Ryan Scarrow

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An ecofriendly weekend in Barcelona

One of the world’s most visited cities, Barcelona is likely on your bucket list to visit or re-visit. But all that attention has a cost. As this Catalonian capital (population 1.6 million) hosts a steady influx of tourists (up to 27 million annually), it also ushers in myriad environmental …

Budget Travel

Who Will Driverless Cars Decide To Kill?

A question that will plague the autonomous car industry<p>In philosophy, there’s an ethical question called the trolley problem. If you had to push one large person in front of a moving trolley to save a group of people on the tracks, would you? This abstract idea has taken hold in programming …

Automotive Industry

Op-Ed: The Gas and Oil Industry Is Encroaching on National Parks

President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their …

What this California department’s racist emails could mean for the communities it’s supposed to protect

California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control is an agency tasked with protecting the state’s residents from chemical exposure. Sounds simple …

The planet might be telling us that there’s a big change coming

It’s been over two years since Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book came out and more than two weeks since Kim Kardashian’s latest child came out — which …

Climate Change

Can America’s Desert Cities Adapt Before They Dry Out And Die?

By Thor Benson7 minute Read<p>Los Angeles traffic is worse than usual as hordes of parched citizens evacuate a concrete tomb that once supported …

Water

This New Technology Sucks Up Carbon Pollution And Turns It Into Carbon Nanotubes

The future of air carbon capture just got a little brighter.<p>The world blew past historic CO2 levels earlier this year, passing the milestone of 400 parts per million for the first time in recorded history. Much of the focus of climate change researchers has been slowing or stopping the current …

California looks to boost clean energy with ambitious new climate bill

At a Pacific Gas and Electric power plant east of San Francisco, greenhouse gases flow from a stack as the air shimmers from heat, with no dirty …

Sweden’s oceans ambassador fights for a sustainable blue economy

To risk a truism: The oceans do a lot for us. The currents drive the climate and the monsoons, ocean water absorbs carbon and heat from that pesky …

This Iranian City’s River Dried Up, So Why Not Put A Park There Instead?

Making lemonade out of climate change lemons: An architecture student wants to turn an Iranian riverbed into a combination of housing and public space.<p>During a visit to Iran last year, architecture student Mateusz Pospiech learned about a problem that has been overshadowed in all the news about …

Can a city become too big?

The number of megacities has been increasing so rapidly in the last few decades that many are experiencing serious growing pains. Molly Crain investigates.<p>There are now some three dozen megacities in the world, each sprawling areas home to more than 10 million people. Bigger cities come with …

How Green Could New York Be?

Michael Sorkin, a globe-trotting sixty-six-year-old architect, urban planner, and critic, has published fourteen books and has designed buildings and public spaces from the Rockaways to Abu Dhabi. Currently, one of his biggest projects is a large urban complex in Xi’an, China. Meanwhile, in New …

Urbanism

Can Californians Adapt to Their Catastrophic Drought?

Four years into a crisis of unknown duration, residents of the Golden State have the chance to change their habits, and find new ways to thrive.<p>If you ask an environmental historian, the mandatory cuts in water use that Governor Jerry Brown is now imposing on Californians—the first in the state's …

Londoners Will Share Their Newest Swimming Pool With Plants And Animals

The pool is part of the redevelopment of Kings Cross Station and the area around it.<p>A new swimming pool in the heart of London is going to be no crystal-clear oasis or aquamarine infinity pool. It's a pond, full of plants, probably some toads, maybe the occasional newt. And it looks amazing.<p>The …

The Technology That Will Build Our Future May Be Found In Mushrooms

The key to the human race’s future may be right beneath our feet. It sounds bizarre, but fungi better known as mushrooms can help solve many of …

These Little Balls Are A Cheaper, Safer Way To Suck Carbon From Power Plants

Unlike current carbon capture technology, which usually uses harsh chemicals and creates toxic waste, the new process wouldn’t cause new problems.<p>“If …

Carbon Dioxide

Will Companies Solve Climate Change Before Countries?

