Alternative Energy

Environment News

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

Sep 27, 2016

Environment & Sustainability

Environmental damage highlighted by Google Earth

Sep 27, 2016: Rampant forest destruction, retreating glaciers and explosive urban growth have been highlighted by a partnership between the United Nations and internet search giant Google. Under the scheme, announced by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on Wednesday, before-and-after satellite images of 100 global environmental hotspots have been integrated into Google’s popular mapping program, Google Earth. “These […]…

The 3 small letters destroying the rainforest

Sep 27, 2016: Last year, Indonesian forest fires shocked the world. Some called them ‘the worst environmental disaster of the 21st century’. So why hasn’t that shock turned into action — and why are fires blazing across Indonesia again?Aerial view of fires at the forest and palm oil plantation in peatland area of Pangkalan Terap, Teluk Meranti, Pelalawan regency, Riau. Decades of forest destruction by palm oil and paper companies laid the foundations for 2015’s Indonesian forest fires. The Indonesian government responded with a firm commitment to crack down on rogue companies. Hundreds of thousands of us pushed brands like Colgate to toughen up their ‘no deforestation’ policies.But while some pro…

Finding Black Gold with Ultrasound Scans

Sep 27, 2016: The technology resembles the ultrasounds used by doctors to inspect a woman’s womb. But a team of scientists are using it to map rocks deep below the Earth’s surface to hunt for oil and gas. Hoping to unlock vast reserves of natural gas and oil trapped under layers of rock, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute […]…

Finlands longest bridge will be a beautiful pedestrian and cyclist superhighway

Sep 27, 2016: The architects collaborated with engineering firm WSP Finland to design this tram, cyclist and pedestrian bridge, the name of which translates to Crown Bridges in Finnish. The €259 million project will cross Helsinki's Kruunuvuorensilta bay and connect the new Kruunuvuorenranta housing development to the city center. Related: Sunken Pedestrian Bridge in the Netherlands Parts Moat Waters Like Moses! Tensioned cable stays will support the upper part of the structure featuring an elevated...

Scientists begin Human tests on ‘bionic eye’

Sep 27, 2016: Scientists from the Bionic Eye Foundation at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital have launched human clinical trials of the device, which employs the same technology now routinely used in cochlear implants to restore hearing. Professor Minas Coroneo said the trials involved placing small electrodes on the surface of the eye then using an electric current […]…

Did Trump Call Global Warming a Chinese Hoax? (Yes. And Tonight He Lied About It.)

Sep 27, 2016: According to Donald Trump, Donald Trump never supported the Iraq war; he never called pregnancy an "inconvenience" for employers; and he certainly never—ever—called climate change a Chinese hoax. Trump, you'll be shocked to learn, wasn't exactly telling the truth. Let's focus on the climate claim, which you can watch in the video above. During Monday night's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said: "Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real. I think science is real." "I did not, I did not," countered Trump. "I do not say that." Clinton is correct. Here's what Trump tweeted in 2012: The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manuf…

Going Green? Where is my Green!!!

Sep 27, 2016: Some environmental government initiatives are well known; bottle deposit and refund programs are immediately visible to the consumer, are comprehensive, and their motivation is clear. Other incentives are priced in at the register, which means we may not be aware of the incentive existing: for example, in British Columbia, bicycles and energy conservation equipment are […]…

An Island Is Born

Sep 27, 2016: Off the coast of Iceland on the morning of 14 November 1963, the crew of a lone fishing trawler spotted an alarming sight. Off to the southwest of the Ísleifur II, a column of dark smoke was rising from the water. Once there, however, they found not a boat but a series of violent explosions […]…

Atmospheric Ozone Recovering In Mid-latitudes, Report Shows

Sep 27, 2016: Well finally some good news confirmed by NASA. The Ozone is recovering, if anything this is a confirmation that human beings can and do affect the environment and that if we want to make a difference we can. Hopefully the message is received by the general politicians who will enforce efforts in fighting global warming. […]…

High Sea Turtle Deaths in Bangladesh

Sep 27, 2016: Along the coast of Bangladesh higher than normal sea turtle deaths have been recorded in the past two weeks. The smallest of these turtles, the olive ridley’s, are endangered. Scientists have discovered 65 dead so far along a three-mile stretch of the coast, and hundreds more in the area, which is a higher than normal. […]…

