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Lunar street lamps

And here is another interesting article from the newscientist website:

Street lamps that light up in response to the diminishing light from the Sun at the end of the day are old news. Now, get ready for “lunar resonant” street lamps.

The lunar street lamp responds to moonlight as well as sunlight. A new moon will see it floodlighting the city streets, while a full moon turns it off. Varying degrees of crescents (and cloudiness, I can only assume) act as dimmer switches, with the lamp compensating for whatever the moon cannot provide.

It would be intersting to know how much electricity it would actually save..

Read more here

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I found an interesting article from Newscientist website which I found quite disturbing to say the least…

When two heavyweights of the airline industry, Virgin boss Richard Branson and Boeing chairman Jim McNerney, signed a new 4 billion pound deal for a fleet of lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft, it was hailed as a sign of the industry’s new commitment to the environment. The new 787s, which are due to enter service in 2008, will be built from carbon fibre instead of aluminium.

Just how personally committed the two parties are to the green cause, has only now come to light. It turns out that the contract they signed contains a bizarre clause in the small print:

The parties hereby agree that each of the signatories will lose at least one stone in weight over the next four years in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 36lb on the delivery flight.

Branson’s communications director Paul Charles says staff wrote the clause as a joke to see if their chairman, Branson (6ft tall, 14 stone 9lb, BMI of 27.4 = overweight) would read the small print. The two bosses have taken it in good spirits however, both saying that they would commit themselves to losing weight in time.

“If you are carrying lighter people in the plane, you need even less fuel. Perhaps the government should consider adopting it as a way to combat obesity and climate change in one go,” Charles says.

It seems that industries are jumping on the sustainability bandwagon and we can expect more and more businesses to follow suit.

The green market place is starting to get crowded – just check some of the labels on supermarket shelves – and that raises an obvious question: what’s real and what’s just green spin?

As businessweek points out knowing who’s authentic is the big challenge now for consumers.

To read more on click here

EU not doing enough

  

  

Environment Groups Slam European Commission for Failed Green Policies.

According to the ENN website ten groups — including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Europe, WWF and Bird Life International — said their review of the European Commission found that more needed to be done despite its recent moves to champion Europe’s fight against climate change.

Leading European environmental groups criticized the EU’s head office on Friday, saying it had failed in its green policies and was not doing enough to promote ecological issues.

The review said the Commission had flunked, giving it a grade of 43 out of 100. The EU got lowest marks for marine and forest policies, each receiving only a 2/10 score.

The groups said the low scores were for the EU’s “weak proposals on marine protection and for not addressing the destructive impacts of fisheries,” and for its “foot-dragging” on policies to ban illegal timber from reaching markets.

The report also chided the EU for allowing new genetically altered crops on the market of the 27-nation bloc. It demanded the Commission suspend the authorization of new GMO crops in wake of claims there are “diverging scientific opinions and scientific uncertainties” over their safety.

It gave highest marks, 7/10, for ambitious plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. By then, at least 20 percent of Europe’s energy should come from renewable sources such as wind, solar panels, hydroelectricity and energy crops, the EU has said.

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A summer of greenwash

On  

Here’s an interesting article from Guardian Unlimited. I have to say I am always wary of celebrities trying to open our eyes, our oh-so-very simple, everyday life people’s eyes… So I tend to try and find out why some celebrity is trying so hard and whether it’s not simply another go at grabbing the headlines…Call me cynical, I just can’t help it.

Read this

I found this article at the New Scientist website:

Green talk needs a makeover, Governor Schwarzenegger has told an audience of university students in Washington : it needs to stop being the exclusive realm of ranting tree-huggers and become a bit… sexier.

Arnie likened this to how he helped transform the image of bodybuilding…

He’s not alone in his quest. In last week’s issue of Science, journalist Chris Mooney and science communication professor Matthew Nisbet argue that climate scientists who talk to the media need to worry less about making the science accessible to Joe and Jane Public and worry more about “framing” the issue – i.e. making it feel relevant to Joe and Jane.

there was a story in Guardian Unlimited which I found quite interesting and which illustrates a god example f greenwashing…Or s it seems!

Basically, environmentalists are furious that strategically donated research money to institutions such as Stanford and Berkeley is giving “Big Oil”, in the shape of ExxonMobil and BP, the opportunity to “greenwash” their images in the US.

The greenwash accusation has led millionaire film producer and environmentalist Steve Bing (perhaps best known in the UK as the father of Elizabeth Hurley’s son) to withdraw the final $2.5m of a $25m donation from his alma mater Stanford University, in northern California, because of its relationship with ExxonMobil.

More details from the link above.