Two days ago, four teams hailing from Australia, Switzerland, South Korea and Germany set out from Geneva to race around the globe in a mere eighty days. Unlike previous world races The Zero Race teams must undertake the thirty-thousand kilometer trip using electric, emission-free vehicles.
A colleague sent over this article detailing a mind-blowing nexus of my energy and wildlife work - the discovery of a fairly common salamander species that is literally powered by the sun, at least early on. New research finds that spotted salamander embryos and hatchlings somehow have little bits of algae inside their cells to create energy using photosynthesis. It is the first time this has been observed in any animal with vertebrae.
More importantly, its yet another example of why keeping critters on this planet is so important - we clearly still have a lot to learn from the animal kingdom. Who knows if the humble salamander harbors secrets that will help fix our energy mess...
Provocative, Miami-based architect (and, I would argue, philosopher) Steve Mouzon is on my short list of Other Writers Who Make Me Think. His latest Original Green post does not disappoint, juxtaposing an intriguing comparison between what Steve calls 'the poverty of large' and 'the luxury of small': when we reduce our range, Steve posits, we are better able to improve and enjoy the things on which we focus.
It is the official position of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that the chemicals BP used in the Gulf of Mexico to disperse spilled oil pose no public health risks.
On August 5, an ice island four times the size of Manhattan broke off of a Greenland glacier and started floating toward the Nares Strait, the body of water that separates western Greenland from far northeastern Canada's Ellsemere Island.
The Wall Street Journal reported on August 10, 2010 that the Obama administration was close to sealing a deal with BP that would make the U.S. business partners with BP’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The idea is that the U.S. would take as collateral a security interest (like a mortgage) in BP’s future oil and gas revenues from Gulf operations for the $20 billion that BP promised to put into escrow. Should that happen, the U.S. Treasury would have a direct financial interest in the success of BP’s oil exploration and production activities in the Gulf until the entire $20 billion is deposited in the escrow fund.
The news from the Gulf of Mexico seafloor is good.
BP pumped the infamous Deepwater Horizon well full of cement on Thursday. The cement appears to be doing its job. And, after some pressure tests on Friday afternoon confirmed that fact, work on the relief well resumed.
Congress is having a hard time passing new laws to limit greenhouse gas pollution and spur clean energy innovation. Congressional legislation, however, is not the US government's only option.
Yesterday it became clear the Senate will go home for the August recess without responding to the BP oil spill. Obstruction among Republican Senate leadership and a handful of recalcitrant Democrats has grown so strong that not even an environmental disaster lasting more than 100 days can spur action.
Last week, the House Natural Resource Committee passed legislation called the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources Act, known as the CLEAR Act.