Alternative Energy

Environment News

The latest environmental news from our global warming and climate news sources.

Jun 01, 2016

Environment & Sustainability

Signs of Global Warming or Not?

Jun 1, 2016: Europe, like much of the planet, has experienced a much milder winter than normal. Restaurants in Vienna have opened their patios and beaches in Bulgaria are already packed. There are also some species of trees in Austria, that shouldn’t be pollinating until spring, that have already begun their pollination cycles. But Scientists are trying to […]…

The Top 7 Environmentally Friendly Countries

Jun 1, 2016: Environmental ranking systems and benchmarking…

Tesla's Gigafactory to host grand opening on July 29

May 31, 2016: Ain’t no party like a Tesla party! The California-based luxury car company (turned battery company) is gearing up for the grand opening of its enormous Gigafactory, located outside Reno, Nevada. Tesla announced late last week that the battery factory will open in just two months, with a celebration scheduled for July 29. Oddly, this grand opening will be a lot different than most others, in that the factory is nowhere near fully operational and construction will continue long after party goers...

Gorgeous wooden horn speakers are made from reclaimed liquor barrels

May 31, 2016: https://vimeo.com/165917138 Fiddle + Hammer was founded by Jordan Waraksa, who brought his background in sculpture and music into the making of the Bellaphone. The design was developed over a decade. “The horn is a testament to harnessing the resonant and warm qualities of the wood which they are carved from,” said Waraksa. Each custom-built speaker can be built to a variety of sizes, from two feet in height to a towering six feet. Related: Gigantic wooden megaphones amplify the sounds...

Solar Sea

May 31, 2016: A new environmentally friendly energy source may be found in the world’s oceans. Marine bacteria DNA contains ‘proteorhodopsin’, a light capturing pigment which is similar to the pigment in the human retina which enables us to see colors. Science Daily says researchers have found it would be possible for marine bacteria to capture solar light […]…

New US government study links cell phones to cancer

May 31, 2016: A new study backed by the U.S. government reportedly found a new link between cell phone use and cancer, a concern that has been gathering more evidence over the decades. The National Toxicology Program’s study is still incomplete at this time, yet partial findings reveal a relationship between specific radio frequencies and tumor growth in male laboratory rats. The way some publications are reporting the news, you would expect to have a grapefruit-sized tumor growing in your skull...

Modular Wikkelhouse wrapped in 24 layers of cardboard snaps together in a day

May 31, 2016: "Wikkelhouse is what you get when an everyday material finds a groundbreaking purpose," Fiction Factory told Dezeen. "Using cardboard as its main building material, Wikkelhouse is a cutting-edge sustainable house with a beautiful design and exceptional constructive strength." Related: Affordable pop-up house snaps together like LEGOs While your cardboard boxes at home may wither in the presence of water, Wikkelhouse's layers are covered in a protective, waterproof film and then finished...

Red Rain Proof of Extraterrestrial Life?

May 31, 2016: The best article so far on the the “red rain” phenomenon is in New Scientist. The Observer had a decent article too. An Indian scientist, Dr. Godfrey Louis, thinks the red particles found in the rain are the remnants of a meteorite that exploded. He further thinks that they might be extraterrestrial life forms. The […]…

Artist Cleans Up Mt. Everest

May 31, 2016: Artist Jeff Clapp recently hiked up Mt. Everest. He didn’t do it for the challenge of climbing to the highest point in the world. He did it to collect the garbage left on the mountain from past climbers with the goal of turning this rubbish into art. In 2004 he collected a load of discarded […]…

Smart birdhouses called TreeWiFi give free WiFi when the air quality improves

May 31, 2016: Trees give free WiFi when the air quality improves with a smart birdhouse from TreeWiFi. An Amsterdam based start-up called TreeWiFi builds birdhouses that measure air pollution and that make the levels of pollution visible through an LED status light and a high tech roof that illuminates the entire tree at night. Air quality data is sent to a server where it is analyzed and made public for everyone to see. When the server detects an improvement in air quality it allows the birdhouse to share...

