Boris Johnson proposes 22-mile bridge to connect UK and France

January 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Could a 22-mile bridge crossing the English Channel help boost transport between the United Kingdom and France after Brexit ? Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson thinks so – he proposed the infrastructure project and spoke about a second link with France’s president Emmanuel Macron . Johnson reportedly said to Macron that it’s ridiculous that two of the largest economies in the world are joined by only one railway line. The publication said Macron “is understood to have responded positively.” Johnson tweeted a picture of the two of them flashing a thumbs-up after what he described as great meetings. En marche ! Great meetings with French counterparts today pic.twitter.com/D73B1rSkd3 — Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 18, 2018 Related: New bridge linking Japan and Russia could enable 8400-mile rail trip from London to Tokyo But some people put the brakes on the idea . The United Kingdom Chamber of Shipping, which represents over 180 maritime industry bodies, tweeted there would be challenges with such an undertaking. CEO Guy Platten told The Guardian the Dover Strait – at the English Channel’s narrowest part – “is the world’s busiest shipping lane” and that the largest ships going through the strait can be around 70 meters, or nearly 230 feet, tall. Others pointed out that such a bridge would be incredibly expensive. Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world’s busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges. https://t.co/jYD5O8B19W — UK Shipping (@ukshipping) January 18, 2018 Reuters reported France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire told Europe 1 radio, “All ideas merit consideration, even the most far-fetched ones … Let’s finish things that are already under way before thinking of new ones.” And a spokesperson for prime minister Theresa May said there were “no specific plans” regarding a Channel bridge: “What was agreed yesterday, and I think that’s what the foreign secretary tweeted about as well, is a panel of experts who will look at major projects together including infrastructure.” But according to The Guardian, some engineers said the Channel bridge idea might not be so far-fetched; architect Alan Dunlop pointed to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which is around 34 miles long. Bridge designer Ian Firth told BBC Radio 4’s Today program the project would be entirely feasible, and that before construction of the Channel tunnel there were bridge options being considered. Firth said, “There are bridges of a similar, if not quite the same, scale elsewhere…It would be a huge undertaking, but it would be absolutely possible, and shipping impact issues could be dealt with.” Via The Guardian (1, 2) and Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Boris Johnson proposes 22-mile bridge to connect UK and France

This mesmerizing lamp reacts to earthquakes across the globe in real time

January 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

This minimalist lamp responds in real time to earthquakes around the world. French artist Fabien Bouchard , who works under the name Parse/Error , linked the lamp to the data from IRIS ( Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology ) to which it reacts by emitting light pulses and rumble-like sounds when an earthquake occurs. The clean, simple design makes the Earthquake Lamp a beautiful object for any home, but its purpose makes it more than a beautiful light source . The artist, who lived through the great 2011 T?hoku earthquake in Japan , drew inspiration from this devastating event and created an object that would offer a tangible connection to the Earth and the power of nature. Related: 14 brilliant new lighting designs that will inspire you Its shape– a flattened planisphere that represents the axis of the longitudes– gives off light and sound pulses that change according to the location, magnitude and duration of earthquake across the globe. Linked to a sub-woofer, the Earthquake Lamp produces an impressive rumble that will stop you in your tracks and induce a sense of both fascination and anxiety. + ParseError

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This mesmerizing lamp reacts to earthquakes across the globe in real time

