Wednesday, November 23, 2011

TEDxAmsterdam 2011 Human Brain

Rutger Hauer, The Dutch National Ballet and Amsterdam's creative community make brains from people, an Idea Worth Doing. This is the dress rehearsal of the first human brain in a series of three.

More about TEDxAmsterdam 2011 and TEDxAmsterdamTV

Elephants join clean-up effort after floods in Thailand

Thailand begins clean up after record floods

Almost four months after Thailand's worst floods in half a century, people in the suburbs of the capital are still waist deep in water as clean up operations get under way.

Residents say they are paying the price for the government's efforts to keep the inner part of the city dry.

In some areas the government has offered households $150 for repairs, but this aid has not been extended to everyone yet.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Les Halles: The Rose Window by MVRDV

The refurbishment and re-engagement of Forum Les Halles through a series of precise interventions leading eventually to a new 'Grand Projet' in the centre of Paris. The Forum plan includes opening of the main metro station in Paris to daylight, as well as radical improvements to the surrounding facilities such as cultural amenities, a pool, the shopping streets, the metro stops, the underground roads, the parking lots at the Forum by centering them around an underground valley covered by a gigantic ‘rose window

Ordos Museum in Ordos, Inner Mongolia by MAD Architects

This movie tours a remote museum in Inner Mongolia, recently completed by Beijing architects MAD. The polished metal-clad museum is located in Ordos, where 100 private villas by different architects were masterplanned by artist Ai Weiwei back in 2008 -- see all our stories about the project here.

China Comic & Animation Museum (CCAM) in Hangzhou, China by MVRDV

Hangzhou urban planning bureau has announced MVRDV winner of the international design competition for the China Comic and Animation Museum (CCAM) in Hangzhou, China. MVRDV won with a design referring to the speech balloon: a series of eight speech balloon shaped volumes create an internally complex museum experience of in total 32.000m2. Part of the project is also a series of parks on islands, a public plaza and a 13.000m2 expo centre. Construction start is envisioned for 2012, the total budget is 92 million Euro.

Comics and animations have long been considered a form of entertainment for the younger generations but develop more and more into a sophisticated art form. The initiative for a museum especially for this relatively recent art form creates a platform which will unite the worlds of art and entertainment. By using one of the cartoon's prime characteristics -- the speech balloon -- the building will instantly be recognized as place for cartoons, comics and animations. The neutral speech balloon becomes 3d.

The 32.000m2 are divided into eight volumes which are interconnected allowing for a circular visit of the entire program. Services such as the lobby, education, three theatres/cinemas with in total 1111 seats and a comic book library occupy each their own balloon. If two balloons touch in the interior a large opening allows access and views in-between the volumes. The balloon shape allows for supple exhibitions, the permanent collection is presented in a chronological spiral whereas the temporary exhibition hall offers total flexibility. Amsterdam based exhibition architects Kossman.deJong tested the spaces and designed exhibition configurations which appeal to different age groups and allow large crowds to visit the exhibition. One of the balloons is devoted to interactive experience in which visitors can actively experiment with all sorts of animation techniques like blue screen, stop motion, drawing, creating emotions etc. The core attraction of this space is a gigantic 3D zoetrope. The routing of the museum permits short or long visits, visits to the cinema, the temporary exhibition or the roof terrace restaurant. The façade of the museum is covered in a cartoon relief referring to a Chinese vase. The monochrome white concrete façade allows the speech balloons to function: texts can be projected onto the façade. The relief was designed in collaboration with Amsterdam based graphic designers JongeMeesters.

Most of the 13.7 ha site is occupied by a new park on a series of islands in White Horse Lake. Reed beds are used to improve the water quality. Boat rides offer an added attraction. A separate expo building of 25.000m2 will house large fairs and the annual China International Comic and Animation Festival (CICAF). In-between expo and CCAM a public plaza will be the centre of this festival which is the county's largest cartoon and animation event and has been held annually in Hangzhou since 2005.

Hangzhou is a metropolis with 6.4 million inhabitants 180 km southwest of Shanghai. The Museum will become a new focal point on the less populated southern side of Qiantang river. The CCAM will consolidate the city's leading position as China's capital of the animation industry. The first phase of the Comic and Animation Centre is close to completion, the series of hill-shaped buildings containing offices, a hotel and a conference centre. The new museum will be the icon of this larger development.

The museum will contain a multitude of interventions such as ground storage, natural ventilation and adiabatic cooling, all focused towards an excellent energy efficiency rating. The structural concept by Arup enhances the sustainable profile of the building: the aerodynamic design results in even wind pressure and lower need for air-conditioning. The box in box construction of the bubbles permits different conditions inside the building and improves the energy efficiency.

MVRDV won the competition of EMBT, Atelier Bow Wow, Tongji Institute of Architectural Design and Tsinghua Architectural Design. The MVRDV team consists further of Kossman.deJong exhibition architects, local architect Zhubo Architectural & Engineering Design, Arup engineers and JongeMeesters graphic design.

Beautiful Earth

Queen Rania on The Employment Challenge at the World Economic Forum

Her Majesty delivers opening remarks during the plenary session: Addressing The Employment Challenge at the World Economic Forum, held at the Dead Sea, Jordan in October, 2011

Coen van Oostrom OVG on stage with Bill Clinton at CGI 2011

Coen van Oostrom, CEO and founder of OVG, received Wednesday, September 21 a special recognition from President Clinton for being a true incubator for sustainable real estate in the market.

In 2007 OVG committed to invest $1 billion in the development of sustainable buildings to reduce their energy use up to 60 percent. In 2010 OVG completed this commitment a promising two years ahead of schedule. Today Mr. Van Oostrom will announce his second billion-dollar Commitment to Action at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting.

The new commitment is called the Global Climate Change Real Estate Fund. OVG Real Estate, the European leader in sustainable real estate development, aims to work closely together with the so called C40 cities network, another Clinton initiative. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally.

Operationally, OVG Real Estate will invest $1 billion in the next five years in this global fund and a knowledge network and online platform to catalyze sustainable development in the built environment through environmentally sound new building construction and retrofits of existing buildings. The fund will be a model for large-scale financing of climate positive real estate development.

By 2020, 55% of global construction spending will be in developing countries, according to 2010 global construction perspectives. The next decade will see a continuing shift towards Asia and other emerging markets where rising populations, rapid urbanization and strong economic growth are the drivers for construction according to Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics. That is the reason why OVG Real Estate wants to share her advanced expertise on sustainable development with fast developing cities. The upcoming years, OVG will focuses on cities like Paris, London, Berlin, New York to start with.

Can 'Occupy Wall Street' Survive? #OccupyWallStreet

Protesters return to NY park without tents. Some analysts say the Occupy movement will need to change their strategy to continue. AP's Bonny Ghosh reports.

The Euro Plus Pact by Herman van Rompuy at The Lisbon Council

European Council President Herman van Rompuy on Thursday addressed the current economic and financial challenges facing the euro countries and the rest of the European Union during a keynote speech at the 2011 Euro Summit organized by The Lisbon Council in Brussels

Is China's $6 trillion economy on a bubble?

The world's second-largest economy could be slowing after decades of record growth.