IPCC On Global Warming: It’s Happening, And It’s Our Fault

Sep 26, 2016: Last Friday, a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) resolved the debate forever: the Earth is warming, and humans are the cause. Sea levels will riseit is a question of when and how much, and not if, says Michel Jarraud (Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization). Extreme weather, drought in some […]…

Wal-Mart Aims To Sell 100 Million Compact Fluorescents In One Year

Sep 26, 2016: Fast Company reports that, in the next 12 months, starting with a major push this month, Wal-Mart wants to sell every one of its regular customers–100 million in all–one compact fluorescent bulb. In the process, it may change energy consumption in the United States, and energy consciousness, too. Teaming up with General Electric, which owns […]…

Robots of the future?

Sep 26, 2016: This time it’s no science fiction movie, it’s for real. Robots might just soon walk and look like humans. Check out the newest robot from Korea, HUBO, who walks and looks like Einstein… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx35zMyFJ94…

5 vegetables to plant in your fall garden now

Sep 26, 2016: 5 Easy Vegetables to Plant in Your Fall Garden Fall brings pumpkin spice lattes and kids going back to school but it also means the start of your fall garden. Many people neglect their garden during the start of fall because of their busy schedules.

Dutch parliament votes to shut down all of the country's coal plants

Sep 26, 2016: The Dutch parliament voted Thursday night to shutter the nation’s coal industry in order to achieve a 55-percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. The vote, which is not yet binding, would require shutting down the five coal power plants currently operating in the Netherlands, three of which just came online in 2015. Slashing CO2 emissions by 55 percent would bring the country’s emissions in line with the targets set by the Paris climate deal last December, and set a strong precedent among...

Sinuous concrete pavilion is a spiritual oasis at the City of Hope research and treatment center

Sep 26, 2016: The LEED Platinum certified Kaplan Family Pavilion is a spiritual oasis located on the campus of the City of Hope research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. The pavilion, designed by Belzberg Architects, is organized around a century-old camphor tree and encourages well-being and hope. Located at the City of Hope research and treatment center in Duarte, California, the pavilion features undulating, sinuous concrete walls that create seating areas around...

Why One Scientist Went Public With Her Sexual Harassment Story

Sep 26, 2016: In the past few years, sexual harassment in the sciences has become an increasingly visible problem. Disturbing allegations about the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service, and the former head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have all made headlines. So have a number of cases involving prominent university professors. On the latest episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast, Kishore Hari talks to Sarah Ballard, an accomplished exoplanet researcher who was also a complainant in one of the most high-profile recent harassment controversies. Last year, BuzzFeed reported that Geoff Marcy, a renowned astronomer at the University of California-Berkeley, had faced sexual harassment accusations. A report produc…

Prefabricated green residential building is slated for Berlin's new 'live-work city'

Sep 26, 2016: Related: India's Magic Breeze villa will be a giant park in the sky + ingenhoven architects Images via ingenhoven architects and WerkBundStadt Berlin…

National Museum of African American History and Culture opens in Washington, DC

Sep 26, 2016: RELATED: Architect’s Newspaper sneaks a peek at the National Museum of African American History and Culture…

What the Candidates Might Say Tonight About the World’s Most Important Issue

Sep 26, 2016: People pause near a bus adorned with large photos of candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump before the first presidential debate. Mary Altaffer/AP This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Climate change is a grave threat to our future, but it probably won't come up at Monday's presidential debate. Topics for the event include "Securing America," and although you'd think issues of national security might involve climate change (the military certainly does), if history is any indication, it likely won't get mentioned at all. But if it does get the attention it deserves, here's where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand: Dirty energy: Clinton …

Natural Brookwater bottles use activated carbon and volcanic rock to purify and enhance drinking water

Sep 26, 2016: The Sylva biofilter is a biodegradable tool of simple design, meant to remineralize and purify water slowly, at the patient speed of nature. Trace elements are invited back into water as odors and contaminants are extracted. Volcanic rock, activated carbon, and other organic materials make up the uncluttered product’s ingredient list, which is said to improve the taste and quality of drinking water. Related: Living biofilters could use bacteria to help manage methane emissions Signal...

