Catch an aerial view of Pearl Harbor and it’s easy to see the potential for rooftop solar energy. Parts of the U.S. Navy base in Hawaii are open space but much of it is a dense conglomeration of buildings and facilities, and every roof could be a potential sustainable energy generator.
The Navy is turning the potential into reality by contracting with a local company, Niking Corporation, to install solar panels on five rooftops at the base. In terms of the available roof space that may seem like more of a demonstration project than a full scale installation, but it’s still significant. The Navy expects the five roofs to bring in enough solar energy to power 440 homes, and for a state that’s not rich in fossil fuels, that’s a clear demonstration of the potential for growth in sustainable solar energy.
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Earth as seen from Apollo 17 Credit: NASA Public domain
Myhrvold, is the president and founder of Intellectual Ventures and a former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer, who started his own company in 2000 to provide capital for new patents, innovative ideas, and software.
The former Microsoft engineer entered college at age 14 to study mathematics, space physics, and geophysics at UCLA, where he earned Masters and Bachelor of Science degrees. At age 23, he entered Princeton and completed his PhD in theoretical mathematics and earned a Masters in mathematical economics.
On a recent interview with CNN’s Zareed Zakaria, Myhrvold talked about how venture capital should be available, but in today’s market, it’s not.
“No one funds inventers,” Nathan said, and he wants to change that, because inventers from other countries, who used to come to the United States to get funding for their inventions innovative ideas, are no longer doing so. Without venture capital, Microsoft, Apple, and Intel would not exist today.
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Blue lines show Earth’s northern magnetic field and the magnetic north pole in an artist’s rendering. Credit: Stefan Maus, NOAA NGDC
Earth’s north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) a year due to magnetic changes in the planet’s core, new research says.
The core is too deep for scientists to directly detect its magnetic field. But researchers can infer the field’s movements by tracking how Earth’s magnetic field has been changing at the surface and in space.
Now, newly analyzed data suggest that there’s a region of rapidly changing magnetism on the core’s surface, possibly being created by a mysterious “plume” of magnetism arising from deeper in the core.
And it’s this region that could be pulling the magnetic pole away from its long-time location in northern Canada, said Arnaud Chulliat, a geophysicist at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France.
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An unlikely source of energy has emerged to meet international demands that the United States do more to fight global warming: It’s cleaner than coal, cheaper than oil and a 90-year supply is under our feet.
It’s natural gas, the same fossil fuel that was in such short supply a decade ago that it was deemed unreliable. It’s now being uncovered at such a rapid pace that its price is near a seven-year low. Long used to heat half the nation’s homes, it’s becoming the fuel of choice when building new power plants. Someday, it may win wider acceptance as a replacement for gasoline in our cars and trucks.
Natural gas’ abundance and low price come as governments around the world debate how to curtail carbon dioxide and other pollution that contribute to global warming. The likely outcome is a tax on companies that spew excessive greenhouse gases. Utilities and other companies see natural gas as a way to lower emissions — and their costs. Yet politicians aren’t stumping for it.
In June, President Barack Obama lumped natural gas with oil and coal as energy sources the nation must move away from. He touts alternative sources — solar, wind and biofuels derived from corn and other plants. In Congress, the energy debate has focused on finding cleaner coal and saving thousands of mining jobs from West Virginia to Wyoming.
Utilities in the U.S. aren’t waiting for Washington to jump on the gas bandwagon. Looming climate legislation has altered the calculus that they use to determine the cheapest way to deliver power. Coal may still be cheaper, but natural gas emits half as much carbon when burned to generate the same amount electricity.
In an interview with FoxNews.com, Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus argued that man’s natural ingenuity will lead to new technologies that will lessen any impact mankind has had on the planet’s environment. Credit: Fox News
As the Copenhagen climate conference drew to a close Friday, Czech President Vaclav Klaus, long a global warming skeptic, had a message for the world: do not dictate to humanity how to live based on an “irrational ideology,” which he sees as the product of political correctness.
Global warming is a “new religion,” not a science, he said in an interview with FoxNews.com.
“I’m convinced that after years of studying the phenomenon, global warming is not the real issue of temperature,” said Klaus, an economist by training. “That is the issue of a new ideology or a new religion. A religion of climate change or a religion of global warming. This is a religion which tells us that the people are responsible for the current, very small increase in temperatures. And they should be punished.”
Klaus, the second president of the Czech Republic since the fall of communism, is often called the Margaret Thatcher of Central Europe. In the interview, he sounded more like Winston Churchill, vowing to defend liberty and freedom from those who would restrain global economic growth.
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NASA may concern itself largely with space exploration, but it also wants to keep Earth on a steady course in the face of rising energy costs and climate change. Now the U.S. space agency has thrown its weight behind a clever method of growing algae in wastewater for the purpose of making biofuel.
The OMEGA system consists of algae grown in flexible plastic bags floating offshore, where cities typically dump their wastewater. Oil-producing freshwater algae would naturally clean the wastewater by feeding on nutrients in the sewage. The cleansed freshwater could then release into the ocean through forward-osmosis membranes in the sides of the plastic bags.
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COPENHAGEN — The question is a potential deal-killer: If nations ever agree to slash greenhouse gas emissions, how will the world know if they live up to their pledges?
The answer is in space, experts say — both outer space and cyberspace.
NASA, the wonder agency of the 1960s, and Google, the go-to company of the early 21st Century, are trying to give the world the ability to monitor both the carbon dioxide pollution and the levels of forest destruction that contribute to global warming.
“Just having the thing flying around there imaging would just about make everybody act differently,” said professor Steve Pacala, director of the Princeton Environmental Institute. “The idea that you could pull a fast one would be different.”
Google, meanwhile, has rolled out a new program call Earth Engine which essentially is a massive storehouse for satellite and other data that forest countries will be able to access for free by the time of the next U.N. climate conference in Mexico next year.
Deforestation is the biggest climate change culprit in much of the developing world, and industrial countries plan to pay billions of dollars to poor countries to stop deforestation. The Google system could help everyone keep track of what forests are saved.
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The saddest fact of climate change—and the chief reason we should be concerned about finding a proper response—is that the countries it will hit hardest are already among the poorest and most long-suffering.
In the run-up to this month’s global climate summit in Copenhagen, the Copenhagen Consensus Center dispatched researchers to the world’s most likely global-warming hot spots. Their assignment: to ask locals to tell us their views about the problems they face. Over the past seven weeks, I recounted in these pages what they told us concerned them the most. In nearly every case, it wasn’t global warming.
Everywhere we went we found people who spoke powerfully of the need to focus more attention on more immediate problems. In the Bauleni slum compound in Lusaka, Zambia, 27-year-old Samson Banda asked, “If I die from malaria tomorrow, why should I care about global warming?” In a camp for stateless Biharis in Bangladesh, 45-year-old Momota Begum said, “When my kids haven’t got enough to eat, I don’t think global warming will be an issue I will be thinking about.” On the southeast slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, 45-year-old widow and HIV/AIDS sufferer Mary Thomas said she had noticed changes in the mountain’s glaciers, but declared: “There is no need for ice on the mountain if there is no people around because of HIV/AIDS.”
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