Sleep in this restored WWII air control tower full of historic charm

February 15, 2019 by  
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A unique Airbnb listing in Scotland is inviting guests to stay at an amazing restored WWII air traffic control tower. Located in the Scottish Highlands area of Tain, the HMS OWL Air Control Tower dates back to the second world war, when it was used as an airbase for planes coming in and out of the country. Now, the tower has been renovated into a vibrant guesthouse with design features that pay homage to its military past. The old air tower is located in Tain, a former WWII air base that sits adjacent to the North Coast 500 Scenic Route. The former military structure was bought by Justin Hooper and Charlotte Seddon, who converted it into their family home. The family lives on the first three floors, but the top floor of the building is available for rent starting around $100 per night. Related: Sleep hundreds of feet in the air in this renovated air traffic control tower The five-year renovation process was extensive, but the couple went to extreme lengths to retain the military character of the building. To blend the tower into the expansive grassy landscape, Justin and Charlotte painted the exterior a jet black. They also left the original steel-framed Crittal windows that let in optimal natural light into the property. On the interior, large concrete pillars and exposed brickwork gives the living atmosphere a chic,  industrial feel. Large leather sofas and chairs, along with a wood-burning stove, make the living space extra warm and inviting. The top floor’s  unique guest room sleeps up to two people in a comfortable king-sized bed and beautiful en suite. The room has plenty of large windows to let in natural light as well as to offer the stunning views of the Scottish countryside. + HMS OWL Air Control Tower Via Curbed Images via HMS OWL Air Control Tower

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Sleep in this restored WWII air control tower full of historic charm

Closing the clean energy funding gap is a matter of economics — and national security

December 18, 2018 by  
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It’s time to take a cue from the military’s willingness to invest in microgrids and onsite renewables

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Closing the clean energy funding gap is a matter of economics — and national security

COP24 and the color of money

December 18, 2018 by  
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In a world darkened by distrust and dysfunction, the prismatic hues of big business shined through.

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COP24 and the color of money

4 steps to align ESG and enterprise risk management

December 18, 2018 by  
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There’s a clear business case for doing so.

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4 steps to align ESG and enterprise risk management

Lessons learned from U.S. Navy microgrids in Hawaii

June 22, 2018 by  
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Military microgrids are expected to reach $1 billion in the next eight years.

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Lessons learned from U.S. Navy microgrids in Hawaii

The Pentagon removed 23 climate change references from a report on military risk

May 10, 2018 by  
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Internal documents from the Pentagon reveal a notable de-emphasis on climate change as a national security threat, seemingly to accommodate a president who does not believe in climate change itself. As revealed by the Washington Post , earlier Obama-era drafts of a Defense Department report referenced climate change 23 times; the Trump-era version mentions climate change only once, with previous references removed or changed to more Trump-palatable phrases such as “extreme weather.” Though the Pentagon continues to treat climate change as a potentially destabilizing threat to national security, it seems poised to avoid political battles on what has become a partisan issue. The Washington Post was not able to verify who made the changes to the report, and the Department of Defense would not comment on that issue. “As highlighted in the report, the effects of climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to missions, operational plans, and installations,” Pentagon spokesperson Heather Babb said in a statement . “DOD continues to focus on ensuring its installations and infrastructure are resilient to a wide range of threats, including climate. The Department has a proven record of planning and preparing for such threats.” Related: Hawaii just set the most ambitious climate goal of any US state: carbon neutral by 2045 While the Trump-era version of the report still reaches the conclusion that extreme weather poses a national security threat, it does not address sea-level rise as directly as the Obama -era version. This problem is particularly pertinent for the US military, whose bases in Norfolk, Virginia and the Marshall Islands are at risk of flooding as sea levels increase. A map that revealed locations which face heightened flood risk was also removed. “The wordsmithing, not saying ‘climate,’ I could live with that,” Dennis McGinn, a former Obama Administration assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment and retired Navy vice admiral, told the Washington Post . “But taking out … maps of critical areas of flooding, that’s pretty fundamental. And the Arctic , that’s huge, for a lot of reasons, not just for Department of Defense, but for the Coast Guard, and commercial shipping business.” Via The Washington Post Images via Depositphotos (1)

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The Pentagon removed 23 climate change references from a report on military risk