High-end upcycling shops with beautiful metal tab designs pop up in London

May 31, 2016: Two up-cycled pop-up shops in London Gudjon Thor Erlendsson of AUDB (au-db.com) and Andreas Krause of Krause Architects (krausearchitects.com) have just completed a design for two new pop-up stores in London. One on the busy Regents Street in the west-end, and another on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. The projects, were carried out for the fashion label Bottletop a social enterprise making high-end fashion accessories. The Bottletop Foundation empowers young people to protect themselves. The...

The World’s Biggest and Stinkiest Flower?

May 31, 2016: Scientists now believe that they have found the world’s biggest and stinkiest flower: the rafflesia (pronounced rah-FLEEZ-ee-ah) flower. This flower, found in Southeast Asian rainforests, is 3 feet wide, can weigh 15 pounds, and smell like rotting flesh. They can even create heat, to mimic a recently killed animal, to attract the flied that pollinate […]…

Shortness of Dark

May 31, 2016: Depending on who you ask, the first practical light bulb was invented by Joseph Wilson Swan of Britain in 1878, or Thomas Alva Edison of the U.S. in 1879. Edison is the official patent holder, though a debate on the subject will often put an Edison-supporting Yank on the business end of an Encyclopedia Britannica, […]…

This zany two-person tent looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft

May 31, 2016: Related: + Dave Delisle Via My Modern Met Dave Delisle, star trek, tent, design, star trek tent, geeky toys, star trek designs,…

T.Bar: enormous living green walls of lichen and moss line refreshing Panama Fusion restaurant

May 31, 2016: http://www.contemporist.com/2016/05/21/this-fast-food-restaurant-feels-like-youre-dining-in-a-park/ http://propixelpanama.com/contact-us/ http://www.tbarpanama.com/menu.html http://www.dosgarquitectos.com/#a=0&at=0&mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=0&p=0…

European Commission Calls for “Post-Industrial” Revolution

May 31, 2016: On Wednesday, European Commission officials unveiled an ambitious set of proposals to encourage investment and innovation in the European energy sector, reduce dependence on imports, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.  We have already left behind our coal-based industrial past. It is time to embrace our low-carbon future, said EC President José Manuel Barroso.  The proposal […]…

Donald Trump believes California farmers who say "there is no drought"

May 31, 2016: Climate denier Donald Trump makes no bones about the fact that he doesn’t believe humans are contributing to climate change, calling it a ‘hoax’ proctored by the Chinese. Now he’s adding another scientific fact to the list of things he doesn’t believe in: the severe drought that has plagued California for the past five years. In a speech in Fresno on Friday, Trump claimed that a group of “50 or 60 farmers” told him, right before he took the stage, that “there is no drought.” And...

Solar Storm Warning

May 31, 2016: Recommended Read: Like the quiet before a storm. This week researchers announced that a storm is coming–the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous […]…

China added half of new global wind power capacity in 2015

May 31, 2016: China is making massive investments in clean energy as the government works on meeting climate targets and cleaning up polluted cities. Wind is an example of the Asian nation's dominance in the renewable energy sector. According to a new report from research and consulting firm GlobalData, China accounted for nearly half of all new global wind energy installations in 2015, installing 30.5 gigawatts. The most populous country in the world beat second place United States by a wide margin -- the U.S....

Jupiter Closeup

May 31, 2016: It is almost one year since the ‘New Horizons’ mission left earth, bound for Pluto. The spacecraft will spend six months studying Jupiter. New Horizon has been able to for the first time get a first closeup shot of ‘the little red spot, recently formed. “This is an unprecedented opportunity,” New Horizons principal investigator Alan […]…

A2OFFICE transforms Porto townhouse into a modern daylit residence

May 31, 2016: The building, comprising a basement, two floors, attic and small patio, is located in the central part of Porto. A single staircase connects all the levels. In order to facilitate a spatial flow and openness, the architects introduced an interconnected social area on the lower levels. Related: The Outerio House is a 3 Meter Wide Modernist Renovation Two bedroom suites were placed on the top floor. In order to preserve the memory of a lantern that lit the first floor, the team formed three...

Modular Amuneal shelves create flexible wall storage for tight spaces

May 31, 2016: When it comes to small interiors, walkable floor space is prime real estate. That's why vertical storage is now the name of the game. Specially made in the city of brotherly love, Amuneal is one company that takes wall storage very seriously; their Collector's Shelving System is a fully adjustable, luxurious, vertical framework that can be customized for any sized space. The state-of-the-art system is built in Philadelphia with oxidized oak shelves and a solid brass framework that attaches...

