“Texas has enough sun and wind to quit coal, Rice researchers say”

“Texas might have the perfect environment to quit coal for good. Texas is one of the only places where the natural patterns of wind and sun could produce power around the clock, according to new research from Rice University. Scientists found that between wind energy from West Texas and the Gulf Coast, and solar energy across the state, Texas could meet a significant portion of its electricity demand from renewable power without extensive battery storage. The reason: These sources generate power at different times of day, meaning that coordinating them could replace production from coal-fired plants.”


“Climate change research produced reasons for concern and hope in 2018”

“The past year brought multiple extreme events to the US, including devastating wildfires to California and deadly hurricanes on the east coast. These are the types of extreme weather events that a 2018 study by Noah Diffenbaugh, the Kara J Foundation Professor of Earth System Science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth) and his colleagues suggest could get more frequent if countries don’t work together to reach the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. Diffenbaugh and his colleagues analyzed the probability of extreme weather events if countries achieve the Paris Agreement goals – limiting global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – or if they simply achieve their individual commitments, which fall short of those goals.”


“Renewables overtake coal as Germany’s main energy source”

“Renewables overtook coal as Germany’s main source of energy for the first time last year, accounting for just over 40 percent of electricity production, research showed on Thursday. The shift marks progress as Europe’s biggest economy aims for renewables to provide 65 percent of its energy by 2030 in a costly transition as it abandons nuclear power by 2022 and is devising plans for an orderly long-term exit from coal.”


“S-Squared gets printing”

“The beast of a machine sits outside the company’s Patchogue Village home located on West Main Street and is capable of pouring concrete with virtually no air bubbles, creating a product that is 200 percent stronger with about a 70 percent reduction of cost as opposed to traditional construction. A 4-bedroom/2-bath home is expected to yield a for-sale price as low as $150,000 to 200,000 and comes with a 100-year warranty. The company says the cutting-edge technology has the potential to be the next big thing to help improve community infrastructure with practically zero carbon footprint. By reducing the manpower and resources, the home printer can build a house in a fraction of the time, which reduces the impact on the environment, all while cutting costs and using ecofriendly materials and methods.”


“California’s droughts hurt fight against climate change. Study tells us why”

“Recent droughts across the West have belted drinking-water supplies, withered crops and fanned deadly wildfires. They’ve also squeezed hydroelectric facilities, with the less obvious side effect of hampering efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. A new study out of Stanford University finds that 10 percent of the total carbon dioxide spewed from California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho for power generation this century is the result of states turning to fossil fuels when water was too sparse to spin electrical turbines at dams.”


“The Indian men who make money selling trash”

“The 34-year-old, who prefers to go by his first name only, is standing in the middle of a scrapyard that he and his brother own in Gurgaon, a dusty suburb of glass and concrete near Delhi. On his left are gunny bags bursting with paper. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face stares up from a stack of newspapers, and a hefty guide to the “Principles of Corporate Finance” lies on the ground. Then comes a mound of glass, plastic, metal and more – a quick glance throws up a can of Lacoste deodorant, plastic bottles of Coca-Cola’s Glaceau Smartwater, a brown suitcase and a few bicycles. This is Shiv Scrap Dealers, owned by Govind and his brother, Joginder, seasoned purveyors of trash: for more than 10 years, they have been sifting through what other people discard to extract every last bit of value from it.”


“Winter is shrinking, Scripps study finds, posing new fire, water risks”

“His results were published this month in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, and presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C. Aerial photos and snow surveys illustrate how levels vary from year to year. But Evan’s study looked not only at how much snow there is, but also how it accumulates and then runs off. Climate models have predicted the snowpack would diminish earlier in the season and melt more gradually as the planet warms. Evan affirmed those projections through an analysis of data from 1982 through 2017.”


“Jerry Brown: Climate change challenges as serious as those faced in World War II”

“California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown warned that America and the rest of the world are falling behind in the fight against climate change and likened the challenge to fighting the Nazis in World War II. In an interview for Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” the outgoing governor called on President Donald Trump to take the lead in addressing the issue. “Instead of worrying about tariffs, I’d like to see the president and the Congress invest tens of billions in renewable energy, in more-efficient batteries, to get us off fossil fuel as quickly as we can,” Brown said.”


“How mountains of U.S. plastic waste ended up in Malaysia, broken down by workers for $10 a day”

“In a derelict warehouse complex plastered with “For Rent” signs an hour from the Malaysian capital, four women squatted on upturned buckets. Their fingernails were cracked and nubby, their headscarves dampened with sweat. Wielding hair dryers, they heated and peeled labels from a waist-high pile of discarded plastic electric meters. The stickers affixed to each of the plastic round gray casings bore the sun-like logo of a faraway power company: the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. How scrap from California ended up in a junkyard 8,500 miles away, broken down manually by workers earning $10 a day, is the story of the reshaping of the global garbage and recycling system.”


“Augmented reality art exhibit shows how people are harming corals”

“Artist Tamiko Thiel says she wants to get people thinking about how their actions affect the ocean – not only through pollution but global warming, which causes harmful coral bleaching. So the virtual corals change color throughout the day. Visitors who come in the morning see vivid colors. Thiel: “Over the course of the day, as more and more people view it, we bleach the colors more and more.” Thiel says this kind of interactive art provides an entry point for learning about threats to our oceans.”