• Himalayan Ice melt less than thought

    Estimates from satellite monitoring suggest the melt rate from the Himalayas and other high-altitude Asian mountains in recent years was much less than what scientists on the ground had estimated, but those monitoring the satellite data warn not to jump to the skeptical conclusion. The region's ice melt from 2003-2010 was estimated at 4 billion tons a year, far less than earlier estimates of around 50 billion tons, according to the study published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature. >> Read the Full Article
  • Hertz First To Trial Wireless EV Recharging

    The Hertz Corporation and Hertz Global EV are implementing the first wireless charging system for electric vehicles (EVs) in the car rental industry. Hertz has the most diverse fleet of EVs for both rental and carshare. "Hertz is committed to its Global EV program, introducing electric vehicles into our rental fleet on three continents – North America, Asia and Europe," commented Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We're excited to participate in Plugless Power’s pilot program so that we can be on the ground floor of this new technology; learning key findings about EV wireless charging. As we move forward our goal is to have a variety of charging options for EV customer use, aligned with the charging equipment installed by EV manufacturers." >> Read the Full Article
  • Heat is Power Association Launches

    In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama called upon an America built to last, "an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values." Today, the Heat is Power Association is ready to answer this call in this country and beyond. A coalition focused on the wide-scale development of a robust Waste Heat to Power (WH2P) market re-launched today as the Heat is Power Association to bring together everyone with a stake in clean energy and industry to capture an opportunity we're wasting every day—waste heat. And we're not alone. From the White House to the campaign trail to state houses across the country, almost everyone can agree on two things: that the way to spur the global economy is through manufacturing, and we must shore up clean energy supplies to power and protect cities and towns everywhere. Alongside President Obama's call for a renewed manufacturing sector, he touted the thousands of jobs that have been created at the hands of clean energy investments. By expanding our focus on the output of energy resources – emission-free electricity – we can grow those numbers exponentially. >> Read the Full Article
  • Price of gorilla permit increases to $750/day

    Rwanda has raised the price of a permit to see mountain gorillas to $750 per day starting June 1, 2012, up from $500. While the price is steep, the program each year raises millions of dollars in revenue for gorilla conservation, including $8 million in Rwanada alone in 2008, according to a 2011 study published in PLoS ONE. >> Read the Full Article
  • A Shining Star of Bipartisan Cleantech Support

    Amid all the negative publicity that Solyndra's failure has brought to the Administration's cleantech efforts, one cleantech program has received broad bipartisan support: DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-e). In 2012, ARPA-e will receive $275 million, a 53% increase from the prior year with both the House and the Senate supporting significant funding for the agency's third year of operations. ARPA-e is modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which for over 50 years has funded early-stage research projects that show the potential to develop technologies that could yield disruptive advances for the military. DARPA's projects have resulted in major leaps including, but definitely not limited to, the Internet, stealth technology and the Global Positioning System. Both agencies operate by soliciting proposals from companies, universities, and labs within broad thematic areas and select the most promising proposals for grant awards. Readers of my blog know that I am not a big fan of some of the Administration's cleantech efforts. ARPA-e is at least one exception. Authorized in the last year of the Bush Administration and initially funded through the Obama Administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the ARPA-e program may be one government program that can help seed the disruptive advances needed in our energy economy. >> Read the Full Article
  • Once, men abused slaves. Now we abuse fossil fuels

    Pointing out the similarities (and differences) between slavery and the use of fossil fuels can help us engage with climate change in a new way, says Jean-François Mouhot, visiting researcher at Georgetown University, USA. In 2005, while teaching history at a French university, I was struck by the general disbelief among students that rational and sensitive human beings could ever hold others in bondage. Slavery was so obviously evil that slave-holders could only have been barbarians. My students could not entertain the idea that some slave-owners could have been genuinely blind to the harm they were doing. At the same time, I was reading a book on climate change which noted how today's machinery – almost exclusively powered by fossil fuels like coal and oil – does the same work that used to be done by slaves and servants. "Energy slaves" now do our laundry, cook our food, transport us, entertain us, and do most of the hard work needed for our survival. >> Read the Full Article
  • Donna Resevoir and Canal

    During the week of February 6-12, 2012, representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) will be in the area of South Alamo, Texas, to speak with residents about the contamination in the Donna Reservoir and Canal. This effort is being made to provide local residents with information about the health risks of consuming fish taken from the Donna Reservoir and Canal. The possession of contaminated fish taken from the reservoir is prohibited by the TDSHS and has been since 1993. >> Read the Full Article
  • Nuclear Power - environmental advantages

    Renewable energy and nuclear power increasingly factor into the evolving American energy equation to replace polluting coal. Even some environmentalists acknowledge that nuclear is a viable emissions-free option to dirty coal while renewable-energy technologies continue to advance. Nuclear fission reactors generate electrical power by splitting the atomic nuclei of uranium. This process creates a massive amount of heat — thermal energy — and radiation. The resultant heat is in turn utilized to make steam from water that then moves turbine blades to drive generators to produce electricity. >> Read the Full Article
  • A Turtle Success Story in the Philipines

    In 2011, green sea turtles laid a staggering 1.44 million eggs on just one island in the Philippines thanks to conservation efforts, breaking all previous records. The graceful and enigmatic green turtle faces a variety of threats globally, and as a result is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Yet there is some good news for this marine reptile, as Conservation International (CI) announces that the species has laid a record number of eggs on a small island in the Philippines. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Super Green Bowl

    For the past 18 years, the NFL has been working to decrease the environmental footprint of the largest annual sporting event in the U.S. – the Super Bowl. Two years ago, we wrote about several initiatives aimed at reducing the events’ impacts. Last year, we covered how Super Bowl XLV was slated to be the greenest NFL championship game in history. This year, the NFL is trying to outdo itself yet again by working with the Green Mountain Energy Company and the Indianapolis community to make Super Bowl XLVI the greenest yet. I talked with Jack Groh, Director of the NFL’s Environmental Program, to get the details on this year’s efforts. >> Read the Full Article