Nissan to start selling rooftop solar panels and batteries

January 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Tesla’s model of selling electric cars and solar panels seems to appeal to other automakers too – now Nissan is getting in on the game with Nissan Energy Solar . The company recently launched the service to sell rooftop panels along with their battery storage product xStorage Home . Their press release says United Kingdom residents equipped with solar products could save as much as 66 percent on their power bills. Nissan describes Nissan Energy Solar as an all-in-one solution. They’re offering three different panel options: the competitively priced Value option, the most efficient Efficiency option, or the Design option, which boasts panels integrated on rooftops. Combine that with the xStorage Home battery storage product, and Nissan hopes it will be easier for UK residents to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy – although with Nissan Energy Solar homeowners can opt to buy just solar power , just storage, or both. Users can charge up a Nissan Leaf or e-NV200 with the system. Related: Nissan’s xStorage battery for the home rivals Tesla’s Powerwall Nissan makes the case for why a buyer should choose their products over another company’s on the Nissan Energy Solar website: “We have partnered with some of the world’s largest and most advanced energy companies to provide our customers with a fully integrated product range, seamless service, and genuine value. Our products are some of the most sustainable on the market, giving a second life to batteries from our electric vehicles and maximizing our use of recyclable materials .” The company will perform LiDAR remote analysis of rooftops to optimize solar panels, according to Motoring Research . A six-panel system costs £3,881, which is around $5,383, including installation. Full Solar and Storage systems start at £7,635, around $10,589. The company’s products are designed, per Motoring Research, to be more affordable than Tesla’s. The Nissan New Energy website says the systems will be on sale soon. + Nissan Energy Solar + Nissan UK Via Motoring Research Images via Nissan

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Nissan to start selling rooftop solar panels and batteries

Copper-clad Copenhagen landmark boasts Denmarks most energy-efficient laboratories

January 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Copenhagen’s recently completed Maersk Tower boasts the nation’s most energy-efficient laboratories, where waste energy is captured and reused. Designed by C.F. Møller Architects , this new city landmark is a pioneer within energy-efficient laboratory construction and boasts a variety of sustainable design elements from an innovative facade with movable climate shields to multiple green roofs. The copper-clad building was created as an extension of Panum, the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Seven years in the making, the 42,700-square-meter Maersk Tower sports a triangular and organic form clad in glass and copper-covered shutters that reference the city’s many copper church steeples. The vertical massing also leaves space for a new publicly accessible campus park with a zigzagging ‘floating path’ providing pedestrian and cyclist access to different parts of campus. Laboratories make up over half of the building, which also houses offices, shared facilities, an 18,000-square-meter foyer, canteen, auditoriums, and classrooms. “To create architecture for world-class health research, it is important to design a venue with many opportunities to meet—both across different professional groups and across the public domain and the research community,” wrote the architects. “This will help to disseminate the research activities, leading to knowledge sharing and inspiration for new and groundbreaking research.” To that end, all the shared facilities are grouped together in the low base on which Maersk Tower sits. An open atrium with a continuous spiral staircase joins 15 floors and promotes views of the outdoors and visual connectivity indoors. Every floor features an open “Science Plaza” that serves as natural gathering spaces. Related: Solar-powered school will teach children how to grow and cook their own food Natural light and ventilation are optimized throughout the building and views of greenery can be enjoyed from every floor. Copper shutters that adjust as needed provide protection from solar heat gain. Lush green roofs that top the tower and the low base help combat the urban heat island effect . + C.F. Møller Architects Images by Adam Moerk

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Copper-clad Copenhagen landmark boasts Denmarks most energy-efficient laboratories

