Alternative Energy

Environment News

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

Aug 30, 2015

Environment & Sustainability

U.S. and Canada Collaborate on “Drift Card” Project for Spartina Control

Aug 30, 2015: Invasion of west coast beaches by Spartina cordgrass threatens estuarine ecosystems and oyster-dependent economies. Starting this summer, Washington State and British Columbia began releasing hundreds of bright orange “drift cards” at locations colonized by the nonnative species, in the hopes that they will help identify new invasions for early eradication. Six hundred cards will be […]…

Can Tiger Farms Save India’s Wild Tigers?

Aug 30, 2015: In 1996, I was in India studying endangered species management. Time and again, I heard conservationists in the region uttering the mantra “Five more years” – the amount of time they thought it would take for tigers to become extinct in India. That was ten years ago. Today, wildlife managers are still giving the Bengal […]…

Ocean “dead zones” on the rise

Aug 30, 2015: The number of “dead zones” in the ocean – sites of massive marine life die-offs due to low dissolved oxygen – has increased by 33% since 2004, according to Nick Nutall of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).Growing up to 100,000 square kilometres in size, the dead zones result primarily from nitrogen pollution originating on […]…

Solar Powered Cars

Aug 30, 2015:

Newest Alternative Energy – Portugal’s Wave Power Plant

Aug 30, 2015: This is quite an amazing breakthrough in power generation. It’s safe, easy to deploy, and not harmful to the environment. Hopefully we can see these in North America soon. A Scottish company will deploy sausage-shaped tubes off Portugal to create the world’s first commercial wave power plant, providing electricity to 1,500 homes from 2006, a […]…

15 awe-inspiring semi-finalists announced for the 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

Aug 30, 2015: 596 Acres Living Lots Identifying unused urban spaces and working with disenfranchised residents to reclaim them for public use, Living Lots has already transformed dozens of spaces in New York City. Living Lots works with residences to help them on…

Canada wearing blinders when it comes to global warming

Aug 30, 2015: In addition to withdrawing from the Kyoto protocols and failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Canada has no plan to adapt to a changing climate, according to Johanne Gelinas, Canada’s environment commissioner.  “The government has not yet put in place key measures to support Canadians in adapting to a changing climate, nor has it clarified […]…

Is a Crash-Free Car in Your Future?

Aug 30, 2015: Blinding rain. Careening traffic. Distracted drivers. There are lots of reasons why car crashes are America’s leading cause of accidental death. And one way that most accidents could be prevented: with cars that predict a coming collision and take action to stop it. The key to the crash-free future is vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V2V. Some […]…

How To Build A Green House

Aug 30, 2015: Five years ago, my family purchased a ranch house in the country. There were no houses across the road, and at night, visibility beyond our front porch was zero. We were thrilled, having moved from the second-busiest street in our town, and loved to watch the night sky come alive. Fast-forward to present day. There […]…

New Message Boards

Aug 30, 2015: Hey everyone, we’ve just launched our new message boards, they’re still very empty but please come by and support them, if everyone spends 5 minutes a day we can get them buzzing with activity in no time We’ll be looking for administrators so inquire within. You can access them at http://www.aboutmyplanet.com/community/…

Internet: Death of the Newspaper?

Aug 30, 2015: For years, it started the day for millions: the thwump of the newspaper hitting the door, or the window, or the neighbor’s dog. Along with a cup of coffee, maybe some breakfast, the arrival of the morning paper meant the beginning of the daily grind. Fast-forward to present day. The evening paper, long extinct in […]…

It's not a whale. It's not a shark. It's a whale shark!

