News, Renewable Energy

German village goes off the grid with 100% renewable energy from wind, sun and pig manure

Werner Frohwitter, spokesperson for the "Freier Energieforum Feldheim" association stands at the bio gas plant in the energy-sufficient village of Feldheim, 80km south of Berlin.

Germany has taken a pioneering role in terms of renewable energy, in Europa and even worldwide. Many countries are now negotiating or even applying renewable energy systems, but in Germany the situation is different – most of renewables are owned by individuals (as opposed to companies), and most of them are produced in the rural areas – not in big…

Animals, Feature Post, Great Pics, Other

Amazing Photographs of Black Water Creatures

An octopus holding what appears to be Portuguese man o' war tentacles. Credit: Joshua Lambas

Each night, thousands upon thousands of deep-sea species head to the surface to feed, where they can absorb more oxygen or feed in the more nutrient dense waters. It’s the world’s largest migration and Lambus is there to photograph it so the rest of us mortals can experience a glimpse. …

Biology, Climate, News, Nutrition

Tea flavors changing with shifting rainfall patterns

People working on tea plantations. Image via China Tour.

Climate change has many unexpected consequences – as a research has shown yet again. This time, a team of Montana scientists have shown that the tea flavors are changing, mainly as a result of shifting rainfall patterns. This variability can jeopardize the livelihood of tea growers and has significant effects on the end product we drink. Tea is the most…

Environmental Issues, News, Renewable Energy

EU commits to 40% less CO2 by 2030, yet Ambitions fall Short

Eu Parliament in Brussels. Photo: internationalpoliticalforum.com

Friday morning, EU leaders finally reached an agreement for its 2030 energy target – member states have all agreed to reduce their green house gas emissions by 40%. Following the announcement, industry representatives voiced concerns that the decisions will affect the EU’s economy and competitiveness, while environmental groups on the other hand criticized the terms as falling too short. Personally,…

Animals, Biology, News

Killer whales are so smart they can learn to speak “dolphin”

Image via Animal National.

Killer whales are smart, we already know that; they’re also really scary. But a new study has shown that they are actually scary smart – up to the point where they can learn the language of another species. Killer Smart Killer whales are actually a species of dolphins found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas….

News, Renewable Energy

Kenya Opens World’s Largest Single Turbine Geothermal Plant

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Kenya has announced the launch the world’s largest single turbine geothermal power plant, which will add 140 Megawatts (MW) to the country’s national electricity grid. The project will bring much needed cheap energy to an impoverished country and fuel development in the area. A suitable area The Olkaria Area is an region located immediately to the south of Lake Naivasha in…

Environmental Issues, News, Renewable Energy

EU Meeting underway in Brussels hints of Divided Interests

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European Union leaders are currently meeting in Brussels to discuss the terms under which the Union will set its 2030 energy targets. Right now on the table, the plan is to cut CO2 emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by raising energy efficiency and the renewable energy slice. Such a convention is never without compromise, however. Some states have difficulties adhering…

News, Pollution

Texas chief toxicologist: No need for smog regulations, just stay indoor

Downtown Houston in October, 2008. The city has severe smog issues and new research suggests that pollution from fracking contributes significantly to the problem.
CREDIT: AP/DAVID J. PHILLIP

Dr. Michael Honeycutt, the top toxicologist in the state of Texas argued that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shouldn’t tighten smog rules because there would be little to no health benefit. “Ozone is an outdoor air pollutant because systems such as air conditioning remove it from indoor air,” he argues on a blog post on the TCEQ website. “Since most…

Health & Medicine, News, World Problems

More than 23,000 Ebola Cases in 2014, According to Estimates

A Doctors Without Borders health worker in protective clothing holds a child suspected of having Ebola in Paynesville, Liberia. Image: Getty

This year the world saw the worst Ebola outbreak on record with more reported cases than in all the past years combined. Much more. The latest update from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports 9,178 patients, of which 4546 have died. The actual number of people infected with Ebola is actually much larger, in part because the report…

News, Pollution, Renewable Energy

Natural gas is not a clean energy bridge, further studies find

Natural gas will not dawn a cleaner day in terms of energy. Image via Ohio Citizen.

A trio of newly published studies showed once again that natural gas is not a clean energy bridge – the studies highlighting the various problems associated with natural gas. Firstly, it was shown that emissions databases underestimate the methane released from fossil-fuel extraction in the U.S. Southwest. “A global gas boom is not a replacement for energy and climate policies,” write…