Although concept cars rarely make it into commercial production, it is here where we can at least catch a glimpse of the future. And if this is the future of personal transportation, then there's a reason to be excited.
“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And it's happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes – and his work so far shows – that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.
Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA -- in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where "the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys."
Tucson Electric Power: Bright Tucson Community Solar
Investor-owned Tucson Electric Power's solar garden allows customers to buy the electricity generated by solar panels in 150-kWh blocks. The rate is set at just $3 a month for each block and locked in for 20 years.
Originally planned for 1.6 MW, the program has been so successful that it's grown to 4.13 MW and 777 subscribers.
Colorado Springs Utilities: Community Solar Gardens
During the pilot phase of this municipal-run program, 2 megawatts (MW) of solar are available for lease or purchase in exchange for a fixed credit of $0.09 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) over 20 years.
As of October, close to 300 residential customers had purchased over 500 panels.
Florida Keys Electric Coop: Simple Solar Program
Since 2008, members have been able to lease solar panels from a solar garden in the Keys. They get a credit on their utility bill for the power the panels generate over 25 years.
Because of the project, the coop got a $43,000 rebate from the state, which it's using to fund rebates for members' home energy efficiency upgrades.
Monday, February 4th, 2013 - By SustainableBusiness.com
A 100 megawatt (MW) concentrating solar plant (CSP) under construction in Abu Dhabi is the first of its kind in the Middle East and one of the biggest in the world.
The Shams 1 facility, which covers 617 acres near Abu Dhabi, is scheduled to connect to the grid before the end of March. Because it is a parabolic trough design, it requires less land than other CSP technologies.
768 parabolic trough collectors with 258,000 mirrors track the sun throughout the day and concentrate its energy on tubes that carry a heat transfer fluid, heating it to 400 degrees Celsius. The fluid passes through a natural gas-powered booster, where it is heated another 140 degrees Celsius to generate steam for a conventional steam turbine.
The plant is one of the flagship projects being developed by Masdar, an organization funded by the Mubadala Development Company, the strategic investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government. It is structured as a joint venture that also includes French oil company Total and Spain's Abengoa.
Those damn environmentalists are at it again. This time, bitching and moaning about air pollution in, of all places – Salt Lake City, UT.
Even the EPA has demonized the region for having the nation's worst air for most of January because of an icy fog that blankets the valleys for long periods of time and traps microscopic soot.
And doctors are lining up, too – more than 100 of them, calling on lawmakers to lower highway speed limits, curb industrial activity and make mass transit free for the rest of the winter. Socialists!
There really should be a “sarcasm” key on a keyboard just in case some folks reading this aren't picking up on my sarcastic tone.
Unfortunately, sarcasm is often what I cling to when reporting on things like this. It makes it easier, because quite frankly, to see such a beautiful place like Salt Lake City choking on this kind of pollution is just depressing. And I need something to counter that. Thus, the sarcasm.
Nonetheless, Salt Lake City has a real problem right now.
According to doctors, microscopic soot which consists of combustion particles from tailpipe and other emissions, harms the lungs of even healthy people.
The president of Utah's Physicians for a Healthy Environment Brian Moench has actually called this a public health emergency, noting that for every pregnant woman breathing this stuff, this is a threat to her fetus through chromosome damage.
And Salt Lake City pediatrician Ellie Brownstein equated the smog to smoking, saying that instead of breathing clean air, you're breathing particles that make it harder for your lungs to function and get oxygen.
This ain't China, folks. This is right here in the U.S. - where we actually have regulations in place to avoid these types of problems. So the question is, will Utah take the appropriate steps to lower emissions in an effort to avoid these types of problems in the future? Or will lawmakers there continue to mock the necessity of common sense clean air laws. I'll guess we'll find out soon enough. In the meantime, if you live in Salt Lake City, doctors have advised that you stay indoors. Especially pregnant women, children and the elderly.