In the same way humans might be tempted to binge on some junk food when they're under stress, grasshoppers head for the carbohydrate-rich foods when they get scared. The difference is the grasshoppers can leave behind some big-scale problems for the environment.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit The Plant, Chicago's first vertical farm. This claim depends on your definition of vertical farm, of course, because The Plant isn't the sort of futuristic vegetation-filled skyscraper you might expect, and it isn't solely agricultural. While food will be grown there, the space will also house small food-related businesses, breweries and bakeries and the like, so it might be more accurate to classify it as a "food business incubator." Whatever you call it, The Plant is definitely an example of innovative green food production, with the ambitious goal of being net-zero energy and net-zero waste by 2015.
After U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa, produced yet another international commitment to wait a few more years before committing to anything, Canada has gone and done exactly what many feared it would do and pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, making it the first country to formally do so. And today, the finger-pointing begins.
Chicago, no stranger to excruciatingly harsh winters, is a city that knows how to roll with the climatological punches. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Second City is spending its temperate summer preparing for the weather it expects down the road--60 years down the road. Chicago, home to regular lake-effect snow and subzero wind chills, is prepping for a sultry, more humid future more akin to that of the Deep South, the New York Times reports.
Today's environmental question of the day from CSX.
PopSci.com readers: Which of the following is the most fuel-efficient method of transportation and why: Trains, planes or automobiles? Answer below for a chance to be entered to win an Apple TV, thanks to CSX.
At CSX, we are dedicated to doing what we can to help protect the environment for tomorrow, and we want to empower individuals to do the same. We have compiled a short list of tips that are easy to implement but can make a significant difference.
If you have your own ideas for how you can help protect the environment for tomorrow, go to thetomorrowmovesproject.com, enter your idea, and you may win $5,000.
Although the issues of climate change and crude oil have received plenty of media coverage over the past decade, scientists have been working for over a century to develop technology capable of replacing conventional fuels with renewable energy.
You could even argue that society has attempted to harness renewable energy since ancient times. Over the past 138 years, Popular Science has seen engineers adapt Dutch windmills into wind turbines, water mills into commercial tidal power facilities, and Roman hot spring-powered underfloor heating systems into geothermal electric power plants.
Conceptual shelters that will protect us all from the perils of our rapidly changing environment: rising waters, extreme heat, rampant pollution and overpopulation
By Suzanne LaBarrePosted 10.18.2010 at 12:40 pm 27 Comments
Environmental disruptions and technological advances have always influenced where and how people live. Early humans may have left Africa after rapid fluctuations in rainfall destroyed their food supply, and the opening up of the American Southwest occurred roughly in parallel with improvements in air-conditioning technology. In the decades ahead, a warming planet and a booming population will again alter where we live and how we construct our homes.
Last night, Google announced that it has agreed to invest heavily in a proposed $5 billion, 350-mile power transmission backbone that would provide infrastructure for future offshore wind projects along the mid-Atlantic coast. But even with the backing of one of the world's mightiest tech companies, various financial investment firms, and many important officials in government, the transmission line is going to be something of a technological trick.