Researchers at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in South Africa have developed a new fuel, known as Coalgae. Made from a combination of algae and coal dust, the latter of which is a waste product, the fuel could have a significant positive impact on the environment.
An international team of astronomers has used multiple telescopes to study two large patches of sky, searching for the X-ray emissions from distant galaxy clusters. It's hoped that the work will provide insights into the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
Most of us do not think much about recycling. We might clean bottles and jars, crush cartons and break down boxes. We might sort these items into their designated bins or bags, but once we lose sight of the recyclables, the rest of the process is an abstraction. Recycling makes us feel good, but few of us know what actually happens to a plastic bottle after we drop it into a bin.
What happens is the bottle enters an elaborate global system within which its plastic is sold, shipped, melted, resold, and shipped again—sometimes zigzagging the globe before becoming a carpet, clothing, or repeating life as a bottle. This process is possible because plastic is a stubborn substance, which resists decomposition. With a presumed life span of over 500 years, it’s safe to say that every plastic bottle you have used exists somewhere on this planet, in some form or another.
An international team of researchers has observed a black hole swallowing up a star for the first time. The rare event took place over several months, and the results of the study confirm an existing black hole theory.
Outside the conference hall where the Paris climate negotiations are taking place, a large crowd gathered in the bright sun on Friday morning, chanting for an end to government subsidies for fossil fuels. Yards away, a meeting of financiers and bankers got under way in which a central demand was for, well, much the same thing.
Something strange has happened here. The masters of the financial universe are out in force insisting that, though they may not be waving placards or chanting slogans, they are part of the solution. Free markets — and an end to those pesky subsidies — could deliver a zero-carbon world, they say.
On the night of December 12, in the French city of Paris, almost exactly a month after the horrific terrorist attacks there, the leaders of nearly two hundred countries of the world adopted the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change under the...
The much anticipated global negotiation on climate change has kicked off and the impact on the building and construction sector appears promising.
The successful transition to a sustainable energy future depends vitally on the building sector, as more than a third of total energy is consumed in buildings. But, as yet, the large wins to be made in increasing energy efficiency in our homes, businesses and industries have not taken hold.
This is changing. The recently announced Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Conference of the Parties (COP21) show that there is appetite and opportunity for change. The buildings sector can deliver results on both global climate and sustainable development goals.
The refugee crisis facing Western nations has begun to peak both demographically and politically. The United Nations has reported that more than 6.5 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries and Europe, and even nations that until recently welcomed refugees are frantically trying to change immigration policy or protect borders. In contrast, as migration has swelled the population in some places, in others, like the Rust Belt of the United States, depopulation undermines future economic development. Some have begun to ask whether population trends can or should determine policy. The answer is yes.
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