We can't treat global browning as a standalone issue ANYONE remember global dimming? About 30 years ago, climatologists noticed a disconcerting trend in the amount of sunlight reaching Earth’s surface. Measurements soon confirmed their suspicions: across the world from the 1950s onwards, sunshine had declined by about 2 per cent per decade. In some places, it was down by as much as 10 per cent. The culprit turned out to be air pollution – particularly small particles of soot and droplets of sulphuric acid. People soon raised concerns that dimming would hit agricultural yields and exacerbate climate change’s effect on weather patterns. Volkswagen's appalling clean diesel scandal, explained It sounds like the sinister plot of some straight-to-DVD movie. Since 2009, Volkswagen had been installing elaborate software in 482,000 "clean diesel" vehicles sold in the US, so that the cars' pollution controls only worked when being tested for emissions. The rest of the time, the vehicles could freely spew hazardous, smog-forming compounds. Suffice to say, regulators were livid once they caught on. Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that Volkswagen had very flagrantly violated the Clean Air Act. Not only did the EPA order the German firm to fix the affected vehicles — which include diesel TDI versions of the Golf, Jetta, Beetle, and Passat — but the agency could end up levying fines as high as $18 billion.
Waste to Energy Plants on the Rise - Forester Network While waste to energy (WTE) is the third-most-preferred municipal solid waste approach behind source reduction/reuse and recycling/composting, some 29 million tons of MSW—12% of total generated—were combusted for energy recovery in 2011, according to “Municipal Solid Waste in the US: Facts and Figures.” The Energy Recovery Council—a national trade organization representing the WTE industry and communities owning WTE facilities—in its 2014 report indicates that there are 84 WTE facilities in the US, of which four are inactive but may return to active service at a later date; one is under construction. Waste to Energy Defined EPA depicts WTE as the conversion of non-recyclable waste materials into useable heat, electricity, or fuel through a variety of processes, including combustion, gasification, pyrolization, anaerobic digestion (AD), and landfill gas (LFG) recovery. After energy is recovered, about 10% of the volume remains ash and is typically landfilled.
Understanding climate change's role in the UK's recent floods IT’S an environmental whodunit. Last month, in streets that would normally be bustling with sales shoppers, the only sounds were the thrum of helicopters and the lapping of water against walls. First Desmond, then Eva and Frank: three major storms slammed into the UK and Ireland during December, making it the wettest month ever recorded in the UK and causing flooding misery in northern England and Scotland. Now those affected want to know where to lay the blame. “We’re living in a climate that is warmed. The EPA's big crackdown on smog, explained The lobbying battle over smog has been one of the most bitter environmental fights of the Obama era. Public health advocates have long argued that cities like Los Angeles still have dangerous levels of smog, a leading cause of respiratory illness for millions of Americans, and have pushed to tighten existing rules. Industry groups, meanwhile, have been adamant that doing so would be exorbitantly expensive. On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency finally weighed in, setting brand new standards on ground-level ozone pollution, the key ingredient in smog. And the Obama administration appears to have largely sided with industry on this.
A solar future isn't just likely — it's inevitable I plan to write a great deal about the short-term prospects for clean energy, both economic and political, but I want to begin life here at Vox with an imaginative exercise, a bit of musing about what energy might look like in the future — not 10 or 20 years from now, but 50, 70, even 100 years ahead. Obviously, predicting the far future is a mug's game if you take it too seriously. This post is more about storytelling, a way of seeing the present through a different lens, than pure prognostication. The Good News on Global Warming: We've Delayed the Next Ice Age Global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions is blamed by scientists for intensifying storms, raising sea levels and prolonging droughts. Now there’s growing evidence of a positive effect: we may have delayed the next ice age by 100,000 years or more. The conditions necessary for the onset of a new ice age were narrowly missed at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research near Berlin wrote Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Nation's water challenges are many, but so are the solutions This Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 photo shows construction of the Carlsbad, Calif., desalination plant between Interstate 5 and the Pacific Ocean. Climate change and drought have stretched water supplies from coast to coast. The vast majority of 50 state water officials surveyed by the federal government expect shortages to affect them over the next 10 years. This affordable housing complex has a solar farm on its roof In a city dotted with cranes and shiny high-rise residences, it’s easy to miss the Holiday Apartments. Located on a busy street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, the blue-green building has a simple, rectangular design. It’s only three stories high and has a modest 30 units. A clock with a sunburst design, located on the building’s side, provides a touch of pop — and hints at the building’s cool secret: There’s a solar farm on its roof.
The Zika virus foreshadows our dystopian climate future I’ve spent much of my life chronicling the ongoing tragedies stemming from global warming: the floods and droughts and storms, the failed harvests and forced migrations. But no single item on the list seems any more horrible than the emerging news from South America about the newly prominent Zika disease. Spread by mosquitoes whose range inexorably expands as the climate warms, Zika causes mild flu-like symptoms. ‘Rebuild by Design’ Joins 100RC to Bring Collaborative Research & Design-driven Approaches to Cities 09.30.15 | By 100RC Facebook Twitter NEW YORK (September 30) – Rebuild by Design, the international design competition tasked with developing innovative plans to protect New York from another Superstorm Sandy, will now join 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), an organization pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, to help export the cutting edge program to cities in the 100RC network around the globe. By joining 100RC, Rebuild by Design will bring best-in-class design and research-driven processes to cities to ensure their long-term resilience. 100RC will direct and deploy the Rebuild by Design model under the new joint venture, and Rebuild by Design staff and management will participate as part of the 100RC prioritization process.
Solar Streets: New Roadways May Ditch Asphalt for Energy-Generating Sunshine Collectors As a kid in the 1960s, before most people had even heard of solar power, Scott Brusaw imagined “electric roads.” Almost five decades and two government-funded prototypes later, the electrical engineer from Ohio is on his way to raising $1 million to start producing solar panels for our streets and highways. Not to power the light, mind you—to function as streets and highways.