August 18, 2014

2:21 PM | Water Lens Uses Sunlight to Purify Drinking Water
A 6-foot-tall, self-sustaining magnifying glass uses sunlight to heat and disinfect polluted water.
1:33 PM | A Profile of Vandana Shiva in The New Yorker
It’s not easy writing about Vandana Shiva. The Indian environmentalist is adored in green and progressive circles. Her exalted status has apparently disinclined many of my colleagues in the media from taking a closer look at what she stands for and what she often says on the global lecture circuit and to admiring journalists. Michael Specter […]The post A Profile of Vandana Shiva in The New Yorker appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
9:57 AM | My temporary spice rack
My temporary spice rack “The important thing is the spices. A man can live on packaged food from here ‘til Judgment Day if he’s got enough rosemary.” Shepherd Book, Firefly We still don’t have a moving date. It feels oh so close, and at the same time, so very far away. It is months now since we put a lot of our things into storage to declutter the flat; my collection of herbs and spices was one of the things deemed non-essential, and I have been left with a […]
8:54 AM | Record Numbers Of Salmon And Orcas Flood Pacific Coast
Int’l Pacific Salmon Commission Reports 170% More Sockeye Than Historic 2010 Run Arriving In A Sockeye Tsunami Ocean salmon pasture restoration credited with bringing back... The post Record Numbers Of Salmon And Orcas Flood Pacific Coast appeared first on Russ George.
7:01 AM | A Year After Rim Fire, Debate Sparks Over Replanting Trees
Reforestation is common after large fires in the West, but some scientists say it’s time to rethink how forests are replanted.

August 17, 2014

10:17 PM | I’m on the teevee box, explaining why I’m optimistic about our ability to solve water problems
On KNME’s In Focus with historian Sonia Dickey and the Bureau of Reclamation’s Mike Hamman, talking about the risks and possibilities of our western water future:  
7:41 PM | Wind Turbines Pose Risk to Bats
The Drive for Green Energy We need sustainable, affordable and clean energy production to fuel the economy, and the drive towards more environmentally friendly energy production versus coal and peat burning energy production has seen a large number of wind … Continue reading →

Lehnert LS, Kramer-Schadt S, Schönborn S, Lindecke O, Niermann I & Voigt CC (2014). Wind farm facilities in Germany kill noctule bats from near and far., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID:

7:06 PM | California’s drought – is this what climate adaptation looks like?
Bloomberg’s Alan Bjerga last week gave us a nice tour through the details of how California’s agricultural businesses are responding to drought conditions. He notes especially a shift, was water gets more expensive, into higher valued crops. Stuff that can be grown in places where water is cheap and plentiful, like what, into high-dollar crops ...Continue reading ‘California’s drought – is this what climate adaptation looks like?’ »
12:02 PM | Beautiful Sunday: Capturing the Skylark’s Ecstasy
A song of light, and pierces air With fountain ardor, fountain play,            To reach the shining tops of day, And drink in everything discern’d An ecstasy to music turn’d,               -From “Lark Ascending”, George Meredith   Some things in nature are so breathtaking, they move us to try to create something equally beautiful to express […]
10:47 AM | Creatures on hop
Three years ago I planted a hop from seed mainly in the hope of attracting more wildlife to the garden. It seems to have worked as I have certainly never seen this caterpillar before. It’s the larva of the Comma butterfly, confirmed by the internet and my guide book as commonly …

August 16, 2014

3:22 PM | The beauty of our monsoon clouds
Driving back from southern New Mexico yesterday afternoon, I saw a lot of this:   Video courtesy of Todd Shoemake at the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque office, where they enjoy the monsoon as much as anyone. Maybe more.

