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February 27 2014

February 25 2014

February 06 2014

Building the World's Most Sustainable Modern Town

In the middle of the Panamanian jungle, about an hour northeast of downtown Panama City, lush foliage swathes a 7,000-acre valley. The intense rainy season, which lasts nine months out of the year, inspires rich greens, reds and browns across the landscape.

Situated along the country's central spine of mountains and hills, the valley is home to Kalu Yala, a site only accessible by a narrow, two-mile dirt road. Tents and makeshift structures temporarily dot the area, but it's poised to become the world's most sustainable residential community. Those behind the initiative have made impressive progress, and they believe their work can serve as an alternative, open-source model for urban developers around the globe. Read more...

More about Green, Environment, Features, Sustainability, and Development

February 03 2014

Olympics Not Likely to Be Carbon Neutral Despite Russian Promises

The Russian government has its sights set on the most environmentally friendly Olympics in history — Games so sustainable that officials and media alike are chattering about the possibility that they won't leave a carbon footprint.

Carbon neutrality is a lofty (some say unattainable) goal that would mean all emissions related to construction, waste, planes, refrigerants and much more would be counteracted because the Russian government had found a way to offset them. And whether it's been by design or by more conservative claims blown out of proportion, the idea that these Olympics will be carbon neutral is now cropping up around the globe. Read more...

More about Environment, Olympics, Russia, Carbon, and Us World

January 22 2014

5 Apps for Adventurous Nature Nerds

In the dead of winter, we all crave a little wildlife and outdoor adventure. For a breath of fresh air, invest in apps that could teach you more about trees, birds and everything in between

Whether you're a citizen scientist or are just beginning to appreciate nature, these five apps can help you identify a tree by its leaf or test your outdoor nature skills

Do you have a favorite nature app? Let us know in the comments below. Read more...

More about Mobile, Apps, Environment, Features, and Apps Software

January 16 2014

$8.5 Billion Olympics Railroad Leaves Environmental Ruin

A railroad and parallel road that lead from Sochi up to the surrounding mountains where skiing events will take place is, at $8.5 billion, the most expensive piece of Russia's Olympics apparatus. But the price paid by the surrounding environment might be even higher.

No one seems sure whether Russian Railways, the state-owned firm building the track, conducted environmental impact studies before breaking ground on the project. If there were studies, they appear to have held little sway over how construction was conducted, as life in the area surrounding the railroad is at risk even before athletes begin to arrive. Read more...

More about Environment, Olympics, Russia, Us World, and World

January 06 2014

Fracking Investigation Finds Evidence of Water Contamination

The U.S. is in the midst of a natural gas boom, and a new investigation into four of the states producing the most natural gas challenges energy industry assurances that the extraction process does not pollute groundwater.

The Associated Press collected data from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas, and found hundreds of drilling-related complaints from the past several years, according to a report published online Sunday. Though the states were inconsistent in the information they released, the investigation found that some of these complaints led to confirmed cases of contamination of well water Read more...

More about Environment, Water, Us World, Us, and Health Fitness

December 19 2013

Why Halley's Comet May Be Linked to Famine 1,500 Years Ago

The ancients had ample reason to view comets as harbingers of doom, it would appear.

A piece of the famous Halley's comet likely slammed into Earth in A.D. 536, blasting so much dust into the atmosphere that the planet cooled considerably, a new study suggests. This dramatic climate shift is linked to drought and famine around the world, which may have made humanity more susceptible to "Justinian's plague" in A.D. 541-542 — the first recorded emergence of the Black Death in Europe.

The new results come from an analysis of Greenland ice that was laid down between A.D. 533 and 540. The ice cores record large amounts of atmospheric dust during this seven-year period, not all of it originating on Earth Read more...

More about Earth, Environment, Science, Atmosphere, and Us World

December 15 2013

Newly Discovered Greenhouse Gas More Harmful Than Carbon Dioxide

Researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered a new greenhouse gas that has the highest impact on global warming to date.

Called perfluorotributylamine, the man-made compound has been an unregulated staple in the electrical industry since the mid-20th century. Researchers found it to be the most "radiatively-efficient chemical" to date, which means it is highly efficient in damaging the atmosphere. As these chemicals clog the environment and break down its various layers, they open the doors to global warming, according to a release.

Chemical structure of PFTBA. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Read more...

More about Research, Environment, Climate Change, Science, and Global Warming

December 08 2013

The World's Largest Vessel Is Bigger Than the Empire State Building

The world's largest vessel just set sail off the coast of South Korea.

The Prelude is 1,601 feet long — that's 150 feet longer than the Empire State Building is tall. Owned by Shell, the vessel's massive size has earned it the title of largest object currently afloat

The bright red vessel weighs 600,000 tons and is 243 feet wide, according to Wired.

733621_CX_Shell FLNG_Visuals_SB_v3_cmyk
Chart detailing the length of the Prelude in comparison to other buildings.

Construction of the Prelude, which has three engines that pack 20,100 horsepower, took a full year to complete.

