News, Pollution

Paris takes drastic measures to limit car traffic, in an attempt to fight smog

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Paris authorities have put in place 24-hour emergency measures to limit the number of cars in traffic as part of their efforts to fight the smog shrouding the city. Today (Monday, March 23) all cars with number plates that end with an even number will be banned from circulating in the Paris region, unless they’re carrying 3 or more passengers. Clean cars will also be allowed.

Environment, News

You’re flushing a goldmine down the toilet, literally

golden toilet paper

At a recent meeting of the of the American Chemical Society, researchers proposed a novel source of valuable metals: waste water. They proposed a method that could be used to extract valuable metals like gold, silver or titanium which end up in waste water plants via the city’s sewage. …

Climate, News

Every year, spring is 30 seconds shorter

Image: Flickr Creative Commons

Spring officially began in the northern hemisphere Friday on 22:45 GMT, around 30 seconds later than last year. As it so happens, every year spring gets shorter by 30 seconds to a minute, losing the time to summer which gets longer by the same amount. Whose to blame for the later bloom? Why, that wretched tilted axis of course. …

Environment, News, World Problems

Florida employee forced to leave of absence and called a ‘nut’ for mentioning ‘climate change’

Rick Scott, arguably the worst US governor in history. Photo: Chris O'Meara/AP

Barton Bibler, a long time employee of Florida’s environmental protection department, was forced by his boss to take a leave of absence after mentioning ‘climate change’ in a public hearing. He was told not to come back at the office until he had sought mental health examination. This was in response to a violation of an unwritten policy that came into effect after Governor Rick Scott came to office, a notorious climate change denier and controversial figure, which bans employees from using ‘climate change’, ‘global warming’, ‘rising sea level’ and such from public communication. If you find this hilarious, you can stop laughing now. This not the Onion. This is Scott’s Florida – the land of ignorance and denial, or so he would like us to believe. …

Environmental Issues, Great Pics, World Problems

Syngenta Photography Award: Scarcity and Waste

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  Syngenta Photography Award aims to draw attention on pressing social and environmental issues, stimulating dialogue around a number of global challenges. The competition invited both professional and amateur photographers, under two separate categories, to share their views on the theme of Scarcity–Waste and examine one of the greatest challenges facing a world with increasingly limited resources. The curatorial rationale for…

Environment, News, Space

Let it Go! – NASA Almost Ready to Start Mapping Frozen Soil

Image via ESA.

With spring starting to settle in, snow is likely the last thing on people’s minds – but NASA is taking snow really seriously. They want to put satellites in orbit to understand how the frozen lands in the polar areas are developing and adapting to climate change.

Environment, News, Technology

This amazing gadget is the best technology we have for trapping CO2 – and it’s almost free

Image via Bread for the Bride.

This is it – the pinnacle of technological development, the result of countless research hours; yes, it’s a tree….

Climate, News, Pollution

Unsatisfied by their government’s apathy, Canadian scientists propose their own climate policy

Image: Tavis Ford

The conservative Canadian government headed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper has consistently moved the country away from sustainable practices and environmental accountability. In 2011, the government came under fire after it withdrew Canada from the Kyoto protocol, an international agreement which commits its parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. It also disbanded the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy in 2012, a panel tasked with reporting to the government Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. While the government has also taken some measures aimed at curbing emissions, these have been largely insufficient. Disappointed, 71 Canadian scientists have authored their own climate policy recommendations for the nation….

Animals, Feature Post

There’s a sanctuary for orphaned kangaroos in Australia, and it’s awesome

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In 2005 Chris ‘Brolga’ Barns set up a baby kangaroo rescue centre in central Australia’s Alice Springs. The main goal was to help orphaned baby kangaroos, whose parents had been struck by vehicles in Australia. Often Chris would find the orphans at the side of the road still in their mother’s pouch – even if she had been killed. The Kangaroo…

Animals, News, Technology

Cyborg cockroaches might save human lives someday

cyborg cockroach

Half cockroach, half machine, these peculiar insects were hijacked by researchers at Texas A&M University for science. Electrodes implanted in their tiny brains send electrical signals that stir the roaches left, right or makes them halt. Effectively, the researchers are controlling their bodies. This may sound despicable – it actually is in many ways – but the benefits to humanity are far reaching. The cyborgs would be our eyes and ears in places otherwise inaccessible, like disasters sites in the wake of earthquakes or other environmental calamities. Picking the cockroach brain might also help us learn more about how our own brain works. This in turn could spur the development of brain-computer interfaces or a new generation of prostheses that faithfully mimic real limbs….