Environmentalists want to sculpt an Arctic ice ‘Trumpmore’ to show climate change is real

May 2, 2018 by  
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Would the face of a certain climate change -denying president carved on an Arctic iceberg last for one thousand years — or melt? That’s the question an environmental group is asking. They aim to sculpt Donald Trump’s face in ice “to end the debate on climate change.” Environmental association Melting Ice aims to “build the biggest ice monument ever to test if climate change is real” with what they’re calling Project Trumpmore . Inspired partly by Trump’s alleged dream of having his face carved onto Mount Rushmore, Project Trumpmore aims to make his dream come true…but perhaps not in the way he’d like. They want to sculpt the president’s face on an iceberg with the anticipation the artwork would melt away. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v3.0’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); The plan is to build Trumpmore to match the size of the presidents on Mount Rushmore. Read more: http://projecttrumpmore.com/#s5 Posted by Project Trumpmore on  Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Related: ‘Trump Forest’ plants trees to offset the president’s climate ignorance Nicolas Prieto, Melting Ice chairman, said in a statement, “ Global warming is one of the most important issues and topics of today. There are still people who ponder whether it’s a real issue. We want to build the monument for all of us, so we can see how long the sculpture lasts before melting. Often people only believe something when they see it with their own eyes.” According to the statement, three young men “working in the creative field” are behind the project, hoping to create a concrete symbol with what they call their scientific art project. On their website, they said if they do reach the construction phase, they’d broadcast the process, estimated to take around four weeks, on a live feed. They said “a world-leading team of Finnish and Mongolian ice sculptors” would do the carving. There’s still a ways to go — the team estimates Project Trumpmore might cost 400,000 Euros, or over $478,000 if crafted responsibly. They said on their website they’ll work to minimize the carbon dioxide emissions generated from traveling and other work on Project Trumpmore, and are aiming to launch a crowdfunding campaign. They have yet to find a location for the giant face and ask if anyone knows of one to get in touch with them. You can find out more on the Project Trumpmore website . + Project Trumpmore Image via Project Trumpmore

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Environmentalists want to sculpt an Arctic ice ‘Trumpmore’ to show climate change is real

Trump Administration decides to allow import of elephant trophies after all

March 7, 2018 by  
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The Trump Administration has decided to quietly reverse its ban of imported elephant trophies, instead stating the issue should be decided on a “case-by-case basis.” In November 2017, President Trump decided to publicly oppose the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to lift a ban on imported elephant trophies from certain African countries. Trump later tweeted that others in favor of lifting the ban would “be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.” Apparently, changing Trump’s mind was not as difficult as he made it out to be. The decision on the big-game trophy import ban is only the latest instance of President Trump changing his mind — without explanation — on an important issue. His positions on immigration and gun control have also wildly oscillated, depending on to whom he had last spoken. Even as recently as late January, Trump defended his decision to maintain the ban. “I didn’t want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back into [ the United States ],” said Trump in an interview . “[The decision to reverse the ban] was done by a very high-level government person. As soon as I heard about it, I turned it around.” It is not clear whether Trump once again changed his mind or if his government slipped one past him while the President was distracted. Related: Trump bewilders scientists, says ice caps are “setting records” In a rare moment of agreement, both President Trump and environmentalists have expressed skepticism as to whether the elephant trophy fees raised by countries such as Zimbabwe actually fund the conservation efforts they are intended to support. “A lot of the money has been siphoned away by corruption,” explained Rachel Bale, a wildlife reporter for National Geographic, explained on NPR’s Morning Edition , “so there are serious concerns with hunting management in Zimbabwe.” “In that case, the money was going to a government that was probably taking the money, OK?” said Trump in an interview. Ultimately, that skepticism was not enough to maintain the ban. “The Trump administration is trying to keep these crucial trophy import decisions behind closed doors, and that’s totally unacceptable,” Tanya Sanerib of the Center for Biological Diversity told the AP . “Elephants aren’t meant to be trophies; they’re meant to roam free .” Via NPR Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Trump Administration decides to allow import of elephant trophies after all

Sheldon Chalet combines extreme engineering with luxury on North America’s highest mountain

