Costa Rica to abolish fossil fuel use in a bid to be the world’s first decarbonized country

May 10, 2018 by  
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Could Costa Rica become the first decarbonized country in the world? That’s one of the goals of new president Carlos Alvarado. The Independent reported during his inauguration that he said, “We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies .” 38-year-old Alvarado, a former journalist, rode a hydrogen-electric bus to his inauguration ceremony, where he spoke of plans to ban fossil fuels in the Central American country. Alvarado said, “Decarbonization is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first.” Thousands of people attended the ceremony. Related: Costa Rica celebrates 113 days of 100% renewable energy (and counting) The Independent reported Alvarado said last month that Costa Rica would start carrying out a plan to stop the use of fossil fuels in transportation by 2021, which marks the 200th year of the country’s independence. Alvarado said in a victory speech, “When we reach 200 years of independent life we will take Costa Rica forward and celebrate…that we’ve removed gasoline and diesel from our transportation.” The country generates over 99 percent of its electricity via renewable sources, The Independent said. But experts said rapidly reaching zero carbon transport could be tricky. Vehicle and Machinery Importers Association president Oscar Echeverría told The Independent, “If there’s no previous infrastructure, competence, affordable prices, and waste management we’d be leading this process to failure. We need to be careful.” University of California, Berkeley energy researcher Jose Daniel Lara told The Independent it may be unrealistic to fully cut out fossil fuels in a few years, but the plan could pave the way for speedier action, saying, “A proposal like this one must be seen by its rhetoric value and not by its technical precision.” Via The Independent Images via Depositphotos and Wikipedia

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Costa Rica to abolish fossil fuel use in a bid to be the world’s first decarbonized country

The Trump Administration just ended the program that lets us monitor carbon emissions

May 10, 2018 by  
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While the news media focuses its attention on the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the scandals related President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, the Trump Administration quietly ended the Carbon Monitoring System (CMS). With a $10 million annual budget and administered by NASA, CMS served to track the flow of Earth’s carbon, a particularly important mission as the United States and other nations confront climate change. “If you cannot measure emissions reductions, you cannot be confident that countries are adhering to the agreement,” Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of Tufts University’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, told Science . Gallagher described the administration’s decision to end the program as “a grave mistake.” Much of the work done by the CMS since 2010 has focused on forests and the carbon that they contain. One such project involved a collaboration between NASA and the US Forestry Service, in which the organizations created an aircraft-based laser imaging device to quantify forest carbon stocks. “They’ve now completed an inventory of forest carbon in Alaska at a fraction of the cost,” CMS science team leader George Hurtt told Science . The CMS has also used its capacity to support other countries in their efforts to preserve and study their forest stocks, particularly in tropical locations. Related: Even NASA isn’t quite sure how to explain these holes in the Arctic Sea’s ice Though disheartening for those who work to combat climate change, the Trump Administration’s decision to end CMS fits with its previous policy making on climate change . However, this decision, like others, puts the United States outside of the global climate mainstream. “The topic of climate mitigation and carbon monitoring is maybe not the highest priority now in the United States,” said Hurtt. “But it is almost everywhere else.” The work of carbon monitoring will continue in Europe , though the United States has ceded leadership in the process. “We really shoot ourselves in the foot if we let other people develop the technology,” president of the Woods Hole Research Center Phil Duff told Science . Via ScienceAlert Images via IIP Photo Archive/Flickr and Joshua Meyer/Flickr

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The Trump Administration just ended the program that lets us monitor carbon emissions

Scientists discover a huge new human organ hiding in plain sight

March 28, 2018 by  
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Just when you thought we knew all there was to know about the human body, researchers revealed that they discovered an entirely new human organ.  Called the interstitium, it consists of a series of fluid-filled, shock-absorbing compartments that shield body tissues. The interstitium was previously thought to be dense layers of connective tissue, but it turns out that it is actually one of the largest organs in the human body  –  and understanding it better may offer clues to understanding how cancer spreads. Dr. David Carr-Locke and Dr. Petros Benias identified it as an organ while scanning a patient’s bile duct for signs of cancer. The doctors collaborated with New York University pathologist Dr. Neil Theise to further explore the structure and function of the newly identified organ. In a study published in the  journal  Scientific Reports , researchers note that previous research had failed to note the presence of the interstitium because traditional methods for the observation of body tissues involved the draining of fluid. “This fixation artifact of collapse has made a fluid-filled tissue type throughout the body appear solid in biopsy slides for decades, and our results correct for this to expand the anatomy of most tissues,” Dr. Theise told the Independent . Related: Changing the price of certain foods could save thousands of lives each year Researchers noted that the interstitium drains its fluids into the lymphatic system, which affects and regulates the body’s immune response. This means that cancer cells could potentially be released by the interstitium as it transports fluid throughout the body. If properly understood, this new organ could prove to be key in preventing the spread of cancer . “This finding has potential to drive dramatic advances in medicine , including the possibility that the direct sampling of interstitial fluid may become a powerful diagnostic tool,” said Dr. Theise. Via the Independent Images via  and  Jill Gregory/Mount Sinai Health System  and Deposit Photos

