Terraform Earth


More Efficient Carbon Fiber Airplanes

Boeing has just done a test flight for their new 787 Dreamliner. I usually don’t fawn over a big corporation’s newest product launch, but this one is a highlight for efficiency. It is mostly made from carbon fiber composites and titanium, uses more efficient engines and should save an airline 20% on fuel costs.These fuel savings will constitute huge reductions on greenhouse gas emissions since flight is one of the most CO2 intensive activities one can pursue. A couple percent savings with the largest wasters can have a bigger effect than a huge savings in less wasteful sectors.

Amory Lovins of RMI has presented evidence linking energy efficiency with improved profits at some major corporations. There are now sustainability MBA programs at institutions like the Presidio College that are training the next generation of managers and executives. This profit oriented demographic will uses their newly acquired efficiency paradigms to drive the more forward thinking corporations towards sustainability as a competitive strategy. And being less competitive will quickly drive the other corporations towards efficiency. As Lovins says, “We will change their minds or their managers.”

Companies like FiberForge will be cranking out the new ultra-light, ultra-strong materials to meet an ever rising demand. A concept I would find conceptually appealing would be generating some of those carbon fibers from CO2 emissions. To sequester carbon within the industrial materials that will reduce the CO2 emissions has a kind of intellectual symmetry that is very satisfying.

Posted via web from Dan’s EcoGeekery

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Global Warming Self Education Resources

Originally assembled for the Global Warming Solutions conference on 2/4/09. Any comments with additional resources may be added to the list as time allows.

Self Education Resources

Online Researching
~ Wikipedia – a communally edited encyclopedia that seems to be getting better the more people use it. Consider editing or adding an article yourself.  –  wikipedia.org
~ Google Scholar – offers searching of scholarly publications, letting the public get closer to the actual researchers and their data.  –  scholar.google.com
~ Social Bookmarking – use the wisdom of a community to quickly guide yourself to the best online resources.  —  delicious.com -or-  digg.com -or-  stumbleupon.com
~WikiHow – Want to know how to do … whatever, only sustainably? Search on this site for things like “sustainable” and “agriculture”.  —  www.wikihow.com
~ Do-It-Yourself Surveys – build your own free surveys
polldaddy.com -or-  freeonlinesurveys.com
~ Map of Flooding from Sea Level Rise – an interactive layer on top of Google Maps that will show what areas flood as sea levels rise, meter by meter.  —  flood.firetree.net
~ WattzOn – Calculate your carbon footprint using a tool that gets better the more people use it.  —  www.wattzon.com

