The New Geopolitics of Food - By Lester R. Brown In the United States, when world wheat prices rise by 75 percent, as they have over the last year, it means the difference between a $2 loaf of bread and a loaf costing maybe $2.10. If, however, you live in New Delhi, those skyrocketing costs really matter: A doubling in the world price of wheat actually means that the wheat you carry home from the market to hand-grind into flour for chapatis costs twice as much. And the same is true with rice. If the world price of rice doubles, so does the price of rice in your neighborhood market in Jakarta. And so does the cost of the bowl of boiled rice on an Indonesian family's dinner table. Welcome to the new food economics of 2011: Prices are climbing, but the impact is not at all being felt equally.
3D solar panels can produce 20 times more energy than flat panels We see the trend in 3D technology everywhere: Movie theaters, home theaters, game consoles, 3D printers. But researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently discovered that creating a 3D-inspired solar panel not only help to keep up with the trends, it could draw in 20 times more energy than flat panel designs. Traditional solar panels lay flat on a surface or rooftop, facing the sun to collect energy. MIT researchers decided to change the shape of solar panels, conducting experiments with a cube, tall cube, and tower-shaped panels to see which design brought in more energy. Compared to flat panels, all three 3D panels created impressive results and outproduced traditional panels, with the accordion-style tower drawing in 20 times more power per square foot. The panels were tested during both cloudy and sunny conditions, and proved to perform consistently despite the weather changes.
Hydropower from Reuse Reused: a small stepper motor as found in a printer 2 discarded CD-ROMs a foam tray some long stick (I used a piece of 20mm diameter PVC tube from demolition) a LED one or two tie-wraps a small piece of scrap paper Non-reused: The only non-reused part is the hot melt glue (I recommend the low temp type, especially when working with kids). Tools: scissors, screwdriver to disassemble the printer (not shown), cutting pliers or desoldering tools for (optional, not shown). With a bit of luck the LED can also be found in the discarded printer. With even more luck you can find some discarded electronics with a LED standing tall on a printed circuit board, with most of its legs still intact, instead of mounted flush on the board. This makes it easier to remove from the print (leave the legs as long as possible) and easier to connect to the stepper motor by simply inserting it in the plug.
OECD calls for policy reform and technology to prevent impending water crisis The OECD has released a report outlining the challenges humanity faces to maintain water resources in the future (Photo: Shutterstock) Image Gallery (2 images) Worldwide population growth and the related rapid increase in urbanization is already posing problems in many areas for the management of that most precious of resources, water. With these problems only set to intensify, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has released a report outlining the challenges humanity faces to maintain water resources in the face of demographic growth and climate change. Called Meeting the Water Reform Challenge, the report says that urgent reform of water policies is crucial in order to preserve human and environmental health as well as economic growth. According to UN figures, more than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water.
Nanotubes boost potential of salinity power as a renewable energy source In November 2009, Norwegian state owned electricity company Statkraft opened the world’s first osmotic power plant prototype, which generates electricity from the difference in the salt concentration between river water and sea water. While osmotic power is a clean, renewable energy source, its commercial use has been limited due to the low generating capacities offered by current technology – the Statkraft plant, for example, has a capacity of about 4 kW. Now researchers have discovered a new way to harness osmotic power that they claim would enable a 1 m2 (10.7 sq. ft.) membrane to have the same 4 kW capacity as the entire Statkraft plant.
How to make batteries out of paint This article was taken from the January 2013 issue of Wired magazine. Be the first to read Wired's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online. Researchers at Rice University, Houston, have created a battery made of paint. "We've airbrushed it on to tiles, polymers, glass and steel," says grad student Neelam Singh. -New HOme Project « Leifur Thor’s WorldPress Station Imagine a home that provides a level of comfort and ease of living beyond what’s known. Now imagine this home uses less energy while providing that superior standard of living. In this century, wouldn’t we rather have a home that harvests energy quietly instead of using it? An enclosed space three average people with no special skills can assemble noise free, and with no special building tools in three weeks from start to finish. With over 10,000 variations for layout a home we can alter in a day without need of a contractor. A home that’s over 90% recyclable and stronger against the elements.
A Urine Powered Generator : Maker Faire Africa Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 · 168 Comments Possibly one of the more unexpected products at Maker Faire Africa this year in Lagos is a urine powered generator, created by four girls. The girls are Duro-Aina Adebola (14), Akindele Abiola (14), Faleke Oluwatoyin (14) and Bello Eniola (15). 1 Liter of urine gives you 6 hours of electricity. The system works like this: Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen. Only Organics Can Feed the Hungry World: Here's Why Students working on UGA's organic demonstration farm in summer 2012. (Photo: UGA College of Ag)A new approach to agriculture that combines the best in industrial production with organic and sustainable practices is the key to meeting the changing needs of a changing world, where resources are rapidly depleted by a growing population. "Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?" is the title of a controversial report released last week by Stanford University's Center For Health Policy.
Bhutan To Be First Country to Go 100% Organic If there was ever a nation that could see the purpose behind organic, sustainable farming, it would be a nation that is composed mostly of farmers. Such a place does exist, and it soon may be the first nation to go 100% organic, paving the way for others to do the same on a global scale. The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is known for a high level of citizen happiness, but it is doing something even more noteworthy in the near future. With Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley making a major announcement regarding the organic farming project at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development which took place last month, the move has made national headlines. It’s called the National Organic Policy, and it is fueled by the simple concept that working ‘in harmony with nature’ will yield the most powerful results — all without sacrificing human health or the environment.