O2 Studio renovated an old Netherlands home into a gorgeous energy-neutral villa

May 10, 2018 by  
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In the Netherlands, an old home dating back to the 1960s has been given an energy-neutral makeover, and the results are stunning. At the request of the owners,  O2 Studio revamped the home into an energy-efficient powerhouse . In addition to using passive strategies, like adding more windows and skylights to let in optimal natural light, O2 Studio installed an innovative hybrid system of PV panels and geothermal heat to generate clean energy. Located in Bunnik, near Utrech, the family home is a great example of how to renovate an old structure using sustainable materials and energy-efficient features to bring it into the 21st century. The architects decided to retain the original layout of the structure, but wanted to flood its interior with as much light as possible. Thanks to several windows and a skylight, the house is naturally lit throughout the day, reducing energy use and costs. The home’s self-sustaining energy system takes advantage of both geothermal heating and solar power  through a roof-mounted PV array. Related: Kumar residence is an energy-efficient, zinc-clad renovation in San Francisco On the interior, a new glass staircase leading to the upper floor was installed to enhance the home’s open floor plan. The ground floor of the home was extended to make space for an open kitchen and seating area, which leads to the outside through extremely large glass sliding doors — again, bringing in natural light wherever possible. The kitchen and dining area was placed 50 centimeters lower than the entrance level — a strategic design tactic that seamlessly connects the inside of the villa with the outdoor garden and a beautiful river nearby. In fact, the home is surrounded by greenery , giving it a contemporary cabin-in-the-woods feel. + O2 Studio Photography by Ossip via O2 Studio    

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O2 Studio renovated an old Netherlands home into a gorgeous energy-neutral villa

Groundbreaking quark fusion generates 10 time as much energy as nuclear fusion

November 8, 2017 by  
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Physicists at Tel Aviv University and University of Chicago have discovered that quark fusion, involving the tiny particles known as quarks of which protons and neutrons are made, is an even more potentially energy-packed reaction than much-touted nuclear fusion . Although the scientists were originally concerned about quark fusion’s potential destructive power and had considered keeping the discovery secret, they came to learn that the process, still theoretical, would most likely be safe for civilian use. The newly identified kind of reaction, which could yield up to ten times as much energy as nuclear fusion, could be the answer to endless clean energy someday. A fusion reaction, whether nuclear or quark, occurs when two or more atomic nuclei are close enough to each other to form at least one different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles. In fusing, the involved reactants and products release an enormous amount of energy, which could theoretically be harvested as nearly-infinite clean energy , the holy grail of renewable technology. A quark reaction, which could yield up to ten times as much energy as nuclear fusion, involves the fusion of bottom quarks, subsequently resulting in a larger subatomic particle, a spare particle known as a nucleon, and an enormous output of energy.  It’s reaction is so potent that it is potentially more powerful than the reaction at the center of an exploding hydrogen bomb. Related: These mini spherical reactors could help scale fusion energy by 2030 “I must admit that when I first realized that such a reaction was possible, I was scared,” said Marek Karliner, quark fusion co-researcher at Tel Aviv University, “but, luckily, it is a one-trick pony.” Nuclear explosions in hydrogen bombs gain their destructive power from chain reactions. Quark fusion, it seems, could not possibly be dangerous because bottom quarks disappear only a picosecond (1/1,000,000,000,000 of a second) after they form. There simply is not enough time for these subatomic particles to form a chain reaction. “If I thought for a microsecond that this had any military applications , I would not have published it,” Karliner said, according to Live Science. Although quark fusion remains in the theoretical stage, the researchers state that it could be achieved at the Large Haldron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider located in France . Via Live Science / Engadget Images via CERN , lead image via Deposit Photos

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Groundbreaking quark fusion generates 10 time as much energy as nuclear fusion

What civilians can learn from military investments in solar

October 2, 2017 by  
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Power outages aren’t just inconvenient, they could undermine national security.

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Why hydrogen fuel cells are a boon for the military

September 27, 2017 by  
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About a decade ago, the United States federal and state governments began experimenting with hydrogen fuel cells, said Stan Osserman, director of the Hawaii center for advanced transportation technologies. The push was driven by high oil prices at the time. As the prices tapered, however, the development kept going. “The prices have come down and the weight has come down on [hydrogren fuel] equipment,” said Osserman. “Lots of companies are realizing this is a good business case on its own.” 

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