Top 5 posts for the week of October 15-21, 2018
1) These children are saving Iceland’s lost puffins
Pufflings (baby puffins) have evolved to follow moonlight to the sea but nearby city lights often misdirect them into harms way. The global puffin population is down by a significant amount since the start of the 2000’s and while habitat loss and climate change are thought to be the main problems, the city lights don’t help much. The children of the Iceland island of Heimaey have decided to help. With headlamps and warm clothing they patrol the town’s streets looking for the wayward birds capturing them and pointing them in the correct direction – out to sea.
2) This is the only country in the world that absorbs more carbon than it emits
With sustainability in their constitution and legislation ensuring a minimum of 60% of their land is forested at any time, Bhutan is the only carbon negative country in the world. This means that their forests are able to absorb more carbon dioxide than is emitted. This constitutionally enforced carbon sink of trees combined with a vast network of river powered electrical generation makes it a model for other countries that are interested to make positive change.
3) Chernobyl Has a New Power Plant, But This Time It’s Solar
The Chernobyl power plant has become synonymous with the dangers of nuclear energy generation. After the 1986 reactor meltdown and subsequent radiation of the surrounding area, the secondary reactors that were unaffected by the incident continued to provide power to the people living in the Ukraine. In 2000 after international pressure, they were shut down in a controlled manner. Now, after 18 years of inactivity at the site, there is finally power being generated again, but this time it is from solar panels. Currently producing 1 MWh of energy, the site will eventually provide more than 100 times that – enough for more than 200,000 homes.
4) Tesla outsold Mercedes-Benz in the US last quarter, reports says
With only three models to choose from, Tesla is outselling the traditional leader in luxury passenger vehicles in the US. Mercedes, long accustomed to being in the top spot was pushed to second by the American automotive start up. With only 3 models to choose from, it has become apparent that Tesla has tapped into a consumer demand that other automakers only dream about. It is interesting to note that while the big three US brands continue to make vehicles bigger than ever (with fuel consumption to match), consumers are voting with their money and putting Tesla in number one position.
5) This staggered, residential tower is draped with greenery in Quito
Garden terraces on every floor and a design to mirror the neighbouring green park, the Qorner building Quito, Ecuador is green and eye catching. The terrace gardens provide shade to the apartments and their occupants while reducing energy costs for air conditioning. Striking from any angle, the North façade is covered with a vertical garden. A glimpse of the future of urban architecture, or an ugly blight on the urban landscape? Perhaps some don’t see the beauty, but nobody will complain about the carbon and other pollution absorbed by the plants or the pure oxygen they produce for the cities inhabitants.