Solar Power Makes Giant Strides As Prices Fall

Solar Power Makes Giant Strides As Prices FallMassive solar power stations are being built in the world’s “sun belts” − with the US and India competing to have the largest in the world.

World Leaders Call For Fossil Fuel Phase-Out, But It Needs To Happen Sooner

World Leaders Are Right To Call For Fossil Fuel Phase-out, But It Needs To Happen SoonerThe G7 nations, at the week’s summit in Germany, have called for “a decarbonization of the global economy over the course of this century”. Of course, this group of nations is among those most heavily in favor of strong climate action, but the opportunities for climate-friendly growth are everywhere.

Do Infrasound and Low-Frequency Noise on Wind Farms Cause Health Problems?

The Science On Wind Farms, Noise, Infrasound And HealthThe article in The Australian by Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonjhelm highlighted some very good points about wind turbine noise and its effect on people living near them. People are complaining of a range of health related problems and are attributing them to wind turbines. The question is: what is the cause of these health problems?

As US Procrastinates China’s Energy Revolution Leads The World

As US Procrastinates China’s Energy Revolution Leads The WorldNew report says a successful outcome at this year’s Paris climate talks will be far more likely if the world takes note of how China is reducing emissions. The pace of change in China’s energy policy means that the targets it has set for cutting  greenhouse gases (GHGs) are likely to be achieved sooner than expected, according to a new study.

Apollo Initiative Asks For The Moon In Switch To Renewables

Apollo Initiative Asks For The Moon In Switch To RenewablesEminent group urges governments to make the massive research investment that would enable the world to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy by 2025. The vision is simple, the cost would be eye-watering, and the result could stop the growing threat from burning fossil fuels in its tracks.

Pakistan Turns The Desert Into A Sea Of Solar Panels

Pakistan Turns The Desert Into A Sea Of Solar PanelsEconomic links with China help Pakistan tap into enormous solar energy potential that can provide clean power to boost production and reduce poverty. One of the world’s largest solar plants has been opened in Pakistan with the aim of supplying clean, reliable energy and helping alleviate the country’s chronic power shortages.

You May Be Traveling Less And That's A Good Thing

You May Be Traveling Less And That's A Good ThingIn 1900, humans travelled a total of just 0.2 trillion km by vehicle, nearly all by train. By 1950, people travelled a total of 3.3 trillion km, and by 2010, the annual total was over 40 trillion km – or over 133,000 round trips to the sun. That’s an average of nearly 6,000 km per person each year. About half of all travel was by car, and 12% was by air.

Sao Paulo, Brazil's Water Crisis Shows The Failure Of Public-private Partnerships

Sao Paulo, Brazil's Water Crisis Shows The Failure Of Public-private PartnershipsSão Paulo’s ongoing water crisis has left many of the city’s 20m or more residents without tap water for days on end. Brazil’s largest metropolis is into its third month of water rationing, and some citizens have even taken to drilling through their basements to reach groundwater.

The Smart Money Is Embracing Renewable Energy

The Smart Money Is Embracing Renewable EnergyClimate-friendly boost for global energy mix as scientists say solar power alone could now meet the needs of California five times over.

Can Saltwater Quench Our Growing Thirst?

Can Saltwater Quench Our Growing Thirst?An increasingly water-stressed world takes a new look at desalination. It seems simple enough: Take the salt out of water so it’s drinkable. But it’s far more complex than it appears at first glance. It’s also increasingly crucial in a world where freshwater resources are progressively strained by population growth, development, droughts, climate change and more.

Finally, Scientists Zero In On The Solution To The Climate Crisis

Finally, Scientists Zero In On The Only Solution To The Climate CrisisIf you want to know what we have to do to avoid catastrophic climate change, 17 of the world’s leading climate scientists have worked out a simple but challenging solution: the world, they say, must turn by mid-century into a zero-carbon society.

Can We Still Avoid The Major Climate Tipping Points?

