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'Green Bank' Proposed on Capitol Hill

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Legislation would help move clean energy projects out of the laboratory and into the marketplace.

In Monday's edition of Politico, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, penned an op-ed pushing for a so-called "green bank" to finance clean energy projects. Provisions setting up the Clean Energy Deployment Administration, or CEDA, were bundled in the broader energy legislation proposed last summer. But it's highly......read more

Light Sanctuary

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Land art installation/solar energy facility proposed for Arabian desert.

Turns out that large-scale clean energy projects don't have to be ugly eyesores. The mirage-like Light Sanctuary, a desert sculpture that does double duty as a 5,000 megawatt solar energy facility, proves it. Designed by New York architects Decker Yeadon for a remote area near Dubai, Light Sanctuary's 25-mile array of photovoltaic panels form a wavelike structure that undulates through......read more

Farmers Markets Exploding

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In spite of exponential growth, farmers markets still only account for a tiny proportion of U.S. food economy.

Over at Grist, Bonnie Azab Powell reports that farmers markets are growing like weeds all over the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are 6,132 farmers markets in the United States, a 16% increase from last year and a 214% increase from 2000. California leads the charge with 580 markets, followed by New York, Illinois, and Michigan. However, only one sixth of......read more

Space Exploration Goes Solar

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Japanese "solar sail" propelled by the sun.

Now, this is getting space-agey. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency says it has put solar panels on a spacecraft, which not only create power but they actively propel and maneuver it through space. The "Ikaros" solar sail absorbs photons from the sun that put pressure onto the solar sails reflective panels and propel the 700 pound craft. Ikaros is bound for an orbit around......read more

Guerrilla Gardening

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Age-old practice breathes new life into abandoned property.

Guerrilla gardening, or the illicit cultivation of someone else's land, is a movement that has been practiced for thousands of years. It is a response to the fact that few people own land, and often those that do neglect their land and do not take full advantage of its potential. With countless benefits from guerilla gardening including community beautification and food production,......read more

Criticism Mounts For Obama's Oil Drilling Plan

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Proposal to open coastlines to drilling draws ire from both sides of the political debate.

Aurora Robson's glimmering reputation was built on Plastic bottles are utterly detestable Notcot recently reminded us about the Aurora Robson's most recent exhibit, Be Like Water, just finished showing at 2424 in Philadelphia. For more Robson, visit her site. (via Notcot)...read more

Bluefin Tuna Ban Rejected

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A proposal to ban the export of the critically endangered bluefin tuna has been rejected at a UN wildlife meeting.

Some dismaying news for our oceans today, when a bid to ban commercial trade of Atlantic bluefin tuna was shot down at UN endangered species meetings. The proposal, tabled by Monaco, was opposed by Japan, Canada, and many developing countries on the grounds it would devastate fishing economies. Demand for bluefin tuna is driven by luxury seafood markets in Japan, where it is a sushi mainstay.......read more

Stricter Smog Limits Proposed

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Factories, power plants and landfills face crackdown with EPA's new ozone proposal.

The LA Times reports today that the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the nation's strictest-ever smog limits this morning, a move that could put large parts of the country in violation of federal air quality regulations. The EPA proposed allowing a ground-level ozone concentration of between 60 and 70 parts per billion, down from the 75-ppb standard adopted under President George......read more

E-bikes Propel Chinese Commuters

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Bicycles give way to automobiles, but e-bikes keep two-wheel tradition alive.

In China, where streets formerly packed with bicycles are increasingly clogged with cars, a new two-wheeled vehicle is quickly gaining momentum as an alternative means of transportation. Rechargeable electric bikes, or e-bikes, are growing in popularity as Chinese commuters begin to acknowledge the negative aspects of owning a car, such as gas prices, parking fees, noxious fumes and the notorious......read more

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