A protester with the Electronic TakeBack Coalition.
Almost one year ago to the day, at a CES where energy-efficient gadgets were touted strictly for how eco-friendly they were and not for their budget-consciousness, three of the industry's giants announced a joint e-waste recycling venture. In tough times it is not only the extras that go but the things that are deemed not strictly necessary in that we did not have them before and we managed more or less. E-waste recycling could have become one of those things, indeed still might, but at least at this year's show it looks like the foothold it gained in years past is solid.
Freeplay Energy's new digital radio has looks inspired by modern design—and electronics inspired by rural Africa. The radio, for sale in Britain, uses low-power tech similar to that in the company's wind-up radios for developing countries. That means it uses 10 times less electricity than an ordinary digital radio, so it can run entirely off a solar panel on its cover. And according to panelists at today's CES session on "Greener Gadgets," it's an example of a how products designed for places with little electricity—products that have to be energy-efficient if they're going to work at all—can lead to more eco-friendly gadgets for everyone.
Call it the "green" team or even the "dream" team, but what environmentalists can now say with affirmation is that change really is here. President-elect Barack Obama's picks for his administration's green team are among the best and brightest scientists and advocates of environmental change.
A firsthand account of viewing the sharks, up close
By Anderson CooperPosted 12.11.2008 at 4:35 pm 2 Comments
CNN: It is an odd sensation. Lowering yourself into water teeming with great white sharks. There is a cage between you and the sharks, but its open on the top, and when the first shark emerges from the shadows, moving full speed toward you, its giant mouth open, revealing rows of razor sharp teeth, the cage is little comfort.
For decades, we've fantasized about watching paper-thin TVs, soaring hundreds of feet with personal jetpacks, riding in cars that drive themselves, and re-growing organs.
The 21st annual Best of What's New celebrates all of those dreams coming true. Now we've collected them all into one single slideshow. Launch it here to learn about these achievements and 96 other breakthroughs that, whether long awaited or completely unexpected, are equally amazing.
Trash is a stinky topic. With 130 million tons of it hitting landfills annually, it is the nation's largest human-caused producer of methane gas. And now, residents in Florida's St. Lucie County are turning that stench to gold. Or at least to gas. The county has paired up with Atlanta-based company Geoplasma to implement a plasma gasification plant.
Lets say you're rich. Really rich. Richer than all hell. And you want to "go green." Before you answer with "cut back on my private jetting" or "unload a house or two," pause for a moment and recall just how filthy wealthy you are.
Yup. Solar sails for your super yacht.
At the cusp of a new U.S. presidency, energy issues have been thrust full-force into the spotlight. Candidates talk a lot about alternatives like solar and wind, and even Clean Coal (systems that would capture carbon dioxide from coal plants to keep it out of the atmosphere). But alternative energy doesn't begin and end with these technologies.
Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) are another little-known option. Since early 2007, scientists have been trying to persuade government and industry to start experimenting with this kind of geothermal energy with limited success. But this fall, Google donated $10 million to a few EGS startup projects, and the Department of Energy also set aside more funds for geothermal research. With some pilots in early, early stages, it looks like EGS is finally taking off, albeit slowly.
But what are Enhanced Geothermal Systems, anyway? After the jump, a short primer in comic form.
Earlier this year, Francesco Stellacci announced that his group had developed a material that can suck 20 times its weight in oil out of a sample of water. The material could be used to clean up massive crude spills, and chemist Joerg Lahann of the University of Michigan called the work a blueprint for scientists who hope to design nanomaterials that protect the environment. Yet Stellacci doesn’t consider this his best work. He’s excited about tricking cells.
Space, what President Kennedy called “the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked,” has always been the greatest measure of America’s prestige. Other countries have democracy, other countries have nuclear weapons, but no other country has a flag on the Moon.