Can We Still Avoid The Major Climate Tipping Points?The researchers say their act-now, save-future-costs model not only demonstrates the dangers of underestimating the cost of future climate change, but is the first one to emerge from a purely market-based approach. The considerations do not have to be based on moral judgements about sustainability and the wellbeing of future generations.

How One California Farmer Is Dealing with The Worst Drought In 1,200 Years

How One California Farmer Is Dealing with The Worst Drought In 1,200 YearsCalifornia’s byzantine water system and crushing drought are leading farmers to extraordinary measures as they try to keep themselves from running dry. On a warm March afternoon, farmer Cannon Michael walks alongside wheat fields adjacent to his house in Los Banos, in California’s Central Valley. Most of these fields won’t be watered again this year.

Local Renewable Energy Companies Can Help You Save Money

energy meter New technologies are about to disrupt the traditional energy market in a big way. What if you could sit at home and use your smartphone to buy energy directly from the wind farm down the road or the solar panels on the local school roof? After all, you can already control your heating from your phone and set your washing machine going from your tablet...

Water Power for People and Cars: An Outside-the-Box Breakthrough

Water Power for People and CarsThe urge to solve humankind’s energy-generating problems is felt by innovators around the planet. Before the Internet and its open sourcing of knowledge, lone inventors tried to single-handedly save us from our dependence on dirty fuels. And long before hippies saw the dawning of an Age of Aquarius, a few individuals discovered that water is a key to independence.

States That Produce Renewable Energy Have Cheap Electricity

States That Produce Renewable Energy Have Cheap ElectricityTexas is known for cheap and plentiful energy resources, but they’re usually of the dirty, fossil fuel–based variety. That reputation is changing. Texans can now buy renewable energy packages that are as cheap as or cheaper than the coal- or natural gas–based alternatives.

Climate Change Breakthroughs and Seven Reasons For New Hope

Climate Change Breakthroughs and Seven Reasons For New HopeAfter years of bitter disappointment, things look different now. Sure, U.S. state houses and Congress are a denier-dominated mess, the big Paris conference is already being written off, and the on-the-ground evidence is looking bleak. But after years of cynicism, I see elements of a sea change in urgency and attitude on climate.

Can Generating Energy From Ocean Waves Rise To The Challenge?

Can Generating Energy From Ocean Waves Rise To The Challenge?The announcement that a pioneering wave farm off Perth has started generating electricity is an exciting and welcome development. The project, developed by Fremantle-based Carnegie Wave Energy, features two buoys, 11 m in diameter, below the sea surface (with a third to follow).

How Cooling Down Cities Will Make A Big Difference To Global Warming

Cooling Down Cities Will Make A Big Difference To Global WarmingCities may only occupy about 2% of the world’s habitable land, but they are big drivers of global climate change. Cities are usually hotter than rural areas, and get referred to in the jargon as “urban heat islands.”

Can We Have Both Environmental Preservation And Expanded Oil Drilling?

Can We Have Both Environmental Preservation And Expanded Oil Drilling?In April 2015, we will mark the five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The accident released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing extensive impacts on the marine ecosystem, wildlife habitat, and the fishing and tourism industries in Louisiana and other Gulf states.

Overcoming The Social Barriers To Climate Change Consensus

Overcoming The Social Barriers To Climate Change ConsensusIt can be tempting to think that people who disagree with you are mad, bad or simply stupid. However, not only are such judgements usually wrong, but telling people that they are stupid is unlikely to convince them of the merit of your own view.

How Nebraska Brings Everyone Power from a Public Grid

How Nebraska Became the Only State to Bring Everyone Power From a Public GridIn this red state, publicly owned utilities provide electricity to all 1.8 million people. Here's how Nebraska took its energy out of corporate hands and made it affordable for everyday residents.

Why There's A Sunny Future Ahead For Rooftop Solar Power

Why There's A Sunny Future Ahead For Rooftop Solar PowerOver the past five years the world has seen a dramatic fall in the cost of solar energy, particularly rooftop solar panels or solar photovoltaic power. It is now a real alternative and considerable player in the power markets.