A series of other thoughts about NAIAS 2018

January 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech, Green

Let’s start out with my in-the-moment string of notes during the Press Preview at this year’s NAIAS (Detroit Auto Show). This covers the main ideas about this year’s program at the time. I’ll add a few more comments and expanded thoughts at the end. Not sure if it’s an actual color trend, but there’s a lot of orange at this year’s #NAIAS #NAIAS2018 Attendance seems down and space more open at #NAIAS2018. Things just seem off this year. First thought it was decline of auto industry. There’s been gap-filling of various kinds over the last few years, suppliers and related fields, but not the vacant corridors this year. The concept of automotive ownership may be starting to decline, but it’s not to that level yet. More media info is being released directly from the companies’ media sites directly – cheaper and easier than preparing press kits. The political environment can’t help. I don’t have #NAIAS info, but my personal impression is that foreign journalist turnout seems low. Even the “rides” are empty. Maybe journalists are all jaded, and these will fill during the public show. But lotsa folks standing around. There’s a hominess to a number of the displays. Wood flooring, even on the turntables. And a giant cozy shadowbox wall display. Maybe fewer booth babes (of the stand next to the car on the turntable variety) at #NAIAS2018 Don’t know about public show in comparison. Pretty sure this display was also at #naias2017 so there’s some recycling going on, even if -green- is no longer part of the program. Again, I don’t have specific numbers, but there seem to be fewer cars per display. There’s a subduedness, even in all the flash &bombast Outrageous seems to be the antithesis of #NAIAS2018 There’s too much of it in the world already, and adding to it won’t go far. They get it. Not sure if #NAIAS is relevant to @ecogeek anymore. Transport is an important element in a greener world, but carmakers have moved on. It wasn’t the first thing that occurred to me, but gradually, I had the growing sense that this was not nearly as full of a show as previous years.  There are several things that could be causing that, and it’s likely some combination of all of those factors.  (And I could be completely wrong, the numbers might be different, but it’s my sense of what I observed this year.)  I’m fairly certain that foreign coverage was down from previous years.  The increased travel difficulties (getting a visa at all, let alone a working visa) mean fewer reporters.  A few years ago, I recall the big, welcoming banner in the giant media room with flags of many nationalities.  In 2011, I wrote elsewhere : “The polyglot nature of the show is reinforced both by the numbers of national flags hanging from the ceiling overhead as well as the languages one overhears walking through the room.”  There was none of that in 2018. The cost of travel could be another factor.  With the big automakers increasingly running their own media, the handouts and press kits are in decline.  Now, all a writer needs to do to get lots of press releases and images is go to the media website of the company (media.carcompany.com or some such) and download all the information they need.  No travel and dealing with Michigan winter required. Could it be that ownership of automobiles is beginning to decline, and with it a waning interest in cars in general?  I’m not sure that we are quite at that point yet, but there could be an overall fading of interest in cars, and a matching reduction in the amount of coverage that media outlets are willing to provide for it.  Even the local TV and radio stations, that have had a notable presence at recent years’ shows were less present this year. There were cars to be seen, of course, but very much a less compelling show, especially for an EcoGeek.  Sure, there are still electric vehicles as part of the mix, and some ongoing forward steps from a couple of the companies that seem to be doing some things toward being greener.  But, at the end of the day, not a strong show, and not one with much in the way of green news at all.

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A series of other thoughts about NAIAS 2018

The thermometer in the world’s coldest settlement broke as temperatures plunge

January 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The coldest inhabited place on Earth is so chilly right now the thermometer broke. In the village of Oymyakon in Siberia , a public thermometer lets tourists and locals see how low the temperatures go. But this week, as temperatures dropped to -79.6 F (-62 C), the thermostat gave up the ghost and went on strike. Some people say their own thermometers went as low as -88.6 F (-67 C), which is almost a record for the village. Oymyakon is a village of 50 people in Siberia and has a reputation as the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth. The coldest place without human habitation is east Antarctica, which was recorded by NASA as reaching a mind-boggling -138.6 F (-94.7 C) in 2013. Anyone moaning about the weather…could be worse, this is village of Oymyakon in Russia where it is currently -62c!!!! pic.twitter.com/6RONaURGSh — Greigsy (@Greigsy) January 16, 2018 Related: 7,000 methane gas bubbles in Siberia on the verge of exploding The village gets just three hours of sunlight in December and a full 21 in July. It is served by just one small store, and the local school closes when the temperatures reach -61.6 F (-52 C). The town gets its name from a local warm spring, which doesn’t freeze, even in the coldest months – and this certainly looks to be one of them. #??????????? 14.01.2018 A post shared by ??????? (@sivtseva9452) on Jan 14, 2018 at 4:36am PST Via The Telegraph Images via Maarten Takens

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The thermometer in the world’s coldest settlement broke as temperatures plunge

Eco-Tips to Clean Up Your Hygiene Routine

January 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco

No matter who you are, looking after your body, skin … The post Eco-Tips to Clean Up Your Hygiene Routine appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Eco-Tips to Clean Up Your Hygiene Routine

