Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Morning Linkfest

Good morning oh fellow timid environmentalists.

What do we have on tap today? Well, it's the usual round up of suspects - things I find interesting.

As always, I am on the lookout for articles on leadership particularly, including especially ones dealing with the ability to motive people to action. This is a trait sorely needed in our general populace, as apathy and complacency are as widespread as our material wealth is deep. If you see something that fits the bill, drop me a note, and I'll include it in a future edition here.
  • A wind turbine suitable for urban circumstances is tricky, given the low wind speeds and swirling source winds inevitable in many urban locales. "Eddy is one of many vertical axis turbines vying for attention among consumers and businesses looking for on-site power options. Urban Green Energy's wind turbines have a design that makes them perform very well in changing wind conditions, said Blitterswyk. A two-axis shaft reduces strain on the permanent magnet generator at the base of the turbine and improves the performance." (via CNET - see photograph, above)
  • Another green dream - a real possibility, or simply one more blind alley of technology? You decide. "A group of chemical engineers at MIT have devised a way to collect solar energy 100 times more concentrated than a traditional photovoltaic cell. If their ’solar funnel’ venture proves to be a success, it could drastically alter how solar energy is collected in the future — there will no longer be a need for massive solar arrays or extensive space to generate significant and sufficient amounts of power." (via inhabitat)
  • Bulky and expensive photovoltaic panels are so 2008. What does the future look like? Entire buildings, rooftops and even windows spray-painted with revolutionary nanoparticle inks that channel solar power into a thin, semi-transparent and relatively inexpensive medium. Sound crazy? (via inhabitat)
  • More proof that women are smarter than men (as if I needed someone else to pile on my wife's side): more women believe global warming is real and the effects likely to be negative (via Live Science)
  • While she can show you how to lower your carbon footprint, just don't call her the "green Martha Stewart". (via David Suzuki Foundation)
  • Part of the Obama infrastructure proposed spending looks good - 4,000 miles of new railway. Could it be more than just enough to get across the country once? Seems unambitious to me. (via inhabitat)
  • Why are so many, so timid about standing up against climate change - is it because we are all complicit to some degree? "Doctors have been too timid about highlighting the risks to human health from rises in greenhouse gases," Dr. Michael Wilks, past president of the Committee of European Doctors, said in a statement." (via Daily Climate)
  • The problem is that we are now frequently seeing even the scientists surprised by the speed at which various climate change effects are occurring. Greenland's glaciers are melting "faster than expected". (via Greenpeace [3 minute video]
  • A neighborhood nuclear power plant on every corner? Sounds appealing from a carbon reduction standpoint - unfortunately, terrorists would likely enjoy the shopping convenience such a situation would provide. (via The Washington Post)
  • Carbon market: the low-hanging fruit? (via Daily Climate)
  • And our highlighted link on leadership today ... "Great leaders (there, I’ve said the dreaded word) get people to focus on the key elements of strategy – the standards on which the firm is going to compete. With a clear ideology to rally around, talented people get the choice of saying – ‘I can believe in that. I think I’ll stick around to a part of that and be a member of a society of like-minded people operating together in accordance with common values.’" (via David Maister)
  • Gary Ovitt, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said Friday that the state's global-warming law could cost local governments and businesses dearly. The county, he said, is looking at an estimated $133 million deficit each year for the next few years. "It's clear," he said, "we can't afford higher energy costs."  (via San Bernardino Sun)  ... I would add that this is the shit that environmentalists have to deal with: people who have NO CLUE how climate change mitigation strategies will balloon wildly in cost as they are pushed ever off into the future.
  • Time is growing shorter and shorter to sustain human life on this planet, in quantities that are both here now, and capable of supporting with lifestyle changes. Only 225 months left until climate change effects are virtually irreversible. (via nef)
  • Sure, green roofs. And green walls too? But what type? (via New Scientist)

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