Yep, the world is on a bubble and the biggest bubble in the world we can find in the United States of America

How to replace a 60 Watt Light Bulb with Philips 12.5 Watt AmbientLED A19 LED Light Bulb

The Philips AmbientLED A19 12.5 Watt is the world's first Energy Star qualified LED replacement for a 60W incandescent bulb Philips AmbientLED 12.5W has met or exceeded the quality and energy efficiency requirements for a 60W LED equivalent set forth by ENERGY STAR, proving that it is a highly-efficient, cost-effective lighting option for consumers. The bulb lasts 25 times longer and uses 80% less energy than the 60W incandescent it was designed to replace.

Fuel Efficient Vehicles Dominate 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

The LA Auto Show has built a reputation for being a "green" show, exhibiting fuel efficient debuts in new cars and trucks. But as the AP's John Mone reports, automakers are trying to marry better miles per gallon with performance.

TEDxSanJoaquin 2011: Breathing New Air into Tradition on the dan Tranh by Van-Anh Vanessa Vo

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo dedicates her life to creating music on the dan Tranh (16-string zither) and fusing her traditional Vietnamese foundation with a freshness of new structures and compositions. Since settled in California, she has been a collaborator and solo artist with such musicians and groups as Kronos Quartet, Nguyen Le, Paul McCandless, Ali Ryerson, Charles Loos, SOMEI Taiko Ensemble, Wobbly World, as well as lending her talents to fundraising events for several non-profit organizations. Continually cultivates the beauty and versatility of the dan Tranh to feature her beloved instrument in an international music genre, Van-Anh has been co-composer and arranger for the Oscar nomimated and Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary, Daughter from Danang (2002), the Emmy Award-winning film and soundtrack for Bolinao 52 (2008), and the multiple award-winning film A Village Called Versailles (2009). Recently, Van-Anh released her newest CD "She's Not She" with award-winning composer Do Bao.

Van-Anh began studying dan tranh from the age of four, and graduated with distinction from and taught at the Vietnam Academy of Music. In 1995, Van-Anh won championship in the Vietnam National Dan Tranh Competition along with the first prize for best solo performance of modern folk music. She has since performed in more than fourteen countries and recorded in many broadcast programs inside and outside of Vietnam. Her first CD "Twelve Months, Four Seasons" was released in 2002.

In addition to dan tranh, Van-Anh also performs as soloist on the monochord (bau), the 36-string hammered dulcimer (dan tam thap luc), the bamboo xylophone (dan t'rung), the k'longput, traditional drums (trong), and Chinese guzheng. She lives and teaches dan tranh and other Vietnamese traditional instruments in Fremont, California.

US millionaires ask Congress to 'Raise our taxes'

Nearly 140 millionaires asked a divided US Congress on Wednesday to increase their taxes for the sake of the nation.

"Please do the right thing," the entrepreneurs and business leaders wrote President Barack Obama and congressional leaders, noting that they benefited from a sound economy and now want others to do so. "Raise our taxes."

The letter was signed by 138 members of "Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength." The group was created a year ago during a failed bid to persuade Congress to end tax cuts for millionaires enacted under Republican former President George W. Bush.

The group is now making the same request of a 12-member congressional "super committee," which is struggling to reach a bipartisan deal to cut the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade in order to help put the nation on sound financial footing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Occupy Protesters Start March to DC #OccupyWallStreet

Approximately two dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters started a two-week walk from New York to Washington on Wednesday. The activists left Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, marched past the World Trade Center site and boarded a ferry to New Jersey

EPA Apps for the Environment Challenge 2011 Popular Choice Winner: Green Search

CGSearch is a mobile Green IT application that would enable users across United States to know and visually compare the air quality index, air pollutant levels, energy consumption of various cites of US and compare same with Atlanta.

These cities denote the places for example where the users would like to travel for a short holiday/vacation/deputation/permanent stay. Names of cities whose data are currently available and travel options are listed in the application. Users can pick any option from the list and view the graphical data. Users can reset the graph by using the homepage icon. Government of United States of America has been recording these environmental variables (data) by placing sensors at different part of certain cities.

These are available for general public and CGSearch used the historic data to build models that would help to generate/predict data for the future. 

EPA Apps for the Environment Challenge 2011 Best Student Winner: Environmental Justice Participatory Mapping

The online map developed in this project uses data from the EPA 2007 Abandon Uranium Mines and the Navajo Nation: Atlas with Geospatial Data to give citizens access to basic information on unregulated water sources and abandoned urnanium mine features. The map also provides citizens with the basic tools to visulize the spatial elements of potential environmental hazards.

Environmental Justice is a relatively new field for environmental advocacy. One the many attributes that is illustrative of environmental injustice is proximity to pollution. Developments in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the gathering of spatial data have furthered the implications of environmental justice. The GIS technical expertise is not always available to grassroots organizations and thus the spatial nexus is sometimes missing in the struggle for justice. This project was designed to assist the Navajo grassroots organization The Forgotten People in both policy development and participatory mapping. 

EPA Apps for the Environment Challenge 2011 Winner: EarthFriend

EarthFriend -- an innovative take on the EPA's Apps for the Environment Competition. This iPhone/iPod/iPad application incorporates interactive educational games, fast facts, and database importation from the EPA's very own databases. By including both games and data, this application suits a wide variety of audiences. All three points are implemented in four categories: Climate, Water Pollution, Air Pollution, and Land Pollution. A fifth category, What Can You Do?, encourages the user to take action in going green! We tried to build off of Lisa Jackson's "Seven Priorities for EPA's Future". We are willing to update the app per valid requests.

Now available for download from Apple's App Store for free! Hope you enjoy!

EPA Apps for the Environment Challenge 2011 Winner: Hootroot

Hootroot helps you navigate efficiently from point A to point B. Powered by web services from Brighter Planet, Google Maps, and HopStop, the app provides directions and carbon footprints for driving, transit, flight, and human-powered transportation options on any route. 

Data for footprint calculations comes from the EPA's US Greenhouse Gas Inventory and eGRID database, as well as from DOT, EIA, and others. As a web app, it requires no installation -- simply head to and start using the tool. Give a hoot, green your route.

India’s Solar Market to Reach 9 GW by 2016

India could see over 9 GW of solar installed between 2011 and 2016, according to the report The India Solar Market: Strategy, Players, and Opportunities from GTM Research and BRIDGE TO INDIA.

At year-end 2010, India had 54 MW of installed grid-connected solar. However, recent feed-in tariff allocations from the NSM and the state of Gujarat’s Solar Policy promise to increase that installed capacity six-fold to approximately 365 MW by the end of 2011 and, furthermore, to over 1.1 GW by 2012.

EPA Apps for the Environment Challenge 2011 Winner: Light Bulb Finder

The Light Bulb Finder mobile app makes it easy to switch from incandescent to energy-efficient light bulbs. It empowers users to make informed decisions based on their lighting needs and the financial and environmental impact of their choices. Using the app, the typical American home can cut their annual electricity bill by over $120 and environmental impact by 1,360 lbs. CO2.

The Light Bulb Finder app is intuitive and easy to use. Based on simple inputs about home fixtures and incandescent bulb styles, the app instantly recommends energy-efficient bulbs with the right fit, appearance and quality. For each recommendation, the app displays a bulb image, specifications, energy and dollar savings, and CO2 emissions reductions. Users can purchase energy-saving bulbs through the app or at local retailers.

