Nissan’s New Electric Car has Range

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For many more people than realize it, electric cars are already adequate for their needs and better than a gasmobile for their bank account and quality of life. However, it often isn’t good enough for disruptive technology to be better than the incumbents. It has to be much better. The target for electric cars, in order to meet that challenge, is a very long-range and affordable electric car. That would bring electric car convenience to another level, and leave gasmobiles with not a single actual advantage over electric cars, compared to nearly 10 for electric cars.

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Meteorite fragments help explain why living things only use molecules with specific orientations


This is an artist’s concept of excess left-hand aspartic acid created in asteroids and delivered to Earth via meteorite impacts. The line at the bottom is a chromatogram showing that left-hand aspartic acid (tall peak in the center, with diagram of left-hand aspartic acid molecule on top) was four times more abundant in the meteorite sample than right-hand aspartic acid (smaller peak to the left, with right-handed aspartic acid molecule on top). 

 Researchers analyzing meteorite fragments that fell on a frozen lake in Canada have developed an explanation for the origin of life’s handedness — why living things only use molecules with specific orientations. The work also gave the strongest evidence to date that liquid water inside an asteroid leads to a strong preference of left-handed over right-handed forms of some common protein amino acids in meteorites. The result makes the search for extraterrestrial life more challenging…

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Scientists see solution to critical barrier to fusion

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From left: physicists Luis Delgado-Aparicio and David Gates.

Physicists have discovered a possible solution to a mystery that has long baffled researchers working to harness fusion. If confirmed by experiment, the finding could help scientists eliminate a major impediment to the development of fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for producing electric power…
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To envision sustainable business, We must reimagine our economy

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From senior executives identifying the profit motive as an obstacle to sustainability to corporations questioning the very nature of capitalism as we know it, the plus side of the recent financial crisis and ongoing slow recovery has been that tough questions are finally being asked about how our economy functions and whose interests it serves.

On May 2nd Forum for the Future—whose work on system innovation aims to create change across entire sectors of our economy—are hosting an event in New York which will explore better ways of doing business in a post-Great Recession world…

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Dual-Action wind turbine generates power and water

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Wind can create both power and water?

Throughout the developing world, millions of people struggle with a shortage of clean water and steady electricity. This wind turbine could solve both problems in one shot by pulling both power and water straight from the wind.

The WMS1000 Wind Turbine was invented by Marc Parent and is built by the French start-up Eole Water. Sitting atop a 24-meter mast, the machine generates electricity with a conventional 30kW direct-drive turbine in a 12-ton nacelle with a 13-meter blade diameter. The WMS1000 can self-regulate the energy it produces, allowing it to provide a steady stream of power even in gusty or choppy winds. Installing an array of the turbines, which each have a service life of 30 years, creates a small-scale, decentralized power grid perfect for remote areas…

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Pennsylvania Law gags doctors from telling patients which Fracking chemical is making them sick

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What if oil company executives were only allowed to drink fracked water?

Toxic fracking chemicals that leached into the ground making you sick? Why that’s bad press for the oil industry!

That’s why they came up with this ingenious (in an evil way) to deal with the problem: “gag” doctors from telling their patients what is making them sick. See, problem solved!

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Chevron execs to face charges of environmental crimes in Brazil

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It’s been less than a week since news went public of Chevron’s latest oil spill off the coast of Brazil, its second in less than 6 months, but troubles for the oil company and the environment are clearly escalating. Although early reports from Chevron sought to downplay the severity of the deepwater leak as an infrequent drip, a recent flyover of site by the Brazilian officials shows that the oil slick has already reached about 1 kilometer in length…

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Inventor proposes levitating buildings on air cushions during earthquakes

Those of us who merely watched the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake on screens got to witness something amazing: the resiliency and resourcefulness of the Japanese people. And we’re still seeing it as Japan prepares for future earthquakes. Here’s one example. Youichi Sakamoto invented a foundation structure that raises buildings on air pockets as soon as an earthquake starts…

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How to start your own hybrid car rental company

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Ali Salman of Simply Hybrids

In 2007, Ali Salman was a Vice President of Marketing at Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car in LA. He was becoming dismayed at how dirty the beaches were and how smoggy the skyline was near his home in Orange County. He began to get upset and thought someone should do something to improve the water and air quality in southern California. He then remembered the Chinese proverb: “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

He took that message to heart and decided to open up his own green business, a car rental company called Simply Hybrids. Five years later, business is booming and growing at an annual rate of 26%. TreeHugger spoke with Mr. Salman about his hybrid car rental business and how he got to where he is today…

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Over past four years, new vehicles became 14% more fuel-efficient in U.S.A.

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Another step ahead.

After what seemed like an eternity of mostly stagnation, average fuel economy for new vehicles has been going up in the United States. Researchers at the University of Michigan have conducted a study showing that for current model year vehicles, fuel economy is 14% higher than just four years ago, which might not sound like much, but it’s much better than what we’ve got in the recent past.

The study concludes that average fuel economy…

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Carbon dioxide Is ‘driving fish crazy’

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Rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central nervous system of sea fishes.

Rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central nervous system of sea fishes with serious consequences for their survival, an international scientific team has found…

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A new cycling superhighway. Not in the U.S.A.

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Cycling transportation gets a boost in Sweden.

If you want to find an unassuming place where bicycling is a way of life and nobody makes a big deal about it, head south. The south of Sweden, that is, where the small university town of Lund has a big bicycle habit. They just don’t advertise it.

In Lund, 60% of the populace bikes or takes public transport to go about their daily tasks. And then there’s Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city – only 20 miles southwest of Lund. Malmö also doesn’t have a reputation for fantastic biking. But some say it is the country’s best biking city – ahead of both Stockholm, the capital; Gothenburg, the second largest Swedish metropolitan area, and a host of smaller bike-friendly burgs…

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