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SEP 04

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First Container Ship Crossing the Northern Passage
Written by Philip Proefrock on 04/09/13   

For the past few years, the Arctic has been sufficiently ice-free in the summertime that some ships have been able to take the short-cut routes across the North Sea Route and www.shoreacres.net the Northwest Passage. Last year, among others, a small sailboat with a crew of 3 made the Northwest Passage. This year, a 19,000 ton Chinese cargo container carrier is traveling to Amsterdam via the Arctic, going north and traveling along the northern coast of just try! bestellen cialis online Russia, rather than down through the Indian Ocean and through the Suez Canal and the www.chemistswithoutborders.org Mediterranean. This marks the first time that a container ship is traveling through the Arctic.

The shorter trip will mean lower fuel costs (and, ironically, fewer greenhouse gas emissions) for the freighter. Taking this route is expected to save 12 to 15 days of travel and shortens the pfizer cialis cheap trip by roughly 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles).

While this is news now, it is all too likely that this will go from a unique occurrence to an ordinary annual event within a few years.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia Commons

hat tip: @jr_carpenter via @GreatDismal

 

SEP 03

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Ecuador Ends Novel Plan to Save Rainforest
Written by Philip Proefrock on 03/09/13   

After several years of trying to protect one of the most undeveloped parts of the Amazonian rainforest, Ecuador has ended an attempt to get the rest of the world to contribute money to offset that nation's need to exploit the region for its oil wealth. The Yasuni National Park is an incredibly biodiverse, undeveloped region in eastern Ecuador, on the border of Peru. The park comprises an area of buy cheap tramadol online buy 9,820 square kilometers (3,792 sq. miles) in the headwaters of the Amazon. There are also an estimated 800 million barrels of crude oil in the region.

As with conservation land trusts, and carbon offsets, and similar kinds of preservation efforts, the government of Ecuador sought payment equal to half of the oil's commercial value ($3.6 billion in 2007) in exchange for leaving it untouched and remaining in the ground. Not only would that prevent the damage that development of the region for oil production would cause, but it would also help to sequester that volume of cambridgeacademyaz.com oil from eventually adding to the try it dose cialis growing amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

To date, there has been little support for this initiative. Only a tiny portion ($6.5 million) of the money that Ecuador sought has been offered, so President Rafael Correa has now announced an end to the program:

President Correa said scrapping the program was one of the hardest decisions of his presidency. "The real dilemma is this," he said in a televised address last week. "Do we protect 100 percent of the Yasuní and have no resources to meet the urgent needs of our people, or do we save 99 percent of it and have $18 billion to fight poverty?"

While the premise seemed to make good sense from a global perspective, its timing couldn't have been worse; the proposal was begun in 2007, just as the financial crises triggering the Great Recession were flaring up. This shouldn't necessarily be read as a failure of the approach in general, but rather a first, grand-scale attempt that didn't work out. Hopefully there will be future attempts like this, and they will have better results.

image: CC BY 3.0 by Jorge.kike.medina/Wikimedia Commons

via: NPR - Planet Money

 

AUG 30

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Are Cities More Sustainable Than Suburbia?
Written by Sarah Rich on 30/08/13   

Is living in the city inherently greener than living in the suburbs? Researchers like Edward Glaeser have argued a resounding yes: “In almost every metropolitan area, carbon emissions are significantly lower for people who live in central cities than for people who live in suburbs.” This conclusion has common sense on its side. Despite the buy generic levitra cheap literal greenness of many suburbs, high density living would seem to reduce energy use by default: less car and cialis daily online cialis daily fossil fuel dependency, more infrastructure efficiency, with the largest cities generating the biggest energy-saving boost.

But new research from Canada’s Dalhousie University contests the claim that cities are immensely greener than their suburbs and adds additional information to consider when comparing population density and emissions. Researcher Jeffrey Wilson and his team looked at greenhouse gas emissions around Halifax, Nova Scotia, and found a negligible difference between suburban and city pollution: only a 0.3kgCO2e/person/day difference. While suburbanites did drive more, those in the city produced more home-energy emissions per household member than their suburban counterparts, bringing their total emissions closer to each other. Exurbs dwellers, however, needing to travel the furthest, polluted the most. Those in the exurbs produced 11 percent more emissions than those living in the inner city.

This research does broaden the conversation, illustrating that not all cities necessarily have a significant environmental edge over their suburbs. As Eric Jaffe at The Atlantic Cities points out, however, the study has a few problems: it doesn’t account for income level (the wealthier exurb dwellers may emit more greenhouse gases in part because they have more disposable income), and doesn’t compare the www.airatlanta.ie data by season--only across a year. Additionally, while Halifax Regional Municipality’s suburbanites and urbanites might be similar in greenhouse gas emissions, its hard to know how much this can speak to other regions’ internal relationships when other studies have looked at more metropolitan areas.

via: The Atlantic Cities

image CC BY-SA 2.0 by Roger Wollstadt

 

AUG 23

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"Why can Drones be used as both. They protect both our environment and ..."

