Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category

Jan 23, 2020

Tesla destroys recent China FUD

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

It’s pretty difficult to believe it at this point, but there are still groups of Tesla critics who insist that Gigafactory 3 is not really fully operational. A central part of this thesis is the allegation that Gigafactory 3 does not have a stamping press, which means that Tesla’s China team is only assembling cars in the Shanghai-based factory using pre-stamped panels from Fremont.

A recently released video from Tesla China has just decimated these allegations in a subtle but definitive manner. The clip was short, less than 30 seconds long, but it showed a busy stamping press operating in Gigafactory 3. The video was released in China, and shared on Twitter by Tesla enthusiast @JayinShanghai.

Jan 23, 2020

U.S. Agency for International Development

Posted by in category: sustainability

In September 2015, as the Millennium Development Goals expired and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (link is external) was being adopted, USAID put forward an ambitious Vision for Ending Extreme Poverty.

Jan 23, 2020

A Mini Farm That Produces Food From Plastic-Eating Mushrooms

Posted by in categories: materials, sustainability

Circa 2014

According to one recent study, there’s at least 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. That’s more than 250 tons. So what to do with mountains of plastic waste with nowhere to go? Katharina Unger thinks we should eat it.

The Austrian designer partnered with Julia Kaisinger and Utrecht University to develop a system that cultivates edible plastic-digesting fungi. That’s right, you can eat mushrooms that eat plastic. In 2012, researchers at Yale University discovered a variety of mushroom (Pestalotiopsis microspora) that is capable of breaking down polyurethane. It kicked off a craze of research exploring how various forms of fungi can degrade plastic without retaining the toxicity of the material. The findings got Unger thinking: What if we could turn an environmental problem (waste) into an environmental solution (food)?

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Jan 22, 2020

World’s largest vertical farm grows without soil, sunlight or water in Newark

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

AeroFarms has put $30m into a green revolution that seeks to produce more crops in less space, but whether it’s economically viable is an open question.

Jan 22, 2020

Veggie Factory: World’s First Vertical Farm Run Entirely By Robots

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI, sustainability

Circa 2016

Taking vertical urban indoor farming efficiency to the next level, a new automated plant coming to Japan will be staffed entirely by robots and produce 30,000 heads of lettuce daily.

spread indoor farm

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Jan 21, 2020

Our current food system can feed only 3.4 billion people sustainably

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

We are struggling to feed half the world sustainably – but reorganising where we farm could allow us to feed 10 billion people within sustainability boundaries.

Jan 21, 2020

Capella Space reveals new satellite design for real-time control of high-resolution Earth imaging

Posted by in categories: satellites, sustainability

Satellite and Earth observation startup Capella Space has unveiled a new design for its satellite technology, which improves upon its existing testbed hardware platform to deliver high-resolution imaging capable of providing detail at less than 0.5 meters (1.6 feet). Its new satellite, code-named “Sequoia,” also will be able to provide real-time tasking, meaning Capella’s clients will be able to get imaging from these satellites of a desired area basically on demand.

Capella’s satellites are “synthetic aperture radar” (SAR for short) imaging satellites, which means they’re able to provide 2D images of the Earth’s surface even through cloud cover, or when the area being imaged is on the night side of the planet. SAR imaging resolution is typically much higher than the 0.5-meter range that Capella’s new design will enable — and it’s especially challenging to get that kind of performance from small satellites, which is what Sequoia will be.

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Jan 21, 2020

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Will Power 4.5 Million Homes

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

But a new figure blows all of these out of the water. Last week, British renewable energy developer SSE announced construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm off the eastern coast of England in the North Sea.

With a capacity of 3.6 gigawatts (GW), Dogger Bank will be three times bigger than the world’s biggest existing wind farm, the nearby 1.2 GW Hornsea One.

Located near a seaside town called Ulrome, which is 195 miles north of London, Dogger Bank will have three separate sites—Creyke Beck A, Creyke Beck B, and Teesside A—each with a 1.2 GW capacity, and construction is slated to take two years.

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Jan 18, 2020

World’s first biodegradable coffee cup that grows flowers and trees when thrown away!

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

It’s no surprise that the world is wasting billions of dollars on food, throwing out un-recycled trash, and filling landfills with other odds and ends. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, as of 2012 Americans generated 251 million tons of trash or garbage. Yikes!

There are creative ways to reduce the amount of waste such as source reduction, recycling, or even composting. A few people in the world strive to live an almost complete waste-free lifestyle by the practice of humanure.

We see refuse receptacles at work and around public places. However, even when garbage and recycle bins are available, some folks choose to throw away trash mindlessly by littering. What if there was a way to help reduce waste that goes beyond making sure trash gets into a bin?

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Jan 17, 2020

China could release emergency pork reserves after losing 100 million pigs to swine fever

Posted by in categories: food, government, sustainability

African swine fever has wiped out a third of China’s pig population. Now government officials are discussing dramatic steps to stabilize the world’s largest pork market.

Pork is a huge deal in China. The country is home to half of all the pigs on the planet. The meat is a staple of the Chinese diet, which means its scarcity could damage China’s social stability. The outbreak of swine fever also threatens to upend the global pork supply chain.

While Chinese authorities have already made plans to shore up the pig market — including subsidies for pig farms and families who may struggle with soaring prices — they’re stepping up efforts to deal with the crisis.

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