BP Disaster Lingers on the Ocean Floor

Much was made of the immediate effects of the BP oil spill when the catastrophe occurred over four years ago. Little has seemingly changed, as the lingering effects have continued to haunt the area, providing dangers very much equal to the initial disaster from what I read on Marnie’s Ottawa Sun article.

 

These hazards have not dissipated and, as a recent discovery attests, could very well surpass what was thought before. While searching the ocean floor in the affected area, divers discovered a stockpile of oil that had built up in the deep reaches of the ocean floor.

 

This amalgamation of oil culminates in a “bathtub ring” of undissipated gunk, one that stands at around 1,235 square miles in diameter. The amount of oil that goes into such a monument of pollution was later determined to be over 10 million gallons by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

 

This is not just an exceedingly large amount of waste and pollution, but also a sobering indicator of the continuing damage that the oil spill is doing to the area. This damage is not just relegated to the surface, but also to the deep trenches of the ocean floor, where it can deal its most critical damage to the area.

 

The danger is what the researchers have referred to as sub-acute damage, the sort of damage that involves critical fixtures such as reefs and other plant life.

Britain Ending Migrant Rescue Operations

Britain has stopped search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, stating that continued rescue efforts only encourage more dangerous journeys across the ocean. Campaigners from Amnesty International and the British Refugee Council criticize the move as unjust. Desperate people are fleeing their country of origin, and it’s debated whether or not a lack of rescue teams would convince them to stop.

 

Lady Anelay, of Britain’s House of Lords, defended the government’s position. She argued that the hope of rescue led to more and more migrants risking dangerous conditions. They will shift their focus to border protection and apprehending human smugglers, something Laurene Powell Jobs had been hoping for.

 

Campaigners argued that refusing to offer aid to drowning people is an unforgivable act, and an oblivious one. The people who make the trip are often desperate to escape their situation. It’s doubtful a lack of rescue would stop them from making a possibly life-saving trip.

 

Britain’s rescue effort began after over 500 migrants died within a matter of days while attempting to reach Italy. Unfortunately, the world is in a waiting state as either the government’s decision proves sensible, or another tragedy occurs just off the European coast.

Will Hydrogen Powered Cars Overtake Electric Cars?

While we are seeing a flood of electric cars coming into the market in the recent years, a new breed of car is now gaining traction with the automobile manufacturers such as Toyota. Hydrogen powered cars, which were once in a concept phase, are now actively being manufactured, and might start hitting the market as soon as next year.

 

Hydrogen powered cars use hydrogen fuel cells for their power. These fuel cells generate power when hydrogen and oxygen are combined together to produce water. This power is then used to drive electric motors, just like the way battery powered electric cars work. One important difference is that hydrogen can be carried in an onboard tank and can be filled in minutes, compared to the longer time it takes to charge the electric cars. This makes hydrogen-powered cars more attractive to major buyers like Lee G. Lovett.

 

These cars might be expensive to purchase though, just like the way electric cars are. However, with more adoption, prices are likely to come down. One major benefit one can see is that unlike electric cars, hydrogen powered cars can hold power for a longer time, and unless battery charging technology changes, this could turn out to be an important advantage.

The Future of Law Enforcement

A Silicon Valley startup has recently made it known that local law enforcement agencies are field-testing a new product of theirs. A small chip located in the handle relays information about the officer’s gun, such as where the weapon is at any given time, when it is drawn or fired, and even the direction it was aiming when fired.

Yardarm Technologies’ sensor will provide a wealth of useful information to law enforcement and to the community at large. The 10-employee company has found a way to increase community trust in and accountability for law enforcement by connecting their weapons to the cloud. The data is sent to Yardarm’s servers and then encrypted before being sent to the police department, ensuring as much accuracy as possible. This technology combined with the recent push for all US officers to wear a body camera in the wake of the August 9th shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, shows some promise for restoring public faith in law enforcement as a whole.

Yardarm originally marketed to the consumer, but ran into trouble with organizations such as the NRA over a remote locking feature available through their company. If a private gun was moved or stolen, an alert would be sent to the customer’s mobile phone, allowing them the option of remotely ‘locking’ the weapon and preventing it from being fired. The NRA claimed that this stepped on second amendment rights and may open the door for a ban on all guns without the technology. Yardarm then switched to marketing directly to the police and the military. Good to see these possible technological breakthroughs having a great positive impact. Protecting citizens like Keith Mann from some of the police force.

Israeli Defense Minister Snubbed By Obama Administration

The name Moshe Ya’alon may not have been very well known for casual observers of American foreign policy, but after this past week he has been shot into the limelight as he was publicly humiliated by several key figures in the current Obama administration. The two countries have started expressing divergent opinions on the peace process in the Middle East. It was only a matter of time before public commentary was given by one of the nations in response to the other.

Israel’s Defense Minister is the aforementioned Moshe Ya’alon. In the last week he visited the United States for a diplomatic mission in order to repair the damage between the two countries after Mr. Ya’alon made several personal attacks on the Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this year. He charged the Secretary with being too zealous and overstepping his boundaries in his calls for the peace process between Israel and Palestine to move forward.