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Solar Drone Aircraft Work As Atmospheric Satellites
Written by Philip Proefrock on 23/08/13   

Part of buy prescription levitrabuy levitra in the uk the resurgence of airships in recent years has been due to research carried out with an eye toward long-duration purposes such as surveillance, imaging, and even serving as regional wireless antennas. But developments in unmanned aerial vehicles and www.asian-americans.com military drones, as well as improvements in solar powered aircraft are being combined into smaller, unmanned, conventional aircraft. The advantage of high-altitude and long-term persistence that was once the sole province of satellites is now becoming more readily available as winged drones seem poised to leap past airships.

One example is the Titan Aerospace Solara 50, which has the potential to carry up to 70 pounds (31.75 kilograms) of payload and stay aloft at an altitude of 60,000 to 70,000 feet (18.3 to 21.3 kilometers) and remain there for years. Of course, in the current security-focused environment, the initial targets for these drones will most likely be military and policing applications with their enormous budgets. But, as the technology is developed and becomes available, scientific and civilian commercial uses for these drones will come into play.

"The Solara 50 has a 50 m (164 feet) wingspan. The upper surfaces of its wings and tail are packed with over 3,000 photovoltaic cells capable of generating up to 7 kilowatts." Titan is also developing a larger model, the Solara 60, which will be able to carry a larger payload of levitra attorneys up to 250 pounds (113.4 kilograms). Furthermore, the Solara 60 could also provide 100 watts to the payload, enabling quite a range of equipment to be powered on board the craft.

via: ArsTechnica

 

AUG 22

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"A good car to buy. The range is amazing and soft levitra tablets we are waiting for the low..."

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Tesla S Gets Highest Ever Safety Rating
Written by Philip Proefrock on 22/08/13   

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors is justifiably proud of their Model S sedan which has scored the highest ever rating. Although the official scoring does not go past 5-star, the Model S turned in an effective rating of 5.4 stars.

Much of the credit for these high ratings goes to the fact that an electric motor is much smaller than an internal combustion engine. Because there is less space taken up by an engine, there is more body space that can help absorb energy in a collision. And, there is also less concern about keeping an internal combustion engine from being forced into the cialis health store passenger compartment.

On the rollover test, "the Model S refused to turn over via the normal methods and special means were needed to induce the car to roll." This was because of its low center-of-gravity which comes from the location of the battery pack, which is largely under the floor.

Synergistic benefits such as this will help further ensure that electric vehicles don't become relegated to a single-issue curiosity, but that they represent real improvements in transportation.

via: Tesla Press Release

 

AUG 21

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"What is that like 10kW of panels? Doesn't seem like much for a buildin..."

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​White House Gets Solar Panels (Again)
Written by Philip Proefrock on 21/08/13   

The White House is being outfitted with photovoltaic (PV) solar panels this week to once again make the residence of good choice buy real levitra the President of the United States capable of producing some of the energy it consumes.

The White House has had solar panels before. The first solar panels on the White House were solar hot water panels that were installed in 1979, during Jimmy Carter's presidency. Those panels were subsequently ordered removed by Ronald Reagan. Some solar panels, both PV and water heating, were again installed on the grounds of the White House during the George W Bush administration, providing electricity for the entire White House complex, as well as water heating for the White House pool.

The new panels being installed this week are, once more, directly on the White House itself. The manufacturer and exact number of the panels has not been identified, although they are reported to be from an American company. The White House PV panels are expected to generate 19,700 kWh annually.

 

AUG 20

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"This is set to be alarming,they must have radioactive proper disposals..."

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Fukushima Site Leaking Radioactive Wastewater
Written by Philip Proefrock on 20/08/13   

Radioactive water has been found leaking from storage tanks at the site of the Fukushima reactors which melted down in the wake of the 2011 tsunami. Three of buy real levitra online without prescription the eight reactors at the site melted down after cooling systems failed due to damage caused by the levitra on line tsunami.

Storage tanks have been built near the crippled reactors to store the great quantities of water being used to cool off the damaged reactor cores. The melted reactors will need to be cooled off for years before further decontamination work can take place.

The leak has been classified as a low-level (Level 1) incident, but still, the radioactivity of the leak has been characterized as "equivalent to the limit for accumulated exposure over five years for nuclear workers."

image: CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported by KEI at ja.wikipedia

 

AUG 05

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"the link to the HSBC report is giving a 404...."

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In India, Cost of Wind Power Competes with New Coal
Written by Sarah Rich on 05/08/13   

According to a recent report by HSBC Global Research, wind power has become cost competitive with new coal capacity in India. Solar is not far behind; the report also claims it is likely to become cost competitive between 2016 and 2018.

