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Wolfram Palitzsch undertook painstaking research to develop a way of recycling the strategic metals present in solar panels and other products. To find out more about the research and its environmental and social impact:
Chemist Wolfram Palitzsch’s father was a habitual recycler. Growing up in communist East Germany, where anything might suddenly be in short supply, Palitzsch watched his dad fill bags with bottle tops and anything else that could be reused.
Three decades later, Palitzsch grew dismayed watching factory workers fill rubbish bags with rare earths elements — the raw material crucial to manufacturing hi-tech products such as mobile phones, TVs and hybrid cars. Germany faces a critical short supply of these metals. “I couldn’t believe it. They had all this powder in big bags, sitting in the corner waiting to be thrown away,” he said. “I said, ‘That’s stupid. There’s 400 tonnes per year of powder containing rare earths. Nobody’s looking at how it could be recycled.’” www.loserchemie.de/pdf
Olivier Desmoulin's Super Marmite meal sharing site allows anyone to get a home-cooked meal, even if they don't have the time or skills to cook. Users simply sign up and see what's cooking in their neighbourhood or post meals for pick up.
Supermarmite is a French startup that allows people to share their extra portions of food with their neighbours. Olivier first started thinking about Supermarmite on his way home from the office. When you cook your own food for the day, you often have too much and end up throwing it away. Sometimes cooking is just too much work. Fast food can get expensive and is not too healthy.
Super Marmite allows subgroups of the larger Super Marmite community help each other all within the context of supporting and celebrating the quality of home cooked food. Members who like to cook are given the opportunity to sell meals online and time-conscious members are able to buy wholesome homemade meals from local cooks. The essential idea is, in Desmoulin’s words, “praise the gastronomic richness and eclectism produced daily by individuals, in order to provide an alternative choice to the classic take away businesses.” www.super-marmite.com
Non-porous paved roads are a vehicle for polluted runoff and are easily damaged and costly to repair. Erik Schlangen demos a new type of porous asphalt made of simple materials with an astonishing feature: When cracked, it can be “healed” by induction heating.
Erik Schlangen is a Civil Engineering professor at Delft University of Technology and the Chair of Experimental Micromechanics. His areas of research include durability mechanics and "self-healing" materials, like the asphalt and concrete he and his team have developed that can be repaired with induction. This special asphalt is made with tiny steel wool fibers, which, when heated with induction, extends the life of the material. Currently Schlangen and his team are testing the asphalt on the A58 road near Vilssingen in the Netherlands, with the hope that it can be used in future roads all over the country.
Photovoltaics, otherwise known as solar cells, are an important source of energy around the world, converting solar radiation into electricity which we use every day to power our lights, computers, and appliances. But even the most advanced solar cells can only use a fraction of the sun's energy. What if we could use the unused solar energy to also produce fuel? Matt Shaner, a graduate student in the Lewis Research group at Caltech, shows us a demo of a technique in the production of hydrogen, a promising alternative fuel. Plants convert the sun's energy into sugar through photosynthesis. In this process, hydrogen is produced when the sun's rays hit a piece of silicon, a material often found in photovoltaic cells.
"Photovoltaics (photo = light, voltaic = electricity), convert sunlight directly into electricity. Photovoltaic (PV) cells are made up of special materials; semiconductors such as silicon. Basically, when light strikes the cell, a certain portion of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material. This means that the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to the semiconductor. This absorbed energy then knocks electrons loose, and if there is an electric field present, such as PV, the electrons flow in one direction as current.
Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and its predecessor, the Ladakh Project. She is the author of Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh and co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals such as The Ecologist, Resurgence, and YES! magazine. Norberg- Hodge's ground-breaking work in the Himalayan region of Ladakh is internationally recognized, and earned her the Right Livelihood Award.
A particular focus of Norberg-Hodge's is the impact of the global economy on culture and agriculture and in particular the root causes of our social and environmental crises.
She is on the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture, launched with the support of the government of Tuscany. She is also a member of the editorial board of The Ecologist magazine and a co-founder of the International Forum on Globalisation and the Global Eco-village Network.
The stories we need to tell – of standing up for American jobs and businesses and standing up for our American values – intersect powerfully in the opportunity we have to lead on the climate concerns we share with our global neighbors.
We as a nation must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and grandchildren: an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate.
