I introduced Green Prophet readers to environmental e-learning and Laurie updated us with details on Mitx, Coursera and Udacity environmentalism courses in Februrary 2013. A new term has just begun with a wide selection courses related to environmentalism. So this is a good time for a refresher on how Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) work.
The good news is that 800 tons of Syria’s chemical weapons are scheduled to be destroyed before the end of December. The bad news is, the byproducts of this chemical weapon destruction will be dumped into the Mediterranean Sea where they could damage fragile ecosystems.
Elon Musk is known as the founder of SpaceX, a pioneer in the commercialization of space travel and Tesla, a company named after a brilliantly mad high-voltage inventor of the nineteenth century and known for its electric cars. So what happens when this visionary sets his eyes on America’s decaying public transportation infrastructure?
In Ireland we know about cold bones. This is a story about how we started collecting hats in Ireland for cold kids in a Syrian refugee camp.
With space labs, astronaut gloves and even a toothbrush floating in space, is there no limits to where we’ve flung our junk?
King Tutankhamen’s tomb continues to give up its secrets. This time it reveals something about a past far more ancient than the life and death of this boy-king some 3300 years ago.
The 2013 America’s cup will be long remembered as one of the closest matches in sailing history and one of the most unlikely comebacks in sporting history when Emirates Team New Zealand came within seconds of securing the America’s cup; but eventually lost when Oracle’s team USA followed a two race penalty and six race […]
The sun’s magnetic north and south magnetic poles are expected to reverse over the next few months. We’ve witnessed only a few such reversals and are not entirely sure what effects they may cause. Read more for an explanation of what we do know about solar and terrestrial magnetic field reversals.
Here is a summer solstice challenge for northern hemisphere Green Prophet readers. How many outdoor electric lights are shining at the sunny sky during the longest days of your summer?
America’s bumbling fictional super spy Maxwell Smart had a good point when he would say of the villain, “If only he had used his evil genius for niceness.” We’ve heard far too many tragic stories of drones being used as weapons of war. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone figured out how to beat this […]
A young tourist from Nanjing, China scrawled his name Ding Jinhao onto a 3500 year-old relief in a Luxor, Egypt temple. Big mistake.
When the call went out Mars One might have expected a few dozen people would be willing to accept a suicide mission to a dead planet. Instead, they were overwhelmed with more than 80,000 applicants including at least a dozen from the Middle East.
It is a sad day. Better Place’s battery swap technology is an obvious and practical technological solution to a basic problem of physics and electrochemistry, it is both dangerous and difficult to rapidly charge a chemical battery.
Energy storage company Enstorage Inc. connected a 50 kW Hydrogen Bromine flow battery to the grid at their test site in southern Israel. This began the world’s first large-scale deployment of this promising new energy grid technology.
Lotus flowers were once considered sacred in Egypt and parts of Asia. They hold a secret to a clean nanotechnology. Like the ancient blue pigment found in ancient Egypt, old spiritual materials like the lotus flower inspire new environmental science: As assistant professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at King Abdulla University of Science and […]
For ancient Egyptians blue was the color of rebirth. Today their chemical invention of artificial lapiz lazuli means new advances for lights, lasers and more. According to a new paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society the ancient pigment known as Egyptian blue may have important new applications in nanotechnology. Researchers at […]
Indonesia has 40 percent of the world’s exploitable geothermal energy potential. A big congratulations to Ormat technologies of Yavne, Israel for signing a $254 million deal for providing geothermal energy in Indonesia! The first phase of the 330-megawatt Sarulla geothermal power station in Sumatra is due to begin operating in 2016. Sumatra lies in one […]
March 23 at 8:30 PM marks Earth Hour. Will you switch off? Writing for Slate magazine, Bjorn Lomborg argues against what he believes to be the futility of Earth Hour. But Mr. Lomborg’s inability to see the value in such collective environmental efforts makes a compelling case for why we need them. As I pointed out […]
Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, a Japanese state-owned prospecting company says it has successfully extracted methane gas from an undersea methane hydrate deposit in the Nankai trench south of Japan’s main island of Honshu. This marks the first successful extraction of methane from such deep sea deposits. The team expects their pilot rig […]
Is red tide a man-made pollutant or a natural phenomenon? Is it a plant, animal or chemical? The answer is all of the above. The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Environment and Water indicates that red tide may be present in the waters of the Gulf of Oman. As a precautionary measure, Sharjah Electricity and […]
UCLA and Egyptian scientist accidentally find a new way to bottle stored energy. This missing link for solar energy, hydro and electric cars could be a fast, tiny, biodegradable battery Penicillin, Teflon, microwave ovens and superglue were all discovered by accident. And now graphene super-capacitors might be the most important accidental discovery of our time […]
Sound the alarms? Where has Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq’s underground freshwater sea gone? NASA’s imaging technology recently brought some bad news about Mideast air pollution. Now NASA brings more bad news about the Mideast water supply. We already knew that the Dead Sea is shrinking. Some people are even trying to do something about […]
A century-old fermentation process to transform plant material into a propellant, could eventually replace gasoline. In 1914, thirty-five years before Chaim Weizmann (pictured center beside Einstein) would become Israel’s first president, he discovered a fermentation process for harnessing bacteria to produce large quantities of useful chemicals. For this discovery, Weizmann was called the father of industrial […]
Scarab beetles were sacred to the ancient Egyptians. These insects rolled balls of dung across the earth just as the sun god Ra rolled across the sky. Scarabs were seen as earthly manifestations of heavenly movement. A team of scientists from South Africa and Sweden recently published a study indicating that there was a grain of […]
The journal Nature reports that a team of ocean researchers have captured the world’s first video of a giant squid (Architeuthis dux) in its natural environment. The video was captured 700 meters (2300 feet) beneath the Pacific near the Ogasawara archipelago, about 1000 kilometers south of Tokyo Japan. The mission was funded by Japan’s NHK broadcasting […]
Are Jordan’s snow and Israel’s floods signs of climate change or are they simply flukes of weather? People might argue this for decades there is strong evidence that Mideastern climate has changed dramatically over thousands of years and there is evidence that humans can negatively impact their environment over a much shorter time period. The […]
Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Myanmar and Yemen are still using leaded gasoline and many others have lead contaminated plumbing, soil, paint and household products. How can we reduce the world’s crime rate, particularly the rate of violent crime? When the crime rate rises or a horrific crime takes place, people are quick to find blame […]
Can computer generated Bengal tigers help save the 1850 real ones which remain in the wild? The Life of Pi is a novel by Yann Martel, first published in 2001. It told the story of a boy whose family is shipwrecked while moving their private zoo’s animals from French India to Canada. It was thought […]
My precious ring! King Gyges of Lydia ruled over what is now western Turkey from 716 BC to 678 BC. The legend of his rise to power began when the young shepherd Gyges entered a cave and found a magical ring which gave him the power of invisibility. He used this ring to seduce the […]
From Hannukah to Peak Whale Oil, Brian uncovers an illuminating story of how our lighting is becoming more efficient. Each December as nights grow long, people of the Jewish faith celebrate an ancient miracle of efficiency. In our oil-soaked, electrified age it is difficult to understand what it meant for the Maccabees to enjoy eight […]