ENVIRONMENTALISTS TO BLAME FOR SPILL? ... Charles Krauthammer, a controversial Washington Post columnist, recently addressed the blame game being played out in regards to the Gulf spill and his take may not sit will with everyone, but is it worth consideration as we proceed with policy and regulatory changes? "Why are we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place? Environmental chic has driven us out there." Krauthammer says it's because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. And in the "safest of all places", on land, we’ve had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He says, "where would you rather have one: in the Gulf of Mexico, upon which thousands depend for their livelihood, or in the Arctic, where there are practically no people? Why have we pushed the drilling from the barren to the populated, from the remote wilderness to a center of fishing, shipping, tourism and recreation?" If you're already heated, he admits environmentalists are not the only ones to blame. But he thinks it's odd that they've escaped any mention at all. Tell me what you think! Full column.
NASA NEEDS GREEN IDEAS ... It seems NASA is soliciting proposals for studies designed to identify advanced vehicle concepts and enabling technologies for commercial airliners to fly more economically, quieter and cleaner by 2025. The solicitation is the first of several expected under the directorate's "Research Opportunities in Aeronautics" announcement for 2010, released on Wednesday. The total potential value of the research contracts is $36.6 million, and proposals are due by July 15. NASA will select up to four teams for 12-month studies beginning in fiscal year 2011. The studies will define preferred concepts for advanced vehicles that can operate within the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen. Sounds complicated but the opportunities are endless. Check out NASA's education page and pass it on. CARBON-FREE ABU DHABI CITY
... In January 2008, Abu Dhabi invested $15 billion to make Masdar City the largest single government investment of its kind. Masdar, meaning
“the source” in Arabic, is on the desert fringe of Abu Dhabi, shows how its planning is starting to bear fruit. This is where the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company intends to raise a city out of nowhere, for a population of 90,000. Masdar, which aims to be the world’s first full-scale fully carbon-neutral, zero-waste city, is a project of astonishing ambition. When its first phase is completed, by 2014 at the earliest, Masdar will be transformative for Abu Dhabi, the Gulf and potentially the world. The intention is to show how urban planning, smart construction, futuristic transport systems and 100 percent renewable energy generation and waste recycling systems can enable a carbon-free future. Holy wow. Check it out
IPHONE HOTEL ROOM KEYS ... Holiday Inn next month will begin testing technology that lets you convert your iPhone into your room key. The goal? To cut down on plastic waste. But initial consumer surveys show that many are skeptical, primarily about security. But Open Ways' CEO assures the technology mirrors the high level of security that's already provided today simply through a cell phone. And even if you sign up for the Open Ways app, you can still use your keycard because the door lock still contains traditional keycard reader. Guests who opt to try "fast check-in" will give the hotel their smart phone number and download the app. Two or three days before arrival, they'll receive a text message containing their room number and a unique and encrypted sound code that they'll use to unlock their hotel-room door. The code will work once and then reset itself. Check out the CEO's answers to initial consumer questions. And to see how it works watch this video on YouTube. If offered, would you be willing to try it out?
HOW GREEN ARE YOU? ... Our student writers put a lot of hard work and research into providing readers with useful, green living lifestyle suggestions through our 365 Days of Green column. All while juggling school schedules, personal lives, and their own environmental footprints. I think we could all stand to follow their lead and keep educating ourselves. National Geographic has cool, interactive Green Guide Quizzes that provide a little introspection, and a lot of great information. You can also calculate your carbon footprint here; it even takes into account secondary issues such as financial services and recreation.
SOLAR POWERED BOATS ... Scripps Ranch High students have built a race-winning boat powered by the sun. It took seven months of working in class and after school to build the 15-foot winner. The team placed first in the newcomer’s division of the Solar Cup Competition, a statewide race sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, that challenged high school students to build vessels powered by the sun. Scripps Ranch was among 36 teams with a total of 700 students participating in the May 14-16 event. Scripps Ranch green-technology teacher Mena Abdo incorporated the competition into his new green-technology course. “The first thing we did was make circuits out of light bulbs,” said Abdo, who added that the teams were restricted to a $4,000 budget. “Before they could understand a solar panel, they had to understand how a light bulb works.” Congrats to Scripps! If you or someone you know is currently going to school in CA send them here to check out more information and get their school involved next year.
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