Monday, February 28, 2011


The film HARMONY: a new way of looking at our world, inspired by HRH the Prince of Wales, will be premiering on NBC this Friday, Nov. 19 at 10 PM EST. To highlight the growing movement of individuals and organizations working to make the world a better place, TckTckTck's global alliance of nonprofit organizations is launching mosaic:EARTH in conjunction with the film's release. Watch to the very end of this special trailer and you will get an idea about how you too can add your message (and/or face) to the interactive mosaic.

Kinetower by Kinetura

The Kinetower is Kinetura's concept for a building whose façade elements responds to the sunlight or for the user inside. Kinetura is design team of Barbara van Biervliet and Xaveer Claerhout established 2006.

Enova Ze Plug-In Electric Delivery & Service Van Program

A leading innovator of Electric Vehicle (EV) and Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) drive system technologies that power medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses, Enova delivers the promise of clean transportation for a cleaner world. They are partnering with the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturers to put more green fleets on the road - more efficiently, cost-effectively, and non-invasively.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

TEDxManhattanBeach - Josie Stevens - Five Minute Work Out

Josie Stevens gets the whole audience standing and exercising as she brings her 40 plus years of experience in fitness to TEDxManhattanBeach. With the support of four talented seniors she demonstrated the need for us all to stretch, exercise and challenge our minds. In the process she brought to our attention that we could all improve our physical fitness.

The Stuff of Genius- Bioplastics: The Stuff of (Sustainable) Genius

Plastic is a ubiquitous and incredibly useful invention, but it has some serious downsides. But what if plastics were biodegradable? Tune in to learn more about the evolution and advantages of bioplastics.

ShakiraReceives Harvard Foundation's 'Artist of the Year' award for her humanitarian work

Colombian singer Shakira says immigrants in the US facing anti-immigrant bills will have 'justice' as awareness about their plight grows. She was given the Harvard Foundation's 'Artist of the Year' award on Saturday for her humanitarian work

America's 1st platinum bicycle city (Davis, CA)

In Davis, California 17% of residents commute to work, more than any other American community. To put that in perspective, the national average is 0.05%. Davis become the country's first Platinum Bicycle City in 2005, four decades after city planners decided they needed to actively protect biking or it would lose the fight to cars. Today, the city has over 100 miles of bike lanes; 95% of all major roads offer this option. They also have a handful of bike signals, traffic slowing devices, bike roundabouts, bike underpasses, a bike museum and two bicycle advisory committees

World's greenest museum by Renzo Piano: California Academy of Sciences

The purpose of the California Academy of sciences is to study the earth and science. It's also located in one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Pritzker-prize winning architect Renzo Piano built his museum based on these two facts. "Normally, a museum of natural science is created like a theater, so that you can have the exhibits inside. All museums normally are opaque; they are closed, like a kingdom of darkness, and you are trapped inside. But here you need to know about the connection with nature, so almost anywhere you are in this building you can see through to the outside."

Liveaboard life: self-sufficient w/ solar, sails & VHF radio

When Teresa Carey is sailing she knows just where all her energy comes from and where it's going. She has just a 130 watt solar panel - about 30 times less wattage than the average household- so she keeps electronics to a minimum. Besides solar and her sails, she uses some non-renewable energy: diesel for a small engine and propane for her stove

WorldHaus: stackable, solar-powered kit home for under $1000

WorldHaus is a kit home that can be put together by a family in less than a week. And that DIY labor is one of the ways its creators are hoping to keep the cost of the home below $1000.

Super Sustainable City: Vision for a sustainable Gothenburg by Kjellgren Kaminsky architecture

Second Wind Triton Installation

Research scientist & Director of Meteorological Services installs a Triton sonic wind profiler in under three hours

Kaisei Intro From the Kaisei

Project Kaisei's 2009 Expedition. Footage from the Kaisei, one of two research vessels Project Kaisei sent to the North Pacific Gyre in August, 2009 to study the extent of the marine debris problem in the gyre, the impact it may be having on marine life and the food chain, and to find ways to catch and recover some of the debris for a larger clean-up effort.

New Songdo City

Grocon: Pixel Building

Dianna Cohen: Tough truths about plastic pollution

Artist Dianna Cohen shares some tough truths about plastic pollution in the ocean and in our lives -- and some thoughts on how to free ourselves from the plastic gyre. Dianna Cohen co-founded the Plastic Pollution Coalition, which is working to help end our cycle of plastics use.

A Cradle to Cradle perspective by Michael Braungart and Stef Kranendijk: Part One to Five

Professor Michael Braungart discuses the rise of closed Loop (Cradle to Cradle) design and systems thinking.

Cradle to Cradle Government Part One, Two and Three

Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he's drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.

BritNed 3D Animation

Charles Moore: Sailing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he's drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.

Amazing video of massive solar flare erupting from surface of Sun

NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory filmed images of a large solar flare on February 24 2011. The (M3.6 rating) event is not the strongest solar flare ever recorded but was still big enough to kick up a huge tendril of plasma, known as a solar prominence. The entire eruption lasted for about 90 minutes. Thursday's flare was the latest in a recent series of of sun storm emissions, but its blast was directed away from the Earth and is not expected to pose any disruption to satellites or other electronic systems. Scientists use a three tier system to classify solar flares; Class X are the largest and most powerful, Class M are medium but still considered very large, while Class C are the weakest.."

Cadbury's Ghanaian Rays of Sunshine

On 23rd February 2011, Brighton Beach was lit up by a golden pool of Ghanaian sunlight -- generated from a giant five metre-wide 'sun' that replicated the brightness of the Ghanaian sunshine.

The rays were created by Cadbury to celebrate a Fairtrade Fortnight initiative that will see it help give solar panels to the Ghanaian farming communities who produce its delicious cocoa. The sun aimed to bring joy to the people of Brighton by getting them to experience the amazing energy of the Ghanaian sun for themselves.

Legendary weatherman Michael Fish donned his sunglasses to turn on the sun -- a 66 cubic metre helium balloon that gives off the same amount of light as the Ghanaian sun. The lamps powering the sun were specially chosen by expert lighting boffins because they gave off the correct amount of optical power - two million Lumens, the measure of light captured by the human eye. They also closely matched the colour of the glorious Ghanaian sunlight.

Brighton beachgoers were encouraged to bask in the light and learn how Ghanaian communities can harness the natural power of the sun when they have solar panels installed.

20% of profits on Fairtrade certified Cadbury Dairy Milk products sold during 2011's Fairtrade Fortnight (28th February -- 13th March) will go towards funding solar power projects in Ghanaian cocoa producing communities

Taking a closer look at BMW new technologies and cars

TEDxPhoenix 2010 Goran Konjevod - Organic Origami

Goran Konjevod is a mathematician and theoretical computer scientist who has taken his origami hobby to the next level by exploring new and original works. His pieces are formed by the tension of the paper (or even metal) when multiple layers are arranged according to their regular or irregular patterns — in a sense, they're organically discovered rather than invented or designed.

