An Indian man drives through a waterlogged street with his dog after heavy rainfall in Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. The monsoon rains which usually hit India from June to September are crucial for farmers whose crops feed hundreds of millions of people.
The Tata AirPod is a city car running on compressed air (as well as a battery-powered electric motor). The ease of converting air into an energy source using simple compressors means charging stations can be placed anywhere, and they require no provisioning — no trucks delivering gas, ethanol, or hydrogen — and they produce no emissions, just discharge of the air.
The AirPod can run 125mi (200k) at a top speed between 28 to 43mph (45 to 70kph). The car is intended for a single rider, and has a small cargo area in the back.
This is breakthrough design: it undercuts most of the negatives of the system it is designed to replace. And unlike other alternatives to traditional cars, it does not require an entire supply chain to exist before becoming practical in a single location. A city like New York could roll out a citywide fleet of AirPods Just like it is rolling out a bike sharing program (although the city’s bike share program has been delayed). It doesn’t need to build nuclear reactors, or deal with some hard-to-transport alternative fuel. In fact, New York City could simply repurpose existing gas stations or parking lots with compressors, and card readers.
Totally awesome. Here’s the future. There Just need to make them stackable, like this:
Julius Popp’s “BIT.FALL” offers up a waterfall of words. (Photo courtesy of the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin.)
How BIT.FALL works: A machine creates words composed of tiny water droplets that fall like rain from the ceiling. The words may seem random, but they’re actually quite timely. A computer trawls news websites and uses a statistical algorithm to select the words.
The installation is part of an exhibit called “Surface Tension” that focuses on water: its movement, its growing scarcity, its contaminants, and its power to heal. More.
Offshore wind turbines. (Photo from Living on Earth.)
Five miles off the southern shore in Nantucket Sound beyond the sun, sand and surf, the wind blows steady and strong. For 10 years this vacation haven has been the scene of a knock-down drag-out fight over siting the nation’s first offshore wind farm. The Cape Wind Project – as it’s called – has come out the winner, having received all of the necessary state and federal approvals. The planned wind farm will spread 130 turbines across 25 miles.
The US actor Maggie Q swims with a whale shark off Cancun, Mexico, as part of a campaign to publicise the plight of marine animals threatend by the demand for shark fin soup. China has announced a ban on shark fin from all official banquetsPhotograph: Paul Hilton/AFP/Getty Images.
The last house on Holland Island, in Chesapeake Bay. In 2010, the house collapsed and the island was completely submerged by rising water. (Photo: Flickr/CC BaldEagleBluff)
A new survey of American coastal regions shows the hot spots where sea levels are rising fastest. Ben Strauss, who directs the program on Sea Level Rise at Climate Central, says much of the Eastern seaboard will see the most dramatic coastal flooding.
Strauss points to a study that looks back over the last 60 years, which shows the sea level rise along the Eastern seaboard is 3-4 times the global average. More.
Euro trash wanted! Sweden’s waste-to-energy program converts household trash into energy, providing electricity and heating to hundreds of thousands of homes across the nation. But the program may be too successful; they’re now running out of homegrown trash to fuel the power plants.
Catarina Ostlund, Senior Advisor for the Swedish EPA, says the country is currently importing 800,000 tons of trash from other European countries. More.
(Photo: The Vattenfall combined heat and power plant in Uppsala, Sweden. From Vattenfall/Flickr)
(via Tehelka.com) Instead of demanding water from the hinterland, mega cities like Delhi should first ensure equitable distribution. With ownership, responsibility and innovation will follow
INDIA’S BIGGEST lies hide behind its per capita figures. Our average income is $1,219 (approximately 68,300) and we are ranked 142nd in the world. But with 55 billionaires, we also stand fourth in the list of the countries boasting the world’s richest individuals. Between these two true figures, two-thirds of us live on less than half a dollar a day and nearly half our children are malnourished.