11 Reasons Trains, Buses, Bikes And Walking Move Us Toward A Brighter Future

rapid transit

According to the pundits and techno-prophets who dominate the media, the future of transportation is all figured out for us.  Cheaper gas prices mean we can still count on our private cars to take us everywhere we want to go. The only big change down the road will be driverless autos, which will make long hours behind the wheel less boring and more productive.

Why Bacteria Could Be The Answer To A Future Without Oil

Why Bacteria Could Be The Answer To A Future Without Oil

Chemicals are all around us. They are crucial in all manner of industries, from agriculture to food to cosmetics. Most people give little thought to how these chemicals are made – and certainly very few would consider the chemical industry as a contributor to our society’s dependence on oil. But it is.

Here’s A Way To Pay For A Healthier Planet

Here’s A Way To Pay For A Healthier Planet

A few years ago, the Mexican government pinpointed a promising method for reducing carbon dioxide emissions: Encourage Mexicans to trade in their old refrigerators, air conditioners, light bulbs and the like for more up-to-date models. But how to pay for the program, while making it affordable for poor households?

Is India's Plan For New Energy Mix A Game-Changer?

Is India's Plan For New Energy Mix A Game-Changer?

India’s contribution to global carbon emissions was only 7% last year, yet there are fears being expressed in the western world that rapid population growth and development will mean this vast country will soon be a major polluter − like its neighbour, China.

The Train to Sustainability: Next Stop, Your Hometown

The Train to Sustainability: Next Stop, Your Hometown

The urbanization of our population has major implications for climate change. The sheer volume of all this growth in highly concentrated areas, combined with the corresponding growth in carbon emissions, requires that our cities be able to adapt and evolve more quickly than ever before.The good news is: they can.

Cities Are The Greatest Hope For Our Planet

Illustration by Erin Dunn

When we design cities like ecosystems, they have the potential to address many of our most pressing issues. Of all the things people build, cities are the most important.

Move Over Big Power, The Micropower Revolution Is Here

Move Over Big Power – The Micropower Revolution Is Here

There is no shortage of shouting and dire warnings about the state of the climate and our need to phase out fossil fuels. But there is a more silent revolution happening too — in micropower.

US China Climate Deal Is At Last A Real Game Changer On Emissions

UJS China Climate Deal  Is At Last, A Real Game Changer On Emissions

The United States, the world’s biggest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, has pledged to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025 relative to 2005 levels, while China, the current biggest emitter, has promised to peak its emissions by no later than 2030.

Outlook Declines For Fossil Fuel Investments

Outlook Declines For Fossil Fuel Investments

Warnings within the world of high finance are coming thick and fast that the increasingly urgent need to combat climate change means investors could lose heavily by sinking funds into coal, oil and gas.

Wind and Solar Create More Jobs When They’re Locally Owned

Westmill Solar Co-operative

When it comes to providing jobs and money to towns and cities, not all renewable energy is created equal. At last month’s People’s Climate March, among the most popular signs were ones supporting renewable energy like wind and solar as the best way to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Plants Absorb More CO2 Than We Thought, But

Plants Absorb More CO2 Than We Thought, But

Through burning fossil fuels, humans are rapidly driving up levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn is raising global temperatures.

Economic Resistance Went Mainstream at People’s Climate March

Long-standing Economic Resistance Went Mainstream At People’s Climate March

Combined, the People’s Climate March on Sunday followed by Flood Wall Street the next day, uplifted a narrative around climate change that was impossible for even the most mainstream of media to ignore. In the words of Fox News talking head James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Japan's Floating Solar Islands to End Reliance on Nuclear Power?

Japan Turns To Floating Solar Islands As It Seeks To End Reliance On Nuclear Power

Two companies in Japan recently announced they are to begin building two huge solar power islands that will float on reservoirs. This follows Kagoshima solar power plant, the country’s largest, which opened in late 2013 and is found floating in the sea just off the coast of southern Japan.