Aug 30, 2015: …or maybe it's a Whark? Whatever you want to call it, today is International Whale Shark Day! But before you start running away screaming "Jawwwwws!" don't be alarmed. With a face like a whale and a body like a shark, these seemingly frightening creatures are actually gentle giants.Found in tropical oceans in areas like the Maldives, Philippines and Mexico they feed mainly on plankton and are by far the largest living non mammalian vertebrate. But despite being docile (they pose absolutely no threat to divers) they're also unfortunately hunted for their highly prized fins and meat.As a vulnerable species we need to protect the whale shark and their ocean home. Check out these facts about whale sharks… And then raise a glass of…

NASA predicts a dangerous sudden rise in sea levels

Aug 29, 2015: Sea levels are rising at a speed that is both shocking and devastating. NASA satellite data suggest that we could be looking at a three foot (one meter) rise in the next 100-200 years, putting coastal regions and the existence of vulnerable island in is…

This floating survival shelter rises above floods

Aug 28, 2015: The alarming rates of sea levels rise have inspired designers Zhou Ying and Niu Yuntao to create a floating emergency shelter that could save lives during floods and tsunamis. Instead of conventional exposed life rafts, survivors can use the Duckweed as…

Still searching for justice a decade after Hurricane Katrina

Aug 28, 2015: Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest natural disasters ever to strike the United States. Like Typhoon Haiyan and other destructive storms in recent memory, Katrina disproportionately impacted more vulnerable communities — both as the storm hit, and in the recovery process afterwards. While these communities often contribute the least to storm-strengthening climate change, they suffer most.Now, ten years after Hurricane Katrina, many local elected leaders in hard-hit areas are quick to say that the region has recovered, it’s resilient and it’s open for business. But Hannah Strange of Greenpeace USA shares the other side of this story, and a vision of social and climate justice from the communities most affected.Ten ye…

eZombie Invasion: The scary reality of Mexico’s e-waste problem

Aug 28, 2015: Mexico is suffering from a silent invasion: the invasion of the eZombies. From beyond the grave, millions of toxic electronics are threatening the health of Mexico's rivers, food and its people. The United Nations University estimates that, in 2014, Mexico generated 1 million tonnes of potentially hazardous electronic waste. That is 8.2kg per person. Even scarier, only 10% of these eZombies are dealt with in the right way. Another 50% are left to pollute people and the planet via informal recycling or dumping sites.Mexico’s current e-waste situation is bad. But unless we act now, it could get a whole lot worse.The SwitchThis year, Mexico is switching from an analogue to digital TV signal, a necessary technological advance. However, it…

The Waste Biz: Is Plastic To Oil A Step Forward For The Circular Economy?

Aug 28, 2015: Is a plastic to oil waste recovery program really an example of the circular economy? Dow Chemical thinks so; some activist organizations disagree The post The Waste Biz: Is Plastic To Oil A Step Forward For The Circular Economy? appeared first on Sustainablog.

There’s not enough money to save the West from an increase in blazing wildfires

Aug 28, 2015: This just might be the most cataclysmic forest fire season in history. So far this year, the Forest Service has spent $800 million trying to keep the blazes from raging too far out of control. This cost amounts to more than 50% of their budget, draining…

Black Lives Matter Began When New Orleans' Levees Failed

Aug 28, 2015: This story was first published by Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, in 2010, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu preached unity. "With the rising water, differences and divisions were washed away," he said, asking the audience to listen to each other, and embrace their common aspirations. "We will hear and we will learn the beautiful truth that Katrina taught us all," he declared, "We are all the same." Hurricane Katrina Coverage Will New Orleans Survive the Next Katrina? Climate Change Could Mean Seven Times As Many Katrina…

Confessions of a frustrated "soil-hugger"

Aug 28, 2015: As a soil scientist you would expect me to be enthusiastic about the benefits that soil gives to humanity and very happy that the United Nations designated 2015 as International Year of Soils. During this year there have been numerous activities throughout the world to draw attention of a wider public to the value of soil. In the UK, the British Society of Soil Science has been active in organising events in schools – recognising the need to enthuse future generations.The properties of natural soils under forest or grassland are especially impressive; by "natural" I mean soils largely unaltered by humans by processes such as ploughing. In these soils the interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes are particularly…

