Alternative Energy

Environment News

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

May 29, 2017

Environment & Sustainability

Wow. The Grand Canyon Is Being Stolen By a Sea of Fog.

May 28, 2017: This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM: KAIBAB ELEGY from Harun Mehmedinovic on Vimeo. A stunning time-lapse video of the Grand Canyon shows the carved formation as it may have looked millennia ago — but instead of water, it’s filled with what has the appearance of an ocean of fog. Filmmaker Harun Mehmedinovic has set up his camera at the canyon 30 different times since 2015. During one visit, he managed to witness and film the dramatic changes of a full cloud inversion, which occurs when warm air traps cold air beneath and creates a sea of fog. The inversion lasted the entire day, allowing time for Mehmedinovic to film fog “…

These Stunning Photos Show the Real Cost of a Pipeline

May 27, 2017: This story was originally published by Reveal and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. As police in riot gear swept the last protesters from camps near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in late February, two dozen men and women arrived in this small ranching and lumber town 1,200 miles to the northwest. They were armed with maps, posters, doughnuts and coffee, and hoped to sell locals on an oil pipeline—one larger and potentially more hazardous than the Dakota Access. They wore its name on their matching green jackets: Trans Mountain. Town officials were already on board. They had signed on in exchange for about $330,000 (420,000 Canadian dollars) from the pipeline's American owner, Kinder Morgan Inc. But…

How to Know If You're a "Super Taster"

May 27, 2017: On our latest episode of Bite, we talked to political journalist Dylan Matthews, someone who couldn't care less about food. Matthews opts for cheap burritos over caviar and dislikes eating certain textures. The conversation got me thinking—what about those who really enjoy the taste of food?   You've probably heard of the legendary "supertasters," people with a higher sensitivity to taste stimuli. I always envied these people—how enjoyable it must be for them to sink their teeth into milk chocolate with a gooey caramel core, or have a leg up in identifying complexities in a glass of red wine from Bordeaux. But that's not quite the case. Linda Bartochuk, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of F…

Score an organic mattress worth 2199 from PlushBeds

May 26, 2017: Getting a good night's sleep depends on a lot of factors, but a well-made mattress makes all the difference. Unfortunately, a lot of mattresses on the market (especially the cheap ones) are made with materials that contain harmful chemicals, which in turn contribute to an unfriendly list of maladies. Think allergies, asthma, endocrine problems and, in some cases, even cancer. They also come with an environmental footprint that would give any green-minded person nightmares. But PlushBeds is raising...

BMW just unveiled the sleek electric motorcycle of the future

May 26, 2017: Ready to commute in style? A futuristic, zero-emission motorbike was recently unveiled by BMW at the Concorso D’eleganza Villa D’este, an event presently taking place in Italy. Modeled after the BMW Motoradd Vision Next 100, the design is both sleek and functional and is perfect for those who need to transit in urban settings. The BMW Motorrad Concept Link may look like a scooter, but it is anything but. The motorbike has a low-slung, stretched body with a flat seat and, according to the...

Forward Labs' new solar roof is 33% cheaper than Tesla's - and it can be installed in half the time

May 26, 2017: Tesla gets all the attention when it comes to solar roofs, but meanwhile, start-up Forward Labs has been hammering away at their own solar roof technology that not only blends right in with traditional roofs, but it is 33% cheaper that Tesla's offering - and it can be installed in half of the time. Forward Labs' roof is different from Tesla's in that, instead of using individual solar shingles, it uses a standing-seam metal roof that is made up of one large, layered piece. It has a tempered...

Trump's Behavior in Europe Has Made the World Cringe. Here's What's Really on the Line at the G7.

May 26, 2017: Update, May 27, 2017: The G7 broke with tradition to release an unusual statement where six nations reaffirmed the Paris climate agreement, without the US. “The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics,” the communiqué reads. "Understanding this process, the Heads of State and of Government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom and the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement." Trump says he’ll be ready to make a decision on Paris “next week&rdquo…

China subverts pollution with contained vertical farms - and boosts yield

May 26, 2017: Around one fifth of arable land in China is contaminated with levels of toxins greater than government standards, according to 2014 data. That's around half the size of California, and it's a growing problem for a country that faces such levels of pollution they had to import $31.2 billion of soybeans in 2015 - a 43 percent increase since 2008. Scientists and entrepreneurs are working to come up with answers to growing edible food in a polluted environment, and shipping containers or vertical gardening...