World's largest commercial rooftop solar array is on a shopping mall in the Philippines

May 31, 2016: A shopping mall in the Philippines now boasts the world’s largest commercial rooftop solar array, which generates 2.9 MW of clean energy to help run the mall’s operations. The project is also the biggest private solar power system designed for self-consumption in the country. The Philippines-based property developer behind the venture, Robinsons Land, has plans to add rooftop solar panels to its other retail centers, for a total of 12.5 MW by the end of this year. The 2.9 MW solar...

Turning ocean destruction into brighter ideas

May 31, 2016: Deployed in their thousands and killing non-target species in their millions, fish aggregating devices (FADs) are a scourge to our oceans, devastating marine life to supply companies like Thai Union.Made up of nets, metal and bamboo frames, buoys and ribbon, these marine snares also have beacons which tell their owners where they are and often the amount of sea life that has gathered beneath them. This bundle of electronics is made up of rechargeable batteries, solar panels, LED lights and circuitry.But it’s not just the damage they do at sea – this gear often ends up either in huge trash heaps on land, or washed up on reefs. So, while the crew of the Greenpeace ship Esperanza have been recovering and dismantling every one that…

Bangkok's Siam Discovery retail center gets a major redesign from Japanese firm nendo

May 31, 2016: The previous design of the retail center, with its deep layout and narrow entry, created problems for the traffic flow of pedestrians, which is one thing a shopping center does not want. The architecture and design firm was called in to help, and the new design addresses the previous issues by extending the circular atriums throughout the building and creating a canyon-like path stretching nearly 200 feet to the back of the building. Related: Along one side of the atrium, a series of 220...

Apple-inspired timber sauna is hidden within a grassy green slope

May 31, 2016: The sauna takes on a circular shape in reference to the shape of an apple and the cycle of nature. The curved concrete entrance envelopes visitors within a welcoming shaded nook with outdoor furnishings. Inside, the small sauna is lined with timber and features rows of wooden seating that evoke the classic apple crate. Contemporary spherical lamps are suspended from the ceiling, however, are unnecessary in the daytime when ample amounts of natural light stream through a full-height glazed rear window...

New research shows plants respond to touch

May 31, 2016: Plants are mysterious. They surround us but we can't really communicate with them, leaving researchers to speculate on how they might interact with us and each other. University of Western Australia (UWA) scientists discovered a new intriguing aspect of plants: they appear to respond to touch. There's no visible sign, according to the scientists, who recently released their research in the journal Plant Physiology. Instead they noticed that plant genes expressed themselves differently...

Copenhagen's South Harbor School rises from the sidewalk to promote community

May 31, 2016: The building is located in a densely populated area that required additional educational facilities. As the new public school, the building merges its institutional and maritime qualities. With various seating and walking areas rising from the sidewalk onto the roof of the building, the school aims to become an active part of the community. Related: World’s First LEGO School to Open in Denmark this August The interior features spaces of different heights and natural lighting, ensuring...

How to make edible LEGO jello shot minifigs for your next summer soiree

May 31, 2016: vegetarian lego, agar agar, agar agar shots, vegan jello, vegan jello shots, vegetarian jello, jello lego, vegan lego pieces, edible lego pieces, edible legos, alcoholic jello, jello shot recipe, vegan snacks, vegan party foods, yuka yoneda…

Swedish students design one of the worlds most energy-efficient rail-bound vehicles

May 30, 2016: New World Record! In far away Sweden a new important world record was set on the 28:th of May. University of Dalarna tested and competed with what probably is the most energy-efficient rail bound people-transporter that the world has yet seen. When the on-site measuring team checked the energy efficiency figures with those of Shell Eco Marathon, it actually seems as though the Eximus 1 probably could be the most energy efficient people transporter in the world – rail bound or otherwise!...

Flat green roof helps Casa Guaruj integrate with the forest in Brazil

May 30, 2016: Casa Guaruja features orthogonal forms dominated by large overhangs, and plenty of outdoor spaces overlooking a thick pine forest. The main living space and outdoor deck of the three-story residence are raised to the level of the tree canopies with bedrooms located on the level below. Related: The Breezy, Beautiful Brazilian Leaf House The main living space opens onto the deck and swimming pool area and is sheltered underneath a green roof that helps cool down the interior during the hottest...