A mothership your mother wouldn’t like

Aug 27, 2015: Motherships… transshipping… they sound like things you'd find in outer space while you're star trekking across the universe. But the Rainbow Warrior is finding them way out in the high seas, in areas of the Pacific Ocean that are more than 200 nautical miles from land, and outside the jurisdiction of any country or its laws.On the surface, they sound pretty innocuous. Motherships are out here providing fuel and provisions to other vessels out at sea, but many of them do a whole lot more. There's a type of mothership called a reefer, with massive refrigerated holds that are filled with the catch from smaller fishing boats. The process of moving fish from one vessel to another is called transshipping, and it lets the fishing boa…

Will Creating More Plastic Waste Save Water? Um, No…

Aug 26, 2015: Shade balls have been all the rage as a potential California drought solution... except they won't work. They will create lots of plastic waste, though The post Will Creating More Plastic Waste Save Water? Um, No… appeared first on Sustainablog.

Will New Orleans Survive the Next Katrina?

Aug 26, 2015: I'm driving down a dirt road in the vast tangle of coastal bayous that stretch south of New Orleans, so that Reggie Dupre can show me his pride and joy. "This is the little silver lining on the very dark cloud that was over Louisiana," he says. Hurricane Katrina Coverage Will New Orleans Survive the Next Katrina? Climate Change Could Mean Seven Times As Many Katrinas Maps: 10 Years After Katrina, NOLA's Poor Neighborhoods Are Still Largely Abandoned The Secret History of Hurricane Katrina…

Mutant Super Lice May Be Coming to a School Near You

Aug 26, 2015: With the summer closing out its final weeks, kids around the United States are packing up their backpacks, collecting their colored pencils, and heading back to school. But amid all the excitement, parents have a new worry: super lice. Lice infestations typically affect up to 12 million kids between the ages of 3 and 11 each year. But in 25 states, the blood-eating parasites that make their homes in hair and are commonly spread in classrooms have become resistant to most over-the-counter treatments, according to a new study. Lice populations in the states in pink have developed a high level of resistance to some of the most common treatments. Kyong Yoon, Ph.D. "We are the first group to collect lice samples from a large number of popula…

Baby Sea Lions Are Dying

Aug 26, 2015: Sea lions have been having a rough couple of years. In 2013, starving pups began washing up on California beaches by the hundreds. This year, the number of stranded sea lions has increased dramatically. And now, a giant toxic algal bloom is growing in the Pacific and poisoning sea lions' sources of food. How bad has it gotten for these playful critters? We talked to wildlife experts to find out more about how much danger they're in and what's in store for their future: What's going on here? What's causing sea lions to get so sick? An unusually warm pocket of water in the Pacific, dubbed "the blob," has rocked the sea lions' environment on the Pacific coast. The anchovies, hake, squid, and shell fish that sea lions eat have been moving fart…

Report: Significant Energy Efficiency Savings Available to Ohioans for Years to Come

Aug 26, 2015: CHICAGO (August 26, 2015) – A new study finds there is huge potential in Ohio to save families and businesses money on their utility bills through energy saving programs. This study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), which examines reports from Ohio utilities as well as industry-standard programs that Ohio has yet to take into account, concludes the state has significant, cost-effective, and untapped energy efficiency potential just waiting to be utilized.

Groups File Notice of Intent to Sue EPA Over Dangerous Drilling and Fracking Waste

Aug 26, 2015: WASHINGTON, D.C.  (August 26, 2015) – A coalition of environmental organizations filed a legal notice with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today demanding regulations to stop oil and gas companies from dumping drilling and fracking waste in ways that threaten public health and the environment.