Why Not Change The Way You Wee To Save The World?

Why Not Change The Way You Wee To Save The World?

The critical links between water, sanitation, and our global consumption of energy – the “energy-water nexus” are more obvious than ever before. But how many of us will take direct action at the most basic level of all?

Revolutionary Perovskite Solar Cells Could Be A Game Changer

Revolutionary Perovskite Solar Cells Could Be A Game Changer

Whenever I tell people I work with solar cells I am asked the same two questions: are they ever going to be really cheap? And can you get me some? While the answer to the second question is no, the answer to the first is a lot more positive.

New Hope for the World’s Driest Regions

New Hope for the World’s Driest Regions

Globally 1.2 billion people live in areas of water scarcity — defined by the United Nations as locations with an annual water supply that drops below 1,000 cubic meters per person.

Solving The Climate Problem by Encouraging The Free Market to be Altruistic

Solving The Climate Problem by Encouraging The Free Market to be Altruistic

The UK government’s senior adviser on science has made an entirely sensible call for researchers and policy makers to move the climate change debate towards workable strategies and solutions. The trouble is, the models we have for assessing those strategies are deeply flawed.

Planning a Vacation? Germany Offers "Renewable Energy Tourism"

Germany Is Even Out In Front On Renewable Power Tourism

A guidebook with a difference is selling well in Germany. It details nearly 200 renewable energy sites it thinks will appeal to tourists. Wind turbines and solar panels: do you love them or hate them? Do you think of renewable energy as the way to a greener future, or an awful blight on the present?

Rise & Shine: Solar Efficiency Records Are Being Shattered By New Advances

Time to Rise and Shine: Solar Efficiency Records Are Being Shattered By Recent Advances

Last month, a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., loaded a postage stamp–sized solar cell onto a tray and placed it under a high-intensity pulse solar simulator. A new world record for solar photovoltaic efficiency had been set.

Norway's Military Institutes Meatless Mondays for the Climate

Norway's Military Does "Meatless Mondays" for the Climate

The “Meatless Mondays” campaign was originally thought up to support the war effort during World War I, but now a modern army is using it to fight an even bigger battle—the one against climate change. It's not just Norway where the military is concerned about climate change. Former United States army officer...

Don’t Write Off Biofuels Just Yet - We Will Need Them In The Future

hemp harvesting

Bioenergy and biofuels have an important role to play in lowering the use of carbon-intensive fossil fuels – a point underscored by the IPCC report which confirmed the need for further research to improve such technology. 

Forget The Cost – Tackle Climate Change Anyway

Forget The Cost – Tackle Climate Change Anyway

Forget the cost of mitigating climate change, say two researchers. It’s impossible to work out how much it will be – and whatever it is, we should do it anyway. Two researchers who tried to work out the economics of reducing global climate change to a tolerable level have come up with a perhaps surprising answer...

Rethinking Drug Policy Could Diminish Deforestation

Rethinking Drug Policy Could Diminish Climate Change

The forests stretching from Mexico through Central America have some of the richest species diversity on the planet. But despite expansive conservation efforts, this region continues to face staggering rates of forest destruction

8 Reasons for Optimism on Climate Change

8 Reasons for Optimism on Climate Change

Recent signs that Barack Obama may approve the Keystone XL pipeline have some environmentalists feeling down about the future of the climate. But huge and positive changes are quietly taking place.

White Roofs Could Offset Summer Warming by 2100

White Roofs Could Offset Summer Warming by 2100

Painting building roofs white could cool some major cities baking in the intensifying heat of a changing climate. How much benefits white roofs could bring depend on the region of the country they’re installed in and the season, new research shows.