The app addresses a growing need in the U.S. as new efficiency standards for light bulbs start phasing in from January 2012. The new standards will save the U.S. more than $12.5 billion annually when fully implemented in 2020 and eliminate the need for 33 large power plants, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Light Bulb Finder app uses zip code level data from EPA’s eGRID database to automatically calculate the CO2 emissions reduction for each incandescent bulb a user chooses to replace.

Light Bulb Finder is available as a free download on iPhone, iPad touch, iPod and Android smartphones. Visit the app store on your mobile device and search for “Light Bulb Finder.” Learn more at

Report from Oakland Occupation #OccupyWallStreet

China: 1 TW of Wind Energy by 2050

China could have 1 TW of wind power by 2050 with wind supplying 17% of electricity production, compared to today's 1%, according to the National Development and Reform Commission’s Energy Research Institute (NDRC ERI) with support from the International Energy Agency (IEA). ERI’s roadmap sees capacity of 200 GW of wind power by 2020 and 400 GW by 2030.

The most recent resource assessments suggest a potential of more than 2.3 TW, equivalent to two and a half times China’s total current installed generation capacity from all energy sources. China became the world’s largest wind market in 2010, surpassing the United States with nearly 19 GW installed in that year,

PV Installations in China to Reach US Level in 2011

According to the recently released Solarbuzz China Deal Tracker report, the non-residential PV project pipeline in China grew to 16 GW at the end of October. Solarbuzz has identified 1,104 non-residential projects in China that are installed, being installed, or in development. Projects in the pipeline are located in 29 Chinese provinces. Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, and Inner Mongolia are the leading provinces in megawatt terms, followed by Sichuan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shaanxi, Tibet and Anhui. These 10 provinces represent 86% of the total pipeline.

According to the report, 195 projects, with a total capacity of over 1.8 GW, will be installed within 2011. That installed capacity in China will closely match the installed capacity in the US this year. Stimulated by the Qinghai 930 program as well as unified national feed-in tariff (FIT) policy, 54% of the capacity in megawatt terms will be located in the northwest region.

Source: Solar Thermal Magazine

Sharks in Trouble

This year has seen major shark conservation actions taken around the world, but more action is needed by many more countries. This video, a companion to a report by the Pew Environment Group, illustrates how these animals are threatened by commercial fisheries throughout the world's oceans. It points out that, according to global reports, shark populations have declined by as much as 70 to 80 percent. Scientists estimate that 30 percent of all shark species are threatened or near-threatened with extinction.

Obama Weighs in On SolarWorld and Chinese Competition

Kevin McCloud drives the Delta E4 at Silverstone

A Million Solar Rooftops Not Just California Dreaming

According to a new report from Environment California Research & Policy Center, the state is on track to hit its goal of installing 3 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2016, having installed 1 gigawatts of rooftop solar panels already.

California’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative has certainly given the state an economic boost - its solar market has been growing by around 40% a year. Even if it should only continue growing at 25% a year, the 3 gigawatt goal will still be reached by the end of 2016.

Source: Renewable Energy News

Sharp Unveils Record Breaking Solar Cell: Efficiency of 36.9%

Sharp Corporation has announced it has achieved the world’s highest non-concentrator solar cell conversion efficiency of 36.9% using a three-layered, triple-junction compound solar cell.

Source: Renewable Energy News

New 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Eastern Turkey

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck near the Turkish city of Van on Wednesday. This is the second major quake to hit the region in less than a month's time. The collapse of two hotels and nearly two dozen other buildings have furthered questions asking why a comprehensive assessment of the region's structural safety had not been made in the weeks following the October 23 quake and more than 1400 aftershocks.

Super Storm Batters Alaska's Coast

One of the most powerful storms to hit western Alaska in nearly 40 years battered coastal communities Wednesday with snow and hurricane-force winds, forcing some residents to seek higher ground as it knocked out power and ripped up roofs.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Financing a Green Energy Future in North America

This video is a recording of a panel on "Financing a Green Energy Future in North America," which took place at the 2011 UNEP FI Global Roundtable on Sustainable Finance in Washington D.C.

Green energy is rapidly becoming a focus for both investment and cutting-edge technological innovation. It is assumed that assuring a competitive edge in green energy can contribute to delivering sustained economic growth and job creation. The US and Canada directed significant resources into boosting green energy as part of their stimulus packages in 2009, yet in the current conditions green energy is still not cost-effective. The question remains as to whether and how can financial institutions incentivise and accelerate the deployment of green energy in North America?

Speakers in the video are John C. S. Anderson, Senior Managing Director and Head of Corporate Finance Origination at John Hancock; Robert Nicholson, Managing Director of Power and Utilities Finance of the Royal Bank of Canada; Mike Carr, Senior Counsel to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate; and Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Football legends play for Libya

Some of football's most famous names were back in action in the UAE to raise cash and awareness for children affected by the recent conflict in Libya. Fabio Cannavaro, Hernan Crespo and Pavel Nedved were just some of the players to lend their support.

Occupy DC targets Economy and Militarism #OccupyWallStreet

David Swanson: Occupy Freedom Plaza DC plans its own "super committee" meetings on the economy

UNEP FI 2011 Global Roundtable: Earth Summit 2012: Financing the Rio vision session

This video is a recording of a panel on "Earth Summit 2012: Financing the Rio vision," which took place at the 2011 UNEP FI Global Roundtable on Sustainable Finance in Washington D.C.

"Rio+20" or the Earth Summit 2012 comes 20 years from the first Earth Summit of 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. The sustainable development agenda has moved significantly during this time but environmentally we are arguably in a worse situation than in 1992. This session debates on what forward thinking financial institutions should seek out of Rio+20 as far environmental, social, and governance issues are concerned.

Speakers in the video are Paul Abberley, CEO of Aviva Investors London; Wolfgang Engshuber, Chair of the UN PRI; Roberto Dumas Damas, Head of Environmental and Social Risk of Banco Itau BBA; Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. The moderator was David Runnalls, Outgoing President and Distinguished Fellow of IISD.

UNEP FI 2011 Global Roundtable: Climate Ambition: Geo-politics, competitiveness and growth

This video is a recording of a panel on "Climate Ambition: Geo-politics, competitiveness and growth," which took place at the 2011 UNEP FI Global Roundtable on Sustainable Finance in Washington D.C.

"Policy action on climate change" versus "jobs and competitiveness" -- Is the issue as simple as this? What are the views of financial institutions, and why should developed countries -- precisely on the grounds of jobs and economic competitiveness -- take note of the ambition in some of the emerging economies of the world.

Speakers in the video are Jennifer Blanke, Director of the Global Centre for Competitiveness, World Economic Forum; McKie Campbell, Republican Staff Director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Ana Unruh Cohen, Deputy Staff Director of the Democratic Staff Natural Resource Committee; and Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres. The moderator is Eric Roston, Sustainability Editor of Bloomberg Businessweek.

Concept One: Croatian Electric Sports Car

A young Croatian inventor and winner of the Vidi e-novation Award, Mate Rimac and the Rimac automobile company have created an electric sports car which had its premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The car speeds up in 2.8 seconds from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour. Top speed is limited to 305 kilometers per hour and in a moderate drive, the maximum range is 600 kilometers.