Democracy Movement in the Middle East Should Be a “Giant Wake-up Call” for Oil-Addicted America

Thomas Friedman was interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week about the political convulsions in the Middle East

Source: « 350 or bust

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Solar Panel Infographic

Solar Panel Infographic -

Water Drop at 2000 Frames Bounces ! Great to watch BY TOSHNIDHI

Recycled Plastic Pavilions: MASS Design Group's Bottle Service Concept is Entirely Eco-Friendly

Designed by MASS Design Group for MoMA’s PS1 Young Architects Program, Bottle Service unfortunately did not win its bid, but the concept can still be very much appreciated. According to the designers, they wanted to create a “lasting environmental, social and economic impact.”

Source: TrendHunter

Eco-Friendly Sand Buckets: The Zoe B Organic Biodegradable Beach Toys for Green Babies

Green parents no longer have to worry about stray plastic buckets and shovels littering the shore with these Zoe B Organic biodegradable beach toys. The smart and colorful products are constructed from corn sugar bioplastics, and are made to decompose in natural soil and water environments.

These Zoe B Organic biodegradable beach toys represent the first in a shift towards greener sand novelties


New Rigid Sails Harvesting Solar and Wind Power to Propel Future Ships

The Japan-based company Eco Marine Power, is planning to develop a solar power system for ocean-going vessels and ships. Currently, the company is designing rigid sail panels fitted with solar modules, dubbed The Aquarius, that are able to collect solar and wind energy on board ships.

The technology is not only designed for large ships but also for smaller vessels such as passenger ferries, tourist boats and coastal freighters. The developers are still studying if it can be used by government and naval vessels such as patrol ships. According to the company, a prototype of the system will be revealed by the end of 2012.

Source: Green Optimistic

Modern LED WAT Lamp Powered By Life Giving Water

Don’t let a lack of outlets spoil your perfectly planned lighting intentions. Here’s one lamp from designer Manon Leblanc that harnesses the power of water to provide for lovely interior lighting – completely cord free! Dubbed the WAT, with just a little H2O and a hydroelectric battery (composed of a carbon stick coated with magnesium), the pair combine to create a stellar electro chemical reaction able to create enough power to light up a series of warm light LED strips. A simple and modern design, this is WAT green lighting is all about!

Source: Inhabitat

First picture and more details about the world first QLED Display

The Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology team showcase the world first Quantom dot full color display. Now we got more information about the display and the first picture! The Display has a size of 4 inches and a QVGA Display with 320x240 pixel and is implemented on a glass substrate.

Source: OLED Display

Ten-thousand call for an Energy [R]evolution in Thailand

10,000 people in Thailand took to the streets near their homes to oppose dirty energy. Their goal: protect their province from coal plants slated to be built by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

Local communities announced their call to action to stop serious economic, social and environmental impacts from the dirty coal plant. We joined their call by demanding the government of Thailand make a clean energy future a reality for Thai communities by abandoning plans to build more coal fired power plants and prioritize solutions such as renewable energy.

This is not the first time we have seen such inspriring action from the people of Southeast Asia, when it comes to opposing the spread of dangerous and dirty energy sources like coal and nuclear energy. In the last few years we’ve seen so many examples of great things that can happen when people stand up for what they believe in.

Communities in southern Thailand are saying “Coal will be clean when dogs can fly.”

Source: Greenpeace International

Ten-thousand call for an Energy [R]evolution in Thailand

Source: Greenpeace International

Climate Science in a Nutshell #11: You Can Make a Difference

Rapid Climate Change affects the whole planet. But you might be surprised to know that one person, meaning you, can make a big difference.

Climate Science in a Nutshell #10: How the World Can Tackle Climate Change

Rapid Climate change is a big problem. Luckily, it's one we can tackle. But it will take the work of every nation on earth, especially the ones with lots of power plants, cars, and factories, and other things that use lots of energy. The most important thing is, we have to get started NOW!

Climate Science in a Nutshell #9: How Bad Could it Get?

If we don't work to reduce the effects of Rapid Climate Change now, how bad could things get in the future? This video looks at the projections scientists are making about the future of the planet — if we don't take action.

Climate Science in a Nutshell #8: Climate Change in the Oceans

Just as there's too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there's now too much in the oceans, too. What does that mean for the creatures who live there, as well as life on land?

Climate Science in a Nutshell #7: Climate Change around the Globe

From extreme weather to threatened ways of life, the effects of climate change are real, and they are happening right now around the globe. This Nutshell takes a look at just a few of the problems people are facing right now.

Climate Science in a Nutshell #6: Climate Change in the Americas

From shrinking habitat for the pika to reduced water supplies for cites, rapid climate change threatens living things across the American West.

Climate Science in a Nutshell #5: Where Does Carbon Dioxide Go

Carbon Dioxide, the gas that's primarily responsible for warming up our planet, comes from our success. We have a lot of cool stuff that requires a lot of energy. And for the most part, using energy creates carbon dioxide. Learn more about all this in this short video.

Climate Science in a Nutshell #4: Too Much Carbon Dioxide

What is the role of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere? What is the Greenhouse Effect? Why does the Earth have too many blankets, making it hot and clammy? Those questions are answered in this Nutshell

Climate Science in a Nutshell #3: Evidence of a Warming Planet

During the past 200 years, the Earth has been doing a strange thing. It's warming up, and it's warming up fast. Warming that should have taken thousands of years has only taken a couple of hundred.

Part of the Climate Science in a Nutshell Series, this Nutshell looks at evidence of a rapidly warming planet.

Cimate Science in a Nutshell #2: What is Climate?

Part of the Climate Science in a Nutshell Series, this video explains the difference between climate and weather. It also provides an introductory look at Rapid Climate Change.

Climate Science in a Nutshell #1: A Sick Planet

Planet Earth. It sure is beautiful, and it's also very unique and special, because under its thin atmosphere, it supports life.

But there's a problem. Did you know that the Earth is sick? It has come down with a fever. In fact, the last ten years were the hottest ever recorded. This never-before-seen warming is part of something scientists call "Rapid Climate Change."

MBDC Webinar: Process, Meet Excellence

MBDC will be presenting "Cradle to Cradle as a Positive Sustainability Agenda for Business." Focus areas will include eco-effectiveness versus eco-efficiency, the Cradle to Cradle framework, and its integration into the design of products, operations and organizational culture. This webinar provides 1 GBCI CE for LEED Credential Maintenance.

Time: Wednesday, March 16 · 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Source: The Cradle to Cradle Portal

India issues rules on plastic bags and waste, but rejects full ban

India’s national environment ministry has issued new rules banning plastic bags under 40 microns thick and suggesting the country implement broader collection of plastic waste, including an “extended producer responsibility” system that could put more requirements on plastics manufacturers to deal with packaging waste.

The rules, released on Feb. 7, must still be implemented by state-level environmental departments and municipal governments, and enforcement rests largely with local governments, so it’s unclear what form they might finally take at the local level. But they do represent a potentially major change to the country’s plastics waste management policies, which were last rewritten in 2003.

The ministry said it expected that 40 microns would become the new national standard.

