Calamities on the Horizon

PopSci's look at the future of the environment continues, with projects that might soon spell disaster
Giant Coal Plant

Wind energy, tidal energy, solar—the world is embracing large-scale green power. Oh wait, maybe we spoke too soon. Tata Mundra, the largest coal-fired energy plant built in decades, is going up in India with the help of a $450-million loan from the World Bank. The 4,000-megawatt coal plant will use relatively modern, efficient technologies to produce enough juice to help out 16 million people, but in the end, coal is coal—at full capacity, the plant will emit only 13 percent less carbon than a conventional coal-fired facility. On top of that, experts predict that up to 20 percent of the power generated will be lost to India's poorly maintained electricity grid, negating any benefits of the plant's technology and making it just another mammoth fossil-fuel incinerator. iStockphoto

Here at Popular Science, we’re pretty optimistic about the potential for large-scale technological projects. But sometimes the cutting edge can cut in destructive ways. Join us as we look at five upcoming projects that have the potential to wreak destruction on the environment.

Risky Ocean Drill
Floating Nuclear Plant
Habitat-Destroying Fence
biofuel