Environmental Update

By Max Guinn | Innovation, science, people and ideas that inspire care of our planet

New on-demand energy system generates and stores power in one device

Your entire home could be powered, heated, and cooled with one system in the near future – thanks to scientists at the University of Newcastle and …

Clean Energy

"Green" shoes made from algae

Back in 2015, we heard about how bioplastics firm Algix and clean tech company Effekt were collaborating to make eco-friendly foam based on algae …

Sustainability

California Engages World, and Fights Washington, on Climate Change

LOS ANGELES — The environmental ministers of Canada and Mexico went to San Francisco last month to sign a global pact — drafted largely by California — to lower planet-warming greenhouse pollution. Gov. Jerry Brown flies to China next month to meet with climate leaders there on a campaign to curb …

Climate

NASA Just Discovered a Manmade Space Bubble Around Earth

Earth's Protective Space Bubble<p>NASA just learned that Very Low Frequency Radio Waves from Earthbound technologies reach into space, creating a …

NASA

Move Over Tesla, Europe's Building Its Own Battery Gigafactories - Bloomberg

Battery-making gigafactories are about to arrive in Europe, challenging a lead Tesla Inc. is building at a plant in Nevada and opening the way for a …

Energy

California Grid Smashes Record - Getting 67% of Energy From Renewables

That doesn't even count hydro and rooftop solar.<p>On 13 May 2017, California smashed through another renewable energy milestone as its largest grid, …

Renewable Energy

This Plastic-Covered Island May Be The Saddest Place You'll Ever See

Henderson Island has the highest density of waste reported anywhere in the world. And it's uninhabited.<p><i>This story is part of a series on</i> <i>ocean plastics</i><i>.</i><p>Roughly 3,000 miles from any major population center, there’s an uninhabited island in the eastern Pacific Ocean that, curiously, has the highest …

Oceans

Lego goes 100% renewable, three years early

There was a time when environmentalists targeted Lego for partnering with oil companies, but from its search for a non-plastic alternative for its …

Renewable Energy

This Refugee Is Building Homes Out Of Plastic Bottles

The houses are made to withstand extreme desert weather.<p><i>This story is part of a series on</i> <i>ocean plastics</i><i>.</i><p>In a refugee camp in the Sahara desert, one man is making homes more durable in the face of tough weather conditions ― and he’s using trash to do it.<p>Tateh Lehbib Breica, a Sahrawi refugee living …

Recycling

Alaska’s vicious cycle: Warming tundra spews CO2, speeding up warming

“This is ancient carbon, thousands and millions of years old.” It’s being released “much earlier than we thought.”<p>The Alaskan tundra is warming so …

Climate Change

Dams Significantly Impact Global Carbon Cycle, New Study Finds

There are an estimated 84,000 dams in the U.S., blocking more than 17 percent of rivers in the nation. Dams are interrupting wildlife habitats, …

Climate Change

Feds Halt New Drilling on Pipeline After Spill Into Ohio Wetland

Federal regulators have blocked new drilling on an Ohio natural gas pipeline owned by the same Texas-based company that was behind the controversial …

Environment

5 cool inventions that could save the planet

<b>(CNN) —</b> You've heard about the impact that our technology-driven population is having on the planet -- from cars, to energy factories, to the over-consumption of the earth's resources.<p>It's causing a lot of problems.<p>Yet, inventors are also using this technology to improve lives across the planet. …

EPA

Researchers project solar power may become cheaper than fossil fuels sooner than we think

Researchers project that solar power will become cheaper than conventional, fossil fueled electric generating sources by 2020. (The researchers do not say that directly, but their numbers do.)<p>But the news gets even worse for incumbent utilities. By 2030, solar-plus-storage could threaten the …

Renewable Energy

Most sea salt contains microplastics, study finds

<b>Salt samples from 8 different countries revealed the presence of plastic contaminants from ocean pollution.</b><p>Oh, we are a special species. Not only did …

Oceans

A New Crop of Farmers Are Growing Fresh Local Food Through Innovative Methods

A new crop of farmers looks to grow fresh local food by trying new agricultural methods. The result? Mushrooms, goat cheese, microgreens and more.<p>By …

Farming

This Device Cleans Air and Makes Fuel at the Same Time

A new device can remove pollutants from the air and generates hydrogen gas as a useful byproduct.<p>The looming environmental crisis is a double threat. Not only is our planet is warming due to our overuse of fossil fuels, but our water and air is also growing ever more polluted. Cleaning up the Earth …

Sustainability

Tesla does deal with Vermont utility to reduce electricity bills with Tesla batteries

Tesla has signed another deal with a utility, partnering with a Vermont utility to offer customers backup electricity for a fee.<p>The California-based …

Germany legalizes self-driving car tests

German automakers won't have to bring their experimental autonomous cars to California for testing anymore. The country has just approved a law allowing companies to test their self-driving cars on its roads, so long as they follow a set of conditions. Perhaps the most important requirement is that …

Transportation

Tesla's rechargeable battery can power your home with solar energy — here's how it works

Tesla is diving deeper into the solar business.<p>The electric-car maker set the website for its Solar Roof live on Wednesday, letting people order two of its four shingle options. (The other two will be available in 2018, it said.)<p>At $21.85 per square foot, Tesla's Solar Roof is more expensive than a …

Clean Energy

New MIT water purification method eliminates even trace chemical waste and pesticides

Ridding water of tiny concentrations of pollutants isn’t easy. Typically, a lot of energy or chemicals are required to remove these dangerous …

Water

The cities of the future could have solar sidewalks

This summer will see the planned opening of a solar-powered sidewalk on the campus of Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia. The 1,200-foot …

Clean Energy

This Is the Fastest Growing Job in the U.S.

As the solar industry continues to grow, so do its job opportunities.<p>It's no surprise then that the fastest-growing job in the U.S. between 2012 and …

United States

Energy Storage Rose From California Crisis

It’s the stuff of an action-hero movie: An accident threatens an unsuspecting metropolis. Electricity supplies face disruptions and millions are at …

Energy

World Bank: let climate-threatened Pacific islanders migrate to Australia or NZ

World Bank argues structured migration program would prevent forced migration in future generations<p>Australia and New Zealand should allow open migration for citizens of Pacific nations threatened by climate change, to boost struggling island economies and prevent a later mass forced migration, a …

Climate

Scientists figured out how to convert polluted air into clean energy

In an era of growing concern for the environment, scientists in Belgium have come up with the groundwork for one possible solution: converting air …

Pollution

Graphene May Be the Key to Drinkable Ocean Water

Graphene is absolutely amazing stuff, the lightest, strongest stuff we know of. According to the University of Manchester:<p>It’s ultra-light, yet …

Engineering

Watch How a Country Plans to Drag an Iceberg from Antarctica to Solve Its Water Shortage

What do you do if your nation has a severe water shortage and happens to be located in a bona fide desert? If you have the resources, you turn to …

Water

The great climate silence: we are on the edge of the abyss but we ignore it

We continue to plan for the future as if climate scientists don’t exist. The greatest shame is the absence of a sense of tragedy<p>After 200,000 years of modern humans on a 4.5 billion-year-old Earth, we have arrived at new point in history: the Anthropocene. The change has come upon us with …

Anthropocene