Electric cars have been around for a long, long time. The first ones appeared in the mid-19th century. Around the turn of the 20th century, they were popular for taxi cabs in places like New York City. But within about 10 years, they mostly disappeared. In the 1990s, electric cars had a brief revival with vehicles like the General Motors EV1. But again electric cars mostly vanished.
On the heels of the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, France has rolled out ambitious plans to reduce its carbon footprint even further.
DNA analysis has become commonplace and inexpensive. Millions of people have their DNA tested to learn about their origins and family connections. And the technology has spread to biological research in the form of Environmental DNA or eDNA, which is such a powerful tool that it is transforming the field of wildlife biology.
Americans toss out an almost unbelievable $161 billion worth of food every year. There are numerous efforts underway to address this problem, but they are mostly at the local level or in the business sector. To date, we have no national- or international-level policies that tackle the issue. In this regard, Europe is way ahead of us.
The United Nations declared 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses. Pulses, which are also known as grain legumes, are a group of 12 crops that includes dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils. They are high in protein as well as fiber and various vitamins. Pulse crops are highly sustainable and require much less water than many other food crops. So there is a real effort underway to promote their production as part of improving food security around the world.
Genetically modified crops have been at the center of a great deal of controversy for a number of years. There have been widespread fears that they are unsafe to eat. Continuing studies have indicated that those fears appear to be unsubstantiated.
The use of plastics has increased 20-fold in the past 50 years, and production of plastics is expected to double again in the next 20 years. According to Eco Watch, the average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic every year. And nearly one-third of all discarded plastic is not properly disposed of or recycled.
Ocean energy is about to take an important step towards making a real impact in Scotland. The MeyGen Tidal Array Project is reaching the final construction of its demonstration phase, which will be the first test of multiple underwater turbines sited together in a full-scale array.
The first solar roadway in the US will be installed this year at the Historic Route 66 welcome center in Conway, Missouri. The installation will use hexagonal solar panels developed by Idaho-based start-up company Solar Roadways. The initial trial installation will use the panels to cover a sidewalk in the Route 66 center rest area and will only cover a few hundred square feet. The modular building blocks are hexagonal panels of a little less than 5 square feet in area that each generate 48 watts of electrical power.
It’s no secret that food waste is a global problem of epic proportions. Approximately one-third of all food is either lost or wasted, while more than 800 million people worldwide go hungry.
The Paris climate agreement last December resulted in commitments by 195 countries to reduce their carbon emissions. The countries around the world made specific pledges to reduce emissions in the form of “intended nationally determined contributions” or INDCs.
Estimates are that as much as 40% of produce in America is wasted. We throw out fruits and vegetables for a variety of reasons, but one of the most unfortunate is when produce is tossed simply because it doesn’t look good enough. Misshapen tomatoes, lumpy carrots, double-lobed potatoes, and crooked cucumbers end up in the waste bin instead of on our plates.
France’s roadways are known both for their historic cobblestone streets and infamous traffic jams. But French officials recently decided to forgo the traditional brick and pavement in order to capitalize on all the vehicle traffic.
An international poll of over 45,000 people in 40 countries looked at opinions about climate change and the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The results are quite interesting.