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Updated: 38 min 42 sec ago

Neighborhood electric vehicles

August 17, 2015 - 8:23am
While much of the focus of late has been upon mainstream electric vehicles it seems as though the popularity of Neighborhood electric vehicles continues to grow. These vehicles have a history which is far more successful than there larger electric vehicle counterparts but receive very little in the way publicity or promotion. The Global Electric Motor (GEM) brand is by far and away the best known brand in this particular sector having changed hands on numerous occasions in the past.So, why is it that NEVs continue to sneak under the radar yet gain in popularity?

Commentary on the US plan to reduce carbon emissions

August 16, 2015 - 8:45am
President Obama's plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions may look like a climate victory, writes Tim Kruger - but it's no such thing. It's feeble because the US can meet its targets by reducing emissions to 2030 more slowly than it has since 2000. And it's fragile as any future President can scrap it at will.Climate change-denying Republicans hate this plan (of course), therefore all good climate realists see it as a triumph. But it is a tiny, tiny step in the right direction and climatically immaterial.No doubt, you heard the good news. Barack Obama has announced the US is pushing through plans to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Rejoice! Rejoice! We've got this climate problem licked - hurrah!

Power plant CO2 emissions at 27 year low

August 11, 2015 - 8:09am
Most of the environmental news we hear today is disheartening information about the consequences we’ll soon be facing thanks to climate change. Let’s take a momentary break from that sadness to focus on some good news: U.S. power plants are currently releasing the lowest amount of carbon emissions in 27 years. It seems like we might be making some progress!The low mark occurred in April of this year, when U.S. power plants generated just 141 million tons of carbon dioxide, a figure we haven’t seen since April of 1988. Because power plants produce roughly one-third of the country’s emissions, this measurement is one of the biggest indicators we have to see how we’re doing at tackling global warming.

What you should know about America's Clean Power Plan

August 3, 2015 - 9:30am
Today, President Obama will unveil the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan—a historic step to cut the carbon pollution driving climate change. Here are six key things every American should know...

The light-sensing molecules in plants came from ancient algae

July 28, 2015 - 7:40am
The light-sensing molecules that tell plants whether to germinate, when to flower and which direction to grow were inherited millions of years ago from ancient algae, finds a new study from Duke University.The findings are some of the strongest evidence yet refuting the prevailing idea that the ancestors of early plants got the red light sensors that helped them move from water to land by engulfing light-sensing bacteria, the researchers say. 

EPA Releases Updated Environmental and Public Health Indicators in Online Database

July 21, 2015 - 10:04am
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released updated environmental and public health indicators in an online database, making information about the current and historical condition of the nation’s environment and human health more accessible to the public. This is an online update to EPA’s Report on the Environment. Users can explore 85 individual indicators-- on our air, water, land, human exposure, health and ecological condition-- using interactive graphs, tables, and maps, and download the data for each indicator.

Could genetically modified mosquitos prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?

June 4, 2015 - 3:18pm
When people think of genetically modified organisms, food crops like GM corn and soybeans usually come to mind. But engineering more complex living things is now possible, and the controversy surrounding genetic modification has now spread to the lowly mosquito, which is being genetically engineered to control mosquito-borne illnesses.A U.K.-based company, Oxitec, has altered two genes in the Aedes aegypti mosquito so that when modified males breed with wild females, the offspring inherit a lethal gene and die in the larval stage. The state agency that controls mosquitos in the Florida Keys is awaiting approval from the federal government of a trial release of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitos to prevent a recurrence of a dengue fever outbreak. But some people in the Keys and elsewhere are up in arms, with more than 155,000 signing a petition opposing the trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes in a small area of 400 households next to Key West. 

EPA Approves New Clean Water Protections

May 29, 2015 - 4:08pm
Drinking unclean water seems like a problem you’d hear about it in the developing world, not the United States. Believe it or not, though, one-third of Americans receive water that is unregulated by the Clean Water Act. That’s a lot of people who are potentially drinking tainted water. Fortunately, all that is about to change with the EPA’s new Waters of the United States rule, which was announced on Wednesday. Altogether, the EPA now has the authority to safeguard 20 million acres of wetlands and two million miles of streams (that accounts for 60 percent of America’s streams) that were previously discounted by the Clean Water Act.

Greening the Airline Industry

May 28, 2015 - 12:06pm
The airline sector is trying to lessen its carbon footprint. In mid-June, the Paris Air Show will host the COP21 seen from the sky conference. Boeing and Airbus are concentrating their commercial efforts on the environment, which is now a selling point. “CO2 affects our ability to grow," said Jonathon Counsell, Head of Environment for British Airways, during a day dedicated to the environment organised by Airbus at its Toulouse site. Airlines make up 2% of worldwide CO2 emissions. But the doubling of passengers every 15 years has made it a growing source of greenhouse gases. 

Montreal Protocol Leads to Better Ozone

May 27, 2015 - 8:53am
We are already reaping the rewards of the Montreal Protocol, with the ozone layer in much better shape than it would have been without the UN treaty, according to a new study in Nature Communications. Study lead author Professor Martyn Chipperfield, from the School of Earth & Environment at the University of Leeds, said: “Our research confirms the importance of the Montreal Protocol and shows that we have already had real benefits. We knew that it would save us from large ozone loss 'in the future', but in fact we are already past the point when things would have become noticeably worse.”