NRDC Turns Up Pressure on Subway to Disclose Antibiotic Use in Meat Production

Aug 26, 2015: WASHINGTON D.C. (August 26, 2015) – As Subway marks its 50th anniversary later this week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) today launched a national campaign urging Subway, the world’s largest fast food chain by number of locations, to publicly commit to phasing out the purchase of meats raised with the routine use of antibiotics. Many of Subway’s competitors, including McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle and Panera Bread, and others, have announced major initiatives to eliminate routine use of antibiotics by their suppliers, leaving Subway far behind the pack.  …

Whiskey Distillery Waste Good For Heating Homes, Feeding Cattle [Video]

Aug 25, 2015: A whiskey distillery produces waste, and a group of Scotch makers in Scotland has figured out a good use for that waste: burn it to make electricity The post Whiskey Distillery Waste Good For Heating Homes, Feeding Cattle [Video] appeared first on Sustainablog.

I Can't Stop Reading One-Star Yelp Reviews of National Parks

Aug 25, 2015: The National Park Service turns 99 years old on Tuesday. To celebrate, the Department of the Interior has waived admission fees for all NPS sites for the day. That's a pretty sweet deal. You should stop reading this right now, call in sick, and enjoy the great outdoors. National parks are great. But not everyone agrees. Yelp is filled with one- and two-star reviews of America's most pristine and majestic natural wonders. And honestly, they're riveting. What makes a national park a one-star destination varies from one reviewer to the next. Maybe the tacos at the visitor center aren't up to snuff. Maybe it was cloudy. Maybe the park was too cowardly to cut down some trees for spillover parking lots. Maybe it was President Barack Obama's…

Can Poop Save Us From the Next Global Epidemic?

Aug 25, 2015: About a quarter of deaths around the world are caused by infectious diseases—a number that is expected to increase with rising rates of antibiotic resistance. In the race to catch these diseases before they spread, international disease surveillance systems typically rely on reporting from doctors after infections occur, which can lead to dangerous delays and even more transmissions. But a group of scientists have suggested a new way to quickly detect diseases: poop. More specifically, poop collected from international flights. Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark argued in a piece recently published in the journal Scientific Reports that airports could identify infectious diseases immediately by analyzing the bacter…

A Giant Glob of Deadly Algae Is Floating off the West Coast

Aug 25, 2015: From the air, the Pacific algal bloom doesn't look like much of a threat: a wispy, brownish stream, snaking up along the West Coast. But it's causing amnesia in birds, deadly seizures in sea lions, and a crippling decline in the West Coast shellfish industry. Here's what you need to know about it, from what this bloom has to do with the drought to why these toxins could be a real threat to the homeless. What's causing it? The culprits are single-celled, plant-like organisms called pseudo-nitzschia, a subset of the thousands of species of algae that produce more than 50 percent of the world's oxygen through photosynthesis. They're a hardy variety usually found in cool, shallow oceans, where they survive on light and dissolved nutrients, i…

New Jersey Court Approves Bad Deal Between Christie Administration & ExxonMobil Over Decades of Oil Refinery Pollution

Aug 25, 2015: MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (August 25, 2015) – A New Jersey court today approved a settlement between ExxonMobil and Governor Chris Christie’s administration over damages due for decades of toxic soil and water contamination in the northern part of the state. The settlement gives the oil giant a more than 98 percent discount on the state’s original price tag for restoring and replacing the resources.

How To Recycle Plastic Into “Paint”: South African Artist Mbongeni Buthelezi [Video]

Aug 24, 2015: South African artist Mbongeni Buthelezi has developed a method to recycle plastic waste into "paint" for his own unique method of expression The post How To Recycle Plastic Into “Paint”: South African Artist Mbongeni Buthelezi [Video] appeared first on Sustainablog.

