Wind Tree Project Turns Street Art into Electric Power

A new French start-up, NewWind, is making wind power beautiful!  Their new Wind Tree offers almost a hundred mini-windmills on an apparatus designed to look like a tree. Due to the light construction of the “leaves,” the Wind Tree generates power at wind speeds as low as 4.4 miles per hour!  This translates into sustained operation times (an average of 320 days a year) that are almost double those of standard windmills that need higher wind speeds in order to…

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Energy Secretary Steven Chu will Not Deny Love Affair with Solar Panel

“I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations made in this week’s edition of the Onion. While I’m not going to confirm or deny the charges specifically, I will say that clean, renewable solar power is a growing source of U.S. jobs and is becoming more and more affordable, so it’s no surprise that lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.”

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Rio+20 Conference Calls for Pollution Action, but Bickering Continues

At the recent United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, New Zealand teenager Brittany Trilfold told the world to stop bickering and focus on protecting the environment better for her future and for the future of the world. Twenty years previously, 12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki had done the exact same thing. This insight from these youth is much-needed advice for the two largest polluting economies in the world, the US and China, but will they listen?

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Switzerland Abandons Nuclear Power

The Swiss government just voted on Wednesday to abandon nuclear power in their country; their last reactor will finally go offline in 2034. The nation’s five remaining nuclear power plants will slowly be phased out, and no new reactors will be built. The government had already suspended approval for three new nuclear power stations in March, due to safety concerns.

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“No Fracking Way” — A Hydraulic Fracturing Protest Anthem

Every movement needs an anthem. Whether it is to save a river or end a war, a well written song can clearly communicate the message and rally public support more effectively than hours of speeches and protests. Now the organized effort to end the toxic mining process of hydraulic fracturing has its own song, thanks to the musician Marc Black.

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Say Goodbye to Nuclear Power

It’s the end of the world as we know it, but that is not a bad thing. This is the dawn of a new era in which the planet’s residents finally realize that nuclear energy was a really bad idea.

The horrific growing nuclear meltdown crisis in Japan is hopefully going to be the wake up call that we need to begin dismantling all of the nuclear reactors on the planet. Sustainable energy sources, like solar and wind, are now not only far cheaper than nuclear power, they are safe, clean and easy to repair when something goes wrong.

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Even the Rainwater Does Not Belong to Us

Yesterday I just saw an excellent Spanish film about water rights in Bolivia, “También la Lluvia” (Even the Rain). This engaging movie was directed by Icíar Bollaín, and it raises many complex issues about exploitation, imperialism, human rights, religion and access to clean water. The story follows a filmmaker, played by Gael García Bernal, who brings a film crew to Bolivia to shoot a movie about Spanish imperialism and the enslavement of the indigenous people. Bernal and his crew arrive…

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Philadelphia’s “Green City, Clean Waters” Plan Creates a New Sustainable Infrastructure

Devastating gas pipe explosions and bridge collapses are painful examples of how our nation’s infrastructure is rapidly crumbling. There is, however, some reason to be optimistic about how we can actually fix these problems. A few municipalities are now using the opportunity to rebuild their decaying infrastructure in a new way, choosing solutions that are not only more sustainable, but also more affordable.

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The Horrors of Hydraulic Fracturing

A dangerous method of natural gas extraction called fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is poisoning our planet’s water supply. The chemical and gas pollution from this destructive mining process is so bad in some areas that contaminated local household tap water actually catches on fire.   Why is It Called Fracking? In this irresponsible deep natural gas well drilling process (which Cheney’s Halliburton developed) millions of gallons of water, sand and unstable toxic chemicals are blasted into the ground under very…

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Is the Clean Water Act Working Anymore?

Thirty-eight years after passage of the U.S. Clean Water Act, evidence is mounting that the law is no longer resulting in progress to clean up America’s lakes and rivers.  In releasing a new clean water strategy this summer, the U.S. EPA said: “Despite our best efforts and many local successes, our aquatic ecosystems are declining nationwide. The rate at which new waters are being listed for water quality impairments exceeds the pace at which restored waters are removed from the…

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Lake Erie Mess a Sign of Environmental Backsliding

Forty years after Lake Erie became a national poster child for water pollution, and only two decades after it was declared restored, the troubled lake is serving as a warning sign for the nation’s waters this summer.

The shallowest of the Great Lakes, and ordinarily the most productive in fish, Erie has been plagued all summer by massive algae blooms reminiscent of those in the 1960s that led Life magazine to declare the lake dead.

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#1 Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Great Bicycle City Photo Tour

Topping yet another bicycle list, Amsterdam is #1 here because of the great bicycle photos to follow along with the fact that 40% of traffic is bicycle traffic in Amsterdam and the city is full of bicycle facilities, including a 10,000-bicycle parking garage at its train station. Amsterdam may not have as high a percentage of bicycle commuters as its Dutch neighbor to the north, Groningen, or as much bike-crazy counter-culture as Portland (Oregon), or the largest bicycle sharing program…

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What’s the Dish on Grease Recycling in SF?

In response to this greasy problem the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is now taking action. They have begun the SF Greasecycle program, which collects waste vegetable oil from City restaurants for FREE and recycles it into biodiesel. Nearly all of San Francisco’s city vehicles already run on biodiesel, but soon they will be able to use biofuel made from used cooking oils provided by our local restaurants.

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Thousands of Youth Organize in DC to End “Clean Coal” Lie

Both “clean coal” and carbon trading are lies. They are huge scams perpetrated by massive energy companies that are choking our planet. Over twelve thousand students converged on Washington D.C. to demand an end to polluting coal plants, and that the United States start to lead the world in creating truly sustainable clean energy and green jobs. Students filled the halls of Congress, lobbying their elected officials to fight global warming and demanding an end to polluting coal.

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