Other sections of the new rules explicitly recognize for the first time the role of India’s legions of waste pickers, who sort through garbage for valuables. The rules require the municipal governments “constructively engage” with groups representing waste pickers, which the ministry said was the first time that has been done.

The rules would also: Ban the use of recycled or compostable plastics for food packaging. Ban plastic for storing, packing or selling gutkha, tobacco and pan masala. Require municipal governments to insure safe waste handling and set up collection centers. It said they “may” direct plastic manufacturers to set up such centers “in line with the principle of ‘extended producers responsibility.’”

Source: Plastics News

Ewaste Recycling: Trashy Technology

Our cellphones and laptops and even our hairdryers can go out of style pretty quickly. But what to do with all those old gadgets collecting dust in the corner? While some states require residents to recycle their e-waste, it's often unclear how or where to do so. As a result, many people just chuck old electronics in the trash—a serious danger. The problem has been particularly severe in New York City, since budget constraints forced the mayor to shut down its e-waste recycling program in 2008. A new law aims to fix that.

Women and Climate Change Video

David Cameron: A World View Interview

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron answers your questions about the current situation in the Middle East, taxes for bankers in the U.K., and which other world leader he'd like to ask a question of.

Grey Seal Hunt 2011 at Hay Island: Who Stops This?

Evidence documents hunters slaughtering seals during the 2011 grey seal hunt on Nova Scotia's Hay Island.

Melinda Gates: Thank You to Our Followers

Melinda Gates thanks the foundation's online followers and invites everyone to join the online conversation around global health, development, and education issues.

The Three Wheeled Step: Trikke Skills with G'

A short clip of the Inventor Gildo, just showing off a small glimpse of his Trikke Skills. He makes it look easy, see if your at the level of precision and comfort on your Trikke.

The Winds of Change: Part One, Two and Three

Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid Architects

The Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid Architects has opened in Guangdong province, China. Shaped to resemble two pebbles on the bank of the Pearl River, the building houses a 1,800-seat theatre plus 400-seat multifunctional hall, rehearsal rooms and entrance hall.

More pictures at: Dezeen

A Smart Grid for Intelligent Energy Use

The Smart Grid involves the use of communications and computing technology to transmit and distribute energy more efficiently. This video describes the smart grid and how it will reduce our carbon footprint through energy efficiency and the integration of renewable sources of energy.

20% efficiency ‘realistic’ for silicon solar cells

Researchers in Germany claim to have achieved new peak efficiency for large-area easy-to-fabricate silicon solar cells. A team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) says it has demonstrated 19.3% efficiency for a particular kind of silicon solar cell.

Researchers say that using more advanced cell structures, as compared to current industry standards, they could demonstrate that efficiencies of 20% are “realistic in the near future”.

More than 80% of the solar cells manufactured today are based on crystalline silicon. Currently, silicon solar cells convert an average of 14-19% of incidental solar energy into electricity. According to Fraunhofer ISE, researchers are already looking at the 20% efficiency mark, which could help reduce solar PV costs.

Source: Renewable Energy Focus

Cooper Lighting Chosen to Provide LED Street Lights to Virgin Islands

Cooper Lighting, a division of Cooper Industries, is to provide 972 LED street light fixtures to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority in their efforts to reduce energy consumption as well as their environmental footprint.

The new 103-watt LED street lights will reduce energy costs by an estimated 56 percent over the previous 200-watt High Pressure Sodium street lights used prior.

Source: Energy Digital

Portugal to Get Floating Wind Turbines

The Portuguese coast may be the site of the first ever floating offshore wind turbines. If all goes well, the wind industry could embark into deeper and windier seas.

Vestas, a Danish company that has installed about half the world’s more ‘traditional’ offshore wind farms, has agreed to supply Energias de Portugal (EDP) with a single turbine to test the waters for floating turbines. They will test the turbine for at least a year before sending the apparatus into the eastern Atlantic.

Source: Offshore Wind

Denmark Publishes Energy Strategy 2050 Aiming to Green Energy: free of coal, oil and natural gas

Denmark published its ‘Energy Strategy 2050’, which aims to see the country free of coal, oil and natural gas by 2050.

In the interim, the strategy would significantly increase renewables to more than double wind capacity – including a 600 MW offshore wind farm at Kriegers Flak – to reach 42% of the country’s total energy production capacity and strengthen energy efficiency measures to cut energy use by 6% compared with 2006 levels by 2020.

Other highlights of the strategy include: Replace coal and natural gas with biomass; 10% biofuel added to transport fuel by 2020; Identifying sites for 400 MW of small offshore wind turbines; Only smart electricity meters to be installed after 2013; Raise energy savings targets to 50% in 2013 and 75% in 2017-2020 for energy companies to implement among their customers; and Phase out oil and gas furnaces.

Source: Offshore Wind

Polar Bear Cubs Play In The Snow

Drayson Racing enters EVCup Race Series

DRAYSON RACING, the green technology race team run by former British Government Minister of Science Lord Paul Drayson, which raced to success in the international Le Mans Series in the USA, Europe and Asia last year is to race in the new zero-emission EVCUP, the first electric vehicle race series that launches this summer, it was announced today (Wednesday, February 23rd)

Drayson Racing will enter a race-bred Westfield iRACER in the Sports EV (electric vehicle) series within the EVCUP. With a peak power of 260bhp and 660Nm of maximum torque per wheel, the Westfield iRACER is sure to keep even the most accomplished race drivers focused at every straight and corner.

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Opel touts the 'silent' advantages of having an all-electric police cruiser

Opel touts the electric Ampera police cruiser as a good car for silent, undercover work. The German automaker, keen to begin selling the Ampera to police forces in Germany, has dressed the Ampera in police blue and proclaimed its advantages as a patrol car.

The Opel Ampera will have a range of between 40 and 80 km (25 to 50 miles) running solely on electric power, reliable for patrolling city neighborhoods. A 1.4 liter gasoline engine then kicks in and can extend its range to around 500 km (310 miles), which means a police chase doesn't have to end embarrassingly for the good guys. It's healthy 370 Nm of torque helps it do the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in an okay 9.0 seconds and the Ampera can reach a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph).

The Ampera is powered by a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery feeding current to an electric motor that produces 111 kW (150 hp / 152 PS) and 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) of torque. The battery can be recharged using a 230 V outlet in around 4 hours.

Source: Electric Vehicle News

The Rolls-Royce 102EX: Electric Luxury: perfection or compromise?

Can electric motoring deliver a true Rolls-Royce experience? We've created 102EX as a working test-bed to get feedback from Owners, opinion leaders, enthusiasts and journalists on alternative drive-train technologies in ultra-luxury cars. In this film, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, introduces the car and the debate, encouraging contributions from all who are interested

Siemens cuts the charging time for electric cars with a new charging point by 50%: The Siemens Charge CP700A

Siemens is launching a charging point Charge CP700A on the European market which can charge electric cars with a normal battery capacity within an hour. The charging power has been doubled to 22 kW in the new series, which cuts the charging time in half. "When developing the new charging point, we set ourselves three objectives: Charging must be fast, easy to do and safe. And these objectives were achieved in full", said Ralph Griewing, Head of the electrical mobility team of Siemens Energy.