New autopilot software update improves performance and feel of Tesla cars

May 26, 2017: Tesla isn't content to be the most valuable car company in the United States. The company has been working to improve their software, and their new Autopilot comes with relaxed speed restrictions that make driving on undivided roads and off highways even better. Vice president of Autopilot software Chris Lattner said on Twitter the performance of the car is "much improved."…

Tiny house startup Getaway to launch off-grid tiny homes in NYC this weekend

May 26, 2017: Getaway at Gateway Related: MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall + Gateway at Getaway Getaway, Getaway at Gateway, tiny house startups, tiny house design, Gateway National Recreation Area, nyc gateway park, national parks, tiny home exhibition nyc, nyc tiny homes,…

Now Trump wants to condemn wild horses to slaughter

May 26, 2017: There's a new group on the chopping block under President Donald Trump's latest budget proposal: wild horses. His administration thinks they could save $10 million by allowing the sale of wild horses snared in the American West. But they'd toss out a requirement in place right now - buyers must guarantee the horses won't be resold to be killed. Under the Trump budget these iconic animals could be disposed of to foreign slaughterhouses to be processed as food. Wild horses are so integral...

India cancels plans for coal power stations as solar prices hit record low

May 26, 2017:   Plans to construct nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations in India (nearly the same as the total amount in the UK) have fallen through, now that the price for solar electricity is “free falling” to levels once considered impossible. Because solar tariffs have dropped by 25% in some regions, the shift from “dirty” energy sources to solar and wind is expected to have “profound” implications for global energy markets. Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies...

Atelier Space turn a 1925 nursery into a daylit solar-powered residence in the Netherlands

May 26, 2017: Smart adaptive reuse can do wonders with old, abandoned and disused buildings. Dutch firm Atelier Space breathed new life into this 1925 nursery in Leiden, the Netherlands, and converted it into a beautiful, daylit residence with all the amenities, technology and polish worthy of a modern urban home. The architects preserved much of the original 1925 nursery, turned the former gym into an airy, open-plan living, dining, and kitchen area. They divided a large classroom into three separate...

Student-designed car could cross almost the entire U.S. on one gallon of gas

May 26, 2017: Every year engineering students contend for the prize to design a super efficient vehicle in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas contest. This year a team from Université Laval snagged the award with a car that gets 2,713.1 miles per gallon of gasoline. That means a driver could travel further than the distance between Atlanta, Georgia and Seattle, Washington in the efficient little vehicle.

Formerly undiscovered tectonic plates may explain mysterious Vityaz earthquakes

May 26, 2017: A previously undetected layer of tectonic plates may offer answers to the mysterious Vityaz earthquakes in the Pacific Ocean. Researchers recently presented their preliminary findings on the extra layer of tectonic plates in Earth's mantle at a joint meeting of the American Geophysical Union and the Japan Geoscience Union in Tokyo. These plates might have moved into the mantle millions of years ago.

Envirohaven's super green geodesic homes can be built in just a few days

May 26, 2017: Related: Zendome: Gorgeous Geodesic Domes Create Flexible Green Spaces + Environhaven Environhaven, sustainable tiny homes, tiny pods, tiny home design, eco tiny homes, green tiny homes, sustainable home design, pre-fabbed geodesic homes,…

LEED Silver-seeking Perry World House marries new and old at Penn

May 26, 2017: The newest building at the University of Pennsylvania also happens to be the oldest. This curious marriage of new and old is the Perry World House, the university’s new hub for international affairs. Designed by 1100 Architect, the academic building merges a historic 19th century structure with a modern new-build into a LEED Silver-seeking research center with open and flexible spaces. Completed in 2016, the Perry World House is a 17,400-square-foot academic center that combines a historic...

Giant animal faces take over Mexico Citys forest for environmental awareness

May 26, 2017: Thousands of visitors to a Mexico City park were treated to an eerie sight in the treetops last weekend. Giant ghostly animals heads peered down from the canopy, fixing their intense gaze on the public in an environmental video installation for Marvin Festival 2017. Designed by studio Maizz Visual, the ephemeral intervention, called Animal Watching, was created to raise awareness about the destruction of ecosystems and animal species. According to the WWF, almost half of the world’s...

Dwell on Design 2017: The West Coast's largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

May 25, 2017: Dwell on Design, the West Coast's largest design event, is back and better than ever for 2017. The highly-anticipated three-day design event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 23 - 25 and will feature 300 exhibitors, continuing education opportunities and onstage programming from the top leaders in design.         For it's twelfth year, Dwell on Design will feature architect Sir David Adjaye.