BUG BUG cutlery set might just make you want to eat insects

Sep 26, 2016: Including protein-packed insects in our diets will help us deal with a future food-nightmare scenario, as insects are widely available and take only 8-10% of the resources needed for the production of meat. BUG BUG was designed as a response to a large-scale food crisis predicted for 2050. The set comprises all sorts of utensils including a pair of claw-like cutlery that fits over the fingertips that mimic birds' beaks. There are also chopstick with a pin-end, a multi-use spork for the little...

YOD Studio adds gorgeous new cabins to Ukraine's forested Relax Park Verholy

Sep 26, 2016: Clad in vertical wooden strips of different-shades, the cabins blend with the pine trees without disrupting their beauty. They were prefab from lightweight materials and stand on stilts to leave the existing root system of the forest untouched. The interiors are minimal and sleek, fitting a double bed, wardrobe, sitting area, tiny kitchen and bathroom. Related: YOD Design Lab’s modern cabins mirror the forest in Ukraine An open plan design, natural materials and minimal palette ensure...

World's largest radio telescope switches on to scan the heavens and "look for E.T."

Sep 26, 2016: Related: China completes world's largest radio telescope to search for alien life Via The New York Times Images via FAST/National Astronomical Observation, Chinese Academy of Sciences…

Brilliant Sun Memories Lamp lets you record and "replay" your favorite light

Sep 26, 2016: Related: Solar-powered Lucy reflects sunlight indoors to brighten any room + Olive Creative Lab + London Design Festival Images via Mike Chino for Inhabitat and Olive Creative Lab…

US government issues first guidelines for self-driving car safety

Sep 26, 2016: Related: Uber launches self-driving cars in Pittsburgh Via The New York Times Images via Wikimedia Commons and Norsk Elbilforening on Flickr…

Grass-roofed arches and planted terraces bring nature into this modern bazaar in India

Sep 26, 2016: Avadh Shilpgram contains nearly 200 craft shops, some of which are air-conditioned; craft courts; a dormitory hostel; auditorium, and food court. The walled bazaar’s layout is organized along a centrally placed spiral that culminates into a tight curl with an open plaza at the center. The spiral comprises a series of steel-framed arches clad in Red Agra sandstone in a Jaali pattern, the motif of which was inspired by the renowned Lucknowi embroidery craft called ‘Chikan kari.’ The grand arches...

Sanne Visser unveils super-strong rope bags made from human hair

Sep 26, 2016: https://vimeo.com/171334044 While it may sound disturbing at first, hair actually has a number of properties which make it perfect for use in yarn: it has a high tensile strength, is thermally insulating, flexible, lightweight, and oil-absorbent. A single human hair can hold up to 100 grams of weight, meaning that an entire head of hair could potentially withstand a whopping 12 tons. This varies, of course, on the health of the person they come from, and there also seems to be ethnic variation...

Big Soda goes to war against proposed Soda Tax in San Francisco

Sep 26, 2016: A proposed soda tax is officially on the ballet this November for the city of San Francisco. Proponents of the tax hope they can make up for lost ground after a similar measure failed two years ago, yet the soda industry isn’t going down without a fight. In 2014, the soda tax received 54.5 percent of the vote, yet did not achieve the required two-third supermajority to pass. According to KQED News, such a significant percentage was needed because the revenue from the tax was earmarked...

Comfy aDream pods let you take a nap during long airport layovers

Sep 26, 2016: Designer Rafael Martin conceived aDream as a multi-functional furniture system that fits two mattresses on each side, a light, a drawer and a powder socket, all packed into small units that can be scattered throughout airport terminals. Functioning as micro hotel rooms, these structures can be installed in a variety of different spaces such as lounges and hallways, allowing passengers to take a nap while waiting for their flight. Related: New Ultra-Compact Airplane Seats Pack in the Passengers The...

Melting arctic ice allows luxury cruise ship to travel Northwest Passage for the first time

Sep 26, 2016:   For generations, the Northwest Passage connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the Canadian Artic was considered impossible to travel. Thick ice prevented ships from taking advantage of the potential sea route until Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen successfully navigated it in 1906 after a three-year struggle. In the years since, some commercial ships have passed through, but only in the summer when the ice was thin enough for their icebreakers to smash their way through. Now,...

