Creating Faster Charging Electric Car Batteries
September 7, 2012 08:41 AM - dave levitan, Yale Environment360
The amount of time it takes to recharge lithium-ion batteries has been a major impediment to consumer acceptance of electric vehicles. But a host of companies and researchers are working intensively to develop a battery that can recharge in 10 minutes and power a car for hundreds of miles. If stopping for gas took five or six hours, would you rethink that road trip? How about an hour? When it comes to electric vehicles, topping up the "tank" does indeed take a long time, one of the primary barriers to more widespread adoption of EVs. So it is no surprise that there is an aggressive push to improve batteries and charging infrastructure, with a goal of making a stop for a recharge no different than a stop for gas.
Incandescent Light Bulbs have served us well but now it is time to turn them off!
September 1, 2012 10:09 AM - EurActive
After more than a century lighting up the world, the switch will be flicked off across the EU for the final time on incandescent bulbs on Saturday as the phased ban on their sale is completed. From 1 September, an EU directive aimed at reducing the energy use of lighting means that retailers will no longer be allowed to sell 40W and 25W incandescent bulbs. Similar bans came into effect for 60W and 100W incandescent bulbs over the past three years. The restrictions are predicted to save 39 terawatt-hours of electricity across the EU annually by 2020. Earlier this year, the UK government said the ban would bring an "average annual net benefit" of £108m to the UK between 2010 and 2020 in energy savings. But the phase-out of incandescents has been met with resistance by some users who say replacement technologies, such as CFLs, halogens and LEDs, do not perform as well. Despite the substantial long-term financial savings promised, the higher upfront price of replacement bulbs has also been criticised by those opposing the ban.
Book Review: Eco House Book
August 28, 2012 08:46 PM - Maddie Perlman-Gabel, ENN
What makes a house eco friendly? Is it the materials the house is made of and furnished with, or how efficiently the house uses and maintains energy and other resources? Can any house have eco-friendly features added at any time, or only if considerations are made at the time the house is built? These are some of the questions answered, and illustrated, in Terence Conran’s most recent book "Eco House Book". "Eco House Book" is an excellent modern eco themed coffee-table book. Though it's cover is simple, the book includes beautiful photography that highlight the use of design for living a more eco friendly lifestyle. The book covers many topics addressing home design and maintenance, including pros and cons of different building and furnishing materials, reducing energy and water consumption, alternative energy and water resources, designing and maximizing outdoor spaces, building and home conversions, waste reduction methods, and eco friendly cleaning strategies.
To Buy Green Or To Be Green?
August 28, 2012 08:21 AM - Kristina Anderson, Sierra Club Green Home
Whether to buy green or to act green is a common conundrum for the environmentally-friendly consumer. Should you buy a newer, more efficient appliance? Or would it be better to buy a used one? Or does it make the most sense to keep what you have? Which is more environmentally responsible?
'Torture Lab' Kills Trees To Learn How To Save Them
August 27, 2012 02:36 PM - Christopher Joyce, NPR Topics: Environment
The droughts that have parched big regions of the country are killing forests. In the arid Southwest, the body count is especially high. Besides trying to keep wildfires from burning up these desiccated forests, there's not much anyone can do. In fact, scientists are only now figuring out how drought affects trees. Park Williams studies trees at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, but not the way most scientists do. "We're interested in trees that die," he says — spefiically, death by heat and drought. Sure, lack of water kills trees, but which ones die first, how long does it take, how long can they go without water? "That's a part we don't understand very well as ecologists," says Craig Allen, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. "We don't know what it takes to kill trees."
Burj Khalifa Firm Wins Contract For World’s Tallest Statue in India
August 23, 2012 08:23 AM - Tafline Laylin
If you want a taste of what is so wrong with the world, read this news clip from India. The US firm behind the cloud-sniffing Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Turner Construction, has been awarded a $450 million contract to build a a 392 foot tower of Sardar Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel in a country where 230 million people go hungry every day.
Slipping Sustainability Through The Back Door
August 16, 2012 08:37 AM - Jennifer Schwab, Sierra Club Green Home
aguna Niguel, CA — America is going green, but not the way environmentalists had planned it. The unlikely hero is none other than Corporate America, which is giving consumers the green whether they realize it or not. Why? Because it's good for the customer, it's good business, and let's face it, as MGM Senior Vice President of Environment and Energy Cindy Ortega articulates, "It is also good for employee morale and retention — people want to work for companies who care about the world around them."
Could California Handle a 6.4 Quake?
August 15, 2012 08:48 AM - Christina Reed, Discovery News
Earthquakes don't kill people. Buildings built on earthquake fault lines kill people, unless they are built specifically to handle severe earthquakes.
Is Air Conditioning Heating Up the Planet?
August 10, 2012 08:30 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit
Stan Cox is a senior researcher at the Land Institute. His book, Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air Conditioned World, describes the threat that our ever-increasing need for air conditioning poses to efforts to maintain our planetary climate within its natural limits, the limits that all living things on the planet have evolved to thrive in.
Simple construction system 'offers quake protection'
August 9, 2012 08:15 AM - Zoraida Portillo, SciDevNet
A new technique for building low-cost houses in earthquake-prone areas has been successfully tested in Peru, and could be rolled out in any developing country with a seismic risk, according to researchers.