Alaska is Having Its Hottest Year Since Records Began - "After a spring that was a full ten degrees hotter than normal, the northern state is on track for the most sweltering year on record." (via) [more inside]
Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. HERE'S HOW (via) [more inside]
In Lester R. Brown's new book Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (2008, full-text)) - an update to Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (2006, full-text) - he calls for a war-time mobilization (ch.13) to save global civilization (already showing Early Signs of Decline (ch.6)) from Deteriorating Oil and Food Security (ch.2), Rising Temperatures and Rising Seas (ch.3), Emerging Water Shortages (ch.4), and Natural Systems Under Stress (ch.5)
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published their latest Infrastructure Report Card in 2005. America's infrastructure got a D. The ASCE estimate that it will cost $1.6 trillion over a five-year period to bring the nation's infrastructure to good condition. They also have a Critical Infrastructure blog. [Via Gristmill.]
Lawrence Livermore National Lab produces fascinating charts of energy flow in the US (more). More energy use statisitics can be found at the Energy Information Administration.
Water footprint - "of an individual, business or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual, business or nation"
Stan Meyer invented a water powered car that estimates showed could travel from one US coast to the other on 22 gallons of water. He shows the in car in operation in this old news clip. So what ever happened to him? He died after eating at a restaurant on March 21, 1998. An autopsy report showed the cause of death to be poisoning.
Webcasts from the Clinton Global Initiative conference (all wmv, archived of past 2 days and live tomorrow) --covering energy, healthcare, agriculture, poverty, religious and ethnic conflicts, etc. They're trying to turn "practical ideas into meaningful action". More here, including a cool waterpump/merry-go-round thing.
US energy bill is held up by a pro-MTBE provision that bipartisan Senators promised they would not sign into law. Nervous MTBE manufacturers, in an effort to divest themselves of potential asbestos-like liability lawsuits, have been donating millions in campaign contributions to the cause, despite peer-reviewed research pointing to lingering questions about safety (PDF) and utility (PDF).
The ultimate renewable energy resource - kids. Unlike Monsters inc, who harness the energy of screams, the Playpump (also discussed here) harnesses kids having fun to provide clean water. If they have to cart water, the Q-drum (also discussed here) is a very simple way to make this chore easier. In this complicated world, the best ideas are still the simple ones. via A Whole Lotta Nothing