The Siemens Charge CP700A charging point can be used to charge electric cars of different power ratings. In the fastest operating mode, the vehicle is supplied with a three-phase AC voltage at a current of 32 A, and is therefore charged at a power level of 22 kW. Charging is, however, also possible at 20 A in the three-phase mode. The charging point communicates with the vehicle over the charging cable to determine whether the electric car supports charging at maximum current or only at a reduced current level. The standardized IEC-62196 Type 2 connector is used for this. For vehicles such as electrically powered two-wheelers which are currently charged through a household plug, single-phase charging is also possible in Mode 1 and 2 in accordance with the IEC/EN standard 61851 at 3.7 kW maximum.

Source: Siemens

The Ahn Sisters Trio: A modern take on piano, violin, cello

The three Ahn sisters (cellist Maria, pianist Lucia, violinist Angella) breathe new life into the piano trio with their passionate musicmaking. At TEDWomen, they start with the bright and poppy "Skylife," by David Balakrishnan, then play a gorgeous, slinky version of "Oblivion," by Astor Piazzolla.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Coal Country

Solar panels are great, but nearly half of America's electricity still comes from dirty, dirty coal. And we're burning through it by the trainload. It takes a pound of coal just to keep your TV on for the evening

Al Gore's Foreword to New Coral Reef Study

Chairman Gore’s Foreword
As anyone who has spent time around the ocean knows–whether diving, conducting research, or fishing–coral reefs are among the world’s greatest sources of beauty and wonder. Home to over 4,000 species of fish and 800 types of coral, reefs offer an amazing panorama of underwater life.

Coral reefs supply a wide range of important benefits to communities around the world. From the fisherman in Indonesia or Tanzania who relies on local fish to feed his family, to the scientist in Panama who investigates the medicinal potential of reef- related compounds, reefs provide jobs, livelihoods, food, shelter, and protection for coastal communities and the shorelines along which they live.

Unfortunately, reefs today are facing multiple threats from many directions. 2010 was one of the warmest years on record, causing widespread damage to coral reefs. Warmer oceans lead to coral bleaching, which is becoming increasingly frequent around the globe–leaving reefs, fish, and the communities who depend on these resources at great risk. No one yet knows what the long-term impacts of this bleaching will be. But, if the ocean’s waters keep warming, the outlook is grim.

Against this backdrop, the World Resources Institute has produced Reefs at Risk Revisited, a groundbreaking new analysis of threats to the world’s coral reefs. This report builds on WRI’s seminal 1998 report, Reefs at Risk, which served as a call to action for policymakers, scientists, nongovernmental organizations, and industry to confront one of the most pressing, though poorly understood, environmental issues. That report played a critical role in raising awareness and driving action, inspiring countless regional projects, stimulating greater funding, and providing motivation for new policies to protect marine areas and mitigate risks.

However, much has changed since 1998–including an increase in the world’s population, and with it greater consumption, trade, and tourism. Rising economies in the developing world have led to more industrialization, more agricultural development, more commerce, and more and more greenhouse gas emissions. All of these factors have contributed to the need to update and refine the earlier report.

The latest report builds on the original Reefs at Risk in two important ways. First, the map-based assessment uses the latest global data and satellite imagery, drawing on a reef map that is 64 times more detailed than in the 1998 report. The second major new component is our greater understanding of the effects of climate change on coral reefs. As harmful as overfishing, coastal development, and other local threats are to reefs, the warming planet is quickly becoming the chief threat to the health of coral reefs around the world. Every day, we dump 90 million tons of carbon pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet–roughly one-third of it goes into the ocean, increasing ocean acidification.

Coral reefs are harbingers of change. Like the proverbial “canary in the coal mine,” the degradation of coral reefs is a clear sign that our dangerous overreliance on fossil fuels is already changing Earth’s climate. Coral reefs are currently experiencing higher ocean temperatures and acidity than at any other time in at least the last 400,000 years. If we continue down this path, all corals will likely be threatened by mid-century, with 75 percent facing high to critical threat levels.

Reefs at Risk Revisited reveals a new reality about coral reefs and the increasing stresses they are under. It should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers and citizens around the world. By nature, coral reefs have proven to be resilient and can bounce back from the effects of a particular threat. But, if we fail to address the multiple threats they face, we will likely see these precious ecosystems unravel, and with them the numerous benefits that people around the globe derive from these ecological wonders. We simply cannot afford to let that happen.

White House Screening of "Thurgood"

In honor of African-American history month, the White House hosts a screening of the new film "Thurgood" - a one-act play starring Lawrence Fishbourne and written by George Stevens, JR. Go inside the screening to watch interviews and learn more about the impact of Justice Marshall's work towards equal rights in America

Researchers develop advanced lithium-ion battery for electric vehicles

Researchers have developed an advanced lithium-ion battery, having high energy content and rate capacity, to make electric vehicles a more realistic alternative to gas-powered automobiles.

The researchers used an unique electrode combination - a tin-carbon anode and a lithium-ion cathode - to form the high-performance battery. By exploiting a new chemistry based on a combination of a stable, high performance anode with a morphologically and structurally optimized cathode, the researchers obtained a novel type of lithium ion battery.

According to the researchers, the advanced lithium ion battery offers about 100 high rate cycles of rate capability and energy density of the order of 170 Wh/kg.

Source: International Business Times

European Researchers of IMEC Develop World’s First Flexible Microprocessor With Organic Semiconductors

European researchers recently announced the development of the world’s first flexible organic microprocessor at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco CA. The novel technology harnesses organic semiconductors and has applications ranging from cheaper flexible displays and sensors to high-tech fashion and advanced e-readers.

Source: Engadget

Green-Roofed Low-Energy Luxury in Singapore: The Cluny House by Guz

The project demonstrates how technology, planning and design can be applied sensitively to generate a comfortable, luxurious, yet sustainable family home.

Photovoltaic cells and solar water heaters are employed together with design for passive cooling and cross ventilation to reduce energy usage. Irrigation tanks and roof gardens collect and recycle rainwater; and the use of materials such as recycled teak and artificial timber adds warmth without compromising the finite resources of our environment.

The house is laid out around a central water court that forms the focal point of the project. Lushly planted roof gardens surround this and add to the effect that nature is evident in every part of the house.

Although the house is high tech – using state of the art EIB systems, photovoltaic cells, security systems – these are integrated discreetly and work with the natural environment of the house rather than against it. This integration of technology and nature deserves special mention in a compelling design that could realistically become the model for sustainable living.


Semper Vivus: Porsche World Premiere in Geneva

The name Porsche has been associated with pioneering innovations in automotive engineering since the beginning of the last century. In 1900 Ferdinand Porsche, founding father of the present-day Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, entered unchartered territory. With the first functional, full-hybrid car in the world, the 'Semper Vivus' ('always alive'), the principle of the serial hybrid drive had been born. In a stunning four year project the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart had the Semper Vivus recreated. 111 years after this ground breaking innovation by Ferdinand Porsche the Semper Vivus will again drive into the limelight at the Geneva Motor Show 2011 followed by future appearances as part of the Porsche Museum collection in Stuttgart.

