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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.
Environmental Advertising Increases When the Economy Is Stronger
August 7, 2012 06:56 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit
Environmental concern is greater when the economy is stronger, a study found which looked at environmental advertising in National Geographic over three decades. Specifically, the study, conducted by three researchers at Penn State University, found that consumers are more receptive to environmental appeals and marketers do more environmental advertising when the economy is improving. There is a strong statistical correlation, the three researchers discovered, between the GDP and the amount of environmental advertising. As Lee Ahern, one of researchers said, "We found that changes in GDP do indeed predict the level of 'green' advertising." "Results support the idea that key economic indicators affect the level of green strategic messaging," said Ahern. "This perspective argues that environmental concern will be greater in stronger economies and better economic times. By extension, consumers will be more attuned and receptive to green appeals when the economy is improving, and marketers will employ more green advertising."
Extreme heatwaves 50 to 100 times more likely due to climate change
August 6, 2012 08:46 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
A recent rise in deadly, debilitating, and expensive heatwaves was caused by climate change, argues a new statistical analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Climatologists found that extreme heatwaves have increased by at least 50 times during the last 30 years. The researchers, including James Hansen of NASA, conclude that climate change is the only explanation for such a statistical jump. "This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened," Hansen, a prominent scientist and outspoken climate change activist, wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post.
New Amish Communities Being Founded at high rate
August 6, 2012 07:23 AM - Emily Caldwell, Ohio State University
A new census of the Amish population in the United States estimates that a new Amish community is founded, on average, about every 3 ½ weeks, and shows that more than 60 percent of all existing Amish settlements have been founded since 1990. This pattern suggests the Amish are growing more rapidly than most other religions in the United States, researchers say. Unlike other religious groups, however, the growth is not driven by converts joining the faith, but instead can be attributed to large families and high rates of baptism. In all, the census counts almost 251,000 Amish in the United States and Ontario, Canada, dispersed among 456 settlements, the communities in which members live and worship. The 1990 census estimated that there were 179 settlements in the United States.
Algeria Solicits Bids for Wind and Solar Plants
July 27, 2012 08:51 AM - Tafline Laylin, Green Prophet
Finally poised to embrace renewable energy generation, little-known Algeria is accepting tender bids from solar and wind energy producers. Along with Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, which are either in the process of or are planning to build solar plants in their home countries, Algeria supports the Desertec Foundation vision to line the Sahara with solar thermal plants.
Exercise Really Does Help you live longer!
July 26, 2012 04:36 PM - Scott Douglas, Runners World
Regular physical activity adds about four years to life expectancy, and endurance exercise during leisure time seems to be better at extending life than physical activity done as work, according to a new research review published in the Journal of Aging Research. German researchers gathered well-designed studies on one of the most basic, but important, questions in health: Does physical activity increase life expectancy? In reviewing the results of the studies, they found the answer was an unequivocal yes. Among the studies, there was a wide range of extra years found for active versus nonactive people, from less than half a year in one study to close to seven years in another. When the results of the studies were combined, the researchers wrote, "The median increase of life expectancy of men and women in the eight studies presenting data on both sexes amounted to 3.7 years each."
Mobius Motors creates a car specifically for Africa
July 20, 2012 06:19 AM - Editor, Justmeans
Joel Jackson arrived in Kenya in 2009 and immediately had a social innovation idea—yet it had nothing to do with the not-for-profit farming organisation that he had come with. It wasn't farming that caught Joel's attention, it was the state of the African roads: the lack of appropriate transport that has affected many parts of rural Africa, keeping areas remote. Joel Jackson rolled up his sleeves and set about building a vehicle that would serve the African market; a $6,000 (£3,850) car called the Mobius One. Africa's poorest are largely immobile and do not have appropriate transport services. Every day millions of people often walk 10+ miles to get to basic amenities such as clean drinking water, schools, hospitals and jobs. Chronic government underinvestment in roads and public transit has restricted travel. Africa's most disadvantaged cannot afford to buy a car, yet need reliable transport services to prosper.