Platform-based grids promise a power boost

April 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Platform business models have redefined the modern economy. Next, it may redefine the electric utility sector through DSOs and DERs.

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Platform-based grids promise a power boost

Domains as brand strategy: What does a URL say about you?

April 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Sponsored: An .eco domain can demonstrate your company’s environmental commitment and distinguish it from the crowd.

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Domains as brand strategy: What does a URL say about you?

First civilian jetpack gives humans the power of flight

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Most of us have dreamed about flying . Now company JetPack Aviation is making those dreams reality. They’ve designed “the only true JetPack ,” the JB10, and it packs a powerful punch. Humans can soar up to 10,000 feet in the air at speeds of 68 miles per hour with the futuristic technology . JetPack Aviation has designed a personal flight jetpack that allows humans to zoom through the air for around 10 minutes. The technology is powered by two efficient jet engines that run on diesel. While flying, users can lean forward to move and speed up, or lean back to slow down to a hover. The right handle controls thrust and throttle; the left handle governs spin. The jetpack can even be equipped with an automatic inflation system which will release a float bag in seconds if the jetpack hits water. Related: Dubai firefighters now have jetpacks in their arsenal JetPack Aviation CEO David Mayman said in a Mashable video, “I think that the jetpack is the ultimate expression of freedom. It’s more than just a fantasy or a dream; it’s more than science fiction ; it’s something that we can literally do right now.” Mayman has been working for ten years with chief designer Nelson Tyler, who has been working on jetpacks for decades and whom Mayman describes as “like one of the original Wright brothers.” The jetpacks aren’t just for having fun in the backyard; the company has envisioned several practical applications for their jetpacks as well. They said commuters and first responders could benefit from the technology, and the military could use the jetpacks on search and rescue missions. JetPack Aviation recently raised $285,269 on equity crowdfunding platform StartEngine . The company says 500 people, military services, and government agencies have contacted them for more information, and they’ve already received their first order from a private citizen. Start saving now – the retail price is $250,000. + JetPack Aviation Via Mashable and JetPack Aviation on StartEngine Images via JetPack Aviation Facebook and screenshot

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First civilian jetpack gives humans the power of flight

Trump is switching off the EPA’s invaluable public data service

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

President Donald Trump’s war on science and the environment continues as his administration is set to switch off the Environmental Protection Agency’s Open Data Web site this week. The data service is the United States government’s largest civilian-linked data tool, according to The Independent , and offers information open to researchers on the climate , the environment, and public health . While that would be awful enough, since the tool is vital for keeping people informed about health and climate data, that isn’t all Trump has planned for this week. Private citizens will soon no longer have access to a tool that allowed them to obtain data on climate change , health impact analysis, environmental justice , and life cycle assessment. The EPA’s Open Data Web page provided information on toxic chemicals, and allowed people to see if a treacherous spill had happened near them during the last 30 years. All that information is about to go dark, thanks to Trump. Related: 75 American mayors affirm climate goals even after Trump executive order The move to yank data away from citizens isn’t Trump’s only planned assault this week. On Wednesday he is supposed to sign an executive order  connected to the 1906 Antiquities Act, signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt. President Barack Obama  the act – more than other presidents – to protect federal areas such as the 1.6 million acres of land in Nevada and Utah which he designated as national monuments. The land contains Native American artifacts, and Obama’s move protected the area from drilling and mining . Then on Friday Trump is set to sign another executive order to review rules on offshore drilling and look at areas for offshore oil and gas exploration. Both orders could pave the way for more fossil fuel development. Trump’s been working hard to undo Obama-era climate change regulations, citing goals for improving jobs in the US. An anonymous White House official told Reuters over the weekend, “This builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines , innovations in energy production, and reduce unnecessary burden on energy producers.” Whether these moves will create jobs remains to be seen, but the impact on the environment is very real. Via The Independent and Reuters Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Becker1999 on Flickr

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Trump is switching off the EPA’s invaluable public data service

