store hits 10 billion downloads -- Engadget

U.S. Launches Official Label for Bio-based Products

Products made with renewable materials in the U.S. now have a label they can carry to show their bio-based content. A new program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows companies to certify how much bio-based content their products and packaging have, and show that on a special label.

The voluntary labeling program is an extension of the department's BioPreferred program, which previously focused just on highlighting bio-based products for preferential government purchasing. The BioPreferred program has so far identified 5,100 bio-based products for preferential purchasing, and the addition of the label program is expected to make it easier for federal buyers to seek out bio-based goods.

Source: GreenBiz

TEDxGrandValley - Bruce Nanzer - Sustainability in Nonprofit Curriculum

Bruce Nanzer is the Director of the Community Leadership-Public Administration program at Aquinas College. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and an MBA from the Seidmen College of Business at Grand Valley State University. Dr. Nanzer's teaching interests focus on leadership, community engagement, public policy, public administration, and nonprofit management. His research and scholarly activities involve communities, civil society, and sustainability.

The Nintendo 3DS and the Prius V: The Final Frontier'

This week on the CNET Tech Review: highlights from the 2011 Detroit auto show, including three new models of the Toyota Prius and the 2012 Audi A6; launch titles announced for the Nintendo 3DS; and get the best iOS games for your Android phone.

Greenland's Ice Feels the Heat in Record-Setting 2010

Greenland's massive ice sheet experienced record surface melting and runoff last year, according to research released today. Unusually warm conditions in much of the country helped extend the annual melting season by up to 50 days longer in 2010 than the average observed between 1979 and 2009, researchers found.

Higher than normal surface temperatures occurring not just in the summer, but also in the spring and late winter, caused the melting season to kick off early and take longer to end. Because of the extension of melting days, the country experienced record surface ice melt, record water runoff from the ice sheet and a record number of days of bare ice without snow.

Source:New York Times

The Story Behind the Warmest Decade in History

Topping off the warmest decade in history, 2010 experienced a global average temperature of 14.63 degrees Celsius (58.3 degrees Fahrenheit), tying 2005 as the hottest year in 131 years of record keeping.

This news will come as no surprise to residents of the 19 countries that experienced record heat in 2010. Belarus set a record of 38.7 degrees Celsius (101.7 degrees Fahrenheit) on August 6 and then broke it by 0.2 degrees Celsius just one day later. A 47.2-degree Celsius (117.0-degree Fahrenheit) spike in Burma set a record for Southeast Asia as a whole. And on May 26, 2010, the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan hit 53.5 degrees Celsius (128.3 degrees Fahrenheit)—a record not only for the country but for all of Asia. In fact, it was the fourth hottest temperature ever recorded anywhere. (See data at

The earth's temperature is not only rising, it is rising at an increasing rate. From 1880 through 1970, the global average temperature increased roughly 0.03 degrees Celsius each decade. Since 1970, that pace has increased dramatically, to 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade. Two thirds of the increase of nearly 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the global temperature since the 1880s has occurred in the last 40 years. And 9 of the 10 warmest years happened in the last decade.
Source: TreeHugger

Ben & Jerry's Factory to Convert Ice Cream Waste into Energy

Unilever is taking a Ben & Jerry's factory in the Netherlands a green step forward: constructing a bio-digester that will convert the waste products from ice cream production and provide for 40 percent of the factory's green energy requirements. Made by Paques and expected to be operational a little later this year, the BIOPAQ®AFR is not like bio-digesters of old.

After a successful test period, Unilever has opted for a new type of bio-digester from Paques, the BIOPAQ®AFR, in which natural micro-organisms (in this case more than 24 billiard (24•1015) little bugs!) 'eat' waste products and convert them into biogas. In this system, wastewater is purified by converting waste products from ice cream production such as milk, cream, proteins, syrups and pieces of fruit into biogas.
What's unique about it is that wastewater streams that contain fat and oil are treated/digested in one compact reactor, together with degradable particles, whereas in conventional systems this is only possible by going through a number of processing stages.

Source: TreeHugger

Mitsubishi Getting Serious About Electrification, Will Launch 8 New Models in Next 5 Years

Mitsubishi, the maker of the lovely electric Jellybean (aka the i-MiEV electric car), has plans to introduce 8 hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery-powered (BEV) models by 2015. They anticipate increased demand for "low-carbon" cars and want to position themselves as a major source of those.