Podcasts
~ iTunesU – free educational broadcasts hosted by Apple. Requires installing iTunes (also free). Searching is limited: you have to look up the host school, then subject. The Wood’s Energy Seminar series offered by Stanford is quite informative on global warming issues.  —  apple.com/itunes
One blogger made a guide to iTunesU:
diyscholar.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/how-to-begin
~ Social Innovation Conversations – Offering lectures, debates and conference recordings on social change subjects such as sustainability, uplifting the developing nations, disaster prevention and recovery, sustainable venture capital, equality, non-profits and progressive business practices.
Some favorites speakers:  Amory Lovins (efficiency guru), Vinod Khosla (green venture capitalist), Bunker Roy (of the Barefoot College), William McDonough (sustainable design), Dean Kamen (Segway inventor), Natalie Portman (microlending),
sic.conversationsnetwork.org
~ NPR – Mostly a news source, National Public Radio can be a great way to keep up to date on recent global warming trends. One of their weekly programs, Living On Earth, is specific to the environment, with some great archives in audio and text formats. And Science Friday frequently discusses sustainability with working scientists.
www.npr.org
www.loe.org – Living on Earth
www.sciencefriday.com – Science Friday
~ OCulture – University & College Podcasts – Podcasts and sometimes class materials from actual classes (7500) from schools like Berkeley, Stanford, Princeton, Oxford, MIT, CalTech, Yale, Harvard, UCSD, UCSF, UCD, etc. Try listening to a comprehensive energy talk at Princeton in ’06 by Steven Chu, the new Energy Secretary.
www.oculture.com/2006/10/university_podc.html
~ IT Conversations – One of the oldest podcast sources, they have a vast number of interviews, discussions and lectures. Available for immediate listening or download. Licensed under a Creative Commons license, so students and educators can sample and remix freely. Ranges from in-depth (college course level) to cursory (magazine article level).
Some favorites: Alex Steffen (edits World Changing), Michelle Kaufman (green pre-fab homes), Janine Benyus (biomimicry in design), Lawrence Lessig (of Creative Commons),  Howard Bloom (wrote Global Brain), Verna Allee (productive networks over corporations)
itc.conversationsnetwork.org
~ PopTech! – a conference series that hosts forward thinkers, artists, and musicians. Offers both podcasts and video clips. Saul Griffith’s energy speech may be the best ever.
Some favorites: Van Jones (of Green4All), Majora Carter (of Sustainable South Bronx),
Saul Griffith (WattzOn), Jessica Flannery (person-to-person microlending), Cameron Sinclair (Architecture for Humanity).
www.poptech.com/popcasts
~ Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Corner – a lecture series by executives from successful companies, speaking on their respective industries and/or start-ups. Video and audio clips.
Favorites: Larry Bawden (new solar tech), Larry Brilliant (of Google’s philanthropy dept.), Paul Diamandis (Automotive X-Prize).
ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts.html
~ Commonwealth Club of California – A long-standing discussion and debate club that covers a wide range of subjects.
Favorites: Arnold Schwartzenagger (Sustainable California), Eric Schmidt (on Google’s green investing), Jeffery Sachs (Earth Institute).
commonwealthclub.org/archive
~ ForaTV – A video source for some terrific lectures & panels on a variety of timely subjects, including a ‘green’ section.
Favorites: Dan Burden (walkable communities), Saul Griffith (on the future of energy), Steven Chu (US Secretary of Energy), Thomas Friedman (Author of The World is Flat & Hot, Flat & Crowded)
fora.tv/topic/green

Newspapers & Magazines
~ San Francisco Chronicle Environment section  —  sfgate.com/news/environment
~ San Jose Mercury News –  www.mercurynews.com
~ L.A. Times/Environment Section – Current Environmental issues around the globe such as frequent articles on Global Warming. —
www.latimes.com/news/science/environment

~ Environmental Design and Construction Magazine – As the name suggests, this magazine is about Global Warming solutions from the perspective of designing and building better residential and commercial buildings in order to reduce our Volatile Organic Compounds and our impact on our environment.  — www.edcmag.com

RSS Feeds
Most online information sources offer RSS feeds: once you subscribe, they will send you articles (in text, audio or video form) on specific subjects, such as climate change. The articles will show up as perodic emails, perhaps with files attached. Most email programs & web browsers, along with a few media players (like iTunes), will handle RSS feeds.

Learning through Games
~ Spore – a game that teaches evolution by letting players evolve their own species, from primordial ooze to spaceflight.   –   www.spore.com
~ A Force More Powerful – a game built to train non-violent protesters, contributed to by Ivan Marovic, one of the members of the student organization that helped overthrow the government of Slobodan Milosevic.   –   www.aforcemorepowerful.org