Solar Panels For Greenhouse Applications Unveiled

Agricultural greenhouses occupy a great deal of land and up until now, using the space for rooftop solar panels has often not been viable as sunlight still needs to penetrate down to the plants below. A new product appears to have solved that challenge and could be used in other applications where light needs to pass through a roof area.

Solyndra, Inc. has announced a new solar product for agricultural greenhouse and shade structures that will provide farmers with an additional income stream and power for their operations as well as boosting plant growth by controlling shading .

The cylindrical design of the modules allows for the capture of sunlight and electricity generation from direct, diffuse and reflected light.

Complete coverage with the solar panels creates uniform shading comparable to the light emitted through conventional shade structures or whitewashing. White shadecloth can also be added to protect plants where necessary and allows some of the light to reflect back onto the solar tubes.

Source: Renewable Energy News

UN Women: a powerful new agency for women and girls worldwide

United Nations, New York, 24 February, 2011 - Luminaries from the worlds of politics, entertainment, business, the media, music and film are joining the United Nations today as it celebrates the birth of a powerful new agency giving voice to women and girls worldwide.

UN Women -- formally known as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women -- was established in July 2010 by the General Assembly, merging four previous UN bodies dealing with women's issues.

TEDxNUS - Biodiversity in Singapore and the efforts overseen in ensuring...

A passionate man with zealous students, N. Sivasothi, a.k.a. 'Otterman' has been immersed in mangroves for research, education and conservation at the Department of Biological Sciences since the late 80's. Now focused on undergraduate teaching and research, he tells us about the zoological explorations his students have taken on with endangered freshwater crabs, mangrove fauna, common-palm civets, mousedeer, wild boar and of course, otters. In this video he also tells us about the efforts at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research to explore, share and appeal about the fate of an inter-tidal shore called Chek Jawa, a hallmark of government-citizen engagement and the people's awakening about the nature and the environment in Singapore.

UNGEI event highlights importance of technology in girls' education

UNICEF correspondent Anja Baron reports on UNGEI event ""Empowering Girls: Education and Technology"

Eco-Trek # 4: Green Design in Portugal

The fourth edition of Eco-Trek - one of the first ever syndicated green online news magazines and presented by German actress Anita Anthonj- is now available for download and re-publishing for websites, newspapers, and magazine.

Eco Trek producers are traveling with the Mercedes F-Cell World Drive around the globe. After crossing Europe and driving more than 3700 kilometers or 2300 miles - emission free - the Mercedes F-CELL World Drive has completed its first leg on its ride around the world. In this weeks episode of Eco-Trek we catch up with the tour in its final location in Europe, Portugal. Join us as we discover some of many ways Portugal is redefining the concept of green design.

Poem Paved Bike Path: The bike paths wind around the riverbank in Tejo River in Lisbon display the poetry of Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. The project was designed by the municipality of Lisbon to promote urban cycling.

Interview with Eco-Architect & Designer Pedro Campos Costa: Cardboard is a resourceful material being used widely to make a clean green statement. Designer Pedro Campos Costa who is best known for his design of the extension of Lisbon's Ocenario has created an intricate installation within Lisbon's LOW Bar. The glue-free cardboard creation acts as a seating unit, a shelving unit and is a remarkable work of art.

Stone House in Portugal: This eco-friendly getaway is wedged between four large boulders in the mountains of Fafe, Portugal and is a spectacle of green design.

F-Cell World Drive van Mercedes-Benz: In 125 Days Around The World

Dove Onslaught(er): A Film About Palm Oil - The True Cost of Real Beauty

Nairobi Slum Kids Rap About Recycling, 'Trash is Cash' (VIDEO)

Even in the slums there are small, very small heroes that have been able to find an alternative way of coming out of poverty at the incredible age of 10 or maybe 13 years old.

Wafalme (the Kings) live in Nairobi (Kenya) in the slum area of Mathare Valley and they represent a rare example of motivated youth. They are already hip-hop stars thanks to the positive message that reaches millions of youngsters in Kenya and now they want to speak to kids all over the world.

They communicate through music: the message in this way is very powerful because music has long been a favorite pastime of teens and has influenced the minds of youths all over the world, and they use their music to raise awareness, inspire action, and accelerate the worldwide movement to reduce extreme poverty. Music meets life, seeing beauty, giving hope and alternatives. All eight of them are living in an African slum. Living on less than one dollar a day. Not turning to a life of idleness, drug abuse and crime but acting positively and being a positive example for all the youths who live in poverty.

In Trash is Cash the Wafalme envision the recycling activities of the neighbourhood as an energetic and winning solution inside a reality where the total lack of basic social services seems to suggest a more easy resignation.

Source: Hufftington Post

Earth Hour 2011: Beyond the Hour

This Earth Hour 2011: 8.30pm, Saturday 26 March, celebrate your action for the planet with the people of world, and add more to your Earth Hour.

From its inception as a single-city initiative -- Sydney, Australia - in 2007, Earth Hour has grown into a global symbol of hope and movement for change. Earth Hour 2010 created history as the world's largest ever voluntary action with people, businesses and governments in 128 countries across every continent coming together to celebrate an unambiguous commitment to the one thing that unites us all -- the planet.

Sign up to, switch off your lights for Earth Hour 2011, and share the positive actions you will sustain for earth beyond the hour.

Earth Hour 2011 Official Video: By The People, For The Planet

Take Action today with WWF!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bibigloo: A Glowing Postmodernist Igloo Made of 250 Recycled Water Jugs

“The Bibigloo is both a work of land art, design, light source and a plastic art installation,” writes Bibi of his work. “It is a habitat type polyethylene igloo to replace the 20th century igloo traditionally made of ice. Indeed, following the thawing of the ice, innovative solutions must be found to relocate the Inuit

Source: Inhabitat

Bio-domes Offer a Sustainable Waste Water Solution

Bio-domes are a sustainable low cost water treatment technology that uses just one third the energy of traditional mechanical aeration systems and is also suitable for rural and other communities that currently rely on essentially unimproved treatment lagoons. They work by providing an optimal environment that promotes flourishing communities of beneficial bacterial biofilms that naturally process the dissolved and suspended pollutants in order to cleanse the water.

Read more at: The Green Economy

Join the International Call: World Bank, Free Us from Fossil Fuels by The Price of Oil

It’s time to shift international energy investments to support energy services that are clean, reliable, and sustainable, and honestly provide energy access for the poorest.

You can help. The World Bank – an influential development bank that runs on taxpayer money – is currently updating its Energy Strategy that will guide its investments for the next decade. Despite its pro-poor, pro-climate rhetoric, the World Bank’s fossil fuel lending has increased 400 percent since 2006. Furthermore, according to Oil Change International’s independent analysis, NONE of the oil, gas or coal projects in the last two years were funded specifically to provide energy access to the poor.