Believe It, Low Flatulence Livestock Can Help Cool The Planet

Low Flatulence Livestock Can Cool Planet

Farmers may be able to rear livestock which produce fewer emissions from their stomachs of methane, one of the most important greenhouse gases. Stand by for a new breed of farm animal – the low-methane cow

Adapting to Climate Change: It's Not About Giving Up, It's About Getting Real

Adapting to Climate Change: It's Not About Giving Up, It's About Getting Real
Conversations about how we're going to get through the coming transformation force us to see the full scale of the problem. It was clear last year at election time that Seattle needed a new sea wall to replace the crumbling, worm-eaten infrastructure that has girded the waterfront since the early 20th century. "Do you want downtown Seattle to slide into motherf-cking Puget Sound during the next earthquake thanks to a towering wave of voter apathy?"

The Story of Solutions From Annie Leonard

The Story of Solutions From Annie Leonard

The final film in the “Story of Stuff” series asks, What if the goal of our economy wasn’t more, but better—better health, better jobs, and a better chance to survive on the planet? In an ad for a major phone company blanketing TV this year, a circle of doe-eyed children is asked: "Who thinks more is better than less?"

16 Ways To Avoid Being A Transition Hypocrite

16 Ways To Avoid Being A Transition Hypocrite

If we really believe that doom is a viable expression of the endgame, wouldn’t we try to resolve some of this thanatos by“wresting control of our lives” from an inherently sick society? Wouldn’t we want to resolve remnants of cognitive dissonance by making our day-to-day behaviors more congruent with our “talk”?

Sun Must Supply 10% Of Energy By 2025

In little more than a decade the world should be meeting 10% of its total energy needs from solar power, two British scientists say, despite the technological problems to be overcome. Hard on the heels of the latest UN report on climate change, two UK scientists have proposed an ambitious plan to tackle the problem it graphically describes.

Climate Change Solutions: Preserving Peatland Carbon Sinks

 Climate Change Solutions: Perserving Peatland Carbon Sinks

How farmers care for peatlands can influence how welll they soak up greenhouse gases, because the plants that grow there are crucial to their effectiveness as carbon sinks. Such areas can also act as important flood plains, soaking up excess water. The trouble is that in many parts of the world peatlands are being destroyed or are under threat.

Economic Growth And Low Carbon Emissions Can Co-exist

A new study suggests that economic growth and carbon cuts may not be mutually exclusive, offering a chance to keep energy supplies flowing without adding to global warming.

Campaign for Local Power And Slowing Climate Change

Campaign for Local Power And Slowing Climate Change

There was a time when power generation belong to the public. This is a grassroots David and Goliath campaign to create a landmark model for how communities can take control of their energy future.

How to Be More than a Mindful Consumer

How to Be More than a Mindful Consumer

The way we make and use stuff is harming the world—and ourselves. To create a system that works, we can't just use our purchasing power. We must turn it into citizen power. Since I released "The Story of Stuff" six years ago, the most frequent snarky remark I get from people trying to take me down a notch is about my own stuff.

The High Price Of Materialism

The High Price Of Materialism

A war on climate change is a war on materialism, plain and simple. The carbon pollution spewing out of our power plants and tail pipes is a natural byproduct of the monstrous engine of economic growth we have built, an engine that exists solely to satisfy the demand our materialism creates.

Fukushima’s Environmental Legacy Is Just Beginning

Fukushima’s Environmental Legacy Is Just Beginning

The highly radioactive water leaking from the wrecked Fukushima plant is part of a problem that Japan will take decades to resolve and which will blight many thousands of lives. The discovery at the plant of a leak of radioactive caesium eight times more dangerous than the levels immediately after the Fukushima accident in March 2011 has aroused international concern that Japan is incapable of containing the aftermath of the accident.

Our Attempts To Keep Cool Are In Fact Adding To Rising Temperatures

Our Attempts To Keep Cool Are In Fact Adding To Rising Temperatures

Studies into how we use air conditioning technology suggest that our attempts to keep cool are in fact adding to rising temperatures.As the world swelters, so will energy demand rise: the heat extremes generated by climate change are likely to raise the global demand for air conditioning by 72%. So people will generate more heat and release more carbon dioxide just to stay cool as the thermometer soars.