And let’s face it – we are all in this one together. No nation can stand alone. We share nothing so completely as our planet. When we work with others – large and small – to develop and deploy the clean technologies that will power a new world, we’re also helping create new markets and new opportunities for America’s second-to-none innovators and entrepreneurs to succeed in the next great revolution.
So let’s commit ourselves to doing the smart thing and the right thing and truly commit to tackling this challenge. Because if we don’t rise to meet it, rising temperatures and rising sea levels will surely lead to rising costs down the road. If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing our generations are remembered for. We need to find the courage to leave a far different legacy.
In one of the most pointed, sweeping and personal public conversations about Chris Hedges' life and work yet, Bill Moyers speaks with the journalist after the release of "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt," the book Hedges co-authored with fellow reporter and artist Joe Sacco.
In "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" pulitzer prize winner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in America that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. They wanted to show what life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize profit. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is the searing account of their travels. "All for short term profit, at long term expense."
This story starts in the western plains, where Native Americans were sacrificed in the giddy race for land and empire. It mmoves to the old manufacturing centers and coal fields that fueled the industrial revolution, but now lie depleted and in decay. In Appalachia they look at the toxic soot that mountain top removal has left on the ghost towns of West Virginia. It follows the steady downward spiral of American labor into the nation's produce fields and ends in Zuccotti Park where a new generation revolts against a corporate state that has handed to the young an economic, political, cultural and environmental catastrophe.
Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd need YOUR help! Please visit http://wh.gov/Vnbu and http://wh.gov/VnRf and sign the petitions on behalf of Paul and the whales who he works so tirelessly to protect. Anyone in the world can sign and make a real difference! If you have an account, it takes only seconds to sign. Creating an account takes a few minutes.
It appears control of the NRA has completely shifted away from it's sportsmen members to the weapons industry. The NRA's largest donor is MidwayUSA which makes assault rifles. Plus, most all on the board of the NRA are gun industry insiders, those who make assault weapons and high capacity magazines. These companies have profited greatly in this recent craze of gun sales.
This video shows the gun industry money behind the NRA. The NRA fights too hard against common sense gun safety legislation.
Produced by ART NOT WAR
Featuring Kenneth Montgomery, Michelle Manning, & Mike Landry.
Earth Hour 2013, 8:30 PM Saturday 23 March. Earth Hour has grown from a one-city initiative in 2007 to the world's largest campaign for the planet, uniting hundreds of millions of people across 7001 cities and towns in 152 countries and territories.
The official 2013 video features the track "Without You" by David Guetta and Usher, providing an upbeat soundtrack to match the celebration of last year's event across the world. Earth Hour's mission is to unite people to protect the planet, so go beyond the hour and upload your I Will If You Will challenge to www.YouTube.com/EarthHour. Dare the World to Save the Planet.
Sign the Earth Hour Pledge: wwf.worldwildlife.org
Fascinating. But, if any life out there is more sophisticated than us, I am sure they have technology to block the signals they emit.
In the last decade cutting-edge techniques have radically transformed planet hunting. Against a background of frenetic discovery, an elite band of scientists are looking for something new: alien civilisations.
"If it's ever going to happen, it'll happen before the mid-part of this century." As part of a global team searching for signals from E.T., Dr Seth Shostak is on the front-line of a dynamic field of research. And though a breakthrough remains elusive, the team remains optimistic that the universe is big enough for the truth to still be out there - according to head astronomer Dr. Jill Tarter, "It would be an awful waste of space if we are all there is." www.journeyman.tv
Kid President commands you to wake up, listen to the beating of your heart and create something that will make the world awesome. This video from SoulPancake delivers a soul-stirring dose of inspiration that only a 9-year-old can give.
Kid President is otherwise known as Robby Novak, age 9. His executive order: for us all to “treat everybody like it’s their birthday,” every single day."It's everybody's duty to give the world a reason to dance."
Featuring the song "Households" by Sleeping At Last - sleepingatlast.com
with additional music by Skewby - somethingaboutskewby.com
Wildlife crime is now the most urgent threat to three of the world's best-loved species—elephants, rhinos and tigers.
The global value of illegal wildlife trade is between $7.8 and $10 billion per year. It is a major illegal transnational activity worldwide—along with arms, drugs and human trafficking. High-level traders and kingpins are rarely arrested, prosecuted, convicted, or punished for their crimes.
