• Why don't building owners install modern controls?

    Commercial buildings use large amounts of electricity and natural gas. Significant reductions in energy use can be achieved by installing new modern systems but this requires a significant capital cost, It is possible to install modern control systems at much lower cost and these can also significantly reduce energy use, and improve comfort at the same time! A new study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows that commercial buildings could cut their heating and cooling electricity use by an average of 57 percent with advanced energy-efficiency controls, according to a year-long trial of the controls at malls, grocery stores and other buildings across the country. The study demonstrated higher energy savings than what was predicted in earlier computer simulations by the same researchers. >> Read the Full Article
  • Volvo and Electric charging on the go

    There are electric satellites from Boeing and electric planes from Airbus, so why not electric roads, brought to you by Volvo Group? Volvo, in collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration, is studying the potential for building electric roads where city buses—built by Volvo, of course—can be charged from electricity in the road while the bus is in operation. >> Read the Full Article
  • African nation seeks $1 billion to save its rainforest

    The Democratic Republic of Congo is seeking a billion dollars for a plan to protect up to 9 million hectares of rainforests, reports the Financial Times. In a presentation given at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, DR Congo Minister of Environment Bavon N'sa Mputu Elima said his country needed foreign assistance to protect forests. He cited Indonesia as a precedent for such an approach. >> Read the Full Article
  • Winds of Environmental Change in China

    China's national legislature has adopted sweeping changes to the country's Environmental Protection Law, revisions that have been hailed as major steps toward saving China's environment from rampant degradation. The authorities will now have stronger enforcement powers, including the right to detain persistent violators for up to 15 days and to fine polluters more heavily than before. Some legally registered civil-society organizations will now be able to initiate public-interest litigation as well. >> Read the Full Article
  • Seafood Fraud Meets Tech-Driven Traceability

    If something smells fishy the next time you step up to the seafood counter or sit down for sushi, it may not be the catch of the day. An estimated 33 percent of seafood sold in the United States is incorrectly labeled by type of fish, catch method or provenance, according to a recent report by conservation group Oceana. So that ahi tuna roll you ordered might actually be escolar, a cheaper substitute known as the 'ex-lax fish' for its digestive effects, and the wild-caught shrimp at the grocery store could have in fact been farm-raised in Thailand. >> Read the Full Article
  • Antarctica dances to Carole King's "The Earth Moves Under My Feet"

    Antarctica has apparently been living by the lyrics of Carole King's 1971 hit song "The Earth Moves Under My Feet". According to a study from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, Antarctica has been moving "rapidly". Recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, the study explains why the upward motion of the Earth's crust in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula is currently taking place so quickly. While earlier studies have shown the earth is 'rebounding' due to the overlying ice sheet shrinking in response to climate change, GPS data is suggesting otherwise. The international research team led in part by Newcastle researchers has revealed that this land is rising at a remarkable rate of 15mm a year. >> Read the Full Article
  • Reintroducing the European Bison

    In a coordinated effort to reintroduce the European bison to the grasslands of southern Romania, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and Rewilding Europe recently brought 20 bison to the Southern Carpathians. Ten more will be reintroduced over the summer. The species has been absent for about 200 years. >> Read the Full Article
  • Green Success: Heaven Hill Distilleries Steps up Recycling Efforts

    Beginning operation in 1934 after the repeal of Prohibition, Heaven Hill Distilleries located in Bardstown, Kentucky has become the largest family-owned and operated producer and marketer of distilled spirits in the nation. Bottling over 12 million cases of spirits in 2012, one could imagine the amounts of leftover materials that could either go to a landfill or be recycled. Fortunately, Heaven Hill decided to try recycling as part of their KY EXCEL membership. KY EXCEL is Kentucky's free, voluntary environmental leadership program open to individuals, communities, and organizations that wish to improve and protect Kentucky's environment in ways that extend beyond state requirements. Kim Harmon, the Environmental Compliance Manager at the distillery, says, "When we started our recycling program in 2011, we tried to find everything that could be recycled and vendors to take the materials. We recycle paper labels, bands around pallets, aerosol cans, brown paper packing, blue drums, label backing, cardboard, plastic and glass." >> Read the Full Article
  • Overwhelming the Mississippi

    New evidence from University of Texas at Austin researchers posit that the great Mississippi's natural ability to chemically filter out nitrates is being overwhelmed. UT's hydrologists demonstrate the enormity of the filtering process for almost every drop of water that enters into the 311,000-mile long course ending in the Gulf of Mexico. >> Read the Full Article
  • Carbon Dioxide pushing weather around in the southern hemisphere

    So why is Antarctica is not warming as much as other continents, and why are there more droughts in southern Australia? According to new Antarctic ice core research published in Nature Climate Change, rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are intensifying the Southern Ocean winds, which are known to deliver rain to southern Australia, but instead they are pushing them further south towards Antarctica. >> Read the Full Article