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Ecobob Weekly Top 10 - 8th Edition

Friday, May 14, 2010
Welcome to the 8th edition of the Ecobob Weekly Top 10 where every week we bring you snippets of info and links to interesting eco stories on the web. We keep you updated with any interesting news, events or happenings in the environmental arena.

Back Issues:
Read the 7th edition here...
Read the 6th edition here...
Read the 5th edition here...
Read the 4th edition here...
Read the 3rd edition here...
Read the 2nd edition here...
Read the 1st edition here...

Please post your feedback/comments at the bottom of the page.

1. The Yike Bike

The YikeBike is a statement about using smart technology to solve the problems of increasingly congested, polluted and stressful cities. The following video is in 'advertising style' but is still a great watch and hopefully this is a technology that will catch on. The product is currently quite expensive but I'm sure the price will come down as it is mass produced:

2. Don't Panic just Go Organic

Can we feed the world on Organic Food? There seems to be a perception amongst peole I talk to that it is not possible to feed the world on organic food.

Well, in May 2004, Catherine Badgley, an evolutionary biology professor at the University of Michigan, took her students on a research trip to an organic farm near their campus. Standing on the acre-and-a-half farm, Badgley asked the farmer, Rob MacKercher, how much food he produces annually. "Twenty-seven tons," he said. Badgley did the quick math: That's enough to provide 150 families one pound of produce every single day of the year.

"If he can grow that quantity on this tiny parcel," Badgley wondered, "why can't organic agriculture feed the world?" That question was the genesis of a multi-year, multidisciplinary study to explore whether we could, indeed, feed the world with organic, sustainable methods of farming. The results? A resounding yes.


3. Certificate in Eco building and Design

The next student enrollment intake May 17th - so hurry! The Building Biology and Ecology Institute in a joint venture with Aoraki Polytech have developed this course. Offering the broadest education in eco architecture available and a NZ Qualification certificate as well!

Find out more at the BBE web site...

4. State of the ocean

In this bracing talk, coral reef ecologist Jeremy Jackson lays out the shocking state of the ocean today: overfished, overheated, polluted, with indicators that things will get much worse. Astonishing photos and stats make the case.

5. Offshore Wind Farm Goes Online

Over the coming months and years, German utility giants plan to build massive offshore wind farms that are expected to produce huge amounts of green energy. The first such wind farm, Alpha Ventus, went online this week.


6. NZ Clean green image?

FANS combing internet sites are not the only people eagerly anticipating a pair of epic fantasy movies based on “The Hobbit”, by J.R.R. Tolkien, that it is planned will start filming this year. New Zealand’s tourist industry, too, is eager to see the islands’ sweeping and unsullied vistas revealed once more to millions of cinemagoers, as they were almost a decade ago when the first of the three films based on Tolkien’s “The Lord of The Rings” was released. Those films did a great deal to boost the country’s tourism trade (Air New Zealand promoted itself as the “airline to Middle Earth”), fitting nicely with the country ’s “100% Pure New Zealand” marketing slogan, first used a couple of years earlier.

But how much of this is, indeed, a fantasy? Last November, in his “Greenwash” column for the Guardian, a British newspaper, environmental journalist Fred Pearce pointed out that New Zealand’s greenhouse-gas emissions had risen 22% since 1990 (its commitment under the Kyoto Protocol was to keep them level) and were now 60% greater per head than Britain’s. The image New Zealand attempted to show the world amounted to a “shameless two fingers to the global community” in the face of a far dirtier reality, including the world’s third-highest rate of car ownership, and methane-belching cows that help to push agricultural emissions to almost half the country’s total.

7. Electric cars - pressure on the grid

Electric vehicles are here. With almost every major car company developing a plug-in hybrid or all-electric model for the U.S. this year, the market looks poised for solid growth. But will utilities and consumers be able to handle the new challenges that electric vehicles pose to the grid?


8. Dazzling future for solar power?

Solar power is expected to provide almost a quarter of the world's electricity supplies by 2050, according to a new report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Eleven percent of total supplies are predicted to come from solar panels on homes and offices while a further 11 percent will be provided by central solar power stations feeding clean electricity to populous areas.


9. EPA: Stubborn Environment

EPA: Stubborn Environment Refusing To Meet Civilization Halfway

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called a press conference Monday to publicly denounce the environment for blatantly refusing to pull its weight in mankind's ongoing efforts at ecological conservation.

"For 40 years, we have worked tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of our natural environment," a visibly angered EPA administrator Lisa Jackson told reporters. "But this can only work when it's a give-and-take. If the environment won't even meet us halfway by regenerating a rain forest or two, or pumping out some clean air and water every once in a while, then what's the point of us trying?"

Added Jackson, "I'm as committed to saving the earth as anyone, but for crying out loud, when is the earth going to hold up its end of the bargain?"

According to an EPA report, most of the environment's day-to-day processes can be categorized as rude and inconsiderate, in particular its selfish overreliance on "absolutely, perfectly clean soil" for sustainable growth, and its continual inability to act in good faith and adapt to rising carbon dioxide levels.


10. BPs underwater dome


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