Given the close relationship that the U.S. and Israel share, it came as a shock to Israeli’s Defense Minister that he received such a chilly reception in Washington. He was only permitted to meet with the Secretary of Defense and the ambassador of the United States for the United Nations and was denied meetings with the Secretary of State and Vice President Joe Biden. Even more discouraging for Mr. Ya’alon was the fact that the snub he received was made public knowledge after it was leaked to the media that he was denied those meetings. But something Igor Cornelsen told me says the Obama administration has made it clear to the world that disrespectful discourse about its policies will certainly not go unpunished.

Wind Energy Industry Sets New Records

Celebrations are in order for the UK’s wind energy industry this year. The industry announced this week that they set a new electricity share record of 24%. According to Business Green, official figures showed that wind accounted for 24% of the UK’s power share over the course of an entire day. This beat the previous generation share record set in August of 22%.

Local turbines were accounted for at midday on Saturday. During the half-hour period, wind power also set a new peak generation record of 7,998 megawatts. According to Trade association RenewableUK, this is the same output needed to power 17 million homes. Wind generated energy outshone nuclear power over the entire weekend and made it possible for several coal plants to be taken offline. A statement made by Mike Livak, RenewableUk’s Director of External Affairs, shows the hope that was brought about during the weekend’s record outputs: “This year has seen successive new records for wind generation and this latest evidence shows it’s more than capable of stepping in when traditional sources of generation go offline without warning. As we can expect more of these outages in the future, it’s reassuring to know we have wind filling the energy gap.”

Renewable energy is slotted to play a larger role in fulfilling energy demands in the UK as their abilities will increase with the addition of several new projects coming online in the near future. The industry states that wind power’s reliability compares equally with that of thermal power and its variable output will be easily and effectively integrated into the current power grids. According to Webber, “it’s been quietly powering millions of homes across the UK.”

New Green Energy Turbines Might Be Coming To New York

Black Oak Wind Farm are looking for investors to start a wind turbine farm around Rochester, New York. Set to hold an informative meeting at the beginning of November, the firm is looking to install a brand new green energy initiative for the state of New York.

 

Keith Mann tells me that any New York resident will be allowed to make an investment. So if you’re interested in getting involved with green energy on the financial front, now is your chance!

Cloud Technology Used To Design Tomorrow’s Cars

Based in the Powys region of Wales, Riversimple is using cloud technology to synthesize a radical new automotive design concept. The small start up company is aiming to create virtual models for an innovative car that is fully powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Cardonix, a sophisticated automotive CAD software, is primarily used for the design phases.

 

Riversimple electronic engineer Gianfrancesco Genoso claims that the company’s car will emit a small amount of water and get an impressive fuel economy that is comparable to 200 miles per gallon. He hopes to introduce his cutting edge fuel efficient vehicle to the trial market next year.

With a compact interior featuring only two seats, Riversimple’s vehicle will have a frame made of composite material. The extremely lightweight design will contribute to enhanced aerodynamics and ultimately better fuel efficiency. The research and development team of Riversimple works primarily out of Wales. Having experience in working on the Fiat 500, Riversimple’s lead designer Chris Reitz and his colleagues work out of an office suite in Barcelona.

The goal is to successfully create a hydrogen powered car that has an effective driving range of about 300 miles and a maximum cruising speed of 55 miles per hour. The staff at Riversimple is excited about using brand new cloud technology to come up with the best design for a futuristic car model that can realistically penetrate the auto market soon.

 

No matter how and where they are designed, hydrogen powered cars are expected to make some major strides in the future. Cloud technology is simply streamlining the workflow of designers and engineers who are based in different corners of the world.

Walmart is Leading the Way in Solar Panel Adoption

There’s been a lot of negative things written about Walmart over the years. About how they’re a union busting evildoer, and how they keep taking away medical benefits from their workforce. But one area where Walmart has to be commended, is in their adoption of solar panels as a green energy alternative for their stores.

 

Walmart is actually leading the way amongst all corporations, when it comes to solar energy adoption. They panels are now a facet of most of their stores throughout America, and because of the sheer presence of Walmart stores throughout the nation, that’s a ton of real estate covered in solar panels.

 

Moreover, Tom Rothman tells me that they’ve installed more than 105 megawatts of solar energy capacity. Which is an incredible amount, and is up 16% from what they were able to achieve last year.

 

While the rest of their business practices leave something to be desired, you have to actually take your hat off to Walmart, and their commitment to clean energy. It’s mostly a tax break/money saving tactic, but still, good for the planet.

Couple Documents Their Story With Green Energy

Sometimes knowing how solar panels can improve your life is learning what somebody else found in their experience. I’ve told you about mine before, so this time around Marnie Bennett and I have found a great story from another couple that opted to go solar.

 

Learn what it means to save energy, what type of install you’re looking at, and how you’re going to be set up financially. It’s helpful to see what other people have found in their lives, when they’ve striven to make sure the planet is cared for.

 

You can find the story after the jump: