Science & Technology

The future is now

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-e) is a new branch of the US Department of Energy designed to fund and support early stage, potentially transformational energy technologies. The Agency was funded by the stimulus bill in 2009 and this week it’s showing off its successes at an Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC. If you're an energy geek,… read more →

The end is nigh?

Against the backdrop of the failure of comprehensive climate change legislation and the ongoing attacks against environmental protections already in place, now feels like an appropriate time to turn to a more basic question: are we doomed? A lot is riding on the answer, so it's no surprise that both scientists and economists have put quite a bit of effort… read more →

Orbital satellite includes tiny digester

To follow up on what must be the most exciting topic to grace these electronic pages, the final frontier of anaerobic digesters is, of course, space. Only slightly different from the technology that powers all of our dairy projects, a new experiment by Florida Institute of Technology researchers will test whether a particular strain of bacteria that can convert human… read more →

Offshore wind getting some backbone

Google and a renewable electricity investment company are investing in an offshore, 350-mile long high-voltage transmission line off the coast of New Jersey, with spurs making landfall in Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and just outside of New York City. Each company is in it for about $200 million, which is about 75% of the total investment. New transmission lines aren't… read more →

Recovery Act creating a new energy economy

It may not be the most popular term to throw around these days, but the $787 billion stimulus package passed in the early days of the Obama administration is still handing out dollars, and has the potential to transform how we use and store energy in this country. Two-thirds of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was devoted to avoiding a… read more →

Copenhagen Wheel competing for Dyson Award

Looks like the Copenhagen Wheel Adam was so gaga about has topped the list of US regional entries, and will compete against 17 other inventions from around the world for the James Dyson Award of design. The winner will be announced on August 24, but in the meantime, we can all enjoy the snappy marketing video above. At a retail… read more →

EPA rejects attempts to reconsider endangerment finding

The EPA recently responded to 10 petitions challenging the historic Endangerment Finding that linked increases in the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases with a decline in human welfare. The petitioners challenging the Finding - mostly conservative groups including the Ohio Coal Association, the Southeastern Legal Foundation and the State of Texas - argued that the EPA should reconsider based on… read more →

Heat seeking camera used to assess home energy use

The quality of your home's insulation can be hard to assess without tearing into walls or poking a hole in the roof to see what's underneath. But a group of municipalities in Belgium have taken a creative approach to helping people learn about their roof insulation: they hired an airplane-mounted thermal imaging camera to photograph neighborhoods over a four-night period… read more →

Save the whales! Save the planet!

It turns out sperm whales are every bit as good for the atmosphere as they are awesome to look at. Scientists from Australia have calculated that the whales may in fact be responsible for the removal of 200,000 tonnes of carbon every year, approximately the same as taking 40,000 cars off the road. Large mammals are generally considered to be… read more →

Affordable LED lightbulbs on the way

The news out of Lightfair International (the lighting industry tradeshow) is that Lighting Science will soon introduce a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb in the "affordable" $30-40 range. I used to live in a rental house with two five-bulb chandeliers - hey, don't blame me, it was a 1910 Victorian, and I certainly didn't design the lighting situation. The chandeliers came… read more →
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