Sci/tech

World can halt fossil fuel use by 2090
October 27, 2008 09:22 AM - New Scientist

The world could eliminate fossil fuel use by 2090, saving $18 trillion in future fuel costs and creating a $360 billion industry that provides half of the world's electricity, the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and environmental group Greenpeace said on Monday.

Japan develops cheaper catalyst to make plastic
October 25, 2008 09:07 AM - Reuters

Japanese researchers have developed a new type of catalyst to help turn natural gas into plastic and alternative fuels more cheaply. The new catalyst would help lower production costs because it helps reduce heat effectively and uses a smaller amount of platinum than what is used currently, said Keiichi Tomishige, associate professor at University of Tsukuba.

Science 'should blaze a trail' in China's development
October 25, 2008 09:04 AM - , SciDevNet

Science must take the lead role in economic development, says Chinese premier Wen, in an interview with Bruce Alberts in Science. The former professional geologist also shares his experience of dealing with the Wenchuan earthquake, in which 80,000 people were rescued from the rubble, and the tainted milk crisis.

Indian government accused of 'gaps' in GM trial regulation
October 23, 2008 10:02 AM - , SciDevNet

[NEW DELHI] The Indian government has drawn criticism from civil society organisations over gaps in regulating trials and safety data on genetically modified (GM) crops in recent months. The international nongovernmenal organisation Greenpeace told reporters last week (15 October) that India's monitoring and enforcement of GM crop trials "are in shambles". They say state governments often have no knowledge of field trials being conducted and biosafety tests are being increasingly outsourced to private firms, with no evidence of government oversight.

The E: Mini’s New Electric Car
October 22, 2008 11:03 AM - , Low Impact Living

The BMW Group is about to become the first manufacturer of premium automobiles to deploy a fleet of nearly 500 all electric vehicles for private use in daily traffic. Powered by a 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor and fed by a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the vehicle will be nearly silent and emissions free.

The 120MPG Electric Aptera Unveiled
October 22, 2008 10:12 AM - , MetaEfficient

I first mentioned the Aptera last year, when it was being test driven. This car’s eye-catching design isn’t just for show — it’s designed to be a very, very efficient vehicle. Just check out the video below you’ll see what I’m talking about:

GM crops deserve more reasoned debate
October 20, 2008 10:24 AM - , SciDevNet

The World Bank recently estimated that a doubling of food prices over the last three years could push 100 million people in low-income countries deeper into poverty. And the future does not look brighter. Food prices, although likely to fall from their current peaks, are predicted to remain high over the next decade.

New Guide on Sewage Sludge Use in Food Production
October 15, 2008 02:13 PM - , Organic Consumers Association

Minneapolis - Consumers should choose foods produced without sludge and avoid use of sewage sludge-based fertilizer products in home gardens, concludes a new guide by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). Sewage sludge can contain disease-causing microbes, synthetic chemicals, and heavy metals that can cause acute and chronic disease, finds the "Smart Guide on Sludge Use in Food Production" by IATP's Marie Kulick. Many of these contaminants can persist in soil for centuries and can enter the food system through crops grown on sludge-treated land, as well as through food animals that graze on sludge-treated land.

Researchers find new use for biomass
October 15, 2008 09:36 AM - , SciDevNet

A China–US team has developed a new catalyst to directly convert cellulose, the most common form of biomass, into a useful chemical.

What the Chemical Industry Doesn't Want You to Know About Everyday Products
October 14, 2008 09:13 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

The global chemical industry annually produces about 6 billion pounds of bisphenol A (BPA), an integral component of a vast array of plastic products, generating at least $6 billion in annual sales.

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