So how does Shell plan to use the mammoth vessel? It will be a floating liquefied natural gas facility, where natural gas will be harvested from the depths of the ocean, processed on board and transferred to transport ships waiting in the seaWired reported that the Prelude will produce 3.9 million tons each year. Read more...

More about Environment, Gas, Energy, Ship, and Us World

December 06 2013

Shanghai's Disappearing Skyline: 21 Images of Record Pollution

Shanghai's iconic skyline has been slowly disappearing all week, cloaked by a thick acrid haze of smog. Reports of heavy pollution have circulated since Monday, but levels hit a new high on Friday

The unprecedented air pollution made it hard for residents to breathe and even see. Authorities halted construction sites and all sporting events, ordered schoolchildren to stay indoors and pulled 30% of government vehicles from the roads. The city's air quality level exceeded the maximum of 500, its highest since the city started reporting pollution data. A level of 300 is considered severely polluted. Read more...

More about China, Environment, Pollution, Us World, and World

November 24 2013

Arizona's New Fee Puts a Dent in Rooftop Solar Economics

Last week, Arizona regulators gave the state’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service, the authority to charge homeowners with solar panels on their roofs a fee for plugging into the grid and in some cases, selling electricity back onto it. Beginning next year, homeowners who install rooftop solar systems will have to pay a monthly levy — the first ever in the U.S. — equal to $0.70 per kilowatt of installed capacity.

That’s well below the $8 per kw that APS had initially sought. Depending on how big their home system is, the fee will end up costing consumers anywhere from $3 to $6 a month, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. APS had hoped to be able to charge about $50 a month per home. The 18,000 rooftop solar systems already present in APS’s service territory will be grandfathered; only those installed after Dec. 31 will be subject to the levy. Read more...

More about Environment, Environmentally Friendly, Arizona, Solar Power, and Us World

November 12 2013

New Scorpion Species Discovered in Turkey

A secretive new species of small wood-scorpion has been discovered in southwestern Turkey, researchers report.

The creatures may have fearsome-looking tails and pinchers, but they measure just a few centimeters long and are mostly harmless to humans; their stingers inflict about the same effects as a mosquito bite, researchers say.

Dubbed Euscorpius lycius, the scorpion owes its name to the storied geographic region where it lives: Lycia, perhaps most famous today for its ancient rock-cut tombs and the legacy of the Lycian League, a group of 23 cities that was the first known democratic federation in history, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and which is said to have influenced the founding fathers of the United States. Read more...

More about Discovery, Environment, Nature, Science, and Bugs

October 23 2013

Explore the Shocking Effects of Climate Change on 6 Continents

Climate change isn't an issue for any one government or any one region. Carbon pollution has taken a devastating toll across the planet, from floods in Manila to droughts in Australia

To learn about the global reach of the environmental changes caused by human behavior, take a world tour with the six videos that premiered during Climate Reality Project's 24 Hours of Reality: The Cost of Carbon

Mashable is proud to partner with the Climate Reality Project for its third annual 24 Hours of Reality. After joining Al Gore for a kick-off Hangout on Monday, we hosted Meetups on Tuesday, where our community came together to discuss changes we can make to reduce our individual carbon footprints Read more...

More about World, Environment, Climate Change, Social Good, and Us World

October 22 2013

10 Actions You Can Take Today to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

We hear a lot of talk about climate change and the devastating effects carbon pollution is having on the planet. From devastating storms to food insecurity caused by altered weather patterns, there's no questioning that carbon pollution is leaving its toll on the planet.

It can be difficult, however, to figure out what you can do to help. Melting icebergs and massive tornados are forces much larger than one individual. That said, there are various actions you can take every day that will help keep the planet healthy for generations to come

As part of our recognition of the Climate Reality Project's third annual 24 Hours of Reality, this year themed "The Cost of Carbon," we've come up with a list of 10 actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint Read more...

More about Environment, Social Good, Al Gore, Carbon Footprint, and Us World

August 05 2013

Why You Should Want This $330,000 Burger

Vegetarians, I'm truly sorry about this, but I love a good burger. One that's medium rare, with just enough juice in it to form a slightly soggy layer within the bun. Add a crisp layer of lettuce, slice of tomato and half an avocado, and I'm in heaven. Cheese, fries and a soda? I can quit those kinds of calories, or replace them with salad and water. But try as I might, I can't replace that beef patty.

Meat eaters like me are part of the problem. Livestock feed, livestock-related forest clearing and methane-filed livestock waste are responsible for 18% to 51% of greenhouse gas emissions, depending on which study you believe. The planet is getting hotter, the weather is getting wilder and the seas are rising, in large part because we just can't quit our steaks and burgers Read more...

More about Environment, Sergey Brin, Science, Op Ed, and Us World

September 03 2012

Kickstarter Project Makes Spectrometers Affordable for Citizen Scientists

Citizen scientists can test local bodies of water, soil and household products for contaminants with a new breed of spectrometers.