As officials bicker about agreements, major global companies can change their behavior at the snap of a CEO’s finger.<p>I just spent a week at the 15th Annual Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in India, a four-day eco-extravaganza for hundreds of participants from government, business, academics, …

Tiny Quakes Linked to Fracking Raise Risks, Geophysicist Says

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Small earthquakes shaking Oklahoma and southern Kansas daily and linked to energy drilling are dramatically increasing the chance of bigger and dangerous quakes, federal research indicates.<p>This once-stable region is now just as likely to see serious damaging and potentially …

U.S. companies pledge to build 20 GW of renewable energy in India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - U.S.-based SunEdison and First Solar on Sunday committed to build more than 20,000 megawatts of clean energy capacity in India by 2022, a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to meet ambitious renewable targets.<p>The companies announced the plans at the beginning of …

Renewable Energy

24 Remarkable Places To Stay Around The World

The National Geographic Society recently announced its collection of the most inspirational sustainable hotels and lodges around the world.<p>These hotels are devoted to preserving the local environment and culture while still offering top-notch service and amenities to guests.<p>Each of the 24 hotels …

Why Sweden has the world’s safest roads

Sweden is on its way to reaching zero road deaths per year. It’s an incredible feat, coming from a peak in road deaths in the 1970s. In 1997, Sweden implemented a “Vision Zero” plan in hopes of eradicating all road deaths and injuries, and it has already cut the deaths by half since 2000. In 2012, …

Roads

The 9 Most Electrifying Energy Stories Of 2014

By Jessica Leber3 minute Read<p>Very soon, it could cost less to install rooftop solar panels than to pay your utility bill in many U.S. states. And so …

Roads

LinkedIn Proves the U.S. Has a STEM Problem

A new study shows engineers and scientists are less likely to flock to the U.S.–and also casts LinkedIn as a powerful research tool.<p>At first, the numbers appear reassuring–the U.S. remains the top destination for foreign science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals. But …

Colorado River Pulse Flow Deemed a Success

The pulse flow, a planned initiative that sent a surge of water down the final stretch of the Colorado River, has been deemed a worthwhile venture by experts speaking this week at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in San Francisco.<p><i>Smithsonian</i> reports that the surge of water from the …

She’s Got Next | Celebrities

Grant Davis<p>Grant Davis<p>Dec 30, 2014<p>Patagonia's Jenna Johnson is on a mission to get women into high-tech gear that can take on real adventures.<p>Grant Davis<p>Grant Davis<p>Dec 29, 2014<p>The Director of Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council on the fights she faces in 2015, and how to get …

Can a commercial development be used to block Big Oil?

Environmental groups in Vancouver, Wash. are rallying for the rapid development of a $1.3 billion real estate project along the Columbia River. We …

Newspapers, Taxi Medallions and Other Safer Investments Than Bitcoin in 2014

Even camera film lost less in value than bitcoin.<p>At the outset of the year, bitcoin was scorching as speculators and venture capital firms poured money into sophisticated mining operations, service companies and the techno-currency itself.<p>But the value of bitcoin, while always volatile, tumbled …

Pregnant Women Exposed To Air Pollution Have Up To Double The Risk Of Having An Autistic Child

The third trimester is a particularly vulnerable time.<p>While there is no single known cause for autism, environmental factors have long been thought to contribute to the disorder. Now there is more definitive answers: Mothers who lived in areas with lots of air pollution while they were pregnant may …

Striking Architecture Features Solar Powered Roof to Attract Rare Birds and Butterflies

Weatherhead Architecture recently unveiled designs for <i>Butterfly Square</i>, a mixed-use town center that'll be located in Halland, Sweden. This development features two striking angled, L-shaped buildings that are divided by a pedestrian promenade. When viewed from above, the space is reminiscent of a …

Green Roofs

Economists Are Blind to the Limits of Growth

For all their calculating nature, economists are surprisingly optimistic about humanity's ability to have as much prosperity as it wants. Express …