Archive for May 5th, 2010

Is Pandora Possible? James Cameron’s Home Tree Initiative
avatar caltech panel photo
CalTech scientists discuss Pandora with James Cameron.

Avatar‘s director James Cameron is busy following up his monstrously successful film with an environmental campaign, from visiting the Amazon with Al Gore to CalTech last week to join a panel of scientists discussing the film and its “powerful environmental messages and impact.” The event … Read the full story on TreeHugger
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Photo Released to Prove Uncontacted Tribes Exist
uncontacted peruvian tribe photo Photo via Survival International

Deep in the heart of Peru’s rainforest live some of the planet’s few remaining uncontacted tribesmen. But if oil executives have their way, these tribes’ first introduction to the outside world will be a pipeline cutting through their native land. To make matters worse, the President of Peru claims such …
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Senator Robert Byrd Threatens West Virginia Coal Companies
Thumbnail image for robert-byrd.jpg
West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd published an op-ed today aimed directly at the coal industry, and, although he doesn’t use its name, Massey Energy, owner and operator of the Upper Big Branch coal mine, which recently killed 29 West Virginians and injured 2 others. Byrd, whose word carries great weight in Congress on coal matters, says that coal mining in West Virginia is a privilege that should not abused and that those that do abuse it should suffer the consequences. …
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The Political Impact of the BP Gulf Spill So Far
Photo via PBS

In the wake of just about any major disaster, there are bound to be a bevy of pronouncements from politicians — condemning it, exploiting it, explaining it, and so on and so forth. And in a major ongoing disaster, where, say, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil are pouring into a fragile ecosystem every day, those statements and reactions are even more complicated and harder to pin down. But the germ of genuine policy and action can also be planted during the course of such a disaster — so in a…
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Oil leak shows ugly risks, our addiction

America's addiction to gasoline starts at the pump. "Unfortunately it's being rubbed in our face right now" with the Gulf Coast disaster, says Larry McKinney, a public policy researcher at Texas A&M University.America is seeing the usually hidden costs of fossil fuels — an oil spill’s potential for huge environmental and economic damage, and deaths in coal and oil industry accidents.

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Oil set afire as huge cap ships out

Oil set afire as huge cap ships out

A supply ship carrying the 100-ton chamber aimed at siphoning oil leaves Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on Wednesday.Good weather allows for some burning of the Gulf Coast oil slick, while a chamber designed to temporarily siphon oil is headed to the accident site and could be ready by Monday.

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Gulf of MexicoBPCoast GuardUnited States Coast GuardOil well
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Art of Board: Broken Skateboards Become Sustainable Designs
artofboard2.jpgImages: Art of Board

Skateboarding is gaining some sustainable street cred. Of course, eco-friendly designer boards are not new, but with skateboard decks now popping up as jewelery and even ad-hoc architectural elements, it was only a matter of time before someone took it a little further. That’s what Art of Board, a design company based in Hannover, PA is… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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Leapfrogging the Competition: Nissan’s LEAF Battery Pack Reportedly Costs Only $9,000!
nissan leaf outside electric-car photo
Photo: Flickr, CC

About $375/kWh
Andy Palmer, Nissan’s head of green vehicles, has been talking with the press lately, and unless he’s being misquoted, it seems like Nissan has done something quite impressive with the LEAF’s battery. The Times Online reports that the battery pack “costs £6,000 to produce”, which at today’s exchange rate is about $9,060. That might sound like a lot, but in the context of an EV, it isn’t. … Read the full story on TreeHugger
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UK Fish Stocks Down 94% From a Century Ago – Amount of Fish Caught Peaked Before World War Two
fishing boat photo
photo: Nick via flickr.

A new study done by scientists from the University of York and the Marine Conservation Society shows that the UK’s fishing trawlers have to work 17 times harder today to catch the same amount of fish as they did in the late 19th century. The reason: Technological changes leading to massive overfishing. … Read the full story on TreeHugger
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RE-ENERGYSE letter spells out energy education to Congress again

Last week, more than 100 presidents of university and college student government associations, representing over 1 million American students, signed a letter urging Congress to fund RE-ENERGYSE, a program aimed at ‘REgaining our Energy Science and Engineering Edge’. This letter (PDF download) is a remix of a last summer’s letter, which was also co-signed and submitted by 100 groups.

With RE-ENERGYSE redux, will the kids get to eat their energy Wheaties? (more…)

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Google Makes Huge Investment in Wind Farms

Google is currently working to develop breakthrough solar thermal technology (which it expects will be ready in 1-3 years). It has also gotten into the smart metering game with its innovative PowerMeter technology. In addition, there has been speculation of Google getting into the utility business (focusing on renewable energy, of course) since Google has officially created a subsidiary company titled Google Energy and gotten permission to buy and sell wholesale electricity.

Now, Google has taken one more step in this direction. It just invested $38.8 million in two wind farms in North Dakota.


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NREL: More Customers are Participating in Utility Green Power Programs
The number of U.S. utility customers now participating in
voluntary green power programs continues to grow, reaching
more than 650,000 in 2009, according to a new study by
DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

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UNEP: One-Third of Countries Have Made Progress on Climate in 2010
TEASER: Although there is not yet a binding international
climate treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, one third of the
world’s countries have made promising gains on low-carbon
economic growth in the first quarter of 2010, according to the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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DOE Awards $106 Million in Recovery Act Funds to 37 ARPA-E Projects
Vice President Joe Biden has announced that 37 projects in
17 states were awarded Recovery Act funding as part of
DOE’s second round of grants for the Advanced Research
Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Twenty-three of the
awards focus on developing advanced “electrofuels” and

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