Marine scientists in Hawaii unearth an ancient minivan-sized sea sponge

May 30, 2016: We’ve all heard stories about enormous deep sea worms and sharks the size of a city bus. It turns out, those aren’t the only incredibly huge creatures hiding beneath the waves. A team of researchers in Hawaii have discovered the largest sea sponge known to science, and it’s as big as a minivan. Located near the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the sea sponge is thought to be several centuries old, if not more. The expedition took place in the summer of 2015. Researchers...

G7 leaders agree to stop subsidizing fossil fuels by 2025

May 30, 2016: The G7 hammered one more nail in the fossil fuel industry's coffin. As many countries pursue clean energy technology and progress towards renewable energy, the G7 wrote in a declaration of their determination to "accelerate our work towards the transition to an energy system that enables a decarbonization of the global economy." They agreed to stop subsidies for fossil fuels by 2025. At a Japan summit, the world leaders discussed issues such as global economic growth, refugees,...

Slovenia built a habitable structure with latticed wooden bookshelves

May 30, 2016: The project responds to the Biennale's theme "Reporting from the Front" by functioning like an abstract home doubling as a curated library that allows visitors to explore the concept of dwelling. It is also a nod to the seminal 1956 Patio & Pavilion project Alison and Peter Smithson. Curators Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič of Dekleva Gregorič Architects conceived an inhabitable wooden structure made of a lattice system of bookshelves that marries public and private space. It creates a temporary...

Hanging highway garden in So Paulo would filter 20% of car emissions

May 30, 2016: Related: + Triptyque Architecture Via World Architecture News Triptyque Architecture, sao paulo, urban design, Hanging highway garden, green design, reduce emissions, traffic contamination, sustainable design, hanging gardens, green gardens, urban gardens, climate change, clean air initiatives, brazil design, sao paulo architecture, sao paulo urban design…

Four stylish green grills for a sustainable Memorial Day

May 30, 2016: Like many Americans, you may be lighting up the barbecue this holiday weekend — but if you want to set yourself apart from the bands of boring black grills, take a cue from our guide to stylish green grills. From DIY creations to hot spots that also double…

5 buildings around the world that memorialize tragic losses of life

May 30, 2016: 9/ll Memorial image © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat; other images via Daniel Libeskind, Koji Fujii/Nacasa & Partners, 1 Week 1 Project, and jaime.silva on Flickr…

Harvard chemist engineers a superbug that converts inhaled CO2 into fuel

May 30, 2016: Over the past few years, the number of headlines relating to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions have skyrocketed, and it’s pretty much all bad news. However, one scientist has been looking for ways to turn our collective frowns upside down, and now he thinks he’s found it. Harvard Professor of Energy Daniel G. Nocera says he’s engineered a bacterium that inhales CO2 and excess hydrogen, and then turns them into alcohol fuel. Nocera, known as the man who invented...

Brilliant SUNplace table lets you cook with magnified sunlight on a cast iron surface

May 30, 2016: We’ve shared some solar-powered cooking options in the past, ranging from giant sun-baked ovens to scorching hot solar stoves. Now, here’s another sun-based cooking contraption, with a twist. Sunplace is a “solar cooking table” designed to not…

Dreamy holiday home by the lake makes the most of a small footprint

May 30, 2016: Commissioned by a family of five who sought a simple country getaway from Bratislava, the holiday home is sited on an island in the Danube River overlooking beautiful lakeside views. With only 65 square meters to work with, the architects organized the home around a large open-plan central living room and exposes a tall vaulted ceiling to create a sense of spaciousness. Natural light pours into the building through large glazed folding doors that open up to the adjacent lake and extend the footprint...

Statue of Liberty, Venice among world heritage sites at risk from climate change

May 30, 2016: The Statue of Liberty, Venice, Stonehenge, Galápagos islands and Easter Island are among the 31 natural and cultural world heritage sites in 29 countries that are threatened by climate change, according to a new report. Titled "World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate," the study was launched by UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) at the the UN Environmental Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. "Globally, we need to better...

EWG's 2016 best and worst sunscreen lists are outis your favorite listed?