The Bank needs to hear from us.

Join Oil Change International and partners on March 1, 2011 in a virtual day of action to call on the Bank to Free Us from Fossil Fuels. By signing our petition, you will be sent directly to even more ways to engage.

Source: The Price of Oil

Ontario to Award $3-Billion to Renewable Energy (Canada)

The Ontario government will announce on Thursday that it is awarding roughly $3-billion in renewable-energy projects to dozens of companies, ranking it one of the province’s biggest investments of its kind.

The wind, solar and hydroelectric projects will provide enough electricity for about 200,000 households, a government source said. Energy Minister Brad Duguid plans to unveil the projects at a news conference at the provincial legislature. The projects will create about 7,000 direct and indirect jobs, and provide much-needed certainty for the nascent energy sector.

Source: Offshore Wind

Samsung releases its ultra-sexy and desirable SENS Series 9 in Korea

Introduced earlier this year at CES this new Duralumin made 13.3” notebook that just weight 1.31Kg with a thickness of 16.3mm at the thickest and 15.9mm at its thinnest comes powered by an Intel Core i5 2537M CPU, has a 128GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, a 1366×768 resolution, Intel HD Graphics, WiFi, Bluetooth 3, USN 3.0, packs a 6-cell battery and last but not least the SENS Serie 9 can boot in just 15sec thanks to Samsung Fast Start technology

Source: Akihabara News

75% of World's Coral Reefs Currently Under Threat, New Analysis Finds - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) --

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A new comprehensive analysis finds that 75 percent of the world's coral reefs are currently threatened by local and global pressures. For the first time, the analysis includes threats from climate change, including warming seas and rising ocean acidification. The report shows that local pressures - such as overfishing, coastal development and pollution - pose the most immediate and direct risks, threatening more than 60 percent of coral reefs today.

Source: UNEP

Gansu Province in China Orders 20 MW Of Combined Heat and Solar

The Energy Bureau of Gansu Provincial Development and Reform Commission has partnered with Israeli solar developer ZenithSolar Ltd. to build the 10 megawatt CHP solar plants in Jiayuguan and Jinchang. Under the agreement, ZenithSolar will provide their Z20 CHP technology for the pilot plants, which, if successful, the Energy Bureau has agreed to recommend their use in more cities within the province. Construction of the plants is set to commence later this year.

According to ZenithSolar, one field (220 Z20's) can generate 2 MW of electricity and 4 MW of thermal energy a year, while simultaneously removing 3,200 tons of carbon dioxide.

Source: EnergyBoom

The World's First Diesel Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle

In 2012, Volvo will introduce the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle -- the V60.

The car will feature three driving modes, each offering different assets. Additionally, Volvo has created an iPhone app that lets owners monitor the car's charging status.

Source: EnergyBoom

The Netherlands Cuts Renewable Energy Subsidies, Looks to Nuclear Power

energy targets as well as reduce its solar and wind subsidies. According to the Financial Times Deutschland, the government states the subsidies are unaffordable. The plan is for the subsidies to be cut from €4 billion annually, to €1.5 billion.

Previously a huge proponent of renewable energy development, Holland becomes the first European Union country to abandon the mandated target of producing 20% of its domestic power from renewable sources by 2020.

Source: Energy Business

Microsoft gets wind power for Dublin data center

Taking the next step in its environmental-sustainability efforts, Microsoft has contracted to buy wind power for its mega data center in Dublin.

Climate was a major reason Microsoft chose the Dublin location, where temperatures range between -5C and 27C. The upper end of the range also happens to be the current upper limit for inside air temperature in data centers specified by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

The 5.4MW data center (expandable to 22.2MW) uses free cooling nearly 100% of the time. Free cooling is supplemented by direct-expansion units on the roof when necessary.

Source: DatacenterDynamics

The new subbrand BMW i 02 2011

How to drive a car with your thoughts

i can't wait: the new sub-brand from BMW

DOCOMO Medias - The Worlds Thinnest and Lightest Smartphone

Vattenfall Charging & Regeneration Video

Vattenfall & Volvo Hybrid Video

Lamborghini Carbon Gets Obligatory (Video)

The 2011 3rd Sustainable Life Awards winners

The five winners of the 2011 3rd Life Sustainability Awards have now been announced. The Life Sustainability Awards aim to encourage and congratulate those who take action to protect and develop cultural diversity, spiritual empowerment and environmental sustainability. By reporting the stories and contributions of those awarded the Sustainable Life Awards, we hope to encourage more people from Taiwan and the wider Pacific region to come together with innovative solutions to global challenges.

The First Life Sustainability Awards in 2008 produced 11 award winners. Then, in 2009 The Second Life Sustainability Awards produced 9 award winners. The award winners are chosen after carefully considering a host of worthy candidates with contributions to ‘Sustainable life’ and finally choosing a fair cross section with the winners espousing different qualities.

Source: eRenlai

Homeless Shelter Made From Recycled Computers

‘Homeless Shelter’ fabricated out of a truck load of dead CPUs and miscellaneous computer hardware by Bill Thomson and Ken Gerberick. Created as a temporary art installation on the theme of Recycling. The shelter was located outside the public entrance to the Science Centre building in Vancouver, BC Canada.

Many passing by ‘dumpster divers’ saw a potential monetary value in the discarded computer hardware and asked if they could take away pieces immediately; presumably to turn into cash. The short term economy is apparently about generating cash, as well as finding free shelter.

Source: Recyclart

20th Century Fox Installs Solar Power

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation has installed a solar power system at their Los Angeles, California headquarters; a site that has produced some of the world's most popular films.

Designed and constructed by Solar Power, Inc, the 160 kW solar panel array incorporates a special mounting system to cater to Fox’s historic Building 99's uniquely shaped curved roof.

Part of News Corp.'s Global Energy Initiative, the rooftop solar farm represents Fox's first venture into using solar energy on-site and News Corp.'s second major investment in solar.

Source: : Renewable Energy News

Bik Van der Pol Unveils Butterfly Sanctuary Inspired by Mies van der Rohe

In the 50′s the Farnsworth House was considered the epitome of modern domesticity, connecting man to nature with its floor to ceiling glass walls. But the intention the Bik Van der Pol – which is a Dutch collective of Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol – was to call attention to environmental change with their design. The mini-Farnsworth, which instead of being filled with Mid- Century Modern furniture, is a lush butterfly habitat and green house – much like butterfly conservatories which have been popping up in science museums. Visitors are welcome to enter the biosphere, which inaugurates the new wing of the MACRO museum.

“Are you really sure that a floor can’t also be a ceiling?” brings nature into the context of a museum, putting it in the same realm as works of art. Butterflies are known to be extremely sensitive to environmental change, and their decline is thought of as an early indicator of environmental degradation. Aside from this new fine art context, Bik Van der Pol illustrates the literal with this piece, by requiring man to enter a sanctuary of the living environmental oracle

Source: Inhabitat

The Ego: Explore the Ocean in a Personal Electric Submarine!