While policies like the reinstatement of the Generation Based Incentive for wind power projects have made them more financially viable, as HSBC reports, this specific change in the relationship between wind power and coal-based power can be partially attributed to water shortages. In India, thermal power plants account for almost 90 percent of industrial water demand. Coal-fired power plants use significantly more water than renewables like wind and solar, and water shortages have been affecting coal-based power production in India during the past three years, causing some power plants to close partially during the pre-monsoon season.

India already ranked number five for global wind power capacity as of 2011. While improvements to the power grid infrastructure would be necessary to get new wind power generation sources linked to businesses and homes, this change in relative cost likely coincides with, and perhaps will directly cause, an increase of wind power projects in India. As the HSBC report states, “India currently has 1.2GW of installed solar capacity and over 4GW of capacity is at various stages of tariff bidding. We expect commissioning of selected projects within two years.”

via: IEEE Spectrum

image CC BY 2.0 by brownknows

 

JUL 25

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Rubbee TurnsRegular Bicycles into Electric Vehicles
Written by Sarah Rich on 25/07/13   

Joining other developments in electric bike technology, a compact electric drive called Rubbee electrifies most regular bicycles in less than a minute. Cyclists looking for the occasional extra boost on the road can clamp the electric drive just below the seat (fitting tubes ranging from 22-35 mm), where its polyurethane cast friction wheel meets the order online levitra bike’s back tire. A throttle, installed on the handlebars, stays on the bike with or without the drive. Pedaling is optional once Rubbee is switched on; its wheel turns the back tire, allowing the cyclist to travel for 15 miles and reach a top speed of 15 miles per hour without needing to pedal.

Its integrated battery pack ensures easy travel on level terrain or at an incline, and can be charged every day for 5 years without loosing range. Its integrated suppression system, enabled by a removable fixation pin, keeps a constant force on the tire. Rubbee can stay on the bike without touching the back tire with the pin put in place, useful for when Rubbee’s out of juice or when a cyclist would rather travel by pedal power alone.

The London-based company, currently seeking funds via Kickstarter, states that Rubbee gets its name for the way the friction wheel rubs the bicycle tire without significant wear. It weighs 14 lbs, which could take some getting used to for those keeping Rubbee installed while it's turned off, but only takes 2 hours to fully recharge, and includes an LED tail light for more visible travel at night. While it costs £699 (roughly $1073), for those who can afford it, a drive like this would give cyclists some help up those hills.

via: EarthTechling

image via Rubbee Ltd

 

JUL 24

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"What about the plastic recycle and how they reproduce the plastic does..."

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Considering the real cialis Environmental Impact of 3D Printing
Written by Philip Proefrock on 24/07/13   

Manufacturing with 3D printing is now a fast-growing field, with the technology becoming more accessible and affordable. Some think that it will revolutionize all kinds of manufacturing. But, while it offers some advantages, the process can be energy intensive and wasteful of material. A recent study has a comparison of some 3D printing and conventional milling methods.

There are many different kinds of 3D printing, and this study is only an early examination of a few methods. The environmental impacts between different printers (different printing methods) were not as great as the those between occasionally operated printers and ones in more consistent production (which is more efficient). "In cases like this, job shops legitimately can argue that they provide both economic and environmental advantage to their customers."

Equally importantly, the kind of object being produced can make a huge difference in the amount material used. An object with a great deal of hollow space will be easier to produce by 3D printing rather than milling. In some instances, "an inkjet 3D printer (which lays down polymeric ink and viagra pfizer 50 mg UV-cures it layer by layer) wastes 40 to 45 percent of its ink, not even counting support material, and it can't be recycled."

Regardless of method, 3D printing is not going to replace other methods of mass production, any more than laser printing replaced all conventional printing. "3D printing is not going to replace injection-molding for mass-manufactured products (plastic parts made in the millions). It is replacing machining for smaller runs (1 unit, 10 units, maybe 1,000 units)." Each has its advantages, for its appropriate application.

link; Is 3D printing an environmental win?

 

JUL 22

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"This is certainly an important advancement for human kinds survival. T..."

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New Seawater Desalinating Process in Development
Written by Sarah Rich on 22/07/13   

In general, removing salts from water is an expensive, energy intensive process. But a team of chemists at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Marburg in Germany are developing a new method to produce freshwater from briny that doesn’t involve reverse osmosis or thermal desalination. A small electrical field does the trick.

As UT Austin states, researchers apply 3.0 volts to a plastic chip filled with seawater. The chip has a microchannel with two branches, and an electrode placed at the fork. The electrode neutralizes some of the chloride ions in the water, changing the electric field nearby by creating an “ion depletion zone.” This funnels the salts into one branch, leaving the desalinated water to flow into the other.

Electrochemically mediated seawater desalination, as it’s called, is in the early stages of development. The prototype chip only removes about 25 percent of salts from water in testing and only produces about 40 nanoliters of desalinated water per minute. The chemists developing this technology say that with further research this can be scaled up from its current nanoscale size and 99 percent desalination--the amount necessary to produce drinking water--may be achieved.

via: TreeHugger

image via University of Texas at Austin

 


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