Spectrometers are widely used by astronomers and chemists to identify unknown materials. By making the tool more accessible, an open-research community called Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) is hoping to build a "Wikipedia-style library" of environmental data. Public Labs is looking for support on Kickstarter to build a kind of "Shazam for materials."

Spectrometers, which typically cost thousands of dollars, are used to identify the makeup of different liquids and solids. By passing light t…
Continue reading...

More About: environment, kickstarter

July 31 2012

The Future of Olympic Architecture Is Portable

As the Summer Olympics progress, we learn a lot more about London than we ever anticipated. Cameras pan the city, helicopters film sweeping aerial shots of buildings and landmarks large and small.

Hosting the Olympics creates a unique opportunity for a city to show off its character and style. And there's no better way to empower a forward-thinking, progressive population than by constructing bold, progressively designed event spaces and stadiums.

Thus, constructing venues for Olympic events has become a competition in itself. But at what cost?

Host cities submit city planning and building proposals, promising sustainability and continued use of Olympic facilities after the O…
Continue reading...

More About: 2012 Olympics, World, architecture, environment, features, olympics, sustainability

February 16 2012

Panda Live Stream Hopes You’ll Fall in Love With the Planet


Wildlife enthusiasts, nature buffs and, most importantly, puppy cam lovers are in for a treat when they see the latest in furry live streams: the 24-hour-a-day panda stream.

Philanthropic media organization Explore.org has launched the first HD video live stream of pandas, from the world’s largest panda reserve in Ya’an City, China. The stream, which went live in early February, tracks some of the young pandas living at the facility, which works on species preservation and reintegration into the wild. The stream broadcasts live during the daytime and runs highlights at night (local time).

Charlie Annenberg Weingarten, director of Explore, hopes the broadcast will make people across the world fall in love with one of China’s natural treasures.

“My belief is that if you see the natural world you live in, you will fall in love with it and want to become a better custodian for it,” Weingarten told Mashable “We’re hoping these cameras can bring people together in a global place. Hopefully these animals will do the heavy lifting for humanity.”

Weingarten jokingly refers to the project as “panda diplomacy,” a play off Richard Nixon’s 1960s “ping pong diplomacy.”

In the early phases, the cameras focus on four bears born in 2009 in two separate locations of the Ya’an Panda Base. Yaoman and Shenbing, two females, live in one house. Yaoxin, a female, and Lulin, a male, live in another. An additional feed, the “cubby cam,” is planned to launch shortly, focusing on five 2-year-olds, who you can get to know in the below gallery.


Name Meaning: "pride"

Sex: Male

Birthday: August 1, 2010

Weight: 33.6kg

He a bit of a loner, and likes to stay by himself with little interaction with other pandas.

Images courtesy of Explore.

Click here to view this gallery.

Weingarten’s interest in panda preservation stems from a trip to the Wolong Reserve in China, two years before a devastating 2008 earthquake that destroyed the facility. The panda reserve was wiped away by major rains, threatening the bamboo food supply. Weingarten connected with panda researchers during that trip who have helped him to launch the streams.

There are only about 1,300 pandas living on earth today, roughly 150 of which live on the Ya’an base.

Explore says the panda stream has the most action between 8 p.m and 7 a.m ET, during the daytime in China. The organization is streaming on its Endangered Animals Facebook Page between 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET each evening.

The panda stream is Explore’s second Pearls of the Planet initiative showcasing endangered species. In November 2011, the organization broadcast the migration of polar bears in the arctic. One-quarter million hours were watched on Explore’s site as well as thousands of additional hours on the National Geographic and CNN.

You can also watch live cameras of Beluga Whales at the Vancouver Aquarium, tropical fish at the Long Beach aquarium and sunsets in Santa Monica, Calif. on Explore.

Do you think live streams are a good way to get people around the world to care about the environment? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Watch Some Panda Cam Highlights

More About: china, environment, live streaming, live streams, Social Good

July 12 2011

4 Ways To Make Your Office Greener [INFOGRAPHIC]

green office image

It pays to be green, as this infographic from Canon shows. The digital imaging company did a massive overhaul of its energy consumption at five of its U.S. offices.

On an environmental level, the company reportedly saved 2.7 million kilowatt-hours of energy from 2009 to 2010. And aside from helping the planet and cutting down its carbon footprint, the company saved more than $300,000 during a two-year period since the energy-saving program’s inception in 2008. That’s a lot of money.

Canon sent us the infographic below, explaining its success and showing four key ways the company accomplished its goals.

The company has long supported green causes, following a corporate philosophy of “Kyosei,” which is the idea of living and working together in harmony into the future. That may sound a bit new age, but it has served Canon well, spurring it to sponsor a slew of eco-projects such as the Yellowstone Foundation and the Canon Envirothon, a 20-year commitment to environmental education.

Have a look through the infographic below and let us know what you think about greening your workspace.

canon infographic

Click to enlarge

Image courtesy of Flickr, Makenosound

More About: Canon, environment, green, infographics, non-profit, social good

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