The world's most compact electric bike folds to fit into your backpack

May 25, 2017: Forget traditional bikes or skateboards, the future of green transportation is the Smacircle S1, an incredibly compact and lightweight ebike that can be folded up and carried in your backpack. Introduced to the world via an IndieGoGo campaign, the invention has surpassed its startup goal by 281% - and it's not difficult to comprehend why. The carbon fiber S1 can be folded in five simple steps and can travel up to 12.4 mph. Additionally, though it only weighs 15.4 lbs, the ebike can hold 220 lbs. According...

Worlds largest floating solar farm is now generating energy in China

May 25, 2017: A 40-megawatt solar farm in the South Anhui province of China is finally online and generating renewable energy. Larger than floating farms in Australia and India, the mass of solar panels is the largest in the world can produce enough clean energy to power homes in the immediate area. Though the city of Huainan is known for its coal-rich land, the Chinese government decided to invest in a floating solar farm because the rainy weather has resulted in flooding. In certain areas, water...

Plastic waste pop-up pavilion rethinks recycling in the Netherlands

May 25, 2017: Plastic waste takes on new life in the PET Pavilion, a temporary structure that popped up in a public park in Enschede, The Netherlands. Project.DWG and LOOS.FM designed the 227-square-meter ephemeral pavilion to spark dialogue on topics relating to recycling and sustainable building. The experimental pavilion serves as an educational gathering space and can be easily dismantled for relocation within a day. The pavilion bears draws inspiration from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth...

8 tiny folklore-inspired cabins pop up in the Welsh countryside

May 25, 2017: Related: Luxury off-grid Autonomous Tents can pop up almost anywhere in the world + Epic Retreats Via Dezeen Epic Retreats,Wales glamping cabins, tiny homes, glamping cabins wales, traveling glamping cabins,…

Gogoro launches Smartscooter 2 with better handling, brighter headlights, and extra storage

May 25, 2017: Groundbreaking transportation company Gogoro is at it again. Today, they are expanding their innovative scooter family with the Gogoro 2 Smartscooter. The new scooter will appeal to even  more people, thanks to better ergonomics, more storage and seating space and customizability options. If you haven't heard of Gogoro, the Taiwan-based company is kind of like the Tesla of scooters, with smart electric scooters, home batteries and a battery-swapping infrastructure that is changing the face of urban...

China, Canada, EU join forces on climate action - without Trump

May 25, 2017: President Donald Trump still hasn't made up his mind on whether he'll keep the United States part of the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, even though everyone from the Vatican to ExxonMobil have called for America to remain part of the pact. But China, Canada, and the European Union (EU) aren't going to sit around and wait for him to make his decision. They've formed a pact for continued climate action regardless of where the Trump administration stands.

Vivobarefoot is launching a sneaker made out of algae

May 25, 2017: Vivobarefoot, a London-based purveyor of so-called "barefoot" footwear, is going green in an altogether unexpected way: by creating the world's first molded shoe from algae.

Pope Francis gifts Trump his book on climate change

May 25, 2017: Pope Francis and President Donald Trump have made no secret of their opposing viewpoints: on immigration, on climate change, or on walls. So many people were curious to see how their recent meeting at the Vatican in Rome would play out. The meeting appeared quite cordial but the Pope definitely won the day with his gift for Trump: an encyclidal on climate change. Related:…

Glass-encased circular Solo House snakes through a Spanish forest

May 25, 2017: Related: Villa Nyberg: A Passive Swedish Prefab with a Cool Circular Floorplan + Solo Houses Via Dezeen Solo Houses, Christian Bourdais, circular homes, round homes, round buildings, forest homes, forest living,…

This Texas supermarket is growing its own veggies in a shipping container farm

May 25, 2017: A Texas chain of supermarkets isn't just in the business of selling vegetables; it wants to grow them, too. Based in Dallas, the H-E-B-owned Central Market will be the first grocer in the country to grow some of its produce in an custom-built onsite shipping container, or "Growtainer."…

The wind turbine manufacturer putting unemployed coal miners to work

May 25, 2017: The transition to clean energy isn't always easy for workers in fossil fuel industries who fear losing their jobs. As coal miners find themselves out of work, one wind turbine manufacturer aims to give them jobs in clean industries through a free jobs training program. Goldwind Americas, the United States branch of a major Chinese company, wants to offer out-of-work coal miners in Wyoming new work as wind technicians instead.

Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands

May 25, 2017: Fair trade fruits and vegetables aren’t the only things coming and going at Nature’s Pride—buzzing bees and birds are also flocking to the sustainable distribution hub. Paul de Ruiter Architects designed the giant green-roofed facility in Maasdijk, where it serves as one of the largest Dutch importers of exotic fruits and vegetables. As a recipient of a BREEAM Excellent certificate, Nature’s Pride is also one of the top five most sustainable distribution centers in Western Europe. The...