Oil Field Workers Keep Dying, and the Feds Want to Know Why

Aug 24, 2015: This story was originally published by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The oil boom in North Dakota and elsewhere has helped the US become the world's leading energy provider and has captured the attention of Hollywood producers. It also has claimed the lives of dozens of oil field workers. Now, that fallout from the boom is drawing renewed attention from government scientists. In the largest study of its kind, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which investigates the causes of workplace health problems, said it intends to examine the factors that cause injuries and accidents in the oil fields in an effort to improve safety. Scie…

NRDC: White House Initiative on Energy Efficiency and Other Clean Energy a Huge Step Forward

Aug 24, 2015: WASHINGTON (August 24, 2015) – The public-private initiative announced today by the Obama Administration will ease some of the worst impacts of climate change being felt in America’s low-income communities, where parents struggle to pay high energy bills and their children suffer from intensified cases of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

New carbon nanofiber process could reduce atmospheric C02 to pre-industrial levels in just a decade

Aug 22, 2015: youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQBlpENiFzo Scientists now believe they could make carbon nanofibers using carbon dioxide drawn from the atmosphere – a double-whammy discovery that could help tackle climate change, while revolutionizing to…

July was the hottest month in recorded history

Aug 21, 2015: Last month was the hottest month, ever; not in California or even all of America, but in the whole recorded weather history of the planet. Phys.org reports that the first seven months of 2015 were the warmest since modern weather records began in 1880,…

The Waste Biz: The Costs – And Opportunities – Of E-Waste

Aug 21, 2015: The e-waste stream is growing: what are the costs and opportunities created by the increasing amount of electronic waste we create The post The Waste Biz: The Costs – And Opportunities – Of E-Waste appeared first on Sustainablog.

Fishermen confirm shark finning on tuna longliners

Aug 21, 2015: The cruel yet lucrative shark fin trade is back in the headlines and it's clearly something people care deeply about, public pressure and a petition signed by nearly 180,000 people, prompted shipping giant United Parcel Service (UPS) to ban shipments of shark fins.Shark finning is the slicing off of shark fins and throwing the mutilated body, too often still alive, back into the ocean.In this shocking new video tuna fishermen reveal that the horrific practice continues in the Pacific today."…even if it was still alive we would cut the fin."The interviews were shot in a South Pacific port earlier this year. The men are tuna fishermen from Indonesia, who asked us to mask their identities for their protection.Despite various n…

The Drought Isn't Just a California Problem

Aug 21, 2015: California's been getting a lot of attention for the drought, but it's not alone in its lack of rain: This year is on track to be the driest on record for several western states. As the map below—a recent iteration from the US Drought Monitor—shows, virtually all of Washington, Oregon, and Nevada are covered in swaths of "severe," "extreme," or "exceptional" drought.  Here's a primer of the situation in each state: OREGON While Oregon is technically in its fourth year of drought, the state started feeling the effects in earnest in 2014. Since then, Gov. Kate Brown has declared two-thirds of the state's counties to be in a state of emergency. "The extreme drought conditions we are experiencing reflect a new reality in O…

How fixing palm oil could save orangutans from extinction

Aug 21, 2015: The United Nations recently, and boldly, declared that orangutans could face extinction in Borneo. Why? Because deforestation is ‘simply unsustainable'.In Indonesia, we’ve shown that the palm oil sector was the single largest driver of deforestation between 2009-2011, accounting for about a quarter of the country’s forest loss. Orangutans face extinction in Borneo due to habitat clearing, which is underway across Indonesia and Malaysia; and if this continues, a staggering 75 percent of Southeast Asia’s original forest cover will be lost by 2030 according to the UNEP.OK, so that’s the bad news. But it’s not all doom and gloom.If you care about forests as much as I do, you may already know that around half…

New Study Finds That Humans Should Kill Smaller, Younger Animals

Aug 20, 2015: When it comes to food, humans gravitate to the biggest item on the menu: overstuffed turkeys, 1,000-pound sturgeons, the fattest burger. But a new study in Science shows how our obsession with taking down the biggest prey is damaging the world's wildlife. Looking at 282 marine species and 117 terrestrial mammals, researchers at the University of Victoria found that human hunters and fishers overwhelmingly target adult animals over juveniles. Driven by the prestige and financial payoff of a trophy kill or gargantuan catch—and an aversion to killing young animals that might be seen as cute—humans consume up to 14 times the amount of adult animal biomass as other predators. And that's contributing to the swift decline of populatio…

Why Won't Hillary Clinton Take a Stand on Keystone?