Tiny timber meditation pavilion in Italy reconnects people to nature

Sep 26, 2016: Inspired by East and West spiritual philosophies, the five-meter-tall Riondolo was built by hand using local techniques and labor. The building features crisscrossing timber slats that taper upwards from its seven-square-meter base into a small square skylight. Only a few people are able to use the pavilion at the same time and are invited to rest on the small wooden benches inside. Gaps between the timber slats frame views over the lake and the surrounding vistas. Related: Beautiful cedar-covered...

Worlds largest rooftop farm sprouts 10 million pesticide-free crops each year

Sep 26, 2016: The world’s largest rooftop farm covers nearly two acres, is run completely on renewable energy, and produces nearly 10 million annual crops of local, premium-quality, pesticide-free, leafy greens, and herbs. Brooklyn-based Gotham Greens has expanded its farm family with the creation of this new project, which is housed atop a manufacturing plant on Chicago’s south side. As urban agriculture goes, this farm is the king of the crisper. The 75,000-square-foot farm is situated atop...

Blackbodys luminous LED FIRE RING turns heads at London Design 2016

Sep 26, 2016: There is a lot to soak in at the London Design Festival, yet the sparkling FIRE RING display by Blackbody catches the eye immediately. Luminous OLED lights of varying colors hang delicately from overhead, mimicking the dance between warm and cool hues seen in a flickering flame. Blackbody has impressed us before with its dazzling installations at the Milan Furniture Fair and ICFF in 2013, as well as at Wanted Design 2014. They do not disappoint with their latest creation, which is...

See what splurging on a tiny house on wheels gets you in the beautiful ESCAPE Vintage

Sep 25, 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHLysiCptWk&feature=youtu.be Presumably targeted towards retirees eager to travel, the new ESCAPE Vintage prioritizes comfort with a traditional Americana design that, despite its 315-square-foot size, features a first-floor queen-size bedroom, kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, dining area, living area, full-size bath, and upstairs loft/bedroom. The tiny portable home needn’t be used for travel, however. The adaptable ESCAPE Vintage can also serve as a guesthouse,...

Tennessee bag ladies recycle 52,000 plastic bags to help the homeless

Sep 25, 2016:   A church group from Tennessee has transformed over 52,000 plastic grocery bags into sleeping mats that keep the homeless population warm and dry at night. The group formed in 2015 when their congregation learned that homeless members of the community were being forced to sleep along the soggy banks of the Mississippi River. Read on to learn about the fascinating process they use to transform waste plastic into usable yarn. READ MORE >…

How a simple honey harvester demonstrates the sweet success of viral crowdfunding campaign

Sep 25, 2016: Nearly 18 months ago, we reported on Flow Hive, the wildly successful crowdfunded project with two key benefits: making it easier to harvest honey in your backyard while simultaneously supporting bee populations. The crowdfunding campaign broke numerous records, as it soared past $1 million in backing pledges on Day 1. The wild success of Flow Hive’s Indiegogo campaign made history—not just for bees and prospective beekeepers, but for all sorts of inventors and entrepreneurs looking for ways...

Proposed border city between US and Mexico solves many problems at once

Sep 25, 2016: The "Border City", currently being exhibited at the London Design Biennale, is meant to function as a special zone where cultures "both clash and blend to create something altogether unique". It draws from various international examples of "border situations" and aims to reconcile different cultural and economic narratives. This model addresses the specific case of the spatial border between the United States and Mexico, but aims to function as a widely applicable prototype of a new border city. Related:...

Why these floating dorms made from shipping containers are the future of cheap student housing

Sep 25, 2016: Copenhagen icon and world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels designed the Urban Rigger units, but the idea was the brainchild of Kim Loudrop, an entrepreneur who founded the Urban Rigger startup. Loudrop sought to create a “revolutionary and innovative floating dwelling system” that took advantage of unused prime real estate—the water. The urgent student housing shortage galvanized the entrepreneur, who also noticed that 80 percent of major universities in Europe were centrally located in cities,...

Swap-in wheel converts any bike into an electric within 60 seconds

Sep 25, 2016:   Interested in trying an electric bike, but too attached to your traditional frame to part with it? Now there’s a solution for you – the GeoOrbital bike wheel. It’s a battery-powered tire that can replace a regular wheel on your bicycle, making your bike electric in just 60 seconds. The wheel comes in two sizes which should fit 95% of all adult bicycles and allows bikes to travel 20 miles per hour for up to 50 miles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGdiIH8jODo&ab_channel=GeoOrbital The...