Team Pope to Team Trump: Please Just Stay in the Paris Climate Deal

May 24, 2017: Pope Francis used the opportunity of President Donald Trump's Vatican visit on Wednesday to urge the United States to stay in the landmark Paris climate accord. It's a decision the new president has been kicking down the road ever since assuming office, despite a campaign pledge to withdraw from, or "cancel," US involvement in the deal. According to CNN: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, briefing reporters on Air Force One after the meeting, said terrorism and climate change came up. He said the Vatican's secretary of state raised climate change and encouraged Trump to remain in the Paris agreement. Tillerson said the President "hasn't made a final decision," and likely will not until "after we get home." My colleague Rebecca Leber…

Solar-powered EarthCruiser camper expands at the push of a button

May 24, 2017: Related: Futuristic Nimbus E-Car is a cute hybrid microbus perfect for the eco-conscious road warrior + Via Techeblog EarthCruiser EXP, EXP expedition, expedition vehicles, efficient campers, camper design, eco vehicles, solar cars, solar powered vehicles, solar campers, green cars, green energy,…

LEED Gold home brings modern luxury to a Colorado working ranch

May 24, 2017: LEED-certified luxury living comes to a working ranch in Eagle County, Colorado. CCY Architects designed the Gambel Oaks Ranch, a lovely low-lying home that blends into its surroundings and is imperceptible from public roadways. In addition to its beauty, the 5,687-square-foot property achieved LEED Gold certification for its innovative use of a horizontal loop field ground-source heat pump, solar array, and other energy-saving techniques. The three-bedroom, predominately one-story Gambel...

The world's fastest electric car just shattered its own record

May 24, 2017: Critics have claimed clean technology lags behind fossil fuel-powered devices. They once said electric cars weren't as powerful or speedy as gasoline-fueled ones, but one sleek clean car just showed vehicles can be super fast without polluting our planet. The Nio EP9 - which already put other cars to shame with a speed of up to 194 miles per hour - just smashed its own record.

Trump budget proposes 31% cut to EPA funding

May 24, 2017: President Donald Trump is still trying to take a swing at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The White House's most recent budget proposal, released yesterday, would cut money for environmental cleanup, clean air, clean water, and lead risk-reduction efforts. Thousands of people could lose their jobs as the number of full-time employees drops from 15,416 to 11,611. Related:…

New on-demand energy system generates and stores power in one device

May 24, 2017: Your entire home could be powered, heated, and cooled all in one system one day, thanks to scientists at the University of Newcastle and Infratech Industries. They've designed a Chemical Looping Energy-on-Demand System (CLES) that eliminates the needs for a battery to store power, instead generating and storing power in just one device. The university described the CLES as a Swiss army knife for energy.

Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because roaming should be free

May 24, 2017: In Sweden, citizens aren’t only encouraged to explore the outdoors, they are guaranteed a right to. That’s the meaning behind the principle Allemansrätten which is protected by Swedish law and literally, translates to “freedom to roam.” Because the government wants people to feel at home wherever they are in Sweden, the entire country was recently listed on Airbnb. The AirBnB listing reads, “Swedish nature isn’t just a piece of land with trees and lakes and cliffs –...

Magical Blue Forest treehouse is a fairytale castle for your backyard

May 24, 2017: Related: This playful Airbnb treehouse near San Francisco lets you sleep in a 150-year-old oak tree “We have worked hard to develop a reputation as the world’s leading tree house experts. This year’s tree house will be the largest we have ever exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show. We are delighted to be on Main Avenue this year and can’t wait to experience the vibrant atmosphere of the show!” Andy Payne, Founder Blue Forest + Blue Forest + RHS Chelsea Flower 2017 ...

To protect forests and free speech, lend your voice (literally!)

May 24, 2017: Can you imagine a world where Greenpeace and other advocacy groups are no longer able to stand up for our forests, oceans and climate? A giant logging corporation called Resolute Forest Products is fighting to make this sinister vision a reality.For years, Greenpeace has campaigned to protect the Great Northern Forest from unsustainable logging. Major companies, like Kimberly Clark—the makers of Kleenex—have worked with us to change their ways and now demand that their paper sources act responsibly.But Resolute has refused to work on real solutions. Instead, it's sunk its efforts into an all-out assault on Greenpeace; launching two major lawsuits against Greenpeace Canada, Greenpeace USA, Stand.Earth, and Greenpeace Internationa…

Peek inside the zero-waste kitchen of the future

May 24, 2017: The kitchen of the future will be healthier for our planet and improve our family ties through food. That's the vision behind The Future Kitchen, a proposal by New York-based architect Marc Thorpe and students of the industrial design department at Pratt Institute. Installed for WantedDesign Manhattan at the Caeserstone booth, the innovative kitchen prototype emphasizes sustainability with zero-waste systems and in-home gardening, while strengthening social ties with its community-oriented design. 
 Environmentally...

