18 Jul 2014 - From flood barriers to fish stocks, a new super-graphic from the Met Office and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office shows how climate change is likely to alter human activity.
Looking at where our food comes from and how countries interact through travel and trade, it makes for a stark visualisation of what different regions can expect as climate change kicks in.
Mega-map read more>>>
July 20, 2014 - When gasoline first hit $4 per gallon, Gary Nye began thinking about switching his truck to electric to save some money on gas and other repairs.
So when he found a 1990 Isuzu truck for $1,800 that matched all of his criteria, Nye decided to buy it and take on the project himself.
“(It) had to be stout enough to carry the weight of the batteries, it needed two-wheel drive. (Then) I removed all the internal combustion components, the gas tank, the radiator.” read more>>>
July 20, 2014 - Sunswift, a team of engineering students from the University of New South Wales, designed and built a car that holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest solar-powered vehicle. In 2011, that car reached a top speed of 88 km/h (55 mph). The team hopes that its newest vehicle, eVe, will break a 20-year-old electric vehicle record for the highest average speed over a 500 km (310 mi) distance. The current record is 73 km/h (45 mph), and the Sunswift team is confident that eVe can beat that by a comfortable margin. For the record attempt on July 23, 2014, the car will only use a fully charged battery bank without help from its solar panels. read more>>>
July 21, 2014 - A common refrain by climate sceptics that surface temperatures have not warmed over the past 17 years, implying climate models predicting otherwise are unreliable, has been refuted by new research led by James Risbey, a senior CSIRO researcher.
Setting aside the fact the equal hottest years on record - 2005 and 2010 - fall well within the past 17 years, Dr Risbey and fellow researchers examined claims - including by some members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - that models overestimated global warming.
In a study published in Nature Climate Change on Monday, the team found that models actually generate good estimates of recent and past trends provided they also took into account natural variability, particularly the key El Nino-La Nina phases in the Pacific. read more>>>
July 14, 2014 - DURING a meeting of the organizing committee of the 9th Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival, a participant asked, “Has Negros Island attained the Green Economy?” The theme of the organic fair for the current year is “One Negros, One Green Economy.” So what is the Green Economy?
The World Resource Institute defines the Green Economy “as an alternative vision for growth and development; one that can generate growth and improvements in people’s lives in ways consistent with sustainable development. A Green Economy promotes a triple bottom line: sustaining and advancing economic, environmental and social well-being.”
On the other hand, UNEP’s working definition “as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks from climate change, and ecological scarcities. read more>>>
14 Jul 2014 - Shifting to a green economy will require ceasing the unsustainable conversion of public wealth to private wealth while accounting for for the full social costs of private-sector activities, according to a leading economist.
The idea is hardly a new one, but it has gained currency as demographic changes and unsustainable development have hastened degradation of the environment — particularly in Southeast Asia, where rapid growth has come at the expense of the region’s forests.
The benefits that forests provide, including water storage and management, carbon sequestration, crop pollination, biodiversity protection, among others, “are public goods and services — they don’t belong to anybody; they belong to everybody,” said Pavan Suhkdev, UN Environment Programme goodwill ambassador. read more>>>
July 13, 2014 - Biophysics researchers at the University of Michigan have used short pulses of light to peer into the mechanics of photosynthesis and illuminate the role that molecule vibrations play in the energy conversion process that powers life on our planet.
The findings could potentially help engineers make more efficient solar cells and energy storage systems. They also inject new evidence into an ongoing "quantum biology" debate over exactly how photosynthesis manages to be so efficient.
Through photosynthesis, plants and some bacteria turn sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into food for themselves and oxygen for animals to breathe. It's perhaps the most important biochemical process on Earth and scientists don't yet fully understand how it works. read more>>>
A first-of-its-kind lab in California is helping builders shrink your future home’s carbon footprint.
July 11, 2014 - High in the Berkeley Hills overlooking San Francisco Bay sit four modern steel-blue buildings that resemble pint-size Ikea stores. Inside, scientists have built a first-of-its-kind test bed to invent technology for the ultimate in green homes and office buildings.
Operated by Berkeley Lab, FLEXLAB is designed to ensure that energy-efficient buildings live up to their billing once construction is complete.
Green building architects currently can’t measure the energy consumption of all of a building’s components—such as lighting, heating, and air conditioning—during the design phase. FLEXLAB can help them nail down the right configuration by testing an entire building’s performance under real-world conditions. read more>>>
July 14, 2014 - Utilities take note: 12 major U.S. corporations are sending you a message. They want more options for purchasing renewable energy.
Because utilities and energy suppliers are not meeting these companies' ambitious renewable energy targets, the 12 companies have signed the Renewable Energy Buyers' Principles in order to better communicate their purchasing needs and expectations to the marketplace. To this end, the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Rocky Mountain Institute partnered to develop with the companies the principles, which spell out what the companies need in order to purchase more renewable energy, such as more procurement options and long-term contracts. read more>>>
07/11/2014 - Late last month, Green Home Builder Magazine announced that construction on Affordable, Buildable, Certified (ABC) Green Home 2.0 will begin in Walnut, CA. The design team is led by project developer Nick Slevin, publisher of Green Home Builder and supported by Southern California Edison and Habitat for Humanity.
Architect Manny Gonzalez and his team KTGY Group Architecture + Planning in Los Angeles designed the home. The 2,400-square-foot plan will feature multi-generational living and provide smart home technology, which works together to automate a number of the home's basic systems, including the electrical, lighting, security and communication systems. In material reduction, the studs have been built 2 feet apart instead of the normal 16 inches and are constructed from 2-by-6-inch boards instead of 2-by-4 inch boards, which also allows for more insulation in the walls. read more>>>