linkage: via motherjones
linkage: via motherjones
A new twist on wind turbines. This young inventor wanted a super cheap method for generating power on a micro scale and has achieved this by using a technique known as flutter. Wind flutter occurs when wind flows across a high tension strip causing it to flutter. The flutter effect is converted to energy at the end simply by placing the high tension strip between some coils.
Here is a look at a new prototype car by Venturi that they tout as an ‘autonomous energy vehicle’. Autonomous in the sense that the batteries will allow it to cover 30 miles on a full charge, and the solar panels and wind gust chargers will recharge the batteries. If you happen to live in London and the greyness isn’t giving your batteries the loving they need you can always plug it into AC.
First production runs are limited to 200 so I would imagine the $30,000 price tag won’t be high enough to scare off those fast adopters whose carbon debt won’t let them sleep at night.
I stumbled across a site today with some excellent graphical representations of the world. I enjoy seeing graphical presentations of complex data, presented in novel, and extrelely pleasing to the eye, ways.
- Glass Half Empty – the coming water wars
The Swedish Minister for sustainable development (hey do all countries have one of these?) came out and said that they aim to be fossil-fuel free by 2020, therefore being the first country to step up to the plate in-front of one hell of a pitcher, oil and the big oil companies.
What does this mean? In essence Sweeden wants to become energy sustainable, complete reliance on renewable energy. Yep. 100%. Calls have gone out to experts in the alternatives, wind, solar, tidal, biomass, hydrogen.
article continues with photos and links after the jump
The media site ChangeThis is working to spread new thoughts and ideas to a wider audience. There are a number of interesting manifestos and I found the beyond sustainability one worth a mention.
It tackles the fundamental concepts of sustainability from the very necessary position of redefining the entire concept and looking at realising humans possibilities.
As a society, we are addicted to solving our problems through a reductionist frame. When
we confront problems in the world, we chop them into small pieces and give each piece to a
specialist familiar with that chunk. Over time, as we have done this more and more, society’s
competence to address the complex, messy problems we confront has diminished.
Unsustainability is just such a messy problem. Sustainability is a holistic concept that takes
an equally holistic stance to attain. Reductionist solutions will not suffice.
John Errenfeld goes on to discuss how to tackle the root causes rather than the symptoms. Fundamental changes in the way we think and the way we live our lives. Well worth a read.
Here are a couple of great pics to advertise the enormity of the problem facing us all. I think I may stop bothering to slow global warming and concentrate on learning boat building.
Click pictures for a larger image
A fitting end to the most storm filled season on record as eyes watch Tropical Storm Epsilon near Bermuda. Experts at the US National Weather Servicce warned that the most hectic season on record was part of “a trend likely to continue for years to come,” extending an active hurricane cycle that began in 1995.
“I’d like to foretell that next year will be calmer, but I can’t,” Admiral Lautenbacher said. “Historical trends say the atmosphere patterns and water temperatures are likely to force another active season upon us.”
It is perhaps fitting then that the top greenhouse gas emitter, the US (who won’t opt in on Kyoto citing possible disastrous repercussions to their economy) will also bear the brunt of increased hurricanes along the populous and unprotected East coast.
I am sure the US govt has weighed up the $ cost of reducing emmissions against damage from hurricanes and attached minor political fallout and decided that the cheapest (and therefore ‘best’) option for the current reigime is to keep on polluting in the hope that someone else can sort it all out later.
It certainly is a scary thing. It has always been said that countries get the leaders they deserve. So with Bush leading the way on environmental issues it comes as no suprise that they will agitate, cajole, intimidate and generally do whatever they need to do to disrupt the talks that start in Toronto today. The talks will cover all aspects of global climate change and what needs to be done to combat it. Member nations of the existing Kyoto treaty (of which the US was one until Bush came to power) will work at setting down a frame work for a new accord to replace the Kyoto protocol when it expires at the end of the decade.
The US govt is not planning any sort of subterfuge, they are being very open about their efforts to oppose any sort of agreement across nations on the issue of climate change “We’re going to resist it, obviously” Harlan Watson, head of the U.S. delegation said.
Critics believe that the other nations should ignore the US and continue to work towards accords that will give the environment, and future generations a fighting chance. Unfortunately:
The U.S. spews a quarter of world’s greenhouse gases. This year it enlisted five other big polluters — Australia, China, Japan, India and South Korea — in an “Asia-Pacific Partnership” to promote its view that voluntary measures and new technologies will eventually solve climate change.
So no matter what is decided by the committed smaller nations their efforts at reduction will pale in comparison to the major contributors above who are taking the stance that there is nothing to be done at the moment apart from voluntary reductions and burying your head in the sand in the hope that some future technology will fix everything we break today.