Aug 20, 2015: The story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Rumor has it that President Obama will officially reject the Keystone XL pipeline in the coming weeks. But whatever he decides, you can be sure the issue won't go away. All of the presidential candidates will keep on talking about it. Well, all of them except the one who's been avoiding the topic like Ebola. Here's where the other candidates stand: Republicans Most Republican politicians, just like most Americans, had never heard of the Keystone XL pipeline until climate activists started fighting it in 2011. But once that happened, the GOP rushed en masse to defend it, and they've been ranting and raving about its critical impor…

Winter Is Coming. Here's What to Expect Around the Country.

Aug 20, 2015: This story originally appeared in Slate and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. There's a silver lining to all this talk of a super mega record-breaking Godzilla El Niño: The seasonal weather outlooks for this fall and winter will be some of the most accurate ever issued. Last spring I profiled what El Niño—a periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean—means for 60 places across the globe. Now that the event is in full swing, we have an even better idea of how US weather will be affected over the next nine months. That's because El Niño acts like a heat engine that bends weather in a predictable pattern worldwide. Typically, the stronger El Niño is, the more predict…

Volcano poses no threat to the Sendai nuclear plant – yep, we’ve heard that one before

Aug 20, 2015: After being nuclear free for two years, Japan is restarting its reactors. But there’s a problem – they’re old, unsafe, and oh, did we tell you there’s an active volcano nearby?At the southwestern tip of Japan in Kagoshima Prefecture, sea turtles swim to shore between May and August each year, and dig into the sandy beach to spawn their eggs. Out of hundreds, only a few will hatch, and the newly born turtles will climb onto the sand and swim into the ocean to begin their new life cycle.Among the deep blue sea, rolling green hills and beautiful big sky, it’s one of nature’s most precious attractions. But there’s one unnatural, glaring sight placed on the shoreline – a giant nuclear power plant.T…

NRDC: Pennsylvania on Target to Meet EPA Carbon Pollution Limits with Clean Energy and Efficiency

Aug 20, 2015: HARRISBURG (August 20, 2015) – Pennsylvania can strike a blow against climate change and meet its new federal target for cutting power plant carbon pollution by advancing wind and solar power, boosting energy efficiency and adopting complementary policies to help low-income communities, a new issue brief by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows.

California’s Energy Efficiency Success Story: $90 Billion in Utility Bill Savings, Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs, and 40+ Polluting Power Plants Avoided

Aug 20, 2015: SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 20, 2015) – California’s 40-year commitment to energy efficiency has saved Californians $90 billion on their utility bills, created hundreds of thousands of efficiency jobs, and will have avoided the pollution from 41 power plants by the end of the next decade, according to a new report published today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). However, the report cautioned that a major efficiency ramp-up is necessary to meet the state’s long-term climate and energy goals.

Are Shoes Designed For Recycling Just Around The Corner? [Video]

Aug 19, 2015: Student Ammo Liao looked at how nature handles materials, and used this mindset to create Bio-Knit shoes, which can go right into the recycling bin The post Are Shoes Designed For Recycling Just Around The Corner? [Video] appeared first on Sustainablog.

New Monsanto Spray Kills Bugs by Messing With Their Genes

Aug 19, 2015: In a fascinating long piece in MIT Technology Review, Antonio Regalado examines the genetically modified seed industry's latest blockbuster app in development—one that has nothing to do with seeds. Instead, it involves the industry's other bread-and-butter product: pesticide sprays. But we're not talking about the poisonous chemicals you convinced your dad to stop dousing the lawn with. The novel sprays in question are powered by a genetic technology called RNA interference, which promises to kill specific insects and weeds by silencing genes crucial to their survival, while leaving nontarget species unscathed. RNAi, as it's known, is an emerging science; the two US researchers who discovered it brought home a Nobel Prize in 2006. Re…