The Global Clean Energy Race

The clean energy race is on. The investment and finance data presented in the Pew Clean Energy Program's new report, Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? show that countries are jockeying for a leadership position in this growing and increasingly competitive sector. Countries with clear, consistent and constructive clean energy policies are powering investment forward.

Beautiful Views of Planet Earth

Sailing General Cargo TRES HOMBRES inbound La Coruna

How the Occupy Protests Can Save the Economy: An Odd Todd Cartoon #OccupyWallStreet

Odd Todd has a scheme to turn the Occupy Wall Street protests into a force that could save the American economy. But be sure to read the fine print.

Thought Control: Move Objects With Your Mind! (Virtually)

The BodyWave, a new iPod-size device that straps onto your arm, allows the mind to control objects on a computer screen

The American Broiler Belt: The Rise of Industrial-Scale Chicken Production

The broiler industry has changed drastically over the last 50 years and now produces more than 8 billion birds -- an increase of more than 1400% -- despite the loss of 98% of broiler operations over the last 50 years. The typical broiler chicken comes from a facility that produces more than 605,000 birds a year. The majority of these massive operations -- millions of chickens and the billions of pounds of waste they produce -- are concentrated in a handful of states that comprise the American Broiler Belt.

Don't Put America's Arctic Ocean at Risk

America's Arctic Ocean is central to the diet and culture of indigenous communities who have practiced a subsistence way of life for thousands of years. But with pressure mounting to expand offshore oil development, the nation's northernmost ocean—and the communities that depend on it—are at risk.

By the Numbers: The Day of 7 Billion by Time Magazine

Million-Dollar Reef Sharks

A new study by the Australian Institute of Marine Science concludes that sharks are worth far more alive and swimming. In Palau, the Pacific Island nation that declared its waters a sanctuary free of shark fishing, sharks provide a lynchpin for the tourism industry.

The Lightning GT testing at GoodWood (L-EV X02)

Asteroid Anxiety? Astronomers Say Not to Worry

Asteroid 2005YU55 approaches and is the subject of research, not the script of Hollywood. Space rock the size of an aircraft carrier stays between Earth and the Moon's orbit.

Newt Gingrich: 'I Don't Know Whether Global Warming Is Occurring'

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says his ad with Nancy Pelosi on global warming for Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection was the "dumbest single thing I've done in years," then says, "I actually don't know whether global warming is occurring."

The Principles for Sustainable Insurance - UNEP FI 2011 Global Roundtable

This video is a recording of a panel on "Changing Risk, Risking Change: The Principles for Sustainable Insurance (UNEP FI PSI)," which took place at the 2011 UNEP FI Global Roundtable on Sustainable Finance in Washington D.C.

ESG issues span a wide range of business risks, and are interrelated with the conventional insurance industry terms of 'emerging risks' and 'reputation risks'. Amid a changing risk landscape and the increasing diversity and interconnectedness of risks, an insurance industry systematically managing ESG issues in its insurance and investment activities can contribute more significantly to reducing long-term and systemic risks, and to achieving a resource efficient, low carbon, inclusive and sustainable global economy. Discover why and how the UNEP FI PSI Initiative can make this happen.

Speakers in the video are Charles Anderson, CEO of Sovereign, Kathy Bardswick; President & CEO of The Co-operators Group; Anthony Kuczinski, President & CEO of Munich Re America; Rowan Douglas, CEO, Global Analytics of Willis Re and Chairman of Willis Research Network; Roger Sevigny, former President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and New Hampshire Commissioner. The moderator is Astrid Zwick, Head, Corporate Responsibility of Munich Re.

Powerful Storm Heads Toward Coastal Alaska

Western Alaska residents braced for an unusual Bering Sea storm headed toward the coast, packing hurricane-force winds and churning giant waves.

Evolve will reveal two exceptional electric motorcycles at EICMA 2011: The LightCycle and The Lithium

Zero Motorcycles 2012 Model Line at EICMA 2011

Zero Motorcycles introduced its model line for 2012 which will be available in Europe from February. Up to 114 miles of range. 308,000 mile battery life. No powertrain maintenance on the Zero S, Zero DS and Zero XU. Easy to own... exhilarating to ride.

KTM Freeride E, Austrian Electric Motocross Revealed at EICMA 2011

Belumbury Dany: The New Italian Electric City Car

Volvo C30 Electric: Electrical Architecture and Electrical Safety

Feathered Labour for Philippines Rice Farmers

Rice farmers in the Philippines have found an ally as they try to protect their crops from pests and the effects of global warming. Farmers use ducks to help keep the water in their paddies fresh, and to get rid of weeds and other pests that could damage their crops.

Duck manure also works as a good organic fertiliser, which helps to decrease the amount of money farmers spend on harmful pesticides. Integrated rice-duck farming was first introduced to the country in the early 1990s. However, it has not been easy to convince more farmers to let go of their dependence on chemicals.

David Crosby and Graham Nash Perform for "Occupy" #OccupyWallStreet

Activist musicians David Crosby and Graham Nash delivered a touch of Woodstock to Occupy Wall Street protesters at Zuccotti Park on Tuesday. They led a chant of "No More War!" during a 20-minute acoustic performance.

The Audi A2 Electric Car Concept

My Number One Commitment by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama talks about his number one commitment to promote basic human values in this clip from the interfaith dialogue "Building Bridges - Religious Leaders in Conversation with the Dalai Lama"

Stand Ducati With 1199 Panigale at EICMA 2011

Stand BMW at EICMA 2011

Stand Piaggio Aprilia at Eicma 2011

The 2011 Milan International Motorcycle Show (EICMA) Will Be Electric

There are forecasts that the electric scooter and motorcycle market will see significant growth over the next few years and the 2011 edition of the Milan International Motorcycle show (EICMA) 10-13 November looks set to bear witness to those predictions. Of course, we've seen some awesome reveals there before, but it seems as though this year the floodgates will truly open up.

Source: Autoblog Green

Volvo C30 Electric - Testing

Brammo Enertia Plus For Hong Kong Police

Hong Kong Chooses Brammo Electric Motorcycles to Replace Petrol Motorcycles in Police and Other Government Departments. The Brammo Enertia Plus motorcycles will be driven year-round by engineers in the Water Supplies Department to reach district service locations, while the Hong Kong Police Force will employ the 2012 Enertia Plus LE to conduct traffic duties in various city districts. The Enertia Plus LE (Law Enforcement) is based on the Brammo Enertia Plus civilian model, but is equipped with special features that tailor it for authority patrol use.

Source: Brammo Enertia Plus to replace government gassers in Hong Kong

Nissan designers discuss PIVO 3 EV concept

Francois Bancon, deputy divisional GM for product strategy, and Taro Ueda, design director of product design, discuss the innovative electric vehicle concept ahead of its appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Honda gears up to electrify winter with hybrid snowblower

Honda introduced its first all-new hybrid snowblower model for the U.S. market and two new snowblower series to join the company's powerful lineup. The hybrid configuration of the all-new Honda HS1336i snowblower combines a gasoline engine that simultaneously drives the model's auger/fan apparatus (clearing and throwing the snow) and charges the battery, with the electric motors (two in parallel) controlling the track drive forward propulsion. These motors also function as a generator during deceleration of the snowblower – serving to regenerate electrical energy.