Mitsubishi Getting Serious About Electrification, Will Launch 8 New Models in Next 5 Years : TreeHugger

Audi turns pedal car into another e-tron for German toy fair

Audi is bringing a sweet-looking electric car to the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany. While this thing is branded with the e-tron name, it's more toy than car – but the little prototype can get going at speeds up to 18.64 miles per hour.

Called the Auto Union Type C e-tron study with electric drive, the toy is based on the limited-edition pedal car model, the Auto Union Silver Arrow Type C race car, that was shown last year. The new electric version uses a lithium-ion battery that can spin the 1.5-hp rear-wheel-drive electric motor to generate 29.5 pound-feet or torque (peak at 44.25) and has a range of just over 15 miles. Also, it has a reverse gear. Recharging from a 230-volt European socket takes around two hours. The best news: Adults up to 5'11" can fit inside. Beats the heck out of those silly toy Escalades.

Source: Autoblog

Is the Developing World Poised for an Electric-Vehicle Boom?

If you had to separate the speakers at this year's Lithium Supply and Markets conference into two camps, you could do it like this: There are those who believe that the electrification of the automobile will proceed at a steady, orderly pace, and that over the next 10 or 15 years the world's lithium producers together to mine and process an additional 7 or so percent each year. Then there are those who believe anything could happen--who think this kind of orderly extrapolation is blindly conservative. And generally, these optimists--who believe that there's no telling how quickly electrically-powered vehicles of all kinds will spread, but that it'll probably be far more dramatic than most forecasters expect--happen to do business in either China or India.

Is the Developing World Poised for an Electric-Vehicle Boom? | Popular Science

Friday, January 21, 2011

How Beer Saved the World: Premiering Sunday, January 30th 2011

Premieres Sunday January 30th @ 8pm EST | Did you know that Beer was critical to the birth of civilization? That's right - Beer. Scientists and historians line up to tell the amazing, untold story of how beer helped create maths, poetry, Pyramids, modern medicine, labor laws and America on How Beer Saved the World. Premiering Sunday, January 30th at 8 pm on Discovery Channel.

President Obama and President Hu Press Conference

President Obama on the 50th Anniversary of JFK's Inauguration

kennedy was the last president................ the rest are just displays of the bankers you will not die in vain mister president ...,,,U.S.A.'s real presidents were Thomas Jefferson, the president who opposed a strong federal government, Abraham Lincoln, who forsaw a future crisis and the president who enforced the people's rights , and lastly John F. Kennedy, who opposed secret societies and started the american space revolution

The electric Rolls Royce: Luxury firm plans eco-friendly vehicle as sales see 171 per cent rise

At 15 miles to the gallon, the Phantom is hardly a car for the carbon-conscious. But all that might be about to change.

Rolls-Royce is planning an electric limousine, which would be rechargeable...with zero emissions. There has been speculation for two years that Rolls-Royce was planning a top secret electric model.

The electric Rolls Royce: Luxury firm plans eco-friendly vehicle as sales see 171 per cent rise | Mail Online

Study claims 100 percent renewable energy possible by 2030

Study claims 100 percent renewable energy possible by 2030

Achieving 100 percent renewable energy would mean the building of about four million 5 MW wind turbines, 1.7 billion 3 kW roof-mounted solar photovoltaic systems, and around 90,000 300 MW solar power plants.

Mark Delucchi, one of the authors of the report, which was published in the journal Energy Policy, said the researchers had aimed to show enough renewable energy is available and could be harnessed to meet demand indefinitely by 2030.

Delucchi and colleague Mark Jacobson left all fossil fuel sources of energy out of their calculations and concentrated only on wind, solar, waves and geothermal sources. Fossil fuels currently provide over 80 percent of the world’s energy supply. They also left out biomass, currently the most widely used renewable energy source, because of concerns about pollution and land-use issues. Their calculations also left out nuclear power generation, which currently supplies around six percent of the world’s electricity.

To make their vision possible, a great deal of building would need to occur. The wind turbines needed, for example, are two to three times the capacity of most of today’s wind turbines, but 5 MW offshore turbines were built in Germany in 2006, and China built its first in 2010. The solar power plants needed would be a mix of photovoltaic panel plants and concentrated solar plants that concentrate solar energy to boil water to drive generators. At present only a few dozen such utility-scale solar plants exist. Energy would also be obtained from photovoltaic panels mounted on most homes and buildings.

