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Our Next Best BioFuel is at the Bottom of a Pond


Algae Under The Microscope

The fastest new oil that’s climbing the ranks to be the most efficient biofuel isn’t being grown in corn or soybeans: it’s being grown (relatively) naturally in what I like to think of as “Algae Greenhouses”. A new technology called is allowing researchers to string up transparent plastic bags that contain the algae in order to maximize the sun exposure. This way, the green layers of “pond scum” receive the maximum amount of sunlight throughout the day and can carry out photosynthesis in a much more efficient way than previously thought (which was actually scraping it off of existing pond liners).

Ted Turner: Global Warming Will Lead To Cannibalism

ted turner

Ted Turner, the founder of CNN and world-renowned philanthropist, appeared on Charlie Rose last night to shed some insight on his views on the world (after he got a bit of old-timey singing out of the way), and the dangers that we may face if we don’t stray from the path we’re currently on. His first concern is the disarmament of all nuclear weapons by all nations, but his second is to resolve the global climate crisis before it’s too late. Of the issue, he said:

“We have to mobilize the same way we did in World War II… It’s going to be the biggest business project in the history of the world… Not doing it will be catastrophic… It will be 8 degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years… None of the crops will grow… Most of the people will have died, and the rest of us will be cannibals”.

In his words, not doing anything is suicide.

While this vision of the future is extreme, and something I would normally disregard, it is, in actuality, entirely possible that times could get as tough as he envisions. I think his grounded views in many other topics nullifies the idea that he is an alarmist or embellishing the possible outcome, and his solutions to the problem are both realistic and, more than likely, the eventual path that will be taken to secure our future.

Turner went on to discuss his views on the current state of CNN, that it is not international enough, is not focussed enough on news, and isn’t addressing important issues to the people today. This is coming from a man who has been in the media business for years, and helped shape what we consider to be broadcast news today. I think it is very important to take what he says seriously.

The entire conversation between the two men is quite insightful, but his ideas about converting coal energy to wind and solar, and even nuclear power, is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Watch the entire video at CharlieRose.com.

China’s largest wind farm still too Small


Wind Farm

The Huaneng Group in China is planning to build the biggest wind farm that the country has seen, with a total of 200 turbines over 100 square-kilometres in Fuxin city. Although the report claims that this will help reduce carbon dioxide emission by 750,000 tonnes and sulphur dioxide by 4,000 tonnes a year, China is still the world’s second largest energy user with 80% of that being created by coal. Although it’s a step in the right direction, China still has a lot of catching up to do.

London’s Olympic Sized Wind Turbine


London 2012I’m not a big fan of the Olympics. Too many events rely on jumping. But admittedly, the 2012 Olympics in London are going to be interesting. Last week the Olympic council unveiled a new design for a turbine called ‘the Angel of Leyton’ that will stand 130m tall and will produce enough energy to power 1,000 homes in one year. Construction is starting later this year, with the plan to have it completed by 2010 in order to produce cleaner energy 2 years before the thing with the torch (Opening Ceremonies?), and maybe even to help power the construction of the rest of the park.

Green Travel Hub Keeps Your Trips Environmentally Friendly


If you’re planning a gas-guzzling trip anytime soon and want to keep your conscience clean, check out the new Green Travel Hub by Rezhub for one stop access to help you book environmentally conscious hotels, green rental cars and flights, or to read up on other travellers’ green stories on their blogs or forum.

Not only is their advice helpful in finding the best way to travel and leave the smallest carbon footprint, but part of the cost of every trip is also donated to an earth friendly organization.

Zero X Keeps You Clean In The Dirt


Zero X Motorcycle

New on the market is this full powered off road motorcycle that claims to provide one-tenth the pollution of a standard gas powered dirt-bike. On the power side, the bike is rechargeable-battery powered and plugs into any standard 110 or 220 volt outlet, while the design is crafted from less steel and copper than a standard DC motor. For the cleanest, fastest, and lightest off road motorcycle with the best power-to-size ration in the industry, look no further than Zero Motorcycles.

Solar Sheeting and Shingles: the Future of Solar Technology

solar roof

The current situation for adding solar shingles to a roof is costly, unsightly, and overall far too expensive in comparison to traditional energy sources. But a new technology being developed on the west coast is planning to trade out the heavy and awkward glass solar units for new lightweight, flexible and affordable foil-style solar sheets.

Solar-sheeting would create a new way to embed the energy saver into traditional house shingles, awnings, and just about anything else around your house that you would want to wrap in foil.

For start-up companies like Nanosolar and Heliovolt, the possibilities for this new wave of solar film is endless.

No more boosting car batteries if you have solar film on the roof of your car, or keep your iPod fully charged on long walks with a thin layer of film on the back of your jacket. These are just a few of the results that could be a part of everyday life with the introduction of nanotechnology into the solar energy field.

Although this new development still has rigorous endurance testing to go through before it can be implemented for wide scale production, the message is clear: an affordable answer to personal solar energy units are on their way.

Al Gore’s New Climate Change Ad Campaign

Al Gore
Photo by Center for American Progress Action Fund via CC License

Since Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Prize last October, he’s been quiet about what his next steps are in his fight against global warming.

In his appearance with his wife last night on 60 Minutes, they announced that the past few months have been used to develop a $300 million ad campaign that’s going to be launched this Wednesday, and will feature notable public figures with opposing points of view, but that both agree something needs to be done about the climate change crisis.

The funding for the campaign comes from the Nobel Prize money that Gore was awarded in 2007 for An Inconvenient Truth, while he and his wife also matched the sum from their profits from the film and the accompanying book by the same name.

Gore announced two of the pairs that will be featured in the commercials: Reverend Al Sharpton and conservative evangelist Pat Robertson, and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich.

The pairing of these unlikely couples is meant to reach out to parts of the American public that were non-believers about global warming issues or, even worse yet, people that are still non-believers about global warming issues. Of these people, Gore said:

“They’re almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the earth is flat.”

Keep your heads up to see the ads airing this week on broadcast networks and cable.

Cleaner Driving: Compressed Air Vehicle


Air Car

The self-proclaimed “World’s Cleanest Car” is just that – a vehicle that is entirely pollution free. At low speeds, the car outputs cleaner air than it takes in, and at high speeds uses bio-fuels to heat air inside a chamber that can take the car over 90 mph. Zero Pollution Motors says this can be yours for the low price of $17,800 and proves “that buying ‘green’ doesn’t have to cost more”.

Masdar Headquarters: Solar Building or Power Plant?


Masdar HeadquartersThe newest addition to Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is going to be built backwards – so that the solar roof can generate the power needed to complete the construction on the rest of the building. This revolutionary technique is only one of the ways that this building plans to generate more energy than it needs in order to power other parts of the city.


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