Fifteen months ago, I set out to fulfill a lifelong ambition of building my own home using the latest green technology. On a $350,000 budget, several dreams came true. I installed a solar-powered boiler, a rooftop garden and a graywater recycling system. Other dreams were harder: A delivery truck damaged the recyclable foam panels meant to form the frame of my home, and I’m also considering suing my window contractor. But it will all be worth it when we move in next month. For those considering your own eco-haven, I offer four pieces of advice.
So far this hurricane season, the Atlantic has been quiet. That's good news for Gulf oil spill cleanup efforts, but a team of NASA and NOAA scientists are hoping things will get just a little nastier.
This weekend, NASA is launching a six-week mission to study the formation and intensification of hurricanes, hoping to inform forecast models and improve hurricane prediction abilities. The GRIP experiment (for Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes) involves more than a dozen satellite-quality scientific instruments onboard a Global Hawk unmanned drone, a converted WB-57 cold-war bomber and a modified DC-8.
Nuclear energy is looking like it will be a big part of a fossil-fuel-free future in the U.S. But the big question remains as big as ever: What's to be done with the waste it generates?
By Katie Peek with additional reporting by John BradleyPosted 07.13.2010 at 12:59 pm 22 Comments
In our Future of the Environment issue, we mentioned one visionary's suggestions: self-sinking tungsten spheres that stash spent nuclear fuel deep beneath the Earth's surface. That idea is a long way from reality, but in our green-energy-starved present, it may be worth considering all options, no matter how wacky. Here are a few other pie-in-the-sky ideas.
When it comes to home comforts, few inventions can beat the air conditioner for its ability to help us tolerate the dog days of summer. The problem is, when it comes to energy-guzzlers, few inventions can beat the air conditioner.
But the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has invented a new air conditioning system that uses 50 to 90 percent less energy than the best available units. The Desiccant-Enhanced eVaporative air conditioner -- DEVap -- combines membranes, evaporative cooling and liquid desiccants in a way that has never been done before.
As of today, Wednesday, June 9, the oil spewing from the Deepwater Horizon well could have powered 38,000 cars, 3,400 trucks and 1,800 ships for a full year, according to University of Delaware professor James J. Corbett.
A Switzerland-based chemist who invented solar cells that mimic photosynthesis is the winner of a million-dollar technology prize announced Wednesday.
Michael Gratzel invented low-cost solar cells that can be turned into electricity-generating windows, mobile solar panels and other devices. He won the $960,000 (€800,000) Millennium Technology Prize, awarded every other year by Finland's Technology Academy.
The Guatemalan government posted this picture Monday of a massive 200-foot-deep sinkhole in the capital of Guatemala City, which opened after a weekend of heavy rain from tropical storm Agatha.
A three-story building and at least one man were swallowed by its gaping maw, which officials estimate to be 100 feet in diameter.
BP's latest attempt to plug the Gulf oil leak is now more than 24 hours old, and initial assessments look promising. While we're by no means out of the woods yet, government and BP officials are cautiously optimistic that the so-called top kill is succeeding to stem the flow of oil from the busted riser into the Gulf of Mexico.
As soccer fans prepare for next month's World Cup, 11 nations around the world are already vying for the one that starts 12 years from now. Qatar's plans, unveiled Friday, won't bring 3-D images of soccer action to your doorstep, but the stadiums will probably be worth visiting in person.