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.
Google's making it easy for you to get solar panels onto your roof Adding solar panels to your roof can be frustrating, since it's often difficult to know if your home receives enough light to justify the investment. Google Maps, however, has satellite, navigation and sunlight data for every property in the world, so it's ideally placed to tell you how many rays hit your crib on a daily basis. That's why the firm is launching Sunroof, a database of how much solar energy hits each building in a city, helping people work out if it's worth the effort. Sunroof is intended as a "treasure map" for future green energy projects, telling you how much of a saving you'd make and how long it'd take to make back your initial outlay. To begin with, Project Sunroof will only be available in three locations: Boston, San Francisco and Fresno.
How to Stop Humans From Filling the World With Trash When the $20 billion Hudson Yards development is finished on Manhattan’s Far West Side in 2024, it will have six skyscrapers, 5,000 apartments, more than 100 stores, and a public school. One thing it will not have is municipal garbage trucks. Related Companies, one of the developers working on the project, plans to install pneumatic tubes that will whisk trash to a sorting area. Lettuce is ‘three times worse than bacon' for emissions and vegetarian diets could be bad for environment Eating a healthier diet rich in fruit and vegetables could actually be more harmful to the environment than consuming some meat, a US study has claimed. Lettuce is “over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon”, according to researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University who analysed the impact per calorie of different foods in terms of energy cost, water use and emissions. Published in the Environment Systems and Decisions journal, the study goes against the grain of recent calls for humans to quit eating meat to curb climate change. Researchers did not argue against the idea people should be eating less meat, or the fact that livestock contributes to an enormous proportion of global emissions – up to 51 per cent according to some studies.
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.
A Sushi Master’s Lament—and the One Fish You Should Always Avoid When a famous chef speaks out to warn the dining public about the dire straits of the world’s fisheries, that’s hardly news. “Sustainable seafood” probably ranks just behind “wild-caught” as the descriptor of choice on the menu of your average haute eatery these days. But when that chef is the most renowned sushi master on the planet, people listen. “I can’t imagine at all that sushi in the future will be made of the same materials we use today,” Jiro Ono said in an appearance this week. “I told my young men three years ago, sushi materials will totally change in five years.
Zero Counties in the U.S. Have Enough Housing for Families in Extreme Poverty From Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine. From Jacksonville to Juneau. No matter where you look, there isn’t enough affordable housing. Nervous eaters Rather than being organised into starters and mains, the menu at Palate restaurant in Melbourne is separated into six proteins and 15 vegetables. Ivy Thompson beckons the waiter. “I’ll have the herbed chicken breast,” she says, “and the grilled tomato, smashed avocado, sweet potato mash and sautéed spinach.”
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. Photo: Lenny Ignelzi, AP This Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 photo shows construction of the... Nation's water challenges are many, but so are the solutions
Skip the Car Charger: Roads With a Jolt of Electricity Are Coming to the U.K. Sure, ditching a gas guzzler in favor of an ultra-low-emission, electricity-powered vehicle is better for the environment. But what happens if you’re on a road trip, your electric car’s battery runs out of juice, and—horror—there’s no outlet around to plug in for a recharge? Eliminating the possibility of that nightmare scenario is at the heart of an effort announced late last week by government officials across the pond. Highways England, the agency responsible for operating and maintaining major roads, said it plans to conduct an 18-month trial of highways that will wirelessly charge vehicles as they travel along them.
Microplastic Particles Move Up Marine Food Chain on B.C. Coast Plastic fibres and particles in West Coast waters are being consumed and passed up the food chain by tiny marine creatures that apparently mistake them for food, according to a new study from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. Researcher Peter Ross and his colleagues found plastic litter in the digestive systems of two key species of plankton that are eaten in large numbers by salmon and baleen whales. Adult salmon returning to the Strait of Georgia may be consuming up to 91 plastic particles a day by eating plankton, and juveniles leaving fresh water up to seven particles a day, while a humpback whale could ingest more than 300,000 particles a day, according to the researchers’ estimates.
Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment © 2003 American Society for Clinical Nutrition Abstract Worldwide, an estimated 2 billion people live primarily on a meat-based diet, while an estimated 4 billion live primarily on a plant-based diet. The US food production system uses about 50% of the total US land area, 80% of the fresh water, and 17% of the fossil energy used in the country.
‘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.