Stanford graduate students invent a recyclable laptop. Johann Hari passionately argues for climate action now as world leaders gather in Cancun for COP-16.
Recyclable Laptop, Anyone?
Graduate students from Stanford University and Finland’s Aalto University have teamed up to build the world’s first recyclable laptop. The device, nicknamed as the Bloom laptop can be broken down into separate plastic, metal, and circuitry parts in around two minutes without tools. This modular approach brings to mind Annie Leonard’s suggestion in her recent video “The Story of Electronics.” With the huge amount of e-waste today brought about by the widescale production of disposable and hard to repair devices, this modular computer is a welcome invention.
Is a Small Wind Energy System Right for You?
I’ve always wanted to build a self-sufficient energy source on a 4-acre property I want to develop into a small organic farm. What I wasn’t sure was if I should go wind, solar, or a combination of both. This article over at the Energy Savers Blog is a short introduction for those who are considering building small wind energy systems at home. Links to information about tax incentives, zoning codes, wind resource, and other factors that need to be considered, are provided.
EVs Surges Forward as GE Sets Out To Buy 25,000 Electric Vehicles By 2015
Electric vehicles (EVs) are definitely making waves these days. It seems that not a day passes by without the welcome news of companies introducing the latest EV machines and innovations. General Electric recently announced that it will be purchasing 25,000 of these clean vehicles by 2015 in a move that’s designed to bolster the fledgling industry. In a related announcement, Amtrak is also purchasing 70 new electric locomotives starting in 2013 for use on the Northeast corridor between Washington and Boston and the Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
California High-Speed Railway Begins To Take Shape
It begins at last – the nation’s high speed railway network – if only on paper. Jeff Barker, the deputy director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority announced on Wednesday that the state’s high-speed railway system will begin in a 54-mile stretch connecting the counties of Madera, Fresno, and Kings and running through Fresno. Will they be able to do more if Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood grants Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s request?
CalPERS Boosts Stake in Green Energy Firms
CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System), the pension fund, recently announced that they have increased their investments in clean energy companies by $500, in addition to the $2 billion of green investments already in place since 2006. There must be something in the water in California. After electing an environment-friendly governor and soundly defeating Proposition 23 which would have effectively neutered AB 32, california’s “Global Warming Act of 2006,” the state is now gearing to be the first one to implement the proposed high-speed railway network (see story above).
The Next Crash Will Be Ecological – and Nature Doesn’t Do Bailouts
Johann Hari is one of the best journalists of his generation and this latest piece on the necessity of immediate action to mitigate the effects of climate change does not disappoint. Hari bemoans the onset of passivity that seems to have possessed a lot of people after the fiasco in Copehagen last year. He asks rhetorically why do world leaders bother to go to Cancun this year? Because no matter how many people get tired or frustrated or feel that climate action is no longer the issue of the moment, the changes brought about by global warming are continuing relentlessly and there’s no reset or bailout once the planet’s ecology crashes. Fascinating read, look out for the Gaia and Medea allegories which puts everything into perspective.
What can climate negotiations achieve in Cancun?
There hasn’t been much publicity leading up to the COP-16, the U.N. Climate Summit which opened in Cancun, Mexico this Monday – in contrast to all the hype prior to the summit in Copenhagen last year. While there’s considerably less expectation to achieve anything significant, World Resources Institute Climate Director Jennifer Morgan writes that it’s crucial for delegates to achieve something concrete this year in Cancun or the forum for climate action will move to other venues. Contentious issues like transparency, funding, etc. continue to hound the summit, making it unlikely that something close to a legally binding agreement to formalize the commitments made in Copenhagen, will take shape.
As Glaciers Melt, Science Seeks Data on Rising Seas
In this solid piece of science journalism, Justin Gillis of the New York Times provides us with a glimpse into the activities of scientists studying the melting and movement of glaciers and land ice in Greenland. As Gillis noted, there is currently a dearth of information about the melting of ice in the cold regions, something that could greatly impact the amount of actual sea level rise in the coming years. As politicians debate global warming, land ice melting is accelerating at an unusual speed as we continue heedlessly to pump heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.
Climate Scientists Strike Back
Scientists now facing an onslaught of attacks from paid hacks and uneducated and gullible ideologues (Pope got it right, indeed: “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”) have decided to go outside the confines of their labs to debunk the lies and distortions being spread by these miscreants. ‘The truth shall set us free’ and ‘science can speak for itself’ no longer fly in the face of millions of dollars being poured by world’s the worst polluters into multiple media campaigns to question climate science and discredit scientists. Spearheaded by two scientists, the Climate Science Rapid Response Team launched this November to immediately refute bogus claims that deniers put forward. It’s a long way to go to sway public opinion, but this time, at least, truth is fighting back.