March 7, 2018 by  
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Sheldon Chalet is a cozy retreat perched on the flanks of North America’s highest mountain in Alaska . Set on Denali at 6,000 feet in elevation, the Sheldon Chalet offers views of breathtaking natural surroundings while enveloping its guest in a blanket of luxury and comfort. The building is anchored “deep into the granite, iron and titanium of the Sheldon Nunatak” and it offers all the amenities of a luxury resort . It sits 6,000 feet above sea level, on a glacier just below the summit of Denali, and it’s accessible only by plane. Related: Handsome timber chalet shows off the beauty of modern minimalism Guests can enjoy views of the towering peaks and the night sky while sitting around a cozy fireplace or while waiting for their personal chef to prepare fresh Alaskan fare. + Sheldon Chalet Via Uncrate

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Sheldon Chalet combines extreme engineering with luxury on North America’s highest mountain

Rimac creates an electric supercar with almost 2,000 horsepower!

March 7, 2018 by  
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The name Rimac may not be that familiar to you, but that could soon change with the Crotian automaker’s debut of the supercar of all supercars. Unveiled with significant fanfare at the Geneva Motor Show , the Rimac C_Two comes with almost 2,000 horsepower on tap and a suite of other impressive features; it’s basically what all electric carmakers should aspire to create. The Rimac C_Two has four electric motors , two in the front and two in the back that generate a combined 1,914 horsepower and 1,696 lb-ft. of torque. With that much power at your disposal, you’ll reach 60 mph in only 1.85 seconds and a top speed of 258 mph. The C_Two doesn’t just impress with the amount of power it has on tap, since it can also travel up to 404 miles on the NEDC cycle, thanks to its 120-kWh battery pack. Hook it up to a 250-kW fast charger and you’ll be able to charge it up to 80 percent in under 30 minutes. Related: Tesla-powered 1981 Honda Accord accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds Rimac is also looking to the future, since the C_Two will be capable of Level 4 autonomous driving, and it’s packed with the latest autonomous driving tech, including eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and lidar sensors. Even with all that power, Rimac describes the C_Two as a grand tourer. Open the butterfly doors and you’re greeted with a luxurious interior with three digital screens to provide all the information you need or want. There’s room for two and unlike most supercars, there’s even room for your gear. Rimac hasn’t announced the pricing for the C_Two, but only 150 units will be built. +Rimac Images @Rimac

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Rimac creates an electric supercar with almost 2,000 horsepower!

New evidence shows oil and coal were central in the decision to reduce Bears Ears

March 2, 2018 by  
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Despite lip-service to the contrary, new evidence reveals that oil and mining played a central role in the decision to reduce Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has repeatedly stated that mineral extraction was not a factor in drawing up the new boundaries for the monuments, but documents obtained by the New York Times show that this is untrue, and that Zinke – along with Utah Senator Orrin Hatch – encouraged removing protections from areas known to have oil, coal or uranium deposits. Documents show that in March 2017, Hatch asked the Interior Department to look at the boundaries of Bears Ears in order to “resolve all known mineral conflicts.” In May, Bureau of Land Management officials asked for information on a uranium mill within the monument. The resulting map, which was drawn to exclude protected areas that were thought to contain minerals, is almost exactly the same as the map Trump unveiled as he cut the size of Bears Ears. Documents also show that Zinke’s staff used coal deposit estimates when determining which parts of Grand Staircase-Escalante should be excluded from protection. “The Kaiparowits plateau, located within the monument, contains one of the largest coal deposits in the United States,” a Spring 2017 Interior Department memo said. Staff members were asked to research “annual production of coal, oil, gas and renewables (if any) on site; amount of energy transmission infrastructure on site (if any).” Minerals weren’t the only determination used in changing the boundaries. Cattle grazing and timber were also factored in. When Trump reduced the national monuments, the Bureau of Land Management started to ramp up for a practice known as “chaining” in Grand Staircase-Escalante. Chaining involves putting a large chain between two bulldozers, which then move through forests to destroy native vegetation and open the land for cattle – a devastating practice that decimates the local environment. Related: President Trump shrinks Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments by 2 million acres Zinke claimed in December that he had recommended reducing the size of Utah’s protected areas because he wanted to take “an approach in which we listen to the voices of the people, not Washington, D.C., special interests,” citing the fact that Utah government leaders were opposed to the designation of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. While about half of Utahns want Bears Ears reduced , a vast majority oppose the break-up of Grand Staircase-Escalante. Local Utah leaders have sought to reduce the monuments since they were established in order to generate money by leasing the land – but even they were surprised by the size of the ultimate reduction. “Obviously they were looking at facts other than the ones we had raised, we assume,” said John Andrews, associate director of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. Despite Zinke’s language, it was clear early on that mining and oil extraction were the real focus for reducing the national monuments. In December it was revealed that large Uranium firms were lobbying for access to the areas . At the time, Zinke denied that energy extraction was a factor in the decision-making process. “This is not about energy. There is no oil and gas assets. There is no mine within the Bears Ears…” he said. Via The New York Times Images via Patrick Hendry and the BLM