Google A Reef And Help To Save It

Google A Reef And Help To Save It

By making 360-degree panoramic underwater vision available to anyone who has a computer, scientists hope to alert many more people to the plight of the world’s coral reefs. Scientists have hit on a way to harness 360-degree panoramas from Google’s underwater street-view format in order to let anyone with access to a computer see reefs in real time.

Why Sharing News About Solutions Is a Revolutionary Act

 Why Sharing News About Solutions Is a Revolutionary Act

Scary stories of kidnappings and explosions lead our news feeds, but it's the good news that helps break down the myth of our own powerlessness. "If it bleeds, it leads." Ever hear that maxim of journalism? If you want readers, go with the scary, gruesome story—that's what gets hearts pumping and grabs attention. But what grabs our attention can also scare the heck out of us and shut us down.

Solar Energy Nears The Energy Holy Grail Of Price Parity

Solar Nears The Energy Holy Grail Of Price Parity

It's taken 60 years, but solar is tantalizingly close to beating fossil fuels on price. The prices of solar cells are falling rapidly, and will keep doing so for the next few years. The big questions revolve around the rate of the price declines. And the panels themselves aren't the only place where cost reductions will be found. America has very high "soft costs" -- installation, permitting, marketing etc. Whittling down these expenses will help, too.

Fracking First, Repent When You Get Around To It

Fracking First, Repent When You Get Around To It.

The arguments for and against fracking seem clear-cut. But it’s not that simple, and there is mounting evidence that exploiting shale gas may be neither necessary nor sensible. As the international debate intensifies over the arguments for and against exploiting shale gas, the largest British nature conservation charity has objected to proposals to drill at two sites in Britain.

The Answer To Climate Change

The Answer To Climate Change

When I give these climate talks, by the end people are typically agitated and full of questions. “What technology is going to fix this?” “How are we ever get people to agree on a solution?” “I’m just one person, what could I possibly do that would make an impact?”

Why Is Traditional Knowledge Vital To Science?

Traditional Knowledge Vital To Science

Peoples who have lived in the same place for countless generations – the Amazon, perhaps, or the Arctic – possess invaluable knowledge about living with climate change, and it is evolving all the time. Climate change often seems to be seen as the preserve of scientists and environmental journalists. But what about the accumulated wisdom of traditional and indigenous peoples?

Solar Suburbia To Power Modern Cities

Solar Suburbia To Power Modern Cities

Urban sprawl may not be as bad for the environment as we thought – as long as every home is fitted with solar panels and electric cars become the norm. Modern planners are building compact cities, believing tightly controlled zones are better for the environment. New research suggests the opposite: urban sprawl might be a better option, with solar power fitted to suburban houses and the adoption of electric cars transforming the energy needs of a city.

Nature Is Better At Carbon Farming

Nature Is Better At Carbon Farming

Turning deserts into forests sounds like a utopian dream, but a group of scientists believe that “carbon farming” really might be the answer to climate change. Large forests planted with a single species of tough small tree could capture enough carbon from the atmosphere to slow down climate change and green the world’s deserts at the same time, researchers say.

New Technologies Boost Renewables

New Technologies Boost Renewables

Finnish researchers say they have found how to produce biofuel cheaply, while a US team says it can make hydrogen from water at less cost than conventional methods.

Building A Resilient Homestead Of Your Own

Building a resilient homestead of your own

Many of the lessons learned are most applicable to those living in a similar climate to the Whole Systems Farm in Vermont; however, the farm’s thriving ecosystem has been created on marginal land, and Falk stresses that the concepts can be transferred to other locations where only marginal land is available and creative solutions are needed.

Solar Warrior

Solar Warrior

Red Cloud is the founder of Lakota Solar Enterprises, one of the country’s first Native American-owned renewable energy companies.

Green Vehicles Are EU’s Win-win Option

Green Vehicles Are EU’s Win-win Option

Powerful message to Europe’s politicians that building low-carbon cars and vans is the way to create a million jobs, boost the economy − and improve air quality

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