Indian man single-handedly plants a 1,360-acre forest A little more than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began burying seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in northern India's Assam region to grow a refuge for wildlife. Not long after, he decided to dedicate his life to this endeavor, so he moved to the site so he could work full-time creating a lush new forest ecosystem. Incredibly, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acres of jungle that Payeng planted — single-handedly. The Times of India recently caught up with Payeng in his remote forest lodge to learn more about how he came to leave such an indelible mark on the landscape. It all started way back in 1979, when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. "The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. While it's taken years for Payeng's remarkable dedication to planting to receive some well-deserved recognition internationally, it didn't take long for wildlife in the region to benefit from the manufactured forest.
Reinventing Fire Digging up and burning the deposits of ancient sunlight stored eons ago in primeval swamps has transformed human existence and made industrial and urban civilization possible. However, those roughly four cubic miles of fossil fuels every year are no longer the only, best, or even cheapest way to sustain and expand the global economy—whether or not we count fossil fuels’ hidden costs. Those “external” costs, paid not at the fuel pump or electric meter but in our taxes, wealth, and health, are not counted in the Reinventing Fire analysis, but are disturbingly large. America’s seemingly two-billion-dollar-a-day oil habit actually costs upwards of three times that much—six billion dollars a day, or a sixth of GDP. Any costs to health, safety, environment, security of energy supply, world stability and peace, or national independence or reputation are extra. Making a dollar of U.S. Realizing this potential does not require business to take a hit or suffer a loss. Industry: Texas Instruments
8 Completely Awesome DIY Home Energy Projects | Ecoble Small-scale renewable energy is a must for a sustainable home – but converting your home to clean energy options can carry a huge initial price tag. We’ve scoured the web for some of the most innovative examples of homemade energy solutions to compile a collective list of DIY projects to make your home greener and more energy efficient without costing you a fortune. From solar water heaters and gadget chargers to homemade super-efficient refrigerators, you’ll find links (with instructions) to some of the best projects you can make at home… Homemade Energy-Save Fridge The ‘Ambient Air Fridge’ isn’t quite a year-round green appliance but when things cool down in the winter, this homemade fridge will definitely shave a few dollars off the electric bill! DIY Electric Lawn Mower A small DC motor, two 12-volt batteries, a circuit breaker, and wiring can transform your polluting, fossil-fuel dependent lawn mower into a clean, green, grass mowing machine! Make Your Own Wind Turbine DIY Hydro Power
EdX Online Learning Project Announced By Harvard, MIT CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have joined forces to offer free online courses in a project aimed at attracting millions of online learners around the world, the universities announced Wednesday. Beginning this fall, a variety of courses developed by faculty at both institutions will be available online through the new $60 million partnership, known as "edX." "Anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world can have access," Harvard President Drew Faust said during a news conference to announce the initiative. MIT has offered a program called OpenCourseWare for a decade that makes materials from more than 2,000 classes available free online. It has been used by more than 100 million people. Harvard has long offered courses to a wider community through its extension program. The MITx platform will serve as the foundation for the new learning system. "Fasten your seatbelts," Hockfield said.
'Fossil fuels are the new whale oil', says environmentalist Amory Lovins | Environment Amory B. Lovins is fond of referring to the Rocky Mountain Institute, where he serves as chairman and chief scientist, as a "think and do" tank, and it's clear that to Lovins the doing is every bit as important as the thinking. Hardly lacking in confidence or ambition, Lovins — in conjunction with his colleagues at the institute — has published Reinventing Fire, his step-by-step blueprint for how to transition to a renewable energy economy by mid-century. Impressive in both its scope and detail — Lovins discusses everything from how to redesign heavy trucks to make them more fuel efficient to ways to change factory pipes to conserve energy — the book lays out a plan for the U.S. to achieve the following by 2050: cars completely powered by hydrogen fuel cells, electricity, and biofuels; 84 percent of trucks and airplanes running on biomass fuels; 80 percent of the nation's electricity produced by renewable power; $5 trillion in savings; and an economy that has grown by 158 percent.
A New Dawn 13th Jun 2013; 13:00 Listen to the audio (full recording including audience Q&A) Please right-click link and choose "Save Link As..." to download audio file onto your computer. There will an edited high-res video version of the talk available in a couple of weeks time, and if you subscribe to our channel on YouTube - you'll get automatically notified whenever there's a new video. RSA Thursdays Award-winning Hollywood film producer Simon Lewis’ life was turned upside down when a serious car accident left him severely injured. In a special talk at the RSA, Simon Lewis shares his remarkable personal story of recovery, and explores what he sees as society’s most urgent problem - the many threats to learning and consciousness - revealing what is already possible to nurture minds and change lives. Speaker: Simon Lewis, film and television producer and author of Rise and Shine Chair: Dr Suzy Walton, RSA Trustee
Peak External Photocurrent Quantum Efficiency Exceeding 100% via MEG in a Quantum Dot Solar Cell Multiple exciton generation (MEG) is a process that can occur in semiconductor nanocrystals, or quantum dots (QDs), whereby absorption of a photon bearing at least twice the bandgap energy produces two or more electron-hole pairs. Here, we report on photocurrent enhancement arising from MEG in lead selenide (PbSe) QD-based solar cells, as manifested by an external quantum efficiency (the spectrally resolved ratio of collected charge carriers to incident photons) that peaked at 114 ± 1% in the best device measured. The associated internal quantum efficiency (corrected for reflection and absorption losses) was 130%. We compare our results with transient absorption measurements of MEG in isolated PbSe QDs and find reasonable agreement.
Compressed Air Energy Storage from LightSail Could Run a Whole City Clean Power Published on November 10th, 2012 | by Tina Casey The company LightSail Energy started out a few years ago with a student’s modest idea for a compressed air scooter, and now it has just raised $37.3 million in private funding to bring utility scale, compressed air energy storage to the market. That’s a big leap not only for the company but for compressed air technology itself, which has long been eyed for its clean energy potential. The problem has been to make the process efficient enough to deliver power at a commercial scale, so let’s take a look and see how LightSail solved the problem. The Compressed Air Conundrum As aptly described by writer Rachel Metz over at the MIT Technology Review, half of the compressed-air equation is simple enough from a clean energy perspective. The hard part kicks in when you try to store large quantities of compressed air. LightSail’s Compressed Air Solution Compressed Air Meets Wind Power Alternative Energy and Democracy About the Author
Move Over Harvard And MIT, Stanford Has The Real “Revolution In Education” Lectures are often the least educational aspect of college; I know, I’ve taught college seniors and witnessed how little students learn during their four years in higher education. So, while it’s noble that MIT and Harvard are opening their otherwise exclusive lecture content to the public with EdX, hanging a webcam inside of a classroom is a not a “revolution in education”. A revolution in education would be replacing lectures with the Khan Academy and dedicating class time to hands-on learning, which is exactly what Stanford’s medical school proposed last week. Stanford realizes that great education comes from being surrounded by inspiring peers, being coached by world-class thinkers, and spending time solving actual problems. So, last week, two Stanford professors made a courageous proposal to ditch lectures in the medical school. Skeptical readers may argue that Khan Academy can’t compete with lectures from the world’s great thinkers. [Image via the University of Waterloo.]