Equipped with the Honda iGX390 four-stroke overhead valve (OHV) horizontal shaft engine, the HS1336i snowblower operation results in lower fuel consumption, lower emissions, lower noise and reduced vibration as compared to a conventional snowblower. In addition, the iGX390 incorporates an improved inner muffler construction and has the best ignition timing for its class. Because the iGX390 is equipped with an auto choke (a choke that automatically controls the flow of air to the carburetor), starting operation is simplified, regardless of the atmospheric or engine temperature.

Source: Autoblog Green

Nyamuragira volcano in Congo continues to spectacularly spew lava and ash

Africa's most active volcano Nyamuragira erupts, spewing ash and lava threatening nearby residents.

Floods hinder life in Thai capital

Floodwaters enter Bangkok's centre making it difficult for residents to access food and prompting concerns of flood-borne illness.

"Paying it forward" for clean water

The creator of The Million Dollar Homepage and co-founder of the social network Bebo have come up with a novel fundraising campaign that taps the network effect of social media to support charity: water.

Australia imposes carbon taxes

Australia's parliament pushes through landmark carbon tax legislation to curb emissions and boost next round of climate talks in December.

Floods continue in Thailand

Residents in the Thai capital grapple with food shortages and transportation problems after the worst floods in 50 years.

The Seahorse Sculpture by Hazel Bryce: The Most Complex Papier-mache Sculpture in the World

Hazel Bryce spent six years pushing the boundaries of Papier-mâché to create the most complex large scale Papier-mâché sculpture in the world. The Seahorse poses questions to all of us. As one of the many endangered species on our planet Seahorses are tragic victims of human waste and financial gain. In covering junk with the Financial Times newspaper Hazel Bryce has not only created a breath taking sculpture but has recycled a global environmental symbol to raise awareness and challenge the causes and effects of waste and greed.

The shreds of newspaper that form the Seahorse's surface provide clues and strange snippets of society and news that led up to the millennium. With the passing of time subtle sepia tones are now emerging through this deliberate and muddled mish-mâché print mix. Hazel Bryce refers to The Seahorse as a slow and inevitable clock but to what time or event is this clock ticking to?
The Seahorse is bursting with conceptual values but it does not rely on them. It stands alone as a modern Masterpiece without the need for verbal props or a connection to status. Perhaps this is why it has provoked such a strong reaction from those who control the UK state art establishment?

The Sea Horse can be admired and wondered at simply for its execution and aesthetic beauty. It smashes down the boundaries that separate craft and fine art; it stretches out to reach to and beyond many styles. Its complex anatomy has a realistic, organic yet spacey concern for symmetry with ambiguous body functions and an uncertain gender. The wide grin lends an almost animated expression to this modern yet classic-fantastic surreal sculpture that really has to be seen to be believed.

Deep Trouble for the Deep Sea

The deep sea is home to an estimated 10 million species, most of which have yet to be scientifically-documented. While this marine biodiversity rivals the world's richest tropical rainforests, these fragile deep-sea habitats, which have taken centuries to grow, are being destroyed by trawlers dragging enormous weighted nets that, in a single pass, scrape the ocean floor habitat clean.

Climate change election debate, Auckland, New zealand

New Zealand's per capita emissions are the 11th highest globally and we have a moral responsibility to do our fair share to look out for our neighbours, especially those in the Pacific.

It's only weeks to go until the General Elections and there is a real risk that issues like climate change will simply not get the attention they deserve. To remedy this, Oxfam is hosted two open public debates on New Zealand's response to climate change and a debate on foreign affairs. With representatives from National, Labour, Greens and the Maori Parties, this was a fantastic opportunity to actively engage with the policy makers. This is a clip from the climate change debate held in Auckland on November 2, at the University of Auckland's School of Business.

"Water Vapor, the Hydrological Cycle, and Climate Change"

Something in the Air: Climate Change, Science and Policy - Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. "Water Vapor, the Hydrological Cycle, and Climate Change" by Isaac M. Held, Senior Research Scientist, head of Weather and Atmospheric Dynamics Group, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/NOAA (Princeton, NJ); Lecturer with rank of Professor in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University

Presentation on Cradle to Cradle at Tarkett sponsored seminar on sustainability

Presentation by Peter Okmark of Tarkett on LEED and the new Cradle 2 Cradle certification scheme. Given at Tarkett sponsored seminar: Sustainability and the Environment in the real world. Held at RIBA, London.

Nissan Global Headquarter's Zero Emission Vision

Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama harnesses engineering innovation to reduce its impact on the environment. It recently installed a new solar power and storage battery system for electric vehicles, allowing you to charge up your car at the building whatever the weather. But how is this possible? Nissan Technology Magazine TV's Erika Yokoyama reports on how Nissan is cutting down its own carbon footprint and taking our world one step further towards zero emission mobility.

Nissan Technology Magazine (NTM), through reports and interviews with experts both within Nissan and around the world, will take a look at these advances, and attempt to paint a picture of what the "Future of Mobility" might look like.

James Dyson Awards 2011 Runner-Up: KwickScreen Product Development

KwickScreen is a portable, retractable, rooom divider which provides isoaltion or privacy solutions in hospitals when required. They have a very small footprint for easy storage and use and are simple to transport and clean. KwickScreens enable hospitals, which are often stretched for resources, to make the best use of space offering the the flexibility to change a room’s layout. The product greatly helps in the fight against health care acquired infections as well as with mixed sex accommodation and general privacy and dignity problems. KwickScreens can be printed, which adds colour and interest to wards and can be used to display important messages to staff and visitors. KwickScreen has applications beyond healthcare, in schools, universities, offices and exhibitions where openplan areas need to be divided up in a fast and flexible manner.

James Dyson Awards 2011 Runner-Up: BlindSpot

Blindspot is a smart white cane that helps visually handicapped people to take on an active role in socializing and venture into places that they do not dared to explore previously. It informs them of a friend or family member nearby and helps to actively meet them. The location of their friends can be abstracted from popular geographical-based social apps such as Foursquare and communicated through the Bluetooth earpiece connected to the cane. Having known that a friend is nearby, they can choose to call them with the earpiece or be guided towards their friends. Their friend's location can be guided by a tactile GPS navigator on the cane handle. It is a horizontally rolling ball that points to the exact direction to walk. Additionally, an in-built ultrasonic sensor helps detect hanging objects and gives forewarning of ground obstacles to the user. This allows visually handicapped people to confidently travel out of their comfort zone and be aware of people they know being around them.

James Dyson Awards 2011 Winner: Edward Linnacre's AirDrop Irrigation

The Airdrop irrigation concept is a response to poor agricultural conditions in periods of severe drought. Extensive research into droughts revealed an increase in soil evaporation and trans-evaporation (plant and soil) due to the increasing temperatures. Airdrop Irrigation works to provide a solution to this problem. Moisture is harvested out of the air to irrigate crops by an efficient system that produces large amounts of condensation. A turbine intake drives air underground through a network of piping that rapidly cools the air to the temperature of the soil where it reaches 100% humidity and produces water. The water is then stored in an underground tank and pumped through to the roots of crops via sub surface drip irrigation hosing. The Airdrop system also includes an LCD screen that displays tank water levels, pressure strength, solar battery life and system health.

Walmart Green Student Challenge

David Cheesewright announces the Walmart Green Student Challenge.