CO2 levels just reached 410 ppm – the highest in millions of years

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Remember when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere hit a terrifying 400 parts per million (ppm)? That’s number’s old news now – concentrations just reached 410 ppm for the first time in millions of years. Last week, researchers at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded the record-breaking level, and scientists warn the rate of increase will only slow when we reduce our carbon emissions . Mauna Loa Observatory scientists just recorded the first CO2 level above 410 ppm since they began recording in 1958. Back then, the first atmospheric CO2 concentration was a mere 313 ppm . In 2013 concentrations hit 400 ppm . Last week’s reading was 410.28 ppm. Related: CO2 levels likely to stay above 400 ppm for the rest of our lives, new study shows University of Southampton professor of isotope geochemistry Gavin Foster told Climate Central, “It’s pretty depressing that it’s only a couple of years since the 400 ppm milestone was toppled. These milestones are just numbers, but they give us an opportunity to pause and take stock and act as useful yard sticks for comparisons to the geological record.” The United Kingdom Met Office put out a CO2 forecast for the first time ever earlier in 2017, and it turned out to be pretty close to reality; they predicted CO2 concentrations could breach 410 ppm in March but very likely would by April. El Niño is partly at fault for spiking levels of CO2, but more than natural factors, humans burning fossil fuels are to blame. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) atmospheric scientist Pieter Tans said, “The rate of increase will go down when emissions decrease. But carbon dioxide will still be going up, albeit more slowly. Only when emissions are cut in half will atmospheric carbon dioxide level off initially.” In a March NOAA article , Tans said the rate of CO2 growth over the last 10 years is 100 to 200 times quicker than the rate Earth saw as it transitioned out of the Ice Age, saying “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.” Via Climate Central Images via Flickr , Flickr  and Wikimedia Commons

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CO2 levels just reached 410 ppm – the highest in millions of years

Hacienda San Jose Lavista is a fairytale retreat in San Miguel Allende

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Set in the hills overlooking San Miguel Allende, the striking Hacienda San Jose Lavista is a beautiful retreat surrounded by expansive vineyards, lakes, and fields of wild flowers. Designed by architects Jose Seoane Castro and Pedro Urquiza to be a romantic getaway, the idyllic hotel pays respect to traditional building practices – including using adobe as the primary building material. Looking to colonial Mexican architecture for inspiration, Castro and Urquiza used traditional adobe as a primary building material. Adobe allowed the architects to forgo common structural elements, instead creating 50-centimeter thick walls to support the building’s mass. Related:Casa Xixim is an eco-friendly, self-sustaining resort in Mexico Castro and Urquiza reportedly designed the complex to be romantic retreat. In addition to the luxury suites, a picturesque chapel sits on a small pond, creating a picture-perfect setting for weddings or baptisms. Hotel guests can also enjoy various interior and exterior patios, game rooms, a pool and plenty of private nooks that look out over the gardens. Multiple pieces of local art and traditional furniture were used in the hotel’s interior design – another nod to the area’s long artisan history. + Hacienda San Jose Lavista Images via Hacienda San Jose Lavista

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Hacienda San Jose Lavista is a fairytale retreat in San Miguel Allende

Britain sees first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

For the first time since Thomas Edison opened the first power station in London in 1882, Great Britain functioned without any coal-fired power plants last Friday. The milestone marks the first continuous 24-hour period without coal since the Industrial Revolution. This isn’t the first time Britain has gone without coal for a significant chunk of the day, but before this, 19 hours was the longest continuous time that coal power was able to go offline. Instead of coal, National Grid relied on a mix of 50.3% gas, 21.2% nuclear, 12.2% wind, 8.3% imports, 6.7% biomass, and 3.6% solar on Friday. While natural gas still isn’t a completely clean power source, it’s nowhere near as polluting as coal , and nuclear power , while it has very real risks, doesn’t spew greenhouse gasses into the environment. In an ideal world, a larger portion of the nation’s energy would come from renewable sources, but for now, simply ditching coal for a day is an accomplishment to celebrate. Days like this will become more and more common as time goes on – in 2016, the UK relied on coal for just 9% of its electricity needs, down from 23% in 2015. By 2025, the country’s last coal power station is slated to close as part of the government’s promises to meet its climate change commitments. Related: European electricity sector pledges no new coal plants after 2020 However, it’s important to remember that eliminating coal is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions: the UK government (and, indeed, other governments around the world) still need to tackle the huge amount of carbon generated by other infrastructure and the country’s transportation system. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )  

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Britain sees first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution

The train has left the station on renewable energy

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Economics and corporate behavior have changed the energy landscape for good. Google, H&M, Nestle and Walmart jumped on. Will you follow?

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The train has left the station on renewable energy

United 3341 and the failure of sustainable values

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

What can the sustainability world learn from this corporate crisis?

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United 3341 and the failure of sustainable values

How India’s Tata is mainstreaming natural and social capital

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Giant Indian conglomerate Tata group is moving to account for tough-to-value environmental, human and social factors within its business decisions. The exercise hasn’t been easy, but it’s determined to try.

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How India’s Tata is mainstreaming natural and social capital

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