The Ego is an electric submarine that is guaranteed to change your perspective on open-water craft — it literally puts you face-to-face with fish while keeping you dry. Powered by an electric motor, the sub has a top speed of 4 knots for 4 hours and can run a total of 6-10 hours on a single charge. Its easy navigation system means that with next-to-zero training nearly everyone who can drive a car can drive the world’s first compact semi-submarine.

Source: Inhabitat

Melting Snow and Ice Warm Northern Hemisphere

How could melting ice thousands of miles away possibly affect you? A recent study published in Nature Geoscience provides one answer to that question. Mark Flanner at the University of Michigan and his collaborators used satellite data to measure how much changes in snow and ice in the Northern Hemisphere have contributed to rising temperatures in the last 30 years. The loss of snow and ice warmed the planet more than models predicted it would.

Snow and ice help control how much of the Sun’s energy Earth soaks up. Bright white snow and ice reflect energy back to space. Because that energy does not get absorbed, it does not go into Earth’s climate. As a result, snow and ice cool the planet. This effect is called a climate forcing because snow and ice directly influence the climate

Source: NASA

New Zealand Earthquake Spurs Giant Glacier Collapse

The New Zealand earthquake broke an iceberg the size of 20 football fields off the country's longest glacier.

A huge vertical slab calved off the front of the Tasman Glacier (see map) into Tasman Lake after the 6.3-magnitude quake had hit Tuesday afternoon. The temblor was centered about 125 miles (200 kilometers) away, near Christchurch. The chunk is estimated to have been three-fourths of a mile (1,200 meters) long by 250 feet (75 meters) wide, scientists say. The iceberg's collapse also kicked up 10-foot (3.5-meter) waves in Tasman Lake.

Source: National Geographic

Upgrading the Electric Grid With Flywheels and Air

The modern electric grid is getting some help from some admittedly old-fashioned technology.

Flywheels and compressed air don't sound as sexy as wind turbines and solar cells, but the latter probably won't go mainstream without the former.

"The growth of renewables has posed a problem," said Imre Gyuk, program manager for energy storage research at the United States Department of Energy (DOE). "It used to be that the load [demand on the electric grid] was unpredictable, and generation would try to follow it." As wind and solar installations proliferate, supply also has become unpredictable.

Read more at: National Geographic

The Nutmobile: Mr. Peanut goes green with new set of wheels

Mr. Peanut can't be relegated to just any automobile. After all, as the face of Nabisco's Planters division and as one of the most beloved (though just a wee bit creepy, if we're being honest) mascots in American history, Sir Nut needs a ride suitable of his stature. And, since he's apparently over 12 feet tall and carries a six-foot-long cane, we're talking some significant stature.

Fittingly then, Planters has seen fit to replace Mr. Peanut's old set of wheels with a brand new Nutmobile. And this is no ordinary Nutmobile... if such a thing actually existed. Based on a 2011 Isuzu NPR truck with a diesel engine running a five-percent mixture of biodiesel (oddly, though, it's not actually nut-based), this latest Nutmobile will be making appearances all around the country to "promote the peanut lifestyle" and draw support for The Corps Network.

Source: Autoblog Green

Me and My Bike: A Hip-Hop Song About Climate Change

The YouTube video “Me and My Bike” has won the film competition “1 Minute To Save The World,” a global contest that asked young contestants (25 and under) to create short films about climate change. The caveat, of course, is that the videos could only be one-minute long.

Most of us just sit and wait for the governments to take action about climate change
Wafalme instead think that together we can, with small actions in our daily life, make a difference.
The most simple and innovative solution is coming from a group of kids in the slums of Nairobi: using bicycles instead of cars!

Elizabeth Lindsey: Curating humanity's heritage

is burned. Anthropologist Elizabeth Lindsey, a National Geographic Fellow, collects the deep cultural knowledge passed down as stories and lore.

The Novacem Solution for CO2 storage

Novacem has developed a new class of cement which will offer performance and cost parity with ordinary Portland cement, but with a carbon negative footprint. It is uniquely positioned to meet the challenge of reducing cement industry carbon emissions.

This cement is based on magnesium oxide (MgO) and hydrated magnesium carbonates. Our production process uses accelerated carbonation of magnesium silicates under elevated levels of temperature and pressure (i.e. 180oC/150bar). The carbonates produced are heated at low temperatures (700oC) to produce MgO, with the CO2 generated being recycled back in the process. The use of magnesium silicates eliminates the CO2 emissions from raw materials processing. In addition, the low temperatures required allow use of fuels with low energy content or carbon intensity (i.e. biomass), thus further reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, production of the carbonates absorbs CO2; they are produced by carbonating part of the manufactured MgO using atmospheric/industrial CO2. Overall, the production process to make 1 tonne of Novacem cement absorbs up to 100 kg more CO2 than it emits, making it a carbon negative product.

This production process is based on 20 years of research on the mineral carbonation of magnesium silicates. These minerals are widely dispersed with accessible worldwide reserves estimated to significantly exceed 10,000 billion tonnes. Novacem cement demonstrates performance which is already good enough for several significant applications (e.g., masonry products), and which is continually being optimised and improved.


New York City is pioneering the use of tidal flows to generate electric power: Tidal Power

Tidal Energy Pty Ltd

bioSTREAM Tidal Power System

bioSTREAM is a biomimetic tidal-current power conversion system developed by BioPower Systems.

SeaGen - Sea Generation Tidal Turbine

A graphical representation of SeaGen, the 1.2MW tidal energy convertor that has been installed in Strangford Lough

Tidal Wave Alternative Energy

Wave Star working prototype proving the harvest of energy from waves

Wave Star is the strongest wave power concept. It leads the race to turn ocean power into unlimited clean energy. Test and research machines have been operating in the North Sea and the Danish fjords for more than six years and they are the first wave energy machines to be connected to the grid. The commercial 500 kW machine will soon go into production. Wave Star will work in harmony with other clean energy methods to support the movement towards alternative and sustainable energy.

A short film about Danish clean tech enterprise Wave Star and our efforts to harness wave energy. Wave Star is the strongest wave power concept. It leads the race to turn ocean power into unlimited clean energy. Test and research machines have been operating in the North Sea and the Danish fjords for more than six years and they are the first wave energy machines to be connected to the grid. The commercial 500 kW machine will soon go into production. Wave Star will work in harmony with other clean energy methods to support the movement towards alternative and sustainable energy.

Unlike any other system in the world, the Wave Star scale 1:10 grid connected wave energy machine has been operating in the sea for 4 years. During this period it has been through 15 storms without any damage, which is a significant international milestone in wave energy!

A Polar Bear Fights Climate Change

A polar bear argues world leaders on the important issue of climate change

Toyota to start selling home battery chargers in 2012, sate the electrical appetites of the Prius

Turns out, the automaker plans to sell home battery chargers starting in 2012 so that buyers of PHEV Prii can fully take advantage of that plug in the front fender. The chargers come in two flavors: one for the garage and one for the exterior of your home, and will cost upwards of ¥200,000 ($2411) fully installed, making it quite a bit more than GM's $2000 Voltec charging station. The good news for us all is that Toyota's charger uses the same SAE J1772 plug found in the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, so we're hopefully just weeks away from the first-ever EV charger price wars. Popcorn grabbing seems a must given the circumstances.

