The old adage says "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." So in an energy economy where electricity is costly in both an economic and environmental sense, it makes sense to try to reduce your energy suck across the board in any way possible.
Office workers in Japan are adding some rural relaxation, if you can call it that, to their usual workaday routines. In Tokyo’s bustling business hub of Otemachi, a 1,000-square-foot indoor rice paddy is providing office workers a way to get back to their horticultural roots – and 100 pounds of rice for the building’s cafeteria. That’s actually kind of a big deal for a country that grows only half of the food it requires.
Greenpeace is known for its controversial "actions." Take, for example, their action late last month against oil giant Chevron, in which two activists dangled from the anchor chain of a drill ship to keep it from reaching its destination off the Shetland Islands. Perhaps lesser known is the organization's support of independent scientific research, like its current campaign to investigate the marine impact of the BP oil spill—which occurred six months ago today—and the use of toxic dispersant to clean it up.
Of all of C. Montgomery Burns’s nefarious dealings on The Simpsons, perhaps none sticks in the public consciousness like the time he attempted to use a massive shade to block out the sun (most notably because doing so led to his being shot by a vigilante baby and an uncharacteristic two-episode event). But the U.N. may soon put all such plans to blot out the sun – villainous or otherwise – on hold.
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.
Scenes of caustic red sludge surging through pastoral Hungarian villages last week evoked a familiar blend of human pathos and righteous anger that most of us had shelved shortly after the BP well was capped. Then the news cycle turned over and our attention moved elsewhere. But as emergency workers in western Hungary slog through ankle deep rivers of toxic red muck to clear roads and contain the growing mess, the hardest job hasn’t even started: the cleanup of an estimated 30 million cubic feet of alkaline mud covering some 16 square miles of Hungarian countryside.
The U.S. may be years behind some European nations and China when it comes to taking advantage of solar power tech, but even global superpowers have to start somewhere. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved the first large-scale solar energy projects to be built on public lands, a first step in unlocking the acres upon acres of federal and state managed real estate for clean energy production.
Seven miles off the coast of Kent, 100 380-foot turbines, spanning 22 square miles and representing two years of construction, have begun to power Britain. Bearing a price tag of 780 million pounds, this is the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
The full ramifications of the Industrial Revolution on this planet may never be known, not because the scope of the those changes can't be measured but because the same rapid, spastic technological changes that hurled industry forward into a new era did the same for science. As such, pre-industrial science didn't possess many of the instruments and technologies that allow modern science to happen. So how do you, say, find out what air quality was like before the Revolution wrecked it?