Canada's Boreal Forest Gaining Ground

The International Boreal Conservation Campaign, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, supports conservation of old-growth forests and wilderness. The campaign works closely with Canadian and international environmental organizations, corporations and aboriginal First Nations to find common ground around the Canadian Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, a visionary plan to protect and sustain this globally important ecosystem over time.

Gruesome Photos Show The Massive Scale Of The Shark Finning Trade

New images from a fishing port in Taiwan underline the threat to sharks around the world. Fishermen kill up to 73 million sharks annually in order to satisfy the demand for shark fin soup. While the scale of the trade in Taiwan is massive, globally it is just the fourth largest fisher of sharks, after Indonesia, India and Spain.

Africa's Most Active Volcano Nyamuragira Erupts

Africa's most active volcano has sent a spectacular display of lava and bright orange smoke and ash into the night sky in Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Wintertime Droughts Increase Due To Climate Change

According to recent research, an increase in wintertime droughts in the Mediterranean is partly down to human-caused climate change

Over the last 20 years, 10 of the driest winters have taken place in the Mediterranean region that stretches from Gibraltar to the Middle East. As the region accumulates most of its precipitation during the wintertime, an increased dryness during this season is particularly worrying. According to scientist, this emerging trend may have a significant impact on water resources and food security in the future.

Source: Green Prophet

TEDxOkanaganCollege 2011: Engineered Wood Products - The Sustainable Solution by Bill Downing

Bill Downing has seen first hand how manufacturing sustainable products has an international demand. This presentation looks at the current and future role of engineered wood products as a sustainable alternative in traditional concrete and steel applications.

Bill Downing is the President of Structurlam Products in Penticton, BC. Structurlam is a manufacturer of glue-laminated columns and beams, and a premier fabricator of heavy timber commercial structures. Prior to joining Structurlam, Mr. Downing was the CEO of BC Wood Specialties Group, an industry association of value-added wood product manufacturers in British Columbia.

He has also held various senior positions with PCI Geomatics Ltd., one of the world's largest suppliers of geomatics software, including VP Sales and Marketing, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of a Netherlands-based subsidiary. Bill grew up Kootenay region of British Columbia and began his career there as a forester for Wynndel Box and Lumber Co. in Creston. Mr. Downing has a degree in forestry from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from the University of Washington and is a Registered Professional Forester.

Nissan accelerating rollout of EV quick charge network in Europe

Nissan is accelerating plans for a European-wide Quick Charge (QC) network for electric vehicles by giving 400 new quick charging stations free of charge to EV charging operators. Strategically located, these new points will boost existing networks and give EV customers greater freedom and flexibility by effectively extending the range of their car.

By recharging batteries in a fraction of the time usually needed this radical step will help drive more customers towards electric vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF. The advanced lithium ion batteries in Nissan LEAF can be recharged from 0 to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes using a quick charger.

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Will Barack Obama win the 2012 Election?

TEDxDanubia 2011: Responsibility by Ernő Duda

Ernő Duda is a serial entrepreneur having started 16 companies in the past 20 years, all in different industries. Having a passion for science, he currently runs Solvo Biotechnology, the largest independent life sciences company in Hungary and also a global leader in its own field. He greatly enjoys teaching and has several decades of teaching experience in a number of fields from business to biotechnology.

He is an associate professor at the Department of Biotechnology at the University of Szeged and a regular speaker at international conferences. He has held numerous positions in different charity organizations and NGO-s and is currently the president of the Hungarian Biotechnology Association and the VP of the Hungarian Skeptic Society. He has a strong "work hard-play hard" attitude to life and enjoys long discussions by a bottle of wine on subjects like the future of human evolution or the convergence of technologies.

Milk & toffee are bringing communities together in Sri Lanka

Sukitha has worked at the dairy co-op in Muruganwr, south Vavuniya, since 2009. The co-op now has over 300 members, 150 of which deliver milk to the co-op every day. Once Sukitha and her colleagues collect in the milk from the dairy farmers it is sold on to local business and schools. Some of the milk is kept at the co-op to make dairy products such as ghee, toffeee and ice packs.

Sukitha is very keen for the co-op to continue growing and expanding. "I hope that next year the dairy co-op will develop further and we can expand. We want to have a separate building for making and selling the products. If we can increase the production of milk based products we can increase the income of the co-op and it can grow. We can have more members. I would like it to have 500 members. People come to the co-op everyday and ask if they can join. People know now that there are many advantages of being a member of the co-op." says Sukitha

A Fair Story: People Empowerd

A short film which gives everyone the chance to be part of a global story and connect with people around the world to celebrate fair.

100 People: A World Portrait 2011

If the world were 100 people, what would it look like? The 100 People Foundation is committed to simplifying and humanizing complex global statistics by looking at the world as a community of 100 people. We provide media and educational tools to teachers around the world to help them teach a global view, and inspire their students to learn more about their global neighbors.

Fairtrade Towns: Energizing your community to change the world

Nine out of ten of us have heard of Fairtrade bananas, but what's a Fairtrade Town? Just a few of the faces behind this rapidly growing grassroots movement explain how it started, what it's all about, what Fairtrade Towns achieve and how anyone, anywhere can be part of it. This short film will inspire you through the power of ordinary people coming together to do extraordinary things in their own communities and beyond.

Oxfam calls on the New Forests Company to investigate Uganda land grabs ...

In Uganda, more than 20,000 people were evicted, some forcibly, from their homes and the land they depended on, to make way for the New Forest Company's plantations. Oxfam went to Uganda to hear how villagers have been left destitute, without enough food or money to send their children to school. Many villagers believe that the company was involved in the evictions. Oxfam is calling for the New Forests Company, which denies that it was involved in any evictions, to investigate these claims.

Join Oxfam's campaign to help stop land grabs and to fix the food system:

The forgotten crisis in Somaliand

Where is Our Food Coming From?

See how most farm animals are raised in the United States and how going meat-free even one day a week can help prevent animal cruelty.

Ohio Dangerous Exotics Pet Trade

It's up to Ohio's Governor Kasich and state lawmakers to ban the sale and ownership of dangerous exotic pets.

Dangerous Game: Ohio Exotic Animals. Local authorities in Ohio shot to death many of the 48 bears, lions, wolves and other animals who got loose from a private menagerie in Zanesville.

CFLs, Compact Fluorescents and Why You Should Use Them

Vanderlande Industries Crossorter inspired by Cradle to Cradle (C2C)

Vanderlande Industries' CROSSORTER provides a highly flexible solution to handle parcel and postal products up to 1500 x 800 mm, including odd-shaped items with an availability of 99.9%.

• Parcels from 100 mm up to 1500 mm with a single sorter
• up to 18,000 carriers per hour
• Parts are extremely easy to change within 5 minutes
• 99% of all materials used are easy to dismantle and to recycle
• 90% of the materials used are environment-friendly
• 80% more energy-efficient than conventional crossbelt sorters

The Prince of Wales visits an environmental project in Kuyasa Township

The Prince of Wales visits an environmental project in Kuyasa Township where residents are encouraged to add solar panels to their roofs to provide green electricity for their homes.

Using Compact Flourescent Bulbs at Your Home

The Prince of Wales gives a keynote environmental speech at Cape Town University

The Prince of Wales gives a keynote environmental speech at Cape Town university during Their Royal Highnesses visit to South Africa.