These species cannot survive high levels of poaching for long. In 50 years of conservation, WWF has never seen wildlife crime on such a scale.
Photographer James Morgan documents wildlife crime from the forests of Central Africa to markets in Thailand. Along the way, he witnesses the devastation brought to species such as elephants and tigers and the devotion of leaders and rangers who are working to stop illegal wildlife trafficking.
Learn more about WWF's Stop Wildlife Crime campaign: worldwildlife.org/pages/stop-wildlife-crime
The Birds-of-Paradise Project reveals the astounding beauty of 39 of the most exquisitely specialized animals on earth. After 8 years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, Australia, and nearby islands, Cornell Lab scientist Ed Scholes and National Geographic photojournalist Tim Laman succeeded in capturing images of all 39 species in the bird-of-paradise family for the first time ever. This trailer gives a sense of their monumental undertaking and the spectacular footage that resulted. Filmed by Tim Laman, Ed Scholes, and Eric Liner. Explore more: www.birdsofparadiseproject.org
Climate change, depleted natural resources and population growth are all forcing countries to re-evaluate their agricultural methods. But now the Verti-Crop is offering farmers a sustainable alternative.
"The aspiration of this project is to help people wherever they live and whatever their situation in the world" says Verti-crop curator of plants and gardens, Kevin Frediani. By creating a "controlled environment agriculture" which uses advanced hydroponic technologies, he hopes the project will change our attitudes to crop production. Verti-Crop: www.alterrus.ca
To investigate the extent of air pollution from drilling in the Marcellus shale region of the Mid-Atlantic states, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) hired an industrial videographer who works for the oil and gas industry, David Sawyer of Sawyer Infrared Inspection Services. Sawyer is certified to use an infrared camera called a Flir "GasFindIR" that detects leaks of methane and other hydrocarbon gases from gas pipelines and equipment.
From May 31 to June 3, CBF directed Sawyer to examine 15 natural gas drilling and compressor sites in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia that are visible from public roads. Sawyer's equipment detected methane and perhaps other hydrocarbon gases escaping from 11 of these 15 sites. The four sites with no emissions were not operating.
Infra- red light is blocked, absorbed and then re-radiated by greenhouse gases. The FLIR camera company’s “GasfinderIR – GF” can 'see' these greenhouse gases. The public needs to see more of these images!
Wild Dolphin "Asks" Divers to Free It from Hook and line embedded in its pectoral fin. "A dolphin tangled in fishing line sought help from a diver in the waters of Hawaii. The encounter on January 11 was captured on video and the diver, Keller Laros, spent the better part of eight minutes tending to the needy mammal who readily accepted the help. Mr Laros was leading a group of snorkelers for a manta ray dive experience off the Big Island when the dolphin squealed out.
The diver explained, 'The way he came right up and pushed himself into me there was no question this dolphin was there for help.'
The group were enjoying the aquatic sights when suddenly they heard a dolphin cry and the bottlenose dolphin swam in their direction.
Mr Laros soon noticed that the dolphin's movements were inhibited because it was entangled in fishing line and a hook was lodged in its pectoral fin.
The mammal allowed the human to work to help the dolphin break free.
'I was trying to unwrap it, I got the line fishing hook out of the pectoral fin. There was a line coming out of his mouth. But, the line wrapped around his pectoral fin was so tight and he had cuts both front and aft,' said Laros.
'I was worried if I tugged on it, it might hurt him more. I was able to cut the fishing line and unwrap it.'
The diver said that the animal patiently and calmly allowed him to work to remove the fishing line.
'I've had bottlenose dolphins approach me a lot of times and they are really smart animals,' Laros, Laros, a professional scuba instructor and Manta Ray researcher, explained.
Mr Laros did remove the fishing hook and clipped the line that was near the mouth but as other divers joined Laros and tried to remove more fishing line, the mammal swam off and did not return." KITV
It's like watching 'Manhattan breaking apart in front of your eyes', says one of the researchers for filmmaker James Balog. He's describing the largest iceberg calving ever filmed, as featured in the movie, Chasing Ice. After weeks of waiting, the filmmakers witnessed 7.4 cubic km of ice crashing off the Ilulissat glacier in Greenland. www.chasingice.com
The Black Rhino socializes at night. Discovery Channel Africa Series video.