Articles about environment

Electric Mountain under construction, photo by First Hydro Company

Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

From the outside, Elidir Mountain looks like an old industrial site that has returned to nature. The slopes facing the Llyn Peris reservoir have been hacked into terraces by slate quarrying – this was once the second-biggest quarry in the world, with 3,000 workers – but they are now peaceful. Only a few buildings at ground …
SA Mathieson, 16 May 2016
Polluted water

Reusable autonomous swimming microbots soak up 95% of spilt lead

Thousands of miniature microbots could be used to clean up toxic heavy metals in contaminated water in tests purging some 95 percent of lead in an hour. The findings promise to reduce the impact of industrial spill clean up efforts by avoiding the introduction of additional contaminants, and salvaging lead for recycling. It …
Darren Pauli, 12 Apr 2016
CES 2015 crowds brace for bluster

TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Analysis The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has finally been revealed, after seven years of negotiations and following formal approval last month. The text was first published by the government of New Zealand, but was swiftly followed by the United States government, which has uploaded it across a number of websites and in …
Shows Henslow tree-planting in Cambridge.

TREE-HUGGER? Your WOODEN HAREM is much BIGGER than thought

Tree-lovers rejoice! It turns out there are really hugely more trees on planet Earth than anyone had thought. In fact, a new study just published says that there are no fewer than three trillion huggable woody trunks alive on the planet today – roughly seven and a half times as many as the previous best guess of just 400 …
Lewis Page, 2 Sep 2015
Crown of Thorns Starfish by Matt Kieffer, Creative Commons 2.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Drone deals DEATH – to deadly starfish

An Australian university is about to start deploying drones on a seek-and-destroy mission. The target? The Crown of Thorns Starfish, which is famously a serious danger to the country's Great Barrier Reef. The invading predator first emerged as a problem for the reef in the 1960s, and since then it's been blamed for coral cover …
RFID'd bee, image via CSIRO

Boffins unwrap honeybee black box recorder project

Scientists want to electronically tag the world’s honeybees in a bid to understand the mass death of entire populations. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia has called for a global project fitting bees with micro-sized RFID chips to gather critical data. Data would be …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Aug 2015
CAT_wind tunnel for testing turbine shapes photo SA Mathieson

Rock reboot and the Welsh windy wonder: Centre for Alternative Technology

Geek's Guide to Britain There are plenty of tourist attractions scattered around the coast of Cardigan Bay in Wales. But for the last four decades, the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) has provided something appropriately... alternative. There is an early sign of this in the car park – a huge wind turbine blade, placed as if to diminish the …
SA Mathieson, 21 Aug 2015

Want longer battery life? Avoid the New York Times and The Grauniad

Software developer Santeri Paavolainen says the code powering today's websites is taxing browsers so much, it's having a significant impact on power consumption. The programmer came to that conclusion after a casual examination of news sites including the New Scientist, the BBC, Forbes, The Guardian, and The New York Times, as …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jul 2015

WOODEN computer chips reveal humanity's cyber elf future

Boffins have developed a biodegradable semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood in an effort to alleviate the environmental burden of electronic devices. Technicians from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), have demonstrated the …
Lego lumberjack

Apple will cut down 36,000 acres of forest in 'conservation scheme'

Apple has purchased more than 36,000 acres of forestland to supply timber for its paper and pulp mills, and is describing the venture as part of a “conservationist scheme”. "Apple is focused on using only the resources it needs," said Lisa Jackson, veep of environmental initiatives at Apple, and Larry Selzer, CEO of the …
Mississippi River Lock and Dam number 7 with the I-90 Mississippi River bridge downstream. Image: Public Domain

GLOWING TAMPONS hold the key to ending pollution

A paper by a University of Sheffield research team, published Tuesday in the Water and Environmental Journal, has sought to answer one of the eternal questions facing humanity — how female hygiene products can be used to detect sewer misconnection discharge. Professor of Environmental Engineering David Lerner told The Register …
Bingo Hall sign in San Antonio, Texas (August 2007). Photo by Peter Rimar. licensed under creative commons 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

GAMIFY your FRIDAY with our Public Sector Innovation Bingo!

Bored with another grey Friday? Here is a game for two players. The exercise allows you to keep up to date with vital subsidy-seeking buzzwords – while retaining the vital element of "fun". In this game, one player reads a press release sent to us by an innovation quango, while the other ticks off buzzwords on a Bingo Card – …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Feb 2015
Neal's Yard introduces its 'Green Scientists'

Climate: 'An excuse for tax hikes', scientists 'don't know what they're talking about'

People all around the world, responding to a survey by Ipsos MORI, have generally agreed with the ideas that scientists don't really know what they're talking about when it comes to the climate – and that governments are using environmental issues as an excuse to raise taxes. These not-so-green views were transmitted as part …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2014
Eve in the Garden of Eden talking to a rather angry God on Snapchat

'Green' Apple: We've smudged a bit off our carbon footprint

With a product refresh rate that sees it chomp through natural resources like a chubby child demolishing a Mars bar, it's difficult to see Apple as a particularly environmentally friendly organisation. Nonetheless, the fruity firm has said it is committed to making its operations as green as humanly possible. In its latest …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Jul 2014
Measuring up Apple

SAVE THE EARTH... give all your iThings back to us, begs Apple

Apple's flagship products rarely come in colours other than silver, black and white. But for Earth Day, the fruity firm has decided to coat its entire business in a lurid shade of green. Cupertino's latest eco-ruse is a recycling scheme that'll allow fanbois to drop off their old iThings and pick up a gift card if the gear is …
Jasper Hamill, 22 Apr 2014
Air pollution in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, in October 2013

Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air

Citizens in a smog-choked part of China have been queuing for bags of air imported from the country's mountain regions. According to both the Wall Street Journal and the Chinese state-run China News Service, a promotional campaign has been offering users the opportunity to take hits from pillow-sized bags of air collected in …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Apr 2014

Apple investors fall for CEO Cook's product-presentation prank

Apple's annual investor meetings are tightly scripted, dull-as-dishwater affairs crammed with performance metrics and vague allusions to future glories, so perhaps CEO Tim Cook thought it wise to channel his inner funnyman and add a wee bit of wackiness to Friday's proceedings. In his prepared remarks, he told attendees that …
Rik Myslewski, 1 Mar 2014

'Toothless' environment protections in secretive global trade pact TPP leaked all over the web

Just days after an Australian government minister declared the Trans-Pacific Partnership “ready to be sealed”, another leak from the Salt Lake City round of talks reveals that the parties can't agree to the environmental chapters of the treaties, even though they're voluntary and largely unenforceable. Whistleblowing website …

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