NATURE: Wednesdays on PBS

Climate Change Initiative "Combustible"

97--98% of the most published climate researchers think humans are causing global warming. Another study found 97.4% of publishing climatologists and just under 90% of all earth scientists think significant man made global warming is occurring. Yet, it is the fringe, the global climate change deniers, who often have the loudest voices.

"Combustible" is a web video, created as part of a campaign, for the Global Climate Initiative, an organization that was borne to raise awareness of the fact, that we as human beings, are actually having a negative impact on the global ecology, and we shouldn't wait until it's too late to see this truth, and act. "Combustible" is a web video we created by REALM, from idea through conception. Included in the effort, was our team with Jianchao in Shanghai, as well as our creative partners at Creativegroup, in New York, especially Dan Ricci. Peter Moore Smith wrote the line, at the end. Everyone worked on this project without taking a fee, because all the participants see the importance of this mission.

TEDxManhattanBeach 2011: A Child's Right To Learn by Mike Matthews

Mike Matthews has been an educator for 25 years. He began his career as a teacher. He became a school principal at the tender age of 29, and later became principal of Malibu High School, a school he build from the ground up. In 2006 he helped to start a private company called Extreme Learning, to offer after-school learning programs to California schools that didn't meet state academic standards, serving more than 4,000 students. Mike was chosen by the Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) Board of Trustees as superintendent of schools for the Manhattan Beach School District in 2010. He holds a BA and MA from Stanford University and a doctorate in education from Pepperdine University.

Why Cradle To Cradle Is Important

How You Can Protect the Environment

Opportunity International in Tanzania

Young Ambassadors for Opportunity Founding Board Chari, Liesel Pritzker, shows Opportunity's work in Tanzania.

CSR Minute: MGive App Coordinates Mobile Donations; Xcel Makes 10,000th Home Energy Efficiency

mGive, a mobile applications service, has published seven steps to creative holiday giving campaigns that can ensure 100 percent passthrough of all nonprofit donations. Mgive coordinates mobile tools such as the Facebook App, Flash Donation widget, and QR Code creator to make mobile giving more efficient. Noting a 97 percent open rate of text messages, mGive's tips for effective SMS donations include enlisting corporate partners, promoting non-monetary messages, and integrating call-to-action.

Xcel Energy has announced its 10,000th Home Energy Squad visit in Minnesota. In a visit, two Excel energy experts work with a homeowner to choose energy-efficient improvements, which are then made on the spot. Since 2010, the program has saved enough energy through improvements to provide 1,300 homes with electricity and gas for a year.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Economy brings down Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, has told the country's president that he will resign after the new budget law currently making its way through parliament is approved.

Though Berlusconi's controversial political career was fraught with allegations of fraud and accusations he paid for sex with an underage teenager, it was his handling of the economy that has ended his 17-year political career.

Curiosity: What's America Worth?

Curiosity continues Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 9PM e/p with What's America Worth?

What To Do With America's Nuclear Waste?

Nuclear power plants generate about one-fifth of U.S. electricity, and don't release the greenhouse gases scientists have linked to climate change. But tens of thousands of tons of spent fuel rods are stranded at the nation's 104 commercial nuclear reactors. They can't be moved because construction of a proposed nuclear waste dump outside Las Vegas has been halted, and the state of Nevada is fighting to make sure it will never be completed. So where else could all that nuclear waste go?

Mediterranean Cyclone! Devastating Floods In Genoa, Italy

Footage of the killer flash floods in Genoa, Italy, and satellite imagery of the freak tropical cyclone in the Mediterranean Sea.

Who Are the One Percent: Greenwald & Schultz Discuss the Koch Brothers and Romney Connection

Mitt Romney claims his economic plan is meant to aid the middle class, not those in the Koch brothers' tax bracket. But how does eliminating an estate tax to do so? Ed Schultz and Robert Greenwald discuss, along with why Brave New Foundation launched

TEDxAmsterdam: Human Nature Forecast by Koert van Mensvoort

Design-philosopher Koert van Mensvoort shares his thoughts on the changing boundaries of nature and culture for the TEDxAmsterdam Human Nature Forecast series.

China's Race for Resources

China and the U.S. are neck and neck in energy consumption, but China's energy needs are expected to rapidly grow to almost double America's demand by 2035. Where will all that extra energy for both countries come from?

Across America, People Are Telling Bank of America: Not One More Dollar

From Chicago to NYC, people are telling Bank of America: Not One More Dollar. Not one more dollar for BoA to make coal investments that are poisoning our communities. Not one more dollar for BoA to hand out fat bonuses to execs while laying off American workers. Not one more dollar for BoA to foreclose on Americans' homes.

Greece, Italy, Still Struggling, in Crisis

World markets watched closely Tuesday as Greece and Italy continued to struggle with political crises. Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi won a parliament vote but saw his majority evaporate.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remember The Fifth of November: V for vendetta conning intellectual momments

TEDGlobal 2011: The augmented reality of techno-magic by Marco Tempest

Using sleight-of-hand techniques and charming storytelling, illusionist Marco Tempest brings a jaunty stick figure to life onstage at TEDGlobal.

Varley Announce evR450 Electric Supercar

Australian based company Varley Engineering have announced the evR450 electric super car at the Australia Electric Vehicle Conference in Brisbane. Based entirely on the Michigan USA sourced Superlite SLC kit car, the evR450 is being developed around locally sourced powertrain components from both Tritium and Ultramotive.

Green Overdrive spends a day driving the Mitsubishi i MiEV

In the latest episode of Green Overdrive, Katie Fehrenbacher takes the Mitsubishi all-electric i MiEV out for a full day of driving, running it through its paces on the highway, in the city, parallel parking, looking for a charge, and packing it with people.

Handwriting Communication System Using An Ultrasound Tactile Display

A research group at Nagoya Institute of Technology is developing a real time communication system based on handwriting. This system reproduces the writing movement of the tip of a pen on another persons palm, by applying a stimulus using an array of ultrasound speakers. This has been designed to enable people to enjoy the process of writing, and have the act of writing itself communicated to another person

Asian elephant gives birth after 700-day pregnancy

Forty days overdue! An Asian elephant gives birth after a 700-day pregnancy at the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, UK

Tarra the elephant and Bella the dog: A Match Made in Ele-Heaven

Tarra the elephant and Bella the dog; best friends at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. With no human encouragement, Tarra adopted this stray dog on her own several years ago, and the two are now inseparable. Their inspiring, "odd couple" story was recently featured on CBS News and in "Bark" magazine.

Footnote: Since Bella and Tarra's recent television exposure, a lot of people have asked how the spinal injury happened. When Bella was found in a shallow ravine in the elephant habitat, unable to walk, she was rushed to the veterinary hospital. X-rays revealed that she had sustained a spinal injury. The absence of deep tissue damage and puncture wounds led the veterinarian to surmise that Bella's spinal injury was the result of an awkward twist, most likely sustained when she was running and jumping over something. The good news is that Bella has recovered from her injury.

Chile's Hudson volcano erupts and forces residents to flee

Huge columns of steam and ash poured into the sky as Chile's Hudson Volcano erupted at three different craters.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Move Your Money on November 5th #OccupyWallStreet

On Nov. 5th it's time to make Wall Street pay! Move your money from one of the big banks who helped crash our economy to a community bank or credit union.

Go to to find out how!

