Scientific American reports:
"An isolated population of Arctic foxes that dines only on marine animals seems to be slowly succumbing to mercury poisoning." Though a definitive causal link is difficult to establish, an isolated population of arctic foxes on Russia's Mednyi Island is believed to be collapsing due to mercury contamination as a result of its seafood-heavy diet. Where
does all that mercury in the environment
come from anyway? Why, it's another biproduct of burning fossil fuels, of course, and predictably, rates of mercury pollution are only expected to increase
. In some places in the US, even rainwater
is showing high levels of contamination. [more inside]
Michigan State University builds a prototype that would replace the internal combustion engine in automobiles.
The wave disk engine runs on shockwaves, and would emit 90% less carbon dioxide, run at 3.5 times greater fuel efficiency, and weigh about 1,000 pounds less than a combustion engine system in a typical automobile.
, an internet search company, announced a US$ 4.4 trillion proposal for reducing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels by 2030
. Google CEO Eric Schmidt, chided political leadership in the U.S. and the rest of the world
for not showing initiative on the issue. Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org
has already made significant investments in alternative energy solutions (previously)
that will naturally tie in to this plan.Google stock
has bounded on the news, but is their plan the
way to go?
Over the past few years there's been a growing theory that oil is not created from the decaying remains of ancient biological life but is in fact a product of the Earth's geological processes and that the current estimated oil reserves may be off by a factor of 100. This theory was made popular by Thomas Gold
at Cornell way back in 1992 and has led to much more recent research
(warning: heavy scientific conent) which supports the theory.
is an Australian environmental organisation who aim to help citizens offset their own greenhouse gas emmissions. Their Tree Totaller (Australian-based, but I'm sure conversions are easy)
works out how many trees you need to offset your annual emmissions, based on private car, home energy use and flights. It's a very neat little flash-app, and at the end it lets you chose to "subscribe" to Greenfleet so they'll plant the necessary number of trees for you. I owe 44 trees, for only AU$103 a year.
washington post editorial mocks european heat wave via the newly reskinned dangerousmeta.com
and vis a vis the thousand of deaths
(primarily the elderly) and fires
attributed to the heat wave. is there an especially warm place in hell reserved for the author? and who might it be?
The Sky Trust would sell a gradually diminishing number of carbon emission permits to the approximately 2,000 oil, gas and coal companies that bring fossil fuels into the U.S. economy. With the income from these sales, the Sky Trust would pay equal yearly dividends to every American.
An interesting idea, but it seems like any group that plans to ask congress for a charter so they can control the sky would need to think things out a little more. Would auto manufacturers be charged for the emissions made by the vehicles they produce? Would the private citizens who buy them? And what is to stop any corporation from simply, say, opening shop in another country to avoid the hassles.
But, the largest question in my mind was, who actually expects the current government to do anything that would place environmental matters
Click for Clean Air.
"Canada argues that clearcutting our old-growth forests and replanting them, and building nuclear reactors in developing countries, is more effective than reducing fossil-fuel pollution. It also wants to buy "pollution rights" from countries like Russia that are burning less fossil fuel because their economies have collapsed."
Not that Canada's alone in the above, and not that the solution is a click away, but you have to start somewhere. For those of you who aren't Canadian, David Suzuki is a respected scientist and public figure who's been worth listening to since...since...forever.
If you're not Canadian, you can still participate.....