Local
~ KQED, local public TV & radio – Recommended shows: the California report, TechNation, Quest.  —  www.kqed.org
~ Green For All – an Oakland non-profit trying to encourage green collar jobs. Founded by Van Jones. —  www.greenforall.org
~ US Green Building Council, Northern California Chapter – Research the LEED standards, get a LEED certification, attend green building gatherings, or network with the sustainable building industry.  —  www.usgbc-ncc.org
~ Silicon Valley Environmental Partnership –  www.svep.org
~ Sustainable Silicon Valley –  www.sustainablesiliconvalley.org
~ Santa Clara Valley Water DistrictThe Santa Clara Valley Water district has an entire section on Global warming on their website including the district’s perspectives and their plans for dealing with Global Warming Solutions.  They also have great links for further educating yourself on the solutions being looked at around the Santa Clara Valley and beyond.  ––  www.valleywater.org
~ Acterra – Located in Palo Alto, Acterra strives to provide answers and perform actions to help create a healthier planet.  One of the goals’ of Acterra is to bring people together to develop local solutions to Global Warming and related problems.  The website calendar is filled with events to help people find solutions to Global Warming.  There programs include training people to help others in their communities learn to led greener lives.  There informative website also has an environmental question and answer section, an Ask the Expert area and an environmental library.  —  www.acterra.org
~ PG&E’s Pacific Energy Center – offering free training classes in building efficiency, solar installation, lighting, HVAC, etc.  —  www.pge.com/pec/

National

~ NOAA – the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, which recently published an article in their news section saying that climate changes may not be reversible for a thousand years.  —  www.noaa.gov
Irreversible Climate Change article  —
www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090126_climate.html

~ Environmental Defense Fund – The Environmental Defense Fund states on their website that they are “dedicated to protecting the environmental rights of all people, including future generations. Among these rights are access to clean air and water, healthy and nourishing food, and flourishing ecosystems.”  They evaluate environmental problems based on science such as access to clean air and water, healthy and nourishing food, and flourishing ecosystems. They also promote solutions to the problems they evaluate.  Their website is filled with research and information related to global warming.  — www.edf.org
~ RMI – the Rocky Mountain Institute has been researching energy efficiency since the ’70s. They research and publish many reports & books on mixing sustainability with profitability.  —  www.rmi.org
~ ACEEE – the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy is a great resource for finding the most efficient appliances and the tax rebates they can get you. — www.aceee.org


Heat Absorbing Material Produces Clean Energy

Thallium-Doped Lead Telluride

image via Transmaterial

Scientists have invented a material that converts absorbed heat into energy without pollution. The average car engine wastes up to 60% of the power it produces in the form of waste heat and uses only 25% of it’s energy to actually power the car.


Dr. Joseph Heremans of Ohio State University has recently developed a thermoelectric material that outperforms the previous leader by 2:1. Entitled thallium-doped lead telluride, the material promises to make cars and other engines more efficient by capturing waste heat without the use of moving parts. Moreover, it operates best between 450 and 950 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a typical temperature range for such engines.


According to Heremans, “The material does all the work. It produces electrical power just like conventional heat engines – steam engines, gas or diesel engines – that are coupled to electrical generators, but it uses electrons as the working fluids instead of water or gases, and makes electricity directly.” “

via Transmaterial


Regular Windows as Solar Power

 

Solar Energy Windows

Solar Energy Windows

Scientist at MIT have a created a thin film coating for windows that lets light pass through but still can generate electricity. Made of organic dyes, light energy is transmitted to the edges of the windows were it is collected by solar panels. Because the window acts as a light gatherer, concentrating the energy, less photovoltaic material is need helping to bring down the total cost. And it produces 10 times more power than current solar energy methods.


DanceFloors Making Power

(starts at 0:09)


Soil Electricity

Student at Design Academy Eindhoven, Marieke Staps
created a lamp powered by soil!

” the metallic strips of zinc and the cornucopia of minerals and organisms in the damp soil chemically react with one another to initiate a constant
electrical current that lights up an LED.”
via pruned
.
LED’s don’t take up much energy, so hopefully this will be developed further because
this has so much potential!
.
Possibly adobe and earth homes wouldn’t need electrical wiring because you’d stick
your electricals literally into the wall.
.
i wonder if the strip of metals and electrical current have any effect
on the organisms in the soil.?
.
.: Found at :.
Pruned (read Dan’s comment)
and
Earth Architecture