In the case of advancing technology, it’s often said that great minds think alike. In other less fortunate cases, it’s alleged that the ideas of great minds are stolen by those not so great. That’s what Silicon Valley-based Tesla Motors claims happened with the trade secrets and design concept for their new hybrid sedan.
Green car fanatics have long been salivating over Tesla’s electric two-seater sports car, which has only recently become available in limited quantities. Up next on the production schedule is a four-door sedan, which, according to the New York Times has been code-named the White Star. It appeared to be smooth sailing for Tesla until from around the bend came news of the Fisker Karma sedan, which — like Tesla’s vehicle — is a “serial hybrid” powered by a battery that’s charged by a small gas engine.
Not since Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has there been so much excitement over the discovery of giant marine creatures. And while you might think jellyfish with 12-foot tentacles, 2-foot-wide starfish, huge sea snails and large sea spiders sound like science fiction, they are very much science fact.
Scientists conducting “the most comprehensive survey to date of New Zealand’s Antarctic waters” discovered several new species, including up to eight new mollusks. The sheer size of the creatures was attributed to “cold temperatures, a small number of predators, high levels of oxygen in the sea water and even longevity”.
The world should be divided into two: BTIT; and ATIT. That’s Before “The Inconvenient Truth” and After “The Inconvenient Truth”. Every day, more people emerge from the ether to whom TIT was a life-altering experience. Take Bradford Rand, the brains behind the Go Green Expo, which will be held in The Hilton New York over Earth Day weekend. A producer of over 600 trade shows, Rand and his team came up with the idea for the expo after a viewing of TIT prompted the question: How can we make a difference?
The Go Green Expo kicks off with a Gala Awards Dinner on Friday April 25th. Patrons paying upwards of $500 will dine on a Rachael Ray created menu, marvel at a Maggie Norris’ Eco Couture fashion show and applaud the awardees including Anderson Cooper, Kevin Wall of Live Earth fame and David Zaslav (the CEO of Discovery Communications).
Escapology is the art of freeing something from restraint. From Harry Houdini to Criss Angel, many performers have made a name for themselves using their amazing abilities to make things (including themselves) disappear.
Regardless of what cloth you’re cut from,The state of the economy seems to have everyone jittery, and that includes venture capitalists (21st century VCs) looking at investing in a cleaner, greener future.
In times of crisis, we yearn for comfort and security, over-valuing the status quo because it’s safe. The alternative is revolution. BIG money investors are looking towards the status quo right now, trying to find ways to inch forward rather than embrace wholesale change in energy production.
You may remember Vinod Khosia from our Wired Livinghomes Show, he was the guy who funded the project and talked about how the technology in the 4 million dollar Livinghome would find it’s way to cheaper greener homes. In this Dateline video he tells Stone Philips that Ethanol is the the fuel of the future if we switch to SwitchGrass and stop using crops like corn. So he invested heavily and is spreading the word.
Khosla “What could be better than a greener fuel that’s cheaper for consumers, that doesn’t feed Mideast terrorism, yet instead fuels rural America?”
If you think only earthy crunchy folk rockers from the seventies are on the bill for this weekend’s massive Green Apple music festival honoring Earth Day, think again. In an attempt to reach out to a younger and wider audience, organizer Peter Shapiro has enlisted an impressive roster of diverse musicians from all popular genres to perform this Sunday at eight free festivals featuring more than 100 concerts in Washington, D.C, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and New York.
Quoted in the New York Times, Shapiro says he “made a conscious decision to cast a much wider net than most people would expect” because he believes “it’s vital that the environmental movement appeal to what the country looks like today.”
For the past month, my inbox has been inundated with e-mails introducing me to new products or reminding me of existing ones — all, it seems, in honor of Earth Day. Promoting Earth Day is good. But many of these ads are stretching the green angle a little too thin for my taste: this hotel has green features like giving patrons the option of reusing their towels, while this child’s toy isn’t coated in lead-based paint.
I get that unnecessary washing of towels is a waste of resources and that kids shouldn’t be poisoned by their tiny Tonka, but what does that have to do with Earth Day?
The answer, unfortunately, seems to be: marketing. Instead of using April 22nd to raise awareness of and appreciation for the environment, companies are using it as a tool to move more product. “Buy this — save the planet.” Which ultimately reduces Earth Day to any other day on earth.
Let’s face it, sometimes it takes a little financial incentive to get people to do the right thing. When you currently bring a reusable bag to the supermarket you are either: given a 5 cent discount (there’s no rhyme or reason as to when or if this occurs); or entered into weekly draw for free groceries (but let’s be honest: since this is only at Traders Joe’s, where most shoppers are socially conscious, you’re chances of winning are slim).
But what happens when one is charged for the privilege of using a disposable bag? We’re about to find out.
In a bold move in keeping with this progressive city, the mayor of Seattle, Greg Nickels, “has proposed implementing a 20 cent ‘green fee’ on disposable shopping bags at Seattle grocery and convenience stores”, making Seattle the first city in country to do so. If the city council approves, the new measure would go into effect January 1, 2009. Just in time for all those New Year resolutions? #1: say no to paper and plastic.
For those of you who can sleep late every morning except on the day the noisy trash collector thunders down your street, you might want to consider moving to Sweden. Because that’s where Volvo is testing their new FE Hybrid Electric garbage truck. Not only does it provide increased fuel efficiency, it’s virtually noiseless.
“The future of refuse handling is already here,” claims Volvo’s press release, which touts the FE as “a perfect fit for ‘stop and go’ applications.” Like Volvo’s FM Hybrid, the FE is equipped with a 7-liter diesel engine coupled with an I-SAM (Integrated Starter Alternator) electric motor. The energy created by braking charges the lithium-ion batteries, which run the vehicle from startup to a speed of approximately 20 km per hour. Which does seem a perfect fit when you consider that the garbage truck simply goes from one house to the next and stops. Removing fossil fuel from the vehicle’s constant idling will cut gas and emissions 20 to 30 percent, they say.
You may not know this, but our cross-country and continental jaunts contribute to at least 2 percent of our planet’s carbon emissions. In addition to that, the cost of the fuel generating those emissions keeps going up. According to the New York Times, “jet fuel is now the largest expense for most airlines, and for American carriers each penny increase in price per gallon costs nearly $200 million a year.” Which ultimately means the cost of flying will continue to skyrocket.
But that’s about to change, thanks to a few dedicated companies that are spearheading more efficient, greener airplanes by building lighter, lower-emitting jet engines.
What more important in China right now than business? Ensuring that the Olympics go as smoothly as possible. Already under fire from the international community about Tibet and Darfur, China doesn’t want any more adverse publicity to affect the games in the form of pesky pollution. In an effort to fulfill their promise of good air quality in the capital of Beijing, the government is about to embark on some pretty drastic measures.
A two-month plan of combating pollution beginning July 20 will hopefully yield clear skies by the August 8 Olympic start date. According to Du Xiaozhong, deputy director of the city’s environmental protection bureau, 19 heavily polluting plants would be shut down, construction sites involved in excavation or cement work will stop working and one-half of the city’s three million cars will be removed from the roads. Adding up to a serious halt in production.