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Global

Stark Mark

Carbon Dioxide Passes Climate-Warming Threshold Record carbon dioxide levels will surpass the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million (ppm) this year and will likely never fall below it again in our lifetimes, according to a new study published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change. The findings highlight urgent concerns about global efforts to curb climate change as outlined in ... Read More »

Farmers Sue GMO-Maker Over Lost Revenue

Swiss biotech giant Syngenta AG may have destroyed much of the corn export business that U.S. farmers count on. China has rejected huge shipments of U.S.-grown corn, largely because Syngenta released a GMO (genetically modified organism) version before it was approved. Consequently, $1 billion in class action suits are being brought in federal court by farmers in three states. The ... Read More »

Upbeat Forecast for Long-Term Emissions

New data from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that overall domestic energy consumption is slowing and isn’t expected to grow much over the next 25 years, despite a growing economy and population. Usage is forecast to rise 0.3 percent annually between now and 2040, or just half the expected population growth rate, and dramatically less than the 2.4 percent ... Read More »

Secular Socialization

Today’s Young Adults Are the Least Religious Ever Researchers led by San Diego State University Psychology Professor Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D., found that millennials are the least religious generation of the last six decades, and possibly in the nation’s history. They analyzed data from 11.2 million respondents from four nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents ages 13 to 18 taken ... Read More »

Crayon Kicks

Not Just for Kids Any More Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, by Johanna Basford, are two of the most popular titles on sale at Amazon.com—and both are coloring books for adults. Featuring detailed black-and-white drawings of the flora and fauna that surround illustrator Basford’s Scottish home, Secret Garden has sold nearly 1.5 million copies. Fans include Hollywood celebrities such as Zooey Deschanel, and when National ... Read More »

Solar Timeshare

Buying Kilowatts from Each Other Yeloha, a new, Boston-based, peer-to-peer solar startup, allows anyone to go solar, even if they live in a rented apartment, have a roof blocked by a shady tree or don’t have the funds to buy panels. Customers can sign up for the service either as a “sun host” or “sun partner”. Potential sun host homeowners ... Read More »

Fracking Halt

Earthquakes Derail Dutch Gas Production   Gas production by fracking in the Loppersum, Netherlands, area of the Groningen natural gas field, Europe’s largest, was suspended by a Dutch court after a home was damaged by earthquakes linked to the operation. Nette Kruzenga, co-founder of Groningen Centraal, one of two groups seeking an immediate halt in Groningen gas production, says, “It ... Read More »

Pistachio Power

The Nuttiest Biogas Around   Turkey, one of the world’s largest producers of pistachios, has begun using tons of the shells to produce biogas (methane) as an alternative energy source instead of dumping them in landfills. The country even plans to power its first eco-city using this unconventional fuel. The planned 7,900-acre metropolis is expected to house 200,000 people in ... Read More »

Solar Harvest

New Technology Makes Windows Power Producers   SolarWindow Technologies’ new window coatings are a “first of its kind” technology that could turn the buildings we live and work in into self-sufficient, mini power stations. They can generate electricity on see-through glass and flexible plastics with colored tints popular in skyscraper glass. The coating can be applied to all four sides ... Read More »

China Reverses Its Recycling Policy

Plastic items we carefully separate from the rest of the trash and put in a distinct container may have a dubious fate, according to environmental watchdog Quartz. U.S. recycling companies have largely stayed away from accepting plastic, and most of it has been shipped to China, where it can be processed more cheaply. But China has announced a new Green ... Read More »