Study claims 100 percent renewable energy possible by 2030

New ESLs Target CFL and LED Market

Keep an eye out for the next acronym in energy-efficient lighting: ESL, or Electron Stimulated Luminescence. ESLs use “accelerated electrons to stimulate phosphor to create light, making the surface of the bulb ‘glow,’” according to Vu1 Corporation, a maker of ESLs. The technology is being touted for producing light that’s similar to an incandescent bulb but about 70% more energy-efficient.

Generally, ESLs are dimmable, mercury-free, long-lasting, recyclable, and somewhat affordable, according to Vu1. There is no delay when turning on an ESL.

Vu1′s first offering is an R30 flood lamp with 600 lumens that uses 19.5 watts. R30 has a color rendering index of 85 and a 10,000 hour life. The company is now taking direct orders of greater than 8 units for about $19.95 per R30 lamp.

More common A-type lamps won’t be available until sometime in 2011-2012. When that happens, expect frenzied competition among various lighting styles.

While CFLs are more affordable, many of them are not dimmable and have a turn on delay. CFLs also have the mercury vapor issue. On the flip side, LEDs are extremely efficient and last a long time but may not be as bright and are still expensive. In other words, ESLs have the potential to occupy a sort of middle ground position with light like an incandescent, pricing like a CFL, and performance like an LED.

New ESLs Target CFL and LED Market | Jetson Green

Climate Refugees Trailer

Trailer for the multi-award winning documentary Climate Refugees. The film was the first to illuminate the human face of climate change. The first non-partisan film on our changing climate.

WFES 2011: Global energy demand to rise 25% by 2030

Global energy demand is set to rise 25% by 2030, according to speakers at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2011 Technology Forum in Abu Dhabi.

Renewable Energy Focus - WFES 2011: Global energy demand to rise 25% by 2030

the largest photovoltaic generation facility in the world: US Department of Energy Guarantees $1 Billion Solar Farm

The US Department of Energy (DoE) says it will guarantee a loan of almost $1 billion to ensure the construction of an Arizona solar farm will go ahead as planned.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday announced the offer of a $967 million conditional commitment to Agua Caliente Solar, LLC to support the construction of a 290-megawatt photovoltaic solar farm located in Yuma County, Arizona. The facility will use thin film solar panels and will be the largest photovoltaic generation facility in the world when it is completed.

US Department of Energy Guarantees $1 Billion Solar Farm : Renewable Energy News :

Glow Hockey Game for iPhone & iPod Touch

Sony Bravia LCD TVs with Skype, Twitter and VOD

Toyota TES Concept T-Sports Car

Harry Belafonte Shares His Sundance Song

'Sing Your Song' - a documentary on singer, actor and Civil Rights activist Harry Belafonte - premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, with the legendary star in attendance.

Zoom into the Orion Nebula

See the Orion nebula as you've never seen it before.

Hu Jintao Visits Chicago High School

The president of China made a stop at a Chicago high school during the final day of his visit to Illinois. President Hu Jintao visited Walter Payton College Preparatory High School with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

BP Energy Outlook 2030: BP says renewables will outgrow oil in twenty years

BP released a report, BP Energy Outlook 2030, in which the company analyses world energy growth and market in the next twenty years. According to the company, the "best case" scenario is that primary energy usage will rise 40% in the coming two decades, with 93% of the growth coming from non-OECD countries. Russia, China, India and Brazil, as emerging markets, will dominate the growth trend, but also have a major influence on the improvement of energy intensity, as a measure of energy use per unit of economic output, through rapid efficiency gains in these regions.

Diversification of energy sources will bring non-fossil fuels to the top for the first time. These include nuclear energy and renewable energy, which is the most interesting topic for us here. Additionally, BP sees the contribution of renewables to energy growth to increase from 5% to 18% between 2010 and 2030. Fossil fuels, however, will continue to grow, with natural gas leading at the top. Coal and oil are anticipated to continue loosing their market shares with time, expected to have only a 64% market share by 2030. Oil demand in OECD countries will be at the 1990 level in 2030. Biofuels will account for about 9% of all the fuels used for transport.

Sources: renewable energy news and BP Energy Outlook 2030

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