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New evidence shows oil and coal were central in the decision to reduce Bears Ears

Coca-Cola, Nestle seek to privatize world’s second largest aquifer

February 28, 2018 by  
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Coca-Cola and Nestle are pushing to take ownership of the Guarani Aquifer in Brazil. Named for the indigenous Guarani people, the world’s second largest aquifer beneath parts of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina may soon fall under private corporate control. According to  Correio do Brasil , private meetings between the multinational corporations and representatives of Brazil’s government have occurred to start the formal process of privatization, which could guarantee their control of the aquifer for over 100 years. Activists and community groups are concerned that privatization could result in lack of accountability and profit-driven decision-making that could jeopardize the long-term health of the aquifer and those who depend on it. Corporate lobbyists for Coca-Cola and Nestle have been hard at work in Brazil since at least 2016. These companies, along with AB Inbev, Dow, and PepsiCo, belong to the  2030 Water Resources Group  (2030WRG), an organization that describes itself as “a unique public-private-civil society collaboration.” However, water rights groups have identified the group as acting to insert corporate control into what has historically been a public service across the globe. Related: 73 million trees to be planted in largest reforestation project ever The corporate drive for private water rights comes as the nation endures political tension. The early talks regarding privatization of the Guarani Aquifer began prior to the impeachment of elected left-wing President Dilma Rousoff, who was removed from office in 2016. Since Michael Temer assumed power, his administration has rolled back many of the progressive policies put in place by Rousoff’s Workers Party. “The new Brazil that is back in business…is a more prosperous, a more open country,” said Temer at Davos, “a country with more opportunities for investment, more opportunities for trade and business .” Via Correio do Brasil, Franklin Frederick/Brasil de Fato and  Mint Press News Images via Romerito Pontes/Flickr and  manufaturadeideias/Flickr

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Coca-Cola, Nestle seek to privatize world’s second largest aquifer

Over a third of all cars were electric a century ago

February 26, 2018 by  
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Electric cars are cutting-edge technology these days, and it seems like people everywhere are switching. However it might come as a surprise to learn that 118 years ago, 38% of all cars were electric . Porsche’s first car was electric . The fastest car in the world was electric. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison collaborated on an electric car. Electric cars were the future – a century in the past. ? In 1900, 40% of cars were powered by steam, 38% by electricity and a mere 22% by gasoline. By 1912, there were nearly 39,000 electric cars on the road. Electric cars were popular because they were quiet, didn’t require a cumbersome crank start, and had no smelly fumes or smoke. An electric car could go 65.79 mph (a record set in 1898) and some had a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge. Since roads outside of cities were rough or non-existent, electric cars were perfect for urban dwellers. Related: Porsche’s First Car Built in 1898 Was Electric! At one point, Henry Ford was determined to create an affordable electric car. “Within a year, I hope, we shall begin the manufacture of an electric automobile. I don’t like to talk about things which are a year ahead, but I am willing to tell you something of my plans. The fact is that Mr. Edison and I have been working for some years on an electric automobile which would be cheap and practicable,” he said in 1914. It’s a shame that Ford’s EV never made it into production – imagine how much it could have changed the vehicle market. Edison, who worked with Ford on the EV, believed that the electric automobile was the transportation of the future. Sadly, it was Ford’s mass-produced Model T that ultimately killed the electric car. At their peak, there were many EV manufacturers competing in the market. Detroit Electric was churning out electric cars, Denver-based Fritchle motors were proud of their 100-mile range battery, President Woodrow Wilson owned a Milburn Electric vehicle, and New York-based Babcock had its own line of EVs. Sadly, electric cars started to disappear in the 1920s as gas automobiles became the most affordable option. Gas guzzlers also had the benefit of being able to go much further than an electric car, (a problem electric vehicles are still working on tackling), which was important as roads became better outside of cities. It wasn’t until gas shortages in the 1970s that people started to explore alternative-fuel cars once again. Via Clean Technica Images via Porsche , Wikimedia and Wikimedia

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Over a third of all cars were electric a century ago

Welcome day 1

February 15, 2018 by  
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GreenBiz Chairman and Executive Editor Joel Makower, President Pete May, and Conference Director Ellie Buechner welcome GreenBiz 18 participants to the conference.