Melbourne architects turn an old terrace house into a gorgeous light-filled home

January 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Melbourne-based Ben Callery Architects converted a compact terrace house with limited square footage into a contemporary, light-filled home by going upwards and outwards. The renovation introduced a large rooftop deck, and natural light floods the interior, providing a strong connection with the outdoors. The Beyond House also takes advantage of a number of sustainable features including passive heating and cooling, solar power , water harvesting, and repurposed materials. The old row home was previously cramped in between two walls with little light, but by bringing the home design upwards, the architects were able to outfit the top level with a gorgeous open-air deck that allows the homeowners to enjoy a private outdoor space. Although adding this indoor/outdoor connection to the home was imperative to the renovation, the owners were also focused on creating a strong sustainability portfolio for their new home. Related: Low-impact Abbotsford Eco House uses recycled materials wherever possible in Melbourne “The owners are serious about sustainability and wanted the new addition to be naturally comfortable, using the sun for heating, breezes for cooling, water harvesting, solar power, recycled materials (even re-using the old kitchen),” the architects said. “We looked beyond the site constraints and beyond the typical spatial boundaries within a terrace house’s rooms and levels.” The strong connection to the outdoors continues throughout the interior, which was outfitted with strategically placed windows to bring in as much natural light to the living space as possible. In fact, every room in the house has a floor-to-ceiling glass door that provides optimal light, further fusing the indoor with the outdoor. + Ben Callery Architects Via Freshome Photography by Peter Bennetts via Ben Callery Architects

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Melbourne architects turn an old terrace house into a gorgeous light-filled home

These Adidas sneakers double as subway passes in Berlin

January 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

No ticket? No problem. If you’re wearing Adidas’s limited-edition EQT Support 93 sneaker , you’ll be able to hitch a free ride on Berlin’s metro through most of 2018. To satisfy the conductor, simply kick up your heels. An unlikely partnership between the footwear giant and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe —a.k.a. BVG, the German capital’s main public transport operator—each shoe incorporates an annual pass that’s been rendered in fabric and stitched into the tongue. Such passes typically go for €730 ($895), which means that the shoe itself, at €180 ($220), is a comparative steal. Unsurprisingly, some newspapers noted that hundreds of people camped outside shoe stores in the snow (a few of them over the weekend) for a chance to snap up one of just 500 pairs. As far as train-hopping is concerned, the shoe is certainly dressed for the occasion. It features camouflage-like squiggles that recall the design of the subway system’s upholstered seats, plus black-and-yellow sneakers that echo the colors of the trains’ facades. Related: San Francisco’s rapid transit to run on 100% renewable energy And BVG, which is ringing in its 90th year, demonstrates that you’re never to old to be a fashion icon. “How cool is that? Now we have an exclusive sneaker with our popular BVG seat pattern. We are sure that this shoe is a very special highlight for Berlin,” Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta, CEO of BVG, said in a statement. “It’s great that the BVG, which is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, is now becoming a cult object itself.” + Adidas Photos by Overkill

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These Adidas sneakers double as subway passes in Berlin

The world’s largest wildlife sanctuary proposed for Antarctica

January 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

While the US is busy trying to open more precious areas to fishing and drilling , a campaign led by the EU and Greenpeace seeks to protect an area the size of Germany in Antarctica. A nearly 700,000 square-mile area around the Antarctic Peninsula and the Weddell Sea would become the world’s largest sanctuary if the proposal is accepted, protecting killer and blue whales, seals, penguins and other sea life. The idea for the massive sanctuary was initially put forth by the EU and then backed by Greenpeace. Multiple EU countries support the idea, and the concept will go to conference in October. Not only will the sanctuary be essential for protecting wildlife, it will also go a long way towards mitigating the effects of climate change. Related: Meteorologist warns collapse of two Antarctic glaciers could flood every coastal city on Earth One of the major impacts of protecting this area is that it would eliminate krill fishing within its borders. Krill is a major component of the diet of many animals, from penguins to whales. Countries including Russia, Norway and China are active in the krill fishing industry, which means getting their approval will be essential in the process. Via The Guardian Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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The world’s largest wildlife sanctuary proposed for Antarctica

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