Watch a BMW morph into a standing Transformer-like bot

Sep 25, 2016: A Turkish company has made many a Transformers fan’s dream turn to reality—the engineers at Letrons have turned a BMW into a Transformer-like bot capable of speech and cool special effects. Using a remote control, the engineers turn the BMW “robot in disguise” into Antimon, a standing bot with pop-out arms, legs, and head. Click on the link below to see the transformation in action. READ MORE>…

Germany unveils worlds first zero-emissions hydrogen-powered passenger train

Sep 24, 2016: French company Alstom unveiled the first-ever passenger train powered completely by hydrogen at this week’s Berlin InnoTrans trade show. The hydrogen train or “hydrail” will be put into service on Germany’s Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven line in Lower Saxony by December 2017. After two years in development, the "Coradia iLint" train offers a zero-emissions alternative to Germany’s existing fleet of diesel trains, thanks to a roof-mounted tank of hydrogen fuel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3bUE9uHkqM The...

This scarf can filter pollution and monitor local air quality

Sep 24, 2016: It's a daily reality that many of us have to live with: smoggy, polluted air that harms our health. You could wear a gas mask around town, but what if you could wear something a little more practical and stylish? The Wair scarf can neutralize harmful emissions and let you breathe easy all while looking good and feeling comfortable. READ MORE >…

Millennia-old cave dwellings in Italy renovated into luxurious hotel suites

Sep 24, 2016: Millennia-old cave dwellings in the historic town of Matera, Italy, were restored and transformed into an amazing hotel. Manca Studio developed 300 square meters (3,229 square feet) of these underground spaces were developed as grotto-style hotel units that respect the history of the site. The architects designed four new suites, a common area and a spa for the La Dimora di Metello Hotel in Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Southern Italy. They added new walls and luxury hotel amenities...

INTERVIEW: Becky Northey and Peter Pook Cook on the Tree Shaping Art of Pooktre

Sep 24, 2016: INHABITAT: What obstacles did you face in figuring out your design process, and what methods did you try before arriving at Pooktre? POOKTRE: There are many trees in our valley that have taught us much about tree lore—the reactions and responses that…

Everything we thought we knew about the moon's origins is probably wrong

Sep 24, 2016: Related: Via Gizmodo Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons…

DIY: Make delicious apple cider served in apple cups

Sep 24, 2016: It's officially fall, and nothing sounds better on a chilly day than a warming cup of cider. For your next party, take cider up a notch by serving it in cute little apple cups. Read on to learn how. READ MORE >…

INHABITAT INTERVIEW: 7 Questions with Architect Steven Holl

Sep 24, 2016: INHABITAT: How would you describe your signature style? As we all know, we're in the era of the 'iconic building' and the 'starchitect'. However facile this might be, the designs of public institutions are often offered to the biggest names, and the most 'iconic'…

Solar on a Strata - Routine Now

Sep 24, 2016: Running for over a yearBruce MackenzieFriday, September 23, 2016 Electricity production from June 2015 to August 2016 Note: This is another entry in the 'Solar on a Strata' blog series.  There are a lot of random topics to catch up on in five months.    Electricity Production Electrical contractor Michael Geldreich turned on the power in test mode on June 11, 2015, and Central Park's solar panels have been running in place now for well over a year. As of August 31, 2016, the inverter has reported total production of 24,330 kilowatt-hours of electricity production, about 9% more than the 22,419 kwh/year that the 'pvwatts' solar calculator…

Solar on a Strata - Routine Now

Sep 24, 2016: Running for over a yearBruce MackenzieFriday, September 23, 2016 Electricity production from June 2015 to August 2016 Note: This is another entry in the 'Solar on a Strata' blog series.  There are a lot of random topics to catch up on in five months.    Electricity Production Electrical contractor Michael Geldreich turned on the power in test mode on June 11, 2015, and Central Park's solar panels have been running in place now for well over a year. As of August 31, 2016, the inverter has reported total production of 24,330 kilowatt-hours of electricity production, about 9% more than the 22,419 kwh/year that the 'pvwatts' solar calculator…