May 30, 2016: The heat is on, and the sunscreen should be, too. Choosing the best sunscreen for your family is an increasingly challenging task, especially as companies change their formulas every few years. When it comes to the most effective protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays, not all sunscreens are created equally. Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiles a list of the best and worst sunscreens on the market each year, broken down by products for adults and kids. This year’s...

China's eco-civilization plan calls for 23% forest cover by 2020

May 30, 2016: Besides the United States, China has done more than any other country to contribute to climate change. But while China's greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly warming the planet, the Asian nation is quickly shifting its focus to climate change mitigation to ensure a sustainable biosphere for future generations. According to a new United Nations report, China plans to build an "ecological civilization" that could be a model for the rest of the world. The eco-civilization project includes an initiative...

Artivists take to the seas to save the Arctic

May 30, 2016: My name is Mike and was one of the three judges of the #SaveTheArctic poster competition. What an honour it has been! We've just chosen the top entries and soon I will meet the three lucky young winners; Anastasia, 21, from Russia; Sara, 18, from Spain; and Emile, 20, from Canada. It will be my pleasure, as captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, to welcome them on board for a voyage to the Arctic where the sun will never set.  Arctic poster competition winners.I followed the competition closely and can confidently say that I've seen every single one of the over 2000 original posters from people in 75 countries around the world. I've tweeted some of my favourites along the way, like Bear Walks into a Bar.There were other fu…

President Obama visits Hiroshima, speaks out against nuclear weapons

May 30, 2016: About 71 years after the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, President Obama visited the site and placed a wreath before the cenotaph at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It is the first visit by a "sitting U.S. President." Both Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Obama delivered speeches, and Obama spoke out against nuclear weapons. According to The Washington Post, Japanese citizens "longed" for a U.S. president to publicly recognize those lost...

How the Fight Against Zika Is Playing Out Across Brazil Right Now

May 30, 2016: Brazil is in crisis. Earlier this month, President Dilma Rousseff was ousted from office after a series of scandals led to impeachment proceedings. Newly installed opposition leaders are facing a series of corruption charges of their own. And the Zika virus, first detected in Brazil in April 2015, continues to stymie public health officials concerned about the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. So far, the new government's approach toward Zika has been questionable, at best: The new health minister, Ricardo Barros, is an engineer with no previous experience in health administration. And while Barros listed the fight to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito as one of his top priorities when he took over, he's got his work cut out fo…

Finnish pavilion sparks debate about the surge of asylum seekers in Europe

May 30, 2016: Curated by Marco Steinberg, the Finnish Pavilion takes on a simple and pragmatic boxy shape painted with a blue-white color scheme reminiscent of the country’s flag colors. The pavilion opened its doors last week with conversations that delved into current issues, housing solutions, and pathways to integration. Related: “Refugees Welcome” is the sharing economy’s response to the crisis in Europe “Today, Europe’s challenge is less about building new cities than about transforming...

Shed of the Year shortlist includes a crocodile home and Star Wars-inspired shed

May 30, 2016: There are four finalists in eight categories: Unexpected, Eco, Cabin/Summerhouse, Workshop/Studio, Pub/Entertainment, Budget, Historic, and Unique. The sheds were described by the Shed of the Year's shedblog as "outrageously spectacular" and "extravagant." For some of the sheds, those descriptors are understatements. Related: Solar-Powered 2013 Shed of the Year is Topped With an Old Fishing Boat The Crocodile House, home of an African dwarf crocodile, is just the beginning. The 32 shed...

Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun's Energy for Nighttime Fuel-Free Grilling

May 29, 2016: Many of us will be firing up our grills this weekend for some well-deserved barbecue time. After all, barbecuing is one of America's greatest pastimes, but it certainly isn't one of our most environmentally friendly. Whether you prefer charcoal, wood chips…

Zappos redesigns its shoe boxes to be infinitely reusable

May 29, 2016: With more and more of us now ordering basic goods online, the average person's life is starting to include more cardboard than ever before. Online shoe retailer Zappos has decided to do its part in cutting down on cardboard waste by redesigning its packaging in a truly innovative way. Instead of ending up in a landfill, each box is able to take on a second life as a fun or useful craft project. READ MORE >  …