Global environmental challenges
The fact that comedian Jay Leno has a serious collection of cars in his 17,000 square-foot-garage in southern California may not surprise fans, but his soft spot for electric and hybrid vehicles most likely will turn a few heads.
In this exclusive interview with GigaOM‘s Green Overdrive crew, the host of “The Tonight Show” opens the door to his solar-powered home for dozens and dozens of cars for an animated tour of his collection, including three cherished vintage electric models from the 1900s.
A thaw of ice in the mountains of Norway is helping Lars Piloe and his team of archaeologists uncover a 1,500-year-old trove of equipment used by ancestors of the Vikings to hunt reindeer.
Their work as “ice patch archaeologists” points to one of a few positive side-effects of man-made climate change, widely blamed for shrinking glaciers worldwide.
Jaws needs help.
Nine shark-attack survivors from five countries headed for the United Nations in New York City to plead the case for shark preservation. U.N. member countries could take this issue up this week as part of an annual resolution on sustainable fisheries. They’ll also be reviewing the Millennium Development Goals — a long-range set of global targets that includes stemming the loss of biodiversity, including sharks.
“I’m very thankful to be alive,” said Krishna Thompson, a Wall Street banker who lost his left leg in a shark attack while visiting the Bahamas in 2001. “I have learned to appreciate all of God’s living creatures. Sharks are an apex predator in the ocean. Whether they continue to live affects how we as people live on this Earth. I feel that one of the reasons why I am alive today is to help the environment and help support shark conservation.”
Bill McKibben, founder of the green group 350.org, is on a quest to convince President Barack Obama to put solar panels back on the roof of the White House.
He’s at the end of a journey to Washington from Maine in a van fired by biodiesel carrying one of the 32 panels Jimmy Carter unveiled in 1979 during the first press conference on the White House roof.
Royal Dutch Shell and German chemicals maker BASF were dealt a costly blow last month in a court ruling in Brazil that found both companies liable for contaminating groundwater with toxic waste northwest of Sao Paulo.
The ruling puts Shell and BASF in the lead position in this installment of The Green Gauge, a breakdown of companies that made headlines Aug. 22 to Sept. 6 for winning or losing credibility based on environment-related activity.
With half a million signatures backing it up, Greenpeace fired off a letter to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg today calling for the world’s largest social network to cut ties to coal-fired power at its new data center in Oregon.
“Other cloud-based companies face similar choices and challenges as you do in building data centers, yet many are making smarter and cleaner investments,” executive director of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, writes. He points to Google and its a recent agreement to buy wind power from NextEra Energy for the next 20 years to power its data centers.
As the special envoy on climate change for the World Bank, Andrew Steer might be thought of as the $6 billion man of environmental finance. He oversees more than that amount for projects to fight the effects of global warming.
“More funds flow through us to help adaptation and mitigation than anyone else,” Steer said in a conversation at the bank’s Washington headquarters. Named to the newly created position in June, Steer said one of his priorities is to marshall more than $6 billion in the organization’s Climate Investment Funds to move from smaller pilot projects to large-scale efforts.
Would you eat a genetically modified fish? What about pork from a pig with mouse genes? Beef from cattle with genes spliced to resist “mad cow” disease?
These are questions Americans may soon have to answer for themselves if the U.S. health regulators allow the sale of a genetically engineered salmon. The company that makes it, Aqua Bounty Technologies Inc <ABTX.L>, expects an agency decision by year’s end.
After playing dead on top of oil-black plastic sheets outside a Chevron office, protesters marched through downtown San Francisco on Monday to denounce “oil addiction” on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, as the U.S. Gulf Coast recovers from its more recent disaster.
About 100 marchers, drawn from activist groups ranging from Code Pink to the Rainforest Action Network, took part in the ”Climate Justice” protest to demand that BP pay to clean up the mess in the Gulf and that the industry clean up its act in general. (BP has agreed to set aside $20 billion for spill damage claims and to pay all legitimate losses related to the spill.) Protestors also called for ”real solutions” after briefly blocking the entrance to the headquarters of Chevron Energy Solutions, the oil giant’s solar power arm.