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Trump wants to dramatically slash clean energy research by 72 percent

February 1, 2018 by  
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It comes as no surprise that Trump is all about pushing fossil fuels – or “beautiful clean coal,” as he calls it – but it still feels like a punch to the gut when you hear about his latest move. The President wants to slash funding from the Energy Department’s clean energy programs by a whopping 72 percent while cutting at least 230 jobs. After imposing a 30% tariff on solar panels made outside the US, it leaves little doubt about what Trump’s priorities are. The Washington Post got their hands on a budget draft coming out of the White House, which details Trump’s vision for the Energy Department (hint: it doesn’t include much clean energy). While it’s important to note that this is just a jumping-off point, and negotiations will likely ultimately raise funding and jobs from the proposal, it is a stark reminder that Trump’s White House is all about partisan politics and not what’s best for the planet ( or even the economy ). Related: Trump’s 30% solar tariffs could kill thousands of jobs and harm industry growth The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) currently has a budget of $2.04 billion. The White House is asking for $575.5 million, with a staff cut from 680 to 450 in 2019. “It shows that we’ve made no inroads in terms of convincing the administration of our value, and if anything, our value based on these numbers has dropped,” said an anonymous EERE employee to the Washington Post . “The administration is ceding jobs to China and our other global trade competitors. The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s research, development, and commercialization programs play a critical role in helping ensure America leads both in inventing and deploying innovative clean energy solutions that power our nation and increase our competitive edge in the global market,” said Bluegreen Alliance in a statement. Via The Washington Post Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 ) and Flickr

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Trump wants to dramatically slash clean energy research by 72 percent

US CO2 emissions declined during Trump’s first year as president

January 16, 2018 by  
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What were United States carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions like in 2017, the first year President Donald Trump was in office? Based on preliminary estimates, the Rhodium Group said US emissions declined by just below one percent , thanks to changes in the energy sector. Electrek crunched the numbers and found 94.7 percent of net new electricity capacity came from renewables . But emissions from buildings , industry, and transportation increased – and America has a ways to go to meet Paris Agreement goals. Nearly 80 percent of reduction in American energy-related CO2 emissions between 2005 and 2016 are thanks to the electric power sector, according to the Rhodium Group. They said in an article, “Improved efficiency of buildings and appliances has helped flatten electricity demand, and coal has lost market share to lower-carbon natural gas and zero-carbon renewables. That trend continued in 2017.” Related: A ‘giant leap backward for humankind’ as CO2 emissions rise after years of stability The group said coal lost ground to other power sources. Solar , wind , and hydropower generation growth displaced coal and natural gas. Between January and October generation from the two more-polluting fuels fell by 138 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) compared against the same period the year before – and renewable generation increased by 75 million kWh. But energy-related CO2 emissions increased in other sectors – “offsetting more than one-quarter of the gains made in electric power,” according to the Rhodium Group. Even though Trump yanked America out of the Paris Accord , many states and cities said they’d stay in and work towards the United States’ goals. The Rhodium Group said, “Recent climate and clean energy policy developments at the state and city-level policy developments could potentially accelerate last year’s pace of emission reductions, while recent federal regulatory changes could slow that progress.” They said America seems to be on track to reach the 2009 Copenhagen Accord goal of 17 percent reduction under 2005 levels by 2020, as long as the country keeps up the one percent energy-related CO2 emissions decline and there are no big changes in other emissions. The Paris Agreement pledge was 26 to 28 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2025. America is not on track to achieve that – the country would need an average annual reduction of 1.7 to two percent in energy-related CO2 emissions over the upcoming eight years. Via the Rhodium Group , Electrek , and Engadget Images via Depositphotos and Thomas Richter on Unsplash

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US CO2 emissions declined during Trump’s first year as president

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