Green is the theme at Wall Street protest #OccupyWallStreet

After six weeks of protest at a park in New York's financial district, hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters are using eco-friendly systems to keep their temporary home clean and environmentally friendly. Their green initiatives include composting, energy-producing bicycles and a gray water treatment system to sustain them as they rail against the wealthiest one percent of Americans.

Thai floods close in on Bangkok Center

Thailand hopes sandbags will save Bangkok

Thailand stacks giant sandbags, hoping to prevent floodwater from entering the heart of the Bangkok.

Occupy the Koch Brothers at the Guerrilla Drive-In #OccupyWallStreet

What: The Koch's main front group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), is hosting a gala at the Washington Convention Center in DC. Outside hundreds (maybe even thousands) of members of the 99% will gather for a Guerrilla Drive-In to save the American Dream. We'll Have popcorn, good food, and a great time while we watch fun videos that expose the Koch Brothers in colossal fashion.

Where: The parking lot at 7th St. and L St. Entrance at 1025 7th st. NW (1 block south of Mt. Vernon/Convention Center Metro)

When: Friday Nov. 4th at 6pm. Movies will start at 7pm.

Read more at: Occupy the Koch Brothers

Tar Sands Action Phase One: Sit-In at The White House #noKXL

Part one of the Tar Sands Action was a two week long sit-in at the White House in which 1,253 people were arrested.

For more information visit

Robert Redford: Join the November 6 Keystone XL Protest #noKXL, See You at The White House

Join at the White House on November 6 for a major protest agains the Keystone XL pipeline

Bill McKibben Call for November 6th 2011: See You at The White House #noKXL

Join is Nov. 6 for an incredible, historic event at the White House. Now is the time to stop the pipeline.

Sign up at

Surfer Narrowly Misses Being Hit By Humpback Whale

Apogee Stadium for the University of North Texas Mean Green Football Team

Apogee Stadium is the new home to the University of North Texas Mean Green Football Team. Groundbreaking occurred in November 2009. Construction was completed in August 2011.

The stadium was designed by award winning architecture firm HKS, Inc. The company is also known for other venues including Cowboys Stadium, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and the American Airlines Center. The venue will seek Platinum LEED Certification, making it the first Collegiate Stadium to achieve the award.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Asks President Barck Obama to Halt Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline: See You at the White House

Julia Louis-Dreyfus speaks out against the Tar Sands Keystone XL pipeline and urges people to join the action to surround the White House on November 6, 2011.

For more information, visit

World Population: Where it's thick and where it's thin by The Big Picture

The growing population of the world, now estimated to be over 7 billion, marks a global milestone and presents obvious challenges for the planet. There are extremely densely populated cities and sparsely populated countries. China is the most populous country with India following closely behind. This post brings together some disparate illustrations of our world as it grows, including scenes from Mong Kok district in Hong Kong, which has the highest population density in the world, with 130,000 per one square kilometer. In Mongolia, the world's least densely populated country, 2.7 million people are spread across an area three times the size of France. Then there's Out Skerries, a tiny outcropping of rocks off the east coast of Scotland where the population is just 65. And doing what he can to contribute to that 7 billion global milestone is Ziona, the head of a religious sect called "Chana." He has 39 wives, 94 children, and 33 grandchildren. The world is an interesting place. -- Paula Nelson (41 photos total)

Photos: World Population: Where it's thick and where it's thin

Climate Change: IPCC Draft Report Reveals More Extreme Weather Events In The Future

A recent draft report from the world’s leading climate scientists reveals that the Earth will experience more severe weather events in the future due to climate change. While this news may not come as a surprise to many, this particular analysis of climate change marks a new chapter for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Previously, most of the IPCC’s work focused on analyzing the more subtle effects of climate change, namely average temperatures over time. But the forthcoming IPCC report centers more on intense floods, droughts, heat waves, and monsoons, which could be the source of considerable social and economic costs in the 21st century.

Source: The9Billion

TEDxHarkerSchool 2011: The World Is Your Oyster by Sramana Mitra

Sramana Mitra is an entrepreneur and author, having written a series of books as well as founded and sold multiple companies. She is now working on her 1 Million by 1 Million (1M/1M) initiative to help 1 million entrepreneurs around the world build businesses worth $1 million.

G20 Backs Euro-bailout

President Obama and other G20 leaders threw their weight behind Europe's financial bailout plan as they wrapped up their two-day summit in France.

TEDxHarkerSchool 2011: An Opportunity to Revitalize America by Kevin Surace

As the chairman and CEO of Serious Energy, and a holder of thirteen patents, Kevin Surace is an expert in the fields of both entrepreneurship and energy conservation.

UNESCO could declare Bethlehem World Heritage Site

The Green City Index by Siemens

How green are cities today and what can they do to improve their environmental footprint? The Green City Index - a unique research series conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in cooperation with Siemens, provides answers.

Greece denied debt euthanasia to save Euro

The political and financial turbulence in Greece has shaped discussion at the G20 summit, which has just wrapped up in Cannes. EU leaders voiced strong determination to defend the euro and agreed on bolstering the International Monetary Fund's resources.

Philippe Cousteau, Jr. Introduces Expo 2012 in Yeosu, Korea

Explorer, social entrepreneur and environmental advocate Philippe Cousteau, Jr. introduces us to Expo 2012 in Yeosu, Korea where the world will come together to learn about the issues facing our oceans.

2011 Smarter Cities Challenge Highlights

Hungry Planet

UN launches year-long celebration of vital role of world's forests

Recognizing the role that forests play in everything from mitigating climate change to providing wood, medicines and livelihoods for people worldwide, the United Nations today kicked off a year-long celebration to raise awareness of the value of this important resource.

"Forests for People" is the main theme of the International Year of Forests , which was launched at a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York attended by world leaders, Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai and forest experts.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hungry Planet Episode: ex-Barcelona striker Hristo Stoichkov Tackles Hunger

TEDxABQ 2011: Can a Dress Made from Trash Change how you see?

Nancy Judd creates evocative couture sculptures from trash. Each of her garments has a mission—to inspire people to look at garbage with new eyes. Her work is designed to motivate people to reduce their carbon footprint in all parts of their lives — in a fun and positive way.

Greek PM Scraps Referendum on Debt Plan

Greece's prime minister abandoned his explosive plan to put a European rescue deal to popular vote and opened emergency talks Thursday with his opponents.

G20 Eurodrama: Greece Drops Rescue Vote

As world leaders convene in France for the annual G20 summit, plans to end Europe's financial crisis have been riding the tumultulous waves of Greek politics.

18 Years of Fighting Chevron: Stop Chevron and Defend the Amazon

Cofán elder Marina Aguinda Lucitante shares a song to mark the 18th anniversary of the monumental legal struggle against Chevron for massive environmental crimes in the Amazon rainforest. Join the Cause to Stop Chevron and Defend the Amazon

Chevron in Ecuador: A Defining Moment

Oil giant Chevron ordered to pay $9 billion for pollution cleanup in Ecuador! After nearly 18 years of legal battles, the communities in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest devastated by oil giant Chevron's reckless pump-and-dump oil operations have scored a landmark victory. Chevron has been ordered to pay $9.5 billion for cleanup of widespread contamination, and potable water and healthcare facilities for affected communities.

But Chevron has vowed to fight "until hell freezes over." Stop Chevron: Defend the Amazon

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