Nebraska landowners fight Keystone XL pipeline with solar panels right in its path

July 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Many Nebraska landowners are opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline slashing through their land. So they’re fighting the proposed oil pipeline with a clean, renewable tactic: solar panels . Activists have launched the Solar XL campaign to install solar on land Nebraska locals refuse to sell – directly in the path of the pipeline. The Solar XL campaign is intended to raise money for solar installations to power ranches and farms in Nebraska. Landowner Bob Allpress is one of those people hoping for a solar array. He said, “The need for the KXL pipeline product is non-existent in the United States. The monetary benefit to the peoples of Nebraska will be gone in seven years, while the risks to our state are for the life of this pipeline. The installation of wind and solar production in Nebraska will provide many good Nebraska jobs and provide years of cheap electricity for everyone in our great state.” Related: The Keystone XL pipeline would only create 35 full-time, permanent jobs Keystone XL could threaten multiple Nebraska sites like the Ponca Trail of Tears, the Ogallala Aquifer, and the Sandhills. Bold Nebraska , 350.org , Indigenous Environmental Network , CREDO , and Oil Change International are backing the campaign, and hope to install the first solar array at Jim and Chris Carlson’s farm. The Carlsons have refused to sell their land even though TransCanada , the company behind Keystone XL, has offered them $307,000. Family-owned company North Star Solar Bears would install the panels, which will be connected to the grid . According to the campaign, “If Keystone XL is approved, TransCanada would have to tear down clean and locally-produced energy to make way for its dirty and foreign tar sands.” If you’d like to donate to the Solar XL campaign, you can do so here . Each nine-panel installation costs $15,500, including labor and connection to the grid. Donations go to Bold Nebraska. + Solar XL Via Curbed Images via Mary Anne Andrei/Bold Nebraska ( 1 , 2 ) and 350.org on Flickr

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Nebraska landowners fight Keystone XL pipeline with solar panels right in its path

Audi confirms plans for a second electric SUV in 2019

July 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Audi is scheduled to release its first all-electric SUV sometime in 2018, but the automaker recently announced plans to introduce a second electric SUV in 2019. The Audi e-tron Sportback concept was unveiled earlier this year at the Shanghai Motor Show and is a preview of its second electric SUV . Next year’s e-tron electric SUV will be a more family friendly large model with a driving range over 300 miles, but Audi expects that some buyers may want something a bit sportier. This is why a year after the original SUV goes on sale, a production version of the e-tron Sportback will arrive. Both models share the same basic architecture, but the e-tron Sportback will have a sleeker, more coupe-like profile with a more unique liftback design. Related: Audi debuts Q8 plug-in hybrid SUV concept “Our Audi e-tron will be starting out in 2018 – the first electric car in its competitive field that is fit for everyday use,” according to a company spokesperson. “With a range of over 310 miles and the special electric driving experience, we will make this sporty SUV the must-have product of the next decade. Following close on its heels, in 2019, comes the production version of the Audi e-tron Sportback – an emotional coupé version that is thrillingly identifiable as an electric car at the very first glance.” The e-tron Sportback concept is powered by three electric motors . In normal driving conditions, the electric motor mounted on the front axle is responsible for keeping the SUV moving, but when the driver floors the accelerator or more traction is needed, all three electric motors work together. The system generates a total 430 horsepower, although it can be temporarily bumped up to 496 horsepower. With that much power the e-tron Sportback can reach 62 mph faster than most sports cars at only 4.5 seconds. Recharging the e-tron Sportback is easy using the traditional charging socket in the front fender or a much more convenient contactless inductive charging system called Audi Wireless Charging. You simply park the SUV over a charging pad and the battery is recharged. Both electric SUVs are part of Audi’s plans to have at least three electric models available by 2020. The third model will be a smaller compact EV that will share its platform with the production version of the VW I.D. concept . Images @Audi + Audi

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Audi confirms plans for a second electric SUV in 2019

Colossal iceberg weighing a trillion metric tons finally breaks off in the Antarctic

July 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

It finally happened. For several months scientists have had their eyes on the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica , where a massive iceberg has been dangling by a thread. Now they report the iceberg has indeed calved, and is floating in the Weddell Sea. The volume of this iceberg is twice that of Lake Erie. It’s thought to be one of the 10 biggest icebergs we’ve ever recorded. The new iceberg, which will likely be called A68, is around 2,239 square miles. It weighs over a trillion metric tons. Project Midas , which has been monitoring the Larsen C ice shelf, reported the calving happened sometime between July 10 and July 12. Scientists noted the break in NASA satellite data. Related: A colossal iceberg is breaking off Antarctica right now – and it’s big enough to fill Lake Michigan The Larsen C ice shelf has been reduced by 12 percent, meaning it’s at its lowest extent we’ve ever recorded. There isn’t evidence this event is linked to climate change , according to Project Midas leader Adrian Luckman of Swansea University . He said it is possible, but recent data shows that the ice shelf has actually been thickening. United States National Ice and Snow Data Center glacial expert Twila Moon agreed but did say climate change makes it easier for such events to occur. Project Midas team member and Swansea University glaciologist Martin O’Leary said in a statement, “Although this is a natural event, and we’re not aware of any link to human-induced climate change, this puts the ice shelf in a very vulnerable position. This is the furthest back that the ice front has been in recorded history.” Scientists don’t yet know what will happen to the rest of the Larsen C ice shelf. Luckman said more icebergs might break off, or the ice shelf could regrow. But the team’s prior research indicates an ice shelf is likely less stable now that A68 is floating free. Luckman told The Guardian, “We will have to wait years or decades to know what will happen to the remainder of Larsen C.” Via The Guardian and Project Midas Images via NASA/John Sonntag and Project Midas

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Colossal iceberg weighing a trillion metric tons finally breaks off in the Antarctic

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