U.S. loses 24 million acres of natural land

August 7, 2019 by  
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Mother Nature might be ticked, because the United States is losing land fast. If you’ve ever visited the glorious Grand Canyon, you already know how vast it is. Imagine what a combined nine Grand Canyons would look like, and you have the equivalent of the amount of natural land the U.S. has lost from 2001-2017. That’s 24 million acres if you do the math. The reason? According to a recent study conducted by the Center for American Progress, “How Much Nature Should America Keep,” it’s all because of agriculture, energy expansion, an increase in housing build-outs and other human-made developments, making the U.S. more susceptible to climate change . Related: Scientific consensus reaches beyond 99% on human-caused climate change The study calculated the country’s land degradation by adding up the impact of all the above factors to come to an assessment. Bottom-line, the center said that the “U.S. needs to set a goal to protect 30 percent of land and oceans by 2030 to stem the rapid decline of natural areas, which will protect the country from the worst impacts of climate change and wildlife extinction .” The report also found that presently, 12 percent of the country’s land area has been saved as national parks , wilderness areas and other kinds of protected areas, while 26 percent of the country’s ocean area is protected from drilling for oil and gas. The report continued, “The United States is entering an era in which it will rely more than ever on the integrity and stability of the natural world to provide economic prosperity, safeguard the health of communities and weather the effects of a changing climate.” As for the sharpest losses of natural areas, these took place in the southern and Midwestern U.S. as the carbon footprints of cities, farms, streets, power plants and other developments increased from 47 percent and 59 percent of land area, respectively. To turn things around — and hopefully protect 30 percent of land by 2030 and avoid even more land degradation — the U.S. must increase its current land conservation blueprint at both the federal and local levels. + Center for American Progress Via Reuters Image via Tony Webster

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U.S. loses 24 million acres of natural land

McDonald’s new paper straws: thick, soggy, hard to recycle

August 7, 2019 by  
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Looks like the shakes at some McDonald’s restaurants aren’t the only things that are thick. Word is the fast food chain’s paper straws introduced a year ago to keep in tune with “protecting the environment” are hard to recycle , because they are too thick and become soggy in drinks. The new paper straws were introduced in 2018 after a trial basis to 1,361 McDonald’s franchises located throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. Related: McDonald’s creates McHives to raise awareness of the world’s decreasing bee populations. The problem with these straws was first reported by the U.K.’s The Sun newspaper, which published an internal McDonald’s memorandum stating the fast food chain’s paper straws “are not yet recyclable and should be disposed of in general waste until further notice.” “While the materials are recyclable, their current thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers, who also help us recycle our paper cups,” a McDonald’s spokesman told the U.K.’s Press Association news agency. Although the original plastic straws could be recycled more easily, the European Union along with the British government has opted to move to banning plastic straws by 2020 and wants chains like McDonald’s to halt using such products. “The government’s ambitious plans, combined with strong customer opinion, has helped to accelerate the move away from plastic , and I’m proud that we’ve been able to play our part in helping to achieve this societal change,” Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s U.K. and Ireland, said in a press release at the time. Not surprisingly, the new paper straws haven’t been much of a hit from the get-go, according to other reports. For example, many social media users have been busy commenting that the paper straws get too soggy in drinks. Additionally, a formal petition asking McDonald’s to return to its former plastic straws has garnered more than 50,000 signatures. Via CNN Image via Meghan Rodgers

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McDonald’s new paper straws: thick, soggy, hard to recycle

3 New Developments in the Rapid Growth of Carbon Management Tools

November 15, 2011 by  
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Although it’s a relatively young market, there is a surprising amount of activity taking place in the enterprise carbon and energy management field. Here are some of the latest signs of progress.

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3 New Developments in the Rapid Growth of Carbon Management Tools

How the Gigaton Award Winners Are Chosen

November 15, 2011 by  
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The Carbon War Room’s research director explains what it takes to win a Gigaton Award.

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How the Gigaton Award Winners Are Chosen

VERGE Roundup: Tapping Vehicle-to-Grid Power & More

September 27, 2011 by  
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Technology that would enable EVs to "give back" to the grid and a new lingua franca for wireless building automation systems are among the developments that further the concept GreenBiz calls VERGE.

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VERGE Roundup: Tapping Vehicle-to-Grid Power & More

Morgan teams up with Zytek for electric sportscars

August 19, 2011 by  
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Smriti Singh: Morgan +E Electric Supercar Rolling on fast lanes, year 2012 will see two new sports EVs that will hot up the eco-friendly car market. Morgan is all set to launch these sports car concepts based on the Supersports in collaboration with Zytek, a company dedicated to the electric engine technology. Talking about Zytek, the company is already working on a 94hp, 221 lb-ft of torque electric powertrain for other cars. The Smart ED being one of them. Named as Morgan E+, these projects will be based around the Aero Supersport aluminium chassis. The proposed EVs will feature a high power density electric motor by Zytek, instead of old 4.8 ltr BMW V8 engine and a standard manual transmission. Morgan says that further developments can follow if the demand is constructive. However, these two are not the only companies involved. CENEX, a research and design projects company is partially funding the project. The grant is approximated at 100,000 pounds. CENEX apparently aims at maximizing the spread of zero-emission transportation vehicles. The involvement of these three giants can surely make an impact in the world of EVs, which even after being packed up with so many benefits are yet to see a revolution that can take the market with storm. Morgan +E Electric Supercar Concept Lithium-ion batteries fitted into aluminium chassis will rev up the car specifications. Steve Morris, operation director, Morgan is confident about the project and terms this collaboration as an ‘exciting investigation’. He hopes that with the near supercar performance of Morgan, a drastic rise in the potential of zero emission cars cannot be ruled out. If all goes well, the testing will start early in 2012. Via: Carbuzz

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Morgan teams up with Zytek for electric sportscars

Are Commercial LED Replacements Ready for Prime Time?

August 19, 2010 by  
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There are increasing numbers of LED replacement products for T8 fluorescent lamps, which are widely used in retail and commercial buildings, but the US Department of Energy is warning that many of these do not yet offer comparable performance and light output versus what is supplied by using fluorescent lamps. Just because they are called replacements does not mean they are going to provide a similar level of performance. Many LED replacement lamps are highly directional, with the LEDs only emitting light in one direction

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Are Commercial LED Replacements Ready for Prime Time?

Plug-In Solar Appliance Brings Cheap Solar Power to Homes

August 18, 2010 by  
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Solar power company Clarian Technologies has developed a new concept in residential solar power:  the solar appliance.  Just like a refrigerator or microwave, a homeowner can buy the Sunfish solar power system, plug it into any outdoor outlet and start feeding solar power into their home. Whereas most solar power systems require a contractor to install the module and an electrician to connect it to the electric panel through an inverter (to convert the DC power generated to AC power), Clarian says a handy homeowner can install the Sunfish themselves in about an hour. The other major bonus of such a plug-and-play-type system, is the cost.  Let’s face it, that’s the main draw.  The base model Sunfish will cost $799 with the largest running about $4,000, where a typical roof-mounted system costs a minimum of $10,000 and goes steeply up from there.

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Plug-In Solar Appliance Brings Cheap Solar Power to Homes

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