Scientists Are Making Carbon Fiber From Plants Instead of Petroleum

By Nexus Media Jan. 11, 2018 Carbon fiber is the Superman of materials. Five times stronger than steel and a fraction of the weight, it is used in everything from tennis rackets to golf clubs to bicycles to wind turbine blades to passenger airplanes to Formula One race cars. There’s just one catch: Carbon fiber is made from oil and other costly ingredients, making the end product exceptionally expensive. That’s why carbon fiber …

Restoration and park planned for Southern Indiana, across from Louisville KY

BY JOSH COHEN | JANUARY 22, 2018 in Next City A concept rendering of the future Ohio River Greenway. (Courtesy River Heritage Conservancy) Right now, the Ohio River Greenway consists of a few disjointed sections of multi-use trail along the bank of the Ohio River in southern Indiana, across the water from Louisville, Kentucky. When it’s completed this summer, the 7-mile greenway will connect …

Ongoing innovation: electrolysis, hydrogen and oxygen creation from seawater and sun

At Smithsonian.com  Could Giant “Solar Rigs” Floating On the Ocean Convert Seawater To Hydrogen Fuel?  Scientists at Columbia University have designed a device that could make the process economically viable (Courtesy Flickr user Austin Valley) By Randy Rieland SMITHSONIAN.COM  JANUARY 11, 2018  Usually, when we think about energy production at sea, we imagine giant oil rigs, or perhaps rows of towering wind turbines.  Recently, though, …

Solar from the bottom (rooftops and community solar gardens) and the top (utility scale)

When our towns came together for renewable energy, we made an investment in the places we call home. Renewable energy poses one of the greatest localized job creation opportunities of this generation, while also helping to protect our families. John Farrell of ILSR writes I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about Minnesota’s community solar program since its launch in December 2014, and …

Last-mile shipping, because of its complexity, can cost 50 percent or more of the total shipping cost; let’s make it more efficient

Online shopping is terrible for the environment. It doesn’t have to be. By Miguel Jaller, UC Davis, Dec 21, 2017 on Vox.com Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images Outside contributors’ opinions and analysis of the most important issues in politics, science, and culture. Given the date, it’s a near-certainty that a package marking one holiday or another has already landed on your doorstep, and that …

What these early-20th-century scholars got right about 21st-century politics: Unlike many economists today, they questioned fundamental social structure

What advantages do the writers of the turn of the 20th century offer? The main difference and prime advantage, I think, lies in their holistic approach to economic and political analysis. It was holistic in the sense that they discussed the structural features of capitalism: social relations between capital owners and wage workers, distribution of national income between capital and …

Hope with the next generation

By Josh Hoxie, 10 Jan 2018 on Inequality.org “Move Along, Baby Boomers. You’ve Done Enough. In the face of countless crises, it’s time for the next generation to lead” Historians won’t look fondly on 2017. The news cycle was dominated by sexual assault, widespread anxiety, the unedited musings of a mentally unstable president, rising economic inequality, and an opioid epidemic. …

To Understand Inequality in America, Look Outside of the Cities: Catherine Flowers explains why urban templates won’t solve the problems that rural communities face in the US

By Negin Owliaei, Inequality.org, 15 Jan 2018 You can’t count on your phone’s mapping app to guide you in rural Alabama, Catherine Flowers says. A Lowndes County native, she recently had visitors try to find their way around using a GPS. The message they received from their device? That they were entering “uncharted territory.” There couldn’t be a more apt way …

Seven Slow Movements And Memes That Can Change Our Lives

It all started with slow food, a movement “that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.” Slow Food: Small, Simple, Sustainable But is is a meme …