Around The Web

Flying taxi, anyone? Solar Impulse co-pilot launches new electric aviation venture

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-23 11:53
Co-pilot of world's first solar plane to circle globe starts new company, to drive “new aviation solutions” – including flying cars.
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Tesla big battery results suggest local storage better than “monster” projects

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-23 11:47
New analysis says performance of Tesla big battery shows advantages of distributed storage rather than a single "monster" project like Snowy 2.0.
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Wildlife secrets of Nigeria's last wilderness

BBC - Fri, 2018-02-23 11:44
Rare chimps, leopards and pangolins have been caught on camera in the forests of Nigeria's largest national park.
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Britain and Europe must ban palm oil in biofuel to save forests, EU parliament told

The Guardian - Fri, 2018-02-23 11:04

Forest peoples affected by plantations urge EU to enact ban despite diplomatic opposition

If Britain and other European nations are to fulfil forest protection goals, they must ban the use of palm oil for biofuel and tighten oversight of supply chains, a delegation of forest peoples told parliamentarians this week.

The call for urgent, concrete action comes amid an increasingly heated diplomatic row over the issue between the EU and the governments of major palm-producing nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Costa Rica.

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Chinese solar inverter brand de-listed over safety issues

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-23 09:30
CEC says all inverters by Shenzhen Sofarsolar “de-listed” from organisation’s catalogue of compliant products, after tests turned up a potential safety issue.
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“Interest free” loans for solar and storage for South Australia households

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-23 09:27
South Australia Labor government offers "interest free" loans to 10,000 households to install rooftop solar and battery storage
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NSW smart pool pilot wins $2.5m ARENA grant

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-23 09:24
ARENA backs NSW start-up pilot to pool Australia's backyard pools: slashing their share of household energy consumption and making them work for the grid.
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How media framing limits public debate about oil exploration

The Conversation - Fri, 2018-02-23 09:23
Researchers find that mainstream media in New Zealand tend to present fossil fuel development as positive for the economy, while framing opponents as irrational and extremist. Sophie Bond, Senior lecturer in geography, University of Otago Amanda Thomas, Lecturer in Environmental Studies, Victoria University of Wellington Gradon Diprose, Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences, Open Polytechnic Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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Renewables hub, or coal museum? Australia’s energy debate plays out in Latrobe Valley

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-23 09:19
The future of a retired brown coal power plant in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley paints a neat picture of the current state of Australia's energy debate: enshrine fossil fuels, or embrace the new energy future?
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States must get Australia back on track, amid Turnbull’s climate train wreck

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-23 09:09
With state elections looming, those concerned about climate change should know one thing: How will states lead on climate change in 2018?
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Our acid oceans will dissolve coral reef sands within decades

The Conversation - Fri, 2018-02-23 05:10
Ocean acidification poses an increasing threat to the sediments that form the framework of coral reefs - within around 30 years, these carbonate sands may no longer be able to form. Bradley Eyre, Professor of Biogeochemistry, Director of the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry, Southern Cross University Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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Neanderthals were capable of making art

BBC - Fri, 2018-02-23 05:01
Contrary to the traditional view of them as brutes, it turns out that Neanderthals enjoyed making art.
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Half of world's oceans now fished industrially, maps reveal

The Guardian - Fri, 2018-02-23 05:00

Data gathered from more than 70,000 vessels shows commercial fishing now covers a greater surface area than agriculture

More than half the world’s oceans are being fished by industrial vessels, new research reveals.

The maps based on feedback from more than 70,000 vessels show commercial fishing covers a greater surface area than agriculture, and will raise fresh questions about the health of oceans and sustainability of trawler fishing.

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Mutation 'gives bats edge over deadly viruses'

BBC - Fri, 2018-02-23 04:13
A single mutation in an immunity gene may explain why bats can carry deadly viruses and not get sick.
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SpaceX launches broadband pathfinders

BBC - Fri, 2018-02-23 01:34
The US rocket company puts up two satellites to test technologies for a broadband mega-constellation.
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Seychelles protects an area 'as big as Britain' in Indian Ocean

BBC - Fri, 2018-02-23 00:49
A novel deal with donors including Leonardo DiCaprio turned public debt into conservation funding.
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Debt for dolphins: Seychelles creates huge marine parks in world-first finance scheme

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 22:00

An innovative exchange of sovereign debt for marine conservation, backed by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, could pave the way to saving large swaths of the world’s oceans

The tropical island nation of Seychelles is to create two huge new marine parks in return for a large amount of its national debt being written off, in the first scheme of its kind in the world.

The novel financial engineering, effectively swapping debt for dolphins and other marine life, aims to throw a lifeline to corals, tuna and turtles being caught in a storm of overfishing and climate change. If it works, it will also secure the economic future of the nation, which depends entirely on tourism and fishing. With other ocean states lining up to follow, the approach could transform large swaths of the planet’s troubled seas.

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Standing Rock is everywhere: one year later | Chief Arvol Looking Horse

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 21:00

A call for continued efforts to protect our water and our Earth

One year after the closing of the camp at the Standing Rock Reservation, Standing Rock is everywhere. Our collective water has been assaulted for many generations to the possible point of no return.

Our Elders foretold of a Black Snake and how the Water of Life — “Mni Woc’oni,” which is our first medicine — would be affected if we did not stop this oncoming disaster. Mni Woc’oni is part of our creation story, and the same story that exists in many creation stories around Mother Earth.

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Why you need to start thinking about waste management

ABC Environment - Thu, 2018-02-22 17:25
Think about how much rubbish you accumulate in 24 hours: food-wrappers, drink bottles, and other assorted rubbish.
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Country diary: wood pigeons dice with death on the road

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 15:30

Sandy, Bedfordshire: These grit peckers are masters of last-minute escapology. But not always

Twice every day, soon after dawn and a little before dusk, wood pigeons come down on country roads to feed. Not for them the tyre-stamped carcasses that are peeled off the asphalt by crow beaks. Pigeons are grit peckers, heads down like chickens in a yard. They gobble up tiny stones to act as so many grinding pestles in the mortar of their digestive tract.

While crows have adapted to life in the fast lane with cunning and calculating judgment, wood pigeons are masters of last-minute escapology. But not always. Last autumn, I noticed one standing in the middle of a straight, wood-edged road, head lowered, picking away at the ground. I drove on, slowed and waited for it to fly. It flew all right: just a few metres in front of the car it gave a tiny hop that brought it just above the bumper. I heard a soft thud and then, through an explosion of down, a grey bundle smacked against the windscreen, after which I looked in the rear-view mirror to see the poor bird’s body cartwheeling off towards the verge. Weeks later, I was still picking out pale feathers that had wedged firmly on impact in the radiator grill.

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