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Scientists discover a huge new human organ hiding in plain sight

This all-electric off-road spider car can drive over just about anything

August 4, 2015 by  
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It may not look like your typical off-roading beast, but the ingenious Swincar by French company Mecanroc may be the most incredible ATV ever created. With four independent wheels mounted on spider-like legs and a suspended hammock-like seat for the driver, this thing can tackle terrain that most vehicles could never even attempt. Seventy-percent grade? No problem. Down the center of an irrigation ditch with each wheel at a different height? Easy peasy. Better yet, the all-electric four-wheeler can do all that with none of the smog-generating pollution of traditional off-road vehicles . Read the rest of This all-electric off-road spider car can drive over just about anything

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This all-electric off-road spider car can drive over just about anything

New NASA Report Shows Scientific Consensus on Global Warming From Four Independent Institutions

January 23, 2013 by  
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For those who still harbor a shred of doubt about the reality of climate change , a recent report released by NASA should put those doubts to rest. According to the report, four independent institutions tracking climate trends have confirmed that the planet is continuing to get warmer. The information shows that not only is the increase trending as predicted, but that the warming is indeed man-made. Read the rest of New NASA Report Shows Scientific Consensus on Global Warming From Four Independent Institutions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change Tracking , Global Warming Trends , Japanese Meteorological Center climate report , Manmade climate change data , Met Office Hadley Center climate report , NASA Climate Report , NOAA Climate Change Report

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New NASA Report Shows Scientific Consensus on Global Warming From Four Independent Institutions

Virgin Atlantic To Debut New Green Aviation Fuel In 2-3 Years & It’s Not A Biofuel

October 11, 2011 by  
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photo: Dan Terzian / CC BY Considering how energy-intensive it is, aviation is really the hard nut to crack in greening transportation, but Virgin Atlantic says it has a way to do it–and, importantly, without using biofuels. As The Independent reports, Richard Branso… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Virgin Atlantic To Debut New Green Aviation Fuel In 2-3 Years & It’s Not A Biofuel

Scientists Dress Up as Pandas to Fool Them (and Us?)

December 10, 2010 by  
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Photo: the Independent O.k.; which one is the real panda and which is the scientist? It’s a tough one: scientists in China are dressing up as pandas in order to prepare the bears for release into the wild. Pandas are an endangered species, there are just 2,500 left and they can’t get too used to human contact because it will make them too tame.

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Scientists Dress Up as Pandas to Fool Them (and Us?)

California’s Oldest Trade Organization Comes Out Against Proposition 23

October 24, 2010 by  
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The Independent Energy Producers Association is a leading non-profit California trade organization and the oldest of its kind in the state. Together, its members represent about one-third of California’s generating capacity, so when IEPA speaks, people listen.  Yesterday IEPA Executive Director Jan Smutny-Jones spoke. He issued a statement declaring that “ Proposition 23 will undo the remarkable progress green energy generators are making in California – and put thousands of clean energy workers out of work.” This is a pretty forceful declaration for a major business group, so let’s see what’s behind it.

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California’s Oldest Trade Organization Comes Out Against Proposition 23

Does The Independent Bookstore Have A Future?

October 4, 2010 by  
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We have also noted before that independent and specialty bookstores are a labour of love, a dying breed, a money pit, a host of clichés, under pressure from big box retailers, Amazon and now the e-reader. Yet we have also noted how important the small independent retailer is to a viable main street and a walkable community. I can’t p..

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Does The Independent Bookstore Have A Future?

Charlie Crist Running As An Independent. Another Vote for Climate Action?

April 28, 2010 by  
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Photo via the Sun Sentinel Tomorrow Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to give up his bid for the Republican nomination for Senate and declare that he is running as an Independent

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Charlie Crist Running As An Independent. Another Vote for Climate Action?

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