There's Finally a Dollar Amount Attached to How Much Trump Hates the EPA

May 23, 2017: President Donald Trump reserves a special level of antipathy for the Environmental Protection Agency. He campaigned on eliminating the EPA "in almost every form," and his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, declared that its climate change programs "waste your money." But his full budget wish list released Tuesday actually assigns a dollar value to his promises. In it, the EPA faces the steepest cut of any agency or department across the government, a 31.4 percent reduction, to $5.7 billion, its lowest level in 40 years. The Trump proposal is not going to survive congressional appropriations intact, but the numbers are instructive about where the administration's true priorities lie. "Everyone believes in and supports safe food supplies and cl…

Three-fourths of sunscreens don't work as they claim and may contain harmful chemicals

May 23, 2017: Before heading to the beach, most people make sure to pack a bottle of sunscreen. After all, the ultraviolet rays can be quite damaging and no one wants to develop skin cancer later on in life. While doing so is recommended, it turns out certain ingredients in hundreds of common sunscreens don’t work as well as advertised, according to a new report released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Additionally, 73 percent of 880 sunscreens that were tested contain “worrisome” ingredients people...

Fabulous multigenerational home allows owners to comfortably age in place

May 23, 2017: Practical yet playful, the Charles House is a multigenerational home designed with an eye for detail and sustainability in Kew, Australia. Austin Maynard Architects designed the spacious home for a family of five who wanted a home they could live in for at least 25 years. The home, which is adaptable to meet the needs of a growing extended family, is one of the architects’ most sustainable homes to date and features a solar array, bulk insulation, and double stud walls. Unlike its “McMansion”...

MVRDV transforms an abandoned highway into a "plant village" in the sky

May 23, 2017: On a formerly abandoned highway in Seoul, architectural superstars MVRDV have created a 983-meter elevated "plant village" called the Skygarden. High above the traffic below, visitors can stroll along the elevated gardens containing 24,000 indigenous trees and shrubs.

Incredible teepee-shaped ORKA house is made from 24 interlacing beams

May 23, 2017: Twenty four interlacing beams form this teepee-shaped structure that shelters a large open-plan living space. Antony Gibbon Designs designed the project, named ORKA, as an exploration of different geometric shapes and unconventional forms for residential architecture. The house has twenty four wooden beams that coalesce, forming a pivoted illusion which transforms angles into a seemingly curved hyperboloid form. Using the frame as an aesthetic starting point, the architects interlaced...

Elon Musk reveals boring tunnels are for the Hyperloop

May 23, 2017: Cleantech pioneer Elon Musk wants you to drive a Tesla electric car, power your home with SolarCity solar panels and store renewable electricity with Tesla Powerwall battery packs. Oh yeah, he also want to zip you from D.C. to NYC in less than 30 minutes via Hyperloop Pods that can reach speeds of more than 600 miles per hour in evacuated tubes.

Rare bag of moon dust to be auctioned for millions of dollars

May 23, 2017: Souvenirs from humankind's missions to the Moon are extremely rare; NASA usually holds on to moon rocks or moon dust instead of allowing private owners to keep them. But one bag of moon dust escaped the vaults. The moon dust - supposedly collected by Neil Armstrong - is the property of a Chicago lawyer, and now she plans to auction it off.

Giant sinkhole opens up in front of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort

May 23, 2017: One of President Donald Trump's claims on the campaign trail was that he'd "drain the swamp" if elected. Whether he kept that promise is up for debate; sure, he selected business tycoons like Rex Tillerson but also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Elaine Chao. But now the swamp may be encroaching on another part of America: Mar-a-Lago, where a sinkhole just opened up. Obviously, the Internet didn't pass up on such a perfect opportunity. Related:…

Bio-friendly energy storage device draws electrical power from the human body

May 23, 2017: Humans are constantly on the go, so doesn’t it make sense to harness some of that kinetic energy? That’s what scientists from UCLA and the University of Connecticut asked, and the question eventually led to them developing an energy-storing device that can draw electrical power from the human body. The biological supercapacitor is a protein-based battery-like device capable of extracting energy from the human body. A supercapacitor is a term used to describe a high-performance...