Source: Engadget

10 Months After BP Spill Began, Oil is Still Washing Ashore

We're closing in on the one-year anniversary of the tragic explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig that set in motion one of the greatest environmental disasters the United States has ever seen. And that disaster is still in motion, even today -- just this morning, reports are coming in that a full 10 months after the crisis began, new oil is still washing ashore around the Gulf.

Source: TreeHugger

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More Dead Dolphins in the Gulf Raises Questions

Scientists have found four more dead baby dolphins on Horn Island in the Mississippi Gulf of Mexico and another on Ono Island off Orange Beach, Ala., adding to the unusually high number of dead dolphins found in the past two months

Back to The Futurama by Jeremy Dean: Hummer

This a short showing the progress of the Back To The Futurama project from its construction, premier and maiden voyage.

Prince Charles speech on Low Carbon Prosperity at the European Parliament

9th February 2011 Prince Charles discusses the problems and solutions to our environment and the effects and close connection of industry on our environment. The Summit was attended by over 300 MEPs, economists including Lord Stern, together with business leaders from The Prince of Wales's EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, the P8 Group of leading Pension Funds and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

"Now I have to say, this process has not exactly been helped by the corrosive effect on public opinion of those climate change sceptics who deny the vast body of scientific evidence that shows beyond any reasonable doubt that global warming HAS been exacerbated by human industrialized activity. Their suggestion that hundreds of scientists around the world, and those who accept their dispassionate evidence - including presumably ladies and gentlemen myself, who rather ironically am constantly accused of being anti-science - are somehow unconsciously biased creates the implication that many of us are, somehow, secretly conspiring to undermine and deliberately destroy the entire market-based capitalist system which now dominates the world!

So I would ask how these people are going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they actually failed their future; that they ignored all the clear warning signs by passing them off as merely part of a "cyclical process" that had happened many times before and was beyond our control, that they had refused to heed the desperate cries of those last remaining traditional societies throughout the world who warned consistently, CONSISTENTLY of catastrophe, because they could read the signs of impending disintegration in the ever-more violent, extreme aberrations in the normally, harmonious patterns of Nature. So I wonder, will such people be held accountable at the end of the day for the absolute refusal to countenance a precautionary approach, for this plays I would suggest a most reckless game of roulette with the future inheritance of those who come after us? An inheritance ladies and gentlemen that will be shaped by what you decide to do here in this Parliament."

Lot of Talk, Little Action in Coastal Oil Spill Cleanup

Source: Not the Answer

Glacier ice crashes as a result of NZ earthquake

Passengers in two explorer boats on Terminal Lake in New Zealand have witnessed massive ice carving into the Lake and huge 3.5 metre waves rocked their boat.

3News has reported that 30 million tonnes of ice was shaken loose from the Tasman Glacier at Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and crashed into the lake. A 1.2km long, 300m high, 75m wide piece of ice plummeted into Terminal Lake. This is the third largest ice carving on record for the Tasman Glacier and has formed 20 icebergs the lake.

View the photos of the icebergs on the 3News website

Source Digital Journal: Glacier ice crashes as a result of NZ earthquake

Super Stretchable Solar Skin Developed

A flexible solar cell that converts sunlight into electricity even when stretched is the latest breakthrough in the work of Stanford University’s Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering who has created an artificial electronic "super skin" that also has applications in prosthetics, robotics and detection of harmful diseases.

Bao’s remarkable artificial skin is so sensitive it responds to the lightest feather touch. Essentially the skin is a carbon-based flexible transistor comprised of grids containing millions of tiny inverted pyramids imprinted on a thin rubber sheet. When pressed, the pyramids rearrange themselves, altering the strength of an electric current running through the skin.

Source: Renewable Energy News

Energy Matters Video News - Episode 24 - February 23, 2011

In the first episode for 2011, Virginia covers Energy Matters' flood appeal donation, solar power systems and house fires, the Solar Flagships program and the expansion of the A.C.T's solar feed in tariff program.

Sharp Develops Intelligent Power Conditioner That Enables Electric Vehicle Batteries to Be Used as Storage Batteries for Home Power

Sharp has developed the Intelligent Power Conditioner that enables batteries in electric vehicles to be used as storage batteries for the home.

With electric vehicles (EVs) expected to see widespread use in the coming years, this technology can make use of EV traction batteries as part of a residential power storage system. In proof-of-concept trials, Sharp succeeded in using a battery pack in a commercially available EV to supply 8 kW of power, which is enough to power electrical appliances in an average household. In addition, the charge controller in the Intelligent Power Conditioner was able to deliver 4 kWh of energy to recharge the electric vehicle battery pack in approximately 30 minutes.

Source: Akihabara News

Dramatic aerial video: Strong earthquake hits Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Prime Minister has confirmed 65 people have died, following a powerful earthquake in the city of Christchurch. That number's expected to rise significantly. The magnitude 6-point-3 quake struck just after midday, causing busy office buildings to crash down in the bustling city center. Cries for help could be heard from beneath the rubble, during a desperate scramble for survivors. Rescue crews from across New Zealand and Australia are at the disaster site, where a state of emergency has been declared.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Vehicle for Change by Thato Makgolane

The Arc Initiative is a business and leadership project started with the help of Jeff Kroeker (accounting professor) and saw a team of 12 UBC and Sauder students, alumni, faculty and business community members come to my hometown in South Africa to share, learn and build two way life changing stories. Started in May 2010 and rolled out over the summer, the project was based on the philosophy that by sharing knowledge and stories, we not only build a base for creativity but we also inspire and empower each other to go beyond what we thought were limits.

Powerful Quake Strikes New Zealand

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Tuesday, causing buildings to collapse, burying vehicles under debris, and sending rescuers scrambling to help trapped people amid reports of many deaths

TEDxTerrytalks: What It Means For the West To Meet the East by Jen Loong

This talk aims to address the two predominant perspectives in the West towards the East (specifically China) -- ambivalence and ignorance. Given my first-hand experiences working with top global brands in Shanghai this summer, and having worked with Chinese corporations going public in HK, I would like to share my stories as a mean to showcase the opportunities embedded in China, and the crucial importance for our generation in the West to abandon all preconceptions, and become truly accepting of the fact that West is not better than the East.

I will share some anecdotes of my experiences in dealing with the common criticism against China -- censorship, communism, state ownership, corruption, lacking international property, social apathy, superstition, culture of emulation and copy-cats, corruption, etc. Thereafter I will illustrate how the Chinese people are actually very content with how their society has grown over the last five decades, and explain why ignorance to this contentment has led to many major foreign corporations failing in this exciting market. I will end the presentation in challenging the audience to see China through a new and objective lens, and to find ways to apply their western education to support the exciting growth that will occur in China in the next few decades. China will certainly change the overall socioeconomic landscape of the 21st century world, and our generation has a lead role in shaping that.

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