Sustainability

Plug up the COAL; keep it in the ground!
November 19, 2013 12:43 PM - reprint from UNEP Climate Change Conference

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary UNFCCC, Speaks to the World Coal Association in Warsaw: invest in renewables and leave most of your coal underground. The path forward begins in the past, recognizing that coal played a key role in the history of our economic development. From heating to transportation to the provision of electricity, coal has undoubtedly enabled much of our progress over the last 200 years.

Study estimates 400,000 seabirds are killed by gillnets
November 19, 2013 08:57 AM - Jordanna Dulaney, MONGABAY.COM

A recent study from the Biological Conservation journal brings shocking news: every year across the globe, an estimated 400,000 seabirds are killed by gillnets. Gillnets, a common term for any net used to entangle and catch fish, are used all over the world, and at any depth. These nets, whether used in subsistence or commercial fishing, trap anything that swims through them. When unintended marine wildlife, or "bycatch," is caught in these nets, the results can be significant.

Does Biodiesel Suffer From Ethanol’s Bad Rap?
November 19, 2013 08:10 AM - CleanTechies Guest Author, Clean Techies

Biodiesel and ethanol both fall under the category of "biofuels," which describes any fuel synthesized from plant or animal matter. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

Atmosphere locked in time
November 18, 2013 11:23 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Amber has long been appreciated for its ability to preserve a moment in time as it encapsulated plant matter, bugs and other organisms. As a tool for ecosystem reconstruction, scientists have learnt a great deal. But recently researchers led by Ralf Tapper of the University of Innsbruck, have begun using amber and other fossil plant resins to reconstruct the composition of Earth's atmosphere from the last 220 million years. The results suggest that atmospheric oxygen was considerably lower in the Earth's geological past than previously assumed.

Do drivers appreciate all the advantages of electric vehicles?
November 18, 2013 07:17 AM - BOB SHETH, Electric Forum

If we take a look at the electric vehicle market today and compare it with that of just 10 years ago the differences are enormous. This is an industry which has come on in leaps and bounds and while great progress has been made there is still more improvement in the pipeline. We have seen lighter cars introduced, we have seen better battery capacity and we have seen an array of innovative ideas to reduce the costs of running your electric vehicle. Even though there has been a major increase in the number of electric vehicles sold around the world, is there now a need to educate gasoline/petrol drivers about the benefits of electric vehicles? In many ways the electric vehicle sector has spent so much time improving technology that it has forgotten to educate the wider driving public about the benefits of this new mode of transport. When we say "new mode of transport" many people will not be aware that electric vehicles have been around in some shape or form for over 100 years!

How studying natural disasters can help us plan for future ones
November 17, 2013 09:05 AM - EurekAlert

Were you one of the many people who got stuck in an airport when the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010? It wasn't a major eruption, and it happened a long way from the heart of Europe. But it cost society an absolute fortune by paralysing air traffic across northern Europe. According to Felix Riede, an associate professor of prehistoric archaeology at Aarhus University and the project manager of the Laboratory for Past Disaster Science, global warming and the increasing frequency of natural disasters constitute a huge challenge to modern society, which has a heavy infrastructure and increasing population density. Until now the solutions have involved expensive state intervention and technology-aided approaches, but Riede believes that the past contains a wealth of unexploited resources which could also provide solutions.

Ooo, la la! Meet Bouba!
November 14, 2013 03:06 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

The Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Queen's Zoo in Flushing, NY has a new resident today. His name is Bouba and he is an Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) most commonly found in the Andes Mountains of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru western Bolivia and northwestern Argentina.

UPS Pledges $1 Million in Support of Typhoon Haiyan Victims
November 14, 2013 07:04 AM - Justmeans

UPS today announced its $1 million pledge in support for recovery efforts in the Philippines following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan. The pledge is a combination of cash grants, in-kind transportation movements and technical expertise to provide urgent relief as well as strategic support for the long-term needs. "UPS and its partners quickly moved our Global Humanitarian Relief Program to urgent response mode and together have set into motion a multi-faceted relief effort," said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation. "We are immediately contributing $500,000 to provide urgent relief. We will monitor progress and on-going needs and will contribute an additional $500,000 later to support the near-term recovery needs of these communities."

Boulder's bold energy statement
November 13, 2013 01:01 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Recent election results from Boulder, Colorado highlight another rejection of traditional energy supplier policies. According to Boulder Mayor Applebaum, "This is a message that we have to change a broken system...we need some local control." While the ballot questions were locally directed, the results highlight the national debate on energy supply. Boulder's referendum focused on their local energy distributor's control of the energy mix and whether or not to purchase that company's equipment to run their own utility.

Filipino delegate: no denying climate change now
November 13, 2013 09:24 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Monday, the Filipino delegate to the ongoing climate summit, Naderev 'Yeb' Saño, dared climate change deniers to take a hard look at what's happening not just in the Philippines, but the whole world. Over the weekend, the Philippines was hit by what may have been the largest typhoon to ever make landfall: Typhoon Haiyan. Reports are still coming in days later; death tolls were initially estimated to be over 10,000 with whole cities simply swept away, but more recent reports are placing the death toll lower but still substantial.

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