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Study: time outdoors improves kids’ emotional IQ

Ever wonder what would happen if kids didn't use electronics for a few days? After all, children have reported spending seven hours a day staring at screens.


Wilderness protection missing in BLM plans for Colorado

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is finalizing three management plans for Colorado, covering a total of 1.5 million acres of public land altogether.


Production Begins at Second U.S. Cellulosic Biofuel Facility

You don’t often hear Kansas and Spain mentioned in the same sentence. Yet today Spanish company Abengoa is bringing another big cellulosic biofuel facility online in Hugoton, a small community in the Southwest corner of the state. This is the second big plant starting up this year, showing that after some predictable yet highly scrutinized delays, the cellulosic fuel industry is truly beginning to establish itself and making critical contributions to oil savings and climate goals.

It wasn’t long ago that cellulosic biofuels were the punchline of a joke: a phantom fuel that could not be economically produced in large volumes....

New Gas Plant Venture Aims at Carbon Capture From a Different Angle

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is often promoted as a way for coal power to be made "clean": Projects such as the in-progress Kemper power plant in Mississippi and the recently announced Petra Nova project in Texas aim to trap the carbon dioxide from burning coal and then store it into underground storage or into previously depleted wells to extract more oil. (See related story: "Clean Coal Test: Power Plants Prepare to Capture Carbon.")

CCS is being applied to natural gas-fired electricity as well (just today a new effort in Scotland was announced), and a new project in the U.S....

Wilderness Society Honors Author Cheryl Strayed with Inspiration Award
Michael Reinemer

Strayed will receive the We Are the Wild Inspiration Award, which recognizes a person who embodies the spirit of wilderness and its transformative power.


The Wilderness Society honors "Wild" author Cheryl Strayed

At an Oct. 16 celebration of the 50-year milestone of the Wilderness Act, The Wilderness Society presented the We Are the Wild Inspiration Award to Cheryl Strayed. The award recognizes a person who embodies the spirit of wilderness and its transformative power.


Your Pants Might Charge Your Phone One Day, Suggests New Tiny-Generator Study

Billing the breakthrough as the "world's smallest electric generator," scientists have found a way to translate kinetic energy into power using a material no thicker than a layer of atoms.  Researchers imagine that the bendable, stretchable material could be woven into clothing that might power body sensors, medical devices, or a phone in your pocket. The research is detailed in a paper from Columbia Engineering and Georgia Institute of Technology published in Nature.

The development operates using the principle of piezoelectricity, or the production of energy from expanding or squeezing a substance....

12 parks and monuments filled with dinosaurs

The benefits of wilderness and other public lands for modern-day flora and fauna are well-known, but conservation of wild places helps preserve traces of bygone life too,


In the Push to Expand Energy Access, Companies Eye Loan Guarantees

Loan guarantees have been around since at least the 1940s, when the U.S. government backed loans for homes, farms and businesses for World War II veterans. More recently, the U.S. government has used loan guarantee programs to support the development of clean energy. Projects including the large Ivanpah solar facility in California’s Mojave Desert, a large cellulosic ethanol plant opening this month in Kansas, and—infamously—the failed solar company Solyndra have all been beneficiaries of Department of Energy loan guarantees.

Now, loan guarantees are being considered for a different kind of application: energy access for the roughly 1.3 billion people worldwide who live in the dark....

Does the EPA’s Carbon Plan Short-Change Renewables? New Report Suggests Yes

Detractors have called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed limits on power plant emissions onerous and unachievable, but the Union of Concerned Scientists is out with a report that does more than fend off those claims. The group says the Clean Power Plan could go much further than it does in cutting carbon, simply by properly accounting for the demonstrated growth potential of renewable energy.

UCS says “states have the technological and economic potential to raise their renewable energy use to much higher levels than what the EPA is proposing in the Clean Power Plan.” As a result, a 40 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels – instead of the targeted 30 percent – is well within reach, UCS says....

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