August 15, 2014

10:08 PM | Gardening in the Drought: What Makes a Plant ‘Drought-Tolerant’
Plants have evolved all sorts of ways to survive the dry times in California.
8:06 PM | 8/15/2014 This Week in Energy: Beyond Headlines
Here’s a bit of energy news that didn’t make it into our daily coverage during the past week. In this review, we collected some of less big, but nonetheless interesting news, of the week that went by, from the world of energy science and technology.
6:00 PM | Halide Salts Make Lithium Batteries More Durable
Chemical engineers at Cornell University used halide salts to create safer, longer-lasting lithium batteries.
5:19 PM | The Extremism that Thwarts Peace and Promotes War
In 2012, science writer John Horgan published a book called The End of War. Its premise is that we have it in ourselves to tame our violent impulses, at least enough to stop waging large-scale, collective war. At first blush, this notion seems as quixotic and naive as a famous John Lennon and Yoko Ono […]The post The Extremism that Thwarts Peace and Promotes War appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
5:07 PM | Biological Control Agents
Aulacidea pilosellae galls on Pilosella officinarum (Credit: Jean-Yves Baugnée)Two papers, two stories about insects that humans recruited for a specific mission - biological pest control. In an attempt to reduce the pestizide use we team up with predators and parasites (or parasitoids) of pest species. Some insects pests serve as prey for other arthropods (particularly spiders and mites), and several groups of vertebrates. Others are parasitized by various types of wasps and […]
4:34 PM | Reduction of Aerosol Emissions to Affect Photovoltaic Energy
According to the Joint Research Center (JRC), the EU in-house scientific service, a global reduction on aerosol emissions is going to affect photovoltaic energy production.
4:00 PM | A Family of Bald Eagles Grows in Castro Valley
Iconic bald eagles are capturing our hearts through nest webcams that showcase their family dramas online. Learn more about a local eagle family that fledged not one, but two young eagles this year at Lake Chabot Regional Park.
3:01 PM | A Conversation With ‘Her Deepness’
By Brian Palmer She knows the ocean better than any other person alive. Reverently nicknamed “Her Deepness,” Sylvia Earle has spent 7,000 hours underwater over seven decades. And on those dives she has witnessed first hand the havoc we wreak upon the sea—from coral bleaching and shark finning to the disappearance of once-abundant species such as tuna and menhaden. She has received virtually every honor in exploration and conservation […]
2:43 PM | DTE Energy, Ford to Construct Largest Solar Array in MI
Ford Motor Company is partnering with DTE Energy to construct the Michigan’s largest solar array at Ford World Headquarters.
1:57 PM | A Shark Fin Whodunit
By Jason Bittel Every year, humans catch around 100 million sharks, hack off their lucrative fins, and toss the rest overboard. To make matters worse, many of the species caught are endangered and protected, and it’s really difficult to know what kind of shark made it into that shark fin soup. Thankfully, scientists have come up with a new way to ID shark DNA within the soup—a step toward holding fisherman accountable for their often illegal […]
12:39 PM | #7: The Joy of Listening
Our Tuesday survey turned out to be quite special. The light winds promised by our weather forecast actually delivered this time- our sea state ranged from 0-2 for the entire day! Get a load of this: Kelsey and Bill on watch. Photo: Marianna Hagbloom As we traveled to the east, an odd looking whale was sighted on the horizon. Was that one whale, or two? Did that
12:00 PM | Promoting happiness: A shift in zoo animal welfare
Zoos and aquariums are presently important players in wildlife conservation, both in the field (in situ) and at home (ex situ). A key concern in those institutions is how to evaluate animal welfare. Unlike humans, you cannot simply ask a non-human animal how they feel. Historically, approaches to animal welfare in zoos focused on looking
3:55 AM | How we use water in the desert: Hatch green chiles
On a bit of a water nerd’s lark today, I ended up knee deep in a chile field outside Salem, New Mexico, in the area technically known as the Rincon Valley but more commonly called the Hatch Valley. It’s a ribbon of green (to borrow John Van Dyke’s memorable phrase) gripping the Rio Grande as ...Continue reading ‘How we use water in the desert: Hatch green chiles’ »

August 14, 2014

8:43 PM | Atheists Behaving Badly
When evolutionary biologist and atheist superstar Richard Dawkins recently stepped into (yet another) sinkhole of his own making, fellow evolutionary biologist and all-star atheist PZ Myers shook his head sadly. (It was not the first time that Myers had chided Dawkins for “callous indifference.”) Dawkins, true to form, could not recognize the sinkhole he created. […]The post Atheists Behaving Badly appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
8:15 PM | Access window trapped on disconnected screen
If you use a laptop computer in dual-screen mode with Windows, you might experience the problem of losing access to a window on the external monitor when you leave the office and restore your session without the extra screen. Most programs seem to cope with screen disconnection OK but many …
7:38 PM | ■ How much has San Francisco changed? I’ll let you know
Having hopscotched my way across the continent, I’m heading back to San Francisco to see what's different about the city.
7:18 PM | Garnet Electrolyte Based Safe Wins NASA Funding
The University of Maryland Energy Research Center faculty, Eric Wachsman, Liangbing Hu, and Chunsheng Wang have been awarded funding from NASA for their Garnet Electrolyte Based Safe, lithium-sulfur energy storage technology.
7:17 PM | Parks Attract Affluent Homeowners to Earthquake Fault Zones Despite Risks
The Alquist-Priolo law keeps new homes away from active earthquake faults. But a study finds that the resulting "fault zone parks" attract wealthy residents despite the seismic hazard.
5:29 PM | California Isn’t Just Dry — It’s Hot
California's average temperature for January through July was the highest on record.
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